The Pulse – April 2023

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The Pulse HR Newsletter header image showing an heartbeat monitor design with a heart shape in the middle of the line.

Your monthly HR newsletter for busy business owners.

Ready to hire your first employee? Here’s what you need to know

Three job applicants sitting on chairs, holding clipboards up over their faces.

Hiring your first employee is a really exciting time for you and your business…but also a pretty scary time too?

There’s a lot to think about and you might be nervous about getting it wrong.

That’s why we’ve created a brand-new guide for you this month talking you through everything you need to know so that you can hire your first employee in total confidence.

Here’s a preview of what this guide includes…

Step 1: How creating a people plan can help you decide if the cost of hiring your first employee is worth it

Step 2: What research you need to complete to create an awesome job advert

Step 3: The best way to review CVs and conduct interviews

Step 4: The right way to offer the position to the lucky candidate and how to let the other’s down

Step 5: What legal stuff and HR documents you need to get organised before they start

Step 6: How to ensure your new employee gets off to the best possible start

Download your free copy here.

Latest news

10% of business owners consider decreasing salaries for remote workers

1 in 10 employers have said they would decrease the salary of home workers, according to new research. This could be a big mistake though. Not only are remote and hybrid workers happier and more engaged in their roles, but, thanks to the cost of living crisis, it’s not necessarily less expensive to work from home rather than commute. Electricity and heating bills mount up!

Employers should shout about their charity work

A new study has found that 70% of people think their employers should be more transparent about their charitable donations. Almost half of employees don’t know what percentage of profits are donated to good causes, and 35% don’t think their employer donates at all.

47% of people would be more inclined to want to work for a company that gives back in this way.

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases from the 1st of the month. The rate for 16–17-year-olds has risen from £4.81 to £5.28, 18–20-year-olds from £6.83 to £7.49, and 21-22-year-olds from £9.18 to £10.18. The National Living Wage has increased from £9.50 to £10.42. Make sure you’re paying your staff correctly!

Is it time to tackle stress in your business?

Abstract image of a stressed employee in front of a chalk board with the word stress written on it.

April is Stress Awareness Month. If your business is going to take part in any awareness month, this is one of the most relevant ones to so many of us.

That’s because stress and work, unfortunately, go hand in hand. In fact (brace yourself for this scary stat), stress is responsible for 40% of all work-related sickness in the UK. Effectively, 4 in every 10 sick days is because of stress.

What does that look like for your business? Do you have a lot of stress going on? Are the causes easy to spot? And vitally, are your people confident enough to talk about the issues with you or a direct manager?

It’s not only workload that can be the trigger to workplace stress, either. We spend a lot of our time at work, so it makes sense that many different factors can be the cause of our stress. It could be long hours, conflict with colleagues, tight deadlines… or something else. There are a lot of possibilities.

Whatever the cause, as a business owner you have a responsibility to look out for the good health and wellbeing of your team. That means identifying when your people are dealing with a lot of stress and dealing with both the cause and the resulting effects.

That means you should hold open and honest discussions about stress with everybody in your business, and make sure everyone knows what actions they should take if they feel their stress levels rising or becoming problematic.

Train your managers in stress awareness to make sure they’re on the lookout for any signs that someone is struggling, and make sure everyone understands the possible solutions and support on offer. 

Part of this year’s official awareness campaign is a 30 day challenge, designed to help people create new healthy habits. It encourages us to pick one action each for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, to do each day. This could be making sure you’re getting enough sleep, that you’re including more healthy foods in your diet, or even socialising a little more.

Is this something you could promote in your workplace to help ease the impact of stress? If so, we’d love to hear how your 30 day challenge goes!

Q&A

Can I ask my employee to quit their second job?

If there’s nothing in your contract of employment that specifies employees must not have a second job, no. If it does breach the contract though, it would be cause for disciplinary action.

An employee has raised a grievance, what do I do?

If it’s a formal grievance received by letter, you must follow your grievance procedure, starting by holding a meeting within 5 days ideally. Then fully investigate and come to a decision on the matter, keeping your employee informed along the way. Ask for expert help if you’re unsure – you need to stick to employment law.

Should I be conducting exit interviews?

It’s not a necessity, but it could help you learn a lot. You may discover a problem you didn’t know existed, and it gives you an opportunity to fix anything that may reduce staff turnover. 

That’s all for now!

We hope you found the newsletter informative, look out or the next one in May. If you’d like to download a copy for your managers click here.

Keep in touch and have a great month.

Theresa