Ten Free Ways Acas Can Help Your Small Business

Time is a valuable commodity for every small business. Juggling admin and paperwork, managing your team and making your business more productive all eat into the working day. So to reduce your 'to do' list and help you to get back to running your business, we've created a suite of handy tools, templates, checklists and resources that simplify everyday tasks and help you to quickly manage workplace matters.

Designed with best workplace practice and legislation in mind, this practical toolkit covers many of the most common HR and employment relations challenges facing small business owners and managers. Here are 10 ways Acas can help:

1. Creating new recruitment ads

Recruiting new employees can be a job in itself. Our convenient Job Description Template helps you to quickly structure a job description for a recruitment agency or advertisement, and covers key areas like roles, responsibilities, results and objectives.

2. Promoting equality and diversity

Equality and diversity play a fundamental role in any modern organisation. A greater awareness and understanding of different characteristics can also help to improve team spirit, increase productivity and minimise the likelihood of disruptive complaints or claims. Our Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form helps you to meet the aims of your equality policy and build an accurate profile of your workforce.

3. Improving productivity in the workplace

Understanding what drives productivity is key for many small businesses. Our self-diagnostic online Productivity Tool guides you through the seven 'productivity levers' that determine productivity in the workplace - providing expert insight into the factors that underpin how you work. The tool also creates a personal report, highlighting areas of improvement and directing you to relevant advice and guidance.

4. Assessing and rewarding performance

Appraisals are an opportunity to truly measure your employees' performance against previous objectives. Acas' handy appraisal forms offer clear guidance on assessing performance and recording progress, so you can reward achievement and identify team members with the potential for promotion.

5. Recording and reviewing disciplinary measures

Accurate record keeping is a must when it comes to dealing with workplace grievances and disciplinary action. The Employee Disciplinary Record Template makes it simple to record and recall disciplinary measures, providing a clear paper trail in the event of issues escalating.

6. Carrying out a workplace investigation

If there is an incident at work, it pays to deal with all parties fairly and consistently. This may require you to undertake an investigation. Our Investigation Plan and Investigation Report templates, provide you with guidance on how to collect information, remain objective and record and document the evidence in a written report.

7. Improving your people management

Good people management is one of the pillars of a profitable business, but knowing how to assess and improve your management skills can be difficult. The Acas Model Workplace Tool walks you through a series of bitesize modules, covering everything from recruitment to performance management. And at the end of each module, you'll receive a rating for how effective your current management practices are, together with advice and links to make further improvements.

8. Keeping you one step ahead

The world of work is continually changing. To keep you up to speed with the latest legislation and employment guidelines, sign up to our email newsletter. This explains the key issues facing your business in easy-to-understand terms. It also provides previews of practical training and events in your area.

9. Developing new skills

If you're looking to improve your business performance, our free Learning OnLine modules enable you and your team to expand your knowledge, at your own pace. Combining theory, practical studies and interactive tests, these easy-to-use online courses cover a wide range of topics and are tailor-made for busy managers and supervisors.

10. Providing expert guidance

Need to talk to an expert about your business? The Acas Customer Services Team can talk through any issues you are facing and any support we can provide. Simply call 0300 123 1150 to talk to our advisers. Or complete our online enquiry form to let us know how we can help.