What’s the future for Making Tax Digital?

When Theresa May called the June General Election, many of the Budget proposals were put on hold to allow for speedy passage of the Finance Bill. This included Making Tax Digital, trumpeted by the government as a key part of its plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right …

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Should You Have A Summer Dress Code For Your Employees?

 

There are some pretty weighty issues kicking around in the world of employment at the moment. We’re still in the dark about what will happen as a result of Brexit. No one really knows just yet whether the new government will hold together. But the temperatures have been hitting some pretty lofty heights recently, so there are more pressing issues on a lot of people’s minds…

Like, what exactly you’re supposed to wear for work when the mercury is hitting 30 degrees.

If you impose a dress code on your employees? Then it’s worth considering whether it needs to be revised over the summer months. It’s the kind of thing that you won’t regularly give much thought to, but when the baking heat hits us, it’s the only thing that your staff can talk about.

You might decide that it’s the reasonable thing to do to allow your staff to relax their uniform a little bit. Whether or not this is really appropriate though will cone down to the role that they have in your business, the nature of the service you offer, and how much contact they have with your customers and clients.

Health and safety is a key issue here, and sometimes hard hats and steeled capped boots might just be 100% necessary. Comfort is important, but keeping your staff away from danger should always be your number one priority. If they’re struggling to carry out their roles because of soaring temperatures, then you need to reconsider how their days are mapped out and what you can do to support them.  

Presentation is another concern, but it’s fair to say that plenty of businesses are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to this. It’s worthwhile to think about the individual circumstances of your organisation.

If you run an accountancy firm, and your staff are meeting corporate clients? Then smart dress is obviously appropriate.

But if you’re a small clothing retailer with a hip clientele who come through your doors to access the latest fashions? It’s a different story.

If you’re an up and coming tech firm serving creative industries, and you’re eager to make your mark? Somewhere in the middle is likely to be the order of the day.

Back in 2014, Starbucks took a u-turn on its anti-tattoo policy, and finally accepted that no one really cared if their barista was adorned with body art – and that actually, many of their customers would prefer it.

There’s an interesting conversation to be had here about your employees serving as a mirror to your customers, and how similar styles can foster better rapport and more trust.

The key takeaway? Dress codes are sometimes important. But the safety and comfort of your staff are paramount. Don’t get stuck in old ways of working that might not be serving your business.  Contact us today at The Human Resource to discuss ideas about adapting your ways of working, and how to introduce changes.

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Deadline looms for self-assessment payment on account

If you’re a self-assessed taxpayer, then your second income tax payment on account for the 2016/17 tax year is due this month – July 31. The payment will have been calculated based on your final tax liability for the year ended April 5 2016, with the first payment having been made in January 2017, and …

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How to manage teams in the midst of change

 
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin

And this holds true for change in the workplace too.

If you can manage your team effectively through change, helping them to adapt and adjust, it’s much more likely to be successful.  Investing your time will pay dividends following this Four E’s structure:  

 

1       Embrace

 

Communicating a constructive mindset is the first step to embracing change – whether or not team members ‘like’ or ‘agree’ with it:

 

  • Make time for the team to discuss the change together openly. Put it in context, explain why it’s happening, why it’s necessary and what it entails.

  • Be open and realistic about the pros and cons. This will encourage constructive ideas about any issues and help the team to buy into the change.  Listen to concerns and show you understand, especially normal feelings of being unsettled and unsure. 

  • Invite questions and either respond immediately or find out answers and follow up with them later.
 

2       Evaluate

 

  • Provide key facts to answer questions and concerns

  • Evaluate the change with the team, involve them in assessing its impact and gaining clarity in their minds so they can overcome their doubts and fears.

  • Ask the team for their reactions and acknowledge any reservations. Ask – “What would help you make the adjustment?”
  • Identify any challenging areas that might need further support. If difficulties are raised which can’t be resolved immediately, make a note and follow up.

3       Evolve

 

  • Help the team to adapt and evolve their behaviours to begin to ‘have a go.’

  • Identify skills and learning solutions that will help the team adapt to the change

  • Be visible and present to deal with questions and identify issues.

  • Advocate a ‘one step at a time approach’ to build confidence and make sure the team learns from mistakes.

  • Be fair and supportive – and encourage the team to be patient and supportive with each other.

4       Engage

 

  • Give people the freedom to ‘get on with it’ and practice, so that they stay focused and start to commit to the change.

  • Invite the team to use their initiative, adopt a “keep on learning” mindset and continually improve their performance.

  • Give regular feedback to reinforce learning and boost confidence. Show appreciation and highlight the progress the team has made and give credit on their achievement.
  • Review progress at team meetings and encourage individuals to share their knowledge with other members of the team.

  • At every opportunity remind the team of the purpose of the change and the priorities.

 

And finally! Be transparent with the team. There is no crystal ball to determine in advance whether or not the change will work.   No one can predict every eventuality – which means that some changes will be changed again! 

 

This is a Guest Blog by Melanie Luteijn of Go Further Goals, a Training and HR consultant with over 20 years’ experience helping SME’s across a range of sectors thrive and achieve their goals. She believes that engaged employees are integral to business success. All employees must have clarity, conviction and confidence to perform effectively and fulfil their potential at work. Go Further Goals can help by designing and delivering tailored training solutions that fit the business.

 

 

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Inheritance Tax: parents and grandparents unsure of rules

Parents and grandparents are unclear about Inheritance Tax rules, according to new research from over 55s retirement specialist Key Retirement. A survey it commissioned reveals 47% of parents and grandparents do not understand the tax rules around gifting and almost three quarters (73%) admit they find the rules complicated. At the same time, 38% are …

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