What’s the Problem? 5 Questions to ask an Underperforming Employee

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We all have days like this at work!

One of the most challenging tasks for any manager is how to handle employee underperformance.  This could be a general team issue where the whole group seems to be demotivated and underperforming.  More likely, however, the issue will relate to one or maybe two particular individuals.

Difficult Conversations at Work

Most managers would prefer not to have to sit down and have what can potentially be a difficult and even emotional conversation.  In this vein, the usual starting point is to try and rationalise the individual’s behaviour, and work out why they are underperforming.   Continue reading “What’s the Problem? 5 Questions to ask an Underperforming Employee”

Flexible Friendly?

The term ‘flexible working’ encompasses the range of non-9 to 5 hours including: working from home, part-time work, and job-sharing.  

From June 2014, any employee with more than 26 weeks continuous employment has been able to make a request for flexible working.  Further, The Labour Party have recently said that they intend to make flexible working a right for all employees.

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The Bedroom:  The Office of the Future?

There is more than one theory to origins of the 9 – 5 working day concept.  The one I like is reformer, Robert Owen’s, concept of, “Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest”,  as the most productive state for the working man.  Hence, in theory, we work from 9 – 5, and sleep and play during the other 16 hours of the day.   Now as anyone who has clicked the link will see, Mr Owen wrote this back during the 1800s. At this time we were talking mostly about factory and labour intensive work which also relied upon daylight hours.  Now, as the job market continues to develop, and we spend more and more of our working lives online, there is a creeping acceptance that remote working is the future one way or another.  Yet, there is still a resistance to the idea of employees not being physically present in the office. Continue reading “Flexible Friendly?”

Acting on Disability, Equality, and Autism – how does the law help?

A quick look at both the Equality Act and the Autism Act and how they support people with autism.

Most of us who work with people in any capacity will be familiar on some level with the Equality Act 2010 or the earlier Disability Discrimination Act 1995 which the Equality Act replaced.  But did you also know that there is a full piece of legislation devoted specifically to autism?  It’s the Autism Act 2009.

I am going to take a quick look at both the Equality Act and the Autism Acts to see how they help support people with autism. Continue reading “Acting on Disability, Equality, and Autism – how does the law help?”

Help! What do I do with Unpaid Workers?

8 Strategies for Successfully Managing Volunteers

Whatever you choose to call them – volunteers, interns, work experience students, or helpers – at some point most organisations will have unpaid workers on the premises and need to think about volunteer management. For example:

  • Schools – parent helpers on trips out or special events such as school discos.
  • Religious organisations – the ladies and gentlemen who help out at the refectory after service and tidy the place of worship.
  • Youth organisations – your child’s Saturday morning football or coach or match referee, or their Sunday School leaders.
  • And most businesses these days will provide work experience and internships for people interested in a new career, with some choosing to utilise their services more than others.

Continue reading “Help! What do I do with Unpaid Workers?”

Banter, Banana Peel, and Snowflakes

The Shifting Sands of Employee Expectation

If you saw the news this weekend you will know about the incident involving football player, Raheem Sterling, at Saturday’s Chelsea v Manchester City game.   The monstrous footage shows a group of middle aged men, faces contorted in anger and hate, screaming alleged racial abuse at the young player.  Sterling, 24 (Saturday was his birthday), has been widely praised for his calm and professional conduct during it all.  He has said, “I just had to laugh at the abuse – I didn’t expect any better.” 
Continue reading “Banter, Banana Peel, and Snowflakes”

The Brexit Countdown – What Might Happen in the Workplace next Year?

british_and_eu_flagsThe UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29th March 2019.  Currently, most employment contracts incorporate a fair amount of EU based law such as the Working Time Regulations, and holiday, and sickness and absence procedures.  Should employers rush to redraft their contracts in readiness for next March?  Here is a very quick look at what I am speculating might change post-Brexit. Continue reading “The Brexit Countdown – What Might Happen in the Workplace next Year?”

7 things which may surprise you about Zero Hours Contracts

Most zero hours contracts will give staff ‘worker’ employment status.  This means they have the same workplace rights as regular employees although any break in continuous employment may affect these. Zero Hours Workers (‘ZHWs’) are usually entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage, holiday pay, and reimbursement for e.g. work related travel in the same way that regular employees would be. Continue reading “7 things which may surprise you about Zero Hours Contracts”

Egos and Expectations – can HR teach the England Football Manager about Running a Team

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Can Gareth Southgate do the impossible this year?

The  job of the England football manager is sometimes referred to as ‘The Impossible Job’.  Football managing careers usually end in failure.  In the memorable words of words of  Howard Wilkinson (former Leeds United manager) ‘there are two types of manager, those who have been sacked and those who will be sacked in the future’. Continue reading “Egos and Expectations – can HR teach the England Football Manager about Running a Team”

So what can we learn from Pimlico Plumbers’ mistakes?

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, in conjunction with last year’s Uber matter, continues to create confusion for employers as to the exact status of the people they hire.

Gary Smith, a plumber paid by the company, took Pimlico Plumbers to a court in a matter which ultimately ended up in the Supreme Court arguing that he was a worker and not self-employed – which Pimlico Plumbers had tried to assert – and therefore was entitled to certain employment rights including sick pay and holiday pay. Continue reading “So what can we learn from Pimlico Plumbers’ mistakes?”

What is ‘Employee Relations’?

and what’s the difference between employee relations and employment law?

Very simply, the term ’employee relations’ usually refers to how a business manages the relationship between staff and management.  A business with a good ER focus provides fair and consistent treatment which produces a positive and committed attitude to work.  Crucially, businesses with good ER are far more likely to nip any potential misunderstandings or disagreements in the bud and address them before they become problems. Continue reading “What is ‘Employee Relations’?”