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HR Advice

HR Blog: Excuses, excuses: Are you challenging them in your business?

HR Blog: Excuses, excuses: Are you challenging them in your business?

“I’m running late because my pet snake has escaped, and I need to find it.” “I accidentally got on a plane.” “A fortune teller told me I shouldn’t leave the house through fear of a brain haemorrhage.” Believe it or not, these have all been genuine excuses from...

HR Blog: Could term-time working benefit your business and staff?

HR Blog: Could term-time working benefit your business and staff?

Did you know that term-time only working isn’t just for educational establishments? Term-time only working is a type of flexible working that, if suitable for a business, can widen its prospective pool of talent. As the name suggests, an employee on a term-time only...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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...

HR BLOG: Six steps to preparing for an intern

HR BLOG: Six steps to preparing for an intern

If you’ve never had an intern before, you could be forgiven for thinking you hire one to pass on your wealth of business knowledge, so your legacy lives on after you retire. That, and to have some extra hands on deck to order your lunch when the going gets tough. To...

HR BLOG: How to keep control over workplace instant messaging

HR BLOG: How to keep control over workplace instant messaging

Instant messaging (IM) is such a common form of communication these days that text speak acronyms are used daily. Your personality could even be defined by your most used emoji. Instant messaging apps are accessible communication tools with growing popularity. So, it...

HR BLOG: How can employers reduce the risk of being ghosted by recruits?

HR BLOG: How can employers reduce the risk of being ghosted by recruits?

Have you ever been stood up by a job candidate? Called and emailed them but to no avail? You may have just been ‘ghosted’. In the dawn of a job-seekers’ market, that cold feeling of rejection usually associated with online dating is becoming a common occurrence for...

HR BLOG: Dress codes and discrimination

HR BLOG: Dress codes and discrimination

Dress codes can be subjective and your idea of dressing to impress may be different to someone else. In a diverse workforce made up of different cultures and backgrounds, it’s probable that you will come across varying opinions on what is and isn’t suitable for work....

HR BLOG: How to manage fathers returning to work

HR BLOG: How to manage fathers returning to work

It is not uncommon to hear about the difficulties that working mothers can experience when returning to work after maternity leave. What is less apparent are the struggles that can affect stay-at-home fathers re-joining the workforce after a career break. The...

HR BLOG: Dyslexia in the workplace

HR BLOG: Dyslexia in the workplace

With dyslexia affecting around 10% of the population, it’s very likely that at some point you’ll encounter it within your workforce. But while most people have heard of dyslexia, if it doesn’t affect you or someone you know, you may not understand exactly what it...

HR BLOG: GDPR Top Tips

HR BLOG: GDPR Top Tips

GDPR is coming – is your SME compliant? Read our HR checklist to see what you have to do between now and 25 May. The General Data Protection Regulation becomes law on 25 May 2018 and if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to make changes to your business to...

HR BLOG: HR myth busting!

HR BLOG: HR myth busting!

HR has more than its fair share of myths and misinformation! Could it be the ever-changing legislation and case law, the conflicting pressures that many SME business owners face or simply the fact that we are in the business of people problems? It’s probably down to a...

HR BLOG: Ramadan – what employers need to know

HR BLOG: Ramadan – what employers need to know

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on lunar cycles. It is a sacred period for Muslims during which they abstain from pleasures (including food), pray and come together as families to celebrate. With almost three million Muslims living...

HR BLOG: How to manage an employee selected for jury service

HR BLOG: How to manage an employee selected for jury service

Jury service is a trying time. And not always just for the accused. A juror may find it an unusual and difficult situation. And if they’re employed, what about the knock-on effects on their boss and the business? Some people will come up with all manner of excuses to...

HR BLOG: Culture clashes at work and how to avoid them

HR BLOG: Culture clashes at work and how to avoid them

A French employee at a restaurant in Canada filed a complaint with British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal against his former employer. He claimed the dismissal was due to his French culture being perceived as ‘rude and aggressive’. What can we do to embrace and use...

HR BLOG: Paws for thought – should we allow pets at work?

HR BLOG: Paws for thought – should we allow pets at work?

The benefits of allowing staff to bring their pets to work is well documented and proven. As long as no one is allergic to them and the pets (usually dogs, but not always) are safe and well behaved, everyone gains. It could even be a deciding factor in staff retention...

HR BLOG: The benefits of being a generous employer this Easter

HR BLOG: The benefits of being a generous employer this Easter

Looking at the shops, it really does seem as though Easter is the new Christmas. Easter crackers, Easter biscuits, hot cross buns… And of course, the Easter Bunny will be frantically making his way across predicted snow-laden fields to bring us all Easter eggs. What...

HR BLOG: How charity in the workplace can boost morale

HR BLOG: How charity in the workplace can boost morale

Encouraging staff to be charitable is a good part of corporate social responsibility. And when done well can be a great team building activity. Studies have shown that doing good deeds improves mood, productivity and morale. For business owners, this has the potential...

HR BLOG: The art of tending your HR garden

HR BLOG: The art of tending your HR garden

To be a good people manager you really need to be a good gardener. The first part of planting a good herbaceous border is selecting strong and healthy plants that are suitable for the soil you are going to grow them in. Not much different to recruitment is it? For...

HR BLOG: One in seven bosses wouldn’t hire a woman who might have kids

HR BLOG: One in seven bosses wouldn’t hire a woman who might have kids

In a shocking indictment of how far women’s rights still have to go, one in seven bosses admit they wouldn’t hire a woman of child-bearing age. This is because of the fear that they might go on maternity leave. Men (18%) are significantly more likely than women (10%)...

HR BLOG: Flu may be coming to an office near you!

HR BLOG: Flu may be coming to an office near you!

According to the online tool Flusurvey, 61.7% of the people currently reporting flu symptoms are employed – and with health professionals warning that this week’s cold snap is likely to increase the number of cases, the flu could hit your business very soon. This is a...

HR BLOG: How to handle the ‘sickie’ over the festive period

HR BLOG: How to handle the ‘sickie’ over the festive period

For businesses that are open across the holiday season, it’s likely to be a skeleton staff. But if someone phones in sick, it can cause havoc and unanticipated service gaps. ‘Throwing a sickie’ is among the leading causes of why staff are absent, with one in five...

HR BLOG: Santa needs to get his elf data in shape for the GDPR

HR BLOG: Santa needs to get his elf data in shape for the GDPR

It’s only six months to go until the new data laws come in – and whilst Santa’s getting ready to deliver billions of presents, he’s also got to think about how to make sure his employees’ personal data is ready for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). As CEO...

HR BLOG: How to handle diabetes in the workplace

HR BLOG: How to handle diabetes in the workplace

With 3.8 million people now diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, businesses are increasingly likely to have to face the challenge of managing employees with the condition. As well as wanting to help and support all employees it is wise to be aware that, in most...

HR BLOG: Halloween HR horror stories

HR BLOG: Halloween HR horror stories

It’s creeping ever closer to Halloween and you don’t always need pumpkins and ghouls to have a horror show. We’ve gathered some HR nightmares from across The HR Dept to give you a scare: A nightmare from payroll After a new payroll system was implemented at a...

HR BLOG: Stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace

HR BLOG: Stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace

Sadly, we doubt that many were surprised that a male-led organisation, which holds so much power and influence, was rife with sexual harassment. What has been shocking is the sheer scale, and the allegations of sexual violence and rape, that have come out as Harvey...

HR BLOG: How the daily mile scheme can help staff be more productive

HR BLOG: How the daily mile scheme can help staff be more productive

After a recent successful trial at a school, Scottish Power are championing the scheme that’s now being rolled out across the education sector. The ‘daily mile’ scheme is designed to get people active. Health guidelines recommend walking 10,000 steps a day –...

HR BLOG: Watch our HR Toolkit video

HR BLOG: Watch our HR Toolkit video

The HR Dept offers an easy-to-use web based HR software and personnel management system for you and your employees, designed specifically as a low cost software solution to streamline HR admin for small and medium-sized businesses. How the Toolkit software system...

HR BLOG: What’s the impact of smoking on businesses?

HR BLOG: What’s the impact of smoking on businesses?

Smokers cost their bosses and small businesses almost £2,000 per year in lost productivity for cigarette breaks, research from the British Heart Foundation shows. An average of one in five members of staff smoke, taking four cigarette breaks a day, that each last...

HR BLOG: Does monitoring staff comms count as illegal spying?

HR BLOG: Does monitoring staff comms count as illegal spying?

You would think that it is entirely reasonable to check on your staff to see if they are spending their time at work doing company work – and not using the company IT systems for personal use. However, a recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights disagrees...

HR  BLOG: Four benefits of having a diverse workforce in your business

HR BLOG: Four benefits of having a diverse workforce in your business

A diverse workforce has the potential to not only benefit you and your staff, but your customers too! An inclusive team can harness new ideas and strengthen networks and communities. A team with a diverse range of work and life experiences can enrich your company...