May HR Newsletter

Posted: 03/05/24

Inside this edition:

HR tasks mounting up? Could Fractional HR be the answer? | 20% of neurodivergent workers have experienced workplace discrimination | What type of company culture does your workplace have?

Are HR tasks taking up significant amounts of your time? Could Fractional HR be the answer?

Your business is growing; but more team members means more of your precious time is spent on people and HR tasks. The perfect solution could be Fractional HR. Fractional HR provides all the benefits of having an experienced HR Professional who knows and understands your business whist avoiding the costs of employing an HR team.

What is Fractional HR?

Fractional HR involves engaging a team member (or a few team members) to proactively work with your business on a regular part time basis.  This might be in person where they physically attend and work from your premises or virtually for a set period of time each week or month.

Fractional HR can be a great stepping stone between an outsourced HR Service, where you have HR support available for discrete HR issues, and employing an HR resource.  With Fractional HR, you benefit from proactive HR support which is aligned to your business needs but on a part time or as needed basis.

How could Fractional HR benefit your business?


The Fractional HR model allows companies to access HR expertise on an as-needed basis, rather than employing a full or part-time HR staff. This can be particularly helpful for small and medium-sized businesses where employment might not provide the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. By using fractional HR providers, businesses can save time, money, and resources while still ensuring compliance and effective people management.

It’s a flexible solution that can adapt to the

needs of the business without the commitment and cost of employment.


An experienced HR professional will be able to partner with you to understand your business and your goals proactively helping you to manage your people and retain your top talent. You may also have access to a team of HR specialists who can provide bespoke advice on recruitment, benefits, learning and development and other HR specialist areas.


Regular support rather than ad-hoc support means the HR professional will be more familiar with your policies and processes. They can ensure they are up to date and legally compliant keeping your business protected from potential claims.


Regular site visits or time working with you virtually, means the HR Professional will engage and build a rapport with your managers. They can act as a sounding board, coaching them through any tricky employee issues. They can also be approached by employees for general queries or more specific concerns, essentially acting as your inhouse HR department.

Fractional HR could be the next step to help your business grow and thrive. If you’d like to find out more about Fractional HR and how it might work for your business, please get in touch.

20% of neurodivergent workers have experienced workplace discrimination

A report by the CIPD has found that a fifth of employees with neurodivergent conditions are facing a difficult working environment. A third of respondents said that their experience at work had a negative impact on their mental wellbeing, and 19% said that this had affected their intention to stay with their employer and the likelihood of recommending their employer to a friend.

Despite these figures, more than half of people surveyed for the Neuroinclusion at work report said that they felt their organisation was neuroinclusive.

This shines a light on workplace culture as a whole and the way we treat neurodivergent people in our businesses. Many organisations do not formally discuss neurodivergence and the report found that many had not disclosed their neurodivergence to their employer for various reasons.

The CIPD points out that neurodivergence needs to be a key part of businesses’ equality, diversity and inclusion work – but it is often overlooked and this is a significant missed opportunity when it comes to talent shortages and ironing out inequalities often faced by neurodivergent people.

How does your business approach the topic of menopause?

You may want to take note of a recent example of what not to do from Avanti West Coast. The train company’s employee support group handed out a staff gift bag containing such delights as a pencil “to write down things you might forget”, a paperclip “to help you keep it all together”, a tissue for “if you’re feeling a bit emotional” and a jelly baby “in case you feel like biting someone’s head off.”

The gift bag was apparently intended to help support conversations about menopause, but rail union representatives have described it as demeaning and insulting.

This raises the fact that all businesses need to include menopause in their diversity, equality and inclusion policies and training to make sure they are handling discussions sensitively.

There are 4 types of company culture. Which does your company have and does it need to change?

A strong company culture is crucial when it comes to a successful business. BUT, you may have the wrong culture for your business…

The Competing Values Framework is a tool first used in the 1980s; it outlines four types of company culture:

Clan culture

A clan culture is exactly what it sounds like. Employees are more like a family. Everyone gets on well and maintaining that strong company culture is a high priority.

A clan culture is common among start-ups and employees are given the freedom to work in a tranquil and collaborative environment.

The risk of adopting a clan culture is that there’s a potential for the work/fun balance to tip too far towards fun. Employees could become disengaged from their work given too much freedom.

Adhocracy culture

This type of culture is all about flexibility and innovation; it’s often found in modern tech companies. A business with an adhocracy culture is always developing new products and ideas, with a creative and energetic environment.

A potential downfall of an adhocracy culture is that things can begin to feel chaotic and employees may not have clearly defined roles.

Market culture

A market culture is performance-oriented and results-driven with high performance goals for everyone. The main focus is on profit and market share, with less consideration of community.

The downfall of a market culture is the risk of burnout when employees are being constantly pushed to achieve bigger, better things all the time. There can also be conflict between competing employees and the risk of dishonesty in order to appear successful.

Hierarchy culture

This is the most traditional type of culture in a business and is centered around a clear hierarchical structure. There are clear processes and procedures to keep everything running smoothly. There are often strict rules and close supervision of employees, with several layers of management.

So, which type of company culture do you think your business has? If you’re wondering about the culture in your business, it’s a good idea to work with an HR consultant to survey your team. Once you have answers, you can consider whether you want to change the culture of your business.

Next month we are excited to be involved in a couple of big events.

Tonbridge Business Awards

The Tonbridge Business Awards take place on Monday 3rd June 2024 at the EM Forster Theatre. We are proud to be sponsoring the ‘Employer’ award and look forward to seeing the list of finalists being announced on 13th May 2024.

Make it Your Business

Gemma will be one of the guest speakers at the ‘Make It Your Business’ event in Tunbridge Wells on 14th June 2024. This event provides a fantastic opportunity to meet local female entrepreneurs who will be offering inspiration, ideas and support to start or grow your own business.

Can I promote someone without advertising the role?

It’s not a legal requirement to advertise a job, but it’s a good idea to avoid claims of discrimination. If you have a policy on recruitment, check it before you take action to ensure you follow your own process.

Do I have to agree to a sabbatical request?

The short answer here is no. There are no actual laws around employees taking a career break – it’s an agreement between you and them. Employees do have the right to request flexible working and they may use this to request a sabbatical. If you’re worried about this, it may be worth creating a formal policy covering sabbaticals.

Can I refuse time off for medical appointments if we’re short staffed?

You are not legally required to allow time off work for medical appointments. However, as an employer you do have a “duty of care” to your employees, meaning that you must take reasonable steps to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing while at work.

Double check your employee’s contract and any relevant company policies though, as this may be something that has been agreed previously.

Categories: Articles