June 2024 Newsletter

Your most powerful tool as a business owner

Inside this edition:
Your most powerful tool as a business owner
Easing the Work-Life load for Deliveroo drivers
A pain in the neck (and back) for UK Workers
How to celebrate Pride Month without corporate “rainbow washing”

Your most powerful tool as a business owner

As a business leader, one of your jobs is to make big difficult decisions.

When making a decision, you take care to look at all of the information you have available to you so that you can make the best, most informed, decisions.

And when it comes to making decisions about your people, it’s important to use the same care and due diligence, because they’re your greatest asset.

What can help you make the best decisions regarding your team?

Employee surveys are the answer. They’re one of the most powerful tools you can use as a business leader.

They help you bridge the gap between what you think is going on vs what is actually going on – because the two can often mean very different things.

Here’s 10 steps you need to follow to conduct the perfect survey:

Step 1: Create a specific focus for your survey based on business outcomes.

Step 2: Decide how you’re going to conduct the survey, whether that’s via an online form or in-person interview for instance.

Step 3: Create questions that will give you the insights you need, in a way that you can measure, benchmark and compare in the future.

Step 4: Pre-frame the survey to your employees and encourage them to take part.

Step 5: Decide how you want your employees to complete the survey.

Step 6: Review results and create findings.

Step 7: Create your action plan.

Step 8: Communicate findings and actions to your team.

Step 9: Act on the results.

Step 10: Check in 6 months later to see if you’ve made improvements.

For more details about these steps, please visit our website to see our latest guide.
person interview for instance.

And if you’d like to start surveying your employees, we’re here to help.

Easing the Work-Life load for Deliveroo drivers

Easing the Work-Life load for Deliveroo drivers

Deliveroo has launched two exciting new initiatives to lend a helping hand to its rider community, free and flexible childcare hours and a new education and skills programme.

The partnership with childcare app Bubble offers 15 hours of free childcare to 1,000 riders, allowing them to work flexibly and effectively juggle caring responsibilities with busy schedules. Deliveroo is also teaming up with Lynx Educate to give riders and their families access to over 1,500 educational courses, including languages, data and business management, and sponsoring 100 riders to pursue higher qualification certificates.

These strategies form part of Deliveroo’s ongoing commitment to support rider growth, development and wellbeing, and deliver the kind of benefits that facilitate a good work-life balance. We hope this positive step inspires other leading market giants to consider the best ways to foster a supportive and inclusive environment for their workforce, ease the work- life burden and recognise the importance of career and skills advancement.

A pain in the neck (and back) for UK Workers

A pain in the neck (and back) for UK Workers

Did you know that, since 2019, the number of cases of neck and back problems causing economic inactivity in the UK has risen by an astonishing 28%?

As highlighted in a recent report by health and safety experts, Blue Trolley, back problems are causing rising economic inactivity across the UK due to long-term sickness. Worryingly, lower-paid employees are particularly vulnerable as they are taking longer periods of sick leave for back issues.

This raises serious concerns about the impact on both individuals and the economy, and shines a light on the need for employers to take preventative and urgent action.

Blue Trolley has provided some valuable guidance for employees and employers to prevent long-term back issues. This includes highlighting the risks associated with work through health and safety training and risk assessments, maintaining good posture and using the right equipment to safely handle heavy goods, taking regular breaks and having a healthy lifestyle. Early intervention and a proactive approach to workplace safety is crucial in mitigating the long-term consequences of back problems in the workforce.

Businesses are increasingly relying on contractors to guide them through the uncertainty of the current economic landscape. Recent findings from specialist recruiters, Robert Walters, reveal that

32% of employers intend to ramp up their hiring of contractors in 2024, attracted by the benefits of flexibility, specialist expertise and cost savings.

Although some challenges persist, the shift towards contracting shows that employers are taking a pragmatic approach to remain competitive and resilient in the face of rapid change.

How to celebrate Pride Month without corporate “rainbow washing”

How to celebrate Pride Month without corporate “rainbow washing”

Observed during the month of June, Pride Month is an annual celebration across the globe that celebrates the resilience, diversity and contributions shown by LGBTQ+ communities every day of the year. For employers, it’s an important event and sends a clear message that your organisation is an inclusive place to work where everyone feels valued and respected.

While Pride is notably marked with colourful outdoor parades and marches, displaying a rainbow flag or simply changing your logo could lead to accusations of “rainbow washing”.

This is a term to describe making superficial gestures without authentically showing commitment to LGBTQ+ rights and equality in practice. It can be seen as piggybacking an awareness month, which could lead to anger and disengagement, and it’s also harmful as it detracts from the true meaning of Pride – a protest against discrimination.

Here’s some suggestions for how to meaningfully celebrate Pride Month, avoid backlash and ensure that your efforts during this month can make a positive and lasting impact for your LGBTQ+ colleagues.

  1. Commit to year-round inclusion. Show a consistent approach by reviewing your policies, initiatives and company benefits to ensure they are fully inclusive.
  2. Get people involved. Creating, or elevating, your LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group can transform the experiences of LGBTQ+ people at work. An ERG can provide useful peer-to-peer support, raise awareness and ensure accountability.
  3. Educate and raise awareness. Consider hosting inclusion workshops with an external LGBTQ+ advocate/expert, or webinars and events that cover the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, to engage and inform people.
  4. Share stories and realities – Invite colleagues to share their stories and experiences that provide first-hand accounts from a range of LGBTQ+ voices. Allies can then help spread the word that diversity is celebrated by your business.
  5. Listen to your employees. Avoid falling into the trap of second-guessing what people want. Speaking to your employees – both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ – about what inclusion looks like in your business will help ensure your strategy is right and help get people on board with your vision.

If you feel you’ve fallen short, don’t worry! Use Pride Month as an opportunity to pledge your commitment to being a more inclusive workplace.

Adopting these strategies will demonstrate to your organisation that LGBTQ+ inclusion takes place not just during Pride month, but every day of the year.

Q & A

Can I request evidence from an employee requesting statutory carer’s leave?

Put simply, no! The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 prohibit employers from requiring an employee to provide evidence to support their request for carer’s leave. Employees do not need to provide proof of their dependents’ care requirements.

If an employee clocks in 10 minutes late, can I make a deduction from their pay?

If it is specifically agreed in the employment contract, you may be able to deduct pay for lateness. However, before any action is considered it’s important to be fair and reasonable; explore the reasons for the lateness with the individual first (i.e. a family emergency) and always follow your own policies.

Can I demote an employee as a result of a disciplinary?

Depending on the reason, a demotion could be an outcome and a reasonable alternative to dismissal, if a contract clause permits this. However, it’s crucial to follow both a fair disciplinary procedure and your company policies to the letter. Always consult with the individual, obtain their agreement and only consider demotion if it’s proportionate to the findings of a full investigation. If justified, a performance improvement may be a suitable option.