Uber’s Challenging September

Uber are getting that message from all directions, and it’s made September a challenging month for them. The transport company turned over $20 billion in 2016, but its dramatic growth has been threatened by Transport for London’s decision to revoke its London licence.

Most of us who’ve lived and worked in London over the past five years will know people who believe Uber has made their lives safer, offering a secure journey home when there were limited alternatives available. Thousands of Londoners have signed petitions in support of Uber this month for that exact reason. The other side of that argument is the accusation of sex discrimination by a female driver that’s hit the headlines this week. The driver claims that Uber is putting her and other women at risk, arguing that drivers don’t know a passenger’s destination until they are in the car, and if the journey is to a remote or unsafe area the driver has no option to cancel the journey. If passengers behave aggressively in the car, the driver can’t ask them to leave without risking a complaint and a low customer rating that could jeopardise their chances of future work.

To compound matters, Uber is appealing a legal ruling that its drivers should be considered workers rather than self-employed independent contractors. The appeal takes place today, and will go a long way to deciding whether drivers should be entitled to benefits such as sick pay and the minimum wage.

Critics argue that Uber’s policies offer insufficient protection to female drivers, and insufficient rights to all drivers. The company has countered with a survey that suggests most drivers enjoy working for them, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has now gone further, writing […]

Game Changers

Premier League footballers and clubs are easy targets for criticism. Many are accused of being detached from their communities, but there are times when players and clubs reach out with inspiring results.

This week Arsenal FC launched a startup innovation lab, working in partnership with local businesses to create positive experiences for fans and develop projects that will showcase technical talent. The ten-week programme will see young entrepreneurs mentored by senior business managers from the club and given the opportunity to demonstrate their products and services, with the possibility of investment in the most promising ideas.

The reality is that, like Arsenal and England’s other 91 professional league clubs, startups are under pressure to get results every week. The invoice that doesn’t get paid, the terms and conditions that don’t get signed or the employee who doesn’t turn up for work can make a game-changing difference to a small company’s prospects. Initiatives such as Arsenal’s are a massive help, and there are straightforward steps every organisation can take to protect itself.

The HR software that builds inclusiveness into your recruitment procedures and delivers seamless onboarding for new starters.

The payroll software that ensures every member of staff is paid accurately and on time, whether they’re part time or full time, paid weekly or monthly.

The integrated system that encourages individuals and departments to work together, motivates employees to improve performance and frees up management time.

Jane Systems is partner of choice to public and private sector clients who value innovation and performance. These clients range from “premier league” market leaders to smaller companies finding their way in a highly competitive world. Each organisation has its own priorities, but they all want precision and functionality in their HR and payroll […]

The £13 Million Question

Thriving SMEs are crucial to economic success and at a time when business confidence seems to be fluctuating, Britain’s entrepreneurs need to maximise their opportunities. In a recent report, the Lloyds Bank Business in Britain review indicated that confidence among SMEs had grown in the first half of 2017. Their “confidence index” measuring expectations of sales and profits rose by 10%, but there was a downside. Over 50% of companies surveyed now say they are struggling to hire skilled employees.

The CIPD have a solution. They want to expand their People Skills Initiative. This scheme has provided a sample group of employers with free part-time HR support, and in many cases it’s laid the foundation for success. In Glasgow, 400 small companies were aided with such good results that the city council kept funding the programme after the trial run ended. Measurable improvements in employee relations, productivity and bottom line profit all tell the same positive story.

To make this a UK-wide initiative would cost £13 million a year. Will the money be found?

We admire the CIPD’s efforts and our systems dovetail perfectly with their initiatives. The Jane solution is tried and tested, and won’t cost anyone £13 million.

The Jane Recruitment and Staff Development Modules offer a complete lifecycle solution allowing teams of any size to streamline their hiring processes. Cutting edge skill-matching software fits job applicants to your business needs, delivering tailored analysis of external and internal candidates. If they can do the job, we help you find them.

The Jane Self-Service Portal has been praised by clients across all sectors as a tool that actively encourages employees to take responsibility for their working lives, leading to an increase in training activity, […]

The TripAdvisor Test

Consistency in staff treatment, with the same reasonable rules applied to everyone.

Consistency of temperament, with praise and criticism given according to performance, not according to moods.

Loyalty to people who’ve earned it, and respect for those whose hard work has helped build your business.

Preferably not sacking an employee of nine years’ standing on the strength of a negative TripAdvisor Review. Not sacking them without hearing both sides of the story. And not sacking them publicly, via the TripAdvisor website.

The rise of review sites has given consumers an influential voice. This has obvious plus points, but when livelihoods are on the line impulsive reactions serve no one’s best interests. This week Howard and Lucy Spooner, owners of The Outside Chance gastro pub, have come under fire for what appears to be the knee-jerk sacking of a waitress on the strength of a negative customer review. Mrs Spooner replied to the review by stating “Please rest assured that waitress will be sacked today”.

Where do we start? From a HR perspective, this is a nightmare of blaming instead of training, condemnation instead of evaluation. A panicky attempt to appear customer-focused has made an employer appear high-handed, irrational and deeply disloyal. The message to staff is that even after years of service they are effectively one negative comment away from the sack.

The owners of The Outside Chance were given a test, and they failed it.

How would the rest of us fare? Would you pass the TripAdvisor test?
The good news is, you don’t have to face it alone.

Employers have every right to monitor staff performance. We think they have a duty to do it, and it’s our pleasure to help them. Jane HR software enables you to record […]