Recently XpertHR conducted a wide-scale survey of wellbeing initiatives in the workplace, either currently in use or planned. This blog is a condensed summary of their report.Continue reading
Christmas parties can be a mixed blessing. They’re good to help both keep morale high and reward staff for a good year. But parties are not always without their problems– you can’t totally control all your staff, especially after a drink or two! Also,not everyone likes parties, so don’t make them compulsory, as some people find social situations too overwhelming.
Costing on average around £50 per head, produce an Office Party Policy to set expectations on behaviour, backed up with a Social Media policy warning staff not to post inappropriate photographs and risk damaging your brand’s reputation. Email all staff a couple of weeks prior to the event, attaching the policies, to bothremind them of the details of the party and your expectations of theirbehaviour, gently stating that the party is an extension of their working hours.
Remember, as the employer, you’re ultimately responsible for any shenanigans! So to avoid any pit falls and embarrassment, set up the ground rules first. Then relax and enjoy the event with your staff.
The ‘Alternative’Festive Menu
Cocktails and Wine
Can you guess which member of staff will be the one who gets a bit tipsy first?There’s always that one! Then there’s the wine lover who ends up getting a bit emotional, and the beer quaffer who may get opinionated, offering unwanted advice to all and sundry. Not forgetting the cocktail lover who thinks they’re the life and soul of the party! You know the ones. But we’re all human, and we all have our little foibles, whether alcohol induced or otherwise. So let themenjoy themselves, in moderation – you, too. Relax and enjoy a glass or three. Just remember not to make any drunken promises to your staff that could bite you in the backside later. Finally, make sure you have plenty of soft drinks available,too.
Your Starter for Ten
Everyone loves a traditional prawn cocktail or salmon starter. Or do they? Perhaps a member of your team is allergic to shellfish. Remember to check for allergies prior to the event.
No Christmas meal is complete without pulling crackers, donning hats, enjoying the cheap gifts and laughing at the lame jokes. But once the crackers are pulled, keep an eye out for staff going crackers, or flirting inappropriately to try and ‘pull’ a colleague. Gentle flirting is one thing, but let’s keep it atthat, guys! Your policy should remind staff that what one person may find funny,another may find offensive – the last thing you want is a grievance about someone’s behaviour when you all return to work.
What a Turkey!
Onto the main course. Things are getting serious now … or seriously silly! But when it comes to the meat, consider those people of different faiths. Have you ensured there are Halal or Kosher choices, and vegetarian alternatives? Did you check that anyone has any other dietary needs? For the meal to be a success,and for your staff to feel appreciated, valued and listened to, getting this bit right is essential.
Brussels Sprouts – Loathe ‘em or Love ‘em?
I love Brussels Sprouts, especially stir-fried with garlic, chilli and ginger. But not everyone does. The point I’m making here is to not treat everyone the same and assume they all want or need the same thing. I’m not just talking about the festive season, either – don’t look at your staff as a whole but see them as individuals, too, with different needs.
Christmas Pud with Lashings of Brandy Butter
Of course, some people may prefer mince pies, and others may loathe desserts with dried fruit. Ensure there’s a variety of desserts available so that people don’t feel left out – just as can happen with equality issues in the workplace.It’s important to cater for and embrace all desserts, tastes, ethnicities and sexual preferences so that everyone feels included.
Many people love the secret swapping of silly gifts at Christmas. But what happens when someone opens a present that they find inappropriate, or worse still,offensive? Make sure you communicate with staff well in advance of the event. Make it clear that if they want to take part in the Secret Santa, gifts should be respectable and sensible. This can be subjective, of course, but most people should understand the sort of gifts to be avoided.
It’s over! Everyone’s talked, eaten, laughed, joked, enjoyed a tipple or two and hopefully had fun. Now it’s time to get everyone home safely. Did you know that it’s your responsibility as the employer to ensure that drunk staff get homesafely? If budget allows, arrange mini-buses or taxis in advance, or designated drivers for groups. Or at least encourage your staff to check the last bus andtrain times and provide the number of a couple of cab companies.
Finally,if you’ve chosen to have your Christmas event mid-week (not advisable), make sure that everyone had plenty of prior warning that they are expected in work the next day, fully functioning!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
Your people are the key to the success of your business. By investing in them you are investing in your success. But how do you make sure they are working as hard as they can, to bring about that success?
Here are our top 10 tips to help you get the most from your people:
- Provide a vibrant and stimulating working environment and a culture that values the contribution made by each person
- Embrace the diverse range of skills, expertise, experience, attitudes and backgrounds of all your staff
- Encourage your staff to reach their full potential. Provide them with opportunities to develop their expertise, both in terms of technical and soft skills
- Provide formal and informal performance reviews on a regular basis
- Set clear objectives and achievable targets with your staff and allow them to air their concerns within an environment of trust and honesty
- Deal with issues as soon as they arise. Don’t wait for them to become a significant problem
- Equip your managers with the skills they need to deal with difficult situations confidently and effectively
- Reinforce and reward good performance. Provide incentives and rewards that motivate each individual member of staff
- Offer a clear career path to incentivise employees to be the best they can be
- Conduct regular employee questionnaires to highlight areas for concern and ensure staff feel that you value their opinions.
Managing staff is often the hardest part of any manager’s job. Follow these simple tips and you’ll find it easier to encourage your staff to put their best efforts into working with you. If you need any help with improving the performance of your people, get in touch by calling 0118 940 3032 or emailing email@example.com.
Many employers use long-service awards to reward staff loyalty and encourage retention according to a recent XpertHR survey. The awards vary from small tokens of appreciation to significant enhancements to the employee’s pay and benefits package. They are particularly common in the manufacturing and production sector, where 81.6% of employers offer them. Many companies have a series of awards at 5, 10 and 15 or more years’ service.
Awards usually take the form of a cash payment or vouchers, although gifts such as champagne, plaques, a hotel stay or flowers are among the ways in which employers show recognition for service. Another approach is to give an additional day of annual leave either for that year only or from that point forward, which can be worth considerably more than the cash awards listed below. Typical key intervals and cash values of long-service awards are as follows:
- Awards following one year’s service are rare, but firms often celebrate the occasion with cake. Some employers also mark years two and three of service.
- The reward for five years’ service is commonly cash or vouchers. The median cash payment, from an extremely wide range from £10 to £3,500, is around £140.
- After 10 years’ service, the range of cash payments is again very wide, with the median payment standing at £200 from a range stretching from £10 to £7,000.
- At 15 years, cash payments range in value from £10 to £10,500 with the median at £300. Payments of £300 are also recorded at both the 20 and 25 year mark, although more generous leave entitlement awards are also common at these stages.
Only a small minority of employers make long-service awards at 30, 35, 40 or 50 years’ service.
Staff Discount Schemes
One in three employers offer staff a discount on their internal products or services, particularly in larger firms. Firms typically provide a discount of between 15% and 50%, with the median discount standing at 30%. Reductions to the costs of both goods and various services can have great value for employees while at the same time benefitting the company.
Some companies offer a combination of perks and regular discounts. For example, at one shoe retailer, employees get a free pair of shoes each season and a 50% discount on other purchases. At one law firm, employees receive free legal services up to a point and discounted services thereafter.
Around one in four employers pay an annual allowance to staff who train and take on the important role of a first-aider in their workplace. The median payment is £150 a year.
How do you thank your staff for their long term loyalty? If you’d like to talk about the best ways to reward your staff, call us on 0118 940 3032 or click here to email us.