It all starts with employee induction

Do you have new staff joining you in 2023?

Whether they are expanding the team or replacing existing team members, January and February are the biggest months for hiring!

Do your plans for 2023 involve any staff changes?

Have you promised yourself that you are going to start the new year as you mean to go on and spend January putting detailed plans together for how you want to take your business forward this year?

A key consideration in this is often sorting out your IT.

It’s an area of the business that can be scary for people who don’t consider themselves to be techie.

It is made all the scarier as we all know how much we rely on our IT for pretty much every aspect of our daily work.

Your computers are the key tool to make sure your business functions smoothly. Everything from client acquisition, customer experience, supplier interaction, invoice generation to product delivery requires IT.

Without a plan to manage this, are you simply waiting for it to go down before you give it your full attention?

Talk to R&A today about how we can make sure you are running the right systems for your business needs, and how we can streamline your processes to remove barriers that are preventing your current staff from working efficiently.

Most people don’t notice that their computer systems are gradually getting slower.

However; eventually it starts to impact your ability to operate normally and do business, and then it needs to be resolved as quickly as possible!

Why not book our free IT MOT and we will recommend what can be changed, updated or improved to make your systems quicker and easier. This will make your staff’s roles easier to fulfil and help remove those annoying computer frustrations!

What’s more, many owners of small businesses don’t have IT policies in place for employees. A few quick questions for you:

  • What happens when you need to recruit someone new?
  • Are they just left at a desk with a computer to get cracking?
  • Does someone sit with them to show them the ropes?
  • How do they know what they are allowed to do (and not allowed to do!), with your company’s IT assets?
  • Do your current members of staff know what the usage policy is for their device, your software systems, the internet?

Over the years, we have found that employee mistakes are the biggest risk to companies losing data or being exposed to cybercrime. Without clear policies in place, people could be:

  • Accessing sensitive data from anywhere
  • Accessing sensitive data on any machine (not necessarily the one they were given!)
  • Using any internet connection for access – café, hotel room, home, any kind of ‘open’ access

At R&A, we believe that you should protect these IT assets against misuse or damage, just as you would other company equipment like a car. It needs to be clearly stated – what is and isn’t acceptable – a policy which you ask your employees to read, agree and sign.

They will understand the consequences of breaking the rules or contravening your company IT policy. At the very least, you need to let employees know:

  • What devices they have access to
  • Your device security minimum levels
  • Whether personal use is allowed, and under what circumstances
  • What happens if a device is stolen
  • How to return it if they leave your employment

You also need to define a usage policy for software programmes, email platforms, social media platforms and internet usage to include:

  • Username and password protocol
  • Network security
  • Confidentiality rules
  • Prohibited activities
  • What constitutes acceptable/unacceptable behaviour
  • Breach of copyright and misuse of company media assets such as photos, videos

Clearly define privacy obligationsYou should have slightly different policy versions according to the level within the organisation. For example, the person responsible for HR needs access to HR information, but obviously everybody else must not have this.

It’s the same with company confidential financial information – this should only be accessible to people who need this to do their job.

…On Reflection

This is also a good time to take a closer look at your cybersecurity and what you have in place to combat any threats.

You need to take a zero-tolerance approach, assuming your IT equipment will get infected at some point, so you need to be able to rebuild from the worst case scenario.

Most business owners don’t know what security to buy, or anything about disaster recovery, so it is a good idea to have a trusted partner like R&A on board to help with those decisions.

We will assess your business systems, tell you what the risks are and advise you about how you can protect your sensitive data straight away.

This can be setup to automatically update – asall too often people don’t realise that this hasn’t been correctly configured, so they are not adequately protected, and only find out when it’s too late.

Why not book our free IT MOT or call R&A today to discuss your cybersecurity worries.

New you – Old you

A top tip around email for a new person is to consider whether there are multiple spellings of their name i.e. Sara or Sarah, Stewart or Stuart, Shaun or Sean etc. etc. 

Michael McIntyre does a hilarious sketch on this on YouTube, but if this person needs to receive emails it could be that you setup the various mis-spellings of their name to ensure that they receive emails even if the sender spells their name incorrectly.

The new year is a good time to take a look at what policies you have on file, assess whether they need updating and which policies may be missing. If you put systems in place now right at the beginning of the year, when it comes to recruiting someone new, you won’t have the added pressure of having to write an IT policy at the same time!

Have you promised yourself that you are going to start the new year as you mean to go on and spend January putting detailed plans together for how you want to take your business forward this year? A key consideration in this is often sorting out your IT.

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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

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