Dear <<First Name>>
In the last issue of HR Watch, we looked at some of the issues you need to consider, when you’re looking for new staff. (Click here if you missed that issue.) Many people think that the job is complete once you’ve recruited a new team member. However, once they have started, there’s just as much, if not more to think about, to make sure that they stay with you.
So this month, we’re looking at the first thing you need to do – induction. We’ll also bring you the latest episode in our HR story of Bill and his colleagues.
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How Do You Get Started with New Staff?
Having gone through the recruitment process to find the perfect person to join your team, your new employee is now on board. You might think that you can finally relax and get back to your work; but actually there is a lot more for you to do now!
How do you make sure that your new member of staff understands your expectations of them and how things work at your company? How do you make them feel involved and part of the company?
A good induction session is a great starting point. It allows you to explain all sorts of things and give your new recruit the opportunity to ask all their questions. This is the time to give them a copy of your employee handbook, explain how to book holidays and show them where to get their coffee and stationery. You should also introduce them to people they will be working with and do what you can to make them feel at home. Other issues to cover during induction include health and safety issues that affect your business, to keep your new team member safe right from the start.
Don’t let the communication stop after the first day – it should be ongoing (there’s a whole newsletter topic just on communication, but more of that another time!) During their first few days, work with your new employee to agree some goals and objectives with realistic timescales. Check in with them at the end of their first day (too many new employees don’t turn up on day two) and again at the end of their first week (to make sure they come back after the weekend!)
You should also book time into your diaries to make sure you both sit down and review the goals you've set and check their progress at regular intervals, such as after three and six months. You shouldn’t expect someone new to your business to jump straight into their new job and do everything perfectly, right from the start. They are going to need your ongoing support; and they need to know that they can come to you at any time with questions or concerns.
Spend some time looking after every new recruit who joins your business and you’re on your way to developing a productive, high achieving, loyal member of the team who will stay the distance and protect the future of your business.
Practical HR - The Next Episode
Remember how Bill runs an IT support company? Well, Bill started getting fed up, as Bob wasn’t doing what Bill wanted him to do.
Bob’s job is about providing really good service to their clients and following up their queries. Bob knows his stuff and is great at answering customers’ questions about their IT issues, but a couple of clients have complained to Bill. This surprises and worries Bill, as he knows that Bob is really good at his job (after all, that’s why Bill employs him and pays him such a great salary!)
So what's going wrong? Why are clients complaining? When he looks into it, Bill finds that even though Bob is providing great answers to customers’ questions, he is taking a long time to get the information back to them.
“Why does it take so long, Bob?” asks Bill.
“I like to get the right information and provide the best service,” responds Bob.
“But you’re taking too long,” complains Bill.
“How long is too long?” Good question, Bob!
It turns out that no one had told Bob how long he was allowed to take to send answers to clients. His job description shows clearly that he should focus on providing a great service and the right advice, but it doesn't say anything about the time frame in which the information is provided. Once Bill and Bob talk this through and agree a suitable time frame, they're both happy and so are all their clients!
Employment Law Update
To help you keep up to speed with changes to Employment Law and to keep you and your staff legal, here are some issues you need to know about.
ACAS Early Conciliation – from 6 May, early conciliation is compulsory before a claim can be submitted. The claimant must contact ACAS, who will issue an early conciliation certificate when the process is complete. As an employer, this now gives you opportunity to get early warning of a case or to settle. Click here for more information from ACAS.
Flexible Working – the right to request flexible working is currently restricted to parents of children under the age of 17 and carers. This will be extended to all employees from 30 June 2014. It means that any employee can make a request for flexible working and that employers have to deal with requests in a reasonable manner. It doesn't always mean you have to agree to the request, if, for instance, the change would negatively impact the business, but you have to consider it correctly. Find out here how this could affect your business.
Holiday Pay – I've recently heard in the news about changes that might affect how you calculate holiday pay, particularly if you pay sales commission; it will need to be accounted for when calculating holiday pay. Legal bodies are working on this right now, so I’ll find out more and explain it in a future issue of this newsletter. In the meantime, here is what’s been said so far in the news.
Changes are made to Employment Law all through the year, so I’ll bring you more news in each issue of HR Watch. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about your business and your employees, please just ask!