HR in 90 Seconds - August 2018

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 16 August 2018
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Issues covered:

In this month’s ‘HR in 90 seconds…’ we are looking at managers versus leaders; employees burning out and what an employer’s response to this burnout should look like.
We have a number of excellent resources on our Employment Law Hub but we know you are short for time so we have reviewed them and brought together the key points to help you stay up to speed. If you have more time you can follow the relevant links for more information on each issue.
This month’s takeaway points include:

  • Clarity around the roles of Manager and Leader;
  • Ideas on how to prevent employee burnout;
  • 3 of your most frequently asked questions answered in ‘First Tuesday’

Managers versus Leaders: is there a difference?

The terms ‘manager’ and ‘leader’ are sometimes used interchangeably but is there a difference between the two and can a manager also be a leader? Olga Pollock looks at leadership in terms of transformational leadership which inspires others to share the vision and put people’s needs first. Olga highlights the difference between the two roles, for example:

  • Leaders tend to be visionary and go beyond goal setting. Managers focus on goal setting and measure achievement towards these.
  • Leaders innovate and disrupt the status quo.
  • Leaders are authentic and transparent. Managers may have learned and copied their management style.

Olga discusses other key differences between a leader and a manager and how organisations can encourage their managers to be effective leaders, including the use of leadership training. Olga quotes Steve Jobs in an inspirational quote, ''Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do the things they never thought they could."
Read Olga’s full article.

What are the pros and cons of gardening leave?

Emma Kieran from Clarendon Executive takes us through what gardening leave is and when it is appropriate to use it. As well as this, Emma highlights the employer benefits, including protecting the employer’s business and preventing the employee from commencing employment with a competitor. Also summarised are the possible pitfalls to using garden leave, including potential breaches of contract and possibly indirectly denying access to certain payments.
Emma concludes by reminding us that the process is not always as straightforward as it seems and that it is always worth seeking legal advice as employers may find themselves in a financially onerous position if correct procedures aren't followed when placing staff on garden leave.

SME leaders facing burnout

A thought-provoking article from HR magazine on burnout in SME leaders was shared with us by Claire Loftus, Director of Evolve. Claire summarised the main points of the article including:

  • One in five in their survey admitted to feeling under pressure all the time;
  • 65% have said they either don’t switch off or struggle to switch off; and
  • Almost half blamed lack of time as a key source of their work pressure

Sadly, all too often we see business owners running themselves ragged, into physical and mental health problems by not focusing on themselves a little and getting the balance right. When discussing how stress manifested itself in the workplace, nearly half (46%) admitted they get short tempered when under pressure, while 18% isolate themselves or are withdrawn. Other indicators of leaders being under pressure include not being able to sleep (52%) and becoming ill (30%).

  • Do you encourage your employees to switch off from work?
  • What do you do to switch off from work?

Claire also posted a number of tips on how we can prevent burnout from happening

  • Clarify people’s roles - a clearly defined job description will help to create boundaries and prevents one person from being overloaded
  • Objectives - how can people deliver if they don’t know exactly what is expected of them. People can be working hard towards the wrong set of targets so by clearly setting them out people know what and how to deliver.
  • Tools & Training - do people have the right skills and tools to be able to deliver their tasks efficiently and effectively?
  • Feedback - is important to give feedback on how people are performing against their objectives and offer support. By doing this on a regular basis you create an environment where they will feel more open to speak up if they are feeling stressed.

Claire has a passion for helping local businesses increase their productivity and performance of their greatest asset - their people, helping them to fulfil their potential and flourish. Claire focuses on employee engagement as a number one priority for businesses today and will be taking part in our next HR Network meeting on Tuesday 4th September.

Claire will be looking at ‘Engaging your team to energise your business’ so, if you are a member of the HR Network and have not registered, please email to reserve your place. Or drop Lynsey a line if you’d like to join.

Other items of interest:

In this month’s First Tuesday Chris Fullerton from Arthur Cox gives advice on a number of questions that we have recently been asked by customers, including:

In last month’s HR in 90 we covered various aspects of recent news on handling the menopause at work. In the July/August publication of People Management magazine, they reported on a £19,000 award where a judge allowed a claim for disability discrimination against woman going through menopause. This was described by lawyers as ‘a rare instance of the menopause being cited in a disability claim, lawyers say.’
If you have seen any HR related articles you’d like to share with Legal-Island readers, drop a line to

This article is correct at 16/08/2018

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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