Welcome to January and 2016

Welcome to January and 2016

Eloise's blog picture

Hello and welcome to January, although we’re already half way through the month – how did that happen?!

I hope you all got some rest and relaxation over the festive period. From what I hear everyone was super busy in the run up and have hit the ground running this year. I just hope the break doesn’t feel like too much of a distant memory for you.

A new year always brings about lots of change. It might be renewed business focus and plans, it might be heathy eating and a gym membership. From a business point of view there are some things to look out for, and possibly to capitalise on.

Your team will most likely be embracing the whole ‘new year, new me’ ethos. This could include thinking about moving jobs or looking at what opportunities are out there. So now is the best time to review what you are doing about employee engagement and realigning your mutual values and their career development opportunities with your organisation.

January is the time to set up 1-2-1’s with your team that focus on their aspirations and plans, so you can think about how you can support them. Are there any training courses, mentoring or job shadowing opportunities you could set up?

Keeping your team happy and engaged isn’t just about pay rises and expensive gestures. It’s the smaller, everyday things that can make the biggest difference. If people feel valued, they are more likely to stay with you. If you actively build a culture where people are encouraged to develop, grow and pursue their aspirations, they will show their appreciation with their loyalty.

More tangible things you could consider, if you don’t already have them in place, are benefits like a childcare voucher scheme, employee perks memberships or even share options. Another initiative you might want to consider to kick the year off, is support from the team at Fit4Work. They offer free advice for employers and employees about keeping fit and heathy in and for work. It is commonly known that a fit, healthy and happy workforce will be more profitable and productive.

Without meaning to labour this point any further, it’s also a great time to be open with your team about the business plans for the year. Get them excited, and more importantly involved, in as much as you can.

Getting your employee package right will also help you when you recruit for your business. Not only will it make your business look extremely attractive to a potential new starter, but if you offer them a job and they get counter offered, which in such a candidate driven recruitment market is happening more and more often, you will remain an attractive proposition.

Now, there is always a flip side to consider. January isn’t just about protecting your assets and investing in your existing team. With the New Year mentality, there is usually a fresh wave of talent looking for opportunities. So, if you were thinking about recruiting in a few months’ time, or during the first half of 2016. You might benefit from bringing your plans forward to capitalise on this.

Upcoming events / dates to remember:

HR Huddle – Thursday 28th January 5.00pm-7.00pm:

  • As always, this event is targeted to HR professionals who are committed to self-development and want to keep their working knowledge fresh via peer to peer learning. It doesn’t matter if you’ve become one of our regulars, or this will be your first time attending, book your place today.
  • The guest speaker – Jay Allen, is an award winning Author of the book Battlefield2Boardroom, and predominantly works as a success strategy coach to help others achieve their success. So from Kosovo to Corporate and Bosnia to the Boardroom, Jay will get us fired up for 2016.

Auto Enrolment:

  • Businesses with less than 30 employees are auto enrolling throughout 2016. If the last 2 characters in your PAYE reference numbers are 00 05-07, E1-E9 or EA-EZ, your staging date is 1st February 2016, are you ready to go? The next batch is then: 01, 08-11, F1-F9, G1-G9, FA-FZ or GA-GZ with a staging date of 1st March.


  • If you are registered for tax self-assessment, you have until 11:59pm on 31 January to send your completed online tax return for the 2013/14 tax year, which ended 5 April 2014, to HMRC. If you miss the deadline, you'll be fined £100. This applies even if you don't owe any tax or are due a refund.

I hope you have a great rest of the month!