Office / employer good practices

Office / employer good practices



Original Poster:

22 posts

19 months

Monday 22nd February
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In your experience(s) any good/best practices which you have seen in your workplaces which stand out ? There are obvious ones which are not practical today like final salary pensions. Keen to hear views from across industries .


892 posts

45 months

Thursday 4th March
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Langleyuser said:
In your experience(s) any good/best practices which you have seen in your workplaces which stand out ? There are obvious ones which are not practical today like final salary pensions. Keen to hear views from across industries .
Clearly it depends a lot on which industry you are in, however giving employees as much flexibility as possible generally gives a more motivated workforce. i.e. arrive and leave when you like, with morning & afternoon core times, only if necessary. Treating the staff as the company's most valuable asset will be repaid with loyalty and good performance.

Keep highly paid people spending their day doing work at their maximum pay level. Every task that could be delegated to minimum or median wage employees should be, e.g. don't have a £50+hr engineer continually re-writing, formatting and up-issuing documents. Once the basic data is in the template, give it to an secretary to sort out the grammar and formatting, before returning it for the proof read.

In the tearoom, have free tea, coffee, milk, sugar, squash, etc., company mugs, crockery and cutlery, microwave oven, a dispenser for hot water for drinks, plus a dishwasher. You don't want staff spending paid time waiting for kettles to boil and doing washing up.

Remove anything which infers 'them and us' in the workplace. If the role is required, the person is of value and should be treated such.

Don't discriminate against contractors. Just treat them like everyone else.

Have a purchasing system which is simple for one-off purchases from non-standard suppliers. Trust each individual to make the right decision, with justification to, and approval from, appropriate management levels based upon the item or service cost. Don't let purchasing make everyone's life difficult by having to go through a small selection of suppliers.

Make all new employees, of whatever grade and eventual department, spend at least two weeks working in, or as close to, the part of the company that actually earns the money, e.g. on the factory floor, on the production line, stacking the shelves, serving the customers.

Value the company gurus (people with years of knowledge about company specific processes or technology) by rewarding them with pay increases without having to promote them out of their roles. At the same time encourage those gurus to disseminate their knowledge, as you never know who is going to get hit by a bus or have a heart attack.

Offer regular IT training and refresher courses to all. My son was appalled when he went for work experience from school to a company at which he found his Excel abilities were far in advance of the experienced staff with whom he was working.

Offer experienced staff approaching retirement the opportunity to gradually reduce the number of days they work whilst bringing their replacements up to speed.

At one place I worked (a factory with two hundred people) the most senior person would go round to every person each morning and say hello. He made a point of knowing everyone's name on their first day and would ask how they were. This sort of thing counts.


11,389 posts

144 months

Thursday 4th March
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Flexi time is huge

As is providing the tech required
We got tablets/laptops last year and they have been really good
We also got corporate Ondrives which has been useful for accepting large volumes of files from outside people


4,441 posts

146 months

Sunday 7th March
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GliderRider said:
A design for working life smile

Gi' us a job!

My last job got the purchasing thing about as wrong as it could be.

I get it for, say, >£5k capital equipment but a 50p pack of components? Nuts.
Everything had to be approved by purchasing on another site and if the chap who liased with them was away even consumables didn't get ordered!
For the last couple of years or so there was no-one on site (of about 75 engineers) who could authorise a penny. Up to and including eng. mgrs. Large multi-national company.


8,114 posts

173 months

Sunday 7th March
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Communication. Thats about it. If a company regularly communicates to all levels on a regular and consistent basis it goes a hell of a long way.

Thats not to say everything is communicated until needed but a regular "chat " via email or newsletter or whatever keeps everyone onboard.

I've had 3 emails and two team chats with my "boss" in 12 months whilst working from home and shielding... can imagine my "review" last week LOL


113 posts

91 months

Monday 8th March
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GliderRider said:
Don't discriminate against contractors. Just treat them like everyone else.

This is one of the reasons that IR35 is happening.

After the money, the main reason I want to be a Contractor is that I don't want to be treated like everyone else.


3,861 posts

86 months

Monday 8th March
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Something i always do is talk to the cleaners, say hi to them, they are important to the business and they should know that.

Likewise the people who run the canteen or other such facilities, get to know them, be kind and appreciative of them, look after them, give them autonomy and show that you trust them.

During the last year the canteen staff have been a godsend to me as one of the only people working in my building, they have been here every day to chat too and they dont know it but they have given me so much support during this time, just supplying the few of us that have been in the office with hot drinks and hot food and most importantly the friendly banter and mental support.

These amazing people are the key to the culture of your business.


300 posts

187 months

Tuesday 9th March
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As above, communication is vital IMO.

One of the best places (in terms of culture) I ever worked was a business of circa 50 staff and the directors would routinely hold "open forums" every quarter which were a series of meetings in small groups with the directors. You could ask any question you wanted and they would try to answer.

That resulted in everyone feeling like they had a stake in the business as we all knew exactly where we stood financially as a business and for instance, if we were down on target, that would motivate the teams to push hard to achieve as they could see that not meeting target would inevitably result in losses.

That also helped to manage expectations when it came to pay reviews because we all knew how business had been - the directors (quite rightly) shared the wealth when we had done well and conversely, when times were hard, we knew that pay rises were unlikely.

By contrast, I worked at a law firm where the partners would give no clue whatsoever as to how the firm was doing.

I could see that I was billing bloody big numbers (as were colleagues) but they kept their cards so close that no-one could tell where they stood. I expect it was because they were making eye-watering amounts of money - I always thought that completely undermined all trust and the motivation to work harder (particularly among non-fee earning staff) was just not there as many felt there was a "them and us" mentality.