Reduced staff turnover. Improved productivity. Fewer sick days. These are just some of the advantages employee engagement brings to businesses.
Improving your people’s engagement levels doesn’t need to become a mammoth task. There are lots of straightforward ways to enhance engagement and gain all those lovely business benefits. Here are our top five simple steps to help you achieve superb employee engagement.
#1 – Listen and Change
When employees dread coming into work, you can guarantee your engagement levels are on the floor. To prevent colleagues experiencing that heart-sinking feeling, it’s time to find out what’s holding your people back so you can take action.
I often suggest setting up set up face-to-face discussion groups to explore the challenges impacting employees. Ensure people know that there won’t be any repercussions for expressing their views. After all, the more honest they can be, the better for your organisation.
Prevent sessions from turning into moan-fests by asking people to suggest the kinds of change they’d like to see. By involving employees in the solution, you’ll get them on side and enthusiastic about change.
Then create a plan of action, delegate tasks and report back on the impact to employees. By taking their views seriously and demonstrating that change is happening, you’ll turn attitudes around, boost engagement and make your business more productive too.
#2 – Share Good Practice Between Teams
Recognition comes in many forms and holding up examples of fantastic work methods is one. Identify which individuals, teams or departments are excelling in what they do and ask them to share their practices.
Not only is this a great way for employees to see their ideas and methods being praised but it will raise the performance of other teams too. This kind of peer-to-peer learning makes a refreshing change from more formal styles of training and it also fosters engagement and creates or strengthens links between your employees.
#3 – Meet Different Demographic Needs
With five generations in the workplace, employers must grasp the different focuses and tendencies between the generations in order to keep everyone satisfied. By understanding the way that each cohort thinks, you’ll have a good grasp of how to change your organisation to meet employee needs.
This could mean expanding your employee benefit offering to cater to people in different age brackets. Or placing a greater focus on green and ethical issues or providing flexible working options.
That said, it’s important not to shoehorn everyone in a demographic bracket into the same pigeonhole. After all, a millennial with a family and one without will have very different priorities. Which leads us on to the next point.
#4 – Treat People Like Individuals
The days of one-size-fits-all is well and truly over when it comes to people management. Yes, processes and policy still need to be in place to ensure you’re treating people legally, fairly and equitably. But the rise of individualism in society at large has spilled over into the workplace. Which means you need to treat each individual as, well, an individual.
One way to better understand your employees is to ask each team member to complete a free online personality test. Based on tried and trusted psychological principles, 16 Personalities provides valuable insight into individuals, their preferences and approaches to relationships and work.
Get each team member to take the test and present the most informative aspects of their personality to the rest of the team. It’s a great way to be more open about what individuals need and will help managers better engage with their staff too.
#5 – Get Social
Personal relationships are a key ingredient in employee engagement. Like any team, people who understand and care about each will pull together and go the extra mile to support one another. And by doing so they’ll also support your business.
A simple way to generate closer bonds is to sponsor a range of social events like:
- Giving managers a budget so they can take their team out for lunch or dinner
- Hold a party
- Get employees involved in fundraising events
- Launch volunteering days where your team gets to work together away from the workplace
- Celebrate every employees birthday
- Hold sporting events or start a lunchtime walking club
The options are pretty much endless and you can ask a colleague to take charge so the initiatives are employee-centred rather than a top-down idea.
Employee engagement doesn’t need to be difficult. By gaining a better understanding of your people, their needs and preferences, you’ll help everyone better connect with their colleagues and their work. As a result, commitment will soar making engagement a win-win for your employees and your business.
For a helping hand with your employee engagement, talk to Olga at Crosse HR on 0330 555 1139 or at email@example.com.
Do you have a Health & Wellbeing Policy?
We’ve put together a comprehensive health and wellbeing policy document, to help all employers deal with this issue. You can download this useful tool below for free.
Download your free Health & Wellbeing Policy
Download our Health & Wellbeing Policy document to enable your business to develop clear policy guidelines around health and wellbeing.
For more information please contact us.
UK employees work some of the longest hours in Europe. Yet the UK’s productivity is lagging behind other G7 countries causing businesses and the economy reduced growth. Long hours also contribute to stress, depression and anxiety which, in 2018/19, accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases. In short, a long hours culture isn’t any good for anyone.
Now a ruling from the European Court of Justice has mandated that businesses record all the hours employees work using timekeeping systems. We take a look at what this means for your business. And how you can get the best return from your timekeeping system investment.
Why Is This Happening?
The EU has previously attempted to limit a long hours’ culture in the shape of the Working Time Directive. This law, established in 2003, stated that, unless employees choose to opt out, they should not work longer than 48 hours a week and they are entitled to an 11-hour break every 24 hours.
However, some trade unions have questioned the law’s efficacy, particularly when it comes to the accurate recording of employees’ hours.
According to a Spanish trade union, 53.7% of overtime hours worked in Spain are not recorded.
This results in an action being brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) seeking to force Deutsche Bank to set up a timekeeping system.
In making its judgement the court noted:
- the importance of workers’ fundamental rights to a limit on the maximum number of working hours and to daily and weekly rest periods in line with the Working Time Directive
- that Member States are required to ensure workers benefit from the rights conferred on them
- without a system to record the duration of time worked each day by each worker it’s not possible to determine, objectively and reliably, the number of hours worked and when, or the number of hours of overtime worked.
This has resulted in the ECJ mandating that businesses must introduce new timekeeping systems to ensure workers’ rights are complied with.
What Kind of System Do You Need?
The ECJ did not define the type of system you need to use leaving it to Member States to define their own arrangements. However, the system must determine the number of normal and overtime hours worked and when in a way that’s objective and reliable.
TImekeeping systems typically consist of a combination of hardware and software. The physical system can take the form of a biometric scanner, swipe card system or a clocking in machine. Supported by software that captures the data, these systems can be customised to provide the exact reporting your business needs.
There are lots of different solutions available with price points starting at several hundred pounds and running into thousands or tens of thousands of pounds. The exact cost will depend on the number of employees and sites you operate and your business requirements.
The Business Benefits
Let’s be honest – the law says you need to have a timekeeping system so you’ll have to set aside some budget. However, introducing a new timekeeping system can do much more than help you meet your legal obligations.
More information, more insight
With more reliable data, you’ll have a better understanding of your workforce’s habits which will empower you to make decisions based on facts rather than guesswork.
Timekeeping system reports can flag issues like:
recurrent absences which might indicate a disengaged colleague, a potential leaver or someone struggling with ill health
- dips in performance from one of your best people that directly correlate to long hours
- recurrent lateness and no evidence that the hours are being made up at the end of the day
With this kind of information you can assess workforce challenges and take action to correct them. Which could mean keeping hold of top performers, retaining someone with illness or ensuring every team member is fulfilling their contractual hours.
Help with holiday pay calculations
The information gathered in a timekeeping system can also help you calculate holiday pay which must now include regular overtime and commission payments. Depending on the system you already use for this process, you may be able to adapt it to meet the new timekeeping requirements. Or you could kill two birds with one stone with your new software.
Fair treatment and employee engagement
This new requirement isn’t just good for you as a business owner but for your employees too. They’ll feel that they’re being fairly compensated for the time they work leading to engaged employees and an even more harmonious workplace.
Using a timekeeping system to visualise your business’ time and attendance, you’ll have the insight to help your people and your business achieve peak performance. And you’ll be one step ahead of legislation too.
Find out more about Crosse HR’s services or get in touch for support with any people problems on 0330 555 1139 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few beers at the match the night before, mid-week drinks or a catch-up with friends over a few glasses of wine. In moderation this kind of drinking is fine. But research from the Drink Aware campaign shows that as many as 89,000 people could be hungover or under the influence at work. Which could pose difficulties in the workplace.
As the festive season draws near, the likelihood of your staff turning up to work a little worse for wear is increasingly likely. So how can you, as an employer, solve this alcohol-induced headache?
Alcohol and Work – A Modern Concern?
In the past, it was considered completely normal to visit the pub at lunchtime with colleagues and have several alcoholic drinks before returning to work. However, consuming alcohol at lunchtime has become something of a social taboo that’s frowned upon by both organisations and their workers.
In modern Britain, even traditionalists like Lloyd’s of London, have banned lunchtime drinking due to alcohol-related harassment cases.
The reasons for this change are clear as alcohol is associated with lower productivity levels, reduced inhibitions and the potential for mistakes to be made. Plus the chance that staff could place themselves and others at risk.
For employers, there are two alcohol-related situations that need to be considered, planned for and dealt with.
24-Hour Party People
It’s easy to forget that alcohol can stay in your bloodstream for up to 24 hours after you finish drinking. As anyone who’s used an online alcohol calculator will know, it can be surprising how long it takes to be safe to drive after a few drinks. A bottle of 13% wine that’s consumed by 11pm means you probably can’t drive legally until 10am.
What does this mean for you as the boss? Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 you have a duty, as far as is reasonably practical, to protect the health, safety and welfare of all your staff.
This means, if someone is still under the influence of alcohol or is a risk due to a hangover, you have a responsibility to stop them from working. Knowingly allowing an employee to work under the influence of alcohol and putting colleagues, customers or the individual at risk could result in prosecution.
Sending the individual home is probably the safest bet. But don’t forget, you’ll need to ensure they get home safely, which could mean getting them a taxi or a lift home.
Make Your Position Clear with Policy
To protect your business and yourself, it’s a good idea to have a policy around alcohol and the workplace. Depending on the nature of your business, you might decide to completely ban the consumption of alcohol during or immediately before working hours.
Or it may be appropriate to allow moderate drinking at lunch or with clients at meals for example. You’ll need to decide which approach is safe and suitable for your business.
Your policy needs to be clear that if an employee shows up to work under the influence of alcohol, then this will be classed as a gross misconduct offence usually resulting in a disciplinary process.
From Hangovers to Alcohol Dependency
Dealing with people who are under the influence is one aspect of dealing with alcohol in the workplace. But what about situations where staff have had a few drinks the night before and arrive in work hungover? Where do you stand then?
This probably depends on the severity of the hangover. A slight headache and raging thirst could pose a low enough risk to be tolerated in the workplace – particularly in low-risk roles and environments. However, it’s not pleasant for other workers to put up with a colleague who’s not pulling their weight with a waft of alcohol on their breath.
As long as this only happens occasionally and performance is not regularly impacted, there’s probably no need to address these kinds of situations.
However, repeated offences could be an indication that someone is alcohol dependent, which is another issue entirely.
Providing Support for Your Staff
Its likely that colleagues and supervisors will be the first to notice a change in behaviour, alcohol on the breath or someone struggling to complete their work effectively or safely.
In this situation, it’s important that everyone feels able to speak up so help can be provided. With the right support in place, it’s more likely that individuals will come forward enabling you to take action.
Employee assistance programmes are an excellent way to provide help to your staff. Not only do they provide phone helplines but face-to-face counselling sessions that will help staff address any underlying issues causing alcohol misuse.
With Christmas fast approaching it’s likely company events will feature alcohol. So refresh your policy, or get on in place ahead of time, then communicate your expectations to line managers and staff. There’s no need to be heavy handed – a light touch communication about everyone enjoying themselves responsibly should set the tone.
If your event is at a venue with bar staff, ask them to refuse service to anyone who looks like they’ve had enough. Don’t forget – if it appears you have encouraged staff to over-consume, it can be difficult to dismiss anyone for gross misconduct offences relating to alcohol.
If you don’t have an alcohol policy in place, we’re more than happy to draft one for you. Ensuring everyone at your company has a very merry Christmas without the hangover.
Contact Olga at Crosse HR today on 0330 555 1139 or at email@example.com.