When Can You Use Feedback in Your Business?

Giving regular feedback to your employees is essential if you want them to stay focused and motivated and if you want to prevent small issues turning into something bigger. If you leave it until the annual appraisal, you may find that your staff aren’t as happy or committed as you thought they might be.

Here are some ideas on how to give regular feedback.

Day to day praise. At the end of each day, think of a way of thanking your members of staff as they leave.

Making it personal. Treat each person as an individual and give them their own feedback, even if they are part of a team.

Do it as soon as possible. Feedback has a much greater effect if you can deliver it just after the event, whether you are giving positive or negative feedback.

Negative reactions.  Be prepared for them if you’re giving negative feedback about something that needs to be improved.

Formal feedback. Avoid giving formal, negative feedback in public; take the person aside and speak to them personally. Positive feedback in public can be highly motivating.

Feedback from your employees. Always listen to what they have to say. It’s not just about you giving feedback to them, as they may have something really useful to contribute.

Regular feedback is essential as it maintains dialogue between the boss and your staff. Used well, it can boost performance of individuals, teams and businesses.

How do you give feedback? Leave a reply to share your tips.

How Do You Find the Best New Recruits for Your Business?

So you’ve decided to expand and take on new members of staff; or perhaps you’re replacing someone who is leaving. You’ve written a great job description and a person specification and you know how much you’re going to pay your new member of staff and when you need them to start. Now all you need is a flood of candidates, but how do you attract them?

Advertising. Look at your local press as well as national publications. Depending on the job and your industry you may also want to consider specific trade magazines. The key is to think about which publications your ideal candidates will read, in their search for their perfect job. Remember that you can also advertise online – there are numerous ‘job boards’ that specialise in advertising jobs, so find the ones that your potential candidates visit.

Word of mouth. Talk to your clients, contacts and suppliers to let them know that you’re recruiting. They may know the perfect person for your business and a personal recommendation is always useful.

Internal candidates. Are any of your existing members of staff ready for promotion? They might not put themselves forward for the job, but if you think they’re ready, invite them to apply.

Company website. Use your website to advertise the position. A potential client looking for your services may actually be your next member of staff. Other people searching for particular jobs may find your job and your site if you use popular and relevant key words.

Agencies. There are many recruitment agencies who can help you find the right person. They can handle the whole process, even carrying out interviews if you don’t have the time or skills. Look for agencies that specialise in your industry or the type of position you’re looking to fill.

Job centres. You can advertise your job for free in your local job centre and it will be promoted by the staff, who will be able to recommend the right candidates.

Previous applicants. Someone who wasn?t successful in a previous application may be just the person you’re looking for this time around. Send them the details of the job and find out if they’re still interested in working with you.

Use some of all of these routes and you’ll find it easy to generate a healthy amount of interest in your position, helping you find the best person for your business.

How do you recruit? What’s worked for you in the past – or not worked? Leave a reply in the comment box below.

How Do You Get More From Your Staff?

The key to getting the best, and more, from your staff is through performance management. What is this and how can it benefit your business?

Performance management is a strategic and integrated approach to increasing the effectiveness of your business by improving the performance of the people who work for you. Put simply, the better the people you employ and the better the investment you make in them, the easier it will be get the best from them and to ask more from them, when you need it.

Research shows that a high proportion of businesses struggle with underperforming members of staff. They spend too much time dealing with issues of absence, sickness, poor attitudes and behaviour, failure to meet objectives and poor standards of work. Then they look to solve them through formal disciplinary procedures. Reacting to issues can be time consuming and costly, as well as very negative. Managing performance focuses on the more positive, preventative aspects of working with people.

Good performance management is about regularly assessing the performance of every individual in your team, providing regular feedback, guidance and support to reinforce good performance and highlight areas for improvement before they become a major issue.

You should also make sure that you have proper disciplinary procedures in place to deal with poor performance. In next week’s blog we’ll share some tips which, if you follow, you will only need disciplinary procedures as a last resort, when informal and positive measures have not worked.

Learn how to get more from your people at our next workshop, in November 2012 at Hennerton Golf Club, in Wargrave, near Henley. This is your chance to really get to grips with improving performance, ask all the questions you have and get some professional support. Places are free but limited. Click here to book online.

Why Bother with HR?

What’s the point of HR?  Do you really need someone to spend time (and money) looking at the people in your business? Surely it’s quite simple and something you can do for yourself?

Here are a few ideas to help you decide whether or not to bother with HR.

The cost of getting it wrong.  Without the right HR systems in place, you could end up on the wrong side of the law, with a hefty bill to pay. A majority of employers believe that claims to Employment Tribunals will increase following the increase in the qualifying period of service to claim unfair dismissal from 1 year to 2 years. Part of the reason for the anticipated increase is that there is no system to prevent spurious claims being made to a tribunal. There is no potential downside for a claimant and potential for a financial windfall.  No win no fee solicitors support the disgruntled employee to have a go on the basis that the business will make a settlement to avoid legal costs. The figures of employment tribunal awards in the year 2011/12 have now been released and show that the median of all wards was £4560, the average award was £9133 and the maximum award was £173408. Keeping up to date with the legal issues is vital if you want to avoid unnecessary problems and payments.

The benefits of getting it right.  In order to avoid further claims businesses are making changes to their policies and procedures and making sure their managers are well trained in these procedures because a majority of employers believe that the most important factor behind a decision going against them at tribunal has been the role played by the line manager. In most cases the decision concerns the managers failure to follow their own company’s procedure!  On a far more positive note, good HR can really help to boost the profitability of your business. By putting HR management practices into your organisation, studies have shown that you can reduce employee turnover by 7%, increase sales per employee by 5.2% and increase overall financial performance by 6%.

Do you bother with HR? Do you do it yourself, or bring someone in to help with HR issues? Is it worth it, or just another business expense? Leave a reply below and let us know what you think.