According to Lauren Turner in her BBC article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50266957 shared by the wonderful Alex Stephany CEO at Beam https://beam.org (a crowd funding platform to help homeless people into work) kindness helps us all to live longer.
Mr Daniel Kessler who heads up the UCLA’s Bedari Kindness Institute (funded (to the tune of $20 million) by very kind people Jennifer and Matthew C Harris) says
‘Kindness, is “the thoughts, feelings and beliefs associated with actions intending to benefit others, where benefiting others is an end in itself, not a means to an end”.
And unkindness, on the other hand, is “intolerant beliefs, the lack of valuation of others’ welfare”.
It got me thinking, if I am to live a long life I must consciously try to be kinder, then companies could last longer if they were kinder too, after all a company is made up of its people right!
So, how better to be kind folks, than to look after your people and genuinely care about them. That’s why I am providing you with a Wellbeing policy for free (how kind is that) to show your people that you genuinely care.
Kindness should never be seen as a weakness.
Christmas is coming, and with it comes parties, Instagram opportunities, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, extended time off and plenty of time on people’s hands. In other words, Social media and HR.
So what you may well ask has this got to do with me as an employer?
Plenty is the short answer, plenty.
You cannot control what an employee does or says in their free time, but what if it’s being done in your company name, company time or is associated in any way with your company. Do you even know who or what you or your brand is being associated with?
It might be the time to find out or at least set the boundaries around what is acceptable or not.
Quite bluntly, employees should not be associating their employers in any way on any form of private social media, this includes, not stating where they work, no company logos, not discussing company business, clients or other colleagues (even if they are friends) on any of their private accounts.
Many an employee and employer has at the very least been angry the very worst severely embarrassed or reputationally scarred by a rogue employee who decides to post or rant about ‘work’, post pictures of themselves in fancy dress (think that Justin Trudeau post), drunk, on holiday (when they’ve rang in sick), high, taking drugs, espousing views that would make the most ardent left or right winger choke over their cornflakes, engaging in splats on Twitter with a major client, swinging, posing provocative, boasting about all sorts – you get the picture, all the while sitting proudly next to that is your Company name.
So what to do about it, like anything you set the boundaries, and the easiest way to do that is draft a policy into your HR Handbook or Policies & Procedures and make all employees aware of it.
To help you out, I have drafted one here for you for free. Download our Social Media Policy template to enable your business to develop clear policy guidelines around social media usage.
If you need any help with any of the topics mentioned in this blog then please contact us.
Download your free Social Media Policy
I was very shocked to read that in today’s modern ‘Politically Correct’ lets not offend anyone, totally inclusive, non judgmental (stay away from Twitter), liberal society, women are considered to have reached the peak of their careers at 40 and men at 45. That’s nice isn’t it? A mere 18 years (for women) and 23 years for men (on average) into our working lives we are considered done, has been’s. For most of us who have at least 20 – 25 years left to work past the age of 40, that’s an awful lot of years left to go on a downward work spiral. 18% of the UK population is aged 65 and over!
To listen to today’s politically correct media you would be forgiven by thinking that only the young in their 20’s and 30’s can invent and be innovative. So consider this, Henry Ford was 40 when he established Ford and 45 when he invented the Model T, Charles Darwin was 50, Samuel L Jackson was 46 when he hit the big time, Penicillin was discovered by a man aged 46 Alexander Fleming who was rewarded for it when he was 56 some 10 years later.
With age comes experience and a level of calmness, you’ve been there, seen that, made the mistakes and found the solution and that is very valuable indeed. More experienced employees are not past it, set in their ways, far from it, today’s 45 – 60 year old’s started work when email wasn’t even around never mind the internet, most of them didn’t have a mobile phone until their late 20’s early 30’s – so imagine the changes they have seen and dealt with that millennial’s couldn’t even conceive.
So before writing anyone over the age of 40 off, imagine how much you can learn and benefit from those years of experience and sheer depth of knowledge.
If you need any politically correct guidance on employing people of an older generation, please contact us.
15.1 million women are at work in the UK. So it’s safe to assume that at some stage in the next 20 or so years those 15.1m women will go through the menopause in the workplace. That’s an awful lot of people who are absolutely guaranteed to go through a fairly seismic shift in their lives. Learn more about managing the menopause in the workplace and download our free Menopause HR Policy.
Menopause in the Workplace
We hear a lot of talk about millennials and their issues, but consider this, a huge proportion of the workforce at any given time is going through a massive physical and physiological change and no one wants to talk about it much less do anything about it.
99% of businesses in the UK do not even have a menopause in the workplace policy, they have Well-being policies sure but nothing not a jot, iota or mention of what perhaps 10% of their workforce is going through and 50% will face at some stage in their lives.
We all have mothers, sisters, friends, wives, girlfriends, work colleagues, so it’s safe to assume that all of us know someone that is going through this right now – silently, alone and totally ignored.
The average age for women to go through the menopause is 51, (some go through it much earlier, some later), it can last up to 7 years, yes you heard right, 7 long, upsetting, draining, weird years. Symptoms include interrupted sleep, hot flushes, night sweats, night terrors, weight gain, irritability, mood swings, depression, general malaise, brain fog and a lot more I won’t mention – in short, a fairly miserable set of symptoms.
With the skills shortage in the UK we will all have to work a lot longer (up to 70 and beyond) as we have diddly squat in pensions. But yet, not yet halfway through their working lives, a huge proportion of women are going through the hell that is the menopause in the workplace – unsupported.
Do you have a Menopause Policy?
Recently I’ve written a Menopause HR Policy, to help all employers and I mean ALL employers deal with this issue. Include it in your wellbeing policies, have it as a stand-alone, it’s as important as your maternity policy. You can download it below for free. So employers start preparing and start by buying fans!
Download your Free Menopause in the Workplace HR Policy
Also check out www.megsmenopause.comh
Everyone of us has issued dismissals or personally left a job, many of us many times, it’s a fact of life if you run or own a business, people will come and people will go. Some will leave with your blessing and leave well, some will be ‘encouraged’ by you to go and others will bawl you out/or you them in a blaze of glory, recriminations and occasionally vandalism.
The good leavers
They are a good sort, usually good employees, who just want to move on for whatever reason, they feel bad but its the right thing to do. They come in anxious and nervous, some cry and tell you they are leaving, thank you for your help, they want to work their notice and want to leave as friends.
What should you do?
Shake their hand, wish them well and start organising the leaving party. On a practical note, agree a last working day, agree whether or not they wish to work right up to their last day or take any leave due to them. Also agree a handover to their successor and/or whether you will involve them in recruiting a successor. Agree with them how they should tell the team and any clients and then start organising the leaving drinks. All’s well.
Then there’s the bad leavers – AKA dismissals
These come in many forms, here are a few regular ways to exit badly:
One day they don’t show up and you never see or hear from them again. It’s all a bit strange and a bit puzzling and no one is really sure why – they seemed alright at the time.
What do you do?
Try to determine a) if they are alright b) if they ever intend coming back c) if all else just for curiosity’s sake try to establish the reason why. Write, call or email asking them to get in touch. Give them a deadline date to do so, advise them that you will assume they no longer with to work with you if they do not get in touch. There is no point worrying about notice periods etc, it wastes time just pay them up to the last day they worked and any annual leave accrued, issue the P45 and move on.
Dismissals with an immediate bang
They’ve handed in their notice, its all going ok sort of and all of a sudden they tell you, I’m not working to the end of my notice and that’s it.
What should you do?
Well if you were happy for them to work their notice and they don’t want to, they have waived their right to work their contracted notice and for this they do not get paid. Put it in writing and move on.
I want you gone and NOW!
They’ve handed in their notice and things have gone from bad to worse, you can’t bear the sight of them and they have no intention of doing a stroke of work until that last day. You want them gone and now.
What should you do?
If you do then you have to pay for it. You put them on ‘gardening leave’ tell them not to come in anymore and pay them up to the end of their notice. This dismissal process tends to be the easiest.
And finally…… the references
The very least you should do, is give a factual reference confirming job title and dates of employment and always include a disclaimer. Avoid all personal opinions and keep it as benign or as neutral as possible.
Get in touch if you need help with references, dismissals and/or leavers.