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HR News For The Final Week Of January

Employers Have Rights Too Although You Wouldn’t Always Know it

One thing that often is overlooked in cases reported by the media is that employers have rights as well as the responsibilities that are always published.
What are those rights you may be asking?
1.You have the right to provide reasonable direction to your employees.
That is direction to do tasks that are within their skills and scope of work, with instructions provided in a reasonable manner. In other words asking in a level tone of voice rather than yelling. Unless the environment is noisy and there is a danger, in which case you need to yell to make yourself heard.
2. You have the right to request that assets and tools provided to carry out the work are treated with fair use and care and that they are not deliberately misused or damaged
3. You have the right to expect employees to adhere to your policies and procedures, providing that those are (you guessed it) reasonable and consistent with relevant legislation.
A policy requiring staff to flirt with customers is not reasonable – and there is a recent case that supports that view.
4. You have the right to relevant information about an employee as it affects their ability to perform the inherent duties of the position.
That is why many employers ask for pre employment medicals. Not every role can substantiate a medical, however those where use of heavy machinery or physical activity are.
5. You have the right to restructure your business to meet business needs. Many companies are covered by awards and agreements that include a process for consultation. In every case, it would be considered fair and appropriate to consult with staff when you have adequate information to do so.
Saying something too early can do more harm than good.
This is not an exhaustive lists of your rights but it’s a good start for 2017 don’t you think?

Your Business And Your Employees Are Closely Entwined

This article from MyBusiness explores 5 things to support your employees and yet I feel they are good leadership and business practice that will enable your business.

In summary the 5 things mentioned in the article are:
1. convey your plans
2. evaluate self as leader
3. recognise achievement,
4. provide the tools to succeed, and
5. remember that tech is not the solution to everything

These seem to me to be good foundations for doing business really. Talking with others about your plans – not your competitors – can get fresh ideas and generate support. Why not include your key suppliers in some of those ideas as it can provide them with a sense of certainty that you will be an ongoing customer.
Evaluating your own performance and remembering to include what you do well is important. We are all human and learning as we go into new situations, One thing some of us learn is that having a good support person like a business partner, advisor or coach is essential to doing good business.
Remember that technology is not the answer to the only way to do business. There is still a strong in-built need in many people for a feeling of trust before they will buy, and trust is more easily built in person.
As the article says, if you apply these 5 principles you will engage better with your team. And a team clear on their purpose and what is happening around them will almost always far out perform any other team.
Commercially sensitive and financial information is the exception to this rule of course! Stay general when you talk about goals to grow the business.

A True Story That Ties These Two Together

This story is true and happened in the UK

As reported in HC Online an employee of budget airline EasyJet has won a case after she was sacked for eating a bacon sandwich.
Well actually she was sacked for breaching a company policy that staff are not to eat food provided for passengers.
When you go into it, the food provided for her did not account for an allergy (question – had she provided that information to her employer as they had a right to know)
The policy was not clear and the employee accepted the food from the cabin crew manager (question – what is listed in the level of decision making that a cabin crew manager has?)
To me the most stand out comment in the article is the one made by an employee obviously not sure of the policy and wanting to be very safe from penalty who said that he would outright refuse a cup of tea if it was offered to him.
That story is sadly very true although it could be labelled a Friday Funny or a Monday Madness.
The key points I’d like to wrap up with are:
1. Employers have the right to have policy and a responsibility to make sure they are clear enough to follow
2. The penalty must fit the error – instant or summary dismissal for eating a £4.5 sandwich is unreasonable. Policy exists to guide, it should not be to punish
3. Communication between people is likely to resolve matters like this before they get out of hand.

Have a great week