HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

giving-staff-the-tools-to-do-their-jobs

I’m really fortunate that I get to work with dozens of businesses and have lots of variety in my role.  As I’m working on site with so many clients each week, and in and out of their businesses, I pick up on a lot of things that go on, particularly things that affect morale.  I rarely hear people complain about not being paid enough but one of the common phrases I do here is not having the tools to do the job.

This reminds me of a question that used to get asked in the annual staff satisfaction survey – do you have the right tools to do your job? 

From my experience, it’s the little things that cause the frustrations and when you add them all up, this leads to disengagement and low morale.

Some examples include access to the relevant IT systems – does your current IT systems meet your requirements and do all your people that need access have access?  Are they relying on others to do part of their jobs?  If so, this could cause some frustrations – you should weigh up the cost to provide the relevant access and the difference in output this would give you.

What about when a new employee starts, do you have them set up with the right email address and access for them starting?  This is really important as it sets the scene for them as a new employee.  This will include company equipment – laptop. Phone, desk, keyboard, monitor etc. –all things that are really important.

Other tools to do the job is the working environment – is the office or workplace well equipped?  Does the office have natural light, ventilation etc.?  Is it set up to create a positive working environment?  We recently moved office and one of the things I considered was the space in the office and the lighting – we’ve got a large, bright office which creates a productive working environment.

I was out seeing a prospective client the other week – they had modern offices, really good equipment, lots of room, a stunning kitchen bar/breakout area for their staff and also a pool table.  First impressions were positive, and as an employee it must feel a great place to work.

What Does it Mean to Make Sure Employees are Properly Equipped?

Giving your staff the tools they need to do their job is about more than just making sure they have desk space and a working telephone – it’s about making sure they have every relevant resource their job role requires, and making sure that all of these resources are in good, working order and within easy reach.

For example, an outbound sales executive might have a desk and a working telephone. But what if their leads are so poor that they’re spending half of their day struggling to find a decision maker to speak to?

OK, so you might argue that it’s their job to separate the wheat from the chaff – and you might even be right. But put yourself in their shoes - are they likely to be highly motivated when they’re spending half of their day entering “wrong number” into data records?

It’s also important to remember “resources” doesn’t just mean ‘things’ (like equipment data, software etc.) – it can include people. Does everybody in your company have sufficient support from colleagues to do their job?  It doesn’t matter how fancy your office is and if you have the latest gadgets – if other people aren’t helping then you’ll have problems.

Why not review the resources you are providing?

If you’re struggling to motivate your staff, or feel you’re not getting the best out of them, then stop what you’re doing and take some time out to identify exactly what each de-motivated person needs to do their job effectively and happily. You don’t need to carry out a survey or engage an HR Consultant to find out (although we’d be happy to do so!!), why not take some time and ask them?

If there’s something missing that you can resolve, then you might be able to sort out some of the motivation issues and improve morale.

Let me know what you think – what are you doing in your business to give your employees the tools to do their jobs?