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HR / Staff Management

Keeping staff happy is essential for a thriving, productive workplace. Making sure that your staff are happy will ensure that they are working hard to make your business a success. Scheduling and managing shifts can sometimes be difficult, especially when running a small business. However, by creating a ‘give and take’ relationship with your employees, it can be beneficial to you both. A good business leader will always keep employee satisfaction and happiness in mind.

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When small businesses owners are starting their business, the main aim and priority is to keep the costs low. It is likely, most of the costs will be spent on necessities, rather than luxuries. Some may think that HR professionals or an HR department are a luxury, however, they can help implement workplace policies and keep the business out of trouble. If it’s not possible to hire an HR professional, then outsourcing can also be an option. However, it is advisable to hire an individual to manage the HR of your business as soon as you can.

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Wired Magazine predicts that coding could become the next main blue-collar job which, if true, means that many small business owners will need increasing number of employees with programming skills in the near future.  The problem affecting all businesses is that, without action, the UK could fall well behind other parts of the world in training for the future.  This will affect our economy overall as well as our individual businesses.

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Mental health issues can be damaging to the workplace and the business if not dealt with in the right way, so it is necessary to create a culture and environment in which your employees can talk about any issues they are having. It was reported by mentalhealth.org that around 14.7% of employees have mental health issues, and around 12.7% of sick leave can also be attributed to poor mental health.

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Small businesses often feel pressed for time, money, and human resources, causing them to neglect training, one of the most important ingredients for success. Training can ensure that everyone on your team understands their job and what you expect from them.

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Boosting productivity in the workplace is a major goal for most business owners. Fortunately, there are many handy tools on the market to help you do just that. What’s more, lots of them are free or are available in free versions.

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Managing staff holidays can be challenging, especially for small businesses as the teams are smaller and arranging cover can be difficult. All workers are entitled to paid annual leave, therefore you will need to be prepared to have staff off from work for four to six weeks per year. Successfully managing staff holidays helps to create a happier team, boosting the productivity of the business.

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Companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of team building – the beginning of 2016 actually saw record spending on team building activities in the UK. In fact, on average companies now spend £305 on activities per employee to boost morale and keep their staff happy. Traditional team building activities such as assault courses are being replaced with more creative days out, with the most popular being cooking and baking. Adventure Connections highlight the many benefits of team building in the workplace that small businesses need to take advantage of.
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Staff sickness is something that cannot be avoided, whether you run a big firm or a small business. However, for small businesses that have small teams it can cause costly problems. Managing staff sickness effectively by implementing policies is essential. It will make sure that the disruption of the day-to-day activities within the business are minimised.

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The vast majority of employees in a business will have different aspects of introversion and extroversion, which is often to the benefit of the company. But every organisation will also have individuals who are highly extroverted – the life and soul of every party and the loudest person in the room at any given time. But extroverts are more than just loud people who like to engage with others, they also work very differently to other members of the team.

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We’re often told that to be a successful leader we need to be able to establish a clear vision, share that vision with others in a clear and compelling way, provide others with the resources to realise that vision, and co-ordinate the sometimes conflicting interests of all stakeholders. But there is one more trait that every leader needs; flexibility. For example a business with its back against the wall requires a different style to one which is enjoying a profitable, steady state. Flexible leadership skills make a more effective business leader.
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The problem with the lack of diversity in the life sciences industry is more severe than people perhaps imagined according to new research conducted by the Epsen Fuller Group earlier this year. Only 12.7% and 8.3% of directorships of small to micro pharma, medical devices and bio tech companies are women. The research also shows that there’s been little progress since 2000 in decreasing racial disparities for interest and aptitude in STEM subjects.

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Outsourcing for your small business can be a great way to save money, whether you require an individual with specific skills or just somebody to help with the extra workload. Before committing to any business decision, research needs to be carried out to find the best possible option. Outsourcing in its basic terms is the product or service from outside the business, and it’s becoming increasingly popular because it increases productivity and is cost effective.

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Virtual teams and telecommuting are now accepted features of corporate life and continue to be on the rise. The benefits are many: flexible working, cost reduction, increased employee motivation, productivity gains, reduced stress and sickness levels. Aided by technology you can connect with team members almost anytime, anywhere.  You can join a meeting from your small businesses premises as easily as you can conduct an appraisal conversation from your kitchen table. As remote working is getting increasingly popular, you will need to know how to manage remote workers.

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Outsourcing is a vital part of the contemporary business model – more and more serious companies are turning to hiring remote workers each day. Whether you’re in need of a temporary employee, or you’re looking for serious talent to add to your team permanently, remote employment is the way to go.

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One of the biggest recruitment challenges faced by businesses is a lack of applications. In a recent survey conducted by Forde HR Cloud, 23% of SMEs revealed that this is their main recruitment issue.

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Emotional intelligence can have a significant impact in the workplace. It can help your team form strong bonds allowing them to thrive, or the lack of it can create misunderstanding and cause issues. Emotional intelligence is becoming a more prominent topic of conversation when it comes to business leaders and business environments, therefore small businesses need to understand what it is and why it can make a great impact in the workplace.
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Paternity leave is a hot topic in HR. This guide will help small business owners determine whether their employees are eligible for paternity leave, the statutory allowance and pay they are entitled to, as well as providing information on shared parental leave, extra pay or time off, and antenatal appointments. [read the full article]

Hiring employees to your business is a sign of growth and expansion and something that should be celebrated. However, it can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have any experience in hiring staff and employees. You must therefore be prepared to ensure that you have made a good decision and hired the right person.

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For most businesses, handling an employee’s confidential data can present a number of challenges. It is important to educate the team on the importance of handling data to ensure confidence to not have to face any of the legal implications of a data leak.
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