Employee Legal Awareness Day – For Employees and Businesses too!

legal awareness

13th February was established by Australian lawyer, Paul Brennan as Employee Legal Awareness day. Who knows why he picked 12th February, maybe it struck him on this day one year that there was perhaps a lack of information or knowledge of what employees’ rights were? However, he created the day with the aim to emphasise the importance of legal education for not only employees but small businesses and wanted to reduce the risk of any legal complications on both sides.

However, Brennan was also keen to accentuate that the onus of knowing your rights should not just sit with the Company you work with but also that you should ensure you are aware of the policies.

So, we have devised the top 4 things that as an employee, you should be ensuring you are aware of:

  1. Induction: when you join a Company, you should be offered a full induction that allows you to question any policies your new employer has.
  2. Know whose HR: understand who your HR manager is. If the business is too small to have a designated person for this role, ensure you know who organises holiday, or is responsible for any company policy procedures.
  3. Ask for a handbook: your employer should have a company handbook which should detail in full the following policies:
  • Health and Safety
  • Absence from work
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Privacy
  • Email/phone use
  • Disciplinary
  • Information you must provide
  • Office policies
  • Equal opportunities
  • Grievances
  1. Unsure still? Ask questions. If you’re unclear of any procedures, then make sure you ask? No employer will mind being asked any questions if you need clarification.

Employee legal awareness day is not a day just to make employees aware, its for business too as a way of reminding all that clear policies protect your business as much as it protects your staff, so why not make a day of it next February 12th 2020 and have some fun with it-use it as a time to remind all of the policies your company has and help clear up any questions.

The Office Utopia – How Can Your Business Achieve This?

happy staff

Attracting and retaining the best employees is critical for a business to succeed. Not only does a low turnover rate benefit your bottom line, but it provides the foundation of a successful business for the future.

However, how can you create the office utopia where your employees are happy and productive to their highest capacity? Its proven that happy people in their work are more productive. But it’s not always about the money and if you want to achieve an office Utopia, perhaps these top tips will help you achieve this:

  1. Promote the work-life balance: Whether you are the employee or the employer, you all share the need to balance your good working life with a good life. Promote the importance of working hard but also embrace the need to maintain a healthy life.
  1. Everyone is part of the bigger picture: Always promote how each employee is part of the bigger picture and how the work they do contributes to that. Keep everyone informed about the Company direction and provide clear communication about what is expected from each department to achieve that vision.
  1. Celebrate progress: Point out the good things that your employees do! Whilst its necessary to offer constructive feedback to help improve things, don’t forget to celebrate the great things top!
  1. Create a relaxed space: Have a break out area where employees can relax and chat with each other, a casual space where it is inviting with nice comfortable furniture. What will happen is people from across the business will come together and share ideas and you may find that it’s a great environment for creative thinking.
  1. Be positive, make it an ethos of the business: Happy employees = happy company. Encourage group lunches, allow employees to take courses to aid their development and help them gain extra knowledge. The more your team feel they can grow and feel supported, the more your business will benefit.
  1. Treat everyone the same: If you are the boss or a senior manager, set the example. You can never underestimate the impact you have by walking into the office with a smile and treating everyone with the same respect. That will permeate throughout the whole business.
  1. Reward! Frequency is better than size. Smaller, more frequent positive rewards and feedback is far more beneficial for your business.
  1. Trust your team: Delegate, don’t micromanage! Empower your people and trust they’ll do a good job
  1. Know your team: Take time to understand who your team are. You can never underestimate the impact you’ll have if your employees know you are interested in them as individuals.
  1. Say thank you: Simple but true to say the power of being appreciative will reward your business immensely.

And here are some stats why:

  • Employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days than unhappy employees.
  • 36% of employees would give up money from their salary to be happy at work!
  • Happy employees are 12% more productive

5 Tips for Internet Safety at Work

internet safety

Today is Internet Safety Day and a great opportunity to shed some light on the subject. Most people aren’t actually aware of the cyber threats they face on a daily basis whilst using the internet at work. Keeping both yourself and the company you work for safe should really be a part of everyone’s jobs, so it’s worth knowing how. Here are 5 tips for using the internet safely whilst at work:

1.     Use Strong Passwords

When signing up to different online platforms and software, be sure to select strong passwords that are no less than eight characters long. It’s also wise to use numbers and symbols within your passwords and even include a variation of both upper and lower case letters so that it’s not easy for people to guess them. Keep your passwords a secret and don’t use the same ones everywhere.

2.     Lock Your Screen

If you leave your desk to pop to the toilet, grab a drink or speak to a colleague, always remember to lock your screen. Leaving it unlocked makes important files and any confidential information vulnerable. Eventually it will become a habit you don’t have to think about.

3.     Be Careful When Clicking Links

It’s likely that you receive an abundance of emails on a daily basis and you’re probably used to clicking hyperlinks and downloading attachments. However, you should be cautious when clicking links, especially if you’re not sure who the sender is because the link could be a virus. If you’re dubious, you can click on the email address to check if it’s legitimate.

4.     Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public wireless networks are undoubtedly convenient, especially if you’re out and about for meetings. However, they can also be dangerous and jeopardise your privacy, so you should think twice before connecting to them. Home Wi-Fi is encrypted, but public networks in coffee shops, for example, are not. This means that people can monitor your activity, including the emails you send, your login information and the pages you visit.

5.     Report Anything Suspicious

You probably have an IT professional or even a team at work, and if you spot anything suspicious at all regarding your computer or your internet usage, be sure to report it to them. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.

As well as careful use of the internet, it’s worth taking measures to ensure all aspects of your workplace are safe and secure, such as printing sensitive documents. For more information on how to ensure you’re printing securely, you can read this helpful article.

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