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HR Culture

HR Culture – Setting people up to fail

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One of the things that I talk about a lot within HR culture is progression.

It’s great to have a plan in place for your employees to progress not only for you and your business but also for them. Giving employees aims and incentives such as promotions will always help retain employees and increase their productivity and appreciation.

However, progression and internal promotions are only great if you actually take the time to give your employees the necessary training to do the job as expected. Otherwise, you are setting your employees up to fail.

Below I explain how I witnessed a past colleague be set up to fail through an internal promotion first hand.

When I used to work in manufacturing I had a colleague who was exceptional at his job. So good in fact that the company I worked for decided to give him a promotion and made him manager of his engineering department. However, he was set up to fail, he was not given the proper training to develop his management skills. As a result, he failed, became depressed and didn’t want to come to work.

The bottom line is, always offer progression and promotions in your workplace. It’s a really good value to adopt for both you and your employees. However, just make sure you are backing the promotion up with the proper training and skills required. Without this training, you will be putting your employees under added pressure and can actually result in losing them meaning you have to go through the entire process again.

Our advice would be to develop a proper career path plan for your employees. Tell them exactly what they have to do to achieve these goals backed up with the required training. If you would like to know more about HR culture and employee training, get in touch today.


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HR Consultant

HR Consultant – Protected Characteristics

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Following on from our last blog, this blog will discuss ‘protected characteristics’ in more detail.

Protected characteristics are vital to a HR consultant and employers alike. These protected characteristics are there to protect both employees and also prospective employees from different types of discrimination. In this video, I discuss what these characteristics are, where they came from and how we can protect our companies from any claims against them.

If you have been employing people for over ten years then it’s very likely that you would remember that we used to have things like sex discrimination, age discrimination and race discrimination. However, in 2010 all of these discriminations laws were bound together and was put into something that is called the Equality Act. Since then, these discrimination laws within the equality act, have been known as protected characteristics.

It’s really important for an employee to know exactly what these characteristics are, and in fact, there are nine. The protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Civil Partnerships and Marriage
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Pregnancy and Maternity

It is vital for you to know them as if you have an employee who is covered by any of these characteristics then you will need to make some reasonable adjustments for that person. For example, if you have an employee who has a disability you would need to make adjustments within the workplace to ensure that they can carry out their role without being discriminated against.

If you have any other questions about protected characteristics or feel you could benefit from some advice from a HR consultant please get in touch today.


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How Can I Make An Employee Stay With Me Once They Have Finished Their Training?

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The team often get asked…

‘How can I make an employee stay with me after they finish their training?’

The short answer: Unfortunately you can’t.

I understand how frustrating it is, if you’ve spent a lot of time and money on training someone up, then at the end of that training, they decide they want to leave.

But, they do have a contract of employment with you, hopefully, and in that contract of employment it will tell them what their notice period is. There isn’t really anything you can do to stop someone from leaving. Once they’ve decided they want to go, then they will go.

What you can do, however, is…

Protect yourself a little bit by setting up a training agreement. The training agreement will actually state how much the training costs, and then what the consequences are if that employee decides to leave. You need to decide yourself whether you want them to pay back the full amount of money, or whether it’s a percentage of that money. You can actually have it stating if they leave within two years, or  twelve months or within six months, then the percentage can decrease as the time goes on.

How Can I Make An Employee Stay

Now with a training agreement, you need to make sure that you have it as a separate document and not something that’s included in the employment contract. You also need to make sure that you issue it to a member of staff before they actually start the training, so that when you talk to them about doing the training they have an understanding of what the consequence will be and that there’s a requirement for them to sign this training agreement up front.

It’s no point leaving it until the training is finished and then the employee decides they’re back to leave, and then you want them to sign the training agreement – that’s far too late.

Also Read: Do I Have To Pay An Employee Who Books Doctors Appointments During Working Time?

So if you’re going to be sending a member or staff on some training and it’s going to be quite costly and you want to protect yourself against that, and try to reclaim some of the money, then you can make sure that you set up a training agreement before they start the training.

If you’d like help with your HR Support or need HR consultation

…or if you’ve got any questions, please give us a call on 01980 622167, drop us an email people@jmassociates.org, or contact us.


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Do I Have To Issue An Employment Contract Before The Person Starts Work?

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We’re often asked

“Do  I have to actually issue an employment contract to a member of staff before they start work?”

Well, the answer is no, you don’t have to…

You legally have to make sure that they have within eight weeks of them starting work, but its not great if you do it that way.

  • What we always recommend is that you make sure that you issue a contract and offer letter to someone before they start to work.
  • The reason for that, is because then you would know that they’re going to accept the terms and conditions that you’ve got.
  • So you’ll make sure you lay out when their start time is and what their salary is and any rules and things that apply, if they get a sick pay or don’t get sick pay.  So everything will be really clear before that person actually accepts that job with you.

Employment Contract

What we see sometimes is that people think:

‘Well, I’d like to wait and see if they are going to be any good before I offer them a contract’

But even though you haven’t given them a written contract, verbally they have a contract they’ve accepted and, if they start work, then they are under a form of contract, which means, the employment law will actually kick in from day one.

Our advice is

‘Make sure you’ve got your contract set up from the beginning’

We do get people sometimes who say:

‘I’m not prepared to accept those terms’

…or they try to change the terms if you give them after they’ve started. So make sure that you issue a contract before that person starts. That will save you from headache for later on!

Find out more about How to Manage Employees’ Probationary Period.

Do You Have A Bullet Proof Employment Contract?

Contact us, if you have more questions regarding employment contracts, HR Support or, HR consultancy.  Don’t have a contract to give staff?  We can help. Call 01980 622167 or email people@jmassociates.org


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8 Steps to effective leadership

What makes a good manager? – 8 Steps to Effective Leadership

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As you are aware, Leadership & Management plays a huge role in the delivery of the business goals however, not everyone understands some of the basics of good leadership.

Here, I share with you 8 steps to effective leadership.

1. Purpose

A good purpose will explain the direction the business is going in, motivate employees to take the right action to achieve it, and coordinate the actions of all employees to achieve the same goal. Read more in ‘My Purpose and Values: Create a Great Place To Work‘.

2. Belief

Leaders have a strong vision of where they want their business to go. Without that vision, a business is working in the dark. But a leader can’t do much alone. Little can be achieved without the support, buy-in and belief of the employees.

3. Effective communications

Do you talk to people and explain what you really want for your business and from them? If you don’t tell them, how are they to know? Do you put your message across so that everyone understands it? A message is successful only when both the sender and the receiver perceive it in the same way.

Also Read: This starts with leadership. 

4. Effective Listening

To be an effective listener, you need to respond with both verbal and nonverbal cues which let the other person know that you are listening and understanding. Effective listening can mean fewer errors and less wasted time.

5. Coaching

Instead of directing and controlling your staff, use coaching to encourage them to accomplish results on their own initiative.

6. Responsibility & Delegation

Give employee’s greater responsibility, opportunities to make their own decisions, and the chance to develop their capabilities. Make the most effective use of your time by delegating tasks you don’t need to do yourself. Want to know more? Read How Important is Workplace Culture for your Business?

7. Recognition & Motivation

Everyone likes to be recognised for doing a good job. That doesn’t always have to be a financial reward. Saying ‘thank you’ is often enough. Understand what motivates your staff – each individual is different. Motivated staff will have increased energy and will strive to achieve the nurseries goals. Find out more in our 4 Simple Ideas How To Engage and Motivate Your Staff.

8. Managing Conflict

Don’t avoid conflict – tackle it straight away. It won’t just go away if you avoid it, and matters will only get worse. Avoiding conflict can make you look weak as a leader.

To ensure you have a successful management team you must provide them with the right training. Too often I see staff promoted to management positions only to be demoted or dismissed a few months later as they did a poor job. More often than not it’s because they have not received the correct training. So make sure you provide training for your managers on the basics of managing people otherwise you are setting them up to fail.

Interested in Leadership Coaching?

Call us now 01980 622167.


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