This article covers:

  • Recruitment, Selection and Induction/
  • Pay and Reward/
  • HR Policies and Procedures/
  • Performance Management/
  • Flexible Working and Work-Life Balance/
  • Equality and Diversity/
  • Communication and Involvement/
  • Line Management/
  • Learning and Development/
  • Employee Representation/
  • Discipline and Grievance/
  • Managing Change/
  • Key Performance Indicators in People Management/

Recruitment, Selection and Induction

Managing your recruitment, selection and induction well will provide you with the right employees who quickly become effective.  Recruitment and selection systems should be simple and easy to follow. They need to be:

  • efficient
  • value for money methods and sources
  • effective
  • provide the right number of suitable candidates from whom you select the person best fitted to the job and the organisation
  • fair
  • judge people on what they can do and don’t discriminate against them because of:  age; disability; gender identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation.

If you plan induction for new employees you will help them settle in quickly to a productive role. You should cover everything employees need to know about the job, including what they will be required to do, and who they will be working with. You will also need to include information about the history, management structure, aims, values and future objectives of the organisation.

Pay and Reward

Pay and other rewards, such as fringe benefits or paid time off, can help you recognise employees’ contributions to the success of your organisation. A good pay and reward system can support your efforts to build an engaged workforce with loyalty, commitment and motivation, and can improve organisational effectiveness as well as enabling an organisation to recruit and retain high quality employees.

Your reward arrangements should:

  • be simple and transparent
  • be understood by all employees
  • be linked to the overall strategy of the business – there is no one size fits all approach to rewarding employees
  • allow you to recruit, motivate and retain good staff as well as satisfy any test of fairness.

Employees who feel valued are usually more productive and engaged. They are less likely to register work-related grievances or to leave the organisation. It therefore makes good business sense to ensure that all employees feel valued through being well rewarded and fairly treated.  Remuneration and benefits should be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain fair and competitive.

 HR Policies and Procedures

Robust HR policies and procedures, in line with employment legislation, provide a framework to encourage excellence in the delivery of an organisation’s vision and objectives and to deal with and resolve employee problems efficiently, effectively and fairly when issues need to improve.

Policies should be fair, unbiased and consistently applied.  Management should ensure they are accessible, flexible, practical and enforceable as well as provide advice, guidance and arrangements for managers and employees about their own and the organisation’s responsibilities.

Performance Management

You should aim to manage your employees’ performance as a continuous process which aligns what they do with the goals of the business. Line managers often play a crucial role, including:

  • agreeing objectives and development needs with individuals so that they contribute to   business goals
  • reviewing individual performance against objectives throughout the year
  • giving feedback and discussing amendments to individual objectives as circumstances change
  • agreeing the most important skills and behaviours necessary to do the job well and agreeing a personal development plan
  • helping staff to achieve objectives through coaching and providing access to training or other development opportunities
  • holding an annual appraisal review with the job holder and writing an appraisal report. This is often supplemented by interim reviews held quarterly or half yearly.

In some organisations, appraisals are based on the job holder’s self assessment. A higher-level manager usually contributes to the appraisal and countersigns the report. Appraisals can also be used to review pay.

Flexible Working and Work-Life Balance

Being flexible about when and where your employees work can:

  • allow them to work more effectively by helping them to balance their work and home life – this is especially important for those with children or caring responsibilities
  • help you meet your customers’ needs by maximising available labour
  • reduce absenteeism
  • improve your employees’ levels of engagement and loyalty.

You can help your organisation to be more flexible through the way you agree the hours and times that your employees work. There are many ways you can provide flexibility from part time or shift working through to flexi-time or job sharing.

Equality and Diversity

Equality at work should apply to all job applicants and employees. Employers who treat employees fairly and flexibly will be best placed to attract and retain staff in an increasingly diverse and competitive labour market.

You should:

  • treat all employees and potential employees fairly, regardless of their individual backgrounds or personal characteristics
  • ensure that all employees are aware of laws making it unlawful to discriminate against people on grounds of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation
  • recognise that workforces and working patterns are changing and becoming more diverse
  • be aware that enabling employees to balance their working life with their private life can increase their levels of engagement and loyalty.

Communication and Involvement

Good communication with employees is essential. It is always rated by employees as one of the most important management practices.

  • employees need to know what is going on in the organisation and to understand decisions  and results
  • communication is especially important in uncertain times
  • communication also means giving employees opportunities to ask questions and express  their views
  • getting employees directly involved can pay dividends in commitment and engagement
  • well informed, engaged employees are much more likely to do a good job and stay with your organisation.

 Line Management

Recruit and develop managers who are effective in people management so that an organisation’s vision and business objectives are delivered.  Develop managers so they are equipped to meet current and future challenges.  They should have the capabilities and competencies to enable them to fulfil the people management requirements of their job.

Learning and Development

 Organisations should seek to continue to develop a learning culture and strategies where learning and development opportunities are of high quality, linked to the current and future needs of the business or service and individuals and are highly valued by all.  Organisations should aim to maximise opportunities for employees to develop skills to meet future challenges.

Employee Representation

Increasingly organisations are finding that, in addition to communicating directly with employees, consultation with elected employee representatives on business and workplace issues helps to develop engagement and build cooperation in the management of change, in both good and difficult times.

Some organisations consult with:

  • recognised trade unions
  • employee forums or works councils, which are sometimes a mix of union and non union  representatives
  • joint consultative committees

In some circumstances organisations are legally obliged to consult with representatives of the workforce, for example where 20 or more redundancies are planned in a 90 day period, or where there is a merger or a business transfer.

All organisations with 50 or more employees are covered by the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations which promote information sharing and consultation with employee representatives (or directly with employees).

Discipline and Grievance

If you settle discipline or grievance issues informally and at an early stage, they are normally less time consuming to resolve and less likely to damage working relationships. In some cases you might find it helpful to use an independent conciliator or mediator to help solve problems and retain good working relationships

Where a disciplinary issue cannot be resolved informally, use your procedures:

  • to deal with employees who are suspected of breaking rules
  • where employees persistently don’t perform their job satisfactorily
  • as a means to help and encourage employees to improve rather than only as a way of imposing a punishment.

Unsatisfactory performance – the way an employee carries out their job – often requires different treatment from employee misconduct, such as being disruptive or uncooperative.

Where grievances cannot be dealt with informally use your procedure to help:

  • resolve problems or complaints that employees raise
  • ensure that a fair process is followed.

Managing Change

Organisations undergo change for a variety of reasons. These may include:

  • technological developments
  • downsizing
  • outsourcing
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • changing customer expectations.

When business conditions become increasingly uncertain, organisations need to be able to respond promptly if they are to:

  • stay profitable
  • reduce costs
  • retain and attract staff with skills the organisation will continue to need
  • maintain staff motivation, levels of engagement and productivity.

Each change situation may be unique, but the principles and processes by which organisations effectively manage change are fairly similar.

If mishandled, change can be very damaging for an organisation: it can cause disaffection amongst employees and may result in costly and time consuming legal disputes.

Key Performance Indicators in People Management

The way you manage people has a profound effect on the performance of your organisation. By regularly collecting and monitoring a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can assess how the way you manage people is affecting your organisation’s performance.

When monitoring KPIs, choose the ones which can be directly influenced by employees and  where variances show up quite quickly. Some, like profits, can be too far removed from direct employee influence and relate to the previous year, whereas what you need are  current measures.

Choose the few which are important. It is helpful to collect figures that can be broken down by department, group, area or other sub divisions which are important to you. This  will enable to you to spot differences and identify ‘hot spots’.

Hot spots may highlight good practice which you can extend elsewhere or uncover problems  where you need to identify causes and take remedial action.