first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. A round-up of news from the professional journalsLeadership skills Nurses in Scotland are to be sent on courses to improve their leadershipskills as part of the Government’s strategy for the profession published lastweek. Nursing Standard, 13 March Public health practitioners Eighty new ‘public health practitioner’ posts are to be created in Scotlandas part of a £10m drive to provide a ‘health champion’ in every community. Mostare expected to be from a nursing background. Nursing Times, 14 March Retaining staff Six out of 10 nurses think employee-friendly policies such as flexibleshifts and crèche facilities would be most effective in retaining staff, aNursing Standard survey shows. The research reveals that the NHS still has a lot to do to improve nurses’working conditions. Only 6 per cent were given the opportunity to have schoolholidays off and three-quarters did not have access to a work-based crèche ornursery. Two in three nurses were not able to select their own shifts and nearly 90per cent were not given the opportunity to job-share. Just 52 per cent thoughtincreasing pay would have the biggest effect on staff retention, with a thirdsaying pay is not a major influence. Nursing Standard, 13 March BriefingOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

The world at your fingertips

first_imgThe world at your fingertipsOn 1 Jun 2001 in Auto-enrolment, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Globalmanagement consultancy KPMG had to respond rapidly to its clients’ needs fornew e-business skills and knowledge. If it was to succeed, however, it had toputs its own house in order firstThedotcom bubble may have burst in the middle of 2000 but, as we all know, theInternet isn’t about to curl up and die. The need for companies to train theirworkforces in the new skills needed for the e-economy remains. Asa leading global management consultancy, KPMG felt this need more than most,with clients demanding e-business solutions of them – and fast. Thecompany needed to equip itself to deliver such new skills and knowledge in a”confident and certified way”, says Grant Ritchie, principalconsultant at KPMG. “We needed to act quickly and transform our positionin the marketplace.” Therewere several inherent logistical difficulties in the training task, namely thatthe company has 22,000 staff, located in 73 countries around the world. Itneeded to train 8,000 of the US workforce in a space of six weeks and theremainder within the year. What’s more, it needed a training programme that wasongoing and which could rapidly upskill its “learning-hungry” staffand keep them up to speed and “on message” at all times, says Ritchie.Inmany ways, the project marked the beginning of more than just a new trainingprogramme at the company. At a time of rapid technological change and whatRitchie calls “dog year” time frames, KPMG was conscious that it hadto be seen to be leading-edge through and through. “We had to establish anew language in our organisation,”says Ritchie. Ithad also embarked on a programme of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) andwanted to develop a training strategy alongside this. Anykind of classroom-based training was out of the question because of thetimescales and geographical locations. The management consultancy also hadother reservations about synchronous classroom learning – among other things,it believed it to be instructor-focused, not learner-focused, and leader-paced,not self-paced. Someform of e-learning or blended learning solution seemed to be the answer, andKPMG surveyed the market. However, it says it found lots of challenges, but nointegrated solutions, with little overlap between those offering content,technology and services.Eventually,KPMG believed it had found a company that could successfully bring together allthree, and engaged Digital Think to implement the training programme. DigitalThink specialises in bespoke e-learning systems, integrating the technology,course content and development. It has a track record of deliveringlarge-scale, tailored solutions that fit with a company’s culture and iscapable of understanding business goals and stretching a client’s thinking. “Wework with a lot of corporates and use e-learning as a strategy tool,” saysTom Murphy, managing director of Digital Think in the UK. “E-learning’seffect should be measurable – it should raise sales and improve the bottomline.”DigitalThink’s application server provider (ASP)-based system (see box) requires nospecial proprietary hardware, software or even plug-ins – it isplatform-independent (runs on PC, Macintosh, and Solaris) and can be accessedvia an average web browser such as Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Coursescan be taken up via KPMG’s learning portal, where individuals enrol for theirtraining, and this also acts as a learning management system (LMS) to trackprogress.Itwas important that the system put up no technical barriers for the learners, sothe e-learning solution developed for KPMG was designed to be accessed via anycomputer, anywhere in the world, connected by just a dial-up telephone line andmodem if necessary. A large part of the challenge in a job like this, involvingso many staff, is to ensure the delivery mechanism is up to the job, saysMurphy. “We wanted to make sure we had industrial-strength delivery 24hours a day. Even working across 28k modems, we had to guarantee that pageswould download quickly.” Thecompany works with a number of third parties on its course content, and KPMGwas happy with Digital Think’s e-business/e-commerce curriculum, although itwanted to customise it. It also wanted to combine it with some offline readingand CD-Rom-based material, so creating a hybrid solution. Thecourse, branded Internet 101 by KPMG, runs the full gamut of e-skills fromdefining the Internet and legal and security issues, to launching and managinga website and looking at e-business models and e-commerce fundamentals.”The courses were designed to be taken in bite-size chunks and comprisedaround 40 hours of content,” says Ritchie. Andhow did the workforce take to the idea of e-learning? “No-one really knewwhat to expect, but people found the content engaging and enjoyed theinteractivity,” he says. Staff do tests to assess their knowledge beforeand after the training. Oneof the keys to a successful training programme is to market it to the staff,but KPMG’s stance was even stronger than this, with a clear mandate from thevery top of the company that it must be carried through. “There was nodoubt that there was a strategic need for this training and it was very muchled from the top,” says Ritchie, who adds that even the top-ranking partnershad to do the training.However,motivating people to do the courses initially was the biggest obstacle of thewhole operation. “The change management aspect of it should not beunderestimated,” he says. “We had few technical hitches, but had topersevere with the communication, education and awareness sides of theproject,” he reports.However,the company now has around 25,000 registrations for the online training spreadacross 73 countries. The average student evaluation score is 8.5 out of 10 and98 per cent are certified competent. Perseverance, it would seem, has paid off.NewproceduresThetraining is now moving into its next phase and KPMG is rolling out newappraisal and goal-setting procedures, on-demand knowledge management systems,a range of specialised training programmes including customer relationshipmanagement (CRM), risk management and supply chain management, plus a newe-skilling programme. It is also setting up individual learning accounts,giving the workforce access to over 400 specialist learning programmes. In thisphase, staff are far more “self-driven”, reports Ritchie.Moreimportantly, KPMG can now embark on the objective of the training programme toput its new skills to use for its clients. This includes embedding thenecessary skills in an organisation to manage and improve its e-learningcapability. Ritchiesays he expects to see a return on his investment in e-learning possibly withinmonths, but certainly in less than two years. DigitalThink, meanwhile, recently celebrated the enrolment of its 1,000,000th learnerthrough its learning portal and has also launched the Enterprise Gateway. Thelatter is an open protocol that integrates e-learning with enterprise businessapplications such as CRM and ERM. “Increasingly,e-learning is becoming a core business function in Europe,” explainsMurphy. “And customers are demanding the flexibility to integrate andextend e-learning by embedding it into their enterprise businessapplications.” to KPMGKPMG’srequirement:  A fast and effectiveway to deploy new e-skills and knowledge to a workforce of 25,000, spreadacross 73 countries and in 12 monthsWhy: To become a major player in theInternet economy and service the needs of its clients who require e-businesssolutionsHase-learning delivered?:  22,000people have now registered for the training and 98 per cent are certifiedcompetent. It’s too early to judge the training programme’s impact on thebottom line, but Grant Ritchie expects a return on investment “possiblywithin months” but within two years.InsummaryWhat is an  ASP?Anapplication service provider (ASP) basically allows you to outsource aparticular activity, such as e-learning, but offers access to applicationspertaining to that activity across the Internet. So, if the tools and servicesare branded within your company name, it won’t necessary appear as anoutsourced service to employees. Digital Think goes beyond the ASP approach withits BSP (business solution provider) model, which provides a complete set ofbusiness services and development tools over the Internet. It claims thatorganisations can outsource an entire e-learning solution at a low overallcost. The system can be customised for a particular corporate environment. Kpmg’stop tips 1– Understand how e-learning fits in with your business strategy2– Remember that it is not a panacea for all ills3– Always bear in mind that the medium does not replace the need forgood-quality contentlast_img read more

Coaching people behind the issues

first_imgCoaching people behind the issuesOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Training managers at the European Commission have the same problems as therest of us when it comes to releasing time and money for coaching. Coulde-learning be the answer? Sue Weekes reportsThe European Commission operates at the very heart of the European Union.Its role as the source of policy initiatives is a unique and complex one and itis directly involved with decisions associated with big issues such as freedomof movement, greater prosperity, and a reduction in the bureaucraticadministrative processes between member countries. With all of this big decision-making going on, it’s easy to forget that theCommission is also an employer of a large workforce with everyday jobs to do.Employees have exactly the same kind of training, motivational anddevelopmental needs as all workforces and, like many organisations, it oftenstruggles to free up enough time and resources to facilitate training. “Training and internal communication are used as tools for buildingsynergies across our different units and services, creating a strong corporateidentity, establishing managerial excellence and assuring quality,” saysPatrick De Boom, training manager, Internal Market of the Directorate Generalof the EC. “As a result, one of the key principles that the we have incorporatedinto our annual training plan is that training and development policy shouldapply to all staff. However, the EC is faced with a problem not uncommon tomany businesses and public sector organisations alike, namely scarceness ofhuman and budgetary resources.” The EC has an established relationship with UK training company Video Artswhich, at the end of last year, launched its first e-learning programme. Itturned to the blended training solutions specialist in an effort to address thegrowing need for training and balance it with the existing scarcity ofresources. “Now that the hype has died down, many clients are looking toblend some form of e-learning with what they’re already doing,” says VideoArts marketing director Martin Addison. Working with the Commission is similar to working with any big organisation,says Addison, although it is an eclectic workforce, comprising full-time,part-time and project-based workers from a number of different countries. It ismade up of 36 directorate generals based in Brussels, which operate likeseparate business units. The Internal Market DG is primarily responsible forco-ordinating the EC’s overall policy to ensure the European internal marketfunctions effectively and the training was required for all staff fromadministrative up to management levels. Video Arts’ brief was to deliver a programme of management and generalcustomer care skills courses that supplemented existing training. “Theobjective is very clearly not to replace, but to complement existing managementand training. “Launching this e-project is inspired not only by a desire to use thelatest developments in technology, but also to improve the existing wide rangeof training methodologies for internal and external courses,on-the-job-training, conferences and so on,” explains De Boom. “It isalso designed to enable training to take place in a very flexible manner tosuit the times at which individual officials can be available.” The EC wanted the material to reside and be accessed from its own intranet,which meant Video Arts having to work closely with the EC’s IT department. “Normally there is some trepidation working with IT because they do seethemselves as guardians of the network and don’t necessarily view training asbusiness imperative. They believe the network is there to run thebusiness,” says Addison. However, the Commission’s IT infrastructure was already robust and the ITteam was happy to help provide the right system. Video Arts was set up in 1972 by a small group of television professionals,including, John Cleese. Its 30-year reputation is built on providing inspiringand compelling content, often involving actors such as Hugh Laurie, Dawn Frenchand Jennifer Saunders. However, there are problems turning such all-singing, all-dancing multimediacontent into an e-learning package. Video files amount to a lot of data and ane-learning programme relies on this data being transmitted down a telephone orcommunication line to the delivery platform. If that line of communicationdoesn’t have sufficient bandwidth, it will be unpractical to send the videoalong it. This is why it’s still largely impractical to download and view video fromwebsites at home. The domestic scene is still dominated by 56k modems andordinary phone lines which, when it comes to downloading video, is likesqueezing a lot of data down a very thin pipe. Widen the pipe, ie increase thebandwidth, and it starts to be practical and this is now happening with theadvent of broadband technologies such as ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriberline) and cable modems. To get over any such problems, Video Arts created a hybrid e-learningsolution running on the intranet and CD-Rom. “Most full training isundertaken using the full video version of the courses. This is delivered overthe intranet, except for the video elements, which are delivered from theuser’s own machine via CD-Rom,” explains Addison. “The text and graphics version can be delivered completely via theintranet and delivers the same messages, although using a slide show ratherthan moving video. You have to deliver a product that scales to the needs ofthe client.” Video Arts is currently working on the development of its programmes forstreaming video over the Internet and at optimum levels over EC intranets. Itrecently acquired Manchester-based The Learning Pack in a bid to extend itsrange of products into tailor-made coaching programmes and the skills of theExact Solutions team, as they are now called, are central to this development,says Addison. Twenty-one e-learning programmes now sit on the intranet, including suchtitles as Meetings, Bloody Meetings, Project Management, The Dreaded Appraisaland The Paper Chase. Access can only be given by the training manager andinstructions are included on the intranet. The only technology that isrequired, in addition to a PC, is access to a CD-Rom player. To cater for the cosmopolitan workforce, five of the titles are available inFrench, six in Dutch, five in Swedish, two in Czech, and five in Icelandic. Thelanguage conversions were carried out in partnership with Video Arts’ localdistributors in these countries, so customers don’t pay for development work. Video Arts makes a point of avoiding cultural references when the course isinitially developed, so it doesn’t pose a problem if it has to be adapted for adifferent audience further down the line. The suite of courses also feature “just-in-time” modules that arerefreshers that employees can take to brush up on their performance in certainareas. Using a Viewfinder facility, the user can cherry-pick as much of thecourse as they wish. “It may be a two-minute summary of the key learningpoints or a full 15-minute section of the course – the choice is theirs,”says Addison. And clearly this aspect of the training, as well as the overallprogramme has entirely fitted the EC brief, according to De Boom. “E-learning provides personalised, practical and just-in-time trainingcourses to staff members. The formula is flexible in its nature, but is morethan an entirely free self-study,” he says. “With the Video Artsprogrammes, performance and improvement can be measured with a valuablescore-tracking system.” From the technical and implementation standpoint, the programme ran verysmoothly. In common with many e-learning programmes, however, the EC hit someproblems in motivating people. “The NOP research we carried out showed that of those who hadn’tembarked on an e-learning programme, cost was the biggest barrier. But thosewho had used it said motivating the staff to use it was the biggestproblem,” says Addison. His advice is to promote and market the e-learning programme. “You haveto keep getting the message over,” he says, but trainers should alwaysmake sure that the content is engaging or you will lose learners after just afew clicks. “Too much of the e-learning around today is dull and boringand doesn’t work. Avoid falling into the trap by remembering that content isking.” The trial of 50 learners at the EC has now been achieved, with 400 peopledue to use the course when it is rolled out at the end of September, and DeBoom is confident it will hit future targets. “Our training policy plays a direct role in the achievement of the DG’sobjectives. Training and development objectives represent an investment both inpolicy work and in internal management,” he says. “We feel that Video Arts has the content we are seeking for highquality management and soft skills training. And obviously, the humorous natureof their programmes clearly makes the training more enjoyable and memorable forour staff.” In summaryEC’s requirementsEC’s requirement To initially train 400 employees from administrativeto management level in general customer care and skills courses. The workforcecomprises full-, part-time and project-based workers from several countries.Why? Training and internal communications are used as vital tools tobuild synergies across its different units and services. It wanted to addressthe need for training and balance it with an existing scarcity of time andresources. The progamme had to complement not replace existing trainingmethods.Is e-learning delivering? It’s early days because the full programmedoesn’t roll out until the end of September. The initial trial period ofpassing 50 learners through the system has been completed.Video arts’ top tips 1 Remember, content is king. Make sure it’s engaging and memorable to givemaximum impact.2 Support the learner, don’t isolate them. Use networking technologies to dothis – create virtual networks of users3 Promote and market your project Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Firms will pay the penalty if HR fails new FSA rules

first_imgFirms will pay the penalty if HR fails new FSA rulesOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Failure to comply with new recruitment and development regulations can landfinance firms in hot water, yet many HR departments have yet to review theirresponsibilities, reports Ben WillmottEmployers in the finance sector must comply with stringent new regulationson staff recruitment and development introduced at the beginning of this month– or risk being fined or named and shamed. Despite the potential penalties, many HR professionals are unaware of theirresponsibilities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, accordingto its regulator, the Financial Services Authority. The Act will apply to more than 10,000 firms and has been introduced toimprove standards of financial advice. The FSA’s training and competence rules,which apply to all members of a company from the chief executive to most juniorstaff, specify that employees must be competent, supervised and regularlyreviewed. “There is anecdotal evidence suggesting many HR departments don’t knowthat these rules affect them,” said David Jackman, head of industrytraining for the FSA. “There needs to be an effective partnership betweencompliance, the line management and HR to make these requirements work. “We find it is often compliance officers who attend our workshops androadshows and we are therefore not particularly confident that HR departmentsare being fully involved. “The underlying basis is identifying, developing and demonstratinggroups of competencies and this surely is the expertise of the HR area,”said Jackman. The Employers Forum on Statute and Practices also stresses the vital role HRmust play in helping employers comply with the Act. Robbie Gilbert, chief executive of the EFSP, said, “This is a majorpiece of legislation which affects more than 10,500 companies. HR departmentshave an important role to play in ensuring their business is fully compliantwith the new measures. “According to the regulator, the FSA, there is a lack of awarenessamong HR departments of just how much the Act impacts on the personnelprocess.” Gilbert said the FSA is encouraging businesses to develop systems thatactively motivate people to comply. “This is a positive approach andcompanies should react accordingly and look to introduce appropriate managementsystems and controls – an area in which HR has particular expertise to offer,”he said. HR must work closely with compliance and risk managers if companies are toadapt successfully to the regulations, confirms Nadine Majaro, a partner atPricewaterhouseCoopers. She explained, “HR needs to be an integral part of the function of theoverall management of risk. “HR has focused on what it needs to do to comply. What it has not donein some cases as part of the risk management function is look at what it mustdoto best serve the business it is working with. “HR must try and achieve this holistically for the whole business. Mosthave achieved bits of this but have not thought about the whole picture.” The FSA is particularly keen to see that employees receive sufficienttraining on regulatory requirements and keep up to date with changes in themarket. FSA’s Jackman said, “The important element is that training is timelyand properly planned, structured and evaluated. This will give a focus totraining departments and help to ensure a balance between training and other HRactivities.” Under the Act, HR professionals may be called upon by their company to do athorough re-check on the CV details of staff already registered by the FSA orthose who will now come within the new “approved persons” regimeunder the Act. Gilbert emphasised the need for these checks to be accurate. “The FSAhas indicated that HR directors of each firm will have to send a report onemployees wishing to become approved and that possible negligence claims couldarise for misrepresentation. “These measures clearly fall with the HR function’s remit. The processof recruitment, training and ongoing competency of employees will all need tobe revisited by the HR team in light of the new measures. We would encouragefirms to act now.” The FSA emphasises that one of the most significant areas the newregulations will affect is how employers in the finance sector recruitemployees. The rules include the need to relate the skills and knowledge of aparticular employee to the knowledge and skills required for the role concernedand to take reasonable steps to obtain information about a potential employee’sprevious relevant activities and training. Gilbert told Personnel Today that all new applicants for financial servicesjobs will be required to submit their employment details to the FSA under thenew approved persons regime. In addition directors will have to be approved, which could include many HRdirectors. “Pre-employment screening is also affected. Under the new regimecompanies must carry out checks to ensure references are taken from suitablesources. “Companies now have to establish that given appropriate training andsupervision, new employees should be able to achieve competence in the role forwhich they are intended. “Therefore it is vital that at the time of recruitment an initialassessment of the new employee’s relevant knowledge and skills should also becarried out to determine the training required,” said Gilbert. But the Act could be an opportunity rather than a threat for HR. AlisonWilsher, head of training and professional development at the British VentureCapital Association, believes the Act will help HR departments within thefinance sector to become more central to the business. “This will mean that HR is in the centre of business strategy, whichall HR departments should welcome because it will raise their profiles,”she explained. “I don’t think this is something HR should be frightened of as long asit welcome it and doesn’t ignore it. “HR departments need to realise that the FSA is not saying anythingnew. This [the requirements under the Act] is mandatory for good HR practice. FSA regulations guideFirms must ensure under the newtraining and competence rules that:– Employees are competent– Employees remain competent– Employees are appropriately supervised– Employees’ competence is regularly reviewed and the level ofcompetence is appropriate to the nature of the businessThe training and competence rules include more detailed rulescovering:– Recruitment– Training– Approved examinations– Continuing competence– Supervision– Record keepingThese rules affect employees involved in:– Advising and dealing in investments– Managing investments– Advising on investments– Advising on broker funds and pension Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Test the mettle of future high-flyers

first_imgTest the mettle of future high-flyersOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Don’t shield them from traumas which serve to mould them into becomingbusiness leadersMany organisations recognise that recruiting and retaining talented peopleis crucial to future success, and are developing programmes specifically aimedat high-flyers. But it is debatable whether these schemes will really deliver the skillsthat will give companies a competitive advantage. Existing research suggests amore forward-looking approach is needed. Typically, the high-flyer’s journey involves three stages: identificationthat they are worthy of greater attention; a transition period lasting eightyears on average; and incorporation into a key position. In most instances competencies will be the key, and possibly the onlyselection criteria. Many diverse characteristics are associated with successful businessleaders, including strategic thinking, entrepreneurship, political acumen,pragmatism and dedication. So an important issue for HR is to know whichcompetencies to assess. However, my main concern, in terms of qualities required of top managers, isthis methodology focuses on the high-flyer’s destination, which is usually somesenior management role, rather than their journey. Concentrating on what we want individuals to become has significantdrawbacks. We cannot expect to find miniature versions of high achievers in thesame way we spot great football talent in young children. It is how high-flyers handle the key transition points that determine theirfuture performance. Nor can we be sure that cloning business leaders of 2002will produce the leaders required 10 years from now. Change is so rapid that managers could be outdated before they reach the endof theproduction line. High-flyers have to be able to adapt to new roles andcircumstances because the future is less predictable. This, in turn, requiresdifferent forms of assessment. Specific competency lists are too general, too bland and, more importantly,too present and past oriented. One solution is to augment them with‘meta-competencies’ that are checked throughout someone’s career. If we define potential as “the ability to learn from experiences onemight have in the future” (McCall, 1998), then new capabilities and theability to adapt become all important. These might include being able to seethings from new angles, adapting to cultural differences, and being open tocriticism. As competency analysts, we must encourage clients to envisage how the worldmight be by the time high-flyers reach the top. When we do this, quitedifferent competencies emerge, such as learning, diversity and environmentalawareness. Development methods would also need to change. Coaching, secondment andstudy courses have their place, but what about the learning experiencesexecutives find most valuable, such as assignments, hardships, other people andevents? Executives say that hardships are critical in their journey to the top.Too often though, high-flyers are shielded from hardships for fear of upsettingthem. Often adverse conditions such as business failures, a missed promotion orpersonal traumas have the greatest impact. We need to find ways of seeing how our high-flyers react to these events.How do they learn from them? How do they perform? Obviously you cannot conjure up these situations, but we could do otherthings to make such powerful experiences part of a systematic learningprogramme. If it is not feasible to create internal special projects orstart-ups, look at providing external opportunities through charity work,non-executive directorships or career breaks. It is essential to know how people cope in difficult or demanding situationsand how they respond to setbacks and obstacles. Every competency has its darkside, after all. If employers don’t assess high-flyers’ strengths to see if they becomeweaknesses, ‘derailment’ remains a real possibility. By continuing to focus on the destination, not the journey, the results notthe process, and strengths not the learning, we will seriously overestimatesome people and seriously underestimate others. By Binna Kandola a partner of occupational psychologists Pearn Kandola Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

On the move

first_img Previous Article Next Article Social investment and regeneration group Prime Focus has appointed MaxineEspley as head of its training and employment division Focus Pathways. Shetakes up the post after seven years as a senior manager of care and support forthe group. She will head a team of 30 and will be responsible for a strategicreview of each service area. The body provides workplace training andexperience for people with careers looking after adults and in childcare,construction, public administration and customer services. House of Fisher, the business apartments operator, has appointed JohnHampson as its new corporate development manager. Hampson was formerlyexecutive director at Forte Travelodge and led the management team thatdeveloped the brand in the UK. Richard Brown has been made vice-president of group HR for engineering andconstruction firm Aker Kvaerner. Brown has been with the group for six yearsand for the past four years he was executive vice-president of HR within adivision of Kvaerner. In his new role, Brown will initially focus on global HRpolicy issues. He will also be responsible for HR within Europe and AsiaPacific, with special attention to employee relations, management developmentand organisational issues. Peter Blackburn is the new training and development manager for ConnexionsWest of England, the body offering information, advice and guidance. In his newrole he has been charged with developing a training and development strategy,which will then be used nationally. On the moveOn 21 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Inflexible market damaging UK plc

first_imgAn increasingly inflexible labour market and significant skills shortagesare damaging the UK’s competitiveness, a report by the Confederation of BritishIndustry (CBI) finds. The report, the first of a series of CBI studies assessing the UK as a placeto do business, compares UK labour market flexibility with the US, Germany,France, Spain and the Netherlands. It claims competitor countries are closing the gap with the UK, which hasthe most flexible labour market in the EU and the lowest unemployment. The study states that a “relentless build-up” of employmentregulation is eroding strengths such as freedoms to change work patterns andworkforce numbers. It warns that key competitors like France and Germany are removing layers oflabour regulation, while the UK has moved in the opposite direction. The report finds that weaknesses – such as “appallingly low”levels of basic skills – are improving too slowly and may take decades toresolve. The CBI study also reveals more than half of the firms that have moved, orare considering moving abroad, report that labour costs are the most importantfactor. The CBI believes this “inevi-table” trend makes other forms offlexibility more imperative as UK firms cannot compete on low wages. Digby Jones, CBI director-general, said: “Labour market flexibility hasbeen a jewel in the crown of the UK economy for 20 years, but other countriesare threatening to steal that jewel. “In areas where the UK is strong, we are moving in the wrong direction.In areas where the UK is weak, our improvement is only patchy. The price couldbe extremely high because our competitors are closing the gap.” Inflexible market damaging UK plcOn 9 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

How do you measure up?

first_imgThe CIPD recently published its Thinking Performer vision,which outlines its strategic view of what future members should aim for. HRconsultant Fiona Brady sees how she and her team measure up to the criteria1. Personal drive and effectiveness: the existence of a positive, ‘can-do’mentality, anxious to find ways around obstacles and willing to exploit all ofthe available resources in order to accomplish objectives.”This is often what enables some to move on or get the job offer.” 2. People management and leadership: the motivation of others (whethersubordinates, colleagues, seniors or project team members) towards theachievement of shared goals not only through the application of formalauthority but also by personal role-modelling, a collaborative approach, theestablishment of professional credibility, and the creation of reciprocaltrust. “I would like to think as a consultant I score quite highly on thisone.” 3. Business understanding: adoption of a corporate (not merely functional)perspective, including awareness of financial issues and accountabilities ofbusiness processes and operations, of ‘customer’ priorities, and of thenecessity for cost/benefit calculations when contemplating continuousimprovement or transformational change. We all need to translate business needs and apply solutions.” 4. Professional and ethical behaviour: possession of the professional skillsand technical capabilities, specialist subject (especially legal) knowledge andthe integrity in decision-making and operational activity that are required foreffective achievement in the personnel and development arena. “Being Chartered helps identify those who have gone through the painbarrier and seek continual development.” 5. Added-value result achievement: a desire not to concentrate solely ontasks, but rather to select meaningful account-abilities – to achieve goalsthat deliver added value outcomes for the organisation, but simultaneously tocomply with relevant legal and ethical obligations. “Great to see that the CIPD has come of age in reflecting how individualscan make a difference.” 6. Continuing learning: commitment to continuing improvement and change bythe application of self-managed learning techniques, supplemented where appropriateby deliberate, planned exposure to external learning sources (mentoring,coaching etc). “I believe we need to be doing more on our own development than justticking the boxes.” 7. Analytical and intuitive/creative thinking: application of a systematicapproach to situational analysis, development of convincing, business-focusedaction plans and, where appropriate, the deployment of creative thinking togenerate innovative solutions and proactively seize opportunities. “Perhaps more needs to done on measuring innovation and the ability tosell solutions.” 8. ‘Customer’ focus: concern for the perceptions of personnel anddevelopment’s customers, including (principally) the central directorate of theorganisations, a willingness to solicit and act upon customer feedback as oneof the foundations for performance improvement. “There is likely to be more transparency and 360-degree feedback sought tomeasure the value of HR and that of the individual.” 9. Strategic thinking: the capacity to create an achievable vision for thefuture, to foresee longer-term developments, to envisage options (and theirprobable consequences) to select sound courses of action to rise above theday-to-day detail, to challenge the status quo. “It is not always seen to be politically correct to have your say, andsometimes you can feel vulnerable challenging direction.” 10. Communication, persuasion and interpersonal skills: the ability totransmit information to others, especially in written (report) form, bothpersuasively and cogently, display listening, comprehension and understandingskills, plus sensitivity to the emotional, attitudinal and political aspects ofcorporate life. “This is where you know the CIPD has completed its research to understandthe ‘blue print’ of the ‘thinking performer’.” Summary “Surely it is not enough to give a blue print model of the thinkingperformer. We need to redesign our recruitment, training and management styleto not only recognise these talents, but to nurture them and make sure they getthrough to business improvement. “Perhaps we shall see these competencies reflected in what thecompetency roadmaps from the CIPD reflected, not only in current study, butalso in measuring ability of Chartered members?” Fiona Brady, is an HR consultant at HRHR Personnel Services Ltd Comments are closed. How do you measure up?On 20 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Shocked but unawed by UK waste warriors

first_imgRelated posts: Shocked but unawed by UK waste warriorsOn 16 Mar 2004 in Military, Personnel Today Military strategists call it ‘shock and awe’ – an actual or threatenedassault of sufficient scale to demolish the enemy’s will to resist. The UK’spolitical parties seem to be adopting a similar strategy in their war on publicsector waste. A leaked report shows that the Government’s chief waste-buster, Sir PeterGershon, head of the Office of Government Commerce, has identified potentialannual efficiency savings of around £15bn, which would see at least 80,000 jobsshift from so-called administrative roles, including HR, to ‘frontline deliverypositions’ (News, 24 February). Not to be outdone, the Conservatives gotbusiness troubleshooter David James to make an estimate of waste, and hedescribed the £15bn target as ‘unambitious’. Confronting the waste-warriors is an army of public sector staff whoseco-operation is needed to generate any savings, but whose intransigence couldstand in the way of reform. The ‘shock and awe’ tactic of quoting big numbersof job losses seems so far to have been more successful at creating oppositionthan winning hearts and minds. Not surprisingly, the Public and CommercialServices union, which represents many of the staff directly in the firing line,has already responded by saying that job cuts on the scale said to be proposedby Gershon would be unacceptable. But the CIPD, which strongly supports movesto boost public sector efficiency, is also concerned by what might happen ifthe war on waste turns out to be simply one of attrition. Gershon, for example, claims the public sector typically spends two to threetimes more per HR worker than those in the private sector. He thereforerecommends shifting to a leaner, fitter, more professional and cross-functionalpool of HR staff, with those surplus to requirements retraining to becomespecialist nursing or teaching assistants elsewhere in the public sector. Whilethere is clearly room to boost the strategic role of public sector HR, a largecull of staff would hinder, rather than help, the wider aim of improving thequality of public services. How can it be right to distinguish HR roles from ‘frontline delivery’ ones?Gershon himself accepts that job losses caused by his efficiency drive wouldrequire special measures to mitigate the human and financial costs ofredundancy. But who is to handle this if not a well-resourced pool of HRprofessionals? And who will ensure that redundant employees are trained anddeveloped to be redeployed to the frontline in hospitals and schools, and beempowered, enabled and energised to deliver high-performance outcomes? Those preparing to go to war on waste should hold fire until they can answerthese key questions. By John Philpott, Chief economist, Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment Comments are closed. center_img Previous Article Next Article Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a…last_img read more

Singapore’s Sun Venture cuts UK’s biggest real estate deal of the year

first_imgShare via Shortlink One and Two New Ludgate (Skanska)The United Kingdom’s biggest real estate transaction of the year is in contract.Singapore-based asset manager Sun Venture has agreed to pay Land Securities Group £552 million, or approximately $742 million, for the office complex at 1 and 2 New Ludgate in London, according to Mingtiandi.Landsec, which developed the complex, announced the deal on Friday. It breaks down to around £1,416 (or $1,896) per square foot.Japan’s Mizuho Bank signed a 20-year lease for 2 New Ludgate in 2014, while 1 New Ludgate is leased to law firm Ropes & Gray and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.The complex was valued at £546.4 million as of Mar. 31 and generates £23.7 million in rental income each year.There is some concern about office oversupply in London in the coming years, as overbuilding was already an issue before the coronavirus pandemic killed demand for space.It’s Sun Venture’s second deal this year in the UK. In July the firm purchased One New Oxford Street from Nuveen Real Estate for £174 million. That was its first deal outside Singapore.CBRE represented Landsec in the deal, while JLL repped Sun Venture. [Mingtiandi] — Dennis Lynch  Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsCommercial Real EstateLondonoffice marketlast_img read more