This is the largest ever UK clamp down on companies not paying minimum wage, resulting in offending employers being forced to cough up more than £2 million in fines and back pay. It seems only logical that steps will soon be taken to investigate Irish companies who may be cheating their staff out of the minimum living wage of €9.25.
Of course there are clear measures which can be taken to ensure companies are abiding by the legal requirement of paying employees minimum wage. Ensuring tips are not considered part of an income, not bankrolling the office Christmas party through staff wages and work uniforms not coming out of employee pay packets are all obvious ways of maintaining compliance with the law on minimum wage.
However, all of this seems to miss a crucial point. Businesses must value and treat their minimum wage staff with respect in order to get the best out of them. Nothing belittles a staff member quiet like actively breaking the law in order to pay them less. Furthermore, given that, according to the OECD in 2014, 25.1% of the Irish working population fell into the ‘low pay’ category; we are not talking about a small proportion of the workforce.
So, here are 3 ways to show respect towards, and make the most of, your least costly members of staff (other than remembering to at least pay them minimum wage)!
We aren’t talking about office chitchat here. While a yarn is nice every once in a while, it is imperative that employers understand the worries and queries of their staff through open lines of communication. More often than not, the concerns of middle management/senior executives are prioritised and minimum/low wage workers are all but forgotten. Try to keep everyone in mind in order to avoid low wage workers feeling demoralised and undervalued. Taking a bottom-up approach by addressing the issues of the lowest paid members of staff sets a good precedent throughout the rest of the business.
Delegate (where possible)
The feeling that you are simply a small cog in a big wheel is a common symptom for a low wage worker. The best way to combat this, as an employer, is to delegate tasks as fairly and evenly as possible. By being given more responsibilities, lower wage workers will be more effective and feel respected rather than dejected.
Minimum wage is minimum wage. Most of us have been there before and we are aware of the hardships it can bring. One way to encourage low wage workers is to offer incentives and, no, they don’t always have to be financial. While tips and bonuses are a nice way to supplement an income, not all businesses benefit from them and often more inventive incentives work better. Whether it be booze, a bike or a bungee jump – get creative with your rewards and you may find your workers go that extra mile for you. As they say, it’s the little things.
The old mantra that a happy worker is a productive worker applies to all employees – even those at the bottom. There is no doubt low wage workers are the bedrock of any business. Without them many businesses would cease to function properly.
Therefore if a company, no matter how big or small, is failing to meet the needs of its minimum wage workers, automatically the credibility of the rest of the business is called into question. So, pay your workers what they deserve and treat them with respect. In return, not only will you avoid hefty fines for non-compliance on minimum wage and prevent potentially ruining your reputation, you might get a more productive workforce with scorns replaced by smiles.
Five Metrics for Measuring Company Culture3/2/2017
Vicki hangs out beside the desk of her owner, Mike Ahamadi at Autodesk Photograph by Lucas Oleniuk — Getty Images
‘Company culture’ is a term that has been bandied about for decades now. Unfortunately, over the years it picked up a reputation for being a bit of a fluffy subject to keep HR professionals occupied when things were a little quiet. However, in recent years, with the talent pool getting smaller, it’s come into the mainstream, as organisations focus on talent acquisition and retention. However, effectively measuring company culture and aligning it with corporate objectives remains a challenge.
So how do you measure this increasingly important set of beliefs, behaviours and actions that define how things get done in your company? While there is no set formula for doing so, by assessing companies with a consistent track record for success, we begin to see a number of shared qualities that can be used as metrics to gauge where the impact culture is having on your organisation.
Effective communication is perhaps the most glaringly obvious trait among the best companies. In these corporations communication is a two-way street, where employees are encouraged to communicate their ideas and concerns to their bosses, while management clearly communicates any essential information to staff. Analyse your existing communications channels to see how well information is being sent, received and interpreted throughout the company.
An organisation’s level of innovation can tell you a lot. It tells you how creative the company is; how dynamic it is; how open it is to new ideas and how those ideas are made a reality. Innovation shouldn’t be the prerogative of zany creatives and cool tech start-ups. Innovation is about thinking up ways to do things better, leveraging resources to improve productivity, establishing processes that make the workplace better, identifying new markets to target and a whole lot more. Take a close look at your business and ask just how innovative you are; are you open to new ideas; in what ways do you show your innovativeness.
As the saying goes, a happy worker is a good worker, and a healthy employee is productive one. Employee wellness is about investing in your employees’ mental and physical wellbeing. Workplace wellness encompasses the mental and physical health of employees. Multiple studies have shown that companies that run a dedicated employee wellness programme are more productive, have greater employee satisfaction and report fewer sick days. For more information on employee wellness, checkout these 5 Reasons Why Employers Should Promote a Healthy Workforce.
As is the case with effective communication and innovation, strong collaboration between employees, teams and departments is a common trait amongst the best companies in the world. The benefits of collaboration are manifold. It helps give workers a better understanding of the role their colleagues play. It may reveal opportunities for them to cross-sell one another’s services/ products. It ensures plans and processes are considered from many different perspectives. Look to see how much, where and why your teams are collaborating. If the results aren’t great, invest the time in encouraging a more collaborative environment.
Believe it or not but many employees want more responsibility. They want to feel that the work they do matters and to take ownership of that function. Greater autonomy also has been shown to speed up decision making processes and streamline company activities, all resulting in greater productivity. Measuring this might seem a bit tricky but it can be done. Look at the ways in which your company promotes autonomy and encourages employees to take more responsibility. Make this part of your performance policy to ensure everyone works towards it.
So there you have it, five metrics to help you start measuring and monitoring your company's culture.
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0 Comments5 Reasons to Promote a Healthy Workforce2/2/2017
It’s January and no doubt the gyms are packed with New Year heroes, determined to start 2017 on the right foot and stick to their new year’s resolution. Despite their best intentions, research has shown that almost two thirds of people fail to keep the promise they made to themselves, with almost half (43%) of them giving up in the first month.
As employers, it may be worth supporting your workers’ commitments to getting fitter, losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle. Here are five of the biggest benefits of having healthy workers.
Healthy employees, who have a balanced diet and exercise regularly, are less likely to become ill or suffer an injury. In other words, promoting a healthy lifestyle to your workers can help cut absenteeism. That should mean higher productivity, reduced stress and a happier workplace.
Healthy eating isn’t just about the long-term goals. The nutritional properties of many fruit and nuts can give your employees a boost to get them through the mid-afternoon slump. That extra energy will help them maintain focus, make less mistakes and get work done.
Team sports, like 5-aside football, run clubs not only keep your staff fit but also promote team work, loyalty and enthusiasm. Workplace yoga sessions are becoming increasingly popular. Encouraging your staff to get up from their desks and stretch out offers huge social, cultural and wellbeing benefits.
Your staff should be healthy in body and mind. Along with back pain, workplace stress, anxiety and depression related illness are the most common reasons for employee absenteeism. As an employer, you have a duty to look after all aspects of your employees’ wellbeing; that means their mental and emotional health as well as their physical.
With the talent pool shrinking, employers are looking for new ways to attract workers to their businesses. Gym memberships, healthy snacks and regular campaigns all help to build moral within your existing team are all great perks that will help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your appreciation for your staff.
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