With a wealth of recruiting experience, Bournemouth Employment Ladder is perfectly placed to give you expert advice when it comes to matching the right person with the right job.
Our knowledge covers many professional disciplines, across the public and private sectors including how to
Hold effective job appraisals
Learn the art of delegation
Make the most of CV’s
Get on better with your boss
Bring together a disjointed team
Cope with stress in the workplace
Make flexible working pay off
Reduce absenteeism at work
Survive changing times at work
Deal with a counter offer
We can also help with
Preparing job and person specifications
Writing offer letters
Should you require any further assistance, we will always be on hand to help you.
Make the most of staff appraisals
It is important to hold regular staff appraisals even if you have just one employee.
They do not have to be intimidating or formal affairs, but they do have to be clear and well thought-out. Ideally, staff should be appraised every six months.
From your point of view, you can use appraisals to tell your staff how you think they are doing. If you are pleased with their performance you can use the opportunity to reinforce their behaviour through encouragement and reward.
If you are not satisfied with their performance you can use the opportunity to help them understand where there is room for improvement and suggest ways in which they might accomplish this improvement.
Be specific. No one likes being told, 'Well, I just think you need to get your act together generally.'
From the employee's point of view an appraisal provides an opportunity to discuss their future with your organization and to raise any issues that might concern them.
It also allows them to vent any frustrations they might be feeling.
Don't be frightened to give them the space to let off some steam. Listen sincerely and objectively to what they say and note any points you think are valid for future action.
Article courtesy of England & Company, 7 & 8 Church Street, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1JH
Measuring employee effectiveness
If you want to improve your profitability you need to measure employee performance regularly, using effective standards of measurement.
Some activity, such as production work, is relatively easy to measure, but other activities are not. How do you measure the effectiveness of your secretarial or accounting staff, your graphic designer, or your IT manager? One way is to agree performance standards or quality of service criteria with them and review these on a regular basis. When setting such standards, however, bear in mind that inefficiencies in these areas often arise from not working smartly rather than not working hard.
Whoever you are measuring, it is important to consider quality as well as quantity. A production line worker might be achieving high output figures but skimping on quality, a secretary might spend hours filing but have an inefficient system, and a firm partner might be clocking up chargeable hours but producing little in the way of client satisfaction. Performance statistics are not much use if they conceal inefficiencies that will reflect badly on the bottom line in the future.
Always keep an eye on profitability. Again, a production line worker's high output figures do not mean much if the goods he or she is producing are stacking up in the warehouse, a salesperson's figures are worth little if he or she is selling at narrow margins, and a partner's workload is not so impressive if he or she is concentrating on low value clients. You need to be smart to be profitable.
Get your best staff involved in training
In today's flexible job market, workers move between jobs with increasing regularity, changing roles and even vocations in the pursuit of new challenges and fresh opportunities. This can pose a problem for small businesses that can ill afford to lose key members of staff. Involving key staff in training can boost their sense of worth within the organisation, and may increase their commitment to the company. It can also serve to inspire others, as they see positive contributions being acknowledged and rewarded. At the same time, involving your best staff in training also ensures that they impart their skills and knowledge to others. As the trainees start to acquire some of the knowledge and skills of the star employee, you gradually lessen your dependence on a few key staff members and as a result boost your overall, long-term productivity. So if your star employee does decide to move on to pastures new, other staff will be able to step into their shoes. Article courtesy of England & Company, 7 & 8 Church Street, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1JH
Managing your most valuable assets - your employees
No matter how much cash you have in the bank or how large your stock is, your company's most valuable assets will always be your employees. The investment spent on staff and their training makes the difference between a mediocre business and a truly successful one. You can boost customer satisfaction simply by taking a few steps to improve employee satisfaction. Here are some suggestions.
Match job skills with personnel
When it comes to recruiting, some businesses think it sufficient to fill positions with adequate individuals and then train them to the level they require. But this method is neither efficient nor effective. It is important to match job skills with personnel, and to do so with the aim of accomplishing future goals, not just fulfilling present needs.
This is a two-step process:
1.Develop job criteria - Decide exactly what skills or training you want for each position. For example, a warehouse worker does not need the mathematical skills of someone in the accounts department, but he or she does need training to use a forklift. Match departmental goals to individual jobs.
2.Create a rating scale - Set the desired level of achievement for each criterion. Establish minimum levels of performance and a desired level that is high enough to achieve your company's goals. You can define levels using numeric ratings (eg 1-10) or alphabetical grading (A,B,C etc).
After you have defined each position and set the skills and performance that you require, you can evaluate your current staff accordingly - but be careful not to give the impression you are watching over them 'Big Brother' style.
Reward your employees
Added incentives and bonus structures can improve employee satisfaction, establish goals for each individual, and motivate them to work together to achieve those goals.
You do not need to give substantial bonuses to reward individual achievement. Generally, employees will find value in other, less costly rewards, such as more paid holiday, or recognition of achievement in front of the other staff.
If you take time to invest in your company's intangible assets - your employees - you will increase the value of your tangible assets.
Commit to your plans by tracking your ratings on a yearly or twice-yearly basis. This will enable you to evaluate the company's progress and help you determine appropriate promotions, raises or even terminations.
Remember, your staff are your most valuable resource. Treat them as such, and your business will prosper.
Article courtesy of England & Company, 7 & 8 Church Street, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1JH
Dealing with employee absence
Over two million people are reported to suffer from an illness which they believe was caused by or made worse by their current or past work. 35 million working days are lost every year (1.5 days per worker), 28 million due to work-related ill health and seven million due to workplace injury. Employee absences are both costly and disruptive. In any year, workplace absence typically averages 8.1 days per employee at a cost of £850 to the employer. Multiply this figure by the number of staff in your company, and take into account the disruption and lost work caused by other employees having to cover for absent colleagues, and you can see that absenteeism is a significant factor in damaging your profits. Here are some practical steps to take.
Track the problem
Can you identify any particular problem areas? Are there patterns of absence? Does a particular department or employee have a below average record? A
Focus on morale
Unhappy staff are more likely to take time off. A financial incentive for low absence is one solution but creating a friendly environment, where staff feel valued as part of a team and where flexible, family friendly policies are in place is likely to prove more effective at keeping absenteeism to a minimum.
Support sick employees
Long-term sickness must be handled sensitively. An employee's permission must be sought and given before applying for a medical report. Establish whether you should keep in touch so that the employee doesn't feel isolated. Consider referring them to an occupational health specialist. This can identify ways of helping them return to work and give you an indication of how long the absence is likely to last.
Have a clear policy - and enforce it
Make sure staff are well informed regarding sickness policy and procedures and that these are seen to be followed, and keep accurate records.
It is sensible to ensure that employers are aware of the right to request an independent medical assessment in the event of an employee taking substantial numbers of days off work. When recruiting you could check a potential employee's attendance record with their previous employer, and you may consider requiring all prospective staff to undergo a medical examination. Make it company policy always to carry out a return to work interview. This may just let the employee know that their contribution was missed, or it could help identify underlying problems that will affect your management strategy. It may also deter staff from feigning illness. Remember that disciplinary action for unacceptable absence must be distinguished from capability procedures related to illness. Employers need to be aware of the full range of conditions which come under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. In this case, reasonable adjustments must be made to help the employee return to work. Employee absence is a serious issue for most small businesses, but there are steps you can take to minimise its impact. However, we recommend that you take professional advice before altering contracts or terms and conditions of employment. Article courtesy of England & Company, 7 & 8 Church Street, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1JH