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5 top tips for welcoming new employees to your company

It’s long been said that first impressions count and no more so is that true than when a new employee starts. The first couple of days in a new role can greatly determine not only how the job is done but if they stick around.

It’s natural to sigh with relief when you hire someone new, seeking reassurance that a role has been filled. However, the work doesn’t end there. A good induction should be an integral part of your employment process. Those first few interactions are key in promoting good engagement and high retention rates.

Therefore, with this in mind, Julie Pollock from Consult HR shares her top tips for welcoming employees.

Give them their contract

An offer letter, and contract of employment should be sent out as soon as possible. In fact, a contract of employment is essential and employers can be fined between 2 to 4 weeks pay per employee for failing to have written terms and conditions issued to staff. The contract should include:

  • Details of the position offer, including job title
  • Primary duties and responsibilities that the role includes
  • Details of salary
  • The duration of employment, whether it is permanent or for a fixed period of time
  • Details of any benefits such as holiday entitlement, pension, bonuses, health insurance plans etc
  • Restrictive covenants or a non-compete agreement, stating the employee cannot work for a competitor or start a competing business within a specified time frame, if necessary
  • Reasons and grounds for termination
  • Confidentiality guidelines

Read more about contracts of employment in detail in our blog post here.


Stay in touch

Often, when changing jobs, employees are required to work a notice period, meaning there can be a lengthy gap between them accepting the job and actually starting. This is especially true when filling a new-grad job, with interviews often taking place months in advance. Therefore, it is good practice to stay in touch, to keep them engaged. Inviting the new employee to a team event, is a great way for them to meet the rest of the team ahead of their start date. Or, if you have an internal company newsletter, subscribe them to it so that they can keep up to date with what’s been happening. This is an easy, yet effective way to help them feel a part of the team and excited about starting their new role.

Preparing for day one

Everyone undoubtedly feels nervous on their first day in a new job, but thankfully, with a little preparation, you can make this process as smooth as possible. Ahead of their start date, make sure they have all the necessary equipment available to them such as computer, programmes, a phone etc. Set up an email address and add them to any projects that they will be a part of. Having everything ready in advance means they can hit the ground running. Plus, there won’t be any awkward waiting around for things to be ‘sorted’. First impressions matter and entering a well structured, organised environment is the best possible start you can give a new employee.

Induction

Training is an integral part of a job and investing a little time in this initially goes a long way in ensuring a new employee’s success. Planning a workflow and overseeing tasks for the first week or two is good idea. You should also ensure a thorough induction is carried out. Not only should this involve going through their job description, but introducing them to the team and anyone else they will be working with. Lunchtime on the first day can be overwhelming so arranging a colleague to take care of them will be warmly received.

Policies and procedures

Many businesses are guilty of overlooking this process, dealing only with issues as they arise. However, get things off to a smooth start by explaining terms and conditions of employment, health and safety and policies such as booking annual leave, or what to do if they are sick.

A final note on retaining staff

From my experience, businesses are struggling with skills shortages and in many cases holding on to good staff is a struggle, which compounds the issue even further.

Recruiting good staff is a competitive market, and you need to appeal to those thinking about applying to your vacancy that your business is a good place to work.

Once you have found your ideal employee, you should ensure you hold on to them. Staff will leave and go and work elsewhere if you are not providing them with what they are looking for in a job. We are moving into an era where millennials will make up a high proportion of our workforce; they expect to set their own career path, their loyalty to an employer is lower and they demand regular feedback so employers now need to implement systems that are going to tick these boxes.

Employers need to be more aware of what employees want and what they should do to try and keep them. Gone are the days where employers should expect employees to be thankful they have a job.

If you need help with retaining staff, contracts of employment or new starts, get in touch today. Call Julie on: 078 5808 9006 or email: Julie@consulthr.co.uk

 

 

Are you ready for April’s statutory rates changes?

In just a few weeks, changes to statutory rates will come into effect. So what are these and how can you ensure your company avoids negative publicity for non-compliance? Here, we share the changes you need to know about, plus why 179 companies have been hit with huge fines.

The start of April is when businesses are required by law to adhere to the new statutory pay rates.

The latest list published by the government outlines 179 companies fined for not paying minimum wage to their employees. Global brands such as Wagamama, Marriott Hotels and TGI Friday’s are among the top offenders, while Northern Ireland based businesses Moy Park, Wilson’s Country Limited, QCS Contract Cleaning Ltd and Tayto were also named and shamed. The result of this has seen all 179 companies incur hefty fines, as well as being obliged to compensate workers for their shortfall.

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Wagamama is believed to have failed to pay £133,212 to 2630 workers, while TGI Friday’s owed its staff £59,348.

Reasons for underpayments include failing to pay workers for travelling between jobs, not paying overtime and deducting money for uniforms.

As well as being required by law to pay back the shortfall to employees, the named companies face fines of up to 200% of the wages owed.

Julie Pollock from Consult HR said: “Employers should not underestimate the power of the Government in this area and the compliance officers can commence an investigation and remove information from an employer’s premises with no warning. They have also taken to ‘naming and shaming’ those employers found to be in breach exposing them to negative publicity.”

In Wagamama’s case, the breach came about because the company did not provide a uniform: Wagamama’s gave staff T-shirts that they expected to be worn with a black skirt or trousers. However, by not paying for the additional items, the restaurant breached minimum wage regulations.”

Unpaid breaks, requiring staff to arrive early for their shift and unpaid time spent in meetings could all lead to underpayment of wages.

There are also warnings that employers making deductions from staff for the cost of the Christmas party could also fall foul of the law if these deductions lowered employees’ wages to less than the minimum wage.

Moreover, additional payments such as tips and service charges should not count towards wages.

Back in 2017, Argos topped the list for paying below the minimum wage because staff were expected to attend unpaid briefings and undergo lengthy security checks outside working hours.

Primark and Sports Direct were among 260 UK employers who had been named and shamed by the government for failing to pay the national minimum wage and national living wage.

The key here is to ensure that as a business, you are adhering to the new statutory rates.

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Confused by what exactly this all means? Don’t panic! We’ve laid it all out for you…

The changes are as follows:

National minimum wage

The hourly rate will increase as follows:

  • From £7.05 to £7.38 for 21-24 year olds
  • From £5.60 to £5.90 for 18-20 year olds
  • From £4.05 to £4.20 for 16-17 year olds
  • From £3.50 to £3.70 for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship.

National living wage (for 25 years and over)

The hourly rate will increase from £7.50 to £7.83 for 25s and over.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The weekly rate of SSP increases from £89.35 to £92.05.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

The weekly rate of SMP increases from £140.98 to £145.18.

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)

The weekly rate of SAP increases from £140.98 to £145.18.

Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)

The weekly rate of SPP increases from £140.98 to £145.18.

 Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SShPP)

The weekly rate of SShPP increases from £140.98 to £145.18.

The government takes a ‘no excuse’ approach against companies for failing to pay staff less than minimum wage and ‘ignorance of the law’ will not be an acceptable explanation for non-compliance.

Undertake a review of your working practices and make necessary adjustments to any areas of risk is the advice from Julie Pollock from Consult HR, if you want to avoid penalties and protect your business from reputational damage.

If you need some help with a particular staffing issue, get in touch here today! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook here for the latest HR news and free advice, and leave your name & email address in the comments section below to sign up for our monthly newsletter.