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Posts from October 2017

The term 'onboarding' has been around for a while, but what does it mean? In essence it is the activity or process of integrating a new employee into the organisation. 
 
So why as an employer should you be interested and thinking about onboarding? 
 
Firstly, it improves retention. Recruiting a new employee is costly, more so if it is to replace an employee who has already left. There are many surveys and reports which demonstrate that if onboarding is undertaken well, it makes a new employee more likely to remain with you. Newly hired employees are nearly 60% more likely to still be with you three years later if the onboarding experience is well executed. 
 
Secondly, it increases productivity. There is a study which suggests that 62% of companies saw a faster time to productivity ratios when using an effective onboarding process. 
 
The benefits of effective onboarding are: 
 
• Ensuring compliance with legal requirements 
• Creating an environment the individual wishes to be a part of 
• Faster ramping up of new hires 
• Providing a consistent approach to all new employees to the organisation 
• Ensuring new employees understand the companies purpose; strategic direction; policies and procedures and general logistics of the building/company 
• Better retention of new hires 
 
But when does onboarding start, and when does it finish? There is no right or wrong answer here. Some organisations pride themselves that it begins with the actual advert for the role as it sets out the brand and success of the organisation. For others it is when the interview is complete. However, what is important is that onboarding commences from recruitment through their first day and beyond. 
 
If you would like a review of your onboarding process to ensure that it properly supports the needs your business, then contact us here at Plain Talking HR. We can ensure an effective checklist is in place and support you both before and after a new hire joins you. 
 
Remember also, just giving your new hire the employee handbook to read and sign at the start of employment and never referring to it, or the policies contained within it, again is not a good onboarding approach!  
 
You as an employer are responsible to ensure that staff are up to date and aware of policies which affect them – particularly if they change. Talk to us at Plain Talking HR for innovative and appropriate approaches to ensure your staff are up to date with changing policies and that your risks are managed. 
 
For all your HR advice and support in Luton or anywhere in the UK, look no further than Plain Talking HR. 
Deepawali or Diwali 2017 starts on 19 October and continues for five days. It is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals and is also known as The Festival of Lights. 'Deep' meaning 'light' and avali meaning 'a row' - a row of lights. Diwali for Hindus is a sacred and joyous time of the year, marked by five days of celebration illuminating the country with its brilliance and dazzling all with its joy. 
 
Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama from his fourteen-year-long exile and the vanquishing of the demon-king Ravana. In celebration of the return of their king, the people illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers. Diwali signifies the conquest of evil by good and is all about giving, forgiving, bringing light to darkness and unifying us with our fellow beings. 
 
For most Hindus in the UK, it is still THE festival. As important as Christmas is for Christians. Diwali is a time to be with family and friends, have good food, wear new clothes, exchange presents and cards, say prayers and most of all enjoy being with your loved ones. 
 
Here at Plain Talking HR we celebrated Diwali with some delicious Nankathai baked especially for us by Zaibun from Creative Bakes in Luton. For all your HR advice and support whether in Luton or anywhere in the UK, look no further than Plain Talking HR. 
10 October 2017 was World Mental Health Day. We learned that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives. As employers, it is vital we understand what mental health is, how to promote positive mental health in the workplace and how to support an employee experiencing mental ill health.  
 
The World Health Organisation define mental health as "... a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community." When we have positive mental health we can normally handle the ups and downs of everyday life, interact positively with others, feel confident about ourselves and engage productively with the world. 
 
Mental ill health can affect our thoughts and feelings and change how we see the world. Symptoms range from feeling a bit down, thoughts or feelings that are difficult to deal with, through more common issues like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, to more serious illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. 
 
In many cases, people's mental health problems are only temporary. However, some people suffer severe and eduring mental ill health that requires long term treatment. Either way, it's important that employers understand mental health, what it is and what it is not, how to spot mental ill health and how to manage someone experiencing it. 
 
ACAS have recently published comprehensive and pratical guidance on mental health for employers, which can be found on their website (directs you to an external site). 
 
If you would like to find out more on promoting positive mental health in the workplace, training managers and staff about mental health or making changes in the workplace to avoid causing mental ill health, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. For all your HR advice and support whether in Luton or anywhere in the UK, look no further than Plain Talking HR.