The Pulse – February 2022

Your monthly HR Newsletter, for busy business owners

What does LGBT+ History Month mean for your business?

February is LGBT+ History Month. And, while you may not think this hugely relevant to your business, you might be surprised.

I would hope that your business is one of the many in the UK that fully embraces a diverse workforce, without discrimination. But, while we’ve collectively made leaps and bounds over recent years, there’s still a way to go to ensure full inclusivity.

Because while you may welcome everyone with open arms, there’s still a huge number of LGBT+ people who still don’t feel comfortable being themselves at work. And that’s very sad. If you have any concerns that this is happening in your business, here are some steps that might help your company become a safe, inclusive space…

If you haven’t already, Review your policies, create a separate policy for LGBT+ inclusion, to make it clear that you’re committed to tackling discrimination.

Provide training for all of your management on LGBT+ issues. You can then make your managers responsible for ensuring that policies are understood and adhered to across the entire business.

If your business is on the larger side you may want to consider creating an LGBT+ network to provide a safe space for LGBT+ staff. This can also provide you with valuable feedback to help you improve your efforts in creating a fully inclusive workplace.

Finally, you may also want to include preferred pronouns on your email signatures, on your website, and anywhere else your employees may be on display to the world. This is becoming  normal practice, and can stop gender being assumed for everyone in the business.

If you’d like more advice on making your company inclusive, give us a call to see how we can help.

Latest news

Will National Sickie Day impact you?

Monday 7th February was apparently National Sickie Day. Have you noticed a trend for increased absence around this time of year? Hopefully not, but are you doing enough to manage unplanned absence in your company?

Looking out for signs of stress, depression and burnout are key factors when it comes to managing absence. If you’re working hard to create a happy and motivated workforce, you may naturally see absence decline. If you need further advice, ask me for some help today – don’t let it carry on.

60% of businesses have seen an increase in job applications from people in other sectors, poll finds

A survey conducted by Reed in December found that employers were seeing more applicants who had reskilled or wanted to change industries entirely.

COVID has changed employee’s attitudes, with many resigning or as this poll suggests, are finding more fulfilling work in different industries.

As an employer, you could look at how you retain your staff. And maybe have a more flexible approach when it comes to hiring in the future, by looking at workers who have useful transferable skills. Have you set your recruitment strategy this year? If not give me a call!

Woman loses discrimination claim over COVID concerns

At the height of the pandemic, a woman stopped coming into work because she was scared of catching Coronavirus. Because she did not attend, her employer stopped paying her.

The woman felt like her beliefs were being discriminated against, so sued her employer for withholding her wages but lost at an employment tribunal.

The outcome of this case suggests how future cases like this could be ruled.

If you’re having trouble getting people back to work give me a call.

40% of employees are working more than their contracted hours

A recent productivity survey by Scoro found that 40% of employees in the UK are now working more hours than contracted due to COVID and working from home.

How happy is your team, really?

Developing a happy team is really important for a business. That’s because increased happiness amongst your staff means they become more motivated, more engaged, and more productive. In turn, that means your turnover of staff is much lower, and everyone feels committed and valued in their roles.

But reaching that point isn’t always simple. There are a number of factors that you need to consider to achieve that sweet spot. This is something that you always need to be working on, too. However, the good news is that once you bring these changes into your business, they should become a natural part of how your business functions, rather than you having to actively remember to make the effort.

In fact, when done correctly, they can become the linchpin of your business and positively affect the way everything works. And the best part? Your team ultimately becomes happier and more motivated as a direct result.

Intrigued?

I’ve broken these down to 7 factors that you absolutely must work on. And you may not be surprised to learn that a lot of it revolves around excellent communication. I’ve put it all in a new step-by-step guide to help your business benefit.

Click here for your copy.

Your Questions (& answers) this month!

What is whistleblowing?

A whistleblower is a worker who reports types of wrongdoing in a business that affects others, such as the public. They are protected by the law and shouldn’t be treated unfairly because of their report.

Is it worth my time to take on an apprentice?

An apprentice is a cost-effective way to grow and develop a new talent while growing your own skilled and motivated workforce. There’s a time investment from you, but ultimately it should be worthwhile.

Can I ask staff to come in on their day off?

It all depends what’s in their contract. If hours are changeable, you may be able to ask as long as you take into account any notice period you must give them. If employees are expected to be ‘on-call’ this should be stipulated in their contract.

That’s all for now!

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

Keep in touch and have a great month.

Theresa