People

Our employment section contains a comprehensive list of business advice articles to help you choose and manage the right staff for your small and medium enterprise. Read on to ensure you create a productive and positive working environment.

A Small Business Guide to Remuneration

A Small Business Guide to Remuneration

The remuneration package is what binds you and your employees together – fail to pitch and fine-tune it correctly, and you will find yourself unable to attract or keep the standard of workers you want and need (no matter how rewarding you think the job is in itself). If you want to employ and maintain the best possible workforce, you must be able to sell the package properly and tailor the rewards to ensure employees stay with you. This guide will help you to calculate what wage to offer, keep in line with minimum wage regulations, organise pay reviews and rewards, and more. How do I know what to pay? Any remuneration package needs to comply with the basic levels of pay set by law – national minimum wage (NMW). NMW currently stands at £3.87 for workers aged 16-17, £5.30 for workers aged 18... »

A Small Business Owners Guide to Using a Consultant

A Small Business Owners Guide to Using a Consultant

Whether for marketing, efficiency or another purpose, bringing a consultant is a necessary part of running any business. Choosing the right consultant is of course crucial, but it is only half the skill of maximising the return on your investment. This article covers how to manage a consultant effectively in order to get the best possible results. What should my objectives be when bringing in a consultant? Clarity is the key word here. If you are not entirely clear about what you want to achieve, it will be difficult to use a consultant effectively. There are many ways you can narrow down your objectives but first start by working out the end goal. Thinking in broad terms, what is it you want? Are you expecting a concrete, tangible output such as an increase in sales, or more ephemeral obj... »

How to Manage Stress in the Workplace

How to Manage Stress in the Workplace

Erroneously considered by some to be part and parcel of modern life, workplace stress is no joke as a business owner; affecting employers and employees alike, stress can lead to poor productivity, bad decisions and a lowering of morale generally. Learning how to recognise and deal with stress and its causes can bring myriad benefits as an employer, so it is important to know how to recognise the tell-tale signs of stress, common causes of it and how to manage it effectively. How important is managing stress? Dealing with stress and its causes effectively is an absolutely crucial skill as an employer, as the consequences of ignoring it can be severe. A 2012 survey carried out by CIPD found that a quarter of employers in the UK said that stress was one of the top five causes of employee abse... »

A Small Business Guide to Employment Contracts

A Small Business Guide to Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are a necessary part of employment for all businesses in the UK, setting out the terms under which you and your employee will be working. So many employers find themselves cobbling together terms from emails and other correspondence, without having any formal written arrangement. Not only is this a real hassle that wastes lots of time, it’s breaking the law. It’s a legal requirement that you provide the written terms of employment to your employee within eight weeks of their start date, giving you a bit of time to ensure everything is correct but also ensuring that everyone is on the same page. So, if you’ve taken on a new employee, what should you do if this is the first you’ve heard about this? First of all, don’t panic. Second, have a read of our guide to make sure ... »

A Small Business Guide to the Maternity Leave Letter

A Small Business Guide to the Maternity Leave Letter

Maternity leave can be a real challenge for any employer, after all they’re facing the loss of what could be a crucial member of their team for potentially a year. Therefore, sweating the small stuff like ensuring the expectant mother understands their rights can sometimes seem like an extra unnecessary hassle, but it’s all part of the process set out in UK law, so there are no excuses. With this in mind, we want to take a weight off your shoulders and give you a helping hand for drafting a model maternity leave letter. We can’t write it for you, after all we don’t know your staff and wouldn’t want you to sound like a robot, but we can give you a good structure to follow all the same. An employee’s maternity leave rights Once they have informed you of th... »

Employment Law and Holidays: What are Workers’ Rights to Time Off?

Employment Law and Holidays: What are Workers’ Rights to Time Off?

Working Time Regulations give all workers the right to paid holidays, irrespective of the hours they work. However, the definition of worker is wider than ‘employees’ and may in fact cover more people than you think. Casual, part-time and even agency workers are included in this description, including people you may label self-employed, for example if they perform work personally and the relationship isn’t a client/customer one (i.e. if they are not genuinely self-employed). Some sectors aren’t covered by Working Time Regulations, but unless you’re a seafaring business or work in civil aviation, I’m afraid you’re going to have to keep reading. So let’s start with entitlements. Each employee is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday pro-rata (that’s 28... »

How to Use Assertiveness to Benefit Your Business

How to Use Assertiveness to Benefit Your Business

Not to be confused with aggressiveness, assertiveness is a valued trait in business; an assertive approach in the right context can lead to more sales, more effective customer service and a stronger business overall. You might think of yourself or your workforce as somewhat shy or lacking in confidence, but there are ways you can examine your approach and become more assertive yourself. This article will give you the low-down on how to increase assertiveness in your business; covering the general principles of assertiveness, techniques for increasing assertiveness, and which aspects of your business could gain the most from assertive people. What is assertiveness? The key to assertiveness is openness; assertive people are seen as honest, trustworthy and frank, whilst not being overly aggre... »

How to Hire a Sales Superstar for Your Small Business

How to Hire a Sales Superstar for Your Small Business

Many business owners and sales managers struggle to identify and hire good salespeople. During the interview, they seem to be perfect, and have excellent experience, but after they start on the job they just never manage to close the deal. This problem is particularly prevalent amongst previously high-performing salespeople from prestigious companies, because they were unaware that the company’s brand was selling itself, with the salesperson acting as a mere order-taker. There is a simple way to uncover the best salespeople, and this is to hire for habits rather than experience. Identify the habits a salesperson needs to succeed in your company, and build a template of what your ideal candidate should look like, and then evaluate each candidate based on their success at each stage of the s... »

How to Use Training Effectively in Your Business

How to Use Training Effectively in Your Business

Training is essential if you are to get the most out of your employees; it can make an average or below-par worker much more effective, and can push high achievers to the limits of their potential. Ongoing training is also important in sustaining your business as a whole. Fail to implement training when it is needed and it can start to undermine your business. From getting employees to understand the ins and outs of an IT system to increasing sales, training is potentially useful in countless areas. This article will provide you with a thorough guide to maximise the effectiveness of training in your business; learn how to identify your needs, decide on objectives, create a specific programme and much more here. How do I figure out my business’ training needs? Focusing on the areas where tr... »

A Guide to the Employment Tribunal Process

A Guide to the Employment Tribunal Process

It is a sad fact of business life that disputes between employees and employers are common. The majority of these disputes will play out at an employment tribunal. Even if you consider your relationship with your employees to be a harmonious one, and consider the likelihood of disputes to be low, it still pays to have a considered strategy for dealing with tribunals. Employment law is increasingly developing in favour of the needs of employees and with awards increasing, being unprepared for tribunals can see you losing out massively. A well-thought out plan will allow you to prepare and present the best possible defence of your actions, and prevent disgruntled employees from taking you to the cleaners. Here we cover the stages of the tribunal process, how to defend a case and prevent a di... »

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