More about the Immigration Bill

The Immigration Bill 2015-16, which is currently working its way through parliament, is intended to clamp down on illegal immigration, tackle the exploitation of low-skilled workers and punish those that facilitate this exploitation. Small business owners need to be alert to developments in order to avoid severe punishment heavy fines.

While employers are already required to prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out relevant document checks in accordance with guidance from the Home Office, the new Bill will provide immigration enforcement officers with considerable more powers and also increase the penalties handed out to businesses who fall foul of the law. The government already publishes lists of companies that are served civil penalty notices, thereby ensuring maximum damage in both monetary and reputational terms.

Small firms and startups that employ a considerable proportion of low-skilled workers, for example retailers, independent hotels, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops etc. should start preparing now because the repercussions of failing to ensure that there are no illegal immigrants amongst a workforce will be severe. If the Bill progresses without any problems, as anticipated, it will become law by July 2016.

What are the main changes?

For small business owners the most significant proposals are the additional powers that will be given to immigration enforcement officers.

Firstly, the Bill will enable officers to seize the earnings of anyone found to be working illegally. Naturally, this will affect an employee more so than the actual employer but the Bill will also tighten the rules that determine if a worker has been employed illegally. Not many business owners are aware of the criminal sanctions related to illegal working as the Home Office often publicises the £20,000 civil penalty scheme on the basis that it is easier to administer.

Currently, an employer commits a criminal offence if they knowingly employ an individual who did not possess the relevant permission to work in the UK. This is being amended slightly so that an employer may still be guilty if there was “reasonable cause to believe” that a person was an illegal worker. There has also been an increase in the maximum sentence period from two years to five years (upon conviction on indictment).

The Bill will also enable immigration enforcement officers to shut down any business suspected of wrongdoing for up to 48 hours and there is the potential that closure could be extended should the appropriate court order be obtained. Immigration officers will also have increased powers to search a business premises and seize documents should they believe those documents to be related to suspected illegal activities such as suspected illegal working.

The consequences for employing illegal workers were always serious but the new proposed measures add a new level of severity to the situation.

What are the most likely pitfalls?

All of the above proposals are centered on the notion that employers should bear responsibility for who it is they employ and the status of those individuals.

The difficulty that employers face is the ever changing nature of the right to work checks, and so mistakes will inadvertently happen. This is particularly the case for smaller organisations who do not have the luxury of an HR or compliance officer.

There are a number of common pitfalls which can trap employers:

  • Employers forgetting to record the date on which a check occurred – this can be done on the actual photocopy of the document or noted on an internal or on-line HR system.
  • Employers forgetting to make follow-up checks at the correct time – important to diarise when checks should happen.
  • Additional checks are required if the employee is a student with work restrictions. Employers must also obtain, copy and retain details of a student’s academic term and vacation times so that employers can ascertain independently when it is that a student can work full time
  • Employers frequently get caught out by not retaining evidence of their checks for the necessary period of time or by not retaining copies in a secure manner (i.e. an unlocked cabinet in an unlocked office)
  • Photocopies are unclear or not complete. Historically a partial right to work check would be considered a mitigating circumstance but this has since been done away with meaning that a correct check is now more important than ever before
  • Employers can also enter into difficulties by conducting a right to work check after an employee has already started work. All initial right to work checks must be conducted prior to the individual commencing work.

Employers now front line immigration control

The attempts of the Home Office to simplify the right to work checks as well as the desire to make it harder for illegal migrants to work in the UK has resulted in employers being on the front line of immigration control in the UK. Most employers who receive a civil penalty notice only do so due to poor and weak practices – all of which can be avoided with some training and careful planning in advance of the new requirements becoming law.

As always having strong HR procedures that are regularly reviewed will provide a solid foundation for your business to grow. If you are unsure how up-to-date or good your existing practices are, why not get someone external to conduct an operational review? Many employment lawyers offer a legal compliance review and HR consultancies will check that as well as designing and implementing suitable practical procedures if required.

Not making the right checks and potentially employing someone illegally is an extremely serious matter which will be both distracting and damaging to you and your business. Avoid this by getting ahead now and making any necessary changes.

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2016

IWD landscapeYesterday to celebrate International Women’s day I was on an expert panel at an event organised by the Enterprise Network at the stunning Bowood House, Wiltshire.  One hundred and fifty, mostly female, attendees came to celebrate, share and inspire each other.

It’s an important date in our calendar for two reasons – firstly it’s our son’s birthday – he does not expect different things from himself or his younger sister. He has just got into grammar school and expects his sister to do the same. He doesn’t expect to have a better career than her. Or for her not to have one. Neither does she.

Secondly, we must never forget that women have been treated very differently by society; they didn’t have the vote, were sacked when they got married or pregnant, were suppressed, dominated and silenced. However, things are moving on…

Yesterday’s panel was made up of female business owners who were asked what issues they felt women needed to focus on in 2016.

Mine was simple. Just be in business. Stop being a woman in business. Men don’t brand themselves as men, they are just in business. Men don’t call themselves working dads. They are just parents. Let’s do the same.

I know that many women care for their children and run the home as well as running a business. Women are amazing.

I know they often work long into the night to get things done when it is quiet. Respect.

I know that they can be limited by their husband’s job and geographical constraints. But they still create wonderful businesses.

I know they beat themselves up about the fact their children don’t return home to immaculate homes or freshly baked biscuits. I certainly do!

But the thing is being in business isn’t easy whatever your other roles.  Whatever your gender!

I’m lucky in some respects and unlucky in others depending on your point of view.

I work and my husband is the primary carer getting involved with the business when he can.  This gives us flexibility to bring up our children but it doesn’t give us a second income and security to fall back on.  I had my first child at 19 so have always been a working parent. I’ve still enjoyed a great career though I had to make it happen for myself.

I’ve had many senior HR roles and often one inherits or gets asked to lead or set up a Womens focus group. Such initiatives have been around a long time and I have to say, in their current format they just don’t work.  Mainly because the people that attend already care about women in business and the ones that don’t are out there doing business.

Likewise, womens business networking groups are great if you are selling products that only women will want to buy. But less good if you want to expand your market.  Female only environments can frighten or confuse men and aren’t great for equality in the same way ‘Boys Clubs’ exclude women. Female only environments can segregate women further.

Targeted development sessions and 1-2-1 coaching is different and we know that women can still hang back in the way that men don’t.

I’m all for talking working parents, and Shared Parental Leave presents great opportunities for men and women, especially Generation Y to work in a different way. It’s all about choice.

Most of the experts that work for Amelore are working parents and our model of linking them to fast growing businesses, providing flexibility on both sides, is working well.

The key thing in the business world is to ensure we provide opportunities and ways of working that enable everyone to flourish and thrive.

Upcoming employment law changes for 2016

In 2016, employers will begin to feel the impact of the employment law reforms made by the first Conservative Government in nearly 20 years, with some controversial decisions affecting a number of areas in the world of employment.

Employment law dates at a glance

11 January 2016 Zero hours employees and workers gain protection rights against employers trying to exercise exclusivity clauses.
1 April 2016 Prospective enforcement date of a cap on public sector exit payments.
6 April 2016 ‘National Living Wage’ (NLW) will be introduced for workers aged 25 and over. A 50p premium will be added to the existing National Minimum Wage.

For more information see the Government’s National Living Wage policy document page.

Jan – June 2016 Gender pay gap reporting draft regulations.
Jan – June 2016 Consultation expected on extension of shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents.
October 2016 Earliest likely implementation date for measures in the Immigration Bill 2015-16.
April 2017 Apprenticeship levy due to take effect.
September 2017 30 hours free childcare becomes available for 3 and 4 year-olds in working families.
2018 The government plans to extend ordinary parental leave, the 18 weeks unpaid leave that may be taken by a parent until their child is 18, to grandparents as well.

The introduction of the national living wage sees a major change to minimum pay levels; this will be a big issue for many employers as they consider how to introduce it.

For the first time, large employers will also be required to publish details of their gender pay gap.

Aside from these two big reforms, other changes to which employers need to pay attention include the Trade Union Bill and new rules on exit payments for public-sector workers.

Read our guide to the key employment law changes in 2016 to ensure you have a head start to the year ahead. 

  1. Gender pay reporting begins

We know that regulations must be introduced by 26 March 2016 that will make it compulsory for organisations with 250 or more employees to publish information about the difference in pay between men and women. This will need to include details of the gap in bonus payments.

However, further details of what this means for employers are yet to be disclosed, including the particulars that they will need to provide and where the information should be published.

It is expected that employers will be given time to get to grips with the legislation before the reporting requirements come into force.

  1. 2. National Living Wage introduced

A significant change for the lowest-paid workers is the introduction of the national living wage on 1 April 2016.

For the first time, employers will need to pay staff aged 25 and over the national living wage, which will work as a new top rate of the national minimum wage. For those aged under 25, lower national minimum wage rates will apply.

The national living wage is initially set at £7.20.

The national living wage is separate to the living wage, a recommended rate based on the cost of living, used by the Living Wage Foundation.

Another change concerning minimum pay is the doubling of the penalty for failure to pay staff the national minimum.

  1. Statutory parental pay rates and sick pay frozen

The Government has proposed that the annual increase in the weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay will not happen in 2016.  The rates normally increase every year, but a fall in the consumer prices index has meant no uplift for 2016/17.

Statutory sick pay will also remain the same.

  1. Restrictions placed on public-sector exit payments

Payments made to public-sector staff when they leave their job are subject to new rules.

First, to limit excessive payments, exit payments for public-sector staff are capped at £95,000.  There is no confirmed implementation date for this change.

Second, from 1 April 2016, there will be a requirement for public-sector employees with annual earnings of £100,000 or more to repay exit payments where they return to work in the same part of the sector within 12 months.

  1. Trade union law amended

The Trade Union Bill reforms the law applying to trade unions, including placing more stringent requirements on trade unions before they take industrial action.

The measures include: increasing the voting threshold to 50%; introducing a requirement that 40% of all those entitled to vote in the ballot vote in favour of industrial action in important public services; setting a four-month time limit for industrial action after the ballot; and increasing the amount of notice to be given to an employer of strike action.

  1. Workers given power to seek redress where employer ignores ban on exclusivity clauses.

Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts were prohibited in 2015. New regulations that apply from 11 January 2016 aimed at addressing avoidance of the ban, give employees the power to make a complaint to an employment tribunal where they have been dismissed or subjected to a detriment following breach of an exclusivity clause.

  1. New rules to protect apprenticeships

The Government bans organisations from using the term “apprenticeship” where it is applied to describe a scheme that is not a statutory apprenticeship, for example in a job advert.

There will also be an apprenticeship target for public-sector organisations.

  1. Updating laws on employing foreign workers

The Immigration Bill makes various changes to the law applying to foreign workers, including: creating an offence of illegal working; requiring all public-facing public-sector employees to speak English fluently; and introducing an immigration skills charge for employers that use foreign workers.

If your organisation would like any help and advice about the implications of any of these areas please call us on 01453 548070 or visit our website www.amelore.com

Creative people need a creative support team

We have just heard that Chef Benoit Violier, whose Swiss restaurant was named the best in the world in December, has been found dead at his home.

BBC News reports that Mr Violier, 44, ran the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near the city of Lausanne.  It earned three Michelin stars and came top in France’s La Liste ranking of the world’s 1,000 best eateries.

Swiss police said Mr Violier, who was born in France, appeared to have shot himself. We can only speculate as to the reasons for Mr Violier apparently taking his own life. It is hard to keep at the top of your game especially in the hospitality industry. Sadly, his death comes some six months after that of Philippe Rochat, his mentor and predecessor at the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville.

Working with creative people

In our business we have a creative approach to HR and work in a flexible and fluid way with many creative people including chefs.  Often our role is as much about looking after the needs of the creative individual who becomes under increasing strain the more successful their business is, as much as we support the business.

Key stressors for creative leads

  • Excessive working hours.
  • Managing investors and shareholders.
  • Managing demanding staff.
  • Having too many direct reports that are time bandits.
  • Being accountable & responsible for everything.
  • Press, PR, Marketing, HR, Payroll – requiring decisions.
  • Poor work life balance (need to attend events & lack of personal time).
  • Poor diet (yes even chefs) and lack of exercise.
  • Not working in a structured way – giving into the creative side and letting the business side back up.
  • Letting the paperwork get out of control so the paperwork starts to control.
  • Hiring and firing on a whim and getting caught up in Employment Tribunals.

Mistakes that get made

Many creative businesses are often poor at the paperwork side, and when they do realise they need to get more organised often attempt to quickly implement something that is not fit for purpose (way too complicated or generic – more suitable for a very corporate business).

Likewise many businesses will have an Office or Studio Manager or Restaurant Manager attempting to do everything from the website to contracts of employment. It’s very hard to keep control of the situation in this way; and the stress levels!

What works well

We work with businesses in a variety of ways from retained to ad hoc.  In businesses with a strong creative lead we find attending regularly is key so we can pick up what is going on and head off any issues quickly.  Being external helps as does paring back all the paperwork to a core. So everyone understands it and there aren’t long winded staff handbooks that no-one dusts down until there is an ET.

At Amelore we simply don’t do ET’s.  Our approach is one of pragmatisim, commerciality and flexibility.

Give us a call on 01453 548070 or visit our website if you’d like to find out more.

3 AMELORE PRODUCTS for 2016

HR and Coaching services for public sector organisations

Product 1 – Discounted pre-paid HR support

Annual up front purchase – flexible use within a 12 month period

Can be used to investigate grievances, disciplinary situations, draft policies & procedures, run performance management training, develop or attend assessment centres, reward and incentive reviews, gender & equality support etc

Current rate             £POA per day (senior consultant)

0-5 days                   15% discount

5-10 days                 20% discount

10-20 days               25% discount

20 days plus            quotation on request

Product 2 – Executive Coaching

Executive coaching support for senior and ambitious individuals

Current rate £POA a day or pro rata

6 month package    £POA

8 month package    £POA

1 year                        £POA

This includes unlimited sessions and support as the individual needs it and seems to encourage people to use us more and develop a supportive relationship. Travel and agreed expenses not included and invoiced monthly. We charge up front for coaching services. 

Product 3 – Due Diligence Review (Forensic HR)

One off or Annual Review of all HR/People issues – confidential board level report and recommendations

Our team have all worked in an accountancy/legal auditing/due diligence environment and our process has been developed from that position of expertise.

Ensures full legal compliance and spots problems early.

Fixed price depending on size of organisation, areas to be reviewed & number of Amelore staff required.

Taking people costs out of your business

January is the perfect time to start thinking about how you’ll reduce costs and achieve growth in the year ahead.

In difficult trading conditions, companies often jump straight in and make redundancies when a prudent review with an experienced eye would reveal significant savings and avoid such drastic action.

In our latest blog, we look at where savings can be made. If you’re interested in a review of your organisation’s people costs and growth potential, get in touch.

 

Here are some typical areas where costs can be shaved.

Administration – if you still have manual systems requiring data entry you are costing yourself money.  It is worth investing in a good self service system that links directly to payroll. Likewise administrators will always ensure they have enough work. Consider outsourcing administration to a third party or removing it all together.

Appraisals – So many businesses still have clunky manual appraisal systems eating up time, money and morale – rarely are they the performance driver some HR professionals would claim they should be.  There are much more cost effective alternatives. Make sure you know about them!

Employee Benefits – It’s always important to review the cost of employee benefits annually and look at alternatives. If your business has grown since you first chose a provider, you may have more bargaining power for a better deal.  Consider removing benefits and replacing them. Ask your staff what they would appreciate from you.

Terms and conditions – If you have made your benefits contractual, re-negotiate contracts with staff to give yourself flexibility again. Take the opportunity to look at the  hours your staff work, how much holiday they are entitled to and the terms of your sickness absence policy and procedure compared to reality (i.e. many companies have contracts saying they only pay SSP yet they regularly pay staff in full when they are off sick).

TUPE staff – Since the change in TUPE regulations in January 2014, it is now possible for employers not to have to honour so called static terms negotiated by collective bargaining. This is particularly relevant if you have taken staff from a public sector environment.

Equally if the economic trading environment you are operating in requires you to harmonise terms and conditions to avoid making redundancies you should do this.  Take care to ensure it is not seen as directly connected to the TUPE transfer.

Salaries – Make sure you are fully informed about the market rate for key roles in your organisation.  It’s absolutely fine to pay over the odds or a premium for someone that will be key to your business but do this too often and you will become uncompetitive.  Remember that recruitment agencies have a vested interest in pushing up salaries so make sure you are independently informed.

Recruitment – If you are fast growing, recruitment can become a big part of your people costs.  Are you paying out recruitment fees to a variety of agencies or have you negotiated a good rate with a few.  Would an in-house resourcing specialist be better for you.  Advertising directly via Indeed and Linkedin can provide good results. So can using university careers services for graduate level positions.

Overtime – If overtime is habitual it makes sense to incorporate into the individual’s salary and remove the entitlement. Take care to go for an average figure to ensure you make some savings.

Bonus – Bonus payments can be a great incentive when things are going well and targets are met.  However if you don’t have the results don’t pay them to avoid your staff feeling upset.  Make sure you have communicated with them about this and consider an alternative to soften the blow.

Review Flexible working – This can be a great way to hire and retain talented staff that want to work in a flexible way, often part-time or remotely.

However if your business has too many people working part-time and you are having to double up on costs to ensure the smooth running, you can review this and restructure.

Part time staff and holidays – Make sure that part time staff have pro rata and not full time holiday entitlements.

Managing poor performance – Let’s throw in a nice controversial one.  It is never ever cost effective to try and manage poor performance.  Especially at senior levels. It is actually much kinder to agree a settlement and move on.  Clearly in unionised environments or in large organisations there will be long winded policies to manage capability.  Our advice is to cut through this and reach an agreement.

Employees v freelance staff/outsourcing – The living wage is coming in as is auto enrolment making staff more expensive. Employers are increasingly use freelancers or outsourcing specific functions or tasks. Often things can be done quicker and more effective with freelancer or outsourced staff working along side in-house staff.  Consider whether this option is a route you should be considering.

Risk adverse HR advice – This will without doubt be the most expensive people cost in your business.  If you feel you are getting this, get a second opinion and compare and contrast.

Amelore can provide a complete review of your HR, people and employee admin costs. Contact us…….

2016: What is in store for employers?

The National Living Wage

A happy new year for the low paid and not so for business… April 2016 sees the Government’s new National Living Wage enshrined in law. Anyone working and aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship, legally, will be entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. The Government is committed to increasing this annually, so by 2020 it will rise to more than £9 per hour.

If you’re an employer, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying your staff correctly from 1st April 2016, as the National Living Wage will be enforced as strongly as the current National Minimum Wage.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In 2016 it is likely that we will see new requirements for organisations to report on differences in gender pay. Whilst no organisation intentionally sets out to pay women less than men, the Office for National Statistics reports that top-level gender pay gap is 54.9 per cent. Whilst shadow women and equalities minister Kate Green said the gender pay gap in the UK was nearly 20% more than the European average. Really quite shocking!

In a March 2014 study by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the gender pay gap for all staff in the UK in 2013 was 19.7 per cent, as measured by hourly earnings for all employees.

The gender pay gap varies for different age groups and in 2013, and was lowest for those in the youngest age groups. It then increases up to the 40 to 49 year old age group, before falling in the older age bands.

The gender pay gap across high and low earners also varies. In 2013 the gap was lowest for those in the 10th percentile of earnings. However for those earning the most it has not decreased by as much as the other groups. According to the Guardian (9 November 2015) among Britain’s top earners, the pay divide between men and women is nearly 55%, according to the TUC. The top 2% of male earners bring in more than £117,352 a year, while women get £75,745.

There is much to do to close the gender pay gap and this likely new reporting requirement will require organisations to keep detailed records and invest in or develop strong systems to report on this whilst avoiding an additional administrative burden.

Commission and holiday pay

An answer in the long running saga on whether commission should be included in holiday pay came a step closer recently when the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) heard an appeal in the case Lock v British Gas Trading.

The judgment is expected early in 2016 so watch this space…

An evening with Sophie Cornish – in aid of Maggie Centres

What an amazing night!

We were thrilled with how our event went last week. In total (including raffle tickets sales and donations for our Culture crawl walk in September) we raised nearly £5,000 which is fabulous news but we also had a wonderful evening.

BBC journalist, Steve Knibbs interviewed Sophie and me. Although we have worked with each other and had just spent the weekend together (our husbands are brothers) we have never done an event like that before so we didn’t know what to expect.

Steve began by interviewing Sophie who delighted the audience by sharing some of the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial career so far.

As you know, notonthehighstreet.com has just been an incredible success story. The brand has experienced exceptional growth with TTV (total transactional value) in 2014 reaching £127 million, with year on year sales growth continuing to thrive in 2015. But it didn’t happen overnight.

Fake it ‘til you make it

Sophie told us how it all began with her business partner Holly Tucker. They took a simple online shopping idea and added a lot of energy and determination to bring it to life. They always knew it was a good idea, she said, but needed the money to get it off the ground. Taking from their own savings, maxing their credit cards and borrowing from friends and family. As many business start-ups know, you need the finance to keep it going.

There were many times they thought the adventure was over, but it was still important to present a positive united front.

Like the day she spent the morning going through the figures with Holly and realised they might have to lose some staff, then receiving a call from a national magazine and having to put on a brave face. You have to fake it ‘til you make she told the audience, something that really struck a chord with the small business owners in the crowd!

Behind the scenes

But the night wasn’t just about business start-ups, Sophie and I had really wanted to focus on people and brand values too, such huge parts of business growth and success. What did you find when you first went to NOTHS? Steve asked me. I was honest, it was amazing, it looks and feels on the inside just as it does on the outside.

Years ago I did an assignment at a famous department store and behind the scenes it was such a contrast. Cramped cluttered working conditions with broken desks and poor lighting. Walking into NOTHS was the complete opposite – like walking into Alice in Wonderland with Holly and Sophie just oozing their brand and loving what they were doing. It really showed and everything they did reinforced what they cared about – from how they advertised for new staff to their reception desk and the refreshments that they served their board members.

Beautifully branded advert for the CMO role at notonthehighstreet.com
Beautifully branded advert for the CMO role at notonthehighstreet.com

 

People and personalities

Something I shared on the night which has been huge with all our clients and was with Holly and Sophie is the importance of profiling personality. You will see in the book “Shape up your Business”, how complimentary Holly and Sophie were to each other. But also knowing their profiles we were able to hire a strong C-suite and support them managing each senior individual in a unique and effective way.

Whether I work with CEO’s directly or am coaching individuals it is the first thing we focus on as it gives you so much helpful information about how people work best, how to communicate with them, what type of work they thrive and flourish in and what their stressors are.

Feedback is valuable

Steve asked me about 360 feedback and whether it worked. I agreed that it had a place but was most effective if done via an independent 3rd party. Thing is that when we get the call to go in and remove a difficult senior individual they will almost always have great 360 feedback. No-one feels truly comfortable to give negative feedback and often it can be career limiting. That’s the truth of it.

Appraisals in general are something that we have been looking at closely as they cost lots of time and money and we aren’t convinced they really drive performance. Plenty of other things do including active career management. But not performance management in the traditional sense.

So here are a few top tips from us both – click on the link below:

Top tips from Sophie Cornish and Ruth Cornish

Top Business tips from Sophie Cornish and Ruth Cornish

Sophie’s Top Tips

  • Make a plan, set goals and stick to them… It’s key that you know where you want to go and how you plan on getting there. Listen to that voice in your head – the one that sees a need, and an opportunity to meet it, allow yourself the moments of inspiration and most importantly, act! Your time is now, listen to your ideas and make them count.
  • However much money you think you need, it will be at least twice as much. No one ever went bust with money in the bank, so to give your business the time, and the best chance, for success, never take your eye off that cashflow forecast. Get in money before you’re desperate, and you’ll negotiate the right deal.
  • Keep an eye on the current trends… It’s important to look at the wider picture and the emerging trends and influences that are shaping the commercial world and the world of your customer. It’s key to stay one step ahead and use new trends to your advantage. Your reaction to these can differentiate you from your competitors, will help you stay on the front foot and will ensure that your strategy continues to evolve accordingly.
  • Never let your staff get demotivated because… you need them more than you might realise. Your team is what keeps the business alive so don’t forget this – make them feel like they are truly part of the business and keep them engaged. Honesty and openness are key as is communication, remember you are all on this journey and it’s important to take them with you.
  • You don’t have to be an expert in everything. If you don’t have an expert skill in a particular field… then seek expert help because we aren’t all perfect! That’s what makes a team so wonderful, it’s a group of people with different strengths who combined can build something you could have never done on your own. When building notonthehighstreet.com, Holly Tucker and I were successful because we complimented each others strengths and collaborated in order to achieve.

Ruth’s Top Tips

  • Your brand is critical….whether you are an individual or a business. If you are an individual take care to ensure that everything about you from how you look to how you respond to others conveys the person you want to be. Businesses should take care to ensure that all internal practices reinforce their brand.
  • Get the right people and support…no matter how big or small your business, you need to get it right on the people front. If you really want to get ahead make sure you are not bogging yourself and others down with unnecessary HR bureaucracy, rules and regulations. Be an informed leader, especially when you hire managers with more experience than you. If you can’t change the people, sometimes you have to change the people. Not everyone who starts the journey, will be right to go all the way.
  • Get the right investment……. If you want investors take care to go through a very thorough process to pick those who will compliment you and not try and run your business for you. An investor should never ‘mentor’ a business owner as there will always be a potential conflict of interest. Be clear about what you need to share and what is day to day management is.
  • Personality, personality, personality……understand your own personality, that of your team and the business personality you want to project. All three need to work for your business to be successful. The quality of your team will be something that future investors or buyers of your business will look at – it will add or detract from the value of your business. Talk to Amelore about personality profiling.
  • Turn adversity into a positive opportunity…….. Often the things that go wrong in our lives are as valuable as the things that go right. Work with an experienced coach or trusted mentor if you want an external perspective, follow some of the exercises in the Shape up your Business book or talk to Amelore

http://amelore.com/leadership-development/

 

 

Coaching, a strategy for goals and personal growth.

Why work with a coach?

Coaching is an area of our business that is really growing. It’s something that I personally do more and more and really enjoy. With careers become more fluid and individuals running portfolios, aspiring to self employment or considering radical changes, the timing has never been better to work with a coach.

In the sports world an athlete doesn’t get to the top of their profession without the guidance and support of a coach. Without a coach they would not be at the peak of their performance, achieve the goals they set themselves and gain the success they so badly want.

Whatever your ambitions, be they running your own business, wanting to progress in your career or achieve a happy work-life balance we know that:

  • If you commit your goals to writing you are 40% more likely to achieve them.
  • If you tell someone else you are 60% more likely to achieve them.
  • If you have a coach you are 95% more likely to achieve your goals.

Coaching can come in many forms – but a coach is someone who will enable you to improve, motivate you and hold you accountable to set and achieve your goals, enabling your personal growth. When we ask people about personal growth it is often something they abandoned long ago as other responsibilities crept into their lives. It doesn’t have to be like that.

Some of the positive benefits of working with a coach are:

  • Time to focus on YOU and what you want to achieve.
  • Achieve greater results in less time.
  • Someone to challenge, motivate and support you.
  • Enable you to come up with a fresh approach to an old problem.
  • A safe supportive environment to discuss your issues and test out your ideas.
  • Your personal development mentor.
  • Give you accountability and commitment.
  • Create an action plan and support you in achieving it.
  • Someone to provide unconditional support and praise or give constructive feedback.

Coaches provide:

  • Regular focus, motivation and make you clearly accountable
  • An objective impartial point of view.  Unlike your friends, partner, family, work colleagues or boss.
  • A different perspective – allowing you to step back and take a fresh look at things.
  • A safe environment in which to talk through your challenges and issues.
  • Questions that will uncover the source of any problem or blockage.
  • Identify what is really important for you.
  • Challenge – to stretch you and nudge you out your comfort zone.
  • A sounding board for your ideas.