Frequently asked HR questions 

How Do I Know If I’m Meeting Employment Regulations?

Employment regulations can vary across areas and industries, and there are a massive number of disciplines you need to understand in order to effectively manage a team and ensure your employment practices are compliant. Contracts of employment, working hours, payroll systems, health and safety, recruitment, disciplinary procedures and dismissals, among a wide variety of other disciplines, need to be compliant in order to ensure your business is legally protected and that you are treating your employees fairly.

While it is possible to put these processes in place yourself, it can be incredibly in-depth, time-consuming and confusing, especially if you don’t have an HR background. If you’re struggling, consider hiring an HR manager, or outsourcing your HR to ensure you’re legally compliant without all of the legwork. Outsourced HR packages can also mean that you don’t need to worry about spending money on services that you don’t need, so if all you require is help with compliance, this might be the perfect option for your business. For organisations in Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Horsforth, Halifax, Dewsbury and the surrounding areas, Positive People HR can offer bespoke HR services, HR advice and help with compliance to ensure your business is meeting employment regulations.

How Can I Avoid Decreased Productivity And Morale?

A decrease in morale can happen for a wide variety of reasons, but primarily it occurs when employees aren’t feeling valued, secure and fulfilled. This can happen for many different reasons, including:

 

  • Concerns about job security.
  • A lack of recognition/appreciation for the work they do by management.
  • Uncertain business conditions.
  • A culture of bullying and harassment in the company.
  • Limited upward mobility or potential for career progression in the organisation.
  • Lack of fair compensation, poor employment conditions or being underpaid.
  • A lack of clarity in their role expectations, meaning employees can be given responsibilities and tasks they aren’t suited for and aren’t part of their remit.
  • Poor, ineffective or unfair leadership, bullying and taking the talents of the team for granted.
  • Micromanagement and a lack of freedom to do their work unsupervised.
  • Extra working hours or poor work/life balance.

 

Our HR Directors service at Positive People HR gives companies in Bradford, Leeds, Halifax, Dewsbury, Brighouse, Horsforth and the surrounding areas HR support, advice and guidance on how to improve company culture to lift morale and prevent decreased productivity in a wide variety of business environments.

How Can I Get Employees To Embrace Change?

Change can be incredibly difficult for employees, particularly in larger organisations where you need to get a lot of people on the same page in order to make changes company-wide. Change is difficult as it means uncertainty for a lot of employees. Leading by example is a massively important part of helping your employees embrace changes in their working life, so don’t just say it, do it! It’s also important to consider how different people learn – for some employees, a presentation and demonstration might be enough, while for others learning while doing is the best way to pick up new processes and skills. Taking this into account when asking people to change their regular day will help to encourage them and make them feel valued as they move into transitional periods in their work life.

How Do I Retain Talented Employees?

A talented employee is one of the most important resources your company can have. Employees that are good at their job, team players and contribute ideas to the company are such an asset, so when you find them, it’s vital to keep them! Plus, the cost of hiring new employees can be incredibly high, not to mention the productivity and morale that is lost when a brilliant team member leaves the company. Making sure your employees are comfortable and satisfied with what they do is often easier said than done, but the importance of happy employees can’t be understated.

 

Making sure your employees have a place to voice their feedback and concerns is so important for top performers, whose biggest strengths are often their ideas. Proving clear pathways for career progression also helps, as your best employees can really see a future with your company. Ensuring employees are treated and compensated fairly for their time is also of great importance, and offering non-financial perks like flexitime, discounts, adequate holidays, memberships and other things that have real, everyday value to your employees can make all the difference when it comes to employee retention. 

What Is Employee Compliance? 

As well as ensuring you as an employer are compliant and up to date on all the relevant regulations, you have to ensure your employees are compliant as well. Generally, your compliance needs will be based on the kind of work your employees do, as compliance ensures their health and safety. Compliance training generally focuses on best practice for a given situation, and ensures that your employees are always able to act accordingly even when things go wrong. Compliance training may be carried out in order to stay in line with company policy, but often it is time-sensitive and should be carried out at part of the onboarding process, as compliance is a legal requirement for many sectors and industries.

 

At Positive People HR, we can offer compliance and HR advice to SMEs, large organisations and companies in the pharmaceutical, engineering, marketing, commercial, agriculture and hospitality sectors, among many others. 

How Do I Ensure My Employees Are Compliant?

Compliance training should generally be carried out during the onboarding process, to ensure your staff are qualified to do the job they have been hired to do. While compliance training is a necessity, it can sometimes be a difficult thing to get your employees on board with, which is where Positive People HR comes in. There is often a lot of jargon in employee compliance training, which can be confusing and demoralising, especially for new employees. Staying away from jargon in your compliance training will help your staff take the information you’re supplying onboard and that they are actually compliant in their practical, day to day work life.

 

How Do You Handle Underperforming Employees?

Underperformance can have a wide variety of underlying factors, many of which can be resolved easily and without having to escalate the issue. In some cases, however, these issues do have to be discussed with the HR division of your company, or by an outsourced HR professional like Positive People HR. We offer help and advice to companies all over Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Horsforth, Bradford, Huddersfield and the surrounding areas. Often issues of underperformance are ignored, but this will only prevent things from being solved effectively and can create animosity among teams as other members have to pick up additional workloads due to an underperformer. 

It is vital to get to the root of the reason behind underperformance – your employee could be feeling bored with their job, finding their work too challenging or be unclear about the expectations of their role. They could also have a personal issue that is distracting them or be unsure of the targets they have to hit. Finding out the root of the problem is the only way to effectively devise a solution together with the employee. They may need extra training, more flexibility in their work environment, or clearer objectives, and involving them in the solution can give them the autonomy and motivation needed to resolve the situation.

How Do I De-Escalate Workplace Conflict?

Everyone handles conflict differently – some people prefer to avoid it entirely as much as possible, others like to resolve things quickly in an open environment, while others prefer to sort things out privately. As a manager or business owner, it is your responsibility to act as a fair and impartial mediator in situations where your employees get into disputes, find it difficult to get along or have a lack of respect for one another. Being empathetic, understanding and considerate to the feelings of all parties involved is key in situations like these. If you don’t have an HR department, outsourced HR can be vital in these situations to act as a neutral party to help facilitate communication between parties, establish common ground, propose a compromise and effectively resolve the solution.

Can I Increase Employee Commitment?

Keeping your team engaged and committed is vital to maintaining a productive work environment, and when team members start to lose this commitment, it can spell disaster for your productivity and work culture. Gossip, dissatisfaction with their work and spending work time on personal matters can all be commonplace in an office where employees are not committed to their jobs, team or the company.

Some ways to keep your employees committed include respecting the needs of your employees and being respectful of their personal lives. This shows them they are valued as people, not just employees, and that respect goes both ways in your organisation. Having clear, concrete paths to career growth and progression also goes a long way when it comes to keeping your employees committed and engaged with their work, as they can clearly see what they have to work towards. Clear communication and feedback also show employees you are paying attention to them, taking their ideas on board and valuing them as a team, as well as individuals.

How Do I Tackle Inappropriate Behaviour In The Workplace?

Inappropriate workplace behaviour is every small businesses’ worst nightmare, especially without an HR department to help smooth the way forward. Dressing inappropriately, harassing colleagues, making offensive or discriminatory comments, using inappropriate language or swearing, having one too many at work functions or using the work network to view sexually explicit or otherwise offensive material online are all examples of inappropriate behaviour that can be difficult to tackle. However, it is vital that issues like these are nipped in the bud as soon as they arise, even if it is only one incident. Positive People HR can help a variety of businesses in Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Wakefield and the surrounding areas navigate the muddy waters of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace by sitting in on disciplinary procedures, managing arbitration, providing a framework to tackle these issues and assisting you with these difficult conversations.

How Do I Handle Sensitive And/Or Personal Issues In The Workplace?

Sometimes as a business owner or manager, you have to tackle personal and sensitive issues that are not necessarily malicious, but can still be embarrassing for the individual and is affecting their ability or the ability of others to do their jobs properly. These conversations should always be carried out privately and without judgement, as there may be underlying personal reasons for the issue. Hygiene problems, an apparent drug or alcohol addiction, continued untidy and unhygienic office space, or a leave of absence are all things that you should discuss privately to prevent office gossip, which can be incredibly upsetting for the individual and create animosity between parties.

How Can I Ensure Company Policy Is Being Followed?

Company policies should always exist for a reason, and implementing policies without any rhyme or reason in the minds of employees can cause frustration and even make things worse. Helping employees understand why certain policies are in place reinforces why they are necessary, and encourages them to follow them. Having policies and procedures easily accessible and written down also makes it easy for employees to see the policies and refresh their memories regularly. Rewarding compliance is a positive method to help ensure company policy is being followed, without having to bring in negative or difficult measures unless it is absolutely necessary, while also fostering a positive work environment. Positive People HR can help to create policies that make sense for your organisation, and give you the resources and know-how to enforce them effectively within your business through our variety of HR services.

If you need help with any of the above or just have some general HR questions, please give us a ring on 01484 444760 or email info@positivepeoplehr.co.uk

 

 

 

 

How is HR Dealing with the Coronavirus and the Increase of People Working from Home?

How Coronavirus Is Impacting HR and Remote Working

It has completely altered every single aspect of our lives, from where we go, what we do and how we travel. The current Coronavirus pandemic has created very unusual situations, brought normal life to a standstill and with new cases rising day after day it seems that although everything is being done, the COVID-19 response hasn’t quite flattened the curve. Of course, things take time so expect to be social distancing, going out once a day and tuning to the daily updates from the Government for a little bit longer.

Unlike a furloughed employee, a person who is lucky enough to still be working can expect to work remotely until further notice if at all possible. In fact, the country is currently going through a vast remote-work experiment featuring people who’ve never even set foot in their spare bedroom to work and those who are seasoned experts at getting things done at home, Coronavirus pandemic or not!

How To Keep Up Effective HR While People Work From Home

At Positive People HR, we’ve been thinking about how HR services are being affected, how they can be used to combat this sudden large-scale remote-working experiment and maybe even turn it into a remote-work success! We’ve had a think and come up with 5 tips for people in HR and small business owners about how they can navigate their entire workforce during this difficult time and ensure they are offering the same services as they would in the office.

Your Role Is Critical At The Moment

Weeks ago (though it does feel like years, let’s be honest) home working was a luxury for some, a nice thing to do if businesses could offer it. Overnight though, a remote workforce during the Coronavirus outbreak has become the new norm. For some, it’ll be a shock to the system, and this is where HR advisory services come in to allay fears and make sure the new day-to-day is as normal as possible. Effective HR now involves structured communication with all members of the company on a more regular basis than usual. We no longer have the luxury of regular face-to-face, off-the-cuff meetings by the kettle or at the break out space so these little virtual video calls are more important than ever. Make sure people’s performance is managed with clear deliverables and ensure they have the correct desk equipment to do their job. A video call at the beginning and the end of the day could prove useful to check objectives and progress. And finally, the HR role you inhabit takes on a new role of making sure that everyone has equal access to all the company’s information, keeping people in the loop about announcements – SlackMicrosoft Teams and other tools like Notion and Asana are good ways of keeping everyone together when they are apart.

Be Sure To Support Workers With Coronavirus Anxiety

As HR professionals we’re often on the front line when it comes to dealing with anxiety in employees. While there is widespread remote working, this may not be the case, but that doesn’t mean the anxiety isn’t there. So, it’s vital that HR staff take the initiative and reach out to those feeling anxious during the Coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus anxiety is completely understandable and as members of the HR team in a company, you can be there to dispel potential uncertainties and unknowns during this scary time. Share actionable steps about how people can protect themselves and offer information about the wider picture to provide context. Be sure to use reassuring language during meetings and in emails and messages to calm any fears that someone might be having.

Keep Track Of Underperforming Employees

It can be hard for HR to track the performance of an employee when you can’t actually see them. However, with sensible monitoring such as looking at the number of emails sent and phone calls made, as well as just general engagement during working hours are good ways of seeing which employees are and aren’t pulling their weight. Further to that, HR and directors should put the onus on output during these uncertain times. We all work differently and home working, for some, will take some time to adapt. It’s important to be flexible and focus on the ends, not the means. HR has to be realistic and trust their employees to complete their work in a way that suits them best, as we all have different working environments and individual circumstances, both of which need to be respected.

Make Onboarding New Employees As Normal As Possible

You’ve got to feel for people who have just started a new job during this Coronavirus lockdown – it’s never been more important to make sure a new starter feels welcome in their new job. A greater emphasis on the structure during onboarding is a good way of getting the new hire to grips with the ways of working, structure and ethos of your company. Make onboarding sessions that might take all day in a physical office, quicker and snappier in the online world.

Make sure new starters still ‘meet’ the right people and keep employee engagement high. It’s easy to set up a ZoomSkype call or a Google Hangout and HR should look to set up these virtual introductions with managers, directors and colleagues. It helps ground people in the company, despite them not being physically there. And anyway, once this is all over your new starter will be physically working with them, so it’s important to get these introductions done and done properly to make sure the new starter feels happy and comfortable in their new role, even if they can’t join the team in person just yet.

Got a New Starter Joining Soon? Then Visit Our Portal

To help you onboard a new employee we’ve developed a portal which is full of documents, forms and information to ensure you’re compliant when you take on a new member of staff and to ensure that existing employees have everything in place. As well as that, we ensure that the forms are kept up-to-date and when new forms are available, we’ll let you know how they could impact your business.

Things Our Portal Covers

  • Recruitment
  • Probation Period
  • Absence
  • Useful forms
  • GDPR Regulations
  • Payroll
  • Leaving Employment

We have also added a section to the portal to guide you through the employment issues in relation to COVID-19, along with some helpful documents and templates.

Make Sure You’re Looking After Your Own Mental Health

Our final tip is for you – make sure you’re looking after your physical and your mental health. It can be overwhelming, to take on people’s problems, check on others and make sure you’re putting employees first. It’s vital, then, that you take the time to check in on yourself, make sure that you’re functioning properly and make sure you’re not adopting an unhealthy pattern of work. After all, if you’re not at 100% how can you help others? You have a duty of care to yourself so make practical adjustments to ensure you’re at your best.

How Positive People HR Can Help Your Company

We offer a wide variety of HR consultant services and have helped countless people and business quell HR issues during this difficult time. From mediation, which helps settle disputes between a company and an employee right through to HR Director Services where we help set up an effective HR structure and ensure the company is receiving constant support and advice from us.

If you’re a business based in Leeds, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Wakefield, Bradford, Dewsbury, Horsforth or in the surrounding areas of Yorkshire and are looking to outsource your HR services so you can spend more time focusing on your business and its growth, then give us a call or get in touch with us and let us help you.