Each month, we’ll focus on a different aspect of HR with a particular interest in supporting small to medium sized businesses and the particular challenges facing us at present. This month, we look at some ways to recruit and retain staff, valuing them through offering learning and development opportunities. One option is through using apprenticeship schemes, where funding is available. A second route is through recognising and supporting emerging leadership talent. I hope you find this useful. Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
Apprenticeships - helping you recruit and retain staff
One of the big issues for employers at the moment is how to recruit and retain staff. The CIPD reports that the workforce is on the move and that over a fifth plan to leave their jobs in the next 12 months. With high levels of employment and the cost of living crisis, it’s more important than ever to be able to hold on to good people and to attract highly-motivated starters while controlling wages across the business. Apprenticeships can help with this in a number of ways.
The most obvious way that apprenticeships can help is in enabling you to recruit workers who are keen to train and learn new skills. As an employer, you benefit from lower staff costs because of support from the government: employers pay no Class 1 NI contributions on apprentices under 25 years of age (there are other criteria, so do check the link below). In most cases, you also pay only 5% towards the cost of the training and assessment of the apprentice. So, if you need to take on new workers who will benefit from training and their skills are covered by one of the many apprenticeship standards, this could be a great way to attract new staff in an affordable way.
If apprenticeships don’t seem right for your business, the government has a few other funding options available to encourage you to take on younger workers. These include the KickStart scheme, Traineeships and T levels. All of these involve young adults on unpaid work experience with additional incentives for the employer.
Apprenticeships aren’t just for new recruits however. Providing training through an apprenticeship scheme is an excellent way to improve staff retention by motivating staff through investing in their development. Apprenticeships run from level 2 to level 7, which is the equivalent of a masters level. That means apprenticeship training could be relevant for a huge cross section of your workforce. The government funds a significant amount of the training cost: in most cases you would have to cover only 5%. The results for you? Staff with new or enhanced skills who feel valued by their employer. A great way to improve staff retention and reward your people.
Hayes HR can help you develop a strategy for recruitment and retention that includes options such as these government-supported schemes to help you navigate the current challenging market for businesses. Do get in touch to find out more.
More information can be found at https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/employers/funding-an-apprenticeship-non-levy
Leadership training for teams
In June, Hayes HR ran a next generation leadership course for a group of emerging leaders of a small City based insurance company. The aim was to look at the team’s dynamics and how they might impact the overall effectiveness of the team. To help the team understand themselves and how they work best with others, I used a tool called DISC. This is a powerful model for describing human behaviour. It helps unlock the answers to why people behave the way they do and has been helping individuals, teams and organisations to connect better for over thirty years.
Each team member completed their DISC assessment, giving them their own profile. We then looked at the profiles in the context of themselves and others in the team. We asked the question: “How might we need to adapt our style to build relationships with our team?” As we focused on the preferences as a team, we were able to identify the strengths and limitations of everyone's preferences and how they might serve or hinder the success of the group. It was a great way to help the group work more effectively together. We also spent some time looking at what it means to be an agile leader.
As a certified trainer in DISC, I love running sessions like this and helping firms to invest in the future by building resilient teams. If you’re interested in training for your team, do get in touch.
Did you know….…
You need to assess everyone working at a computer, even if they're doing so from home?
If workers use DSE (such as a PC or laptop) for more than an hour a day, employers must do a workstation assessment (even if the person is working from home). Hayes HR can do the assessment and provide your company with the completed assessments to ensure you are compliant. Just drop us a line to find out more.
We welcome any feedback you may have and look forward to discussing any HR issues with you in the future.