HR News September 2011
Welcome to the September issue of HR News. In this issue we cover the topical debate on whether you would prefer more annual leave than pay. It seems that more people are putting quality of life before more pay nowadays. We also look at staff retention, coaching and a quick update on the new pension reforms.
Would you sacrifice pay for more holiday?
Well in a recent survey over a third of UK employees said that they would indeed sacrifice wages for more day off. Work-life-balance seems to be the key factor in this trend with workers increasingly prioritising holiday over pay in favour of a superior work-life-balance.
The results of the research are interesting, as even though employees continue to feel the impacts of higher living costs, they are increasingly looking for greater work-life balance from their employers.
This was particularly true for younger workers, with 16-24 year olds willing to consider a lower base salary if the compensation package offered more holiday allocation.
Increased holidays were valued more by particular professions with 56.3 per cent of HR professionals and more than two-fifths (42.6 per cent) of finance professionals wanting a better balance between home and work.
The research clearly demonstrates a radical change in the way that workers view compensation and benefits packages today. Even in the challenging current economic environment, with the cost of living growing faster than salary increases, workers are looking for more free time.
In today's economic climate, workers are facing more stress at both work and home, and are therefore putting more emphasis on breaks, holidays and relaxation. Employers perhaps should tailor compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain their best staff, as it is clear that workers are feeling that their work life balance is deteriorating in the current recession.
Use Teamspirit Human Resources Software to track and monitor staff absenteeism, authorise time off, plan and track time and attendance.
Our Employee Self Service software also enables staff to view and update their holiday entitlement online.
Confidence in line-managers drops according to some HR professionals
According to research published in a recent YouGov Survey, confidence in line managers' ability to cope with day-to-day HR tasks remains low despite over half of HR professionals admitting to handing them.
The survey conducted on HR senior managers in companies with 100 or more employees has highlighted the need for organisations to equip line managers with the HR skills and know-how they need, or suffer the likely consequences of their staff feeling isolated, lacking direction and becoming demotivated.
The survey also found that 63% of HR professionals had devolved day-to-day HR tasks such as management of disciplinary and grievance procedures to some line managers. But just over half (60%) were only 'fairly confident' that some managers were capable of dealing with smaller day-to-day roles such as booking holiday and recording sickness absence while 62% agreed that maintaining control of such tasks once they had been handed over is a worry for HR.
The survey shows a growing, and potentially damaging, uncertainty emerging between HR professionals and line management. As HR evolves into a more strategic role in many organisations, there's a need to hand over day-to-day HR administration to line managers and free up necessary space without adding to headcount or cost.
Training seems to be one of the main issues or lack of it. Whilst line managers are considered well placed to manage some HR issues, in many cases they are not trained or supported well enough to do it effectively. The outcome is potentially negative all round - line managers become overburdened, staff expectations are not met and HR is distracted from delivering more value to the business.
Employees can view and update their training needs online, with Teamspirit Human Resources Software
Coaching in the workplace
Recently The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) conducted a survey, which highlighted the need for coaching in the workplace and its link to higher staff performance.
By focusing on the professional development of individual employees, employers can manage change more effectively and drive overall business success.
The CIPD claimed that effective training and development programs could help create an adaptable, resilient and high performance workforce.
Businesses can use training to create added value and measure the return on investment of coaching initiatives, which are critical to organisational success. They should also be focusing their thoughts upon maximising the value of their employees. Coaching aligned to business objectives can be a way to achieve this, through driving high sustainable people performance. Training should be seen as a way of raising performance, helping employees to maximise potential. In the long term businesses should reap the benefits of improved staff retention and satisfaction.
Use TeamSpirit Human Resources Software to produce strategic reports to ensure that your business is motivating and retaining its best people
Many employees still unaware of 2012 pension reforms
More than half the UK workforce is "totally unaware" of next year's pension reforms which will see staff automatically enrolled into a retirement savings scheme, CIPD research has found. The introduction of auto-enrolment - part of a raft of pension reforms coming into effect in October 2012 - was not known about by 53 per cent of employees surveyed in the private and voluntary sectors.
With less than a year and a half to go before the biggest pensions reform for a century comes into effect, tackling low employee awareness needed to be addressed, warned the CIPD.
From the survey it has highlighted that the greatest challenge to communicating the reforms is among the young. A more targeted effort in communicating the changes to this group is needed to ensure they understand how the reforms will directly benefit them.
The danger is that a one size-fits-all communication approach could end up costing the government more in the long-term through a lower understanding and appreciation of retirement savings.
The survey also revealed that six in ten workers were worried about paying for their retirement - with women more anxious (65 per cent) than men (53 per cent).
Organisations should also be aware of their pension duties under the new reforms, as "there are some hefty penalties for non-compliance" These new duties will have financial and operational consequences for employers, so businesses really do need to start making decisions about which scheme to use, what contributions to pay and how to communicate this to employees.
Whilst we take great care to ensure accuracy in the compilation of our Newsletters, Bond do not in any circumstances accept responsibility for any errors, omissions or advice given in this publication.