What is the ‘Year Of The Candidate’? Find out what this means for business owners:

This year has been billed ‘The Year Of The Candidate’ due to skills shortages in the marketplace. Ever since the term was first coined in a Wall Street Journal article at the very beginning of last January, the concept quickly gained momentum amongst HR circles and those who are passionate about matching the best people with the right roles.

But as a business owner, how will this have an impact on the work you do? Basically, there aren’t enough white-collar professionals to go round. If you want to fill your higher-level positions, you’re likely to face a struggle. It’ll take more time, and you’ll have to be much more thorough in your search.

Here, we’ll take a look at what you can do to ensure you can still find the right people when you need them.

It all starts with your recruitment processes. Instead of waiting for the right candidates to come and knock on your door, you might well have to go out there and find them. Are you building your contacts? Do you know where you can access the best people? Are you keeping in touch with them regularly, to strengthen the relationship and build trust?

Whilst newer, online tactics are definitely on trend right now, and it’s true that they can bring a massive amount of value to the table, don’t forget the more traditional approaches. Real world connections can make all the difference in this type of climate. The best recruitment strategies will usually merge the two, though will be tailored according to your own business’s culture and priorities.

Next up, make sure you’re showing your candidates that you value them, even before they step foot in your office. They’re pressed for time, and they’re assessing you as much as you’re assessing them. They have other options, so they aren’t going to stand for anything less than sparkling treatment. Hone your communications, make sure they’re timely, and invite feedback at all stages of the process.

These trends may well last longer than just 12 months, so if you’re keen to win the war for talent, you need to make sure that you’re fit for battle.

Struggling to find the right people to help you to drive your business forward?

Give us a call today!

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Thinking about offering a retention bonus to encourage your staff to stay? You might want to reconsider. Find out why:

Do you ever stop to consider the consequences of your staff deciding to leave your business?

You’ve no doubt put plenty of time, effort, and money into finding and recruiting the very best people, so it makes good business sense to think about how you can continue to make a return on your investment by nurturing your employees, and doing all you can to hold on to them.

Sure, sometimes people decide to move on, and it’s often just an inevitable part of running your own team. There’s a balance to strike though, and it’s essential that you create and implement some robust people policies to ensure you aren’t just hoping for the best and leaving everything to chance.

It’s worth noting though that there are desirable and undesirable ways to improve your retention rates. In some cases, certain popular practices could do more damage to your business than good.

Here, we’ll examine some shady ways of holding on to your staff that you should definitely seek to avoid.

Making big promises that you know you can’t keep

Perhaps you know for sure that your staff want more learning and development opportunities. You know that they’re itching to take on more responsibility, and that they have the drive and ambition to succeed.

It can be oh-so-tempting to promise them what they’re looking for, but this should be avoided at all costs unless you know that you can deliver.

You need to effectively manage expectations, and you need to run your business with integrity. Be honest, but look for other solutions. In the end, your staff will thank you for it, and value the approach you take to running your business.

Offering retention bonuses

Retention bonuses have been the subject of many discussions in the world of human resources and people management, and there are people on both sides of the fence. What you really need to know here is that there is very little evidence that suggests that giving your employees a bonus for staying with your company is actually all that effective.

Some argue that paying people for their loyalty rather than earning it is never a long-term solution. The buzz created by the cash incentive will wear off pretty quickly. As well, if you’re dealing with top performers, they may well receive a sign-on bonus when they join a new business. In short, the cash won’t make that much difference to them. In many cases, people leave not because they simply weren’t getting paid enough, but for a deeper range of factors.

And finally, there are so many better options to pursue if you have a budget to help you to improve your retention rates. Think about how you could improve working practices for all, and make changes that really impact on motivation and engagement. You might have to get a bit more creative and think outside the box, but it can be very much worth it.

Taking the one-size-fits-all approach

Perhaps you’ve read a best-practice guide to retention, and you’ve gone right ahead and implemented some overarching changes to your policies and procedures. Though you do need to take a proactive approach to every facet of your people management, a textbook overhaul isn’t likely to really fulfill your needs.

Why? Because every business is different. What makes your business unique is its culture, and this is created as a result of a wide variety of factors. You often need to dive deeper into the real issues that are at play, and craft a strategy that delivers real results.

Similarly, it may be necessary to have differing approaches throughout the same business. What keeps top performers in their executive roles isn’t always what motivates staff on the operational front line, and you need to tailor your practices to take this into account.

Would you like to have a no-obligation discussion with a seasoned HR professional about what you can do to improve retention? Do you want the chance to work with someone who can get to know your business, and make recommendations that will have a real impact? If so, we’d be delighted to help.

Give us a call today!

Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Think teambuilding is all about organised outdoor pursuits and cocktail making classes? Think again:

We’re all pretty clued up these days when it comes to the importance of building teams that work together to drive a business forward. No one is questioning the benefits of having great work teams, but there is a great deal of confusion around what it actually means to develop a team that operates at its full potential.

There are some common misconceptions that are still holding leaders back, and it could be the case that the information that you believe to be correct is stopping you from making progress.

Let’s take a look at why everything you think you know about teambuilding may  be very wrong.

You don’t have to fork out a fortune on events

Sure, there are many, many companies out there who will organize an elaborate and carefully executed event for your employees. From outdoor pursuits to cocktail making classes, there’s an option for pretty much everyone. And often, these solutions are very good. They’re planned and managed by seasoned professionals, and plenty of businesses have used such options with great results.

Of course though, the price tag can be extremely high. Before writing off your teambuilding goals as an expense you can’t afford, take the time to look at the bigger picture and what you actually want to achieve. A different approach could save you a huge chunk of cash, and could lead to much better results. Real teambuilding often happens in the office – not off-site.

It’s not about making everyone like each other

Too many leaders think that teambuilding is all about promoting friendships in the workplace. When you employ a diverse workforce, not everyone is going to feel compelled to share their weekends together, or meet for dinner and drinks on an evening. But that’s not what you should be aiming for.

It’s about encouraging people to develop the skills required to work together towards a common goal. It’s about creating focus on the benefits of working alongside each other. These things should always be the aim of any exercises and techniques that are put into practice.

Leaders don’t hold all the responsibility

Yes, you and your senior leadership team must lead by example and demonstrate the benefits of working together. But if your efforts are all about encouraging managers to take all of the responsibility and have everyone else fall into whatever they’re told, you’re going to miss the mark.

The best work is achieved when individual team members take responsibility themselves. Do they have the skills to have the necessary conversations? Can they step up when the manager is out of the office? If not, what can you do to help them to get to this stage?

Hopefully, reading through this article has challenged what you think you know about teambuilding and has given you plenty of inspiration surrounding where you might be missing the mark, and where you can make improvements.

If you want to improve the way your staff work together and you want some help from someone who has been there before and developed proven solutions that can be tailored for any business, get in touch. We’d love to discuss how we could help you to overcome your challenges and move forward.

Give us a call today!

Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Are you welcoming new staff into your business? Get it right the first time!

Recruiting a new member of staff for your growing business can be a really exciting time, but it’s something that you should definitely consider carefully before you rush into taking action.

One of the key challenges that you’re going to face is ensuring that your new recruit is welcomed into your existing team without any significant issues.

Of course, some of the basics can be covered by exercising a little common sense and forward planning. You probably don’t need us to tell you that your new member of staff will need to be able to log in to the computers, access your policies, understand their terms of employment, and know where they need to go if they want to grab a sandwich or use the bathroom.

There are wider considerations that need to be made though, and while they’re often pretty simple, they’re easy to overlook. Here, we’ll explain more:

Be sure to brief your staff on the changes

Before your new member of staff starts work, hold a briefing with the existing team so they know what’s happening. Explain a little about the role that your new recruit will be carrying out and how that fits into the bigger picture. Too many problems occur simply because there has been a lack of communication, so make sure that you keep everyone updated and involved.

It might be the case that you’re asked questions about how the changes could impact on existing roles. Staff may be concerned that they’ll no longer be able to work overtime, for example. Be prepared for questions of this nature, and try to provide detailed and honest answers wherever possible.

Know who has responsibility for the induction/new employee orientation

If it’s one of your line managers who will have overall responsibility for your new employee, you need to make sure that they’re capable and willing to step into that role and really own it. Having someone who will oversee the induction process, ensure that any necessary boxes are ticked, and solve any problems that might occur is the only way to stay organized.

In practical terms, the induction or orientation is likely to involve a varied cross-section of the team. There may be some job shadowing carried out, for example, or you might decide that it’s a good idea to ‘buddy up’ new employees with more experienced members of staff.

Carry out regular check-ins with your new employee

Getting to grips with a new role can be a big challenge. It’s likely that your new employee will have a lot to learn over the coming weeks and months. You might traditionally carry out formal performance discussions once every 6 or 12 months, but you really shouldn’t wait this long with your new recruit. Make sure that conversations are taking place more regularly.

Bear in mind that appraisals, formal or otherwise, aren’t just about telling someone where they need to make improvements. They’re about supporting the individual so they can reach their full potential, listening to their thoughts and concerns, and developing an action plan to get them to where they need to be.

Recruiting staff, and everything that goes with it, can be extremely daunting. As with all things though, you become much more confident with a little experience and a good plan to stick to.

If you’re looking to build your workforce and you feel like you’d benefit from working with a professional to ensure that you get things right, feel free to connect with us.

Give us a call today!

Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Your guide to ensuring that your line managers are improving performance:

It doesn’t take a business guru to tell you that if you want your company to thrive, you need to make sure that your staff are firing on all cylinders. Of course though, as is often the case when it comes to the tricky business of managing people, this can be much easier said than done.

If you want to achieve big things, you need clear and effective processes in place to help you to get there. Your line managers play a huge role in creating a productive and high-performing culture, and you need to ensure that you’re driving them in the right direction.

Here, we share some of our tips for encouraging your line managers to step into their roles and play an active part in improving performance.

Create procedures that underpin your objectives

Your line managers can often only operate within the constraints that you provide them with. If you want them to excel in particular areas, you need to create a framework that allows them to do so. For this reason, it’s important that you consider what you already have in place that helps staff to reach their full potential.

Do you have a policy that outlines how often and in what format performance discussion should happen? Is there something in place that ensures the work is being carried out? Who ultimately chases things up to ensure that procedures are being followed? It’s not necessarily about ticking boxes, but you do need to create systems that encourage the day-to-day tasks to be carried out.

Give your managers the confidence and skills they need to have meaningful discussions

Unfortunately, making sure that performance discussions are taking place is only the first hurdle. It’s not so much about frequency, as it is about the quality of the conversations that are happening.

At the end of the day, talking about performance and addressing areas of concern can be daunting, even for the most experienced line managers. It’s important that you give them the opportunity to hone their skills, and to keep developing them on a regular basis. Consider how you can do this within your business. It may be the case that you need to roll out some training sessions, or perhaps you need to have your own one-on-one discussions with your management team so you can better understand how you can support them.

Encourage your managers to facilitate career development in their teams

Performance management isn’t just about fixing problems and making sure that the work gets done within a specified frame of time. It’s about looking ahead towards the future and ensuring that your business has the right kind of talent to drive operations forward and achieve growth.

The key takeaway here is that if your employees aren’t being given a chance to flourish, they’re likely to start looking elsewhere. Do you really want to lose your talented members of staff to your competitors? Be sure that your line managers are having open and honest conversations with their direct reports about where they see themselves in the next five years, and that information is taken seriously and considered when it comes to planning the direction of the business as a whole.

If line management capability is something that you want to improve, we can help. We believe that successful businesses are created when leadership teams are given the tools they need to excel. Contact us for an initial discussion about how we could bring our practical approach to your business.

Give us a call today!

Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Are you really getting the most out of your HR practices? Find out here how to raise the bar:

As a small business owner, you probably started your own business because you’re passionate about bringing your product or service into the world, and providing a much-needed solution for your customers and clients.

This people management stuff – it’s not necessarily what you signed up for. Call it a necessary evil if you like, but the fact remains that if you want to grow a thriving business, you can’t get away from it. You need practices, procedures, and policies in place that ensure that you’re hitting the mark and developing the right kind of team to guarantee your future success.

If you take your finger off the pulse or let the grass grow under your feet, you could find yourself with problems that have been deeply embedded into your company’s culture, and these can be extremely difficult (not to mention expensive) to fix.

Wondering whether this might apply to you? Recognizing that you might not be firing on all cylinders is the first step towards fixing any issues and turning things round.

Here, we ask some questions about where you currently are, so you can start to establish where you might need to make changes.

Are you suffering from high turnover rates?

Recruiting good staff can be expensive. Giving them the skills and developmental support that they need to excel in their roles can prove to be costly, too. In an ideal world, this is an investment rather than a cost. But if your staff are deciding to move on to new pastures, this can be a huge problem.

You’re likely to notice the impact on the bottom line, and it may well be the case that you’re also damaging your employer brand. If too many people are leaving, the word will get around, and people will start to ask why. This could lead to you struggling to attract top talent in the future.

Are you unsure about whether you’re really meeting your legal obligations?

All business owners know that they need to be compliant with relevant employment legislation. When push comes to shove though, are you confident that you’re meeting your obligations? If you’re not, the nagging concern that something could go wrong is likely to constantly be at the back of your mind.

If you found yourself in a situation in which you weren’t fulfilling your requirements, it could prove to be devastating. Often, all it takes to ensure that you’re where you need to be is some advice from a professional. The peace of mind that this can bring can be worth its weight in gold.

Are you struggling to meet your overarching business goals?

HR is no longer about handing out cups of tea and sympathy. Robust HR practices will always be in line with wider company objectives, and they’ll actively help your business to get to where you want it to be. Take a second to think about what HR looks like in your business, and whether it’s really fulfilling its potential.

Do your practices improve productivity? Do they encourage your staff to be the best that they can be, and reward them accordingly? Do they play a significant role in facilitating business growth? If not, you’re missing out.

Though the points we’ve discussed here are really just the tip of the iceberg, they’ll hopefully give you plenty to think about. If you’re falling behind, the main thing to remember is that action is the only thing that will help you to remedy the problems. The sooner you decide that enough is enough, the better.

Give us a call today!

Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Want to help your staff get in shape, while boosting productivity at the same time? You probably haven’t considered this solution!

It’s that time of year again.

And it’s pretty likely that health kicks and lifestyle overhauls have been the subject of many discussions in your workplace.

Fad diets and beach bodies aside though, when’s the last time that you took a moment to consider how you’re promoting health and well-being to your employees?

It’s something that can have huge benefits for your business (from reduced staff absence to boosted morale and productivity), but it can also seem a bit wishy-washy on the surface. Of course you want to do all you can to make sure your staff are happy and well, but what practical steps can you actually take to facilitate this?

One option is to partner with local businesses to bring an exciting agenda of positive health and fitness messages, education, and initiatives into your workplace.

How this works is pretty simple on the surface. You pinpoint companies operating in your local area, and get in touch to invite them to share taster sessions with your members of staff, for mutual benefit. They get to increase the awareness of their services and build connections with those who are interested in what they have to offer, and you get the opportunity to create an exciting programme of events.

Of course though, you need to get some strong foundations in place if you want to make sure that it’s a success. Here, we’ll talk you through a few key things to consider.

Do your due diligence when it comes to choosing who to work with

You want experts who know their stuff sharing their advice with your employees. It’s really important therefore that you choose only businesses with sensible philosophies. Messages around moderation, eating real, whole foods, moving more, and making sustainable long-term lifestyle changes are the ones that you should gravitate towards.

Businesses that promote crash diets or living on packaged shakes should be avoided.

Make it clear that ‘hard sell’ isn’t appropriate

Your employees won’t appreciate it if you arrange for them to be stuck in a room for an hour with someone who’s going to try to force them into spending a fortune to take part in their latest programme. Avoid this by having a frank conversation from the beginning with the businesses you’re working with. Whilst it’s fine for them to mention that they have certain solutions available, your staff shouldn’t feel like they’re sitting through a sales pitch. The focus should be on providing useful information. Savvy business owners will know that this can organically lead to potentially lucrative relationships, but they won’t have to force it.

Keep your eye on the bigger picture

Running this type of initiative can be a great kick-start if you’re looking to put health and well-being on the agenda. Remember though that it isn’t a solution in its own right, and it isn’t a band-aid. For the best results, think about your wider policies and procedures, and the overall workplace culture. It might be the case that there are big issues at play that you need to tackle, such as a trend amongst your managers for requiring staff to work long shifts without a break away from their desks. You can’t fix everything at once, but you do need to take a holistic approach.

Partnering with local businesses can be a win-win solution when it comes to promoting well-being, and as you can see, it’s something that’s manageable for organisations of any size.

Is this something that you’re interested to pursue? And when will you be taking action?

Give us a call today!

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