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HR Horrors: Steering Clear Of Social Media Meltdowns In The Workplace

HR Horrors: Steering Clear Of Social Media Meltdowns In The Workplace

There are definitely nights we all come home from work wanting to have a bit of a rant about the latest office politics. But in the digital age, where a single tweet can spiral into a storm and a Facebook post can ferment into a fiasco, the line between professional restraint and personal ranting has never been thinner.

For the vast majority of people, they recognise that this kind of chat is best reserved for their partner or BFF’s to discuss face to face rather than taking to the masses via Facebook/ Twitter/ Tik Tok as a necessary release valve (not least because if you’ve ever done this and paid attention to those around you, you might have just noticed some eyes glazing over….).

However, when these vents turn digital and public, the consequences can reverberate far beyond our immediate circle, especially if you’re connected with your team on social media ( read our post ‘Is it ever a good idea to be Facebook Friends with your Employees‘ for our take on this particular minefield…).

When you spot a post which is less-than-complimentary about your own workplace/ management style or one of your other colleagues , as a leader, aside from the sharp intake of breath you’ll likely have, your reaction could go any number of ways.

The obvious thing to say to avoid something like this happening of course, is to make it clear to everyone joining the business that it’s not acceptable (in any instance) to slag off the company and specify that action will be taken should they do so.

But what if you’re too late?

These circumstances present a unique set of challenges. And if you find yourself in this situation, it’s really important that you know exactly what to do to address the problems and get things back on the right track.

Speed is everything 

Act quickly (but calmly). First, capture the moment: take screenshots of the problematic post. Then, reach out to request its removal. While you might want to launch straight into damage control, arrange a face-to-face meeting or, if that’s not possible, a phone call. This isn’t the time for digital diplomacy; misunderstandings are less likely when you can hear the tone and see the face behind the words.

Listen before you leap

Don’t jump to any assumptions before you’ve got all the information, listen to what they have to say before taking any action on the situation. Consider the nature of the comments made and their likely impact on your organisation. It would help if you can give examples of the gravitas that their words could have on your business, staff, customers and clients and what information is regarded as confidential in the business, before discussing what (if any)  penalties that may need to be considered in this situation.

It’s easy for any of us to jump to Defcon Level 5 when we spot something that’s close to our heart, however when considering your response and any actions, try not to let emotions overcome common sense and keep everything in perspective. It helps at this stage to involve someone else in your business or HR team member to offer some objectivity.  If the remarks have caused offence to other employees within your organisation, treat them with respect and take the appropriate action to record their views, as any disciplinary measures will need to take this into account and be documented.

Nobody wants to have difficult conversations, as a leader though, it’s your duty. Addressing these issues head-on not only resolves current conflicts but also sets a precedent and tone for company culture and expectations.

A gentle reminder goes a long way 

You want to get a grip on the situation quickly, treat it with severity but equally keep your cool and don’t blow things out of proportion. Just by being proactive and nipping it in the bud can help you get things back on the right track without any hassle or fuss and sometimes examples need to be made but no one wants to lose a good employee if it can be avoided. A simple guideline should be enough to avoid further scenarios cropping up.  For example, a company wide note to say what company issues you regard as private (e.g disputes, working conditions, complaints about management etc) should be addressed to you, their manager or HR and not discussed on social media;

Social networking can be an excuse for avoiding face-to-face conversations by many.

Often a quiet word by a manager can avoid issues that lead to disciplinary and grievance problems. Emails, texts and messaging systems can leave managers reliant on communicating electronically, so lead by example, enjoy more face to face conversations or calls, where the correct tone of voice can be heard and miscommunication can be instantly corrected.

If you have concerns about how equipped you are to manage HR policies and procedures, then we can help. We’ll pinpoint any potential issues that are at play in your workplace, and give you practical advice around what you need to do next.

theHRhub is the ultimate online HR support service for Startups and SMEs – providing software, templates, expert advice and up to date news and views, straight to your mobile or tablet. It’s like having an HR director in your pocket but without the price tag!

Call us on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk for a no-strings chat about your HR needs.

Welcome Aboard! Your Checklist for Nailing New Starter Success 🤝

Welcome Aboard! Your Checklist for Nailing New Starter Success 🤝

For many this year, even though numbers might not have been as high as other years, January and February have seen an influx of new faces around the office.

The arrival of these newbies is an opportune moment to reflect on how you can not just welcome them, but truly integrate them into your teams. It’s hardly a secret that the way we bring people into our organisations can make or break their experience – and, by extension, their commitment and performance.

Research is loud and clear on this: a well-thought-out onboarding process is directly linked to happier, more productive employees who are not just likely to stick around but also to thrive. Despite this, the sad reality is that many companies still treat this process as an afterthought, leading to unnecessary stress and a disheartening start for many.

But fear not! I’ve put together a checklist that’s all about adding that personal touch and ensuring your newbies feel not just welcomed but valued from day one. Let’s dive in!

The HR Hub’s New Starter Success Checklist

  • First Impressions Matter: A Warm Welcome Goes a Long Way: Nothing says “we’re glad you’re here” like being greeted by friendly faces on your first day. Make sure someone’s there to welcome them, their workspace is all set, and they have the tools they need. It’s the little things that count.
  • Buddy Up: The Power of a Good Mentor: Pair your new starter with a seasoned pro who’s not just knowledgeable but also approachable. This mentor can help them navigate the new environment, introduce them to the team, and be a go-to for all those “how do we do things here?” questions. It’s about making connections and feeling supported.
  • The Big Picture: Sharing Your Story:Take the time to share the essence of your organisation – its history, values, and vision. Show them how they fit into this bigger picture. It’s an empowering reminder that they’ve made a fantastic choice in joining your team.
  • Setting the Stage: Clear Expectations Lead to Success: What does success look like in their role? Be clear about your expectations, both in terms of their contributions and the standards you uphold. Kick things off with some immediate tasks and outline broader goals. Transparency about performance reviews and any probation period is key to building trust.
  • Open Doors: Ensuring They’re Comfortable and Confident: Make sure they know it’s okay to ask questions and seek help. Schedule any necessary training and check in regularly to ensure they’re settling in just fine. It’s all about open communication and readiness to support.

A thoughtful onboarding experience isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must for encouraging motivation and performance. Done right, it sets the stage for a rewarding relationship with each new team member.

For those navigating the complex waters of HR, remember, support is always available. At theHRHub, we specialise in providing top-notch online assistance for startups and SMEs. Discover more by dropping us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or give us a call on 0203 951 1208.

Show The Love For LGBT History Month

Show The Love For LGBT History Month

LGBT History month is held every February, an event which was created to help businesses & educational establishments to celebrate and Usualise LGBT+ lives in their full diversity.

This year’s focus cinematic history with the theme #behindthelens: aiming to highlight contribution of those in the LGBT community from directors, cinematographers, screen writers through to producers, animators, costume designers, special effects, make up artists, lighting directors, musicians, choreographers and beyond. 

By supporting LGBT History Month, you can show your commitment to equality and inclusiveness, which in turn helps build better relationships with your team members from the LGBT community. Research shows that those businesses with greater diversity and inclusivity have higher retention and performance than those who don’t and so it’s a great way of helping to create a more positive work environment overall.

As part of this year’s celebrations, a film festival is being held at the Cinema museum, with tickets still available to purchase and several screenings for this year. 

Not able to trek to London or have the time for one of those sessions? How about an office/ home screening of one of the following acclaimed films to celebrate the LGBT community:

  • “Moonlight” (2016) – A coming-of-age story about a young black man growing up in Miami and discovering his sexuality.
  • “Call Me By Your Name” (2017) – A romantic drama set in Italy about a summer love affair between a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man.
  • “The Kids Are Alright” (2010) – A comedy-drama about two lesbian mothers raising their teenage children and navigating their relationship with the biological father.
  • “God’s Own Country” (2017) – A romantic drama set in rural England about a young farmer who falls in love with a Romanian migrant worker.
  • “Happy Together” (1997) – A romantic drama about a tumultuous relationship between two gay men living in Hong Kong.
  • “Bound” (1996) – A neo-noir crime thriller about a lesbian couple who plot to steal millions from the Mafia.
  • “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) – A romantic drama about two cowboys who fall in love and struggle to maintain their relationship over many years.
  • “Milk” (2008) – A biographical drama about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California.

Of course it doesn’t need to be a film showing. Other ways you can share the love this LGBT History month:

  • Start a conversation: Talk to your coworkers and manager about the importance of celebrating LGBT history month. Encourage them to get involved and support the cause.

  • Display educational materials: Put up posters, flyers, and other materials around the workplace to educate people about the history of the LGBT community and the significance of the month.

  • Organise events: Plan events such as a film screening (see above), panel discussion, or informational fair to raise awareness and celebrate LGBT history and culture
  • Provide resources: Share books, articles, and other resources related to LGBT history and culture to encourage others to learn more about the subject.

For more ideas or help on creating an inclusive environment, drop us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call us on 0203 6277048.

You’re Hired! National Apprenticeship Week

You’re Hired! National Apprenticeship Week

Lord Sugar’s The Apprentice may have been going strong since 2005. But for the budding business leaders of tomorrow, the journey is just getting started. And that’s where National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) comes in.
Since 2007, this event has brought together businesses and apprentices all across the country. It aims to highlight the positive impact that apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole, encouraging the next generation to achieve their full potential. . This year’s NAW runs this week (from 6th to the 12th of February) and focuses on the theme, “skills for life”.

An apprenticeship (not to be confused with an internship) is a paid job that involves both on- and off-the-job training . It’s a combination which allows the employee to learn while gaining valuable work experience. Once they’ve completed the apprenticeship, they’ll also receive a qualification in their chosen sector (up to degree level).

During their time with you as an apprentice, you would provide:

  • Paid employment with an entitlement to holiday leave and sick pay
  • Hands-on experience in a role of interest

At least 20 percent of the total contracted hours allotted for completing off-the-job training with a college, university, or training provider & a formal assessment that leads to a nationally-recognised qualification
Apprenticeships have a long history in the UK and have been a rich source of upcoming talent since the 12th century. Most often, these apprenticeships involved skilled craftsmen such as blacksmiths and carpenters training young boys to work with them.

Of course, things have changed a lot since then! These days, there are over 600 different apprenticeships to choose from. And no matter what field someone is interested in – from data analysis to development – there’s likely an apprenticeship for them.

Despite all this, there are many stereotypes surrounding the concept of apprenticeships. Most people assume that apprentices work primarily in the construction sector. While there’s a lot of interest in construction apprenticeships, some of the most popular UK apprenticeships relate to business, law, healthcare, and engineering.

UK apprenticeships are open to everyone over the age of 16 living in the UK and have no upper age limit. England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all have their own specific apprenticeship websites and processes. They can take anywhere from one year to six years to complete. Because of this time commitment, they work best for those who are serious about a career change.

Requirements for apprenticeships vary depending on the level and sector, but many do require previous qualifications, such as a GCSE in maths or English.

Although they demand a serious commitment from both sides, apprenticeships offer many benefits for employees and employers alike.

For Apprentices they’re an exciting option for anyone wanting to gain experience, up-skill, or change careers. And as paid employment, they offer apprentices the chance to earn a wage while working in their chosen role.

Taking on an apprentice can provide a great boost to your business in terms of encouraging employee motivation, closing skills gaps. And all at an affordable price. Many take advantage of government funding through the Government’s apprenticeship levy scheme which encourages businesses to take on apprentices by providing funding. If you’re a levy-paying employer, you can use the funds in your account to cover the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment. And for non-levy paying employers, you can share the cost of apprenticeship training with the government.
You’ll also find that coaching and mentoring apprentices will bring out the best in your existing team. The result will be a high-calibre workforce with a true culture of unity.

Offering an apprenticeship within your organisation provides a fantastic incentive to potential job applicants which will enable you to choose from the best and brightest new talent out there in the job market. What’s more, as apprenticeships really aren’t an easy ride for applicants (having to work 80 percent of a full-time role while studying takes a lot of dedication and hard work!) you’ll be there to provide support from the start.

Whether your company already has an apprenticeship scheme in place or you’re considering bringing apprentices into the fold, National Apprentice Week provides lots of great ways to connect with new apprentices.

Wondering how hiring apprentices could benefit your company? If so, we have the support, insight, and tools you’ll need for every step of your employee journey. Get in touch with us here at The HR Hub today to find out more about how we can help you create employee magic within your organisation!

Say hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call us on 0203 627 7048

Time to Talk? 🔊

Time to Talk? 🔊

Talking about mental health can be hard. But conversations on mental health have the power to change and even save lives. This is why the organisations Mind and Rethink Mental Illness are encouraging everyone to make time in their day on Thursday 2nd of February 2023 for a conversation about mental health.

First launched in 2014, Time to Talk Day aims to bring people and groups together to talk about mental health. And since it falls on a workday, Time to Talk Day provides us all with the perfect opportunity to discuss mental health and raise awareness in the workplace.

But why is mental health awareness so important? And how can you join the conversation this Time to Talk Day? Keep reading to learn more. …

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness
In the UK, 30 percent of the population suffers from at least one mental health condition. Common conditions include anxiety disorders and depression — around 8 in 100 people experience symptoms of depression and mixed anxiety in any given week.

What’s more, post-pandemic stress has led almost 1 million Brits to seek a medical referral for anxiety and depression over the last couple of years.

Statistics like these show the prevalence of mental health conditions. They also highlight the fact that we’re all likely to have a colleague, friend, or family member who is struggling.  We aren’t immune either and could just as easily be struggling with mental health concerns ourselves.

But unless we start to open up lines of communication about mental health, it’s all too easy to think that mental illness is something that happens to other people. Or to believe the common myth that it’s a sign of weakness or failure.

As people come to realise that they’re far from alone in facing mental health conditions, this helps raise awareness. And, as with workplace conversations on menopause or grief, we can help to destigmatise the issue and encourage the kind of supportive work environment that I’m a huge advocate for.

How Talking About Mental Illness Helps
Research carried out for Mind in 2022 found that 63 percent of people agree that it’s getting easier to talk about mental health. It’s also encouraging to learn that, of those who have talked about their mental health, 73 percent reported at least one positive conversation during which they felt supported and listened to.

But, while mental health discussions are getting easier for some, others still need encouragement to talk about their struggles. That same Mind research found that 25 percent of adults who experienced a decline in their mental health for the first time during the pandemic are still yet to talk about it to anyone about it.

This is why nationwide events and campaigns such as Time to Talk Day are so vital. Sharing experiences of mental illness may provide the push someone needs to finally open up to others or seek professional help. While talking to friends and colleagues can be beneficial, it cannot compete with the effectiveness of the range of talking therapies recommended by NICE and the NHS.

Joining the Mental Health Conversation
Whether your workplace has a mental health support plan in place or not, Time to Talk Day is a great opportunity to be proactive about mental health. Not least because it serves to encourage new conversations surrounding these increasingly common issues.

If you’re unsure of how to approach Time to Talk Day, I recommend downloading this pack. It includes posters for the office, social media images, and conversation starters to try with your team. Using these resources to promote Time to Talk Day will show your commitment to joining the mental health conversation.

With these kinds of events, I find it best to invite my team to join me for tea and cakes in our virtual ‘meeting room’. That way, we can enjoy a sweet treat while chatting in a more informal way. 🥮

My aim for this year’s Time to Talk Day is to touch on themes such as mental health myths, symptoms, and how to support colleagues who may be struggling. But if someone in my team has a different preference, I’ll go with it. From sharing a personal experience to talking about novels covering mental health themes, there is no right or wrong when it comes to opening up a dialogue about this topic.

Of course, not everyone will feel comfortable discussing mental health, especially in a group setting. But it doesn’t have to be awkward or personal. Activities such as watching a video, taking a mental health quiz, or playing the games in the pack are great for getting everyone talking, both during the gathering and after.

With this in mind, make sure to prepare line managers and team leaders with helpful resources should employees wish to continue the Time to Talk Day conversation in private. This mental health support guide by Mind is full of invaluable advice for managers. And this information on seeking mental health services is ideal for passing on to any team members who come looking for guidance.

Raising Mental Health Awareness on Time to Talk Day
Now you know why mental health awareness is so important and how Time to Talk Day can help reduce the stigma around mental illness, we hope you’ll be marking the 2nd of February on your workplace calendar. **

That said, talking about mental health shouldn’t be limited to one day of the year. Time to Talk Day is great for starting the conversation but ongoing open communication about mental health — amongst other topics — is key for cultivating a true culture of unity in the workplace.

For more tips on creating a safe and supportive workplace for all, make sure to check out the rest of our blog! Or, if you want to get in touch with us here at The HR Hub, drop us a line via hello@thehrhub.co.uk, give us a call on 0203 6277048, or schedule a diary meeting here.

** For details on other calendar events to promote inclusivity this year, we’ve done the heavy lifting and created a calendar already – please feel free to copy this link therefore to add to your own calendar to see many events across the year

Nudging Up The Dial a Bit

Nudging Up The Dial a Bit

It’s about this time in January when we realise that the month has almost gone and that maybe we need to start picking up the pace a teensy bit more with our intentions and possibly with our team in the coming weeks… Everything’s all okay,  but maybe things haven’t been moving quite as quickly as you’d hoped this month.

And it’s understandable. There’s a lot to get done and only a certain amount of hours in the day.  The targets might be stretching but hopefully all the right foundations are there – you just need to inject a little bit more pizzazz to help things along….

If you’re in this camp right now, then here are a few tips for turning up the dial (in a way that doesn’t frighten the team!):

  • Remind the team that they matter aka. your vision. You know the one I mean. ‘Why’ you are all here in the first place. ‘Why’ it’s important to them that you hit those goals. ‘Why’ the company is in existence. Without this connection to the purpose, they could be working for anyone….
  • Spend time giving a little feedback: it’s one of the best (and cheapest) ways to help someone grow. Raise their self awareness by praising the things they have done a great job on.
  • Listen to what the team has got to say: they may seem tired, grumpy, lazy (or any other of the seven dwarves…), but you can bet they’ll be feeling motivated after some time spent with their leader and given the opportunity to have their say. Do they have any suggestions of how to do things differently or better that can help? Often with time for reflection, people come up with some great ideas.
  • Hold a 30-day Check-in: meet with all the team, communicate what progress has been made and what a difference this has made.
  • Go easy on the micromanagement: it’s tempting when things aren’t going as we like to jump in and start holding meetings every day to see how you’ve progressed, but If you set out clearly what you are looking for your team to deliver, give them support to do so, then allow them some breathing space to do just that, without their diaries being clogged up by meetings and their autonomy jeopardised.
  • Add a little extra incentive: we’ve all read that the evidence for complex bonus structures and remuneration packages driving motivation is not present ( even decreasing it in certain areas..) however incentives which are offered for a simple and easy to understand and achievable task are a different kettle of fish altogether. So offer a meal out, front row tickets to the Donmar or whatever floats the particular boat of your team to get them focused on a short term competition.
  • Hold a 60-day Check-In: reward any progress which has been made (publicly and privately) to reinforce the behaviour you want to see
  • Show off your clients : have one of your customers/ clients come in to talk to the team about what a difference your product/ service has made to their business. It gets straight to the point of ‘Why’ they’re here and helps instil a sense of pride.
  • Cut yourself some slack whilst you’re at it: With all this focus on other’s it’s easy to forgo the progress you have made, so re-visit where you were this time last year and give yourself a pat on the back.

For extra shots of employee magic, drop us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk , give us a call on 0203 6277048 or pop in a diary meeting in here to chat about your needs.