Comments are closed. Lessons we could all learn from new starsOn 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Thisweek Personnel Today puts 21 rising stars of HR under the spotlight. With helpfrom the profession, we have picked the new breed of HR – the people to watch. These21 dynamic men and women are among the brightest and the best of their generationin 21st century businesses. They are the fresh faces of the changing nature ofHR in the Internet age, the high-flyers who are carrying out the strategic HRthat everyone is talking about but struggling to achieve. Sowhat qualities do you need to emulate them? What have they got that you musthave if you want to climb to the top of the HR career ladder? Excellentcommunication skills, Web savvy, vision and influence where it matters most,combined with the core HR skills, are the answers. It also helps that many workin fast-moving high-tech environments or in the new economy. Theyhave the skills that are needed in the brave new e-HR world – reflected in theround table debate that we feature on p26. Personnel Today chaired thediscussion which asked the question, “Is the Web a friend or enemy toHR?” Ayounger generation of technologically-minded HR professionals joined moreseasoned practitioners to debate whether the impact of the Internet will bepositive or negative. Many of the themes that emerged showed what these newpioneers of e-HR will have to tackle. For example, how effective is the Web attraining and development? It makes compulsive reading.Thedebate concluded that HR was up to the challenge of the Internet. The panel wasunanimous in the view that the Web is HR’s friend. TheInternet is changing the world and the very essence of the HR profession andthere is no going back. This week Personnel Today puts 21 rising stars of HRunder the spotlight. With help from the profession, we have picked the newbreed of HR – the people to watch (Features, p21). These21 dynamic men and women are among the brightest and the best of theirgeneration in 21st century businesses. They are the fresh faces of the changingnature of HR in the Internet age, the high-flyers who are carrying out thestrategic HR that everyone is talking about but struggling to achieve. Sowhat qualities do you need to emulate them? What have they got that you musthave if you want to climb to the top of the HR career ladder? Excellentcommunication skills, Web savvy, vision and influence where it matters most,combined with the core HR skills, are the answers. It also helps that many workin fast-moving high-tech environments or in the new economy. Theyhave the skills that are needed in the brave new e-HR world – reflected in theround table debate that we feature on p26. Personnel Today chaired thediscussion which asked the question, “Is the Web a friend or enemy toHR?” Ayounger generation of technologically-minded HR professionals joined moreseasoned practitioners to debate whether the impact of the Internet will bepositive or negative. Many of the themes that emerged showed what these newpioneers of e-HR will have to tackle. For example, how effective is the Web attraining and development? It makes compulsive reading.Thedebate concluded that HR was up to the challenge of the Internet. The panel wasunanimous in the view that the Web is HR’s friend. TheInternet is changing the world and the very essence of the HR profession andthere is no going back. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Market research company AC Nielsenhas reduced staff turnover by 34 per cent by introducing an annual businesseffectiveness survey five years ago. Richard Savage, HRdirector for AC Nielsen Belgium, said a drive to improve staff loyalty wasbehind the initiative, following the company’s separation from Dun &Bradstreet in 1996.He said, “Thecompany was suffering from low employee morale and millions of dollars inlosses. “We also had lotsof dissatisfied clients. There was a need to improve productivity and increasethe satisfaction of employees.”AC Nielsen adopted aservice profit chain model in 1996, which included a business effectivenesssurvey and changes to the compensation pay of its managers.The businesseffectiveness survey is made up of 50 questions on 12 core competencies, suchas leadership, performance management and career development. It is sent to ACNielsen’s 20,000 employees worldwide, in 100 different countries.Savage said,”This year we got an 87 per cent response rate from our survey.”The HR team changedthe bonus pay for managers linking it to the performance of their businessunits as an incentive to commit to the business model. Savage said,”This helped to bring hearts and minds of managers with us.”Focus groups were alsoset up in individual business units to work on action plans to improvedeficiencies in key competencies.Since the model’sintroduction, the company has quadrupled its operating income and increasedemployee satisfaction by 33 per cent. AC Nielsen had salesof $1.4bn (£973m) last year. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. AC Nielsen tackles staff loyaltyOn 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
Thereare few things more annoying than waiting for unwanted animations or banner adsto download on a website when you’re in a hurry. And while some web animationcan be fun, on the whole we use the Internet to access information as quicklyas possible. The following steps (for users of version 5.5 of Internet Explorer) show howeasy it is to switch animation off. 1 – Go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options and go to the Advancedsection of the menu. 2 – You should see a number of options and scroll down these until you getto Multimedia. Set the box next to Play Animations to unchecked. 3 – If you decide to relent and let animations back into your life, reversethe above steps and restart your computer. Remember that you can also opt for a text-only browser to speed up yoursurfing, such as Lynx (www.lynx.browser.org), which only lets you view words ona website rather than pictures and animation. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Switching off animationOn 15 May 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.
Force allows ‘flies’ back on its wallsOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Thames Valley Police Force has invited in TV documentary makers to filmofficers on the beat despite its previous disastrous experience. In 1982, the force was the subject of the award-winning BBC documentaryPolice, which created considerable controversy when horrified viewers witnessedthe insensitive grilling of an alleged rape victim. Police officers involvedwere felt to have demonstrated a serious lack of training and expertise. The programme prompted public demonstrations, hostile press reaction andquestions were asked in Parliament. But producer Roger Graef has been invited back to film a new programme thatwill be transmitted later this year. “Some people who were around last time are understandablynervous,” said Gayle Ross-iter who is head of corporate information atThames Valley. But Rossiter reports that she has been impressed by Graef’s willingness tospend time explaining his objectives to staff and put them at ease. “We hope the programme will illustrate how Thames Valley Police hasmoved on in 20 years,” said Rossiter. www.thamesvalley.police.uk Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.
Comments are closed. LettersOn 9 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today This week’s lettersAt the launch of Personnel Today’s Refugees in Employmentcampaign in June, we wrote to Immigration Minister Lord Rooker. Here is hisfull responseRefugees must be able to reach their potentialThank you for your letter of 6 July asking me to respond to a campaignlaunched in Personnel Today in July which aims to assist refugees andasylum-seekers gain employment. I believe that it is important to remember that there are fundamentaldifferences in the terms “refugee” and “asylum-seeker”.Refugee applies to those who have received a positive decision on theirapplication for asylum. The term also includes those whose application for asylum has been refusedbut who have been granted leave to remain on humanitarian grounds. Refugees are able to work. They are issued with a letter confirming thegrant of this status and the letter makes it clear that they are able to work. We have been working closely with a number of refugee groups and othervoluntary organisations, particularly the Employability Forum, to enhance theway in which these letters express that refugees have permission to work. Webelieve that this will help to ensure that potential employers are clear thatpeople from this group have no barriers preventing them from taking upemployment. In terms of the broader issues facing refugees seeking employment andtraining, we have established a National Refugee In- tegration Forum to overseethe implementation of a national integration strategy. This forum bringstogether key policy-makers from central Government, local authorities, thevoluntary sector and refugee groups themselves. We believe that it is essential that refugees are given the chance toachieve their full potential in the UK and we consider that the attainment of employmentis a key factor in this process. A sub-group of the forum has therefore beenset up to look exclusively at matters surrounding employment, training andadult education. The Employment, Training and Adult Education Sub-group has been tasked to addressthe difficulties that refugees have in entering the job market. Membership ofthe sub-group has been drawn from key stakeholders in the voluntary, public andprivate sectors. Issues that the sub-group are presently addressing include: – Monitoring data on the profile of refugee job-seekers – Reviewing the provision of English language training – Recognition of overseas qualifications – The promotion of refugee employment among employers – Consultation with the Department for Work and Pensions over thedevelopment of a policy on refugee employment The term “asylum-seeker” refers to those who are still awaiting adecision on their claim for asylum. Generally speaking, those in this group areallowed to work only if their conditions of stay do not preclude this. There is a concession which allows adult asylum-seekers to apply forpermission to work if their application remains outstanding for longer than sixmonths without a decision being made on it. Permission to work is granted on the standard acknowledgement letter whichis issued to all asylum-seekers. Section 8 of the Immigration and Asylum Act makes it an offence for anemployer to employ a foreign national who does not have permission to workhere. Guidance is available to employers who wish to satisfy themselves that theperson they are considering employing can work here. We are keen to ensure that employers do not inadvertently discriminateagainst refugees and those asylum-seekers who are allowed to work. We believe that employers should ask the same questions of all potentialemployees in order to establish their eligibility to take employment. We have no plans to establish a database of skills for asylum-seekers. Inmany cases the asylum application will be finally determined as unsuccessful.In these cases the person concerned is expected to leave the UK. We believe it is far more important to use our available resources to assistthe integration for those granted refugee status. As a team of new Home Office Ministers we have been actively exploring arange of options for change and hope to be able to make some announcementsduring the autumn. Jeff Rooker Minister of State, The Home Office Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
The deciding factorOn 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article How can you successfully sway a decision after it has been made? Clifford J Ehrlich advises on this, and howto assess a potential bossQ: “I know the best way to influence a decision is to be there whenit is being made, but sometimes conflicts and deadlines don’t allow it. Itseems that once people have made a decision, or are well advanced in thedecision-making process, they are reluctant to consider another perspective.How can I influence the outcome at that point?” A: Everyone in a job with a significant advice-giving component, suchas HR, understands the value of entering a discussion when the participants areopen-minded and the flow of ideas is strongest. Unfortunately, businessexecutives usually have more things to do than time allows. Their need to moveahead quickly causes them to resist backtracking or rethinking a decision. However, we have found that our lack of success in persuading people toreconsider a decision often results from the approach we use. We introduceinformation we believe may have been overlooked or given too little weight, andexplain its merits. The decision-maker defends the decision and we quickly findourselves in a debate. Since the decision-maker holds a different position, guesswho wins? An effective alternative is to shift the discussion from debate to inquiry.Inquiry prevents participants from being stranded at separate ends of adiscussion and creates alignment. Rather than telling your colleague what iswrong with their decision, ask: “How does this bring you closer to yourbusiness objectives? What opportunities does it make possible that would nothave been under the alternatives that were considered? What tipped the scale inyour thinking? What was it about the other options you didn’t like?” Ask the questions in a tone that says, “I want to understand”,rather than, “You’ve made a mistake and I want to change your mind”. This approach worked for me when one of our divisions was planning anacquisition. I knew, as did the head of that division, that we didn’t have muchin the way of executive talent capable of running that new business. But he hadmade considerable progress in the acquisition process when I learned about it.I went to see him and told him I wanted to get his thinking on the move. Hewalked me through the numbers – market share, return on investment and so on –making a compelling case for the acquisition. And then I asked: “Who is going to run it?” It stopped him dead inhis tracks. We really didn’t have anyone suitable and neither did the companywe were about to acquire. The wonderful numbers I had seen wouldn’t materialisewithout the right team. He didn’t have that team, and so didn’t proceed withthe acquisition. Inquiry is also useful in a situation where a manager is about to make apromotion or hire from outside the company, and your assessment is that itwon’t be a suitable appointment. Questions directed at the candidate’sexperience or ability to handle the crucial aspects of the job give the managerthe opportunity to rethink the decision before it is final. Whether or not your approach changes the outcome, you will have raisedissues that shouldn’t be overlooked and have helped sharpen the manager’sfocus. Remember in all of these situations that the people you are counselling wantto make the right decision. Your job is to approach them in a way thatfacilitates that result. Q: “My last two bosses were micro-managers who made me miserable. Iam moving to a new job as a benefits manager and want to make sure my next bosswill help me grow and develop in my role. What traits should I look for?” A: I, too, have been through the agony of accepting a job that wasterrific, only to discover the person I worked for drained me of enthusiasm andself-confidence. After that experience, I determined it is best to work forpeople who: – Are accessible. They are there when you need them – Are willing to teach you and help you think, and are committed to yourprofessional growth. They can challenge and guide you – Are willing to share information, insights and perspectives – Give credit to others. They share praise; they don’t hog it – Know that work is only part of living a full life To assess a potential boss, utilise the interview process. Ask, what was thelast big decision made in benefits? What role did you play? What role did theperson in the job I’m going into play? Listen carefully to discern how the bosssees himself or herself and subordinates as players in implementing decisions. By all means, if it is possible, contact the boss’s former employees and askfor their appraisals. It is the best way to gauge if you and the boss will becompatible. And it is an excellent way for you to learn what traits to exhibitwhen you are the boss. Clifford J Ehrlich is a principal of the Cabot AdvisoryGroup (www.cabotgrp.com), a US-based company of veteran senior HR executivesfrom global organisations. Cabot principals have direct experience designingand implementing creative, practical solutions to today’s leading HRchallenges. Ehrlich is the former senior vice-president of HR at MarriottInternational where he was responsible for 195,000 employees. Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Awards recognise equal pay champsOn 19 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Women will be able to identify employers offering them equal pay under a newaward scheme launched by minister for women Barbara Roche. The Castle Award will be given to employers and individuals who are leadersin promoting equal opportunity and pay issues. Roche also announced an extra £270,000 to identify and spread best practicein advancing women in the workplace. “The pay gap is getting narrower year-on-year but this is not solely amatter for Government. What is also needed is a cultural change amongstemployers so they properly value women’s contribution to their organisation’ssuccess,” said Roche. “Women looking for a job want to know their employer will value theirskills and experience and working parents want to know that they won’t miss outon opportunities at work, if for example they attend their child’s school play.The Castle Awards are named after Barbara Castle, who introduced the EqualPay act in 1970. www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk/castleawards
Equal pay champ calls for HR data in annual reportsOn 15 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article TheGovernment’s equal pay champion Denise Kingsmill has called for HR indicatorsto be included in company’s annual reports to help reduce the 18 per cent paygap and improve corporate responsibility.Kingsmillcalled for HR measures, including retention, turnover, and diversity data, tobe made public last week, and questioned the benefit of financial reporting inthe wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals.”Humancapital management must be moved up the agenda,” said Kingsmill at theseminar.”Itcan now be argued that financial reporting is not a good way to indicateperformance. HR measures could be better indicators of long-term growth.”Kingsmill,speaking at a seminar organised by Gissing, also questioned the UK’s workculture of presenteeism, claiming the gender pay gap would be significantlyreduced if employers embraced more flexible ways of working.Lastyear, Kingsmill produced a report for the Government recommending equal payquestionnaires and audits. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article TraumatisedOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Public figures have recently appeared more visibly crestfallen than everbefore, as this selection of before and after photos demonstrates. Could they be stressed?The Hamiltons Before – Former MP and his wife who became accomplished publicityseekers after losing the Tatton seat to Martin Bell. After – Seeing Christine Hamilton overwrought with emotion is nothingnew for most of us (libel action against Mohammed Al Fayed, and the Who Wantsto be a Millionaire appearance), but allegations of sexual assault made againstthem by Nadine Milroy-Sloane sent their anxiety levels soaring. The couple werelater cleared, but Christine Hamilton claimed she was “terrified” andbecame so overwrought she had to see a police doctor. The incident didn’t,however, curtail her descriptive powers: the accusations, she said, were:”nonsense on stilts”, and if charges were brought “then I’m abanana”. Shohei Nozawa Before – Venerable president of Yamaichi Securities Co – one of Japan’stop-tier companies. After – In a country that has a vaunted work ethic, corporate failureis the ultimate badge of shame and the collapse of leading brokerage Yamaichiin 1997 was to have a harrowing effect on Nozawa. Asked at a news conferencehow he would explain the failure to his employees, he broke down and sobbed.Although it was a spectacle to be repeated several more times as Asia endured acrippling economic slump, Nozawa’s tearful apology remains an enduring image ofthose difficult times. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (AKA Comical Ali) Before – Iraq’s Information Minister and robust defender of SaddamHussein’s Baath Party. After – Displayed classic trauma-related symptoms of denial in fullglare of the world’s media as each wartime briefing became more implausiblethan the last.Al-Sahaf even went so far as “triple guaranteeing” hispeople there were no US soldiers in Bagdad on the day US tanks rolled into thecity. His refusal to accept reality made George Bush roar with laughter. Whenhe finally conceded and gave himself up, his self-image couldn’t have beenlower – except that is, when US troops released him soon afterwards. Cherie Blair Before – Barrister, charity worker, Prime Minister’s wife, mother offour and accomplished juggler. After – In an ironic twist, Peter Foster, the fraudster boyfriend ofCherie Blair’s lifestyle guru and (principle stress reliever) Carole Caplin,plunged her into a hail of controversy after revealing how he helped her buytwo flats in Bristol. Initially, she attempted to conceal her involvement withthe fraudster but later accepted blame and used an awards ceremony to tearfullydefend her actions. She said she had tried to adapt to the pressures of herpublic role and juggle a lot of balls but “sometimes some of the balls getdropped”. Tony Blair Before – Principle transformer of the Labour party and New LabourPrime Minster who swept to power with landslide victory in 1997, then wonhistoric second term. After – When the news broke of the death of weapons expert Dr Kelly,Blair’s ashen pallor and gaunt features told its own story. His apparentphysical distress was further compounded when a Daily Mail journalist asked ifhe had blood on his hands. Although his future lay in doubt, the remarkablyresilient PM has since acquitted himself well at the Hutton inquiry, but hisstock has fallen considerably since he swept to power and could still pay theultimate political price for going to war with Iraq. Glenn Roeder Before – Agreed a three-year contract to manage West Ham last yearand steers the club to a respectable seventh place in the Premiership. After – Football is notorious for its swift termination of poorperforming managers and his team’s relegation battle in the Premiership lastseason (2002-03) made Roeder an ideal candidate for a stress-related illness.So when he collapsed after a game in April, there was no doubt in anyone’s mindthat that it was due to a minor stroke caused by stress. It was actually abrain tumour and fully recovered and back on the touchline, Roeder was keen topoint out that he hadn’t been stressed. His protestations were academic – threematches into the new season, he was sacked. Andy Gilchrist Before – Andy Gilchrist became general secretary of the Fire BrigadesUnion in June 2000 and experienced 15 months of fame last year when he demandedfirefighters receive a 40 per cent wage increase. After – Gilchrist refused to budge at a time when most settlementsran at 3 per cent, and war threatened over Iraq. He faced an increasingly vitriolicpublic as aged Green Goddesses were hauled from retirement to replace strikingfiremen and their idle vehicles. As he ratcheted up the arguments withGovernment, he turned public opinion against one of Britain’s most admiredworkforces. His demeanour turned sour, and he exuded classic stress symptoms –including visible signs of ageing. Finally accepted deal far short of originaldemands. Estelle Morris Before – Three rewarding years as minister for school standardsbefore promotion to secretary of state for education After – By her admission, education secretary was a job too far, butit was her integrity and personal standards of achievement that weighed heavilyand drove Morris to resign. Politicians of lesser ability have ridden biggerstorms, fuelled by ego, ambition, arrogance and a willingness to pass the buck,but for Morris, the feeling she had failed and let people down offered no roadback. Her impressively frank interview with the BBC, where she disclosed shehadn’t enjoyed the job as much as minister for school standards, no doubt mademany stress-worn chief executives wonder why they go on. Rod Eddington Before – The Australian businessman joined British Airways as chiefexecutive in May 2000. He already had a reputation as a tough operator and acame with a brief to continue the cost cutting of his predecessor Bob Ayling. After – A catalogue of disasters since September 11, with uncertaintyover the Iraq war, the SARS epidemic and then wildcat strikes over swipe cardsall had a catastrophic effect, costing the airline millions. The media and thepublic had Eddington on the ropes and questioned his capability. The chaos atHeathrow exposed poor staff morale and the fragility of BA’s businessprocesses. The airline and Eddington are still licking their wounds. Matthew KellyBefore – Presenter of entertainment show, Stars in Their Eyes,well-known for his bonhomie. After – Arrested and questioned about alleged child sex abuse, themarried father-of-two found himself centre stage of a media feeding frenzy. Helost his job, his weight plum-meted and said his life had changed irrevocably.He dealt with the stress by throwing him-self into work. He was cleared and hassince won back his job. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Unions have moved on to form positive partnershipsOn 29 May 2007 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. I have noticed a distinct anti-union bias creeping into Personnel Today in recent months, mainly centred on commentary on the merger of the Transport and General Workers’ Union and Amicus to form the new ‘super-union’ Unite.In your article ‘Super-union plans to take casual approach to boosting membership’ (Personnel Today, 8 May), you suggest a lack of unity in the new union on the basis that Derek Simpson, the joint general secretary, failed to turn up for the official launch of the union.The Guardian newspaper subsequently reported that the reason why Simpson failed to turn up was because he was delayed travelling across London by the Public and Commercial Services Union industrial action on 1 May.This was the latest in a series of articles suggesting that Unite is a union born out of desperation, that will try to exert a disruptive influence on the sectors where it is represented.Your view of unions seems to be stuck in the 1970s, and fails to acknowledge that they have moved on, and for the most part form positive partnerships with employers, and deliver better pay and conditions of employment for their members than staff in non-unionised organisations are able to enjoy.Neil Clarkson, chartered MCIPD Previous Article Next Article