Letters

first_img Comments are closed. This week’s lettersRecord debate is just goodsenseThe debate on employee sicknessrecords being kept by employers continues (Letters, February 6).If the rule goes on the statutebooks, but with a clause that allows a contract of employment that includes theemployee’s permission to keep records of sickness absence, a precedent will beset so other exceptions for contractual clauses to overrule statute will bepassed until suddenly, contracts will be all-powerful and the statute bookweak.This will lead to unionsstriking for fairer contracts which will lead to poor industrial relations,more statute to redress the balance and lots of fees for the lawyers. Alternatively, managers canintroduce a stick-on star system for their monthly multi-purpose planners ñgold stars for an individual’s full attendance for the month, silver for oneday off, all the way down to black. Where will it all end?Can we please see a Ministerfor Using Common Sense in Employment Law in the next Parliament?Stuart Mallinson, Personnelmanager, J&G CoughtrieWhy do we needto ask ‘How old?’I was heartened to read thatthere is to be a code of practice aimed at abolishing age discrimination in theworkplace, “European code aims to curb ageism”  (News, 23 January). I hope the article hasopened a few eyes to the need for action.However, the response by DeniseWalker, head of corporate personnel at Nationwide building society, troublesme. She was involved in creating the code, but tells us “it is notsomething that can be brought in overnight”.In my opinion, it can be ñsimply stop asking the age of anyone and everyone. I know we have to ensurethat people are old enough to be employed and if they qualify for developmentgrants due to their young age. But why ask for the age of someone who is over18 (or 21 for some legislation)? There should never be any needfor an upper age restriction. Too many skilled and experienced potentialemployees are “filtered out” by this method ñ which is why we areseeing reports of skill shortages. There is a significant pool ofwilling, capable and experienced workers who want to work with you ñ just givethem the chance.Michael Perry, Principletraining designer and senior trainer, WiltshireAdult joke brokeall your own rulesI am writing to express myserious concern at the article in Guru (23 January), which mentioned thewebsite adultstaffing.com.While it highlighted the typeof site it might be, in a journal that frequently highlights the problems ofstaff visiting porn sites on the Web, an invitation to readers to visit anassociated site is very unprofessional. I would contend that even putting it ina humorous section is wrong for these reasons:– It makes light of a problemarea– It encourages readers to visit a site which may quickly link to others (Ionly visited the home page to check out my concerns)– It may put people visiting it at work in a dangerous position re theircompany’s IT policy.I normally appreciate thebalance between articles, advertising, news and humour. I believe on thisoccasion you have made an error of judgement.Jonathan Napper, Farnham, Surrey”Nuisance”factor must be removedHaving read the letter from JimHoggart, “Keep tribunals in perspective” (5 December), I cannot butwonder if he is living in the same world, never mind planet.  I am the senior partner for apersonnel outsourcing company running the personnel function for 45 small andmedium-sized organisations and am regularly involved in responding to tribunalapplications. I also take up claims, without fees, for employees who have beentreated poorly.   I have recently dealt with aclaim of constructive dismissal where an employee was issued with a writtenwarning for a confrontation that occurred with the applicant. Subsequentlythree witnesses came forward to say the applicant incited the other employee,and the warning was withdrawn. While the company had everyopportunity to take disciplinary action against the applicant, it felt thathaving behaved fairly by withdrawing the warning, it would let sleeping dogslie. The applicant then walked out, claiming her position had been underminedby the warning being withdrawn, and this was the basis for her claim. After three days at tribunal,at a cost to a small business of the equivalent of £600,000-£800,000, her claimwas dismissed. This does not take account of the affect on the morale of thewitnesses, who were obliged to confirm on the stand that the applicant waslying on aspects of the claim.It is only right that there areappropriate remedies for cases of unfair treatment, but this and similar casesshould be deterred from blatant abuse of the system.   While agreeing with some of thecomments made by Mr Hoggart regarding the excessive use of legal support, thereis no substantial deterrent for people who have nothing to lose by taking aclaim, often on the basis of obtaining a “nuisance” payment. I recommend that Jim studieshow many cases are resolved by a payment solely to save the excessive fiscaland employee-relations costs that often occur. The modern expression is”get real”, but possibly “check your facts” is moreappropriate, Mr Hoggart.Colin Perkins, Senior partner, PersonnelServices and ManagementGive me achance to fill skills gapI find the talk of staff andskills shortages in the HR sector very interesting (News, 16 January). I am a graduate in business whohas been working for a small engineering company dealing with administration,including personnel and HR software. I enjoy this so much that I have decided Iwould like a job in HR. But where do I find one? I have applied for manypositions but got nowhere ñ because I don’t have enough HR experience.I just hope that the HR sectorrealises it is excluding many excellent candidates for assistant/officer postsjust because they don’t have a lot of HR experience. How are you meant to getHR experience without working in HR?Paula Laite, Via e-mailLow payreflects poor view of HRMaybe “HR profession seessmallest rise in salary” (News, 16 January) reflects the attitude that HRdoes not benefit the organisation and is not a real profession.  Too many organisations lump HRin with the overheads, such as accounts and print rooms.HR graduates are often not evenseen as real graduates ñ a real graduate has done a law degree or accountancy.They often don’t get an effective graduate development programme.Iain Young, HR manager, Viae-mailCare should startbefore childbirthIt is a positive step foremployee health that employers are taking the work-life balance seriously.However as far as parents are concerned, the focus seems to be on positivetreatment after childbirth. Companies should also be examining how they treatstaff during pregnancy. Employers have a role to playin supporting the choices employees make about work, health and lifestyleduring pregnancy. The national baby charity Tommy’s Campaign set up thePregnancy Accreditation Programme to improve conditions for pregnant women inthe workplace and commend companies with positive policies. Companies such asMarks & Spencer, Rolls-Royce and the Department of Health are leading theway.  An NOP/Tommy’s Campaign surveyshowed that one in four employers is negative or indifferent when a pregnancyis announced and one in 10 women have been forced to cancel an antenatalappointment because of pressures at work. Employers can implement simplesteps to improve their treatment of pregnant employees, thus aiding workforcehealth and the retention of key staff.Claire MacAleese, Accountmanager, Tommy’s CampaignWork-lifescheme is a real bargainI wanted to share a great ideathat our MD Steve Carter announced at our annual Year Start Party.      In order to reinforce ourcompany’s commitment to ensuring employees reach a good balance between workand home life, we have all had Tesco Direct installed on our desktops. Thismeans we can shop during work time and ensure our groceries get delivered whenwe get home.It is such a simple, sillyidea, but it has gone down a storm.It would be interesting to seeif other companies are introducing any innovative benefits other than the usualluncheon vouchers and health insurance.Sarah Sable, HR officer, RobertHalf InternationalBruisedand cold, but Army course was well worth itI was one of the hungry,tooled-up Centrefile managers on the North Yorkshire Moors and I thought I’dshare with you what I’ve gained (Guru, 30 January, News 6 February). 1 Some major lessons indiscomfort. I’ve never had bruises on the insides of my thighs before (don’task, but it involved a plank and a climbing frame). Army trucks, Army helmetsand Army rifles are all pleasures to be tried maybe just the once.2 A healthy respect for theBritish Army ñ it brings it home to you that they really do train to fight forlives. It must be frustrating for them to have a bunch of people who, when theysay “jump” don’t say, “How high?” but, “Hang on aminute I’m just checking my messages”. 3 The thrill of abseiling ñ somethingI’d always dreaded, but it was so brilliant I went back for another go.4 The knowledge that beingchest-deep in freezing water in an inch of snow is fine as long as you keepclenching and unclenching your fists5 Some valuable lessons inteamwork and relationships. The Army culture of “your team is only as goodas its weakest member” really does bring out the supportive instincts andsome innovative thinking.For any organisations thinkingof sending their managers on this course, I’d wholeheartedly recommend it (andnot just because those officers look fantastic in their dress uniforms).But what did I lose? Just oneearring on the dance floor of the officers’ mess.Deborah Wylie, Sales accountmanager, Customer HR team, Centrefile Previous Article Next Article LettersOn 13 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Councils collaborate to share e-learning skills

first_imgA new e-learning network thatwill help UK local authorities to cut training costs dramatically is beingintroduced this year.The joint venturebetween the local government Improvement and Development Agency and e-learning companyEpic Group will provide councils with instant access to e-learning packagesproduced by other authorities.Susan Biddle, theIDeA’s head of workforce development, is optimistic that the initiative willhelp cut the £500m a year spent on staff development by the UK’s 400-pluscouncils. She said, “It can cost tens of thousands to produce one hour ofe-learning material so it makes sense to let everyone know what’s already outthere and make it available across the country. It will avoid dozens of authorities’HR departments beavering away in isolation to re-invent the wheel. This projectwill help share knowledge, spreading good practice, staff training anddevelopment materials.”Authoring softwarewill enable each council to create its own e-learning content to place on thesystem and the network will allow users to access and download its own andother councils’ e-learning programmes. It is being funded by £400,000 each fromIDeA and Epic.Rita Sammons, chiefpersonnel and training officer for Hampshire County Council, thinks the projectwill allow councils to work together to provide better and cheaper staffdevelopment.She said, “We aretotally committed to e-learning and the sharing of expertise through exploitingthe Internet.” She added that the project would help “move localgovernment forward in sharing knowledge and learning throughout the country.”www.idea.gov.ukBy Ben Willmott Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Councils collaborate to share e-learning skillsOn 18 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Fuel drives key skills initiative

first_img Comments are closed. Pitman Training and e-learning specialist Fuel have developed the firste-learning, Internet-based keyboard skills course. It follows research by the two companies that revealed UK companies wasteabout £8.5bn a year in employee resources because staff do not have thenecessary keyboard-based skills to work efficiently and ergonomically. “Many workers and their employees could gain perhaps a quarter of anhour a day most days of the week by improving their skills from typinginaccurately at less than 20 words a minute to an accurate 40 words aminute,” says James O’Brien, managing director of Pitman Training.”It requires investing just a few hours in learning and practice to reap avaluable benefit. “Keyboard training has not been given the priority it deserves in thetraining budgets of most organisations,” says O’Brien. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Fuel drives key skills initiativeOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Bonus plans just the tonic for Pharmacia

Previous Article Next Article Bonus plans just the tonic for PharmaciaOn 9 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Staff bonuses at pharmaceutical company Pharmacia have been linked topersonal development targets to encourage employees to take more of an interestin their own training. The company agrees individual development targets with staff at their annualappraisal and a proportion of their annual bonus is dependent on these targetsbeing met. Pamela Gelder, HR director at Pharmacia UK, said the current individualdevelopment targets make up a fifth of the bonus because the initiative is inits first year, but this will gradually increase, as employees become familiarwith the system. “The move gives out a positive message to employees as it shows we arecommitted to their development and are giving more meaning to it,” shesaid. “We know we have good calibre people, but the company wants to makethem as good as they can possibly be. It wants to help them develop and retainthem.” Gelder hopes the policy will see the internal promotion of staff increase. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. read more

Government invests in work-life balance

first_img Previous Article Next Article Government invests in work-life balanceOn 18 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today TheGovernment is investing almost £5m in work-life balance as part of itsChallenge Fund initiative.Theadditional funding will help 233 companies introduce more flexible workingpractices and brings the total investment to £11.3m in three years.Inthis round of funding 91 private, 109 pubic and 33 voluntary organisations willreceive a share of a £4.8m pool that provides work-life balance consultancy andsupport.Employmentrelations minister Alan Johnson said that more flexible arrangements for staffcould often improve business performance.”Thisyear saw record entry levels for the Challenge Fund and this latest round hasenabled us to double the number of companies that will benefit. The fund is nowhelping companies of all sizes and sectors across the country,” he said.Thefund promotes innovative working practices and money is allocated to firms thatcan demonstrate a commitment to work-life balance, a number of measurableoutcomes of any project and how they will benefit.Successfulcompanies must also be prepared to share any results achieved as a consequenceof the funding to provide best practice guidance for employers not selected forthe project.www.dti.gov.uk Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

What kind of leader are you?

first_imgWhileit may be true that some are born leaders in the conventional sense, you do nothave to be at the top to show leadership qualities. Select one answer to eachof the following questions and then turn the page to discover what kind ofleader you are 1.         The most important characteristic tomake an effective leader is…a          Helping others to succeedb          Taking charge c          Inspiring peopled          Respect2.         The leader I most admire is:a          Ghandib          Hitlerc          Richard Bransond          Jack Welch3.         To which of these alternative careerswould your employees assign you?a          A personal fitness coachb          The captain of a shipc          An inventord          A judge4.         People…a          Are an organisation’s most valuableassetb          Are a means to an endc          Need to be leadd          Need someone to follow5.         Which of the following best describesyou?a          I help other people achieve their goalsb          I use other people’s abilitiesto achieve my goalsc          I am someone others would bewilling to followd          I talk the talk and walk thewalk6.         If a problem arises, what is yourapproach to finding a solution?a          Consultativeb          A brief brainstorm and a quickimplementationc          Creative brainstorm, lookingfor new solutions and opportunitiesd          Reflective, relying on pastinsights7.         When a solution is found, it tends tobe…a          Win-win for all stakeholdersb          Your solution, as you have themost experience and knowledgec          Your solution, but you leavethe detail to othersd          The best solution for theorganisation, after careful consideration8.         Which of the following best describesyour communication style? a          I always take time to listen and amopen in my responsesb          I am clear in what I expect ofpeople and I expect excellencec          I listen to what people have tosay and challenge their preconceptions d          I prefer to act than talk aboutthings9.         If staff are not producing the resultsyou expect, do you…a          Uncover the problem and come up with asolutionb          Increase the rewardc          Apply more pressured          Do it yourself10.       The mission and values of yourorganisation…a          Act as a central base point from whicheveryone worksb          Have been defined, should bestrictly adhered to and re-enforced at all possible opportunities c          Are there to provide a goal towhich everyone should aspired          Tend to end up as meaninglesswords on the wallTheleadership styles described on the next page are not mutually exclusive.Effective leadership requires aspects of all these styles which have theirplace and time.Theessential aspects of effective leadership fall into four ‘roles’: creating theblueprint, creating a system of work to achieve this blueprint, releasing thetalent, energy and contribution of people and building trust with others – thevery heart of effective leadership.Characterand personality traits are a vital factor in how somebody tackles theleadership challenge. A primarily visionary leader may enter the cycle in theblueprint stage, while a primarily empowering leader is excellent at givingpeople the tools and the freedom to lead themselves. Whatever your style, thekey is not to neglect these main aspects.”Leadershipis communicating a person’s worth so effectively that they come to see it inthemselves.”Sowhat’s your leadership styleMostlyAsThe Servant LeaderTheservant-leader approach takes the principle of empowerment to its logicalconclusion. You see your role as simply helping your employees succeed – tosupport those whom you lead. Thismeans not only giving them the necessary tools and systems, and the freedom toperform, but inspiring them to want to devote their energies to theorganisation’s mission – which also needs to be their mission. You recognisethat people’s time and physical ability may be bought, but you cannot buy theirheart, mind, and spirit. To achieve this you appreciate the culture of theorganisation must be built on principles such as trust and integrity: theremust be moral authority.MostlyBsThe captain Youare typically a highly driven individual who expects your people to be equallymotivated in following your direction. Youlike to be in charge, know everything that is going on and to take control, tothe extent sometimes of being termed a ‘control freak’. You also expect yourinstructions to be followed without question so that when a company orsituation is turned around or resolved, you know the credit is all yours.Otherstrong personalities within the organisation can be seen as challenges orthreats.MostlyCsThe inspirationalYouare a powerful force who inspires people to want to follow.Yourexample shines through your organisation, department or team and your sense ofpurpose and vision is clear to all. You often inspires the affection of peoplewho work with you. However,you are likely to leave the detail of how to achieve the goal to others withinthe organisation – who may feel the vision is all very well, but the detailprevents them reaching it.MostlyDsThe leader by exampleYouare interested in the detail of the organisation and like to consider whethersystems and processes are aligned the right way. Peoplesee and appreciate that you have a real interest in the nuts and bolts of theorganisation and in ensuring that it works smoothly. Yourun a highly efficient organisation, department or team while remaining low profile.However, you may tend to equate management with leadership, and considersystems and processes before considering people. Communication of visions andgoals may either be assumed, or seen as unnecessary or unrealistic.Providedby FranklinCovey Europe, a leader in solutions provision for organisational andpersonal effectiveness and performance.–For further information on FranklinCovey telephone 01295 274139 or visit www.franklincoveyeurope.com What kind of leader are you?On 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

TMI caters for High-speed learning

first_img Comments are closed. TMI caters for High-speed learningOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Consultantsand training solution provider TMI has introduced a new method of coursedelivery designed to develop the skills of those who are short of time. “TAKE90is a new learning concept which came directly from talking to the people wework with and understanding their needs,” says Susanna Mitterer, directorof sales. “Few employees can afford time away on long training courses sowe created sessions which would break down complex issues into bite-sizedchunks.”Asthe name suggests TAKE90 sessions last 90 minutes and Mitterer claims they candeliver more than 60 topics anywhere in the UK at any time.”Theroster of topics is growing at a rate of around two per week and each fallsinto one of nine categories – interpersonal skills, innovation, 21st Centuryworking, customer service, time management, personal development, managementand business skills.Duringone session led by TAKE90 programme director Claire Straddling, delegates weregiven an insight into improving their creative thinking.Thesession included sufficient content to inspire and interest participantsdespite its brevity, consisting of a clear structure, practical exercises, abrief and a handout which could be filed away for personal reference. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Englishman crowned the best HR exec in the world

first_imgEnglishman crowned the best HR exec in the worldOn 6 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The best HR executive in the world is from Shropshire, according to theAmerican Business Awards. Paul Turner, general manager (people) at West Bromwich Building Society, wasnamed the ‘Best International HR Executive’ at the awards in New York. He beat competition from 66 other countries after he and his teamspearheaded cultural change at the building society, using a programme ofspecialised coaching, which placed HR right at the middle of the business. Under a four-year culture change programme – which is now in its second year– every manager is obliged to attend coaching workshops. The workshops followeda staff survey of attitudes towards management. After the two-day sessions,employees were again asked to measure the effectiveness of their managers tochart progress. Bosses will be continuously assessed for the remainder of the project to ensurea high-performance culture is embedded into the organisation. Turner said the culture change was successful because HR was working inclose partnership with management, rather than imposing a process on them. “We asked senior management to identify the business culture theywanted for the organisation,” he said. “We then created a programmeto deliver the kind of culture they wanted.” He added that companies should avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach, wherebusinesses bring in a generic culture-change programme without making sure itis the best way to release the potential in their staff. By Michael Millar Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

BAE Systems to discuss mental health at EB Insights 2021

first_img No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Claire Walsh, health, wellbeing and injury prevention manager UK and rest of the world at BAE Systems, will discuss how employers can support employee mental health during times of uncertainty at Employee Benefits Insights 2021.Employee Benefits Insights 2021Reserve yourfree place nowThe ‘Placing mental health at the very centre of your wellbeing strategy’ session will be held at 2pm on Friday, 19 March as part of the EB Insights online series, which runs from 15-19 March 2021.Walsh will discuss how employers can provide a sense of stability for their employees that will “build organisational resilience and psychological safety” in a “world that’s in a constant state of flux” due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.Attendees will learn how to harness their existing networks and employee communications channels to support mental health and wellbeing in the “new normal” and the ways in which employees can work differently.Walsh will also share good practice steps BAE Systems has taken to help their employees.“Our free mental health and wellbeing webinars and personal development opportunities have helped employees take time for themselves, learn new skills and enhance resilience, not just for the pandemic, but for life,” said Walsh.“We have also increased our focus on softer management skills, such as helping managers to have open and supportive conversations with their teams to reassure them during this time of constant change.”Mental health is just one of the topics being discussed at the Employee Benefits Insights 2021, which explores the latest trends, insights and solutions that provide effective and efficient reward strategies in a Coronavirus climate.The CPD-accredited online series, which is sponsored by Unmind and Bright Horizons, is free to access and attendees can register to attend here.Reward, compensation and benefits opportunitiesBrowse all comp and benefits jobs Previous Article Next Article Related posts: BAE Systems to discuss mental health at EB Insights 2021By Helen Gilbert on 8 Feb 2021 in Manufacturing, Coronavirus, Employee communications, Latest News, Mental health, Pay & benefits, Personnel Today, Wellbeing Employers ‘missing a trick’ on awareness of rights during pandemicEmployers could do more to make working parents aware of their rights to leave and financial support during the pandemic, a study has claimed. Acas chief: Why kindness is key at times like theseAcas chief executive Susan Clews outlines some of the key points from its new mental health guidance and highlights some…last_img read more

All Year in default on $66M Gowanus preferred equity loan

first_imgTagsall year managementCommercial Real EstateGowanusTel Aviv Stock Exchange Apart from the Gowanus preferred equity loan, All Year is also facing foreclosure at the second phase Denizen Bushwick, a 900-unit luxury rental complex. Repeated delays in two major deals — a $300 million-plus portfolio sale and a refinancing of the Denizen — have compounded the developer’s financial woes.The developer was also recently fined by the Israel Securities Authority in connection with administrative violations from 2018, and ISA’s chair has indicated that the agency will “make sure that only players who obey the law will operate.” [CO] — Kevin Sun Share via Shortlink 459 Smith Street in Gowanus and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (Google Maps, Getty)As 2020 comes to a close, so too have All Year Management’s days as a listed company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange — for the time being.Dec. 31 marks the last day of trading for the Brooklyn developer’s four outstanding bond series, due to its recent failure to make bond payments and publish third-quarter financial reports, Commercial Observer reported.In a series of recent filings, Yoel Goldman’s firm disclosed that the lender on a Gowanus development site at 459 Smith Street has demanded immediate payment of $66 million in accrued debt in connection with a $35 million preferred equity investment. The lender, which the publication identified as Downtown Capital, also provided a $55 million loan for the Smith Street property in 2019.Additionally, All Year disclosed that it would be unable to prepare its third-quarter financial reports by Jan. 3, and announced the appointment of several new officers, including Joel Biran as chief restructuring officer.Read moreAll Year faces foreclosure on part of Bushwick apartment complexAll Year fined by Israeli securities authorities, faces new scrutinyAll Year misses Israeli bond payment, sending values plunging Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more