Looking after your workforce

Alan Price – CEO at BrightHR

November 26 2014

Richard Branson recently discussed the benefits of unlimited holidays and whilst I think this is a great idea in principle, I can understand the split response from the business community. For a start the small business community may not be able to afford implementing such a benefit, so whilst it is good in concept and a real boost for staff morale, in reality it could cause significant ramifications.
Smaller firms may not be able to afford the cost and with a limited workforce, the concept may prove inconvenient. However, there is an important question to ask yourself; are there any other benefits that could be offered to staff? We have discussed that small incentives can prove useful, not just for morale but also for staff retention, from a free breakfast provided to staff in the mornings, to the possibility of giving people a day off on their birthday. Simply saying thank you and showing gratitude can also help to boost confidence, making staff feel that they are very much appreciated. Investing in people can also be rewarding for both employee and employer; it shows that you believe in the abilities of your employees. Just ensure that you have policies in place that protect your investment. Employees leaving within the first few months of invested training can be frustrating and prove a waste of finances for you as an employer. At Peninsula we have a social committee that organises nights out, events, actively involves staff and listens to their ideas. It works great because it’s a partnership run by staff for staff, so everyone has a say and it is great to see how everyone gets involved. One also has to ask themself, will providing people with unlimited holiday actually boost productivity? Management will need to keep a close eye on staffing logistics and whether there is enough staff cover to ensure productivity levels are maintained. So whilst the prospect of giving people unlimited holidays may seem appealing, the reality may well be quite different. However it is worth noting that offering smaller incentives, such as enhanced training and improved investment in staff, can be both rewarding and a morale boost for your workforce.

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