Along with so many others, we have reported on how Covid-19 has challenged and changed businesses not just in the UK but globally, some of the changes are most certainly for the better many will say, some are still hesitant, and many downright refusing to acknowledge how new ways of working can work for them.
Any business worth caring about would have implemented flexible and or home working during Covid-19, this would have been in some way at the very least? perhaps, you would be surprised how many did NOT.
Let’s now fast forward 2 years and we now find ourselves with a shift in the way businesses operate, this includes, more flexible, working from home, remote working, and hybrid working models, these are heralded ‘new ways of working’.
The shift was a desperate need or not? It is an interesting subject matter and one that we deal with daily, we advise, support, and manage businesses with these matters, it is safe to say there is not a one size fits all approach, as a business you should really be looking to the future, your internal systems, policies, and processes, importantly what your teams want and your culture. You should do this by carrying out a review, today we take a look at how you can do this and perhaps how here at HR and You Ltd we can help you.
Planning & Optimisation
Any decisions you make require team management and planning, you will need accurate information in real-time.
Regardless of how you have previously managed, have done during the pandemic, it is extremely difficult to manage your team effectively without having detailed information on each individual’s time & attendance (T&A), absences/sickness, and rota management; in addition, activities, skills, conduct, and performance.
We know that planning is crucial in business, we offer an intuitive HR software solution that provides you with the opportunity to plan, manage and optimise your team in any condition, this software allows you to automate processes seamlessly and effectively.
You should consider your business model, we know that for some, or some areas of your business it may not be feasible to work from home, offer remote working, this may be for engineers out on the road every day, in retail, etc, this doesn’t mean you cannot offer options to teams in your office, you should also consider flexible working , as this is a statutory right, failing to do so could lead to a tribunal claim.
Flexible working requests should be managed in your business, you should do this using an application process, do not worry we can help you along the way.
You should consider and plan for all 4 options, once you have done so you should draft and implement your policies and processes, and you should communicate with your team as soon as possible by doing so they will not just understand their options, but also what the outcome could be.
Managing new ways of working
We know from experience that long before the pandemic businesses were realising the benefits of flexible, remote, and home working, it was not new before Covid-19. The benefits to businesses include:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced absence levels
- Lower attrition rates
- Talent attraction
- Reduced overheads
Having a great HR software system in place which is automated will provide you with the opportunity to not just record hours but to manage planned and unplanned absences.
Your team have the access to manage their own time and in teal time, long gone will be the need for paper, spreadsheets, and manual processes, everything will be automated, this will reduce time wasted, most certainly eliminates errors, and reduces time spent on administration.
Your team have the access on PC, Laptops, Mobiles, and or devices, it really is that simple, we have and do face resistance as some employers feel they need to retain ‘paper records’, quite simply your records are stored electronically and this is legally compliant, in fact, the data safer than paper-based filing.
It really will give your team control
We are finding that the most successful businesses we work with and many that have embraced the 4 options during the pandemic were the ones that either gave their teams control or are now doing so. It is important to listen to your team, they really are your ambassadors, and you have a duty of service them as you do your clients and customers.
It is only once businesses realise that their internal teams drive their business forward that they will begin to foster a culture of empowered, engaged, and motivated individuals who are more satisfied, productive, and loyal.
There are businesses that are working harder, not smarter, and we know that this may be in areas such as well-being, whilst doing so they are missing out on the fundamentals that are required in their business, ultimately in time their teams will vote with their feet and move on. Forget discussions focused on fluff, which means nothing but words, businesses need to act on their words.
How health and safety can make an impact
It goes without saying that the pandemic has shown us in business the need to manage and mitigate risk, never has the Health and Safety of your team been more important, adopting new ways of working was and for some still will be challenging, businesses will need to assess the risks, but…
Health and Safety must be about people first and foremost, not just about what is written above, if that is all it means then the risk will still exist.
Planning and management are crucial, we offer you the tools and the flexibility to do so, the system we use has the tools to ensure you can optimise shift patterns and rotas, these can manage your health and safety requirements, procedures, and of course regulations.
The system can provide information such as:
- Where your team members are working at any given time;
- When your team members are working;
- Who your team have had contact with during their shift;
- If they are absent – the reason for the absence, also you can find out if this is Covid related;
- If your team members have any underlying health conditions, you can identify these; and
- Both parties will be notified that they need a return-to-work interview.
You can add exclusions (protected characteristics) add triggers for absence and set review periods to manage team members. The system can provide you with an efficient and effective way to manage your team.
Once again health and safety is about your team, understanding their wants, their needs, not ticking boxes to achieve compliance, it is crucial that this is achieved in this area, whilst many in this arena may disagree, the pandemic has thrown up many curveballs, HR plays an important in fact pivotal role in this area and one that can no longer be overlooked, it is also true that health and safety must play a more proactive role with teams, bring out the best in them and help foster the culture that is needed in your business.
How HR supports you
Let’s say you have not done so already, or even if you have, what policies and or processes have you introduced, it is safe to say that during the pandemic we noted a dramatic rise in tribunal cases.
Whilst not to use scare tactics, businesses need to consider and plan for the future, we advocate for a stringent approach when managing HR in any business and of any size, we know all too well the cost to employers, at the very minimum businesses, must have the basics in place and from that we would then suggest a good HR Outsourced provider to offer support along the way.
The bare minimum policies and procedures for new ways of working, health, and safety should be introduced as soon as possible, whether this is as a support mechanism to the HR and Health and Safety functions.
While this article has given you enough of an overview of flexible, home remote, and hybrid working models to help you understand what they are and the processes involved, they can be complex topics, it is impossible to cover every aspect of them in a single news post. However, if you are curious to learn more, the knowledge gained in this post will be a good point for learning more info about the topics.
If you want to discuss any of the areas further, that being flexible working, the application process, acceptance and or refusals of them, you need any assistance with home, remote working, or hybrid models and how they work please do contact us, we can then support through the process.
We offer our HR Software system and are more than happy to discuss this with you, this can be offered as a free trial should you wish. At HR and You are experienced in our understanding of Employment Law and would be happy to help your business handle the period of change. Do not hesitate to contact us via email, [email protected], or phone, 0333 006 9489, for a no-obligation chat to find out whether our services are right for you.
This article contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.
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