INSIGHTS

follow us here and on twitter @ukhrhub to get all the latest HR hints, tips, advice and news

Your New Starter Checklist: Ensure Newbies Are Set Up For Success

For many organisations the start of a new year also prompts a fresh intake of new starters.  So it’s the perfect time to give a little thought to how you can best help them get settled in.  It won’t surprise you to hear that there’s a wealth of research showing a clear link between thoughtful, well-planned on boarding of new joiners and higher rates of productivity, job satisfaction and morale.  There’s also an impact on staff retention, with studies also showing that when companies put a bit of thought into supporting their new starters through the early days and weeks of their employment, their staff are much more likely to stay for longer.  Yet too often this activity is half-hearted and disorganised – which can be enormously stressful and demotivating for new employees.

So what key things can you do to help get your new starters onboard quickly and performing?

Here’s My New Starter Checklist

1. Nothing Beats A Genuinely Warm Welcome And Some Effort To Make Them Feel Part Of The Team From Day1So take care of the essential housekeeping – ensure someone is there to meet them on their first day, and their work station and all necessary tools and equipment have been organised in advance.

2. Arrange A Mentor/Buddy: An experienced and approachable colleague who can show them around, introduce them to other team members, talk them through all the ‘how things get done around here’ activities and processes, answer questions and be a supportive point of contact. Arrange for them to meet with other key colleagues too, over the coming days.

3. Spend Time Giving Them Some Background To Your Organisation: Its history, values, culture and vision, and – perhaps most importantly – how you see them and their role fitting into the bigger company picture.  Done well, this can be a hugely motivating and reassuring reminder to your new joiner that they made the right decision in coming to work for you.  

4. Clarify Your Expectations Of What Success In The Job Looks Like:  What are you expecting of them in their role – and what standards of performance and behaviour are you looking for?  Give them some tasks to start working on straight away as well as setting a few bigger, longer term goals.  Let them know how, and when, you will be reviewing their performance over the coming months.  This is particularly important if you have started them off on an initial probationary period.  

5. Check Back That They Are Comfortable With Everything And Know Who To Ask For Help: Ensure they are ok with what’s required of them in their role and that they’ll feel comfortable asking questions or raising issues as and when they arise.  Discuss and schedule any essential job-specific training they might need.
Effective on boarding needn’t be overly structured or onerous, but can have an enormously positive impact on motivation and performance, and if done properly will get your working relationship with each new employee off to a truly great start.

For any HR issue, theHRHub is the ultimate online support service for startups and SMEs. Find out more about us here

Photo Credit: First Day Of School by Ian D. Keating

A word from Grip, the Award Winning AI-Powered Market Engagement Platform

A word from Grip, the Award Winning AI-Powered Market Engagement Platform

Grip is an award-winning AI-powered Market Engagement Platform, that helps organisers deliver world-class events. They have had a wonderful success story and The HR Hub is proud to have played a role in their journey from start up to where they are now.

We asked Tim Groot, CEO & Founder what he values most about working with us,  “Expert HR advice is extremely difficult to get without having your own full-time staff. I would advise every seed-stage startup to work with the HR Hub to make sure your contracts, HR policies and general HR advice is in great shape as you scale your company. Over the course of 2 years we have probably saved £50,000 in recruitment, HR advice and People operations tasks, that would otherwise have been outsourced or would have required us to hire a people operations person much earlier.”

Speaking further we wanted to know if there were any reservations before using us and if we managed to overcome them. Tim said, “Initially we were unsure whether the advice would be relevant enough to our specific company, but Claire and Rosie did an awesome job taking away any concerns.”

The three key results Tim recognised from our time working together

    • Solid employment contracts and advice/training for new and growing managers in the business.
    • Time and cost savings by using HR Hub for initial screening of candidates.
    • Someone to talk to about difficult management issues.

And the biggest question from us…. Would you recommend The HR Hub and who would you recommend us too?

“Yes we are always happy to recommend the HR Hub! All seed stage startups and growth stage companies that want their people operations or management teams to have someone ‘on call’ for an external perspective should be talking to Rosie and Claire.”

Grip is the leading AI-powered event networking solution for Virtual, Hybrid and In-person events.

If you want to find out more about working with us get in touch at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call 0203 627 7048

Fun police – Can I ask my employees not to travel abroad this year?

Fun police – Can I ask my employees not to travel abroad this year?

We’ve all been desperately looking forward to our long awaited summer holidays: jumping on a plane, feeling the instant heat when you land, seeing the bluest of skies, seas and pools that are yours for a week or two… Ah… bliss!

However with the sudden turnaround on Portugal’s ‘green’ list status many of us are still wondering if we should play it safe in the UK or risk going abroad.

The UK’s vaccination programme seems to be on track but the government are still being very cautious in committing to any guarantees as the global pandemic continues. So what are your obligations as an employer? Can you stop employees from travelling? and would you even want to?

From an employment law perspective, each employee is entitled to a minimum of 28 days holiday a year including any public holidays, which will be pro-rated for those that work part-time. This annual leave should be taken every year, although some employers allow an element of this to roll over if necessary. There is no upwards limit on holiday that you can add to your employee package.

The law states that people must give reasonable notice to take holiday which is normally twice the length of the time requested, eg: 2 weeks notice for a weeks holiday. However you do have the right to refuse this if it is a busy period or others in the team are away, or you have allocated holiday times to work with the seasonality of your business.

Traveling abroad for holiday

Q: Can I stop employees from going abroad on holiday this year?

While an employer can normally dictate when people take holiday, lawfully you have no right to dictate where they can go on holiday. If you are worried about the consequences of planned quarantine or last minute changes to government policy that enforce last minute quarantine for those travelling abroad you may wish to implement a specific policy to discourage employees from going. For example, to make it clear that any quarantine advice must be followed but they would not be paid during this time, or home working provisions are to be agreed and put in place before leaving so they can be accessed if necessary on their return.

Q: Do my employees have to tell me whether they are going abroad on holiday this year?

During these uncertain times it would be worth encouraging communication between staff and line managers or HR to ensure that the return process is as smooth as possible in the event of a return to quarantine. If an employee has been allowed to work from home throughout the pandemic, and could continue to do so on their return then it may be an easy conversation to have. However, if your staff cannot work remotely this may cause a problem. So having a clear policy on whether you require employees to use additional holiday or unpaid leave in the event of quarantine then even those that don’t speak to you should be aware of the consequences should the situation arise. There is no legal requirement to pay employers during quarantine (and they are not entitled to sick pay), but for staff retention and goodwill you may decide to have a discretionary case by case approach to this.

Needing employees to travel again for work

You may be in a position where International business travel is essential to your company. With this you are subject to the same red, amber and green lists as travel. Although you would have to factor in paid quarantine, possible additional hotel costs and pay for any tests due to local restrictions at the destination.

Certain very specific professions have modified or relaxed requirements when travelling back into the UK, but they are quite limited and vary across the UK countries; most people will need to comply with the default rules around green, amber and red list countries, even if travelling for work.

As an employer you have a right to request reasonable instructions be followed by your team, but in the current circumstances that is likely to depend on the destination and what the employee is being asked to do there. There is also the matter of how COVID-safe it is. Asking someone to travel to a red list country is unlikely to be considered a reasonable request unless there is a very compelling reason. So your employee may have the right to refuse to travel if they feel you are being unreasonable. As always good communication between all parties is the best policy here, you want your staff to feel safe and valued especially after such trying times.

If you want to discuss any situations you may have, then drop us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call 0203 627 7048

How the HR Hub helped Bedford Consulting grow

How the HR Hub helped Bedford Consulting grow

The HR Hub initially started working with Bedford Consulting in August 2018 and continues to do so in 2021.

Bedford Consulting is the largest and longest-running sole Anaplan reseller and 2020 Anaplan Partner of the year for EMEA, specialising in project implementation, software sales and connected planning. The company had grown quickly over the previous two years, tripling the size of the team in 18 months up to August 2018. Cathal Doyle (CEO) and Paul Rawlinson (CCO) had reached a stage where they wanted to ensure that they had the right structure to be sustainable as they grew further.

The key HR challenges

Bedford Consulting needed the HR Hub to ensure they had the right foundations; to keep the people they had already invested in happy and growing and make sure they were putting in place support for all the recent hires. It was noted that the structure up to that point had been very flat and the increased headcount had meant that the Directors were becoming thinly spread in terms of management.

An initial review of Bedford’s company data and HR Strength ™ was undertaken in conjunction with interviews with a cross section of staff and a proposal to tackle three key areas per quarter to improve the overall employee experience. 

Actions taken

After analysing the data, the HR Hub suggested a variety of actions and solutions to implement in order to achieve their HR goals.

There were four strands to this strategy,

  1. Learning and Development
  2. Hiring and Onboarding
  3. Team Structure
  4. Employee Engagement and Motivation

Firstly Learning and Development was given a new lease of life. A competency framework and structure was recommended and created for the Customer Success team, together with associated salary bands. This provides consistency, transparency and an understanding of all the roles in each team and what career progression looks like for all roles in the CS team ( the remaining teams to be rolled out this year). Formal Quarterly reviews have also been put in place to provide everyone with the opportunity to discuss their development & progression on a regular basis – all built using the tech they consult on: Anaplan. 

Hiring and onboarding was refreshed and additional support was input for all new hires to enable their onboarding.

Team structure was improved to reflect the company growth. An additional supporting structure was input to the organisation through the creation of POD leader roles (to provide dedicated support to a small group of consultants each) and a series of training and development initiatives created to support the POD leaders in these new roles

Employee engagement and communications was boosted with more regular points of contact. Previously Bedford had always held Quarterly Off site meetings for all employees, however communication channels have been boosted by monthly ‘All Hands’ style calls and weekly feedback received through use of survey technology which is reviewed on a monthly basis and actions taken by the management team

Results and client testimonial

Because of these steps, Bedford Consulting have retained their key staff during a period where a further 15 staff have also been hired. Engagement scores show that the team feels supported in the transition to the new POD structure and the flow of communication has been improved. This has resulted in a happy successful expanding team ensuring a strong growing business.

“Working with Claire and the team at The HR Hub has been critical to our growth and sustainability over the last two years. We would not have been in a position to put such a robust framework in place while we continued to grow at 50% YoY without their guidance and richness of experience. They continue to support our growth strategy but also act as a comfort blanket in areas of ongoing HR. Our recruitment, enablement and retention are stronger than ever which has been forged throughout our relationship with The HR Hub. It has been a pleasure working with Claire and her team, and we look forward to continuing that relationship for many years to come as we continue on our growth story”  Cathal Doyle (CCO) 

Asking for feedback – an HR hub case study

Asking for feedback – an HR hub case study

Asking for feedback is a critical part of maintaining a successful business. Whether that is customer testimonials, product reviews or a follow up after a specific incident.

As you can imagine during the past years pandemic our team have been extremely busy. Our help has ranged hugely, from adapting to new ways of working, guiding clients through new legalities, assisting with furlough, giving tips on staff motivation through to dealing with crisis. Plus an extraordinary amount of personal employee health and family matters on top of dealing with more regular company HR solutions remotely. Now as workplaces are starting to open back up we are advising on successful ways to get people back into the office, guidelines for new hybrid working plans and even a few clients that are keen to embrace the working from home system, ditching the office altogether.

Our team have had our clients backs through it all and there is a definite feeling of success within us. However, it still felt brave to put ourselves out there to ask our clients for testimonials. We were blown away by the amount of responses and the kind words they have shared with us.

We are very proud and happy to share what Laura Paplauskaite, CEO, Bit Zesty had to say about the HR Hub.

“The service HR Hub provides is very personal and pragmatic, which is of great value to us. They really understand balancing people and business and the service feels perfectly tailored to our small business needs. Initially I was worried that the advice would not take into account my concerns as a business owner. However, this is not the case.

The HR Hub saves me lots of time and money trying to figure things out from a legal perspective. More importantly, the team help me make the right business and people decisions. Claire is very personal and always has her business as well as people hat on. Working with her saved me countless sleepless hours, especially through the difficult times during Covid.

HR Hub acts as an advisor and sounding board – which gives me confidence that I am doing the right thing by all. I would recommend TheHRhub to any small business.”

Here at the HR Hub, we love that not only have we managed to help Bit Zesty save time and money, but that we have established a relationship that empowers Laura to feel confident when making HR decisions. Seeing these kind supportive words come in from a diverse range of clients has given us all a boost. This is more than just the marketing tool we thought it would be, this is motivation and pride for the team.

If you haven’t asked your customers for a while – How are we doing? Maybe now is the time…..

Image credit : Canva