hospitality and human resources

hospitality and human resources

Working in your industry Solve. is aware that poor staff retention, persistent ER issues, lack of employee engagement and absenteeism is costing your business in terms of operational issues, loss of contracts, overtime and most importantly your reputation.

Does this sound familiar;

  • You’re starting to feel like your business has a ‘revolving door’, constantly having to advertise for new staff and spend time and money training them?
  • High levels of sick absence causing you stress?
  • Clients complaining about levels of service?
  • Sickness as a result of Alcohol and Drug related issues on the rise?
  • Grievances becoming more frequent?

At Solve. we help your business develop robust and practical HR policies that will help you manage your staff more effectively.  We can also support you to recruit employees who are the right fit for your organisation.

Research shows that workplaces designed with employee wellbeing in mind can play a role in reducing absenteeism, improve job performance, employee motivation and help with recruitment and retention. It makes sense, given we spend more time at work in atypical day than anywhere else. We have looked at some ways you can help make your workspace a healthier, happier and more productive environment for your employees.

1.Encourage your team to move throughout the day

Various studies link regular exercise to lower absence rates and improved job performance so simple touches like encouraging employees to use the stairs by posting encouraging signs and making sure your stairwell is freshly painted and clean. If you have parking make sure there are secure spaces for bicycles, if you have the space (and budget) you could install showers and lockers so that those who walk, run, or cycle to work, or workout at lunchtimes, can have a shower. Or, find out the location of your nearest local swimming pool and encourage employees to have a swim or use the showers there at lunchtime or before starting work.

2.Make sure your office furniture provides support

Give some thought to furniture design and layout. Ensure furniture you have is ergonomic to provide adequate support when working. Make sure your employees know how to adjust their office furniture to ensure it is comfortable as well as supportive.

3.Improve the environment

Buy some office plants to cheer up desks and workspaces. Certain types of plants filter out toxins from the air and improve humidity levels as well. Make sure you address any complaints about hot and cold spots from employees by providing extra heaters and fans. Make sure your work space is well-ventilated. If you can improve the air quality then research shows productivity can improve so choose paints and carpets that don’t emit toxins and check ventilation is adequate. In most cases the landlord has lease obligations to ensure working heating and ventilation systems.

4.Check out lighting solutions

Fluorescent lighting isn’t the only choice available now for overhead lighting – check out LED systems which allow you to adjust light intensity and colour throughout the day. Provide desk/table top lighting based on tasks your employees are carrying out to help make working much easier on their eyes. If you can have some natural light in some areas all the better.

5.Encourage healthy eating

We’re not advocating a ban on chocolate but providing a bowl of fruit for your employees daily / weekly or as a monthly treat may encourage healthier eating habits. Fruit is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre and can give an immediate energy boost.

6.Have a relaxing zone

Finally, have a space for your employees to relax away from their desk with comfortable seating and USB sockets for them to charge their devices. Providing free wi-fi is an added bonus and means employees can keep up to date in their breaks.

1. Bespoke to your business

These systems (in particular the one we use at Solve) can be tailored to your company, so it’s your logo, your branding, and your policies that are upheld by these systems.

2. HR Management that will save you time and costs

Because you’re not always needing to handle everything, or get someone in to do it for you, time is saved as well as money. Less double handling and more information going direct to where it needs to be.

3. Improve staff and HR Management performance

With such easy access to things that often cause hang-ups and slow downs, processes can move faster and with greater simplicity.

4. Evolves with your and your team as your business grows

As your policies change, or staff join/leave you, the system can be constantly updated to work with these changes easily. Once the basic framework is in place it can be adapted with relative ease and keep things running on the HR side.

5. Happier, more productive employees

With easier access to the information they need, employees can work around what they know without having to hunt for information that should be easily available to them. Remaining holidays, sickness records etc. are all made easily accessible to the correct people, meaning they can get more work done, with greater ease.

6. Consistent management and policy delivery

In honesty, one of the biggest flaws in business is us…people, we make mistakes. By leaving software to control the day-to-day processes that don’t require our involvement, we can regain some consistency in our policy and practice. Computers shouldn’t make spelling mistakes!

7. Simple delivery of Best Practice HR

Always knowing that best practice is in each situation can be difficult. The system we offer at Solve in particular, covers best practice by doing it for you, so you know when you run something through that system it is done properly.



‘Agility’ seems to be the buzz word at the moment. Over the dinner table recently, a friend working in a Project capacity in a large UK blue-chip said all he hears about at work is, ‘agility’. His organisation is clearly striving to be a ‘Geesink’. In John Barnes and Richard Richardson’s book, ‘Marketing Judo’ the authors refer to ‘Sloth’ organisations and ‘Geesink’ organisations, which is terminology used to describe how receptive and able an organisation is to change and responds to customer and environmental trends in the discipline of Marketing. What they really hone in on throughout this book is how a business is structured and how receptive Directors and senior employees’ attitudes are towards accepting the need for, and then responding, to change. Often in our experience the former is the key and the latter will follow through well thought out and planned structural change, provided it is supported with cultural and leadership follow up initiatives. In these difficult economic times it is so important that you have your business structure and corresponding processes right to allow your business to be the most efficient and lean it can be.

Twice this year we have facilitated separate organisations in becoming more ‘client and customer centric’ in their approach, which has reaped dividends for them commercially with customer feedback and loyalty translating to their bottom line.

How can you do this too? Well it’s relatively easy; I’m sure every business book, business coach, guru and mentor will encourage you to have a clear vision of where you are going with your business. From profitability to market segment and beyond, but what is often missing in the business strategy jigsaw is the configuration of your people to help you achieve your aims. Why? Because what is often hard for business owners and management to do is to take the ‘person’ out to the scenario and focus on what the business needs. When we work with people we generate relationships, build understanding and get to know their family, it’s inevitable. Through time we accept strengths and weaknesses and develop our own biases towards what people can and can’t do. It’s often these biases that hold us back and consequently hold our business back.

So how can you proceed to achieve your aims and free yourself from your biases particularly if you are considering reconfiguration or restructuring in your business? Step one: Take a holiday. No seriously, take a break from your business. Sometimes, the phrase; “can’t see the wood for the trees” rings only too true. Step two; Start with a clean sheet of paper. No! I am not insinuating that you sack your whole team and start again! What I am saying is look at your business strategy, the one where you state your aims and objectives and then draw the job titles, duties and functions that would support the achievement of these aims. Then (this is the most important part), create, a person specification for each role, the old fashioned, ‘essential and desirable’ criteria that the job holder should have in their armoury of skills and experience. You can then measure your existing team against this to evaluate and ensure the right people go into the right roles. If you are then discovering that there are skills gaps in your present incumbents or across your team you can then work to fill these skills gaps. Solve. can support you with this.

As a result, when you have the correctly skilled people in place with clear direction and an understanding and aspiration to deliver to the business objectives, that’s when you can truly describe your business as ‘Agile’.

Do all your employee’s have contracts of employment? When certain types of work come to an end, some employees face redundancy. They may actually suit a fixed term position available within the company. Are you aware a new contract of employment would then be required? If you are unsure whether this may affect you or you have not followed correct procedure contact Solve who can help from the outset.

When an employee commences work, it should be made clear by the Employer what happens when work comes to an end.

If particular types of work become redundant, the employees who are involved then become at risk of layoff. They may actually have skills that could be useful to their employer and in this instance employers will be more willing to find substitute employment for some of the employees potentially facing redundancy. If this is the case, they should not jump to the conclusion that the employees in question will not be interested, just because the positions available are temporary and not permanent.

If an employee who was facing redundancy, was to show interest in a fixed term position e.g. a vacancy which will only last a few weeks or months until the project ends, the employee and employer could come to an agreement to defer the redundancy until the end of the available fixed term contract. If the employee was asked to work their notice within the new role, they would be less likely to agree to this arrangement. Payments in lieu, enhanced severance payments, retention bonuses etc., are some ways both the employee and employer could make a commercial deal to suit them both.

The right to turn down an offer of a fixed-term role is reasonable on the basis it is not ‘suitable alternative employment’. If an employee was to do this, the employer needs to make them aware that redundancy is anticipated if there is not another role that suits.

What happens if an employee takes a fixed term role that will end in a year?

If a fixed term contract expires and is not renewed, this will be taken as dismissal. If an employee has two years continuous service, they are eligible for protection from unfair dismissal. If you are an employer and are faced with this issue, you should follow a fair termination procedure and also look at the availability of other suitable employment. The Employee may accept another fixed term contract again, especially if they have already done so in the past.

Is an employee entitled to a redundancy payment when a fixed term contract ends?

It is all down to the individual circumstances. If an employee who has been employed to work on a project for a fixed period, and it comes to an end, and the employer has no need for the particular skills used to complete the job, and lastly there is no alternative employment, the employee will then be eligible for statutory redundancy payment. This is a classic redundancy situation to be faced with.

If an employee covers a job while another person is absent on leave; maternity, parental etc. will they be made redundant on their return to work?

This would not be classed as a redundancy. When the employee on leave returns to work there will still be a need for this work to be carried out. If an employee is faced with this situation, their employer should ask them to sign a new contract. This will state that the employment will end on the return to work of the absent employee they are providing cover for. There is no likelihood of any arguments arising over whether this is a redundancy or not if this position ends to allow the absent employee to return to work, procedure is followed correctly and the correct contracts are issued. The law shows this as dismissal for ‘some other substantial reason’, if a fair procedure is followed.

Solve would highly encourage employers to speak with the employee when commencing a fixed term contract. This allows the awareness of what exactly will happen at the end of it, even more so if it is an alternative to being made redundant. Should you require any help with contracts, redundancies or information on any of the above situations please get in touch.

A survey produced from ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) has shown an extreme rise in employee turnover from 2014, with 37 percent of workers in the UK intending to leave their job in 2015.  This shows a rise of 18 percent from last year’s figures and 24 percent rise from 2013.  An additional 31 percent are undecided on whether to look for a change in career.  This could affect you as an employer in the immediate future.  To help prevent this issue arising within your workplace, ensure you work with Human Resources to be up to date with pay packages, benefits, flexible working, bonus structures and review these annually.

Pay rise is not all employees are looking for this year.  Looking at the survey of more than 1,000 UK workers and managers; 59 percent of participants would like to see development opportunities, with 56 percent hoping for a salary increase and 50 percent state that a more appealing job role would make them consider changing jobs.  Paying attention to your employee’s personal requirements and offering flexibility can help with all of this.  Ensure staff appraisals are carried out regularly allowing you and the employee a clear overview of where they are headed and how they can get there and in between making sure they are comfortable with approaching the relevant staff member with any career queries.

Findings from the survey also tells us that the feeling of being undervalues by management is on the increase, resulting in 25 percent intending to leave due to this.  Don’t let yourself fall into this category.  Let your staff know they are valued with praise and recognition, this could be a simple email on completion of a specific task or monthly updates detailing achievements by individuals/teams/departments.

ILM chief executive has said that employees considering a change in employment is more popular in January. 

“With an improving economy and more fruitful job market, it is important that employers realise that it’s likely they will have to work harder to keep their talented employees,” he said.  This means prioritising managing the talent pipeline within the organisation to make sure staff have opportunities to develop and progress.”

Better management would persuade nearly a third of employees looking for new jobs in 2015 and 27 percent of respondents would like the opportunity to train and develop their career.

“All staff want to feel that they are appreciated by their organisation so it’s crucial that companies actively recognise the efforts and talents of their employees,” Charles said.

“Companies may want to adapt to this new improved climate, by acknowledging where staff have excelled and molding opportunities for them to advance.”

For more information or help with any of the above please do not hesitate to contact Solve.