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What makes a good employer? Part 4

So far in our “What Makes a Good Employer?” series, we have discussed the importance of robust contracts, policies and procedures as well as visiting the important issue of performance appraisals.

In Part 4 of the series, we will briefly examine the issues of pay, premises and the social side of work.

Surveys have been done to discover why we all go to work. There are many reasons but perhaps surprisingly money features quite well down the list. People need to enjoy what they do, to work with people they like and to feel that their employer is fair, reasonable and appreciative. They see their pay in that light: provided it is fair and makes them feel valued they do not always expect to be paid the highest salary.

Performance pay can be motivating and is seen as a just reward for effort and success but targets have to set carefully. Too high and they can be highly de-motivating which can in turn be stressful; too low and they can lead to false expectations. It is not surprising therefore that many firms believe having regular salary reviews, discussed openly with individuals and focusing on the commercial contribution each is making, is the best policy.

As for the work place itself, when we go to work we need to be comfortable. A good employer takes care of staff and does everything reasonably possible to ensure their comfort and safety. Many firms resent spending money on décor or furniture and yet a bright, cheerful office will impress clients and put employees in a much better frame of mind. Poor lighting or ventilation, old and uncomfortable furniture, worn out carpets or tatty décor will be depressing and after all, apart from the potential health and safety issues, who wants to go to work every day in a good suit only to return home feeling grubby?

Finally this week, the expression “those that play together stay together” was written for couples but applies equally as well to working teams. An ideal working relationship needs an element of closeness and mutual support and this is strengthened when your employees do things together outside work. What they do is not important as long as they enjoy it but good employers will encourage such events and help with the cost. It is worth it.


“There is evidence to suggest that good HR practice and people management in SMEs are key factors in strong business performance and can lead to increased productivity.”

- CIPD people Skills Project 2017


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