Points of frustration for HR during COVID-19

Points of frustration for HR during COVID-19

XpertHR Survey Results 2021

The response of the HR community to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been to put people first, while also supporting business continuity during exceptional circumstances. It is unsurprising then, that wellbeing tops the priority poll for the profession for the coming year, coupled with employee engagement.

HR professionals told us that they had to deal with many frustrations when trying to drive their response to the pandemic. These have centred on four areas:

  • Lack of clarity on the complex guidance issued by the Government, sometimes at short notice. HR had to interpret, implement and be the point of information for this within the organisation.
  • Increased workload as a result of having to juggle existing tasks on top of responding to COVID-19, with no appreciation of the extra work created and covered.
  • Concerns around the consequences of a lack of day-to-day interaction with colleagues and employees as a result of remote working or social distancing while in the workplace.
  • Tensions between HR and senior management teams around priorities. HR told us that leaders were, at times, lacking in concern around the impact of the pandemic on employees, which has led to more issues around engagement, wellbeing and productivity.

Looking forward for 2021 and beyond, the participants anticipated their focus being on:

– a continuing emphasis on employee wellbeing and dealing with Covid;

– addressing the future balance of flexible and hybrid home/office working, as more people returned to the office through the Autumn and early Winter; and

– with rapidly emerging and widespread, intensifying labour shortages, a greater emphasis on and investment in learning and development, so as to ‘grow more of our own’.

They also foresee a stronger future emphasis on diversity and inclusion policies, so as to better meet their staffing needs for growth and to address the growing emphasis on fairness emerging from the highly unequal health and economic experiences of the pandemic.

HR roles survey: Response to the coronavirus pandemic and priorities for 2021 | Survey analysis | Tools | XpertHR.co.uk

#hrforsme #covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic #healthandsafety #employeewellbeing #leadership #xperthr #employeeengagement

Covid-19 Updates for Employers – January 2022

Isolation Period Cut from 10 Days to 7 Days 

Fully vaccinated Covid sufferers can now cut their 10-day isolation period to seven days, it has been announced.

Under new rules, people in England can take two lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on day six and seven of their quarantine.

Self-isolation for COVID-19 cases reduced from 10 to 7 days following negative LFD tests – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Temporary change to Fit-notes

For Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where employees go off sick on or after 10 December 2021, employers can only ask employees for proof of sickness (such as a fit note) after 28 days of sickness (including non-working days). Proof of sickness cannot be requested earlier than 28 days.
Fit notes do not have to be provided for DWP benefit claims until 27 January. This will not affect claims to benefit.
These changes are to give GP’s more time to work on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) booster programme.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

This scheme will be reintroduced from mid-January 2022. Further guidance will be available as soon as possible.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Are you considering investing in HR software?

Why not use Our powerful, Affordable & User Friendly HR Software?

The implementation of a GDPR compliant HR Software Information System (HRIS) such as Craven HR, is a key driver in moving a business forward, in terms of data management, HR streamlined processes and improved employee engagement.

KPI’s

Without a HRIS, it is not currently possible to capture accurate HR performance metrics that are strategically aligned with a business, many businesses simply do not have the accurate data. Without the correct data you cannot measure key information and provide Company KPI’s, which are a fundamental and positive business tool.

The purpose of HR KPI’s is to optimise recruitment and selection processes, workplace and people management/employee engagement initiatives etc. By constantly measuring and tracking these metrics, you can gauge whether your current HR practices are proactively making a positive impact, the stability of your business and staff; and ultimately the business’s profitability.  

Restricting Data Access 

Restricting data access strictly to what’s required for each job role is essential to prevent a sensitive and serious data breach. By giving staff access to personal and or sensitive data who don’t legitimately need it for the performance of their duties, you could create a situation that could put highly confidential information at risk. 

Risk Management  & GDPR

To manage this risk, follow best practice and to ensure GDPR compliance, please find the following advice and guidance; 

  • Implement an appropriate and affordable HRIS –  Such as Craven HR Software;
  • Avoid multiple different places to store personal data – Recording of personal and/or sensitive employee data on spreadsheets is advised against due to high risk of data breaches – a HRIS would solve this;
  • Restrict staff access to personal and or sensitive data – Define who definitely needs access to the employee personal and or sensitive employee information for their job role; and what is/are the legitimate and valid reason/s?- A HRIS has different security settings for staff;
  • Appropriate security should be in place, to avoid unauthorised sharing of information – A HRIS would solve this;
  • Ensure that all staff who access confidential data know how to safeguard it and why, including appropriate training – Training should be arranged for key staff;
  • Privacy Statement – Implement and communicate.

Why should we implement a HRIS?

Benefits for Line Managers;

  • Better use of your time – Streamlines and automates those repetitive and time-consuming people management tasks; 
  • Stay Secure, GDPR Compliant – Less risk, all your employees’ data safely in one place ;
  • Welcome new employees - Create onboarding new starter checklists, send out offer letters and contracts​; 
  • Engage your staff – Self Service – Give your people a system with their data, they can access anytime, anywhere ; 
  • Cloud Ecosystem – HR software that links to Xero and Quickbooks; 
  • Easy to use & mobile friendly – Access information quickly, anytime, from anywhere; 
  • Make payroll painless – Run your entire payroll in just 5 simple steps; 
  • Competitive edge – Think about it… You want to attract and retain top talent, but your tech is way behind your competitors​. 

Empowerment increases autonomy for Line Managers ie;  

  • Manage timesheets/schedules/authorise overtime;
  • Request salary/job changes; 
  • Authorise/cancel Annual Leave (and other leave); 
  • Add employee sickness absence;
  • Complete a RTWI (Return to Work Interview); 
  • Complete Performance Management ie; One to One Meetings, Probationary Reviews and Appraisals;
  • Reduction in sickness absence – It is a deterrent when employees can visibly see how much sickness absence/triggers they have.

Benefits for employees;

  • Communication tool – Important Company notices/announcements – improves employee engagement’;
  •  Self Service – visible employee information – employees feel more in control;
  •  Access and update their own personal information – reduction in errors;
  •  Access timesheet/weekly schedule – improves engagement;
  •  Annual leave/other leave is important, employees can view their leave; balance and apply for leave online – speedier process, improves employee engagement;
  •  Complete self-certification – speedier process, improves employee engagement;
  •  Access Company Policies and Procedures – improves communication;
  •  Identify and contact other staff – improves communication.

Interested ? We hope so, please get in touch to discuss how we can help you work Smarter not Harder with Craven HR Software including Payroll (or not).

Craven HR Software – Online HR System – Craven HR Services (cravensafetyservices.co.uk)

 

 

Right to Work Check Measures to April 2022

The Home Office has further delayed the end date of the temporary right to work check measures to April 5th 2022, from August 31st 2021.

The UK’s Home Office has further delayed the end date for the temporary right to work check measures to April 5th, 2022. The current temporary right to work check process involves the worker submitting a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email to the employer. The employer can then conduct a video call with the worker during which they would hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents.

These measures have allowed employers flexibility when checking and recording the individual’s right to work in the UK whilst also providing a ‘statutory excuse’ against any potential illegal working claims.

Other measures included:

Record on file that checks have carried out ‘adjusted checks on [date] due to COVID-19’
If the worker has a biometric residence permit/card or status under the EU settlement scheme, checks can be conducted using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service while doing a video call – permission must be sought from the applicant.
The Home Office intends to develop a new digital right to work check solution by April 2022, which will account for those who cannot currently use the online right to work checking system, including British and Irish nationals.

Starting April 6th 2022, it is expected that employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents or check the employee’s right to work online. It is understood that employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents, use this new digital solution, or use the online right to work checking system – once the employee has provided the employer access to view their details on the system. The checks must be completed in the presence of the employee, either in person or via video call.

The Home Office will release new guidance ahead of April 6th 2022.

Employers should review internal processes to ensure that they are able to resume checks at the relevant time and ensure that they review files to ensure compliant adjusted checks are completed between March 30th 2020, and April 5th 2022.

We would recommend that the verification of identity and requirements to apply for a DBS check are conducted at the same time as the right to work check, to remove any unnecessary requirements for applicants to present documentary evidence.

We strongly urge all Employers to continue to refer to the Home Office Guidance link below, to ensure they remain compliant with immigration rules on checking right to work during this time.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Tips for SSIP Accreditation Applications

The ‘Pingdemic’

Workers in the food sector to be exempt from self isolation rules
Workers in key sectors, and particularly in the food supply chain, will still be allowed to go to work if they have been told to self isolate by NHS test and trace so long as they test negative for coronavirus.
The new exemptions, which are expected to come into force this week, are in response to widespread concerns that critical businesses could be forced to close because of staff shortages caused by individuals being told they need to self isolate.

There are literally 3 unique ‘people’ elements to protect Your business & Your people

What is HR ? Really, why do we need it as an SME?
There are literally 3 unique ‘people’ elements to protect Your business & Your people
1. Talent – Do you have the right people, with the right skills, in the right job roles?
2. Organisation – Do you have the right culture, are Your people happy, motivated, positive & ‘tip top’ productive, to win the market right now?
3. Leadership – Do you have the right leadership & people management capabilities & management style, to maintain or support your business growth, to reach ultimate Success & keep up with Your Competition?
We thrive on helping you to build a positive & healthy culture; by implementing and slotting together, the various components like a jigsaw, we support and help you to move away from directive management (if this is the case) to holding developmental coaching conversations).
Interested? Then get in touch now for a friendly chat with Dee Newton, Our HR Consultant.

e-Learning ‘Bootcamp’ Free Training

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We are excited to have partnered with Training Sensei Bootcamp
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Get your team thinking, boost personal skills and start to make learning part of your organisation’s culture
All you need to do is to visit; https://trainingsensei.com/bootcamp/
& enter the code CRVN984 to take part
Check it out & invite Your Team – what’s not to like folks !

Rethinking Profitability – How SME’s can rebuild after Covid-19

As we emerge out of what is hopefully the last lockdown, employers have important decisions to make on how to reopen the workplace safely.  For many companies, rebuilding means trying to return to pre-COVID levels of business and traditional ways of working.

With many businesses continuing to focus on reducing overheads with a view to returning to normal, pre-COVID-19 levels of profitability in the near future, businesses who champion a strong company culture and invest in their talent will reap the benefits as the post-pandemic recovery continues.

Championing a strong and responsible company culture is no longer a box-ticking exercise – it’s a fundamental part of business growth.

One of the ways SMEs can achieve this is by looking at performance and employee data. Analysing the detail behind the data will often highlight areas where behaviour is impacting costs.

However, that traditional view of improving your financial strength may not be possible at the moment, or it may take too long. To thrive after the pandemic, businesses may need to completely rethink their route back to profitability.

For example, when we look at overheads, all too often some of these are simply viewed as the cost of doing business, with many leaders not realising the positive impact that people management can have on optimising costs and improving profit margins.

Rethinking profitability: How SMEs can rebuild after COVID-19 (globalbankingandfinance.com)

Our HR Consultant Dee Newton, loves working with SME’s to create and build positive cultures; including analytics, continuous improvement and people management strategies. 

Mental Health Awareness Week: 10-16 May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place on 10-16 May 2021 and this year’s theme is nature.

What is Mental Health Awareness Week and why does it matter?

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago. Each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the Week. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

Mental Health Awareness Week is open to everyone. It is all about starting conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it. This year we want as many people as possible – individuals, communities and governments – to think about connecting with nature and how nature can improve our mental health.

However, the Week is also a chance to talk about any aspect of mental health that people want to – regardless of the theme.

What do you actually want people to do during the Week?

The Week is an opportunity for people to talk about all aspects of mental health, with a focus on providing help and advice.

This year we want people to notice nature and try to make a habit of connecting to the nature every day. Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.

We also want people to share images/videos/or just sound recordings of the nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Why was Nature chosen as the theme for the Week?

The theme was chosen because being in nature is known to be an effective way of tackling mental health problems and of protecting our wellbeing.

This seemed particularly important this year – in the year of a pandemic. Our own research has shown that being in nature has been one of the most popular ways the public have tried to sustain good mental health at a challenging time.

Our hope is that by growing awareness of the importance of nature to good mental health – we can also work to ensure that everyone can share in it.

Nature is something that is all around us. It can be really helpful in supporting good mental health. Our ambition is to try to make that connection clearer for both individuals and policy makers.

How do you define Nature?

By “nature” we mean any environment in which we can use our senses to experience the natural world. This could include the countryside, a park or garden, coast, lakes and rivers, wilderness, plants or wildlife closer to home. It could also include nature that you can see or interact with in or from your home.

Aren’t there much more important mental health priorities than nature at the moment?

We are not saying that nature is the only priority that is important. And nature is not going to solve all mental health issues. But connecting with nature can play an important part in improving people’s mental health and make us feel better about ourselves.

During lockdown, nature has played a vital part in supporting mental health. According to our own research, last summer half of people in the UK said that being in nature was a favoured way to cope with the stress of the pandemic.

What about people who can’t access nature?

This will be a key part of the Week. Many people find it hard to access nature because of where they live or because they have no outside space. We will use the Week to launch new policy requests to enable greater access for people to nature. This can include making parks feel safer to use or planting more trees in our streets or asking developers to include plants and green spaces in their designs.

Wellbeing Strategy

“Starting a conversation about mental health doesn’t have to be difficult.” 

For any business, it is important to encourage employees to look after themselves and each other. Healthy, happy staff are more productive, and take less time off work due to sickness. We can help to develop your Wellbeing Strategy including: 

  • Developing a programme of initiatives to promote mental and physical wellbeing
  • Educating employees and managers on topics such as emotional intelligence, resilience and stress management
  • providing pragmatic advice on health and wellbeing issues which impact on the workplace
  • reviewing your working practices to create a supportive culture.

Get in touch with us now to see how we can help you develop your Wellbeing Strategy.