e-biz in brief

first_imge-biz in briefOn 3 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Thisweek’s e-biz in briefFirmsfail to learn online lessonsThesuccess of future electronic customer relation management (e-CRM) projects isbeing undermined because companies are ignorant of how customers behave on visitsto their websites, according to a new report from Business Intelligence. e-CRM:Customer Management Strategies for e-Business found that 62 per cent ofcompanies have learnt nothing about customers’ online preferences and, out of102 firms surveyed, only 28 per cent questioned could provide a specific answerabout customer visiting habits.   www.business-intelligence.co.ukPostOffice delivers e-learning to staffThePost Office is to work with Futuremedia on an Internet-based e-learning systemfor its workforce. It will be used to train 6,000 employees in the first sixmonths and will then be expanded to reach all 200,000 staff as well ascustomers and partner organisations. The e-learning projects will includeinduction training, generic IT skills and marketing.   www.futuremedia.co.ukSelf-servicecompensation and benefitsDesigninga self-service web-based compensation and benefits system is one of the areascovered in the Compensation and Benefits in Telecoms 2001 conference on 30-31May at London’s Jury’s Hotel. A post-conference workshop focusing on e-pay ande-benefits will take place at the same venue on 1 June. A follow-up event willlook at how Web-enabled HR can improve quality of life for employees and howe-systems can facilitate decision-making. For details visit the Vision inBusiness website.  www.visioninbusiness.comRecruitmentin the palm of your handActiveRecruiter.palmis an Internet service that allows HR professionals to recruit from a hand-heldcomputer such as a Palm. It has been developed as a collaboration betweenonline recruiter Job Partners and mobile technology company Aladdino. HRmanagers can read CVs, receive updates on interviews and create an evaluationof a candidate using their Palm.  www.jobpartners.com   www.aladdino.com Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Recruitment and retention must go hand in hand at call centres

first_img Previous Article Next Article Recruitment and retention must go hand in hand at call centresOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Employeeturnover in the call centre industry has nearly doubled as dissatisfied staffleave companies. And as almost half the firms in the sector do not haveretention policies, Ben Willmott asks what steps they should be taking to keepthe right people on boardManagementtraining and recruitment procedures among call centres must improve ifspiralling staff turnover in the sector is to be tackled.Theseare two of the main conclusions of the annual benchmarking report by callcentre specialist Merchants, which reveals that staff turnover in the industryhas nearly doubled over the past two years.Thereport, based on a survey of 352 contact centres in 30 countries and fivecontinents, indicates that the industry experienced a turnover rate of 32 percent in 2000 compared with 22 per cent in 1999.CherylClifford, HR director at Merchants, said too many call centres focus only onrecruiting staff and not on retaining them, and also neglect managementtraining.Thesurvey shows that 90 per cent of organisations have staff recruitmentstrategies in place but only 55 per cent have retention plans.Cliffordsaid the study reveals that the industry shortcuts recruitment and selectiontechniques and managers do not bother to align staff with business goals oragree performance objectives.Thestudy highlights a failure by call centre managers to use more sophisticatedand time-consuming recruitment techniques, such as group interviews, assessmentcentres and psychometrics, when choosing staff. It reveals that only half ofcall centre employers check references.”Ourexperience at Merchants has been that a carefully designed and conductedrecruitment campaign saves effort and money later by reducing attrition due toincorrect appointment,” Clifford said in the report.”Thesuccess or failure of business to attract and retain the appropriate calibreand volume of people will ultimately affect their ability to deliverorganisational goals.”Currentestimates by the CIPD and the Blue Sky Consultancy are that to replace eachcall centre employee costs between £5,000 and £30,000. The figure depends onwhether the fall in performance among those about to leave and the cost ofmanaging the learning curve of new starters are included.TheCIPD agrees that recruitment and retention strategies must be developed hand inhand if the UK’s 10,500 call centres are to begin to curb increases in staffturnover.TheCIPD’s training and development adviser, Mike Cannell, said, “There is nopoint in just thinking about a recruitment strategy. It is essential to thinkabout retention in the same way.”Cannellsaid organisations should take a longer-term view when they hire staff toensure the recruits are matched to the demands of the job.”Itcosts a lot of money to advertise for someone and then train them,” hesaid. “Ifthey are going to leave after six months because they are unhappy, thensomething has gone wrong.”Thereport recommends that organisations make it a priority to engage their callcentre staff with the aims of the business.Cliffordsaid part of the reason for high staff turnover is that too many organisationstreat their call centres like an annexe to the main business.Sheemphasised that call centre staff must be aligned with the business strategy ifthey are to feel they play a valuable role in the organisation.TheCIPD says it is in employers’ best interests to involve call centre staff withthe business, not just to keep them, but also because they often have the mostdirect contact with customers.”Theyknow what customers are saying, and it is important they get an opportunity tofeed that back to management,” said Cannell.ColinMackay, head of quality and standards for the CCA, the representative body forthe call centre industry, said it had produced a best practice framework tohelp its members recruit and retain staff.”Ifyou recruit the right people in the first place, train them properly and givethem career development opportunities, there is no reason for there to be highstaff turnover,” he said.Accordingto the Merchants study, another reason that attrition rates continue to rise inthe sector – which employs 400,000 people in the UK – is that salaries foragents have remained fairly static at the 1998 level of £12-£14,000 a year.Itfinds that this reluctance of companies to improve pay has contributed to thesituation the industry now faces.”Lowpay is an emotive phrase,” said Mackay. “What is not taken intoaccount is the benefits which contact centre staff often receive, such asnon-contributory pensions and facilities they can use if they are part of alarge group. “Whatis important for employers is that if you do offer benefits you tell your staffabout them.”Althoughrewards are important, the report claims that high staff turnover in callcentres can only be addressed if HR plays a more active role in peoplemanagement.Cliffordsaid, “Agents who work in the repetitive, processing environments needsupportive leadership and HR to provide more individual attention. “Inaddition, if tasks can be made more varied and interesting, they will be moreinterested in the work and their contribution.”www.merchants.co.ukPaypushed up by competitionCallcentre pay for managers and skilled staff is rising, according to a survey bythe Hay Group consultancy.Thesalaries of managers at the UK’s larger call centres have increased by morethan 20 per cent in the past 12 months from £59,245 on average to £71,586.Teamleaders’ salaries have risen by an average of 11 per cent from £21,408 to£23,698.Thereport also reveals that increasing competition for high-quality staff haspushed up remuneration levels for skilled call handlers.Atypical employee handling inbound calls, which require detailed technicalknowledge, now earns on average £21,317, which is 7.38 per cent higher thanlast year.Thesurvey shows that organisations are stepping up their efforts to make theworking day for call centre staff less stressful and less monotonous, with 74per cent of respondents allowing short breaks during the day.HayGroup consultant Anthony McNulty said, “We are witnessing among callcentres a shift of emphasis away from basic call handling to provision ofsophisticated services to customers. Call centres are trying to shed theirsweatshop image and remodel themselves as contact centres, providinghigh-level, technical advice to customers.”Thefindings in the Hay Group 2001 Call Centre Report are drawn from 91 UKorganisations that run call centres. www.haygroup.comlast_img read more

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Learning technologies

first_img Comments are closed. Learning technologiesOn 29 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article ITworkers play a crucial role in today’s organisations but HR faces a challengein keeping them up to date with technological innovations, and persuadingtechnical staff to coach colleagues. Nic Paton reportsNext time you pull in beside someone at a motorway service station, watchthem closely. Are they munching on a sandwich and listening to Jimmy Young? Orare they studying on their laptop before heading off to their next clientmeeting – as an increasing number of organisations are encouraging their staffto do? According to specialist IT research organisation IDC, the number of mobileworkers in the UK will rise from about 2.3 million this year to 4.8 million by2005. A significant proportion of these are likely to be IT workers, either onthe road selling software solutions to organisations or working onsite withclients, often on time- critical projects. For these workers, keeping up to speed with the latest technologicaladvances in such a fast-moving industry is a key issue, as is ensuring they aremaintaining their core skills and competencies. Iain Smith, founder and director of IT consultancy Diaz Research, says oneof the main problems faced by IT professionals is the difficulty in gettingreleased to train. This can be a particular problem among sales staff, whereany time off from selling means the company is failing to make money. “There are a surprising number of people in IT who have had very littletraining. They tend to speak to colleagues or find out things forthemselves,” he says. This attitude can be compounded by the failure of line managers – oftenformer IT professionals themselves – to recognise the importance of ongoingtraining. “One of the characteristics of IT workers is they are often notinterested in, or capable of, communicating and coaching colleagues. They arehired on the basis of their technical ability, not their coaching orsupervisory skills. “For senior technical people it is much easier to tell someone how tofix a problem, or give them the answer, than sitting down with the individualto explain exactly why and expose the whole process,” he explains. This problem can be exacerbated when managers are dealing with a mobile orremote workforce. For such a workforce, offering learning in bite-sized chunks,rather than sticking people in a classroom for the whole day is the key, arguesFenella Galpin, a consultant at e-learning specialiste-learningsolutions.co.uk. “It’s learning they can do in half-an-hour satin a lay-by,” she says. Online learning need not mean being stuck in front of a computer inisolation. The vast majority of packages offer collaborative or interactiveadd-ons such as chat and discussion rooms, mentoring, expert advice andperformance appraisal, she adds. The sort of investment a company makes in this type of training can varywidely. At its most basic, buying a single course can cost £500 to £1,000 peremployee, with a small organisation probably buying three or four courses forbetween five and 10 staff, for example. For larger companies, the cost ofbespoke packages for a far-flung workforce can easily run into hundreds ofthousands, even millions, of pounds. This, though, has to be set against the saving to the business of not havingto pull valuable staff offsite or off the road for training and not havingemployees who are losing competency simply because they are not being trained.For the majority of companies, the competitive benefits of having a highlytrained IT workforce in place – and one being constantly developed andchallenged – outweighs the cost of putting an online training infrastructure inplace. Cisco Systems, for example, has ploughed millions of dollars into developingwhat is thought to be one of the most sophisticated e-learning systems in theworld, which launched in November last year. A central element to this has beenthe development of a global e-learning ‘community’, offering 12,000 courses to38,000 staff worldwide. Cisco offers innovations including “personalised learningroadmaps” – online career plans that identify what skills or experiencesemployees need to progress. There are ‘virtual classrooms’ where students indifferent locations can join online lectures, possibly led by an expertinstructor in another location. Experts are available 24 hours a day to discussproblems. ‘Video-on-demand’, TV-quality video images can also be used to deliverhigh-impact messages. Cisco says these are particularly useful for explainingcomplex material and for staff briefings. In the process, the US technology specialist has switched its field salestraining from being 90 per cent classroom-based to 90 per cent online, as wellas reducing its annual training costs by 40 to 60 per cent. In total, about 60 per cent of its training is now online and the companyplans to increase this to 70 per cent, estimates Mike Maunder, vice-presidentof marketing and alliances at e-learning firm Saba Software, a key player inthe switchover. A big factor in the success of the scheme was that Cisco’s CEO John Chamberswas behind it from the start. “He was absolutely committed to thestrategy, so it was a top-down approach. That makes it much easier tohappen,” says Maunder. “Cisco wanted to look at not just how people were learning, but the wayit was communicating with its workforce. In the past, companies foundcommunicating with and educating their staff was a real problem. Just gettingthem together in one place was very expensive. “I can remember years ago going to global sales meetings with 3,000people in one room. How the hell can you communicate with 3,000 people? Theirattention span is not that good. This is about having the ability to trainpeople as and when they need and want it. Putting people in a classroom is outof the question,” he explains. Another company that has tackled this problem head on, albeit on a smallerscale, is IT recruitment consultancy Elan. For the past year, the company, theIT arm of Manpower, has offered more than 1,500 online training courses to its2,500 contractors around Europe, through specialist provider SmartForce UK. IT certification courses on offer – the benchmark to which IT professionalstrain – include Microsoft, Oracle, Novell and Cisco, as well as developingweb-based skills such as Java. There is an assessment tool to allow contractors to assess their core skillsand competencies before embarking on a course. The online service also includesvideo conferences, libraries and, like Cisco, expert advisers available 24hours a day and discussion and chat rooms. Sadie King, market development manager, says while contractors are workingonsite maybe for three to six months at a time, it is vital organisations havea training structure that addresses mobile working. Elan’s service wasinitially launched in the UK and Ireland, but has since been expanded to staffacross Europe. “In a fast-moving industry like this, skill sets are shifting all thetime. It is very important in this particular industry for staff to keep theirskills up-to-date,” she says. As is standard with most systems, Elan contractors register for the serviceand are given a log in so they can access the training site. Those who will nothave access to the Internet – perhaps because they are travelling or in aparticularly remote location – can use a CD-Rom version. Each course tends to be in three to four-hour chunks and employees cansimply work their way through them. The website also offers links to WhitePapers, news articles and other related topics. Laura Overton, global programmes manager at SmartForce, believes that, as IThas become a more central, integrated part of the modern business, so has theneed for good IT training – particularly now. “In tougher economicclimates, people are reducing their reliance on IT contractors, so theirpermanent staff are under more pressure to have the skills. The market forskills is still as important as it has ever been,” she says. And she disputes there is a need for a cultural change towards training.”In my experience, IT professionals, are very keen to relearn, they arenot set in their ways. They will look for organisations willing to show anongoing investment in their skills. They generally suck up information,”she argues. SmartForce has worked with a raft of blue-chip names, such as Unisys andSiemens, as well as smaller companies such as technology firm LionbridgeTechnologies. Its multi-million pound collaboration with Unisys, for example,led to the creation of an ‘online university’ for the software firm’s 33,000staff worldwide. As a result of that collaboration, Unisys saw its training costs come downand first-time pass rates rise from 75 per cent to 95 per cent. Another firm taking the plunge has been the business consulting practice ofAndersen – formerly Arthur Andersen. Since last April, the company has offeredits 600 UK staff, of which about 550 are mobile workers, an online learningnetwork called MindSpace. Similar networks have been established in Andersenoperations in other countries. MindSpace offers chat rooms, 24-hour mentoring and innovations such as‘smart seminars’ – live interactive webcasts that are then archived for futureuse. Courses can be accessed online, down the phone or downloaded on to alaptop where an employee does not have access to a phone line. It could also bebuilt into an employees’ personal learning plan and included as part of theirreview objectives for the coming year. “The key challenge for us has been getting the usage to the level wewanted,” says Robin Blass, head of management development and learning atthe company. “But users have been very positive.” While its usage statistics are currently unaudited, initial indications arethat the most frequent users have been technical specialists tapping intocourses on subjects such as Oracle, Cisco and Windows. Usage in this group overthe past three months has been running at between 10 per cent and 30 per cent,says UK e-learning project manager Antony Reid. Since start-up, the average user has used the network for approximately for5.4 days, a pretty satisfactory level of take-up, argues Blass. To get themessage across, the company launched a marketing campaign including voicemails,e-mails and group presentations. But the challenge remains to get people to useit more than once, he adds. “In a culture where people are getting 100 e-mails a day and people areout with clients, just getting them to spend a few minutes understanding it hasbeen the key. Once you have done that, there is a domino effect,” heexplains. Initial set-up costs for the MindSpace platform came in at £72,800, with thecontent – the courses – being essentially free, because they had been madeavailable to Andersen through global licenses. The maintenance cost of theportal has yet to be finalised, but will be in the region of £9,000. Looking forward, the company plans to migrate the different MindSpacenetworks in its various countries into a single global e-learning solution, aswell as bring in more competency measuring and assessment technology. It appears more and more IT companies are realising that for their mobilesales staff and contractors, simply sending them out on the road and leavingthem to it is no longer an option. As Cisco discovered, a successful e-learning initiative needs commitment andbacking to come from the very top. It is in changing cultural perceptions – andsecuring buy-in to the idea of constant training and development, for even themost remote workforce – that HR professionals have a key role to play, arguesDiaz’s Smith. “The best answer is focusing on communicating to senior technicalpeople and team leaders that part of the job, part of what they do, isimparting knowledge and supporting colleagues to learn,” he says. “Why, for example, shouldn’t part of their yearly bonus be dependent onwhat junior colleagues say about their willingness to actually communicateknowledge?” he suggests. If organisations want to maintain a competitive edge, mobile training has tobe a central part of that day-to-day working experience. The job of the HRprofessional working in such organisations is to instil awareness, from the topdown, that this sort of step-change needs to be made. Should your IT staff be certified?Nearly half (48 per cent) of IT professionalssaid assessing skills and knowledge levels was the most important reason forseeking certification. A total of 39 per cent cited increasing credibility and38 per cent increased productivitySixty-six per cent of ITprofessionals said their salaries increased after becoming certified Sixty-four per cent of managers saida higher level of service was a key benefit of having certified staff, with 59per cent citing competitive advantage and 57 per cent increased productivity Half of IT professionals saidincreasing overall productivity was their main reason for certification,followed by increasing credibility (47 per cent) and preparing forcertification (45 per cent) More than 42 per cent of managerssaid certified staff leaving their organisation was a major drawback tocertifying employees. Yet only 29 per cent of certified professionals actuallychanged employers after receiving certification Approximately half of all classroomtraining took place in a formal, third-party training facility, with 23 percent on a company’s premises. A total of 30 per cent took place at bothlocations Forty-seven per cent of ITprofessionals’ most useful methods to prepare for certification wereinstructor-led classroom training (24 per cent) followed by printed materialsfor self-study (23 per cent) A higher proportion (51 per cent) whoused both self-study and self-assessment tests in preparation for certificationexams passed their courses, compared with candidates who used all othermethodologies Thirty-seven per cent of ITprofessionals underwent IT training because their employer recommended it Only 10 per cent of certifiedprofessionals sought training to find another job, while 22 per cent soughttraining for job securitylast_img read more

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…in brief

first_imgThisweek’s news briefSHRMchief quitsThehead of the US Society for Human Resource Management, Helen Drinan hasannounced she is quitting after just 16 months in the job. Drinan, SHRMpresident and CEO, said she and the board “did not share the same viewsabout how best to achieve the overall goals of the organisation”. She saidthe differences “were significant and would stand in the way ofprogress”. SHRM has more than 165,000 members.  www.shrm.orgGraduatesget ethicalMorethan 75 per cent of graduates would not work for a company with a poor ethicalrecord. Research, on behalf of Axiom Software, shows 56 per cent of graduatesbelieve it is still possible to be selective about a potential employers’ ethicalrecord even when the economy is under pressure. Half of the 700 students  would take their ideal job, over a higherpaying job.  www.axiomsoftware.comArmyrecruits’ boostPayfor young new recruits to the armed forces has been boosted by 12.5 per cent inan attempt to attract more soldiers. The increase is in response to a studythat found school leavers earn more from other employers. It also found thereis a shortage of 6,500 soldiers. Wages for new recruits under 17 will rise from£8,000 to £8,997.   www.army.mod.ukFirmslack ideasUKbusiness lacks the commitment to capitalise on innovative ideas from employees,despite moves to encourage a more creative work-force. But Managing Innovation,researched by the Industrial Society, finds 75 per cent of the 193 HRprofessionals polled say their firm encourages new ideas from staff.  www.indsoc.co.ukILAscheme fiascoTheselect committee investigating the collapse of the £200m Individual LearningAccount scheme has learnt a third of those with an account didn’t even realisethey had one. Research by York Consulting shows one in three of the 4,000 ILAholders asked had no idea they were listed as part of the Government’s failedtraining programme. Comments are closed. …in briefOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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on the move

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. on the moveOn 28 May 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The British Museum has appointed Dawn Austwick OBE (pictured) as director ofHR. Previously, she was project manager for the Tate Modern and since itsopening in 2000 she has advised on a range of government initiatives. She hasled reviews of both English Heritage and the National Gallery. In her newposition, she will be responsible for several functions including HR and willhave an annual budget of £25m. Nigel Paine is the new head of training and development at the BBC. In thisrole, he will be responsible for training the entire workforce of 23,000 staff.He will also spearhead an operation to provide the majority of learning used bythe UK broadcasting sector. Paine has experience of adult learning havingpreviously worked for companies including Cisco and ICL. Past positions includestints as chief executive of the Scottish Council for Educational Technologyand chief executive of Technology Colleges Trust in London. Dr James McCalman is the new director of MBA programmes at AshridgeManagement College. He has previously run executive and part-time MBAprogrammes at Glasgow and Strathclyde and is co-author of Change Management: AGuide to Effective Implementation. McCalman’s priorities will be to help theorganisation obtain degree- awarding powers as well as developing the MBA,which targets a senior audience. last_img read more

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16 top tips for finding the right HR job

first_img16 top tips for finding the right HR jobOn 26 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Findingthe ideal job in HR can sometimes seem an overwhelming task Fiona Brady offersa checklist for the least stressful route to the right career move..1.Explore all options within your current organisation first, are they goingto be implementing her? If a re-structure were to happen what opportunities maycome out of it? Too many walk away from uncertainty to miss opportunities of alife time to be given to an outsider with no internal credibility.2.Improve relations whether you stay or go. Have you really blown it with your boss or could a conscious week of egostroking and positive vibes put you back in the race.3.No race to be won. Acknowledge and accept when there is no race forpromotion to be won as it can be soul destroying to sit out the ten yearsentence for good behaviour only to find out you could of achieved more infive?4.Stick with what you really want, what you really really want and are good at?Complete your CPD log to visilise where you are going and where you want to be,putting pen to paper is often the first step in the process of committing to apersonal objectives.5.Contact old friends and colleagues to remind you of how good you are andeasy to work  with. Not only will youpick up knowledge it will refresh that flagging self esteem.6.Start with the end in mind if you want to be a HR Manager, research therole and check that it is the type of role and responsibilities you would enjoyand be good.7.Wanting and hating. Dodging political pressure can reduce quality of lifenot improve it.8.Align your CV as you would a proposal. Look on line prepare three CVs onefor industry one for position and one generalist to please all palates.9.Keep it factual explaining what you really want not only will it rule youout but will rule you in on the opportunities you are really interested in andeliminate those ones for dire emergency.10.Read the advert! Phone the agency to find out more it you think you can doit and have the experience prepare a list of five benefits on why you should beput forward highlighting them off the job description, email it with your CV.You won’t always get a Yes but at least you will have been considered.11.Keep it to yourself – Network with HR colleagues but do not tell them thecompany you are about to get that guaranteed interview for unless you enjoystiffer competition.12.Survivor alliances? Network within the CIPD branch and at events there maynot be immediate jobs but more alliances.13.Don’t wait for a job to come to you go out and find the company you havealways fancied working for through referral, press or feedback from friends andfamily. Speculative applications do work it is all part of an agency toolkit.14.Why wait for a crisis until you look for a job? Be resilient keep up activitylevels on job hunting once a month even if you are having a good run as itcould be the right opportunity at the wrong time.15.Be careful of spurious recruiters? How often have you joined a company tofind lots of personal problems that were kindly not mentioned, inhumanepolitical enemies ready for their next victim or an over enthusiasticorganisation whom forgot to tell you that sales turnover has halved but staffturnover has doubled. In fact in 1997 government figures showed that 70% of newunemployed people had been made redundant in the first three months of employment.16.Go with your instinct. Start as you mean to go on, listen to your innerfeelings, impressions its like any relationship if you look for the potentialrather than role you could end up divorcing yourself from the role.Psychological contract can be band aided but can often be broken with themistrust of misunderstanding never to be repaired.FionaBradyis a recruitment consultant at hrhr Ltd www.hrhrpersonnelservices.com Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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HR distrusts home workers because of lack of checks

first_img Comments are closed. Nearly half of HR directors don’t trust their staff to perform effectivelyif they are working from home reveals research. The survey of nearly 300 HR directors at companies in the UK, France,Germany and the Netherlands shows 45 per cent of respondents are concernedabout their employees’ self-discipline to work effectively while out of theoffice. The study by global consultants LogicaCMG suggests this stems from the factthat 46 per cent of employers have no way of effectively monitoring mobileworkers. The survey also reveals that most company policies on mobile working areinadequate. In the UK, 62 per cent of training for mobile workers focuses on use of thetechnology, while just 20 per cent is devoted to effective communication techniquesand 16 per cent to time management. Most of the companies that encourage mobile working rely on rudimentary waysof monitoring staff performance such as logging mobile phone or internet useand written reports to line managers. Paul Barker, international solutions director at LogicaCMG, said employerswould have to become better at managing homeworkers as the demands for flexibleworking increase. www.logicacmg.com HR distrusts home workers because of lack of checksOn 11 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Final-quarter hire predictions hit lowest levels in a decade

first_imgFinal-quarter hire predictions hit lowest levels in a decadeOn 23 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article The UK’s employers are anticipating a 10-year low in job prospects duringthe final quarter of this year, according to a major new survey of 2,500organisations. Manpower’s Global Employment Outlook Survey shows 21 per cent of the UK’semployers are expecting to take on more staff in the final quarter of the year,while 9 per cent expect a reduction in job opportunities. This gives a net employment outlook (NEO) figure of 12 per cent – a fall of2 per cent on last year, and the lowest since 1993. The study reveals the hotel and retail sectors predict a particularly poorend to the year, reporting their lowest final-quarter hiring intentions for thepast 12 years, with an NEO of 7 per cent. The predictions for the manufacturing sector are also noticeably depressed.Just 16 per cent of employers in the sector expect to take on more staff, while9 per cent are looking for cuts. This gives an NEO of 7 per cent – 5 per centdown on 2002. The current prediction is the sector’s third-lowestfourth-quarter result in 10 years and corresponds with Government figures whichshow that manufacturing employment levels fell to an all- time low of 3.5million workers in the three months leading up to June 2003. Hazel Detsiny, a Manpower director, was surprised by the pessimism about theemployment rates. “Quarter-four prospects are usually extremely buoyant due to theincreased hiring activity which takes place over the Christmas period to helpmeet consumer demand,” she said. Although the UK’s employment prospects figures were lower than expected,they were better than its European competitors, except for Sweden, which has anNEO of 12 per cent. By contrast, a greater proportion of employers are expecting to reduce theirstaffing levels in Germany (NEO -8 per cent) and Ireland (NEO -4 per cent). By Ben WillmottWeblink www.manpower.co.uk Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Role models for HR

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Weall look for them – individuals we can model ourselves on, who can give usconfidence, set us on the right career path, lead by example and spur us on tohigh achievement, writes Scott Beagrie. Theycome in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life, and age notwithstanding, our role models are just as likely to be Richard Branson orMartha Lane Fox as Jamie Oliver or David Beckham. Very often, however, the mostinspirational role models are the people we work with. PersonnelToday quizzed six HR directors – including our guest editor – all of whom havehad a major impact within their organisations, about their role models, andwhere they gained their inspiration. You may be surprised at some of theirresponses.KarenSimpsonDirector of HR and culture at telecommunications consultancy Mason, on herCEO, Terry FlanaganSimpsonjoined Mason as office manager, which included responsibility for HR and allsupport functions and, as the company grew, focused on HR. She was promoted tothe board in 2001.Simpsonbelieves Flanagan, a former Oldham and Great Britain rugby league forward, isan ideal role model, because of his willingness to share the benefits of hisexperience. She is also inspired by what he has achieved.Oneof the key things she feels she has learned from him is how to enable people toreach their full potential by motivating and stretching them.VanceKearneyVice-president of HR EMEA at Oracle, on US playwright, Arthur MillerWhenhe was a young personnel manager, Kearney found the works of Arthur Millerparticularly inspirational, and believes they should be mandatory reading forthe HR profession. The Crucible, in particular, is a “marvellous piece ofdrama” that goes to the heart of a “really important matter” forHR, which is that evil only triumphs because good people fail to act.”Badthings happen because good, honest, decent people fail to act and don’t speakout because they perceive [someone] to be more powerful or influential thanthem. So it’s quite a good lesson in bravery for HR,” he says. “HRmust be prepared to be unpopular with senior management at times, and to pointout [for instance] that it isn’t appropriate for the boss to receive a £1mbonus when the employees are on the minimum wage.”FrancesWrightGroup HR director of SHL, on her first boss Tony Ryan, manager ofmanagement development at IBMWrightsays she didn’t have one particular role model, but cites Ryan as an influence.First and most importantly, he told her that work was to be enjoyed, and thatit should be fun. The other key thing that has stayed with me is [the need for]integrity, and in HR you certainly have to do what is right and seek the mostappropriate solution,” she says. “I have always tried to follow thatwith my team and when trying to build a team.”Sheadds: “I think you can learn from people, but in HR, I don’t believe youshould model you own behaviour or try and emulate someone else, because yourstyle needs to be linked to the business and its culture.”VickyWilliamsHR director of the All Leisure division of the Compass Group, on CathySmith, global HR director of the US support services division of CompassSmithwas the HR director of the unit she joined as an HR manager 14 years ago. OnWilliams’ second day, Smith offered her a piece of sound advice: if she gotherself known by everybody within her first year, she would have a good futurewithin the organisation. Williams says her career has since followed a similartrajectory to Smith’s, who has been promoted seven times.”Smithgave accountability to her people. She allowed them to take responsibility fordecisions, and believed there was never a wrong or right, just differentoptions.”BeverleyShearsHR director, South West Trains, on Madonna and John Cope, chiefindustrial relations officer at London UndergroundShearssays one of her role models is Madonna. “I think business could learn alot from her,” she says. “She is a successful product, anticipatingtrends and moving before the trend, so she is always adapting to keep in thelimelight and to be different. As an organisation, she has had a makeover everytwo to three years and has been successful in terms of flexibility,adaptability, innovation and performance.”Shearsalso admires Madonna’s personality, and “her sheer grit and determinationto succeed”.Interms of work role models, Shears says that they tend to be extremely seniorand experienced people who are confident enough in their own ability andexperience to mentor people who are much more junior to them and just startingout. This is what happened to Shears herself, citing John Cope, chiefindustrial relations officer at London Underground, as her role model. “Iwas his PA. His immortal words to me were: ‘Young lady, if you persist intelling me what to do, I must insist you are qualified, and we will fund it’.That started me on the route to becoming professionally qualified.”AngieRisleyGroup HR director of Whitbread, on professor Michael Beer, who she firstmet seven years ago, and Dave Ulrich, who she heard give a talk eight years agoRisleyhas chosen two individuals who have had an influence on her rather than who sheconsiders to be role models. Michael Beer, honorary professor at HarvardBusiness School, has worked with Risley and the top team at Whitbread, and hada “very significant impact” on her career. “Whathe has given me is a very good understanding of how to achieve a highperformance, high commitment organisation,” she says. “Basically, hisphilosophy is that you can’t achieve that unless you have an organisation thathas honest conversations. And that you are able to identify and discuss thebarriers to your goals and knock them down.””DaveUlrich was really able to articulate the role of the HR professional. Not justin terms of making sure that all the decisions have a people angle to them, butactually being able to influence the overall decision and the scope ofit,” she says. “It was very significant in my learning at that time.And I think it’s still very relevant for HR today.”BeverleyShears guest editorWhy I chose this topic‘Ihave been really lucky to have worked with people who encouraged me to do morethan I thought I was capable of. My message to all directors is that you owe itto your organisation to do the same for your up-and-coming people. They willreflect well on you, and are not a threat.’ Role models for HROn 15 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Swedes living the life of Riley

first_imgSwedesget more time off than other Europeans, according to Germany’s IW economicinstitute. Ina survey of holidays taken by staff in 2003 in 14 European countries, theCologne-based think-tank said Sweden (33 days) was closely followed by TheNetherlands (31) and Denmark (30). Atthe other end of the scale are the Greeks, defying their lazy Mediterraneanstereotype with 23 days leave on average. The Irish are the hardest working ofall, driving the Celtic tiger economy with just 20 days off in 2003. IWsaid Germans take an average of 29 days off per year, although time off isgenerally shorter in former East Germany and among younger staff. UKstaff  take an average of 24.5 days offwork. This is the joint third lowest number of days along with Portugal,although it is close to the European average. Swedes living the life of RileyOn 27 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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