Our manifesto moves work to top of agenda

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgJohn Prescott’s left jab has made most news, with Oliver Letwin’sdisappearance after “aspiring” to £20bn of tax cuts the prime policygaffe. Tony Blair has hinted darkly at a new radicalism about public servicedelivery, but otherwise the election has not added much to our stock ofknowledge. Whether education or crime, the issues are tediously familiar. Andif we were hoping that work might be talked about, think again. It is this omission that has prompted our own small effort to make an impacton the agenda. The Industrial Society’s manifesto, published last week, takesmaking work better as its theme. The quality of work should be a centralelection issue, together with health, education and taxation. Work is, ofcourse, a source of income; but it is also where we act on the world, the routeto our personal development and the site of many of our most important socialinteractions. How work is organised is thus of fundamental importance to everycitizen. Better work, increased economic competitiveness, higher levels ofproductivity and more and better jobs all go hand-in-hand. Yet the British workbadly. Our productivity is too low. We use our time inefficiently and uncreatively.Too many of our companies do not husband or respect their human resources aswell as they could, nor accept that it increasingly matters how a pound ofprofit is made. Inequalities in the treatment of women, older workers andethnic minorities disfigure too many British workplaces. Our skills areinadequate. Unemployment and under-employment, despite the strides made, remaintoo high and are too frequently concentrated in increasingly detached ghettosin our major towns and cities. Work that is voluntary, community-based or inthe home is deemed valueless. So what do we want the new Government to do? A list of our specific, detailed recommendations can be found in ourmanifesto (www.indsoc.co.uk) but, in essence, the new Government needs to do threefundamental things. First, to raise people’s aspirations by developingworld-class primary, secondary, tertiary and workplace education and learningcapabilities. Second, it needs to encourage a climate that creates and nurturesthe “just companies” that care about the how as much as the how muchwhen it comes to profits – and our ideas range from a new companies act toimproved information and consultation procedures. Finally, the new Government needs to encourage workplaces that includerather than discriminate across the range of issues – age, gender, disability,ethnic background. There is a case for a standing Discrimination Commission, awatchdog for all acts of discrimination. The message on work is that quality is as important as quantity. We needmore employment, but also meaningful employment. The two must go hand in hand. ByWill HuttonChief executive, the Industrial Society Our manifesto moves work to top of agendaOn 30 May 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

People

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgL’Oreal’s new HR director Nikki Rolfe has had plenty of time to indulge herlove of photography as she is something of a part-time explorer. She loves to travel and her most recent trip followed in the footsteps ofGhengis Khan – a fascinating trip between Pakistan and China via Kazakhstan. She joins the company from Whitbread and is hoping to have a positive impacton the firm’s people and the business itself. Joining L’Oreal is a dream move for Rolfe, as not only does she get to workin a fast-paced and flexible environment, she also gets to see some of herfavourite cosmetic brands first hand. “I was delighted to discover the company produces some of my favouritebrands. More and more I’ve become a big fan of the anti-wrinkle creams!”she says. With a degree in biochemistry and a graduate of the old Institute ofPersonnel Management, Rolfe is excited about taking up the new role. “I love the international dimension and the dynamic verbal culture ofthe company, both of which are new to me. The fast-paced culture here allows agreat deal of flexibility,” she says. One of her main duties will be to encourage diversity through theinternational career development programme and graduate recruitment scheme. She will even be able to toast the success in her new job, as she is also akeen winemaker. CV2001 HR director, L’Oreal (UK)1999 HR director, Whitbread1998 Senior manager, training and development, J Sainsbury1992 Total quality and business improvement manager, SavacentreOn the movePaul Croft is the new head of MitelNetworks’ Training Academy. He will be responsible for building a learning anddevelopment infrastructure that ensures the technical competency of its staff.Prior to taking up this post, he played a central role in setting up thecompany’s leadership programme. Prior to that he was European training managerfor Delco Electronics. The academy will work in partnership with employees tohelp satisfy career aspirations as well as providing the opportunity to developskills.Doug Taylor joins logisticsspecialists Tibbett & Britten as director of operations. His brief is tomanage and co-ordinate operations in France, Iberia, Benelux and Germany.Taylor has previously worked as a director for Hays Group and ChristianSalvesen. The Tibbett & Britten Group employs 33,000 people in 33 countriesand has revenues of over £1.5bn.William M Mercer has added FredMarchlewski to its UK executive team as head of HR consulting. He joins fromTowers Perrin, where he was head of people, performance and solutions. His newrole will focus primarily on developing and expanding the HR consultancy. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. PeopleOn 23 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Tunnel workers’ lungs at risk from dust

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgLong-term exposure to dust increases the decline in lung function sufferedby tunnel workers, research has found. Researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Health in Oslo,Norway, studied tunnel workers between 1991 and 1999. The workers also answered a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms andsmoking habits and underwent spirometry and chest X-rays. Researchers found that cumulative exposures to respirable dust and quartzwere the most important risk factors in limiting airflow in underground heavyconstruction workers. Cumulative exposure to respirable dust was the most important risk factorfor the development of respiratory symptoms, it found. “The finding of accelerated decline in lung function in tunnel workerssuggests that better control of exposures is needed,” the study, publishedin the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, concluded. Occup Environ Med 2001; 58: 663-669 Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Tunnel workers’ lungs at risk from dustOn 1 Nov 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Courseware is on the right road

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_img Comments are closed. Courseware is on the right roadOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. ICLknew coaching its 4,000 staff to high levels of IT accreditation was a tallorder – particularly as many employees spend much of their time out of theoffice. Sue Weekes looks at how they achieved the mammoth taskIt’s fair to say that IT professionals are probably at their happiest whensat with their noses fixed to a computer monitor. However, it would be wrong to assume that this means an e-learning programmedoesn’t have to work hard to get their attention and retain their interest(Opinion, page XVIII). Obviously, their technical savvy means they have a huge natural advantageand affinity with the medium, but the course structure, content and deliverymechanism must still adhere to the principles of good e-learning if it is to besuccessful. In 1998, IT solutions provider ICL embarked on a programme to train 4,000staff to become Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE) and MicrosoftCertified Solution Developers (MCSD) by 2001. It was to be one of the biggestcommercial IT training accreditation projects in Europe and, if successful, fitout ICL with the world’s largest accredited workforce. In mid-2001, it hit the 4,000 target and came out the other side of itsmammoth task not only older and wiser, but with a robust e-learninginfrastructure in place that continues to train staff in this particularprogramme and further upgrades. Implementing such a programme helps, of course, when you own a trainingcompany – KnowledgePool – which is seen by many as a pioneer in the field ofe-learning and has the benefit of a 35-year heritage in training anddevelopment, particularly in the area of IT. It wasn’t just the scale of the project that provided both sides with achallenge, but also the fact that ICL has a high proportion of mobile workers. The organisation was predicting that by 2002, 35 per cent of its employeeswould be mobile or remote workers. “We have an extremely nomadic workforceso the main issue we faced was one of mobility,” says Paul Lynch, directorof ICL’s Microsoft Accreditation Programme. As it was, the MCSE and MCSD courses and exams are certainly no easy ridefor anyone trying to fit in study as well as a day job, let alone if they’respending a high proportion of time on the road. For the MCSE, students are required to pass four operating system exams andtwo elective exams that provide a valid and reliable measure of technicalproficiency and expertise. The operating system exams demand that individuals prove their expertisewith desktop, server, and networking components, while the elective examsrequire proof of expertise with Microsoft BackOffice products. MCSD students are required to pass three core exams and one elective exam.The core technology exams require individuals to prove their competency withsolution architecture, desktop applications development and distributedapplications development. The elective exam requires proof of expertise with Microsoftdevelopment tools. ICL also encountered the perennial problem of finding the time to releaseemployees from their work to do the training. “We did this by creatingbottom-up demand in the organisation via publicity and top-down alleviation viaa budget for managers to cover the ‘opportunity cost’ of having staff ontraining rather than fee-earning,” explains Lynch. To meet the needs of such a nomadic and constantly in-demand workforce,KnowledgePool, worked closely with its parent company to create a programme ofblended training, which combined online study with an instructor-led revisioncourse prior to the final exam. Courses sit on ICL’s Learning Gateway inside its Café VIK (Valuing ICLKnowledge) employee portal. “To stimulate students, the courses are highlyinteractive, providing practical, hands-on experience through simulated testsand exercises,” explains Paul Butler, CEO of KnowledgePool. “The technology-based training [from NETg] includes a trainingmanagement system enabling students to bookmark parts of the course and toselect tailored training programmes.” Courses allow students to study module by module when they have time,although they are usually given a completion deadline, to give some structureto their study. Students in the Microsoft Accreditation Programme can choose either to studyfor an hour or two daily, or if they prefer can embark upon the fast-trackcourse, studying full-time (six to eight hours per day). The latter method doesinvolve intense time-scales and is less popular due its lack of flexibility. On the other hand, according to MCSE student Des Bredbury, “Beinggranted the dedicated time was a big help as for me, this exercise required 100per cent dedication.” A major factor contributing to the success of an e-learning programme isensuring that support is always available to students, especially given thefact that they are often accessing the course material on their own and outsideof office hours. KnowledgePool takes care of this with an interactive secure area on itswebsite that students can access via an individual MAP password. Once loggedon, they can access 24-hour, seven-days-a-week support from MicrosoftAccredited tutors. Daily interactive chat sessions are held in this area andthere is access to bulletin boards and e-mail. It’s also the place to receivefeedback on course assignments. In addition, Café VIK’s Learning Gateway offers community areas that can beset up by any employees to facilitate discussion on a subject. Providing interaction of some kind is vital to any distance learningproject, believes Butler because you simply can’t rely on self-motivation.”KnowledgePool has always advocated the inclusion of interactivity ine-learning. Just as students feed from the tutor and their peers in a classroomenvironment, they need that contact and stimulus in an e-environment. In myopinion, any learning that relies on self-motivation is doomed before itbegins,” he says. He also believes it’s wrong to assume that IT people are happy to alwayslearn in isolation. “It’s a myth that IT staff don’t like classroomtraining. They actually like being in the classroom with other IT people toshow off their knowledge to each other.” The inclusion of a classroom component in the MAP programme in the shape ofrevision workshops away from the office is designed to bring out suchcompetitiveness and social interaction. And feedback shows that they are valuedby the students, who are encouraged to attend one revision workshop per module.”They helped me focus on the areas where I felt less confident,”says MAP student Nick Long. “And, because they were booked for me, beforethe exam, they were an incentive to ensure I completed the modules and did somerevision in time.” The workshops range from half a day to three days in length and aretypically held one or two days before the relevant exam. In the first nine months of the programme, over 2,400 ICL employees hadregistered, including employees in the UK, the USA, South Africa, Scandinavia,Germany, Switzerland, France, Egypt, Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, the CzechRepublic, Belgium, Holland and the Caribbean, all of which were studying forMicrosoft accreditation in their own language, following the same coursecontent at the same time. Overall, the results to date show an over 80 per centpass rate. While Lynch eschews comment on return on investment because it is impossibleto quantify, he believes the e-learning programme has contributed to ICL’sattrition rate, which is 14 per cent below the industry average. “Ibelieve it has improved ICL’s perception as an employer,” he says. While clearly there was a compelling business reason to train the workforceand gain the accreditation, the programme also ties in with ICL’s widerWeb-enabled people strategies, which includes a self-service online benefitssystem, all designed to empower the workforce and enhance the company’semployee brand. The most successful e-learning projects will always be those which work forthe individual as well as the balance sheet and, with this in mind, we give thelast word to the students. “Like many of my colleagues, I went into thetraining thinking it would be easy. Well it isn’t – it’s hard work,” saysGraham Smith, who is now an accredited MCSD. “However, the sense of achievement and satisfaction on passing theexams is that much more rewarding.” ICL’s top tips 1 Have clear objectivesaligned to the requirements of the business2 Choose an experienced service provider3 Create the space in the organisation for the programmeIn summaryICL’s approachICL’s requirement: To train4,000 staff to become accredited Microsoft engineers and developers.Why? ICL is one of the leading IT solutions companies inEurope, the Middle East and Africa, employing more than 19,200 people in 40countries. Accreditation is imperative. Is e-learning delivering? ICL hit its target of training4,000 people by mid-2001 with high success rates of 80 per cent. It’s believedthat the programme has helped enhance employee brand and contribute to theorganisation’s attrition rate, which is 14 per cent below the industry average. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Whitehall suffers setback in hitting diversity targets

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgThe Cabinet Office has defended its record on promoting staff diversity inthe Civil Service after the latest disappointing figures on its progress. The percentage of women in the senior Civil Service decreased last year by0.3 per cent to 25 per cent – 10 per cent short of the 2005 target. The numberof women in top management positions also fell by 0.5 per cent to 20.7 percent, more than 4 per cent short of the 2005 target. Numbers of disabled staff remained at about 1.7 per cent of the workforce,but numbers still need to almost double by 2005 to reach the target of 3 percent. Sarah Kissack, diversity team leader at the Cabinet Office, was disappointedby the figures but said the policies are in place to enable the service tomeets its diversity targets. Schemes to promote women, disabled and ethnic minority staff includementoring, focus groups, leadership development programmes and action plans. Kissack’s team are to have meetings with all departments in a bid to sharegood practice throughout the service. Kissack said the Civil Service would continue to focus on recruiting diversestaff at all levels through advertising and sponsorship – targeting the groupsthat need increasing. She added that the overall diversity of the Civil Service workforce reflectsthe working population and aims to develop their skills to fill senior roles. “We are more reflective of diversity than the general workforce anddiversity among our graduate intake is increasing. Our aim is to bring in andbring on this talent.” By Paul Nelson Whitehall suffers setback in hitting diversity targetsOn 26 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Stress: the ultimate cop-out for uncommitted employees

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_img Previous Article Next Article Stress: the ultimate cop-out for uncommitted employeesOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Despitebeing a genuine problem for many workers in the UK, we shouldn’t forget thatconcern over the delicate issue of stress is often abused by staff who simplywish to avoid their responsibilitiesWeall seem to be suffering from stress these days. Public sector workers seem tobe more prone to it than those working for private companies. But in both, theincidence is high. Arecent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development foundthat 38 per cent of NHS workers, 30 per cent of local government staff and 25per cent of corporate employees find their work either ‘stressful’ or ‘verystressful’.Buthow much of this is more fiction than fact? When they take part in surveys,what do people mean when they say they are ‘stressed’? Do they mean they areactually having to work for their living? What is wrong with that? Perhaps‘stress’ is actually a by-product of many employees’ expectations. What theyreally want is a boss who will give them an easy life. Iknow of many under-performing companies that are regarded by their staff as‘good places to work’. This is simply because they have comfortable jobs andrelaxed bosses. Adifferent management team is brought in – usually because of acquisition – andjobs are reorganised. New management controls are put in place, and employeeperformance targets are introduced. People have to start earning their wages.What is the outcome? Staff who complain of being bullied and harassed by theirbosses and working in a culture of fear, falling ill with stress. Muchof this is plain nonsense. It is entirely a result of new managers having toabolish old working practices for the company to survive.Ofcourse, there is harassment and bullying in the workplace. And the direction ofcorporate change offers greater opportunities for this to happen. Theshift to decentralised and devolved operating structures allows those in chargeto exercise almost total unfettered control over their staff. Still, the abuseof this autonomous authority is very much the exception rather than the rule.It doesn’t account for the 30-plus per cent of workers who feel they arestressed in their jobs.Perhapsa major contributory factor for the high incidence of recorded stress is theattitude of GPs. Many are overworked and stressed themselves. So when facedwith a patient who can’t sleep, can’t concentrate and feels irritable, an easysolution is to diagnose these symptoms as ‘work-related stress’, issue themwith a sick note and recommend they take a few weeks off work.Yet,the patient’s stress could be caused by suspicions of a partner’s infidelity,or anxieties about little Jimmy’s performance at school. Is he being bullied? Theproblem, of course, is that we have no quantifiable, scientific measure ofstress. Instead, we have subjective interpretation.Inthe former Soviet Union, whole factories almost came to a halt because of stafftaking days off work with backache. Why? Because if they complained theycouldn’t work because of backache, there was little anyone could do about it. Andso it is today with stress. If staff complain they are stressed and unable towork, what can either the medical services or employers actually do?Thereis another simple little matter that is often overlooked: stress can be a goodthing. Unless I feel under pressure, I under-perform. I must have adrenalinflowing to be effective in my job. Sowhat is the solution? Obviously, motivational and inspirational leadership cando a lot. People doing the most difficult and challenging tasks can feelcomfortable if they report to leaders with whom they have an open, consultativerelationship. Theyalso need clear personal targets. There is nothing more stressful than workingin a job without any clearly-defined goals. Supportive teams encourageflexibility, work-life balance and problem-solving, which mitigate some of thecauses of what many express as being work-related stress. Wecan help to put all these things into place. But we have to recognise that manywill still use ‘stress’ as a cop-out, and view it as a strategy for reneging ontheir duties as responsible employees. ByProfessor Richard Scase, Author and corporate keynote speaker Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Learn to lead the leaders

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgTaking a pop at the quality of HR directors is a favourite preoccupation formany associated with the profession. It’s the simplest thing in the world to dobecause HR has such as poor image, although it is improving. But it becomes a more emotive issue when a former HR director, now chiefexecutive, has a go and is courageous enough to say what he really thinks (page1). Colin Povey’s problems in recruiting a new HR director are all the moresurprising given that it is a board position that’s on offer. The company isCarlsberg UK and, because of his background, he is clearer than most about theimpact good HR can have on the business. Anyone taking on that role with theleading brewer would have a head start in working with a co-operative top teamkeen to deliver change. Most industry leaders haven’t a clue about the compelling evidence linkingeffective people management with strategies to improve bottom line performance.And senior HR executives must take some of the blame for the continuedignorance and shallow view of people issues at the top. Why is it that chief executives and chief finance officers still know lessabout the thing they spend the most on? The main fault lies with a succession of HR directors who have failed tochampion their cause by not demonstrating the value of strong HR in a languagethe board understands and struggling to show how HR works in the organisation. Pockets of outstanding leadership clearly do exist and more must be made oftheir success but real change cannot be achieved with just a small pool ofdynamic HR directors. Our coverage shows a lot of mixed views and possibly a split in theprofession about whether Povey’s criticisms are justified. But he is certainlyon the profession’s side and is a perfect advocate having climbed the ladderfrom HR director to commercial director and then chief executive status. Povey isn’t just moaning and sitting on the case. He is now on the speakercircuit campaigning for HR directors to maximise their influence and he isdemanding “a bit more attitude”. Povey believes HR directors shouldbe leading the culture change and by that he means knowing how to lead theleaders. By Jane King, editor Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Learn to lead the leadersOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

NAC Group triumphs in league table of Britain’s fast-growing companies

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Sunderland training consultancy NAC Group has stormed onto the latest Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, which ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales. The NAC Group is a training, consultancy and outsourcing business that helps public organisations and private companies improve performance to boost productivity, meet green objectives, and up-skill staff. NAC employs 40 people and its sales have grown by 92.87% over the last three years with a recorded turnover of 7.6m by July 2008. It has shown further growth despite the recession by recording a turnover of £11m in July 2009. The NAC Group has three areas of work; its Green Collar Training products are intended to help companies to meet their green objectives by providing their staff with correct climate-change skills and understanding. Its NHS Hub helps health sector organisations to improve their service performance by providing staff with lean skills. The third area is NAC Group’s Manufacturing Support Specialists (MSS) which help companies to enhance their performance by streamlining production, improving logistics and outsourcing key functions. Paul Robson managing director of NAC Group said: “Being recognised in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100  five years into our business journey is excellent news. Prospects for our future growth are excellent, both in the NAC Group’s core business of training for improved productivity in the manufacturing sector, and in diversifying away from this core.“NAC Group’s core business involves the delivery of training and provision of skilled labour for lean manufacturing.  We’re well positioned to benefit from the recovery of the manufacturing sector as it emerges from the current recession, and seeks new labour and enhanced skills. “We also expect to benefit from the expansion of government-funded training programmes aimed at getting the unemployed back into employment, and at up-skilling the existing workforce. This will remain a priority irrespective of the outcome of the next election.”NAC also aims to grow from the number of new business opportunities in the fields of low carbon manufacturing and sustainable development, including renewable energy.“These markets are expected to be the focus of huge public and private investment over the next 5 to 10 years, and the NAC Group aims to react to the opportunities with a mix of public sector funded and commercial training products,” added Paul.NAC is the only company in the North East region to feature on the league table with well-known names such as the fashion retailer Cath Kidston and chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat Stores; along with translation company Applied Language Solutions, which has flourished after it was rejected for investment on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den. NAC Group triumphs in league table of Britain’s fast-growing companiesOn 4 Feb 2010 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

HR: Does business hours mean all hours?

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_img Has “normal business hours” become a thing of the past? These days, I rarely meet anyone who almost immediately following waking up in the morning, wont grab their phone from the bedside to check their email, or who considers their nights to be personal or family time, which not so long ago seemed the norm. What is it about modern day issues and work problems that are more important than those that we were facing years ago that can’t wait until the next day? Or is it a simple case that our ability to prioritize is being depleted due to such ease of systems access which allows many organisations’ staff to turn any computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device into a make-shift work station?I’m as guilty as the next person of the late night emails and struggling to switch off but I’m one of the lucky ones who enjoys what I do enough that it doesn’t feel like a chore. What about those who aren’t as lucky and feel like they don’t have the pressure release of being able to go home and un-wind?Human nature dictates that if we get too used to something, it becomes habitual and we begin to expect it. This being the case, if this isn’t carefully managed, how long will it be before being “switched on” at all times is an expected part of a job as opposed to it being a sign of an engaged and happy employee who will strive to go above and beyond any contractual obligations? Don’t get me wrong, the huge emphasis which these days is placed on interoperability and mobility of internal systems of course is a great thing and phenomenal feat in technology advancement but with it comes the potential for more risk, more pressure and more un-happy staff if it is not managed well. Previous Article Next Article Read full article Comments are closed.center_img HR: Does business hours mean all hours?Shared from missc on 9 Dec 2014 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

How organisations kill engagement through poor emotional intelligence on-demand webinar

May 12, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. How organisations kill engagement through poor emotional intelligence on-demand webinarOn 10 May 2015 in Personnel Today Watch this webinar to find out how your employees’ emotional intelligence is at the heart of positive sustainable change.Attendees will learn:how to unlock people’s potential in new ways;how behavioural science is improving our understanding;why emotional intelligence is for everyone, not just senior leaders; andhow digital learning tools can improve EQ.Download a transcript hereDownload the slides here No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more