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We Can’t Choose What to Care About

She deserved a more thorough explanation, of course, and the full answer to her question was that in our view there’s no such thing as “after-sales”. When you become our client it’s not a conclusion. It’s a beginning. Keeping you compliant and supported is all part of the ongoing sales process.

You deserve service partners who understand what you contribute and will work tirelessly to help you uphold your standards and values. You deserve partners who value what you’ve already accomplished and are ready to put systems in place that will give you a platform for continuing success.

As ever, the issues that challenge HR and payroll professionals are our problems to solve.

When you tell us you’re prioritising employee wellness

We keep working on software solutions that enable managers to dive deep into performance and absence patterns, recognise warning signs of work-related stress before they can become overwhelming and ensure that the right action – and the right care – is taken.

When you tell us you’re prioritising GDPR compliance

We keep working on protecting you. Non-compliance with GDPR will cost you a fine of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of your global turnover. Jane Systems helps you keep that money in your pocket. Our solution enables your people to give and withdraw data consent whenever they choose, exactly as the law demands, and delivers immediate notification of any changes in consent status.

When you tell us that improved employee engagement is the future of your organisation

We keep working on adding value to your corporate communication. The Jane Self Service Portal increases training take-up, gives designated managers a big picture overview of activity and delivers regular snapshots of the commitment and enthusiasm of your workforce. Yes, HR software […]

Chin Up

When it comes to dealing with mental health issues in the workplace, we’ve made undeniable progress. Having said that, I heard all three of the above statements used to and about a member of staff on a visit to a client’s office only last year. The person in question did look like he needed cheering up but he certainly wasn’t “mental”. He was a good professional coming to terms with a mental health issue. He’d flagged this up to his employer who’d assured him that his job was secure and spread the word that this person was to be treated well. Everyone tried to do that and many succeeded, but one person saying “leave him alone, he’s mental” is one too many.

NHS research tells us that a quarter of Britain’s workforce will have to cope with a mental health issue at some point in 2018. Obviously there are degrees of severity but employers are waking up to the fact that these issues are complex and debilitating and must be managed effectively.

Different managers have different leadership styles, and old school motivators may find it challenging to deal with conditions that they can’t personally identify with. The reality of modern management, though, is that being open to supportive communication and flexibility around hours and duties now comes with the territory.

We deal with senior HR professionals every day, and the judgement and consideration they show is admirable. Their instincts serve them well, but instincts can only take us so far. Sooner or later you need to have a plan. That’s where we come in.

Jane software actively encourages workplace interaction, with our self-service options enabling your people to put in immediate requests for training and development activity. By […]

The Avoidable Fights

In the ten months since the UK Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees were unlawful, the number of tribunal cases has, not surprisingly, risen sharply. While we applaud the principle of justice being accessible to those who need it, not just those who can afford it, one of the practical upshots is an employment law tribunal system creaking under the weight of claims. The three years from 2014 to 2017 when fees were payable saw a 70% decline in case numbers, and the number is now rising again just as steeply.

Some advocate mediation as a useful problem-solving tool, and we’re certainly in favour of potential conflict being snuffed out before sparks turn to flames. The emotional and professional cost to an individual of nursing a grievance can be ruinous. Even when a tribunal gives them the opportunity to make themselves heard and gain compensation, restitution or closure, the road to that outcome can be hard and damaging. It’s difficult not to wonder what’s gone so badly wrong with HR procedure and practice that this is the long-drawn-out result. It’s difficult to accept that nothing could have been done to steer a different course.

Sometimes people and organisations just don’t fit, and the sooner they part ways the better it is for all concerned. But how often do relations between good employees and good employers reach breaking point for avoidable reasons?

Make your policies understandable and reasonable. Don’t just follow rules to the letter, honour their spirit. Let your people know they really are your people and see how that impacts on their loyalty and performance.

And have a system in place that smoothly converts your good intentions into good practice.

How much easier would it be […]

Take Care of Yourself – That’s an Order

Today’s news that the British Army is launching a £1.6m advertising campaign to demonstrate it can offer emotional support to recruits from all backgrounds has attracted scorn from some quarters on social media, but for those of us who understand the value of a positive working environment it represents very good news indeed.

This modernising step follows a positive trend which has also seen the army embrace language learning to improve communication. From 2018 on, no British officer will be promoted above the rank of Captain without being able to demonstrate proficiency in a suitable language. In prioritising cultural awareness and communication skills, the armed forces are acknowledging that, whatever the situation, the isolation of “Little Britain” has no value in a complex and dangerous modern world.

The isolation of individuals clearly has no value either, and the video central to the advertising campaign underlines that point. The voiceover tells us of a soldier’s fears that “it feels like, as a man, you can never express your emotions”. Joining the armed forces, though, is portrayed as a far more positive, inclusive experience:

“Once you’re in, you realise no one is a machine”

“There’s always someone there to talk to, or even just make you laugh”

How many of our workplace problems could be minimised or even solved altogether by better communication?

The Jane Workflow module transforms cumbersome, labour intensive HR record keeping into a fully automated system. It sets triggers for action and notification according to your needs, and it ensures that managers and their teams are kept 100% informed. By automating “calls to action” we deliver an increased employee response rate to important corporate messages.

Jane Self Service software increases communication between managers and staff, enabling decision makers to […]

Stay home. Lie down. Get better.

The CIPD are answering “yes” to both questions. Their survey of 1,000 UK organisations, published today, reveals that 86% of employers have seen staff come to work when clearly unwell, with high numbers also willing to work while on holiday. Not surprisingly a large majority of employers are happy to accept this behaviour, but should they be? Struggling in to work when ill is hardly a recipe for a swift return to full health, and while we may tell ourselves we’re performing at optimum level, general tiredness and discomfort are usually enough to knock people off their stride. Throw in specific symptoms – a cough, a sneeze and a splutter every five minutes, or a wince-inducing ache in muscles or joints – and you have a dedicated professional working at nowhere near full capacity, with the prospect of them being below par for an extended period. Those of us who end up catching the germs our gallant colleagues bring in won’t thank them either, and where workplaces host sickness “relays” with bugs being passed from one member of staff to another for weeks on end, overall performance can suffer disastrously.

Why do we insist on dragging ourselves to work when it’s in everyone’s best interests for us to take a sick day? And why do employers continue to let it happen?

Rather than simply applauding people for making it into work, why not have a HR system that allows you to track what they actually do while they’re there? Jane’s self-service and authorised user software enables managers to step back from day to day administration of a HR record and see what activities their people are starting and completing. The Jane personnel module delivers tailored management […]

Through The Keyhole

With many of us spending as much time at work as at home, is the office now a place for creature comforts?

We personalize desks.

We arrange furniture for comfort and familiarity.

Some of us even bring our pets to work.

When we look through the keyhole into the modern British workplace, what do we learn about individuals and the organisations they serve?

Commercial property specialists LondonOffices.com have researched 2018 trends and the results give us plenty of clues.

We’re prioritising adaptability and collaboration, with flexible office set-ups that encourage colleagues to interact, share ideas and create a motivation culture.

We’re not only aware of the need to be tech-savvy, we’re eager to keep our organisations on the cutting edge of sector-specific developments

The concern for employee well-being is real, and it’s being actioned in measurable ways.

For those of us whose working lives have included spells in miserable, claustrophobic cubicles this is a welcome development. As a graduate I worked at the Head Office of a major retail plc and saw both sides of corporate life. When I had to deliver a report to directors, I took the elevator to a higher floor with plush carpets I was not permitted to walk on and penthouse-like offices where I was not permitted to sit. Descending back to my own floor, I would contort myself into a cubicle the size of a large dog kennel and settle down for a day’s work that might feature little or no human contact.

According to LondonOffices.com the fashionable 2018 office will free us from any sense of confinement by bathing us in sunlight, it will encourage interaction with open plan seating and support remote working to accommodate our lifestyle choices.

At Jane Systems we have high hopes […]

Everything Costs Something

When a fee-paying scheme was introduced for UK employment tribunals in 2013, it led to an estimated 70% cut in the number of cases. If that statistic was predictable, then it’s hardly a surprise that the recent decision to abolish those fees is set to open the floodgates.

What’s the emotional and professional cost to an individual of nursing a grievance? Even when a tribunal gives someone the opportunity to make themselves heard and gain compensation, restitution or closure, the road to that outcome can be hard and damaging. It’s difficult not to wonder what’s gone so badly wrong with HR procedure and practice that this is the long-drawn-out result.

Sometimes people and organisations just don’t fit, and the sooner they part ways the better it is for all concerned. But how often do relations between good employees and good employers reach breaking point for avoidable reasons?

In HR, as in all things, good practice is good business. When line managers are well versed in your company policies and procedures and follow them because they believe in them, results will follow.

Make those policies understandable and transparently fair. Not just following the letter of employment law but the spirit. Let your people know they really are your people, and see how that impacts on their loyalty and performance.

And have a system in place that smoothly converts your good intentions into good practice.

How much easier would it be for you to build on your people’s skills and motivation if their training needs could be logged via appraisals, business plans, project workflows or direct requests, and the training itself could be monitored at every stage, enabling you to audit and evaluate its […]

Wishing Well

Over the closing weeks of 2017 Jane Systems will share our thoughts on HR and systems development trends, and as always we’ll be here to help our clients and partners stay ahead of the curve.

When we began our journey as a HR software provider at the turn of the 21st century the phrase “employee wellness” wasn’t in common usage. But we did start out a firm grasp of the concept of engaging staff, catering for their best interests and making them happier and more productive. That’s why from our earliest days in business Jane software has focused on delivering interaction, communication and quality of experience in the workplace. Today, with wellness rightly high on most corporate agendas, that’s proving to be a wise choice. When analysts tell us the employee wellness market could be the next big thing for 2018 we politely remind them that for us, it’s always been a big thing.

Wellness initiatives may have started out with a focus on health and ways of stopping employee burnout, but as valuable as preventative measures are the focus for today and tomorrow is more on enhancing performance. Put simply, it’s not just about stopping your people collapsing in a heap when issues come to a head. It’s about delivering a working environment where they never get close to that level of disenchantment and distress. It’s about helping them deliver optimum performance.

In Britain in 2016/17, a staggering 25,700,000 sick days were lost to work-related ill-health. Not all of those absences could have been avoided, of course, but how many of them could? Without an effective HR system in place that becomes a far more difficult question, because you can’t manage what […]

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 Dog Day Aren’t Over

It’s been an up-and-down decade for Britain’s favourite pet.
In 2012 Pudsey, a border collie, won the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent by dancing to the theme from “Mission Impossible”.

In 2013 canine talents were put to more dubious use when a government language service contractor tried to falsify their staff figures by registering pet dogs as courtroom interpreters.

In 2014 the good times were back as “Pudsey, the Movie”., produced by Simon Cowell, hit British cinemas. Admittedly, with a thud.

And now?

Amazon and Google are famously pet-friendly, and this week Nestlé announced that its Gatwick office would be the first of its global HQs to officially welcome pets.
As part of its Pets at Work (PAW) programme, Nestlé has adapted its Gatwick office, creating an open-plan workplace where staff and their dogs can work together comfortably and happily.

The programme is a key component of Nestlé’s wider Health and Wellbeing agenda, and their own internal surveys have revealed that employees are happier, healthier and more productive when their pets are welcome in the workplace. Among the younger generation it’s seen as a notable positive, with 47% of 18-24 year-olds saying that in their eyes, bringing a pet to work is a valuable employment perk.

A series of studies have indicated that pet-friendly workplaces can reduce stress, improve performance and generally promote a “family” atmosphere of engagement and well-being. This strikes a chord with us at Jane Systems. Working in partnership with HR professionals, we admire their continuous efforts to make people feel comfortable and valued.

The Jane self-service portal gives employees access to their HR, payroll and training data, encouraging them to buy into their own career development. HR Managers have their workload reduced while retaining oversight and […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Employee Engagement, Employee Wellness|Comments Off on The Dog Day Aren’t Over|