Ten essential people practices for your small business

Moving from entrepreneur to employer can be an intimidating step. These structures and processes will help to ease the transition.

Your business is up and running. You are starting to grow and need to get people on board. This may be exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful. When you become an employer, you are opening the doors of your company to a plethora of different needs and values, not to mention the complexity of ever-changing employment law.

While it can seem daunting at first, taking on staff doesn’t need to be a complicated endeavour. Here are 10 essential people practices that you should consider before taking the leap from entrepreneur to employer:

1. Contracts of employment

Protect your commercial interests with well-drafted contracts of employment that include robust clauses to uphold confidentiality when employees move on.

2. Pay and benefits

It’s worth investing in market data, because a well researched pay and benefits package is key for attracting good people. Creating a simple pay model for different roles is useful to create consistency. It’s also important to be very clear about timescales and criteria for pay reviews.

3. Holidays

Under UK employment law, you need to offer full-time workers a minimum of 28 days holidays per year. Bank holidays can be included in this. Be clear about the rules around when holidays can be taken and how many days can be taken at a time.

4. Health and safety

It’s a legal requirement to ensure your workplace is free of hazards. At the very least, you need to have an accident book, a first-aid kit, and all workstations need to be ergonomically designed.

5. Pensions

It is now a legal requirement to enrol employees automatically into a qualifying pension scheme, which you then contribute to. Further information can be found on the Department of Work and Pensions website.


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5 Ways to Keep Employees Inspired and in Love With Their Jobs

We all have them. That one employee who casually strolls into the office at 8:51 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. The one who takes an extraordinary amount of breaks, drags their feet on assignments, and is highly susceptible to the flu.

The one who is uninspired.

Keeping employees inspired isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary if employers want their people to produce their best work and stay satisfied in their positions. Here are five ways to keep your people inspired and in love with their jobs:

1. Create an inspiring environment.
First things first, create a work environment that will inspire and motivate employees to work hard. Ideal work environments are both functional and balanced. Try jumping on the open-office bandwagon to encourage collaboration in the workplace — but make sure employees still have a place to go when they need to focus.

For employers that find cubicles more conducive to productivity, create a separate space where employees can get together to brainstorm and collaborate. Employers can also create a more aesthetically pleasing and inspiring workplace by simply applying a fresh coat of paint to dreary gray walls. As it turns out, there are psychological effects of colours in the workplace.

While having an attractive, functional office environment can help get the creative juices flowing, the most important thing employers can do to create an inspiring environment is maintain transparency: actively share goals, expectations and lead by example.

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