Where is the year going? It’s summertime already and after all those weeks of rain, we are finally seeing some sunshine. We hope you will get some time over the next few months to relax, enjoy the outdoors and spend some extra time with family.

In this newsletter we discuss Strategic HR, Workplace Culture, Developing Company Values and 5 Simple Steps to Improve Employee Engagement.

When we start to think about a strategic HR approach, we look at your business plan, and/or objectives and what impact that will have on your people – your most important resource. We’ll review what your plans mean for your employees and we may see some strong themes emerging that we need to focus on such as culture, and values, wellbeing, talent management, learning and development to name just a few.

Strategic HR planning is an absolute must for any business that wants to grow and develop. A well thought out, constructed strategic HR plan with clear measurable objectives will ensure that you have a pro-active approach and a people plan that neatly dovetails with your business plan. That’s a winning combination!

Do you have a HR and Learning and Development strategy in place? Would a plan help you focus on how to address some key HR and Learning and Development issues?

Workplace culture is made up of your Company leadership, values, traditions and beliefs, and the behaviours and attitudes of the people in it. It’s often described as “the way we do things round here”.

Positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts on happiness and satisfaction, and affects performance. The personality of your Company is influenced by everything including leadership, management, workplace practices, policies and people

Having a good workplace culture in place is important because employees are more likely to enjoy their time at work when they feel comfortable with the culture.

What’s your Company culture like?

Working together and wanting the same results can depend on a number of things. A great place to start is by establishing a set of values. They should be unique to your business and represent what your Company stands for, and the values must be meaningful to everyone.

When values are not in place, your employees may work towards different goals and outcomes and this can damage productivity, work relationships and potentially lose the Company business.

Promoting your values throughout your business can help your employees focus on their goals. It will also give your clients and customers confidence, as they’ll understand you better and it can only strengthen your Company.

One on my most rewarding recent projects was working with one of my clients to help establish a set of values. They’d grown rapidly and we needed to create the right culture. We knew that values would help in nurturing and steering the culture in the right direction.

We firstly developed a set of questions that we sent out (electronically) to all employees to ask them their views on some key issues to get them thinking about where they worked, how they wanted the Company to be perceived, what images best represented the Company etc.

Once we had all this data, we asked for volunteers from across the Company to be part of a Focus Group who could help us assimilate and review all this fantastic information. Over 3 separate sessions we all worked together to pick out key themes, key words, consider images, we looked at how words make us feel, how we thought they might be perceived, how they reflected the organisation internally and externally.

We then boiled all of this down to 4 fantastic values along with descriptions of behaviours for each value which helped us all to understand what type of behaviour we wanted to see employees demonstrating.

Once we’d done all that hard work, we held a launch which all 50+ employees attended so that the Focus Group members could explain the values and show examples of behaviours that demonstrated the values. Employees were also encouraged to say how they could live and breathe the values – after all, this is key! Having values in place is one thing, living and breathing them is another.

Here’s a photo of one of the values on some amazing cupcakes – we all know that I like cake but I’ve never eaten a value before – they were delicious!

Do you have any values in your Company? What values do you think your employees might come up with if asked?

Do you want more energy, commitment and engagement from your workforce?

As an Employer it’s important to find ways to improve employee engagement in the workplace so employees are passionate about their jobs and they come into work eager and enthusiastic. A disengaged employee can have a significant negative effect not just on productivity but on morale too.

We’ve come up with 5 simple steps that we believe have a positive effect on employees:

1  Ensure that everyone is in the right role with the right skills so they can do their job effectively
2  Provide learning and development opportunities
3  Ask your employees, how they are on a regular basis, via 1-to-1 sessions, team meetings, employee surveys and at performance reviews
4  Engage everyone in discussions and solutions
5  Be flexible

How many of the above does your Company do? Do you need to think more about how you engage your employees?

If you would like to know more about any of the topics covered in this newsletter then please contact Helen Straw at The Personnel Partnership for a friendly and informal chat on 07808 064099.