Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

Top 5 Tips Vital to Good Staff Absence Management

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Managing employee absences can be problematic at times for employers. It is important, however, to manage absences reasonably and fairly. In order to assist employers, we have put together our top 5 tips on managing staff absence. have outlined important management tips to help employers dealing with absenteeism – and we outline these below:

  • Clear attendance policy

Make sure that this is easy to understand, clear and every employee can access it/has a copy. It should outline all the company’s attendance requirements, expectations and check that there aren’t any loopholes – think about the issues you have had and work through the policy to see if the policy works for you

  • Training

Training is essential – both with new hires, to bring them trough policies, and with your current employees to remind them of your expectations – it’s also a good time for them to talk about concerns/issues and raise them directly

  • Documentation

Take notes! Managers should be noting any absence, conversations on return to work, calls being made to absentees etc. Documentation is vital to understand the issues, manage them and work with the employee(s), presenting details to them if needed.

  • Reward good attendance

We all know that it’s good to reward good behaviour instead of punishing for bad behaviour all the time. So, make sure that employees with good attendance/time records are acknowledged. This doesn’t need to be a regular reward, sometimes the best rewards are a manager’s comment saying thanks, or a voucher out of the blue.

  • Be consistent!

Managers need to apply policies consistently – any gaps will be picked up and abused! Ensure managers are trained and updated, take them through examples of how they need to manage absentees to ensure consistency, and talk about informal versus formal approaches – as these can often be major areas of inconsistency.

We have a team of trained and skilled investigators and consultants who have extensive experience in this area and would be happy to discuss any issue of concern with you. Just email us on or call Ingrid on 01 5252914.

Voltedge Management

How to Stay Healthy over Christmas

Monday, December 11th, 2017

This time of year, between over-indulging in food and alcohol, late nights, meeting end of year deadlines and the stress and pressure of having everything in place for Christmas can take its toll on us.  It’s easy to lose the run of ourselves and come January we are often feeling burnt out and suffering from the blues.

Here are some tips on how to avoid that January feeling and bounce into 2018 with a smile.


It’s so easy to overeat over Christmas, there are boxes of chocolates and biscuits in the office, lunches and dinners out and at home; we tend to stock up on tasty treats because “hey it’s Christmas”! And yes, we do all deserve to overdo it a little but the key message here is MODERATION.

Instead of saying yes to everything, and mindlessly dipping into the bowls of crisps, sweets, picking off the plates of nibbles and having that extra mince pie – STOP!

Think about what you are eating, enjoy and savour it and then step away.  There are usually some healthy options too, try a few and surprise yourself on how tasty they can be, replenishing your vitamin and mineral levels at the same time.

Tip 1: Food is fuel – the cleaner and purer the more efficient and stronger the body!


Running around the shops, traipsing around town and decorating the house is often all the exercise many of us get at Christmas. And yes, it does count but keeping active and getting some fresh air has a huge impact on balancing stress levels and keeping the extra inches at bay.

A brisk walk after a big meal is a great way to keep energised and if you have a current exercise routine don’t put it on hold altogether for the month of December.  Stick with it as much as possible and come January the thought of going back to the gym, hitting the pavements or signing back up for that Pilates class will not hurt as much.

It’s a great way to get together with friends and family too, organise a hike and a picnic, a turkey sandwich eaten at the top of a mountain cannot be beaten.  And for the really brave and bold a dip in the sea will put a skip in anyone’s step – just be careful!

Tip 2: A fit and active body is one that is truly alive!


The end of the year can be a hugely stressful time in any work environment.  With deadlines, targets, planning and budgets all top of the agenda the pressure can be at boiling point.  Take stock, prioritise and manage your time efficiently. Plan your day and stick with that plan as best you can.  Be realistic in what you can achieve and be open with your colleagues and managers on your manageable goals.

The same applies for stress at home, financially Christmas can add huge strain so be realistic and don’t spend what you don’t have. Easy to say, but by planning early, taking advantage of offers, pre-Christmas sales and not leaving everything to the last minute you can avoid getting into debt and spending January worrying about bills and expenses.

Tip 3: Take stock, be realistic and plan for a stress-free time.


Mulled wine, bubbles, cocktails and sherry it’s hard to avoid a tipple or two and get a bit merry. Family gatherings and meeting up with friends there’s usually some alcohol on offer and given the festive spirit, well why not!!

But being mindful of what you are drinking is the key to minding yourself.  No one enjoys hangovers and that feeling of dread after one too many and if you are already feeling stressed or a little bit low those feelings are magnified and come become overwhelming.

So, follow the tips of never drinking on an empty stomach (hard to do over Christmas); pace yourself, drink plenty of water and try not to mix your drinks too much. Be aware of how much you are drinking, don’t top up, finish your glass first otherwise you really have no idea how much you have drunk. And remember it is ok to say NO! Your friends and family will be jealous of your clear head the next day.

Tip 4: Have a tipple and be merry just don’t over-do it on the Sherry!

And lastly be mindful of others.  Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, if you know someone is feeling low, lonely or stressed reach out to them. Volunteer to help out at a local centre, fund raising or simply to do a bit of shopping for a neighbour – it will make their day and make you feel good too.

Tip 5: Enjoy, be kind, be safe and be healthy… Happy Christmas!











Ingrid O’Sullivan, Operations Manager

Top Tips on Conducting Year-End Performance Reviews

Monday, December 11th, 2017

As we approach year-end, managers are starting to think about conducting performance appraisals with their teams. It’s not just Santa who is making a “naughty” and “nice” list”!

Here we share some top tips for conducting performance appraisals and getting the most out of your year-end reviews.

 Communicate in advance

  • Send the employee an overview / refresher of the performance appraisal process.
  • Ask them to prepare in advance for the meeting – many performance appraisal processes include an employee self-appraisal as part of the process.
  • Be positive about the process – it is an opportunity to look back over the previous year, acknowledge work well done and identify mutually agreed solutions to any challenges.

 Prepare for the meeting

  • Analyse the employees progress over the last year by reviewing notes from one-to-one meetings, assessing progress against goals and noting any workshops / training they attended.
  • Make a note of any of the achievements you wish to recognise and the development areas you want to highlight.

 Be organised

  • Agree a time and place that works for both of you.
  • Make sure the location is private and that you will not be disturbed.
  • Schedule enough time so that the conversation will not be rushed.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Make sure the temperature of the room is comfortable and have water available.

 Set the tone

  • Use the first five minutes of the meeting to set a friendly tone and relax the employee – remember, not every employee looks forward to the performance appraisal meeting and some will be nervous.
  • Set an agenda for the meeting so that the employee knows what to expect.

 Catch up

  • Start the review by getting an understanding of how the employee is feeling and what highs and lows they have had since the last review.
  • Be an active listener.
  • Take the time to consider the employee’s motivations and abilities.


  • Give the employee performance feedback on what has gone well and what could be managed better in the future.
  • Always be specific in your feedback and have examples to illustrate your points.
  • Review the skill requirements of the role and discuss the areas in which they are exceeding expectations, are on target and areas below expectations.
  • Identify development needs and any supports required by the employee.
  • Where improvements are required, work on problem solving together rather than blaming. The conversation should be supportive and solution based!


  • Agree on objectives that the employee needs to work on between now and the next review.
  • Encourage the employee to play an active role in identifying these objectives. They are much more likely to be achieved if the employee is interested from the beginning!
  • Make sure any goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timebound).
  • Agree a development plan which will include mapping out any training or coaching that is required.
  • Remember that showing an interest in an employee’s professional and career development demonstrates that you are committed to their success and enhances their overall engagement and satisfaction.

Finally, here is a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep in the forefront of your minds!

Do's and Don'ts on conducting year-end reviews

Our team of skilled and experienced HR Consultants are available to discuss any related matter that this article highlights for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on or call our office on 01 5252914.

Margaret McCarthy, HR Consultant

How to solve an employee dispute effectively

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Did you know that US research suggests that employees spend an average of 2.7 hours a week in conflict at work?

With employee engagement and retention being critical for all employers, the last thing any employer needs is an internal dispute that upsets employees and affects morale – and could potentially lead to an expensive and difficult case.

Most people hate conflict, but some conflict and difference of opinion is essential in a healthy business – how can we ensure it doesn’t get out of hand?

Jane Simms in an article in CIPD People Management has some helpful tips:

  • Keep it informal: Once a dispute becomes a formal issue, you are then bound to use the formal disciplinary, grievance and bullying procedures and all that goes with them. Aim to resolve issues as quickly as possible – when they are not major, and employees have not become entrenched in their views and opinions.
  • Training: Some businesses ‘hide’ behind formal procedures, and managers are often not prepared, or able, to deal with the issues. Train your managers to deal with managing conflict, having that difficult conversation, and spotting those tell-tale signs of employee conflict.
  • Hands on: Ensure you and your managers are engaged at all levels of your business, having the ability to sit down and have coffee in the canteen and talk can be the best way of gauging satisfaction and/or issues that are arising.
  • Mediation: Have mediation embedded as a normal first stop in conflict resolution so that employees are used to, and understand, the benefits of mediation at the early stages of conflict.
  • Employee engagement: Finally – take a genuine interest in your employees. If an employee is acting out of character and being difficult, a quiet conversation may well show that the employee has a personal issue that can be supported or resolved. Good managers with training can identify these issues quickly and nip them in the bud.

In summary – employee disputes can be very costly in terms of time, management input, morale and employee engagement. The best way to manage any dispute is to work quickly to eliminate the issues if possible. Voltedge Management works with our clients to support them in minimising the risk and to look at the best way of solving a conflict. Send an email to to see how we can help.