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Three Steps to Becoming a Brilliant Employer

When we set out on our employment journey, we don't set out to be bad managers. But no one tells us the secret to being utterly fabulous. Well, lucky for you, I'm going to spill all!

1. Get Compliant

I can't really emphasise this enough. Failing to fulfil your legal obligations to your staff is a one way road to being a bad boss. If you're not even going to follow employment law, there's not much point going any further.

A good employer takes positive steps to understand the law and provides their employees with the basic rights afforded to them by law. Simple things like statutory holiday and rest breaks are a good place to start.

The reality is that, although you might have been able to wing it this far, there is a first time for everything. Including Employment Tribunals and they are EXPENSIVE. Trust me, it's cheaper to pay £150 for an employment contract than £5,000 a day for a barrister in a 3 day Tribunal.

If you're not sure where to start with this, I've actually just designed a HR audit form that you can download for FREE!


2. Reward Reward Reward

One of the biggest mistakes I see new and small employers make is offering staff the absolute bare minimum in terms of pay, holiday entitlement and benefits. And I get it. This shit's expensive! But, people are a lot like horses, you get what you pay for. If you want a horse that Rachael Blackmore can win next year's National on, it's going to cost you more than that unaffiliated all rounder with dodgy hocks.

Equally, you can buy the National winner, but if you feed it on cheap pony nuts and crap hay, it's not going to perform as well as if you fed it on the top competition mix.

Your employees are the same. You can get good employees through offering the bare minimum, but will they A. do a good job and B. stick around? I'm not suggesting you go out and spend mega £££ on wellbeing initiatives and fancy platforms.

But I do think it's helpful to understand your team and what they need to be successful. I know a thoroughbred is going to need much higher protein feed and lots of heavy rugs compared to a cob who needs high fibre and a rain sheet to keep the weather off. Your people are just as varied.

Some employees will need more holidays and flexibility in their working hours. Some will need more bonuses. Some will need to simply feel important. Some will need lots of learning and development. Some are happy with a mug and a t-shirt. Most will need a combination of lots of little things.

For example, I left a previous job because I wanted more flexibility in my life. I worked 9-5 in an office that was an hour's drive from home and it meant I didn't get to spend much time with my horse through the week. I loved every other aspect of my role. But my request for flexible working was denied, so I left.

Keeping people happy doesn't have to be expensive. Simply take the time to understand your team, target your reward strategy and you'll have a happy, productive and loyal team.


3. Plan.

It seems daft to try to plan for things we can't control doesn't it. But how many of us wish we had a loose plan in place in the event of a global pandemic we didn't see coming?

Clearly, you can't control what choices your staff make in life. But what you can do, is prepare your business for their potential choices.

All you need to do is have regular conversations with your team about the future of the business and where they see themselves fitting in to that future. Some employees might say they want to be a manager in 5 years time, so if you know you're not going to get big enough to need a manager in 5 years time, you can expect that person might leave. What impact will that have on your business and have you got someone in line to take their place as and when the leave?

You might have someone who plans on having children in the next few years - how will that impact their role? Their priorities are likely to change and they might want more flexibility - could you accommodate them working part time?

Equally, plan for people joining the company. If your plan is to grow your business, at what point will you need more people? You should aim to start recruiting 3 months before you really need someone in to allow yourself plenty of time to find your dreamy employee.

Nothing has to be set in stone, but have a loose plan about what you would do if XYZ happened. That way, nothing can really blindside you because you're prepared.

Remember, if you're not sure where to start with all this stuff, you can book a complimentary conversation with me by emailing

Stay safe


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