News Article


Staying on track in 2021.

Your plan of priorities is only the beginning, and while it’s a great start, it’s the HOW that will put everything in motion. It’s an exciting start to the year, despite another lockdown’s additional challenges. But what happens when challenges or more optimistically, when opportunities arise?

How do you stay on track with your plans and goals to ensure you make your desired progress?

You’ve prioritised your tasks and listed projects for the year ahead, now it’s time to get started, but how do you know you’ve addressed everything in terms of compliance, flexibility, productivity and morale?

Our 5 step plan will help you focus but remain agile and flexible enough to change course if necessary.

Transforming your HR priorities into actionable tasks.

  1. Which initiatives should you focus on first?
    • Begin with initiatives that involve your staff and their input.
    • What can move the business forward more efficiently and productively?
    • Can you train your furloughed staff?
    • How can you best serve your customers?

    Think about delegating tasks to individuals who are competent and willing to take on projects. You’ll be helping them gain experience, distribute the workload and gain greater buy-in from all staff members.

  2. How can you communicate effectively with your employees?
    • If you’re working remotely, don’t just rely on the weekly or daily teams call. Pick up the phone and check in with individuals.
    • Ask leaders to put a weekly plan in place to ensure their teams are managing their mental health, boost morale and ask if they need additional support or equipment. A simple 5-minute phone call, one-to-one can make a big difference.
    • If your employees are still coming into the workplace but have begun shifts or shared roles, then you’ll need effective ways to manage the handover of tasks and responsibilities. Visual wall-boards, online project management tools and socially distanced meetings need to be implemented and adapted to ensure seamless and productive transitions between shifts.

  3. How to begin implementation?
    • Encourage as many members of staff to be part of the implementation process. Having their input from day one will help to ensure a seamless transition and greater participation.
    • Ask leaders to promptly communicate changes with their teams and have open discussions to answer any questions or challenges.
    • If problems arise, they need to be dealt with swiftly to reduce the impact on customers, keep morale high and maintain a positive attitude towards the changes. They will work, but everything has teething problems is the attitude to adopt.

  4. Challenges to overcome?
    • The best-laid plans have issues so be prepared to mitigate the risks and trouble-shoot with your team.
    • Persuading long-standing employees of changes may be tricky but encourage them to use their experience and knowledge to help you train and support more junior team members.
    • Staffing problems due to shielding, sickness and isolating, not to mention annual holidays can disrupt everything. Put contingencies in place and remember, your goals and plans don’t have to change but keep your timelines flexible and go with the flow.

  5. Managing employee expectations?
    This can be the biggest challenge of all. Expectations can begin high and then be reduced to nothing with bad management and lack of effective communication.

    • The relationship between employee and employer only works if both parties understand their role and their part in the relationship.
    • Setting expectations and realistic outcomes are the responsibility of both parties. Your interview and onboarding processes need to include initial discussions and set out the relationship rules in a contract, performance review or detailed job description. Discussions and roles should be reviewed at least once a year and adjusted accordingly.
    •Issues such as mental health, diversity, equality, inclusivity, and bullying have recently become significant initiatives. Managing expectations around these issues must be a priority and involve all team members.

This year looks to be another challenging 12 months, with more lockdown restrictions and challenges. However, with a vaccine being rolled out and employees adapting well to remote working or socially distanced workplaces, we can hold on to some positive outcomes. If you’d like some help with your HR challenges, give us a call on 01279 874676. Our team are on-hand and ready to support you and your people.