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2014 is almost upon us, and many of us will be thinking about our resolutions for the New Year – and reflecting on our achievement (or not!) of our 2013 ones. For most of us resolutions are focused on our personal lives – but it’s also a useful way to take stock of what our businesses have achieved, and think about future aspirations.
In the last 12 months I’ve covered a wide range of issues on how proper HR management can help to strengthen a company – from recruitment, to grievances, flexible working to tackling discrimination. In a perfect world all businesses would do all of these things well, but as we all know – time and money are limited resources and we usually have to broach these issues one at a time.
So, below I have outlined the top three things, which, in my opinion, should feature high on all business priority lists for 2014.
All businesses (including those with only one employee – even a plumber with one assistant) need to ‘auto-enrol’ UK employees over the age of 22 who earn more than £9,440 into a qualifying pension scheme. The process started in October 2012 and firms with fewer than 50 workers will need to do this from around June 2015 – but don’t leave it to the last minute – get ahead of the game and prepare now to avoid enforcement action later on. Your preparation should include nominating a point of contact, assessing your current situation, thinking about whether any new pension arrangements are needed, and communicating the changes to your workforce.
I can’t over-emphasise just how important it is to have robust documentation in place – contracts, policies and procedures. Not only will this make life easier for you in the long run, but it will also help you to avoid time-consuming staff issues and to protect your business from potential employment tribunals and messy legal battles.
As I’ve said above, having the right documentation and processes in place is an absolute must – but it’s also essential to make sure your staff know about them. That means telling them, telling them, and telling them again! Use every channel you have – it’s not enough to just have it in your employee handbook or a policy & procedures manual.
Paying these important topics some attention in 2014 will mean that come this time next year, you will be able to look back and feel like you’ve really made a difference to your business. Not only that, but your employees are more likely to be motivated and empowered in an environment in which they feel both valued and secure. So what are you waiting for? Make 2014 the year you really got your house (or office!) in order.
It goes without saying that if you want a bit of help in achieving your 2014 business resolutions, TurnstoneHR are here to help. Just contact us on 01229 615 280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation.