Jobshare venture launches via the Internet

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Anon-line jobshare agency has been launched which could enable HR managers tofind jobshare partners via the Web. Flexecutive.co.uk,set up by Resource Connections, is targeting senior HR and marketingprofessionals. If successful, it will be extended to senior finance roles. AlisonWinch, training and development manager for UK brewery Interbrew, said,”It is a good idea. Employers who believe that jobshares aren’t workableare still thinking in industrial paradigms. If you have the right partnership, thereis no reason why a jobshare can’t work.” Recentresearch by the Industrial Society suggests 70 per cent of senior executives injobshares are 30 per cent more productive than a single person doing the samejob.CarolSavage, managing director of flexecutive.co.uk, estimates that 34,000applicants will visit the site. She said, “It will benefit employersbecause it will save on recruitment costs.”DrJohn Knell, senior research director at the Industrial Society, said,”Flexible working will be-come the norm in British business, andinitiatives such as flexecutive.co.uk will add value to business derived bothfrom negotiating individual flexible contracts and from finding an effectivejobshare partner.”  www.flexecutive.co.uk Jobshare venture launches via the InternetOn 30 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Insurer tests shift scheme to cut call centre turnover

first_imgInsurer tests shift scheme to cut call centre turnoverOn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article AdmiralInsurance has piloted a new shift working system and is developing childcareplans to reduce staff turnover in its Cardiff call centre.Theinsurer has just completed a six-month pilot of new shift patterns whicheliminates the need for staff to work late by coordinating with a call centrein the US. FernOsborn-Tait, people services manager of Admiral Insurance, said it is anexample of a call centre operator introducing progressive working arrangementsfor its 1,400 staff, which contradicts the message coming from the TUC’sinvestigation into workplace harassment in call centres. Osborn-Taitsaid, “I’ve been surprised by the TUC’s case studies that have been cited. Itcould not be further from our atmosphere.”Thecompany hopes to introduce flexible childcare later this year. It intends tosecure places in a local nursery for the children of staff to attend when thereare problems with childcare cover. Osborn-Taitsaid, “The emergency childcare facility is an innovative idea that we lookingat to keep our employees at work and happy that their children are being lookedafter.”Admiralhas also been trying to improve team working and encourage the identificationof its corporate goals among new staff. Osborn-Tait said, “On their first dayemployees get a piece of a jigsaw. It is a metaphor to show that they are asimportant a part of the team as every other employee.”Admiralis hoping that its HR policies will reduce the staff turnover rate from nearly30 per cent to 25 per cent, which is closer to the industry average.Althoughthe TUC claims that call centre managers privately admit that the turnover rateis double what is quoted.Racialequality is also high on the call centre operator’s agenda.Thecompany has been meeting representatives from Cardiff’s Somali population totry to increase the proportion of staff from ethnic minorities, which is onlytwo per cent.www.admiral.uk.comByPaul Nelsonlast_img read more

Temps directive unworkable unless the draft is changed

The EU draft directive giving temporary staff equal pay and benefits as permanentemployees has met with strong opposition from all sides. Ross Wigham reportsThe draft EU directive giving temporary workers the same pay and benefits aspermanent staff will create a raft of new red tape for HR professionals andforce employers to scale back their use of agency workers. This is the view of both employers and recruitment agencies opposing theintroduction of the directive, which in its current form means temporaryworkers will be entitled to equal terms and conditions as permanent staff oncethey have been employed for six weeks. The CIPD fears that the directive, published last month, will make theprocess of hiring temps so complex that many companies will abandon the use oftemps altogether – placing an increasing burden on permanent staff. Diane Sinclair, CIPD employee relations adviser, said: “Currently ahost organisation has little to do with the pay of agency staff but the draftwill mean firms having to ensure the correct pay and conditions are in place.It’s going to be a very bureaucratic process given that agencies are normallyused as a quick response to staffing problems. “HR will have to weigh up the pros and cons of using agency staff andlook at recruitment policies in general. They may also have to use permanentstaff more flexibly.” HR professionals share the institute’s concerns. Laurie Hibbs, HR consultantfor Capital One, thinks many employers will increase the amount of paid andunpaid overtime carried out by staff instead of employing temporary staff – affectingemployees’ work-life balance. “It would also be an administrative nightmare creating an additionalburden on over-legislated HR/payroll departments, since every temp would haveto be enrolled and removed from benefit providers on a frequent basis,” headded. Hibbs told Personnel Today temporary workers will also lose out if thedirective is not changed significantly before it is adopted. “Temps don’t want pension benefits, private medical care and so on – theywant to be able to earn a cash sum and have the flexibility to changeemployment at will – by enforcing these conditions it will cost both thecompany and the ‘temp’,” he said. The directive still has to be passed through the Council of Ministers andEuropean Parliament, leaving room for manoeuvre before it becomes law. Marcia Roberts, director of external relations at the Recruitment andEmployment Confederation, said the present version will be unworkable. “We’re still hoping that this draft won’t be the final version becauseit’s going to mean chaos if it stays in its current form – which is impracticaland difficult to apply,” she said. “If an agency has 100 clients with 200 different roles it would need asmany sets of terms and conditions drawn up. Employers and agencies would haveto look at every temporary role.” The six-week qualification period, after which temps are entitled to equalpay and conditions, should be extended to at least 18 months according to theEngineering Employers’ Federation. David Yeandle, the EEF’s deputy director of employment, said: “Thesix-week period is totally unrealistic and the comparative should be anothertemporary worker, not a permanent one. This will increase costs and make itmore difficult to deal with changes in economic and business conditions.” What the EU agency will mean if introduced in its current form– Temporary staff will be entitled to the same pay and conditions ascomparable permanent employees– It will apply to all temps workingat a firm for more than six weeks– Employers will have to negotiateseparate sets of pay and benefits, as will agencies– Qualifications and skills can betaken into account when drawing up conditions– Experts estimate it could beintroduced as early as the start of next year– The UK has 1 million tempsavailable for work each dayThe agency view The directive will have a huge impact on the agencies thatprovide businesses with temporary staffJames Reed, CEO, Reed Recruitment Group James Reed, CEOReed Recruitment Group”The UK’s temporary workforce includes experts who are paid high rates.The flexibility this offers has played a huge part in the fact that the UK hasenjoyed lower unemployment than Europe. Without a doubt, all temps in the UKneed to be paid a fair rate and legislation to help this is welcome, however Ibelieve this would be bad for individuals, bad for companies and bad for theeconomic health of the country.”Keith Faulkner, non-executive director,Manpower Keith Faulkner, non-executive directorManpower”The proposal under consideration will turn the clock back and imposeincreased rigidity. We already provide our temporary staff with employmentcontracts that in turn provide the rights to be paid redundancy and claimunfair dismissal. These proposals will stifle the demand for short-termtemporary staff by imposing unnecessary and irrelevant burdens on usercompanies and achieve little for the temporary worker.” Temps directive unworkable unless the draft is changedOn 9 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. read more

Chain of events

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Arguments of institutional racism are being brought to the Employment AppealTribunal to bolster claims of discrimination under the Race Relations Act.Christopher Mordue reportsThe issue of institutional racism has received much attention following theMacpherson report into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the StephenLawrence murder inquiry. In response to that report, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 hasplaced new duties on a range of public authorities to take action to eliminaterace discrimination and promote good race relations (employers’ Law, May). The Act gives no additional rights or causes of action to employees – it isthe Commission for Racial Equality that is to enforce it. But how far canemployees use the concept of institutional racism to assist complaints ofdiscrimination under the Race Relations Act 1976? In two recent decisions – Hendricks v the Commissioner of Police for theMetropolis and Commissioners of Inland Revenue v Morgan (both unreported) – theEmployment Appeal Tribunal has largely rejected the notion that allegations ofinstitutional racism have any direct application to claims of discriminationunder the RRA. It is the statutory definition of unlawful discrimination under the RRA, theEAT has said, which must be satisfied and this is wholly different to theconcept of institutional racism. In Morgan, the EAT was particularly criticalof a finding of institutional racism within the applicant’s department:”Tribunals have quite enough to do in race cases determining whether therequirements of the statutes are met or not, without venturing, as this tribunaldid, into serious and wounding conclusions based on charges… unknown to thelaw.” Nevertheless, both cases illustrate that arguments of institutional racismmay have some relevance to complaints under the RRA. In Morgan, the EATacknowledged that in claims of indirect discrimination, the issue mightlegitimately arise of whether the employer’s habitual rules and practices weresuch that the institution could fairly be described as racist. However, itstressed that such considerations would only be a step in the overall processof determining whether the individual employee’s claim was valid. The issue of whether institutional racism exists essentially focuses on theprevailing climate and practice within an organisation. Such issues may becomerelevant in employment claims under the RRA in two ways. First, as in Morgan, applicants may legitimately produce evidence of theemployer’s treatment of other employees of different racial groups to show thatdiscriminatory practice exists, from which it can be inferred that thetreatment they received amounted to unlawful discrimination. Second, as in Hendricks, the existence of a discriminatory regime, policy,rule or practice may be of vital importance in determining whether a tribunalcomplaint has been brought within time. Hendricks instituted tribunal proceedings in March 2000 alleging sex andrace discrimination virtually from the date she joined the Met. She complainedof 99 incidents of less favourable treatment from 1989 onwards, the majority ofthese occurring between 1989 and 1994. The allegations involved 50 policeofficers and at least three different workplaces. However, her complaint madeno reference to any act of discrimination occurring in the three months beforeher tribunal complaint. At a preliminary hearing, the tribunal accepted that Hendricks’ complaintwas not of isolated acts of discrimination, but rather of a continuous act ofdiscrimination throughout her employment. Accepting an argument essentiallyunderpinned by an allegation of institutional racism, it concluded thatHendricks had made out a prima facie case that the Met operated a generalisedpolicy of discriminating against women and those from ethnic minorities. Thisclimate of discrimination was a “policy, rule, practice or regime” thatled to discriminatory acts being committed against her. This decision was overturned by the EAT. The policy identified by thetribunal was too vague and ill-defined to amount to a continuing act. Somethingmore specific and concrete was needed. All Hendricks’ allegations concerned herown treatment – they could not form the basis of a prima facie case that theentire Met had a generalised policy over an 11-year period of discriminatingagainst all women and all members of ethnic minorities. In particular,Hendricks had not shown that the specific incidents she relied on, extendingover many years and involving numerous individuals, were in any way connected.Without such co-ordination or concerted action to link the acts, no practice orpolicy could be inferred. The tribunal had failed to consider the specificallegations and the question of what continuing act could properly be inferredfrom them. The Hendricks case is an important reminder of the elements necessary toshow a continuing act of discrimination. Had Hendricks succeeded, the timelimits under the RRA would have become meaningless – as long as the allegedculture of discrimination existed, the relevant time period for bringing acomplaint would not have started to run, allowing for complaints of incidentsmany years earlier. The case, however, must be viewed with some caution. Whether there is acontinuing act of discrimination will depend on the facts of each case. Inparticular, the outcome may be very different if the applicant alleges a morespecific policy or practice and can show a connection between a series ofdiscriminatory incidents. The Morgan case illustrates just this point. Morgan also complained of acontinuing act of discrimination, namely that her progress through her employer’sgrading structure was slower than that of her white colleagues. The tribunal’sfinding in her case of a continuing act based on a practice or policy withinher department was upheld on appeal. Unlike Hendricks, Morgan had alleged aspecific policy or practice and had produced evidence about the treatment ofothers within the same or different ethnic minorities within her department –it was not an allegation based purely on the treatment of one employee. Morgan had also shown a connection between the acts complained of since theyhad all happened under the same manager. A further difference was the existenceof statistical evidence about the rate of promotion of employees from differentracial groups to support the allegation of discriminatory practice. Aside from the relevance of arguments about institutional racism, thesecases illustrate a wider issue raised by discrimination complaints based oncontinuing acts. Hendricks is an extreme example of the prevailing trend forapplicants to base their claims on a series of events over many years. Thiscauses huge financial and practical problems for employers. Had Hendricks’ complaint proceeded, the hearing was expected to last formore than three months, at enormous expense, involving approximately 100 witnessesand an examination of events over a 13-year period. There would have beendifficulties in tracing witnesses and relevant documents and the memories ofthe witnesses would undoubtedly have been impaired by the substantial passageof time since the events. The EAT itself noted that allowing cases to bepresented in this way would place a huge burden on the tribunal system. Nevertheless, it is difficult to have cases struck out as being out of time.At any preliminary hearing on this point, the tribunal has to assume that thealleged discriminatory acts occurred – the issue is whether, in principle,these allegations indicate a continuing act. If the alleged policy or practiceis clearly identified by the applicant and the incidents complained of have agenuine common thread, the case is likely to be allowed to proceed in full.Even if certain allegations are out of time, applicants may still be able toproduce evidence to support arguments that the treatment directly complained ofwas taken on discriminatory grounds. The Court of Appeal in Anya, 2001, ICR 847cautioned tribunals against preventing background evidence of this type beingcalled. The net result is that race discrimination cases are becoming increasinglyexpensive to defend. While in Hendricks, the EAT suggested tribunals should usetheir recently increased powers of case management to ensure cases are dealtwith expeditiously, efficiently and proportionately, the complexity ofdiscrimination law makes this a difficult and uncertain task. Christopher Mordue is an associate at Pinsent Curtis Biddle Find out more… on Race Relations Acts www.cre.gov.ukon tribunal time limits www.employmenttribunals.gov.ukKey points– Discrimination claims must normallybe made within three months of the act complained of or at the end of acontinuing act of discrimination. An applicant can only claim compensation fordiscriminatory acts if the claim is brought within time.– A continuing act must involve the application of adiscriminatory policy, practice, rule or regime. The applicant must show aspecific policy or practice relevant to their own treatment and that thespecific incidents complained of are connected– There is a distinction between continuing acts and acts withcontinuing consequences. For example, a failure to promote an employee hascontinuing effects, but is a one-off act. However, if the employer has a ruleor policy that a particular job is open only to male employees, or whiteemployees, there is continuing discrimination. As long as the rule or policy isin force an employee will be able to present a claim– Applying for a preliminary hearing to determine whether theclaim or part of it is in time may be particularly worthwhile if there is noalleged discriminatory act in the three months before the tribunal claim ispresented, or where no specific policy, rule, regime or practice has beenidentified or the events complained of are unconnectedBut note that at the preliminary hearing the tribunal willassume that the discriminatory acts occurred; and that as long as one part ofthe complaint is within time the whole case will not be struck out. The timelimit may only restrict the issues on which the applicant can recovercompensation – the out-of-time issues could still form part of the applicant’scase as background evidence of discrimination. Comments are closed. Chain of eventsOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Leading the training revolution

first_imgAttitudesto leadership training are being turned around in the Asia Pacific region, withmanagers being sent on diverse courses to bring out the best in them intropical climes, writes Ed PetersWhen Asia Pacific looks at leadership training, the talk is all of‘intellectual rejuvenation’. For managers bogged down with e-mails, hectictravel itineraries and targets and expectations that go off the end of thepage, the last thing they need is a crash course that feels like yet more work.There is also a deepening sense that old, tried-and-tested methods do notfit in the modern world, and that there is a real need to look at leadershipand training in a revolutionised long-term way. As the economic situation tightens across the region, corporations areexpecting more from their executives, whether they are in middle management orhigher. CEOs are looking for their staff to acquire additional skills, newmanagement techniques and bright ideas to spark restructuring in thesink-or-swim era of global competition. In short, they want a change of brain.The solutions are coming thick and fast. “I think executives should really take a step back and think about howthey can be current and at the same time balanced,” says Japhet LawMan-yuk, dean of the faculty of Bus-iness Administration at the ChineseUniversity of Hong Kong. “Executives should think about balancing and emphasising theirinterpersonal skills, instead of just adding to their skills set. They shouldbe developing good habits that apply to work and their entire life – habitssuch as regular sports and exercise, leisure activities and interestinghobbies. “Getting away from your everyday work and being exposed to issues you wouldn’tnormally look at gets the juices going again, both physical and mental. It’sall about stress management and getting to know yourself better. Such skillsare important and transportable across functional disciplines, across yourentire career cycle.” A quantum leap from Hong Kong, the resort island of Phuket off the westcoast of Thailand provides a searing example of just what Law has in mind.Quest, an adventure-based corporate training facility set in seven acressurrounded by a luxury hotel complex on what was once an abandoned tin mine,aims to alter hard-pressed executives’ vision with a full programme ofthoroughly unusual exercises. Where Quest differs hugely from many other corporate training programmes inAsia Pacific is that it runs full tilt into the traditional Asian and Confucianideals of teaching. Many educational establishments in the region rely on rotelearning from primary school onwards, with individual thought and initiativeplaced a long way behind regurgitating the answers that those in chargeperceive as the right ones. Quest programmes can range from brief ice-breakers at the start of aconference to lengthier affairs stretching over two days, priced at anythingbetween US$20 and $290 per head, focusing on indoor and outdoor initiativeproblem-solving activities, which are followed by a discussion to analyseperformance and what participants have learnt. Australian Bruce Hancock is Quest’s recently appointed manager, a qualifiedtraining professional with 14 years experience in the health and fitnessindustry. In the past he has tackled such diverse projects as leading a dozenMicrosoft employees over the Kokoda Trail through the jungles of Papua NewGuinea. “The Asian market is definitely ready for this next step in team developmentand there is huge potential for specialist programmes linking work performanceand lifestyle,” he says. “I am conducting sessions on this topic with guests at the Sheratonhotel with a lot of success. We look at a variety of topics including workperformance, lifestyle, health, change, relationships, stress in relation toperformance, exercise prescription and support systems.” The training Hancock and assistant facilitator Elliott Cumming provide atQuest has evolved through an extensive study of what they came to perceive asan overall balance between personal enhancement, health and lifestyle. “I decided that people were diverted from the underlying issues thatprevent peak performance, so I decided to explore in depth the process of change,resistance to change and the barriers imposed on individuals and groups,”says Hancock. The result was a model Hancock calls ‘The Kaleidoscope Model of Change’. Theconcept was to explore the various steps to change, as well as the resourcesnecessary, both internal and external. Using an experiential process, he lookedto determine what factors motivate an individual or group both positively andnegatively, and the resulting model was centred on ongoing multi-directionalmovement. “How can anyone really enhance performance without looking athis or her willingness or resistance to change?” he asks. “Focusing and refocusing uniqueness and adjusting to find the idealsynergy is the idea at the core of our philosophy, and from this point we canexpand to all areas of enhancement.” Quest’s highly varied programmes take on such subjects as enhancingmotivation for change, identifying and implementing leadership communicationskills, developing skills to increase self-esteem and motivation, and developingawareness around behavioural patterns conflicting with positive enhancement. “Our assessment tool evaluates specifically where the blocks are, anddetermines the actual skills, characteristics and traits of our clients in 46individual categories,” adds Hancock. “It also displays attitude andperformance capabilities, which are crucial to success. I have been using thistool with CEOs, HR directors and top-level management. Coupled with a detailedbrief on objectives, it enables us to tailor a programme to relate directly tothe needs of the company. “All of our activities are conducted in an energetic, dynamicenvironment conducive to learning that always enables the client to have funduring the process.” Hancock says Quest is fully open to growth, and is exploring strategies forfranchising or consultancy rights with others interested in training anddevelopment in the region. It has pulled in clients from around Asia and as far afield as Australia,and has enjoyed some excellent feedback. Among its clients is Mohammed Bedran,associate director Asia Pacific for Colgate Palmolive, who took delegates on ahalf-day team-building course. “We were in Phuket for a week-long conference, and the idea of going toQuest was to build up relationships,” says Bedran. “It certainlytaught you to expect the unexpected, and it was quite amusing during a boatrace task to see the boats sinking with engineers aboard. “It was definitely productive – everybody was satisfied – and certainlyworth the money we spent, and if we were back in Phuket for another conferencewe would do it again.” From Phuket to Bali, another of Asia’s so-called paradise islands, the venuefor the Executive Center for Global Leadership (ECGL) opened its doors inNovember 2001. Some observers might consider it ironic that Indonesia – whoseeconomic and political imbroglios over the past few years have made it anythingbut an example for the rest of the world to follow – should host such afacility. ECGL is, however, the personal project of former government minister TanriAbeng. Describing the venture as “his vision for managementeducation”, ECGL is intended to bring together executives of differentnationalities, cultures and corporations in a learning environment supervisedby professors from well-known universities worldwide. ECGL also breaks new ground in that Indonesian companies are traditionallyrun in a ‘top-down’ fashion, with junior executives and even middle managementrarely accepting or being given much in the way of independent responsibility. The ECGL campus is located in the middle of the island at the Bali HandaraMountain Resort, which includes a Greg Norman-designed golf course, andupcoming programmes include such subjects as leadership for CEOs and thedevelopment and practical implications of corporate governance. “Meeting the challenge of globalisation is not an option for today’sleaders – it’s an imperative,” says Professor P V Lakshmipathy, ECGL’sprincipal director. “We provide our participants with the skills and knowledge to beeffective in an increasingly complex and challenging global environment, withcourses run throughout the year constructed to fit into demanding executivetimetables. They are specifically designed to repay the investment with skills,knowledge and contacts that can make a significant difference,”Lakshmipathy says. Courses set for 2002, costing from around US$500 per head per day inclusiveof accommodation and meals, are very much aimed at the upper corporateechelons. Dr James O’Toole from the University of Southern California will headup a three-day seminar on ‘Leading Change’, focusing on the deep-seatedresistance to change that research shows leads to 80 per cent of all newbusiness initiatives failing. Dr Tan Jing Hee, an affiliate of Louis Allen Associates, will also present aleadership programme. And Erasmus University’s Dr Gregory Maassen’s three-dayprogramme on corporate governance is described as “a must for current andfuture board members as well as political leaders”. Given Indonesia’s shaky performance since the Asian financial crash at theend of 2001, ECGL’s inauguration is a sign that the country is starting to lookbeyond its own borders and that it is considering longer-term solutions. Whiledelegates at ECGL’s seminars are more likely to be drawn from the internationalcommunity rather than the rest of the Indonesian archipelago, Abeng’s projectdoes indicate an acceptance of new attitudes to leadership and a change in theway of learning about them. Sun-kissed tropical resorts are not the only places offering a new take onAsia Pacific leadership and training, as demonstrated by the Ecole Managementde Lyon (EML) in France. As of next September, EML will be offering a Master inEuropean Business via a course specifically tailored to non-Europeans. The school has become increasingly aware of the need to explain Europe’sparticular business practices to overseas students, and so aims to linkdecision-making processes and management situations to the surrounding social,cultural and political environment. The programme specifically highlights theimportance of understanding local, European contexts, and is targeted inparticular at Asian, Middle Eastern and South American students. Developing skills The programme will focus on developing participants’ skills and expertise towork either in a European company, or in a foreign company with businessactivities in Europe. The programme includes 12 sessions and a compulsory three-month placementwith a Europe-based company to convert the teachings of the programme intopractical work experience. Patrick Molle, EML’s president, says: “With the EU representing about370 million inhabitants and a GDP of 8,300bn euros and with technologies andfirms spread across the globe, the European environment provides an enormouswealth of management processes and knowledge. “The course will provide a comprehensive insight to European businessfor many non-European students, with a ‘hands-on’ opportunity provided by wayof the work placement,” he adds. Professor Chantal Poty, in charge of the new programme, says: “Thissort of course is ideal training for overseas students, as it gives them theknowledge to understand the European Union’s history, organisation and businesssystem and the global aspects of marketing and financial issues.” That schools like EML are proactively trying to attract students from AsiaPacific is especially good news for countries such as China, which has anestimated 10,000 locally trained MBAs out of a population of 1 billion andrising. Sad to record, those who do secure a cherished spot in one of China’s 60 MBAprogrammes don’t necessarily emerge with the skills needed to compete in acut-throat economy. Even the Education Ministry concedes that its business schoolsare in a very primitive stage. Most professors parrot information from outdatedtextbooks and have no practical experience to share with students, who lamentthat they cannot trust teachers who have never dealt with a market economy. Long-term survival China’s business schools stress rote memorisation rather than the flexibleproblem-solving skills required by real-life managers. Student participation isnot encouraged, so budding professionals have little chance to practiceimportant presentation skills and debating techniques. As an alternative to overseas study, cities such as Shanghai have openedtheir own management schools, such as the China Europe International BusinessSchool (CEIBS), which is jointly funded by the municipal government and theEuropean Union. Despite an English-language curriculum, such programmes are raking inapplicants because diplomas – even if they’re only for quasi-MBA degrees –guarantee students their pick of jobs. In order to attract the best of the bunchto their boardrooms, some multinational firms are even doling out thousands ofdollars in tuition themselves. The importance of such human investment is also dawning on an unlikelybusiness sector – China’s threadbare state-owned enterprises. Forced to competein a leaner, meaner economy, some of these firms are lavishing costly trainingon their managers in order to ensure long-term survival. At CEIBS, nearly halfof executive MBA students are being funded by state firms such as ChinaNon-Ferrous Metal Industry and China Eastern Airlines. In the past, managers at state enterprises simply worked their way up thefactory line, landing in an office after a couple of decades of dedicatedservice. But with the red ink overflowing, state firms have had no choice butto raise salaries and provide extensive training to their staff. Many managerswelcome that commitment, especially since some fear that a glass ceiling atmultinationals stunts their rise because they are local hires. From Shanghai to Bali, Phuket to Hong Kong, attitudes to leadership trainingin the region are gradually being revolutionised. It was prophesied that thiswould be the Pacific Century, until the Asian financial crash put a spanner inthe works. However, as new business school graduates emerge in coming years,the prophecy could well yet come true. Weblinkswww.lagunaphuket.com/mice/main_quest2.htm(Quest)www.cuhk.edu.hk/ (HKChinese University)www.em-lyon.com/WORLD/index.asp(EM Lyon)www.ecgl.ac Leading the training revolutionOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Practical ways to assess the risk of stress

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Practical ways to assess the risk of stressOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Employers who disregard warnings about the dangers of stress, soon start towince when people go missing, explained Granville Crane, Consultant inOccupational Medicine, Sherman Health Services. Speaking during the run-up to the European Week for Safety and Health atwork, which this year is concentrating on psychosocial risks and stress atwork, Granville outlined the practical ways in which OH can begin to combat theproblems of stress within the workplace, despite the sometime unhelpfulattitude of management. Describing one employer’s reaction to the idea of stress-related illness as‘the skiver’s charter’, he explained that the key role of the OH department isto “get the message across and persuade line managers to manageproperly”. But he warned delegates: “You must secure board agreement for yourplans, because unless you can do this, a stress policy will not be reallyfeasible.” He also advised OH practitioners to encourage managers to askstaff about their stresses, instead of viewing them as an ‘OH issue’. “I believe passionately that we should all take every step we can toavoid causing our fellow workers stress,” he said. last_img read more

Ford accelerates bid to be first choice employer

first_imgFord accelerates bid to be first choice employerOn 26 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Fordhopes to become an employer of choice by extending maternity and paternityentitlement, boosting wages and retaining final salary pensions.Asof next year, the motor company will be offering one of the most generousmaternity entitlements around, said Ford’s director for diversity, SurinderSharma.Shesaid Ford will extend the entitlement to 52 weeks full pay.Twoyears ago, female workers at Ford were only offered 12 weeks maternity pay.Last year, the company extended this to 40 weeks full pay, but felt extendingit further would strengthen its position in the marketplace.Sharmasaid: “This new package will help us recruit and retain more women in avery competitive marketplace.” last_img read more

Top firms double charity donations

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Britain’s largest companies have doubled the amount of pre-tax profitdonated to charities and community projects, according to the latest research. A study by the Guardian newspaper shows that 0.95 per cent of pre-tax profitwas donated by companies in the FTSE 100 during 2001-02, a rise of 0.4 per centfrom the previous year. However, according to the research, most of the increase is explained byfalling profitability, better measurement and the reporting of worldwide,rather than UK, contributions. A wider review of the top 400 firms reveals that levels of giving are at0.42 per cent of pre-tax profits overall – the same as a decade ago. These static figures add to the mixed messages on corporate socialresponsibility (CSR) as companies struggle to compete in the current economicenvironment. Donations dropped to 0.29 per cent in 1995-96 but have now climbed up to the1990-91 levels. James Graham, a manager at Business in the Community – the organisationpushing for increased CSR – is optimistic that companies are giving more backto communities. BIC’s own research shows the amount of employee time dedicated to goodcauses has risen from 28.7m to 38.6m over the last 12 months. “The time and skills of employees dedicated to charities andcommunities is more valuable than money. Staff also develop new skills,”he said. Graham said more firms were now getting involved in CSR because of therecognised and proven business benefits. He said firms understand that an employer brand can be largely based on CSRand that consumers do choose ethical products and companies. By Ross WighamCharity contributions bytop organisationsCompany                                 % of pre-         cashsupport    staff time         gifts in kind     management   total                 pre-taxprofit payroll giving tax profits                   £                                                                      time                                        £ Reuters Group                         12.7                 6.4m                –                      13.7m              –                       20.1m             158.00m         21,069 Northern Rock                        5.0                   14.8m             –                       –                       –                      14.8m             295.20m         26,756 Kingfisher                               4.64                1.3m                –                       –                       –                      1.3m                28.00m            – Unilever                                  3.4                  8.83m              0.25m              0.26m              0.32m              9.66m              284.09m          – Smith & Nephew                     3.3                   0.42m             0.08m              0.18m              –                      0.68m              2.25m              11,000 Legal & General                     3.1                   1.67m             0.04m              0.05m              0.16m             1.92m              62.00m            193,000Rio Tinto                                 2.8                  15.72m            0.55m              0.62m              4.14m             21.03m            1,367.59m       – Shell Tran’ & Trading             2.3                  58.62m            –                       –                      –                       58.62m            2,548.00m       – Cadbury Schweppes                2.0                   1.1m               0.24m              0.23m              0.26m              1.82m             91.06m            – Top firms double charity donationsOn 3 Dec 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Protest over loss of BT jobs to India falls on deaf ears

first_img Comments are closed. British Telecom (BT) has defended its decision to move some of its callcentre jobs to India, claiming the two centres there sometimes provide a betterservice than those in the UK. Some shareholders complained about the issue at its annual meeting in Londonlast week, while activists from the Communication Workers Union mounted a pinkelephant protest against the jobs ‘stampede’. BT Retail chief executive Pierre Danon, said the company’s two call centresin India, which will employ 2,200 workers by the end of the year, were provingto be a great success. They up to 40 per cent cheaper than the UK and the quality of service was”sometimes better”, he said. However, he also announced BT was pressing ahead with plans to develop 31state-of-the-art call centres in the UK, to be staffed by around 17,000 workersat a cost of £105m, compared with the £3m being invested in India. Protest over loss of BT jobs to India falls on deaf earsOn 22 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Quentin

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article RACRACplc employs 11,500 people throughout the UK. Following the acquisition of RAC by Lex Service plc (now RAC plc) weoperated throughout the group a number of different HR and payroll databases.  We recognized the need very early tounderstand, evaluate and recommend the changes necessary to achieve anintegrated approach to our HR practices, as we identified that this could helpus reduce costs and improve efficiency. This included one common set of quantifiable HR measures.Intotal we identified 10 core HR measures with the aim to report on a quarterlybasis.  The 10 core measures were:–colleague satisfaction– absence– turnover– stability– new colleague retention– reasons for leaving– gender – full-time / part-time split– ethnic profile– length of service– age profileThenumber of legacy HR and payroll systems led to inefficient and ineffectiveness– measures were out of date by the time they were consolidated and thereforedid not engage line management or inspire confidence about their accuracy.In2000 we embarked on our journey to harmonise our HR databases and procured acommon HR and payroll database for the group, in an effort to benchmark acrossthe Company and identify  and implementbest practice.  At the end of 2002 allRAC plc colleagues were on one database, therefore ‘enabling’ one set of HRmeasures to be produced.  We named thisthe ‘People P&L’, recognizing it was important and valuable as thefinancial P&L.Wepiloted and refined the measures for circa 6 months, addressing concerns aboutthe format and accuracy.  We createdcommon definitions and processes for administration, so that we could makerelevant comparisons.Duringthe pilot period we benchmarked and quantified the cost of turnover, newcolleague retention and absence.  Weused the CIPD HR Trends and Prospects Survey as a nationwide comparator as wellas ASDA, who were at the time perceived to be the No 1 Company to Work For(2001 Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For).The‘People P&L’ was quickly integrated into the business units as it waseasily linked to the business strategy and the line management could see firsthand the ‘bottom line’ impact.Thevision of the RAC plc is to make a ‘good’ company into a ‘great’ companythrough delivering inspirational service. Progress and success is measured through colleague satisfaction, growthin revenue and growth in shareholder profit. The board sets the performance targets for each of these annually usinga traffic light system.  Out targets forcolleague satisfaction is to achieve 75% satisfaction.Althoughwe started off with 10 core HR measures as indicated earlier, we prioritisedthe first 4 of these and added another, internal appointments, for ourmonthly  ‘People P&L’.  The targets and results relative to targetare monitored on a monthly basis by business unit. Related posts:No related photos. QuentinOn 30 Oct 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more