Employees still don’t feel mental health issues get enough support at work.

Employers should take more preventative steps to promote good employee mental well-being, encouraging a culture of openness and provide training to managers to help support and signpost employees.  Investing in preventative measures, as well as building an open and supportive culture within the Company around mental health, could help to enhance people’s mental well-being.

The top 5 ways that employers can help provide support to their employees at work, include: –

1. Phased Return to Work Programmes

2. Access to Flexible Working

3. Access to Occupational Health Services

4. Access to Counselling Services

5. Access to an Employee Assistance Programme

There are several types of support that are not rarely provided, such as: –

1. Resilience or mindfulness training for employees;

2. Training for line managers in managing and supporting people with mental health problems;

3. Having mental health champions to raise awareness of the importance of mental health at work and the support available.

Employers should consider implementing these more preventative types of steps to promote good mental health, as well as reactive approaches that come into play when people are already experiencing poor mental health.

Probationary periods are not a legal requirement but are a useful tool for employers to assess the suitability of new recruits and identify additional training requirements.  The following tips set out how to implement them effectively:

1. Determine the length of probationary period.  It should be long enough to allow you to determine an employee’s suitability for the role so the length of time may depend on the complexities of the role.  Periods of either 3 or 6 months are fairly standard.

2. Set out required standards and timescales with the new employee from the outset so that they are clear on what they need to achieve.

3. Have regular one to ones with the new employee to review performance and identify any additional training needs, two way communication is key during probationary periods.

4. If there are issues address them as soon as possible in order to keep the employee’s performance and training on track.

5. Just before the end of the probationary period arrange a probationary review meeting.  If required standards have been met inform the employee that they have passed their probationary period and confirm it in writing.

6. If an employee is not reaching required standards then a probationary extension may be considered but this should only be for a limited time, 3 months maximum.  Again this should be done before the end of the probationary period. 

7. If it is clear that a new employee is not reaching the required standards and they have been given all the necessary training and coaching then it is advisable to terminate before the end of the probationary period.  Ensure that a fair dismissal procedure is followed clearly outlining the reasons for dismissal.

As the UK enters a prolonged period of uncertainty after the Brexit vote, it is important for HR to be proactive in our approach to managing potential conflict.  This may arise from differing opinions, job uncertainty and indeed the impact to, or racial harassment of EU workers who are employed by so many companies.  Here are our top 5 tips to having a robust system in place that can help to minimise conflict in the workplace:

1. Be honest, open and upfront with staff about how the Brexit vote may affect your business and individuals

2. Remind staff to respect each other’s opinions and political views and not allow their feelings to affect their work or relationships with colleagues

3. Ensure you have robust policies in place with regards to bullying and harassment and equal opportunities and role these out to employees to emphasise that these behaviours will not be tolerated

4. Take swift action, formally if necessary, where any employee displays unfavourable or unacceptable behaviour towards another employee and do not dampen down situations as being ‘banter’ or political discourse

5. Develop managers skills in managing potential conflict and increase their awareness of being pro-active and more vigilant in spotting any unrest between employees

Hiring the right employee is a challenging process. Hiring the wrong employee is expensive, costly to your work environment, and time consuming.

Hiring the right employee, on the other hand, pays you back in employee productivity, a successful employment relationship, and a positive impact on your total work environment.

• Define the job before hiring an employee.

• Plan your employee recruiting strategy.

• Review credentials and applications carefully.

• Pre-screen your candidates.

• Ask the right job interview questions.

Solve HR can provide you with full cycle recruitment services, if you have any queries please contact us.

With so many job adverts out there it’s important to make your vacancy stand out from the crowd.  A well written advert will help to attract the top candidates and help you to recruit more efficiently.  The following tips will help you to create an effective job advert:

1. Create a job title that candidates will recognise and relate to.  Most job adverts are posted online now so candidates will be entering key words to search for.  The official job title may be ‘Hygiene Operative’ but how many people would enter these words into a search if they were looking for a cleaning job!  Keep it simple, the job title should clearly sum up what the role is.

2. Remember that it’s an advert, you are effectively trying to sell the role to top candidates so make sure that it is upbeat and positive.  Sell you organisation as a great place to work and make people want to apply for the role.

3. Speak to candidates as if the advert is directed at them as individuals so use the word ‘you’ a lot in the advert e.g. ‘Are you looking for a career in hospitality where you can utilise your management skills and experience?’ or ‘For this role you will have experience of working in a business to business sales environment’

4. Nobody wants to read endless paragraphs so keep the advert detailed but concise.  Use short snappy sentences and bullet points to get key messages across.  Keep it structured so that it is easily absorbed and understood by the reader e.g.:

• Intro – catch their attention

• Company information

• Responsibilities

• Person specification i.e. skills, experience and attributes required to do the role

• Rewards and benefits

• Location

• How to apply

Choose a positive attitude to motivate your employees and colleagues…

The attitude you adopt at the workplace affects not only you, but those around you. Enthusiasm and optimism are contagious. Choose to be upbeat and positive, and others will soon be the same.

Five tips to help you stay upbeat:

Be cooperative and approachable.  Your cooperative attitude will be noted by others and reciprocated.

Have open communication.  Regular communication prevents many problems from occurring in the first place. Good communication also helps solve problems that pop up.

Stay calm.  When you’re faced with a difficult situation, don’t allow emotions and pressure to affect how you communicate.

Be part of the solution.  Don’t just identify a problem, propose solutions. Encourage your teams to do the same.

Share good news.  When something good happens, share the news with others and praise those who made it happen.