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Alison Schreiber

HR BLOG: Tips for businesses that are recruiting

HR BLOG: Tips for businesses that are recruiting

June 21st, the date designated for the final lifting of lockdown restrictions, is fast approaching. You may however have seen in the news some uncertainty as to whether everything will go ahead as planned. Despite the ambiguity surrounding this date, we are pleased to...

HR BLOG: HR troubleshooting for businesses that are reopening

HR BLOG: HR troubleshooting for businesses that are reopening

Last month we witnessed the welcome return of outdoor hospitality, non-essential retail, and other businesses such as gyms and hairdressers. And next week we are preparing for further restrictions to be lifted, which will allow indoor dining and more relaxed mixing...

HR BLOG: Managing holiday requests as lockdown eases

HR BLOG: Managing holiday requests as lockdown eases

After more than a year of ups and downs, cancellations and lockdowns, holidays have been in short supply. So as lockdown restrictions begin to gradually lift, many people will be eager to find out when they can book their next break. Simultaneously, the easing of...

HR BLOG: Are you thinking about bringing employees back from furlough?

HR BLOG: Are you thinking about bringing employees back from furlough?

After a winter like no other, the government’s recent announcement of a cautious and phased route out of lockdown will have provided some relief to business owners. Many will be eager to make plans for the year ahead. An integral part of the plan laid out a timeline...

HR BLOG: Managing requests from employees to work from abroad

HR BLOG: Managing requests from employees to work from abroad

Pre-coronavirus, some employers may have thought that remote working couldn’t work for their business. In which case, a request from an employee who wanted to work from abroad could have possibly been rejected for this reason. A lot has changed in the past year. Many...

HR BLOG: Are you hoping for success? Or planning for it?

HR BLOG: Are you hoping for success? Or planning for it?

2020 is drawing to a close and what an eventful year it has been. New year celebrations are on the horizon, and while they will be very different this year due to the continuation of lockdown restrictions, plenty of people will be eager to acknowledge the end of this...

HR BLOG: Are you retaining staff after making redundancies?

HR BLOG: Are you retaining staff after making redundancies?

We know that sadly many employers are finding they have no choice but to reduce costs and make redundancies in their business. This is just one of the economic consequences of the pandemic, and has meant that unemployment is at an all-time high. Because of this, some...

HR BLOG: Five tips from HR for successful remote inductions

HR BLOG: Five tips from HR for successful remote inductions

Sometimes change can lead to good things. If your business is in the position to be hiring at the moment, chances are you and your team are fairly busy, and business is going well. After finalising your recruitment process, which may have been arduous with...

HR BLOG: How should businesses manage flexible working requests

HR BLOG: How should businesses manage flexible working requests

One of the significant cultural changes forced by coronavirus is the rise of home working. Is the genie now out of the bottle to make this a permanent shift? Here Alison looks at how this issue is affecting local businesses. Alison begins: “Some companies already...

HR BLOG: What can Durham businesses do to avoid COVID-19 redundancies?

HR BLOG: What can Durham businesses do to avoid COVID-19 redundancies?

In her latest blog for the Peterlee and Seaham business park groups, HR expert Alison Schreiber asks: What can Durham businesses do to avoid COVID-19 redundancies? The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme remains open until October. It is reported 8.9 million employees...

HR BLOG: How are your employees getting to work?

HR BLOG: How are your employees getting to work?

Pre-coronavirus, commuter woes typically included delays because of rush-hour, strikes or storms. But ever since the UK’s recovery strategy asked people to stay at home in response to coronavirus, most people have not had to think about their commute for some time....

HR BLOG: What will life look like after lockdown ends?

HR BLOG: What will life look like after lockdown ends?

What will life after the lockdown look like for Durham businesses? • A lockdown lasting weeks (at the very least) has transformed the way many businesses are operating. • For those which survive, the workplace could look very different after the pandemic. • But where...

HR BLOG: Managing workplace mental health during coronavirus

HR BLOG: Managing workplace mental health during coronavirus

By now you will hopefully be well informed on the extreme measures put in place by the government to protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19. The latest official guidance goes beyond frequent hand washing and coughing into a tissue, with most people now...

HR BLOG: Register for our coronavirus webinar this Friday now

HR BLOG: Register for our coronavirus webinar this Friday now

The introduction of coronavirus in the UK has created a rapidly changing terrain of obligations for employers which can be confusing. The HR Dept aim to provide clarity for SME owners by answering the commonly asked questions around how to deal with your employees...

HR BLOG: How to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace

HR BLOG: How to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace

Bullying can take many forms. Sometimes it’s obvious, bearing the hallmarks of a playground bully. But increasingly in the digital age, bullying and harassment has moved online as well. Our ‘always-on’ culture means that bullies can operate at all hours. And, now, a...

HR BLOG: Top tips to ensure your new year’s resolutions don’t fail

HR BLOG: Top tips to ensure your new year’s resolutions don’t fail

Although usually the result of good intentions and a genuine desire for change, many new year’s resolutions fail to make it past January. Sound familiar? Perhaps you even hear the same resolutions cropping up each year: the friend that still wants to learn Japanese,...

HR BLOG: Plan ahead so you’re not snowed in by the bad weather

HR BLOG: Plan ahead so you’re not snowed in by the bad weather

We are more than two thirds of the way through December which tells us two things. First, Christmas is just two days, so panic, for some, is a plausible state of mind. And second, winter is only just getting started: it’s fair to assume that the recent bad weather may...

HR BLOG: Could cliques be damaging your business and staff morale

HR BLOG: Could cliques be damaging your business and staff morale

Colleagues getting along and working in teams is an ideal scenario for employers. That is until a clique forms and uses your business as its headquarters. A clique is a small exclusive group of people, which may also be referred to as a gang or posse. Their workplace...

HR BLOG: What to do when an employee goes AWOL to protest

HR BLOG: What to do when an employee goes AWOL to protest

When an employee goes AWOL to attend a protest… Are you so passionate about climate change that you would be willing to let employees take time off to protest? Earlier in the year, the teen activist Greta Thunberg inspired schoolchildren to bunk off school – sorry,...

HR BLOG: Why is flexible training so important to your business?

HR BLOG: Why is flexible training so important to your business?

Why flexible learning matters to your business As a business owner you would have heard that training employees boosts productivity and can take your business to the next level. Which sounds great! If it wasn’t for the time it takes, the expense incurred and then the...

HR BLOG: Is this meeting really necessary?

HR BLOG: Is this meeting really necessary?

Have you ever stopped to ask, “Why are we having this meeting?”. If the only answer presented to you is “We always meet at this time every week.”, it’s time to put meetings under the microscope. If you’re looking at ways to improve productivity you’re not alone....

HR BLOG: Does your employee contract template do the job?

HR BLOG: Does your employee contract template do the job?

Written contracts for employees may seem like burdensome paperwork. Yet another admin step prolonging your recruitment process. That is, until the full extent of their importance becomes clear to you when something goes wrong later on. You may feel that a verbal...

HR BLOG: How to manage remote working

HR BLOG: How to manage remote working

There are many benefits to employing remote workers for your business, such as reduced overheads and better flexibility. But managing them comes with its own challenges. On-site employees jesting that their homeworker colleagues are “slacking”, and a lack of...

HR BLOG: What to do when an employee is always late for work

HR BLOG: What to do when an employee is always late for work

Employee timekeeping can be a major concern to employers. Particularly in businesses which require staff to clock-in. Lateness, absenteeism, even keeping track of sick leave can all act as a distraction to the time-pressed manager. There can be occasions when an...

HR BLOG: How to manage an employee under the influence of alcohol

HR BLOG: How to manage an employee under the influence of alcohol

How to manage an employee under the influence of alcohol Did you know that 21% of adults* drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week? That’s more than a glass of wine or low strength beer every day. Perhaps you are not too surprised by this statistic as going for a...

HR BLOG: Are your interview techniques a help or a hindrance

HR BLOG: Are your interview techniques a help or a hindrance

Are your interviewing techniques a help or a hindrance? Interviews. You either look forward to doing them, dread them or get someone else to do them for you. Perhaps you feel you have nailed your interviewing technique by now and typically follow the same process...

HR BLOG: How to protect your business from employee sabotage

HR BLOG: How to protect your business from employee sabotage

Seven tips to protect your business from employee sabotage Finding out that you and your business have fallen victim to sabotage is awful. Uncovering that the damage was done from the inside and it was an employee who caused it can be even harder to swallow. After...

HR BLOG: How to keep the peace between employees

HR BLOG: How to keep the peace between employees

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could get along all the time? With different personalities working in one organisation and people spending a significant amount of their time at work, conflict between co-workers is inevitable. It could be a one-off disagreement that...

HR BLOG: How to mange long term sickness absence

HR BLOG: How to mange long term sickness absence

How to manage long-term sickness absence UK employee sickness rates being at an all-time low should be good news to employers’ ears. The statisticssuggest that the nation is healthy and fit for work after all. However, this might not be the whole picture considering...

HR Blog: Five top tips to welcoming new employees

HR Blog: Five top tips to welcoming new employees

Five top tips when welcoming new employees After reading The HR Dept’s A-Z of recruitment you have found the ideal candidate to join your team. By now you have offered them the position, they have happily accepted, and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the...

HR Blog: How to handle employees leaving to set up in competition

HR Blog: How to handle employees leaving to set up in competition

How to handle employees leaving to set up in competition One employee leaving the business to set up in competition may be considered a misfortune. Several leaving at the same time, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, looks like carelessness. Our political leaders are facing...

HR BLOG: Making the most out of Mondays in your business

HR BLOG: Making the most out of Mondays in your business

Monday could probably be put on the same shelf as Marmite, most people either love it or hate it. Some like to embrace the dawn of a new week and all it promises, whilst others see Monday as a major hurdle to overcome, with next weekend a distant prospect. That hurdle...

HR BLOG: How to organise the perfect works’ Christmas party

HR BLOG: How to organise the perfect works’ Christmas party

There are times throughout the year that you may wish to reward your hardworking employees by hosting a party or a fun team-building activity. Work events such as the annual Christmas or summer party can be a great way to boost morale. They bring everyone together in...

HR BLOG: Four ways to improve knowledge sharing in your SME busines

HR BLOG: Four ways to improve knowledge sharing in your SME busines

It is not uncommon for a small business to be fuelled by multitaskers who wear various hats throughout the day. As the leader of such a team you may even read this and say, “Oh certainly, I myself have at least five hats to choose from!” Whilst creating a team of...

HR BLOG: How to make sure the show goes on during the winter months

HR BLOG: How to make sure the show goes on during the winter months

The clocks have gone back, gloves are making a comeback and you haven’t looked for your sunglasses in weeks. This can only mean one thing. Winter is here! We’re pretty used to this now, it happens every year after all. And with the changeable climate of the British...

HR BLOG: How to spot and stop workplace bullying

HR BLOG: How to spot and stop workplace bullying

Bullying in the workplace is sad but true that bullying is still a significant issue in many organisations. The TUC reported in 2015 that nearly one third of people are bullied at work, with women being more at risk than men. If left unaddressed, workplace bullying...

HR BLOG: It might be the easy option, but is it the ethical one?

HR BLOG: It might be the easy option, but is it the ethical one?

Have you ever made an executive decision on impulse and then recited that famous, reassuring phrase “it will all be alright” to justify your decision making? You may have even felt good about the time saved by making a quick and easy decision. Because effectively,...

HR BLOG: Automation meets HR – sure-fire shortcuts to get things done

HR BLOG: Automation meets HR – sure-fire shortcuts to get things done

Unless you have buried yourself in offline processes for the past few years, you have probably heard that automation can be a great tool for SME success. From lead generation to real-time marketing, slick e-commerce to prompt customer service; automation can not only...

HR BLOG: Is it time to upgrade your space?

HR BLOG: Is it time to upgrade your space?

If you are reading this at work*, take a look around you. Are you inspired? Are you motivated? If you struggle to feel inspired by your surroundings at work, it’s fair to say that your staff members could be feeling the same way. So, if your answers to the above were...

HR BLOG: Your team’s attention span is decreasing! Or is it?

HR BLOG: Your team’s attention span is decreasing! Or is it?

Ever heard the phrase “Humans have a shorter attention span than a goldfish”? Perhaps you have quoted it yourself. This attention-grabbing headline has spread like wildfire in recent years as many have nodded, shrugged and added “Well of course, technology and smart...