HR & Management
Your people are a core part of your business. This section presents the latest trends in human resources and management, as well as practical advice from HR experts on attracting and retaining top talent at every stage of business growth.
Human resources and management is arguably the most important and challenging aspects of business. The HR role is intended to oversee the growth and development of the workforce. But as an SME doesn’t always have the resources to hire someone under this function, it sometimes falls on the employer to wear this hat.
Retaining talent for a post-Brexit landscape
According to Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, the UK will welcome EU citizens already staying in the nation whether an agreement on the terms of exit is reached or not. They make up, after all, around 6% of the population. The lives of EEA citizens will likely continue as normal unless the UK changes current rules.
But already, EU nationals have spread their wings and taken flight to pastures new. The ONS specified that a record 139,000 EU citizens emigrated from the UK in 2017.
This has meant that most strategies are geared towards retaining talent. Some six out of ten UK companies are paying on average £100,000 in extra incentives to keep EU workers under their employ. There are other, more simple and budget-friendly means of keeping your workforce.
Fostering a happy and productive employee culture and reevaluate existing recruitment methods will help more than you think. HR and management teams must take a central role in this process, which may include agreeing on a company policy on european employees post-Brexit, whether that is merely stating an intention to try and keep them.
Maintaining an open dialogue about Brexit realities on company websites and during interviews should also help persuade international candidates that your company is facing realities with positivity and ambition.
When it comes to recruiting outside of the UK, employers will be happy to know that prime minister Theresa May announced plans for a removal of a visa cap for skilled migrants. Traditionally, tier-two applications – whereby they were specifically offered a skilled role in the UK – were capped at 20,700. Now hundreds of additional places will be made available each month.
How do I maximise the benefits of HR software and tools?
HR is often seen as a time-heavy burden. However, technological tools can cut down on the amount of administrative tasks that have to be completed.
Doing this will allocate HR teams more time to deal with the human aspects of the role, such as supporting and communicating with the workforce on a daily basis. These are all factors that will help boost employee wellbeing and productivity.
Think of improving internal office communications, cutting down on time wasting and inefficiency whether that’s instant live messaging platforms for staff, or screen protectors for work devices to reduce eye-strain and fatigue.
How do I build and maintain positive company culture?
Company culture refers to the wider environment a business operates in, namely the office and what vibe it gives off. It also has a higher meaning, relating to the founding values of the company and its mission going forward.
Why should factor be placed high on your priority list? Because values, purpose and culture have been found to be the magnet that truly draws attention from customers and employees alike.
Further reading: https://realbusiness.co.uk/tag/culture-leaders/
Building a positive culture needn’t be a pricey endeavour. You don’t need the stuff of legends that has become synonymous with Silicon Valley companies. A slide or nap pod might be fun to have, but there are additional perks that could be far more valued to your workforce – not to mention cheaper for you to implement.
Complimentary lunch on Fridays and monthly work drinks, could go down a treat. More time off, a cycling scheme, more responsibility, room for career growth or employee ownership model are all ways to boost morale and foster company loyalty.
How do I create an inclusive work environment?
The need for a diverse and inclusive workplace is still a global topic of debate. Even technological giants such as Google and Uber have been questioned over their inclusive practices. Both remain dominated by white men.
Being inclusive isn’t just about ensuring everyone gets a shot at business. Research shows that businesses with an ethnic and gender based mix outperform others by up to 38% and 15% respectively.
So how do you ensure your business has a supportive and non-biased environment? Part of it comes down to instilling in your workforce that discrimination will not be tolerated – no matter how senior a person may be. Make clear that biased acts, including racist jokes and sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
This should be made available to staff in handbooks and online. Have a plan that includes everyone.
It's no longer enough to 'sell' your company to employees once. You have to play the long-term PR game, and remind them of work benefits throughout their career with your company. This is especially important when retaining staff who are working abroad and who may be feeling isolated.
8 min read