Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Activ People HR expands Partner Network with Counselling, Legal Services & Occupational Health Services

HR software experts Activ People HR have today announced the addition of several new partners to their extremely successful HR Partner network.

New Partners to the programme include:

The new partners will compliment the range of services offered to organisations who use the Activ People HR suite of products, and the company's contribution to the wider HR community continues to be supported by the company's ongoing sponsorship of HR News.

Commercial Director Adrian Lewis explained:

"Our customer base has grown phenomenally over the last 18 months, but software can only go so far towards solving HR challenges.  The Partner Network enables us to join forces with like-minded professionals to give our customers access to a range of trusted, external HR professionals at reasonable rates as and when needed.
Lewis continued:

"It is great to have enthusiastic new partners on board and expand the range of services we can offer - with many partners offering exclusive rates for our customers.  This supports our ethos of continually adding value for our customers, and HR News helps us to add value to the HR community as a whole."

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Getting the best from Activ Absence in Winter

By Richard Hocking, Technical Director

While everyone else is planning Secret Santa, HR are balancing challenges,
not least avoiding staff shortages at busy times.  It’s a perfect time to use the built-in
functions in Activ Absence to their best advantage.  Here’s some ways HR can make best
use of the system in Winter:

Restricting leave on key dates

You may need all hands-on deck, for example in a busy run up to Christmas, during stock-taking or Just to ensure enough staff attend important meetings.   

Activ Absence can help by restricting leave on key dates. This means that if staff try to place a leave request on a restricted day, they are reminded why the day is restricted and asked to give a reason why they are asking for the day off. This information is then sent to the manager to allow them to make the decision.  Here’s how you set it up:

How to restrict leave during Key Dates using Activ Absence:
  1. The setup of restricted days is within the public holiday configurations. 
  2. Add a record for a new public holiday but change the type from Public holiday to the restricted day.
  3. Select the departments you wish to apply the restrictions to and click save. 
The restricted day will then appear on the calendar for all staff members in the departments you have selected.

Remind Employees to take leave
  1. Setup a Trigger Point Notification, select the rule Leave Remaining’ and the number of days e.g. anyone with more than 5 days remaining. 
  2. On the schedule tab select specific date and enter the date you wish the reminder email to be sent. 
  3. On the notifications tab select to send the email to the employee and enter your email reminder message under custom email. 
  4. Now all you need to do is enable the trigger point, click the Details tab and set Enabled to Yes and click save.

Avoid staff shortages due to stock-piled annual leave 

If you are running a January to December leave year you might find the office deserted during December as everyone tries to use up their remaining leave.   

You can help prevent this by using conflict groups & trigger points.

Define Cover Levels Using Conflict Groups

Conflict Groups allow you to define a minimum cover levels as either a number or percentage of employees in the department that must be working at all times.  

Tackling Absentees in Winter

The return to work process will help HR keep a close eye on any absenteeism that strays in during party season, but sending out policy reminders ahead of time can help set the tone early on!.

Users of Activ Handbooks can instantly send out policy updates to your employees, and record their acceptance.  

If you don’t have policies, or if they need updating, our HR Partner Law Firms and HR Consultants will be happy to help.

Overall, there is much HR can do to keep absence under control, even when the weather is cold and the season of sniffles gets underway - and above all else, the Activ Absence support team are here 
to help - call them on 01656 667009.

Friday, 21 October 2016

HR in October - the calm before the perfect storm

My colleague came into work this morning telling me that her car’s warning light for ice had come on during her journey to work, as the temperatures outside hit below 4 degrees.

Looking out of the window you’d never believe it, it’s a beautifully sunny day – but winter is fast approaching, along with the end of the annual leave year. It’s usually the time of year when software providers see an influx of enquiries from businesses keen to get new staff holiday planning and performance review software in place for the new leave year.

 I absolutely recommend anyone thinking about new software for January book a demo now, because getting everyone in the business on board can take longer than you think, and we know from experience that the end of year is a stressful time for HR Managers. October and early November represents the calm before the storm.

Come mid November, in companies where leave can’t be carried forward, staff get the heebie jeebies because they haven’t used all their holiday entitlement. It’s often only absent mindedness rather than deliberate, but nobody wants to lose their annual leave if they can’t carry it over.

They obviously can’t all take time off at the same time, so its a leave request race – and where clashes follow, particularly when there is a ‘no carryover’ policy, the HR Manager is like Solomon, stepping in to try and make as fair a decision as possible without leaving the business short staffed.

It’s a challenging time anyway, for other reasons. HR are often busy dealing with the seasonal fallout that follows a flurry of office parties – workplace scandals, disagreements that get fuelled by alcohol, social media challenges, staff turning up hungover and staff not turning up at all – and trying to find replacement cover at short notice.

As if they already don’t have enough to deal with, ‘flu season kicks in.  You’ll usually find the HR Manager sniffling their way through the day, unable to take time off when they are themselves unwell, because they simply have too much to do!

When they finally settle down in front of their Christmas Dinner, HR managers will have justified every penny of their whole year’s salary in one month, but those who don’t have a system in place will face a bigger horror when they return – the end of year annual leave report.

 All of this adds up to a very stressful period, and one that will be made worse if you’ve left it until December to start booking absence management software demonstrations.

We are here to help, and here to advise our customers – if you want new software for the next annual leave year, contact us before the storm starts to bite, and we’ll do what we can to help make next winter a little less painful.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Exciting news - Activ People HR plans to attend the first All Wales CIPD Conference

The Activ People HR Team are very excited to be invited to attend the very first All Wales CIPD conference this Friday and Saturday in Cardiff, at which the CIPD Chief Executive, Peter Cheese, will be speaking.

There's something about meeting people at conference that always makes attending very special - Adrian Lewis explained:

"Conference for us is about networking, meeting people, forging alliances and friendships, and above all else, understanding the HR profession so we can best meet their needs. For the first time, we can do all of that without needing to travel outside our region - amazing!"

National pride? A little, and rightly so - we're proud of our heritage, our Rugby, and now our HR! We'll look forward to seeing you all on Friday.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Opinion: What can Welsh Companies do to stop employees coming to work sick? - Cardiff Business Week

Opinion: What can Welsh Companies do to stop employees coming to work sick? - Cardiff Business Week: New research of 1,300 employees published by the independent job site, CV Library, has found that two thirds of UK workers turn up at the office when they are sick, despite the fact the majority of them (84.3%) believe that employees shouldn’t come to work unwell. It appears that guilt is the main driving force …