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Julie Page HR Ltd – Newsletter January 2013

As this New Year begins, we continue to be working in difficult times which seem likely to remain for some time. Managers and employees continue to work longer hours, continue to be more stressed and feel anxious about the future, especially in terms of job security and their financial stability. There also seems to be a general lack of confidence in leadership and a need for those in positions of authority to inspire trust.

For employers, good work:

  • is productive and efficient
  • involves and engages employees, and
  • encourages them to contribute to the success of the business.

For employees, ‘good work’ means having:

  • a secure and interesting job
  • choice, flexibility and control
  • a say in decisions that affect them, and
  • an appropriate balance between effort and reward.

To maintain and retain success throughout 2013 I believe there are 4 ‘HR related topics’ that are relevant and pertinent in today’s business climate: - Reward and Recognition, Engagement, Flexible Working and Resourcing.

Human Resources best advice

1, Reward and Recognition

There have been many stories recently about executive pay and bank bonuses; such topics are heated and open to much debate and it is clear that business owners do need to think about the most effective way of rewarding their employees in different ways.  This does not mean that employees are only ever interested in a salary increase! There are many other diverse ways of rewarding and recognising employee contribution and performance.  Think laterally about how to improve your employee’s work life – maybe through additional services or benefits such as emergency care solutions, private medicals or wellbeing solutions. There is also the Pension contribution your company makes, again a topical issue and one which will increase in relevance during future years.  

A ‘win-win’ is improving the quality of working life for the employee without seriously affecting the bottom line of the employer........

2, Employee Engagement

This is a different challenge but still relevant to the ‘pay and bonus’ debate. How do companies keep employees committed and engaged without the promise of more money? One significant technique is for you, as ‘the Employer’, to actively listen to your employees and then act appropriately to their feedback. However, individual attention or different groups of employees will be more meaningful than a collective mass of employees.

For example, how do employees of different ages feel about the company, does this change in line with level of seniority and, if so, how? Such data may well raise some interesting issues that you will not get from a general company survey.

Remember, employee engagement will only be meaningful IF you have full management commitment and support from the top AND it will only be meaningful IF you actively act on the results and don’t let them gather dust on a shelf......

3, Flexible Working

flexible working

Last summer the Olympic Games allowed many companies across London to offer more flexible working arrangements so their employees could cope with the challenges of travel and Olympic fever. As this was a success, these companies once more are asking how they can continue to offer flexible working options. Why would they only wish to deliver this option to employees last summer if the infrastructure is now there for the future? Work can be completed in a meaningful, profitable way outside of the office. Therefore for those companies who can see the advantages of home working, it needs to be a serious consideration for property cost reductions and business continuity solutions. Enabling employees to work differently, with different premises requirements and infrastructure will allow you to move to a business led priority.

This clearly is only relevant IF the Business Model allows it; BUT please do give it due consideration as the benefits to both employee morale and productivity can be very genuine and valid....

4, Resourcing

It is sensible for Companies who are ‘right sizing’ their organisation to consider different and innovative ways to achieve this other than just ‘redundancy’.  We all know what a negative word ‘redundancy’ is. It can be easy to produce quick results in terms of employee headcount reduction but equally it can cause more long term issues for employee engagement, motivation and security. Therefore Employers should consider other ways of  ‘right sizing’ such as offering employees a reduction to their working week, offering career breaks, extra unpaid holiday and/or sabbaticals. Equally, the more ‘you’ the Employer involve ‘them’, the employees, the more you may be surprised at their contribution in terms of realistic and effective solutions to the business problems.  Such ideas may deliver against your immediate requirements and keep your Company ready for growth in the future.

Remember, IF you don’t ask, you will never know..........

To summarise, I hope I have given you ‘food for thought’ for this New Year ahead and hope that I can continue to work with you throughout this year to show you how ‘Julie Page HR’ can work effectively in partnership with businesses to make a real difference.


Julie Page, an experienced HR & Training Specialist, works with companies of all sizes to ensure they utilise Employment Legislation, Best Practice and their own Aims and Objectives to maximise their Business Potential through their Staff. 

To find out more about the contents of this Newsletter or ways in which Julie can work with you for your HR and staffing requirements, please contact her on 07776 135350 or through this website for an initial discussion and free consultation.

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