Friday, 19 August 2016

Rewarding Core Values Improves Company Performance | Psych Central News

Rewarding Core Values Improves Company Performance | Psych Central News:

New research suggests employee performance evaluations should include recognition for those who epitomize company values such as honesty and respect to others.

Baylor University researchers believe employees should be rewarded for 'walking the walk' as the internal recognition sends the right signal to employees. They believe supporting the link between company values and employee actions will help to reduce turnover and can improve performance. The management strategy is consistent with the declaration and promotion of company values such as honesty and respect. Recognizing individual actions that represent company values is being championed by public relations, marketing, and human resources departments in prominent companies, researchers discovered. Building a business reputation from the inside out -- with employees giving a company high marks as an ethical place to work -- is increasingly being hailed as a way to get a leg up on the competition, right alongside customer service.. read more

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Parents want workplace flexibility, not just shared parental leave, says Lewis

Over a year on from the introduction of the right to Shared Parental Leave new research has revealed that only around two per cent of fathers are taking this up.

Law firm EMW released figures this week that show that just 3,000 couples were taking up the new rights during the first three months of this year, compared with 155,000 mothers on old-style maternity leave and 52,000 of fathers on paternity leave.

Adrian Lewis, Director at Activ Absence said he wasn’t surprised by these figures as many

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Flexible working boosts performance – so why aren’t we promoting it?

Activ Commercial Director Adrian Lewis has written the following guest blog for HR News:

Flexible working boosts performance – so why aren’t we promoting it?

"I love using spreadsheets!" said no HR Manager, ever!

How do you manage your staff sickness absence and staff holiday planning?

Many organisations still use time-consuming spreadsheets and paper forms, but they are rarely popular with the people who use them everyday, because they are prone to human error and result in a lot of telephone and email interruptions for the HR team.

Bridgend-based software provider Activ People HR have come up with an easy-to-use alternative, which saves time and money and provides managers with an instant overview of the whole team.

Activ Absence enables HR and line managers to keep track of sickness absence and staff holiday. Sickness absence is costing UK businesses £29 billion a year, and whether down to absenteeism (sickies), unofficial “duvet days” or genuine sickness, these absences can have a massive impact on your business.  Activ Absence supports your HR policies, reduces absenteeism and improves staff engagement.

Activ Absence runs on a web browser, so it can be accessed on any device with an internet connection.  It tracks, records and manages sickness absence and identifies patterns of sickness.  For example, it can report on who typically takes Mondays and Fridays off.

HR Managers have access to detailed real time reports that identify patterns both across the team and in individual employees – they can then offer targeted support and prioritise their wellness initiatives accordingly.

Although reports can be run with one click, they can also be set to run automatically and email managers on a given schedule if preferred.  Built in trigger points can be configured to suit your policies and will then automatically alert HR or line managers when action or a review is necessary. The system has been shown to reduce absenteeism by 20-30%.

Activ Absence also handles staff holiday planning, study leave and parental leave brilliantly, reducing pressure on line managers and HR.  The dashboard can be configured to show at-a-glance appropriate information for different levels of staff, including managers, and can show overall leave by individual, department, team or company.  Individual Bradford Factor scores are calculated automatically (though this can be disabled if desired).

Employees find the software useful - they can see their own sickness information; they may perceive that they 'only take the odd day', and that no-one really notices,  Activ Absence can quickly dispel any illusions!

However, it is the staff holiday planning features that really engage employees.  Staff can login on any device (even a smartphone) anytime, anywhere and can check how much annual leave they have left, (and who else in their section or skillset has already booked the dates they want, as many companies have a policy of limiting numbers being on leave at any one time.)   They can then send their holiday request to HR with just one click – even from the travel agents!

Managers will see relevant department planning information when the request is received, enabling them to make a quick decision to accept or reject the request with one click.
Another popular feature is a trigger to remind people to use up their annual leave entitlement, avoiding a build-up of leave at the end of the year.

Activ Absence is highly flexible, and can be configured to suit your requirements.  Being part of Activ People HR also offers the ability to add extra HR functions if needed.  Activ Documents allows you to keep track of employee documents, such as your drivers’ licences, ensuring they are up to date.  Activ Appraisals offers a complete system for delivering feedback and setting staff goals, and Activ Handbook automates your staff policy handbook, distributing documents at the touch of a button, and recording receipt.

The company are thrilled to have been nominated in the South Wales Business Awards for Technology and Innovation and also for the Business of the Year.

For more information about Activ Absence or Activ People HR, please visit the web sites, and, or telephone on 01656 750858

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

As the summer holidays start, is your staff holiday planning up to scratch?

staff holiday planning, flexible working, absence management
As the little ones break up and staff with families are set to head for warmer climates, there's a lot of tension in the air.   Employers have probably noticed their staff eyeing currency movements with anxious eyes, keen to get the best deal as the pound bounces up and down in line with the latest dire predictions.

You could be forgiven for thinking that fears about business performance and the need to make a profit have been replaced by bigger fears about economic concerns as the UK sits in a post-brexit shock.

That said, despite the extra concerns, the usual holiday worries still exist.  Your staff will still need to plan their holiday spending, make sure they have passports and visas, and make sure they pack enough sunscreen -a lesson one of our staff members learned the hard way earlier this year!  The world may be more uncertain, but the basics haven't changed.

It's the same for businesses - the issues that were affecting UK businesses before the brexit decision and recent terror attacks have not gone anywhere and UK businesses still need to tackle them, if anything the new period of economic uncertainty makes tackling them even more critical.

Making adequate staff holiday planning arrangements is still a massive issue for the UK, with even huge businesses relying on spreadsheets, wall planners and paper forms to manage annual leave.

This inevitably leads to staff holiday clashes, frustration, stressed co-workers and often a big agency bill to cover the leave.

The HR Manager overseeing the process often finds themselves asked to make judgement calls on who can take annual leave, when, often with the wisdom of solomon.  They can find themselves constantly interrupted with annual leave queries and berated by angry staff if they feel a decision is unfair.

It doesn't have to be like that.  Simply changing the staff holiday management process to one using the latest online technology saves businesses time and money, and staff are often enthusiastic about the technology because they can request leave anywhere, even at weekends, on their smartphones.

One leading provider, Activ Absence, also uses the same technology to manage sick leave, enabling managers to plan staff holiday, tackle absenteeism and improve staff engagement all at the same time with one handy online application.

Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director explained how it works:

“With our online system, staff see their own leave entitlement and can request leave in 2 clicks from any device, even a smartphone, and their line manager, who can see who else is off at that time in the email, approves or rejects an annual leave request in one click. Staff love it, and it's visibly fair.

"We use the same module to manage sickness absence, with a return to work process built in, and users have the option to add on an appraisals and training system, automated staff handbook and document management system.   Staff love how easy it is to use and managers enjoy the simplicity.

"Finance managers, on the other hand, are mostly impressed with the cost savings against a manual system, which are an unexpected side-benefit for most businesses."

Users of the system include one of the UK's largest travel businesses, creative teams, recruitment agencies, NHS teams, charities, schools, local councils, engineering companies and financial institutions.  Users seem full of praise:

“Activ Absence has transformed the way we manage holiday & sickness absence.  It has freed up my time dramatically and is a very welcome addition to our company."
Heather Turner, HR Manager, William Turner & Son

Lewis says the system will work for any organisation:
"We recommend the system for organisations with 40-4000 staff, although in practice we have organisations ranging from 3-5000 staff using the system, in over 30 countries worldwide, with different leave allowances calculated for each country."
In a post-brexit climate, fraught with economic concerns, whilst we are far from business as usual, Europe or not, there is never a bad time to look at improving business processes.

Staff holiday planning sounds a good place to start.