The past year has been somewhat surprising in terms of society and the way we live and work. We’ve seen a massive rise in new technologies, mindfulness and wellbeing as well as an increase in rights movements such as #metoo and #blacklivesmatter.
As we move into 2019, how will these changes affect the workplace and what will be the top trends for HR?
Here’s our predictions:
1) Increase focus on inclusiveness, equality and rights
In 2018 we saw 20,000 female Google employees staging a global walkout over the companies’ lack of transparency regarding sexual harassment, misconduct and non-inclusive workplace culture. As the #metoo movement and #blacklivesmatter continue to be prevalent in social media and in the press, it’s important to understand how this may impact your business and the role of HR within this.
Working with management, HR can help review the company handbook which outlines the policies and practices to ensure that the workplace is and remains a safe, fair and inclusive place. This will ensure that measures are in place to deal with any instances that may occur. Should an incident occur, it’s important to deal with it effectively and confidentially for all parties involved.
Employee surveys can also help you get a feel of opinions and attitudes in the business. By anonymising the answers, it will allow employees to feel comfortable about opening up and being honest as well as encourage a high response rate.
2) Atypical Working
In recent years we have seen a radical shift in the way in which people work and in employers’ attitudes towards atypical working habits, such as remote or flexible working. For many, being ‘tied to the desk’ is a thing of the past and with busy lives, this trend will continue to rise.
This allows employees the flexibility to adapt working patterns around their lifestyle, often increasing performance and productivity and employee engagement.
However, it’s not all positive. A study by the CIPD found almost a third of staff felt they could not switch off from work in their personal time and nearly a fifth of these people feel like they are under surveillance which impacts their sleep and causes anxiety.
For HR, this creates new challenges in working with growing numbers of employees that have reduced or limited face-to-face communication, span different time zones and may have issues that are not visible to management due to limited interaction.
Communication is key when it comes to atypical working. Cost effective technology such as video conferencing, telepresence and online collaboration services such as Basecamp and Slack can provide vital channels of communication between HR, management and staff.
Working with management, HR can help create an environment of ‘open culture’ so employees feel comfortable talking openly with their line managers and HR about any issues or concerns.
3) Health and Wellbeing
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated that if you could go into the future and ask “What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind” – the answer would be about health.
Apple have a proven track record of trend spotting and so this shift in strategy is a clear signal that health and wellbeing will be prominent from 2019 onwards.
For HR, this means keeping open clear lines of communication with employees and again, helping management to promote an ‘open culture’ and ensuring line managers are empowered to help employees facing difficulties.
Software like Breathe HR can help track sickness and monitor performance, providing key indicators of staff members who may be experiencing issues. Breathe HR also integrates with many different tools and using their API and webhooks can integrate seamlessly into your existing workflow.
If you would like more advice on any of the topics above or are interested in finding out more about Breathe HR please get in touch.
GDPR HR Implications – Five top tips
- The basics
In brief, the General Data Protection Regulations is new and is replacing the current data protection act. It is being introduced on 25th May 2018 to address the huge technology updates since the original act was brought in 20 years ago. Gone are the days when our data was stored in a locked cabinet, it is now likely to be spread across the internet, held by numerous companies and therefore the risks are so much higher than ever.
The new regulation is not too dissimilar to the current legislation, however, the implications are much more onerous, meaning that you must be able to demonstrate accountability and follow strict rules on data processing.
- So where will this impact?
It will likely impact the following key areas in your business:
- Direct marketing
- CRM/Customer Service
- Potential Fines
There are two tiers of fines. The first is up to €10 million or 2% of your annual global turnover of the previous year, whichever is higher. The second is up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher. Generally, the first tier is for breaches of controller or processor obligations and breaches of data subject’s rights and freedoms will result in the higher fine.
- Get a plan together
Businesses have between now and 25th May 2018 to ensure they are compliant. If you want to do this properly, and ensure everything is in place, this is likely to mean a significant amount of work. Firstly you are going to need to review your current data processes, identify gaps in compliance and plan to implement solutions before the GDPR is enforced.
Some companies will need to designate a Data Protection Officer. The other actions required will be specific to each company and their data processes.
- Get help if you need it
This is going to be a huge undertaking for some organisations. So don’t be scared to ask for help – that’s why I am here.
I have created an HR GDPR support package to ensure you are compliant, this will include the following;
- A full audit of your hr processes, where I will examine all the personal data points in your organisation
- Consultation on the gaps identified
- Update all your HR documentation to meet the GDPR criteria
Get in touch today to find out more https://hivehrsolutions.co.uk/contact/
The key to staff appraisals is there should be no surprises.
For instance, if an employee tells a manager that the six months since the last review have gone really badly, it should not be the first they’ve heard of it.
This is because staff appraisals must not exist in isolation, but should be part of an ongoing process in which both management and staff have regular dialogue.
The importance of 121’s
121’s do not need to be hours long, sometimes 15 minutes will be enough if you’re doing them regularly. It is worth setting time aside each month to have them.
These discussions should be an opportunity to check in with your employees and check how they are, discuss work progress, and discuss any difficulties they are having.
This is also where you would share observations perhaps where performance hasn’t been great and encourage the employee to take away actions for improvement.
Preparing for an appraisal meeting
If this isn’t the first appraisal for the employee, review the objectives set from the previous period and establish whether these have been met.
Consider the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’. How did they go about completing their objectives? did they consult with others or did they piss people off along the way? Were they calm under pressure or did they show signs of frustration?
Make notes of observations you’ve had, it is important to provide examples of when things have gone well and not so well.
Creating the right atmosphere
A successful meeting depends on creating an informal environment in which a full frank but friendly exchange of views can take place.
It is best to start with a general discussion before getting into the detail.
Here are some other pointers:
- Let the employee do most of the talking
- Where possible, use positive feedback
- Invite self-appraisal, ask them how they things have gone, would they do anything differently next time
- Always refer to performance, not personality – stick to actual events, display of behaviors, and results
Employees should go away from the appraisal feeling motivated and involved in their personal development
Documenting performance issues
It is important to document the appraisal and discussions where you have raised performance issues. I know this can be time-consuming but if you need to begin a performance improvement process these notes will be essential to remind the employee of previous conversations you have had.
If you would like help reviewing or setting up an appraisal process for you and your employees please contact me.
Running your own business can be an exciting but challenging experience. You often have to take on many roles when you’re first starting out and whilst this is often necessary, if you’re not prepared it can lead to costly mistakes.
Sometimes HR is often overlooked as an unnecessary extra cost, but we can often save you from costly litigation cases and even when things seem ok and ticking along nicely, employee turnover is one to watch as this can affect your bottom line.
How can small business owners keep from dropping the ball when it comes to HR. Here are four common HR management pitfalls and how to avoid them.
1) A hasty recruitment process
If you get this wrong, it can be costly to fix. Recruitment starts with a well written job description, detailing what the job involves but also what kind of person you need. Business owners I have met tend to hire the person they think they need and create the job description after or at least they intend to. What actually happens is the job description never gets written and the employee doesn’t really know what they are expected to do, or at least what you expect and when it comes to measuring their output during an appraisal discussion this becomes very difficult if you don’t have one.
2) Employee handbook is outdated (or often non-existent)
Often small businesses use Google to find and download policies…….yes you know who you are! You are not alone this is seen as a quick fix.
However, policies and procedures should be written for your business, they need to relate to your set up and how you would like to do things. This is where a HR professional can help you produce policies that are tailored to your business but are still legally compliant.
Secondly, they need to be reviewed, as your business grows and legislation changes you will need to update them. Lastly but most importantly you need to communicate these to your employees, and let them know where they can access them.
3) Employee training takes a back seat
When employers invest in their employees, they in turn invest in the company. This investment is most clearly demonstrated by providing various training opportunities for employees. These opportunities should begin with a thorough onboarding process for new hires and continue with professional development programs and events for current staff.
By providing new hires with the tools they need to hit the ground running and current employees with opportunities to grow, employers can rest assured that employees at all stages are performing at peak performance.
4) Performance issues aren’t documented
Whilst no termination is positive if you are prepared it can be easier. This preparation starts with addressing and documenting performance related issues. When performance problems arise, nip them in the bud by discussing them with the employee. Always stick to the facts and have examples of work they’ve done to support the points you are making. This will give the employee the chance to correct or improve things.
So, I hear you ask what happens when performance doesn’t improve? Sometimes terminations are unavoidable, the key is ensuring things are thoroughly documented. This may seem time-consuming but it can serve as valuable evidence should a termination be necessary.
Please contact me to see how I could help your business.
So as we enter February, I want to reflect and record my progress with my new year resolution…….
Unlike most years when I have set myself at least 5 new year resolutions and rarely stick to any of them, I have chosen just one for 2017.
This is to start my own HR consultancy to serve small businesses in West Sussex. I want to help small businesses who don’t have the expertise in house or the time to manage the minefield of HR issues by providing simple, helpful and friendly HR advice and solutions.
So how am I doing?
Its week 2 and I have joined a weekly local networking group with 26 current members. It’s the type of networking group that you can only join if your specialism is vacant. On the morning of my first meeting I was very nervous, just the thought of walking into a room with 26 people I had never met before. I am a fairly confident individual however even I was nervous. The night before I read I would have to do a 60-second introduction about me and my business. So at 6:30am the following morning I arrived, business cards under one arm and loads of courage under the other.
And after 15 minutes I started to relax and appreciate how welcoming everyone was. When it came to my 60 seconds I stood up and delivered my pitch to my audience. The challenge will be to come up with an original pitch every week!!
Two weeks on…..
I now have two clients, one who needed a contract of employment and other new starter document templates and the other needed some support managing an employee who had been off sick for 12 months.
It’s early days but I am already asking myself why I didn’t do this years ago!