Avoid the HR blame game

HR management is critical for every business and helps companies succeed in hiring the right employees for a job, keeping team members engaged, and supporting their growth and development.

So why do so many companies fail with effective HR management?

Your workers are your greatest asset. It’s important that you take care of them in order for them to take care of your business. If you don’t, it’s probable that unwanted headaches may arise.

Looking after your team may come naturally to you as a business owner or manager, but having the appropriate policies and procedures in place ensures clarity and fairness.

Without the correct policies and procedures, you can make your business susceptible to various HR issues.

An example of such a problem that Crimson Crab has had to deal with related to the apparent lack of understanding of a leave policy. Something both employees and employers must be on the same page with.

The director received a text from an employee outside of the business working hours, with a request for leave.

The employee had already booked their holiday while expecting the response from the director to be an approval.

The request was for a significant break at a busy time of year. There was an unwritten rule that all such leave should be brought up first to avoid putting pressure on other team members to provide cover.

Quite rightly, the director acknowledged the request for leave, saying they would think about it.

A little while later, the request for leave was declined, and you can imagine the discomfort and uproar this caused between the employee and their boss… not to mention the workforce too.

Some time later the employee left the company. This triggered a formal complaint via an Employment Tribunal.

Eventually, the former employee withdrew their case and didn’t lead to a ruling. However it had consumed much time, energy and money which may have been used more profitably elsewhere

A lesson was certainly learnt. And what might that lesson be?

It’s important to have a robust policy which is clear to all staff and most importantly is consistently adhered to, and applied without fear or favour in a timely way.

If it was crystal clear how leave requests and there approval worked within this particular business – which forms an important element to any company’s HR management– none of this would have taken place.

It’s essential that everyone understands the HR policies and follows the processes in place.

For more information on how to keep your HR policies up-to-date with Crimson Crab, and to avoid the horrible consequences of issues which may arise, get in touch with a member of our team today.

Three don’ts to protect your customer relationships

The relationships any organisation has with its customers is important if it is to succeed. Also, the retention of clients is a pretty big deal.  

But, at times, we understand our working lives can be testing and offering excellent customer service may be a challenge.

However, within any context, business owners and their teams must strive to deliver a strong service to its clients if it wishes to achieve a positive reputation… while protecting it too!

That’s why our top three don’ts are to support you with protecting the relationships you have with your customers.

  1. When things go wrong, don’t ignore them!

Most businesses treat their consumers well. How do we know this? Because, if they didn’t, there would be no business.

But what happens when things do go wrong? Firstly, it’s important you don’t bury your head in the sand if something, such as a complaint, takes place. Be prepared for any negative response from your clients; have a clear complaints process and be genuinely ready to help people when they’re not happy.

  1. Breathe! Don’t respond on the hoof…

Your focus must always be on protecting the relationships you have with your customers.

To have someone walk away after using your service or product with a negative opinion can be detrimental to how other people perceive your offering.

We’re only human, so it’s understandable if you’re upset as a result of some negative feedback.

Nonetheless, take a moment to consider how you are going to approach your response, as well as how what you say will have the ability to preserve an existing relationship.

  1. Understand the law behind consumer complaints, and don’t neglect it!

There is law around dispute resolution, complaints and mediation, so it’s important you understand what is appropriate/what isn’t if you’re to address the negative experience of a consumer correctly.

Let’s use a complaint from a customer as an example. Businesses have to comply with rules and regulations when dealing with an issue.

These rules don’t necessarily change from one industry to the next, but some sectors do offer an alternative dispute resolution.

Fancy some bedtime reading? The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a good place to start.

The Act consolidates consumer protection law and legislation while also providing consumers with their rights and remedies, so it’s an essential read for any business that deals with consumers.

For further details on how to protect your consumer relationships, and the best tips on what to do if something does go wrong, get in touch with Crimson Crab today.

 

Is my company’s website legal?

Building a website is easy, right? With the click of a few buttons and some vibrant graphics, you’re ready to go. Yes, perhaps, but is it compliant?

Even though your website is your organisation’s shop window, it’s important for it to look good and entice your target audience, it’s also crucial for it to be legally compliant.

But – what does that mean and how can you ensure it is compliant? 

All websites must conform to the Data Protection Act (and GDPR Regulations).

“If a business can’t show that good data protection is a cornerstone of their practices, they’re leaving themselves open to a fine or other enforcement action that could damage bank balance or business reputation.”

“Three-quarters of us don’t trust businesses to do the right thing with our emails, phone numbers, preferences and bank details. I find that shocking.”

Elizabeth Denham UK Information Commissioner

Your website is a powerful tool to grow your business – but can also be detrimental to the business if it isn’t compliant.

That’s why our tips are some of the top things to consider when it comes to your company’s website.

Always have a valid reason: Personal information from individuals and organisations can be useful for many reasons – but do you have a valid reason to use it for your intentions? Be clear about WHY you’re collating peoples’ details – and what it’ll be used for. Always give them the opportunity to give you permission in the correct way if you need to.

Security is key: If your website isn’t secure, you’re leaving yourself and your visitors susceptible to hackers and cyber-attacks. Don’t be responsible for this!

Is your privacy information in check? One of the most important documents on your website – above any information about what you sell – should be your privacy notice. Many businesses use a privacy policy, whatever you call it, it must contain specific information about your use and processing of personal data and if it’s not there you are not covered. Feel free to get in touch for more details.

Change of venue – F2 Business Huddle – Friday 9th September

We are moving to a new venue as Basepoint in Waterlooville are having a refurbishment so our next Huddle on Friday 9th September we will be at:

Denvilles House, 33 Emsworth Road, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 2SN

It’s a lovely place with lots of free parking. If you are unsure of where it is just let us  know.

Unfortunately there is an increase in costs as Basepoint were supporting the event. It is now £12 on the door and we will ask Reputation Advocates for a contribution of £7 each towards the refreshments.

This is regrettable and we would have preferred to keep things as they were, however I hope you agree that it still represents great value for money for networking with a purpose.

This month we have a great session from Reputation Advocate Graham Martin,Red Pixel Creative on:

Why good graphic design is important?
So what is graphic design, and how can good design help your company? From design consistency to getting the right message across.

Just to confirm the details are:

Date:  12 noon until 2 pm, Friday 9th September 2016

Venue: Denvilles House, 33 Emsworth Road, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 2SN (Please note change of venue)

Cost: £12 on the door. Includes a light lunch (Reputation Advocates pay just £7 contribution to refreshments.)

Book your place: We hope you can make it. To book a place please follow this link.

Crimson Crab event booking terms and conditions.

Please feel free to pass on this invite to colleagues and business contacts who you think may like to attend.

The three top risks to reputation

After receiving a poor performance review, an employee takes to social media and speaks negatively about the organisation and its leaders, creating a dialogue around the organisation’s culture that goes viral…

A cybercriminal discovers a vulnerability in an organisation’s security system, steals the Social Security numbers of millions of its customers, and demands a ransom payment for the decryption key needed to recover the sensitive data…

A third-party vendor fails to follow regulations when handling client records and inadvertently releases sensitive customer information, resulting in negative media attention and a steep fine for the organisation…

Read more in the source article: Triple threat: How to handle three top risks to reputation | Compliance Week

F2 Business Huddle – Friday 8th July

12 noon

Waterlooville Basepoint, Waterberry Drive, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO7 7TH

Network with a purpose – There is an ever growing concern for businesses to protect assets and secure information. Learn more about the things you can do now to help improve your cyber security with Robert Briggs, Crimson Crab

Just £10 on the door. Find out more and book your place.