WOFWPDR – Watching Out For What People Do Right

Not much of an acronym and hard to put into one to quote in a management meeting and look clever!

What does all this have to do with the success of an organisation?

As we all know, the success of any organisation is dependent on the performance of its people.  Leaders, Managers and business owners all have responsibilities to coach and develop their employees to drive exceptional performance.

Looking at company culture in general tends to highlight the fact that we can be poor at positive reinforcement in business, concentrating on behaviours we don’t want to see rather than encouraging those we would like to continue.

Translated into coaching in the workplace this ‘coaching ‘backwards’ where excellent work goes unrecognised and poor performance or conduct is punished, can lead to a highly disengaged workforce.

Sometimes in business it seems difficult for managers to positively acknowledge the behaviour of their team members and although I am not suggesting breaking out into spontaneous applause in the workplace, I do recommend efforts are made to consider recognising great performance and where people have gone the extra mile, celebrating successes and making employees feel valued for their contributions, using positive reinforcement to develop and encourage positive behaviours rather than coaching ‘backwards’.

If you would like to know more about watching out for what people do right, please get in touch!

Posted in HR

Flexible Parental Leave

THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH FOR SME’S IN 2015 – OR IS IT?

We’ve seen the future and it’s flexible for babies born after April 2015 when both parents can share the mother’s maternity leave.

There has been a flurry of mainly doom and gloom in the media about the new Flexible Parental Leave system and the dire impact on business.  Men and women taking time off in all directions looking after the new offspring, the end of business as we know it, we’re all doomed to collapse under more red tape and parents’ demands.

As Nick Clegg said so excitedly when it was launched ‘that means that women up and down the country realising their potential, keeping their independence, fulfilling their dreams.  It means children up and down the country benefitting from having their father’s in their lives.  It means an economy running on all cylinders, and it means a nation reaping the rewards.  Greater equality; a fairer society; a stronger economy too”.

But hang on a minute, whatever happened to Additional Paternity Leave introduced in 2011? A quick straw poll round the table at a business networking event brought nothing but blank looks from the employers there.

Does anyone remember that about 2 years ago Additional Paternity Leave gave the right for fathers or those responsible for the upbringing of a child to take up to 6 months Additional Paternity Leave; allowing the mother to go back to work after 6 months.  It raised the same uproar at the time but is now long forgotten.

So what of the new dawn in 2015, where Dads can have unpaid time off to attend two ante-natal appointments and businesses may not lose so many high achieving female employees to motherhood?   Will we start to see men’s careers suffering because they want to take time off to be with their baby; will this start a whole new raft of claims to employment tribunal of sex discrimination when men’s requests’ to work flexibly are refused?

What you do need to do is contact me and get your Policy for FLEXIBLE PARENTAL LEAVE in place, or your current policy updated.

Call me now and let’s get your business organised.

Posted in HR

Fair Redundancy

‘I HAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS USELESS AND THEY CAN’T DO THE JOB; I WANT TO MAKE THEM REDUNDANT. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?’

I am regularly presented with this scenario and have to explain the technical definition of what ‘redundancy’ is.

In essence, a genuine redundancy situation exists where:

  • The business as a whole is closing down. E.g. A restaurant goes into insolvency and is forced to close. This will be a redundancy situation.
  • The particular part of the business in which the employee works is closing down or the business is closing down in a particular location. E.g. A publisher operating from Oxford, Cambridge and London decides to close its London branch which employs 35 staff and move the titles published there to Oxford. This will be a redundancy situation.
  • The business needs fewer employees with the redundant employee’s skills. E.g. A factory has invested in new machinery which will automate work currently done by hand. The factory will no longer need ten skilled workers to make the product but will only require two operatives to run the new machines. This will be a redundancy situation.

If there is no true redundancy situation, the employee is not being made redundant at all but is being dismissed for some other – undoubtedly unfair – reason – what we call a ‘sham process’.

So before getting to the end of your tether with one of your employees call me for an informal discussion and find a fair resolution.

Posted in HR

Absent? …Not again!

Absence from work has a cost to every employer in terms of money, time, lost production … the list is endless. Whether the absence is due to less committed employees, genuine sickness, or struggles with personal responsibilities, if not properly addressed it can undermine the goodwill of loyal employees.

Clear rules need to be published and understood about notification of all periods of absence and that should be stated as phoning in by a certain time and that a text message is not an acceptable form of notification.

Experience shows that a text will be sent, often to a colleague, saying the individual is not coming in and for the rest of the day the mobile goes to voice mail and texts remain unanswered.

As part of the employer’s duty of care and absence management procedure, return to work interviews should be carried out as soon as the employee returns, which shows the employer takes it seriously. Not only is it highly effective in discouraging the ‘Friday off to get ready for the weekend and/or Monday off to get over the weekend’ days they are an opportunity to discuss other underlying issues which can be jointly resolved with the employee.

If you have problems with sickness and absenteeism and need an Absence Management Policy to help your business, get in touch and let’s solve your problems.

Posted in HR