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Category Archives: Employer Info

Are you a ‘bad boss’?

Recent research by leading UK market research company OnePoll has found some interesting things about what makes a ‘good’ boss.

There are some great findings, including what are the main positive traits of a good boss and which celebrity would make the best boss.

Do you think your staff would say you are a ‘good’ boss?

To read the full article, go to OnePoll

Celebrating your ex-company’s success, and other HR No-Nos

Human resources failsThis week, we read this article with interest >> http://www.hrgrapevine.com/markets/hr/article/2015-02-27-sacked-npower-staff-disgusted-by-letter-urging-them-to-celebrate-firms-success

It seems that a large company which made several people in the UK redundant sent out letters asking them to celebrate their success. The company claim it was a genuine mistake, which it probably was, but it did not ease the disgust that was felt by the redundant workers. The problem is that not only can this be prevented by simple administrative competency, but also that firms believe they have a right to celebrate in profits without thinking about the people that helped them achieve it. They should be thanking their current staff for helping them and their shareholders to profit, not asking them to celebrate, whether currently employed or not. Too many companies forget the human effort it takes for collective success. And now, we shall get off our soapbox.

Here are some more lessons we can learn from human resource fails

  • If you cheese them off, don’t expect compliance

This story from a couple of years ago will serve as a reminder why you don’t upset the employees left in control of your public channels. When staff at HMV found out, rather abruptly, that they were being made redundant, HR didn’t think to first take control of the company’s Twitter account. This is the result. http://www.businessinsider.com/hmv-employee-live-tweets-firing-2013-1?IR=T

  • Never undervalue your best staff

In the 2007 US company Circuit City, a rival to Best Buy, decided to replace its loyal, knowledgable employees with more cost-effective staff. Complaints increased, confidence in customer service plummeted, which meant the aim of cutting staff costs to increase profitability had the opposite effect. By 2009, the company had all but disappeared.

 http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1858079,00.html

 

  •  Don’t forget that people have feelings

After asking for feedback after an unsuccessful interview, 48-year old James was stunned by the response. While it may be that James was “rude, inappropriate, and insulting”, it’s probably not best practice to actually tell him so. Even if it was true, James was obviously upset enough to name the employer. In the internet age, it’s wise not to show your company in a bad light – it may put off less rude, inappropriate, and insulting candidates applying to work for you. http://www.recruitmentgrapevine.com/article/2015-02-16-jobseeker-receives-foul-mouthed-rejection-email

 If you want help managing your best asset, then get in touch!

What does ‘flexible working’ mean for the leisure industry?

Flexible workingWe’ve been asked a lot recently about flexible working and what it means for employers and employees in the leisure industry. Here Nicola Carman, our Temps Division Manager explains all…

Since this June (2014), the flexible working laws have been extended to all employees, not just those who are parents or carers. This is something that all businesses will need to be aware of.

Flexible working can be working from home, working flexible hours, working less hours, or phased retirement amongst others. The right to request flexible working has been available to parents and carers since 2003, but now anyone who has been in continuous employment for 26 weeks or more can make up to one request for flexible working per year.

What this means for employees and employers in the leisure industry is unclear. Everything depends on the type of leisure job. For many leisure employees, the job requires being in a certain place at a certain time – you can’t coach a CrossFit class in your home in the evening, when your customers are in a gym three miles away, and four hours earlier. Leisure employees have to be able to meet the specific demands of their market for at least some of the time. For example, lifeguarding – the employer has to ensure there is a minimum number of people on duty at any one time, and having essential staff coming and going as they please is not practical, or safe. It’s not unreasonable for an employer to refuse flexible working where it would mean that the demands of the business could not be met.

Flexible working laws are designed to help employees to find a balance between their work life and caring or family responsibilities, and go a long way to helping employers attract and retain the best talent. The question is how much this is practical to an industry which, on the whole, depends on front-line service delivery at a time and place to suit the customers. This, of course, is not unique to the leisure industry, but it does pose a challenge or two for those trying to manage it.

Employers need to consider each request on its own merit, while ensuring fairness among staff. For example, if you allow a female member of staff to work part-time because of having a young family, then you have to extend the same right to your male members too, even if this is something your business is not familiar with. You must show consistency in your responses to requests.

As an employer, you really should consider whether allowing some flexible working would be so bad. Flexible working can boost morale, improve productivity, and reduce employee turnover, so if you are able to grant even part of someone’s request, then you should give it serious consideration.

Look at what you can do to make your employee’s life easier. Yes, they have to be on poolside from 9am, but could you let them do their essential paperwork at home in the evening? Could your Spa Therapists do a job-share so they can both work part-time yet still provide essential cover? Is giving your Sales Manager a week off to help back at home really going to be disastrous, if it means they come back happy and appreciating the understanding employer they have?

Flexible working will affect both employers and employees alike. You can find out more about your rights as an employee by visiting Gov.uk and more about your obligations as an employer at Law Donut

Thank you to Nicola for sharing this advice.

Spa & Leisure Recruitment Agencies not compliant?

Shocked to hear how many other Spa and Leisure Recruitment Agencies are not making their clients aware of the Agency Workers Regulations.

Introduced in October 2011, AWR was brought in to protect the rights of temporary workers and stop them being exploited. It sought mainly to ensure that temporary workers receive the same benefits that permanent workers in a similar role receive.

But it would seem that AWR is not being explained to leisure operators, many of whom have never heard of it. We spoke to several of our current and new clients last week and none of them had ever been spoken to about AWR by their previous suppliers. Is this a case of their Agencies burying their head in the sand? Or just not understanding it?

It’s true that AWR is complex and has caused all kinds of administrative headaches for both agencies and clients alike, but it’s not going anywhere and avoiding it altogether is as good as asking for a claim to be made.

From a client perspective, if your agency isn’t talking to you about AWR and how they are protecting you from claims, you should seriously think about who you’re using. Just because it’s leisure, doesn’t mean it’s shouldn’t be professional.

For more information of AWR and how 4Leisure can provide a cost-effective, professional and compliant service, contact one of our Specialist Consultants on 01895 450640.

Not just a one trick pony!

Very impressed with the 4Leisure Team with the diversity of roles filled in the last quarter. Whilst some may assume that we just service the operational face of leisure businesses, the Team set out to prove that if you’re a good recruiter, your can recruit for anything!

We’ve even surprised ourselves with a couple of these:

  • Property Manager
  • Trainer & Business Development Manager
  • Regional Sales Manager
  • Client Implementation Support Technician
  • Maintenance Assistant
  • Contact Centre Team Manager
  • Group Retention & Product Manager

If you think you can provide us with a suitable challenge, get in touch!

Pony

Positive talk from DLL after sales goes through

Representatives at David Lloyd have been in a positive mood since the sale of the business to TDR Capital. Despite a drop in value, a strong EBITDA performance has buoyed confidence at the the premium health and racquets operator.

TDR have a good track record in leisure with Stonegate, Centerparcs and Pizzaexpress in their portfolio but industry insiders have speculated that a change at the top is what’s required at DLL to ensure the business stays at the forefront of the leisure industry.

It’s probably come as a relief for many though, that the operator hasn’t been snapped up by one of it’s rivals in an ever shrinking premium marketplace.

 

Is the quality of Health Club Managers really Dreadful?

Bold statement last week from Liz Terry Editorial Director of Health Club Management Magazine at the Annual Members Choice Health Club Awards, saying that there are too many “dreadful” health club managers running the UK’s clubs.

It won’t come as a great surprise to many industry insiders that the quality across the industry is varied to say the least. But it’s a subjective statement that needs to be clarified. Dreadful in relation to other managers in the industry? Dreadful in comparison to the quality of 5 years ago? Or dreadful when comparing against compatriots from other sectors?

From a recruiters perspective, we’ve found that a higher percentage of GMs that we talk to have lower skill levels and in particular lower levels of competencies around strategic decision making than 5 years ago. But is this indicative of the quality of staff that the leisure industry attracts or a result of a “paint by numbers” formulaic management model employed by so many operators? If people aren’t given the opportunity to make decisions, how do we breed strong decision makers?

It would certainly be an interesting exercise to use qualitative tools provided by companies such as Thomas International and SHL to map the abilities and attributes of GMs over a period of 5 years.

A goal of improving the quality of GMs is fine provided the operators can accommodate their skills and actually let them make decisions about their clubs. But which operators will be brave enough to allow the autonomy?

Do meticulous or excessive interview processes deter candidates?

Interviews are getting longer!

With a shortage of highly skilled, highly experienced candidates on the market, you might expect business would be keen to make quick appointments to secure the available talent.

But we’ve seen a trend over the last 12 months, that with some of the more established leisure operators, the interview process is actually becoming longer. Some candidates are even going through five or six stages including interviews, assessment centres and profiling over periods of up to six months.

There is an argument to say that employing a long and meticulous process engages candidates more effectively, gets them bought into the business and ensures that people really want to work for the business. Many operators will say that “if they want to work for us enough, they’ll wait.”

And that works in theory, but does it work when there is such competition for talent? We can talk from experience of candidates who have withdrawn from interview processes at the latter stages because another business has moved faster and made an offer.

Are businesses taking an arrogant approach and burying their heads in the sand? Placing all of your faith in your employer brand is a brave move in this climate.

Or do businesses need to change their recruitment strategy to reflect the current market?

Linkedin Poll

Xercise4less signs major deal with Tesco

Yorkshire-based low-cost gym operator Xercise4Less have signed a major deal with retail giant Tescos.

In a bold move for the gym operator, the deal will see gyms installed in several Tesco’s sites across the country. With a potential membership base on tap, is this the start of a trend of gym and retailer partnerships, or is this something we’ve seen come and go before with JJB?

Some of Our Clients