Are we creating unrealistic expectations of a “perfect” workforce?

With constant changes in employment law, increased press coverage of “bad” employers and no tribunal screening processes in place it seems like employers just can’t get it right!

In the small business arena, I network with, in some cases it can put employers off employing staff altogether. This can lead to some small business owners preferring to take on the additional stress and workload rather than run the risk of employing people with the increased risks of a claim being raised against them. Not because they’re potentially “bad” employers, but because they’re busy running a business and simply don’t need the hassle!

If you read the high-profile cases in the news it really does beg the question…

Does the perfect workforce really exist?

Continue reading “Are we creating unrealistic expectations of a “perfect” workforce?”

The things we notice when we take a moment to slow down…

I was born and brought up in Uxbridge, North West London, and for as long as I can remember life there seemed like a complete blur! Everything and everyone was always rushing, I was really drawn to it and loved the fast paced way of life.

When I was living and working in Central London, everything I did felt like rushing, from getting ready for work, travelling on the Tube, eating and living in a “everything needs to be done by yesterday” pace. Even having a coffee at a coffee shop wasn’t the experience it should have been, it was more of a routine, go in, exchange a few pleasantries with the barista, never drink in, always with a “to go” nod, it is like a secret code that every barista knows!

Continue reading “The things we notice when we take a moment to slow down…”

How a mentor can help you progress your HR career

One of the things I get asked often, is how did I progress my career?

I started my working life as a Travel Agent and selling holidays on the high street, I made a move into HR as an HR administrator, and now I run my own multi-award winning business which is a dream come true.

The answer I give is – I did not achieve this dream alone!

Continue reading “How a mentor can help you progress your HR career”

Keeping Staff Happy in Fast-Moving Start-Ups

Start-ups are fast-paced and ever-changing working environments, and they’re certainly not for everyone. However, if staff are going to survive and thrive in a start-up workplace, they need to feel included, valued and happy in their roles and their teams. With so much at stake given the slim survival chances of start-ups, it is imperative that business owners and managers do everything they can to make their employees happy and productive as much as is possible. But without big budgets to spend on training and team-building, how can staff be nurtured and encouraged? Fear not; the little things can very much count! Follow this mini guide to keep on top of the small stuff:

Utilise Automation Where Possible

When starting a business from scratch, it can be easy to fall into the pitfalls of doing basic business activities manually – because that’s how you started out, and it worked, and it’s an easy continuation. However, as staff join the company and the business broadens, doing things manually can cause unnecessary burden and stress on those conducting roles. 

Instead, use specific business software for tasks that can be automated and benefit from the time and cost savings these tools can bring.

Incentivise Employees

Employee ‘buy-in’ is paramount in start-ups, because if everyone isn’t chipping in and doing their bit, there’s little room for error or failure. Effective employee incentivisation programmes can be implemented to reward staff for their contributions as well as to ensure they have a tangible emotional investment in the business doing well. Such incentives don’t need to just be in the traditional sense of performance-related bonuses or accolades but often also include shares to give maximum business engagement and to secure employee’s genuine desire for the start-up to succeed. 

Invest in Equipment

Start-ups often need to be run ‘on a bootstrap’ but taking the economical approach to everything rarely pays off in terms of quality. Spending a few extra pounds on IT infrastructure and basic office supplies demonstrates value of even the most routine of jobs and responsibilities, and investing properly in office spaces and reception areas shows that the business is serious and looking to project a professional image. Start-ups are often renowned for their unusual office spaces, so it’s not uncommon to find innovative offices in the sector.

Stay Open

When a start-up is still small and in the position where all of the staff know each other and are able to openly and easily interact, clear communication should be valued and encouraged. Empower all staff of all levels to pitch in and keep all briefed on progress and developments. Stay open to ideas and contributions from anyone and never dismiss an opinion or perspective. Clear communication is critical to a happy, productive workforce, and should be built when the staffing structure remains as flat and as small as possible; as it can be difficult to integrate later on as more people join.

The world of start-ups can seem very profit-focused but in truth, those who prioritise their staff are the true business winners. Utilising employee engagement and empowerment can transform a business in a hugely positive manner, and this is where the true stars of business are often bought.

Happy New Year!

The time between Christmas and New Year is often referred to as the “Crimbo Limbo” which can often leave us feeling all over the place! I often take this time to reflect on the year and make plans to move positively into the fresh year.

I admit that this year I have struggled to be inspired to write as I would normally. I have felt lost since losing my Nan in June, she is the reason why I have got to where I am in my career, from a young age she always told me to believe in myself and to dream big, so I always did and that is how I have carved a career bigger than I could have imagined.

This year has been difficult for many in our profession, but what it has done is teach us that we cannot relay on traditional ways of working, HR has really had to come out of its shell and find new ways to support people, businesses and teams. This needs to continue into 2022, we need to become more proactive and look to what our organisations need to continue navigating through the pandemic and the challenges it presents.

We have a long way to go, but all of the steps taken all point in the right direction, so take time to reflect, review what you have learnt and plan towards a proactive start tot he New Year. Next December, you’ll thank yourself for it!

There will be plenty more content coming from me over the coming months and with a slight change with more focus on HR careers, changes to working practices and lots of employment updates to keep you in the loop.

Have a wonderful time celebrating the New Year and I will see you all in 2022!