May 12

This week’s international news in brief

first_imgHavens must stamp out ‘harmful tax practices’A documenthas been published by the OECD as part of its drive to improve cooperation withareas identified as tax havens. Framework for a Collective Memorandum ofUnderstanding on Eliminating Harmful Tax Practices sets out the steps that theOECD is asking these jurisdictions to take in order to demonstrate a commitmentto transparency, non-discrimination and cooperation. It was sent to all 35jurisdictions identified as tax havens in June. www.oecd.org/media/MOUrev20novR1.pdf Report finds room for improvement in trainingRedesigningregular access to training for a more heterogeneous workforce will be one ofthe key challenges for European businesses, according to a report published bythe European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.It looked at the impact of flexibility on working conditions in the EU andfound that significant improvements in training methods could be made,combining on-the-job learning and appropriate academic backgrounds. UK CEOs’ wages still lag behind US counterpartsThe paylevels of chief executives in the UK have grown in recent years but stillremain far behind those enjoyed by CEOs in the US, according to researchpublished in the Economic Journal. The Prince and the Pauper report found thatCEOs in the US earn on average 45 per cent more cash compensation and 190 percent higher total compensation (including share options) than their UKcounterparts. Web link www.res.org.uk/media/coynon.htm Strike overpay deal could be hopeless causeSpanishpublic-sector unions are planning to stage a one-day strike on 14 December inprotest at the government’s 2 per cent pay offer for next year. General andcivil service unions UGT, CSIF and CCOO are pushing for pay rises of at least 4per cent, in line with the rate of inflation. But the Ministry of PublicAffairs said there is little chance of the government changing its mind. Thegovernment announced its pay proposal at the end of September, allowing threemonths for debate before the courts take a final decision on 31 December. Related posts:No related photos.center_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article This week’s international news in briefOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

May 12

Ladbrokes back odds-on winner

first_imgAnonline training site developed by Ladbrokes’ HR team will slash the company’straining budget by 20 per cent, according to Bill Templeton, HR manager forLadbrokes.TheLadbrokes Learning Zone, launched last week, will enable staff to match theirskill competencies to more than 60,000 training courses on the company’sintranet site.  Thesite contains a competency framework which highlights any skills gapsexperienced by staff. They can then use an online link provided by trainingconsultancy Thinq to gain access to resources such as training, books and CDs.Coursesinclude health & safety, financial management and industrial management.Ladbrokes has also included specially tailored in-house courses such asbook-making theory.Templeton,who developed the zone, said, “There is growing recognition in this businessthat the only way to maximise the learning capability of staff is to place itin the hands of individuals.” Anotherbenefit will be to reduce the amount of time the HR team spends on training.TheHR team will also be able to benchmark the effectiveness of the zone, byaccessing employees’ appraisal forms through a central database. The appraisalforms are used to monitor the skills development of individual members ofstaff. Ladbrokesemploys 11,500 staff across 1,863 sites in the UK. Previous Article Next Article Ladbrokes back odds-on winnerOn 27 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

May 12

HR fears more red tape from council NTO plan

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Council HR professionals havecriticised the Local Government NTO’s new plan for developing the skills ofpublic sector employees, claiming that it has been released too late andrepresents more red tape.The plan, calledDeveloping a High Performance Culture, has four key recommendations for HRteams and 27 targets. Its aim is to improve the recruitment, retention anddevelopment of employees to lower council skill shortages. The four keyrecommendations include councils obtaining Investors in People status, adoptingNational Occupational Standards to develop employees’ skills, instigatingregularly reviewed individual development plans and enabling staff to obtainvocational qualifications.Many local governmentHR professionals argue that the key recommendations have been released toolate, with many already being in use.Dilys Wynn, head of HRat Worcestershire County Council, said, “It seems to be shutting thestable door after the horse has already bolted.”Others claim with BestValue and this month’s implementation of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act,the plan’s targets simply represent more red tape.Janvier Hyde, HRmanager at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said, “We have targetscoming out of our ears and do not need any more. LGNTO has missed the boat withthe targets as councils are already using these measures.”Local governmentHRgroup Socpo, however, supports the plan. President Keith Handley said,”To combat the growing recruitment and retention difficulties we need tooffer staff more personal development. Reducing training budgets has often beenthe easy option for authorities facing cutbacks. The recommendations mean wewon’t just be paying lip service.”LGNTO’s chairman JohnStocks thinks the plan will tackle skills shortages. He said, “To create ahigh-performance culture we need to attract and keep people with ability andenthusiasm.”By Paul Nelson Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. HR fears more red tape from council NTO planOn 24 Apr 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

May 12

Council thinks laterally to attract new blood

first_imgCouncil thinks laterally to attract new bloodOn 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Hull City Council has tackled the national shortage of social workers byrecruiting a pool of new recruits directly from local colleges anduniversities. Grow Your Own, a partnership between Hull’s social services, universities,colleges and the voluntary sector, has established a small group of newlyqualified social workers who are given full-time contracts and are ready tostep into posts as they become vacant. They work in other associated roles forthe council or in the voluntary sector on full salary until they can begin workas social workers. The scheme, which has been running since 1998, has preventeddelays in filling vacant posts, which can last up to six months. Margaret Dennison, assistant director of childcare and families at Kingstonupon Hull City Council, said, “We can use the scheme’s flexibility todeploy people we have already recruited. It allows for the peaks and troughs instaffing.” Council social workers give students advice on the profession during arecruitment fair which is now in its second year. Dennison continued,”Social care has not got the extra money the Government is pumping intoteaching and nursing, so we have to be especially creative about attracting newblood.” Director of Social Services at Hull City Council, Jan Didrichsen, believesthe scheme is successful because it recruits local people who are more likelyto stay with the council. “We have been very successful in filling socialworker vacancies.” last_img read more

May 12

Do you need guidance or information of a particular topic?

first_imgDo you need guidance or information of a particular topic?On 1 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Perhaps you want to research a new area, or need advice on a specific HRissue. Other readers may be able to help. Exchange is a new column that HRprofessionals can use to ask for advice, share best practice or set up aninformal network. Readers interested in using this service should e-mail [email protected] withtheir messages. Contemplating staff cuts? DBM experts counsel organisations to avoid a piecemeal approach whenthinking about staff cuts. A single, well-planned reduction in force is farpreferable to successive small layoffs, which prolong organisational turmoil.Likewise, voluntary programmes are less likely than dismissals to generatenegative backlash. To find out how to design incentives for voluntaryprogrammes and set objective criteria for eliminating jobs, visit http://dbmext.dbm.com/portal/public/dbmnav.nsf/user/supportl1/867F1CFC30CB7F2788256AD2006AC2D9?OpenDocumentHR in Asia Pacific Bridge, a US-based consultancy specialising in HR issues in Asia, isoffering a free, 30-minute phone consultation with its president Ames Gross, onany issue relating to HR in Asia. Questions you may want to ask could include: – What are the benefits and drawbacks to hiring a Taiwanese manager for yourmainland China operation? – What are the legally required and industry standard severance packagerequirements in Japan? – What kind of compensation package should I offer a “returnee”candidate? Do most returnees expect expat-type benefits? To arrange for a free phone consultation, e-mail Shawna Lepage ([email protected]) andindicate your availability. The offer ends on 31 October. Theatrical techniques Using theatre to explore diversity issues is just one area of expertiseoffered by MaST International, a training and development consultancy, Expertadvice is also available on: – Communication – Diversity (using theatre techniques) – Employee development – HR legal issues, such as employment tribunals – Strategic influencing – Leadership – Virtual teams – Change management/teambuilding – Stress management – Talent management For further details e-mail Simon Hepburn at [email protected]last_img read more

May 12

The future is Orange

first_img Comments are closed. The Orange wellbeing team shares its experience of how technical advancescan help deliver a contemporary occupational health service, by Sarah Davison Patterns of work have changed dramatically over the past few years and therehas been a massive expansion within the telecommunications industry. Faced withthe enormous rise in this type of employment, coupled with the Government’scommitment to improve the health of the working population and recommendationsset out in the national OH strategy, the occupational health service attelecoms service provider Orange realised it needed to change to meet thesedemands. Therefore the occupational health team was relaunched in June 2001 andrepositioned within the organisation as Orange wellbeing. This new imageencapsulates the company’s vision, mission statements and brand values. The team wanted a clear, distinct vision for occupational health, whichwould enable staff to access occupational health information wherever,whenever, and however they could. In so doing we would deliver an image thatwas simple, honest, friendly and dynamic. The OH team Historically, there has always been an occupational health presence withinthe company, but the past two years has seen the team develop a strong positionwithin the organisation, supported at board level. A manager was appointed lastOctober, reporting to human resources and there is now a team of six qualifiedoccupational health advisers, two OH practitioners with three consultant OHphysicians, a trainee physician and an OH physician. We felt as a team that while the business was supporting our role, we neededto position ourselves in such a way that we would be seen as an integral partof the business. We also aimed to offer the company an insight into the roleand benefits of having a comprehensive in-house occupational health service. Wefelt we needed to develop our own unique identity, which complements the distinctOrange brand. There were a number of influencing factors. Firstly, although we workedwith- in a communications industry, we felt we were not communicating verywell. The management just did not understand what we were saying, which perhapsis not an unusual situation. However, Orange is a company with no directproduct but rather an image. We had to learn to talk the right language tocommunicate. Secondly, although all members of the OH team practised current andcontemporary occupational health, we had no clear strategy or direction withinthe scope of the service provided. Orange also has a large and diverseworkforce with employees spread throughout the country working in differentenvironments from communications and retail to technical and support sectors. An added complication within the organisation is that there are severaldifferent functional directorates each with a different management team. Weneeded to be recognised across all these differing functions. We were alsofaced with differing health issues across the organisation. We had to considercall centre working practices, exposure of technical staff to radio frequency,the problems experienced by lone workers and other health issues affectingstaff working in retail. Strategy development So, what did we do? As a team we set about developing a strategy thatsupported the business strategy. This had to demonstrate how we could andshould be adding value to the business. We developed a clear and simple referral process to the department as wellas a mental wellbeing policy. Attached to this is a self-awareness trainingpackage, which we are currently delivering within the business functions, inaddition to looking at health surveillance issues and health promotion. We knewthis was just the start, however, so in March 2001 we carried out an innovativebusiness needs analysis. We used the internal computer network to send out a survey to randomlyselected staff across the business functions. We asked participants to completea comprehensive questionnaire. The resulting data was collated and analysed toestablish actual perceptions of our service. We used the results to help planthe next phase of the strategy – the launch. There was an urgent need to inform all employees about what we did and howthey could access the services we provided. To support us, the company fundedour campaign. This allowed us to approach an external advertising agency toprovide professional support in designing our brand image, and to help us toreposition occupational health within the business. The result was Orangewellbeing. Orange wellbeing Wellbeing is a concept that has several key values each linked to one of theimages that collectively form wellbeing. – The overall term ‘wellbeing’ is represented by the smiling man, and is theterm used to describe the team as a whole – ‘Well looked after’, represented by the girl with the plant, allows accessto services provided by the wellbeing team and describes the support providedfor managers – ‘Well balanced’, represented by the skater, provides information abouthealth issues such as physiotherapy, mental wellbeing, and alternative health – The ‘well-motivated’ image (the girl in the lotus position) is used when,as a team, we carry out initiatives that require people to do things – The ‘well-supported’ image (feet) refers to access to health promotioninitiatives Along with the ‘well’ words linked to the imagery, there are additional wellwords – well-informed, well-connected and well-travelled – that we can use topromote services and initiatives. We are currently getting used to the brandand have to be very clear which ‘well’ word we use with each image. How we usethe image is also strongly controlled under brand guidelines. In developing wellbeing, we wanted a look that was simple and that staffcould connect with. It also needed to be exciting and fresh and fit in with theOrange brand image. We wanted to be able to move away from the traditionalwording of occupational health and ensure our leaflets and publicationsreflected a new, young and vibrant team. The scheme is launched The launch in June 2001 was the climax of six months of hard work. Theintranet site went live and in the three weeks prior to this we used a seriesof teasers designed to whet employees’ appetites. These consisted of computerstart screens, poster teasers and internal communications, all aimed at gaininginterest. The strategy worked and by the time of the launch we had had a massiveamount of hits to the site indicating enormous interest from managers and otheremployees. A leaflet presentation went to the executive board of Orange and thelaunch climaxed with each site/region organising a roadshow. Fifteen-ft displayboards were used at the roadshows along with a range of activities designed topromote wellbeing. There were demonstrations of chair aerobics, information onalternative health initiatives and on-site physiotherapists and osteopathstalking about their role in maintaining employee health. The roadshows allowed employees to meet the wellbeing team for theirregion/site and proved to be a very useful exercise in the promotion ofoccupational health issues. It allowed us to be seen as fresh and exciting. Theinterest from each roadshow surprised even the most cynical of us and formed astarting block for the launch of orange wellbeing. As a team, we feel that in a short time we have learnt to talk the rightlanguage and that the initiatives we run seem to have a more appreciativeaudience and a better response. Our policies and documentation reflect Orange’slook and feel, they are clear, simple and easy to follow, and most importantthey deliver the message. The Intranet All of us, however, feel the intranet site has been our most excitingdevelopment. We are now looking at wellbeing communications in 2002. This willtake the form of greater control over the material that is published, includingon the intranet site. We also aim to develop a quarterly newsletter which will allow staff whocannot access the intranet the opportunity to tap into wellbeing and becomemore familiar with occupational health issues. Conference presentation This has been an amazing year for us and we were extremely proud to presentour new identity to the RCN’s Society of Occupational Health Nursing Conferencein November. As a team, we are passionate about occupational health. We all have our ownareas of interest which support the strategy and delivery to the business. Thishas greatly helped to form the innovative team we are today. We are currently working on a self-awareness training module for managingmental health issues. We have our own interactive document cabinet where we cansource information, ensuring that we are a united team delivering andpractising consistently. Much work has been done on the development of a monthly reporting system sothat we can start to look at trends and provide evidence for futureinitiatives. We have also compiled a very comprehensive audit document uponwhich we will be examining performance against written service level agreementsand seeking to deliver continuous improvement in everything we do. We believe that we have become one of the first in-house occupational healthteams to deliver a service that fits completely with the company’s image andbeliefs, adopting its brand values and mission statements into our ownpractice. The results so far have been encouraging and we are looking forwardto a future where we can continue to develop. Sarah Davison is Orange’s Occupational Health Adviser for Tyneside Related posts:No related photos. The future is OrangeOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

May 12

IT chiefs handle cuts sensitively

first_img Comments are closed. More than half of UK directors in the IT sector prefer to communicate newsof redundancies to staff through an informal meeting between manager andemployee. Research by RHI Consulting finds the next most popular method of informingstaff about lay-offs is by using formal group meetings, with 36 per cent ofemployers choosing this approach. Only 6 per cent of directors advocate using memos to inform staff about joblosses. Phil Sheridan, area manager at RHI Consulting, said: “Recent lay-offsin the IT sector have caused an atmosphere of caution and directors have becomeincreasingly sensitive to the way bad news is communicated.” The study, based on a survey of 1,100 HR, financial and general directors incharge of recruiting IT professionals, also reveals 65 per cent of employersthink the use of temporary staff will rise. Only 12 per cent of respondents expect the use of temporary staff todecrease. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article IT chiefs handle cuts sensitivelyOn 5 Mar 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

May 12

People

first_imgPeopleOn 2 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Liverpool-born Gary Birney has returned to his native North West after aneight-year spell with Toyota GB in Surrey. He has joined the independent mobilephone service provider Singlepoint as HR director. Birney was personnel and training director at Toyota GB (TGB) and says thefirm owes much of its success to the high level of staff training: “At theend of my eight years, TGB had doubled its market share and was still one ofthe fastest growing companies in the market. It owed much to the excellence of customercare – the legacy of thorough training,” he says. Birney hopes the training success of TGB can be replicated at Singlepoint:”This means not only getting the basics right, but making significantimprovements in areas such as career development and training. We’re planningfor the longer term development of our workforce,” he says In his new role HR is relatively new territory, so the potential to gaugeits input against business performance is enormous: “My first focus hasbeen building an infrastructure that allows the department to carry outessential HR basics, such as payroll and providing consistent and proactiveadvice across all areas of the company,” he says. Recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce are targets for the businessand Birney wants to make the firm an employer of choice. “HR feeds into the success of the company at many different levels.Fundamentally, Singlepoint’s success is based around retaining customers, whichmeans responding to their needs. The only way to achieve this is through ahappy, well-trained and committed workforce.” CV2002 Director of HR, Singlepoint1994 Personnel and training director, Toyota GB1990 Personnel and training director, ANC1988 Management consultant, Pricewaterhouse … on the move Margaret MacNeill  is the newregional training manager for Sodexho Defence Services. She will run Sodexho’sbest practice training programme that has already seen reductions inabsenteeism and turnover. Based at the company’s South Queensferry location nearEdinburgh, her remit covers Scotland and the north of England. MacNeill, who isCIPD qualified, joins from Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. Catherine Hearn has joined printing company Polestar as group HR director.She moves from Diageo, where she was HR director of business services.Previously, she was HR director for Guinness International Market and startedout as employee relations director at Diageo. Her experience also includesseveral years at ICL and London Transport. She sits on the board and is basedat the Milton Keynes headquarters. BT has appointed Alex Wilson as group HR director following John Steele’sretirement. Wilson joins from ICI, where he was senior vice-president of HR andgroup communications. He has also held senior HR positions at Ford, GrandMetropolitan, Guinness and Diageo, where he worked in the US and managedoperations in South America, Asia and Europe. He has a degree in economichistory from Strathclyde University. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

May 12

Volvo to save £7.5m with online induction scheme

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Volvo to save £7.5m with online induction schemeOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Swedishcar giant Volvo is hoping a new e-based induction scheme can improve theconsistency of its training and save around £7.5m over the next five years.Thecompany expects to reduce the cost of training inductions by 90 per centthrough the increased efficiency provided by the online system. Theproject will also deliver increased harmonisation around the globe by providingan identical induction process for Volvo’s 57,000 worldwide staff. Itwill be delivered in several European languages, and used as a learning tool byall staff in more than 100 countries.Underthe programme, developed by Line Communications, the firm will monitor itscorporate induction training to ensure it is effective and relevant.Vice-presidentof people and competence development at Volvo, Lisskulla Lindstrom, said thesystem allows staff joining the company to get an immediate induction, whichdrives motivation and performance.”Aconsistent global induction for all our employees will help us develop andmaintain a strong corporate culture and provide financial savings,” shesaid.Theprogramme uses a range of multi-media features to provide an engaging learningexperience, said Lindstrom. She hopes it will develop an integrated trainingculture. “This project represents our ongoing commitment to employees byproviding focused, high-quality training material,” she added.www.volvocars.comByRoss Wighamlast_img read more

May 12

Firms fail to promote family-friendly policies

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Up to half the workforce is unaware of the work-life balance policies theircompanies offer, suggests research. A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation at six large employers inSheffield and Canterbury shows that staff often do not know about the policiesopen to them. The research into local government, supermarket and retail banking, carriedout by Sheffield Hallam and City Universities, found a lack of staff awareness,training, guidance and consultation about work-life issues. Managers claim demanding service delivery targets mean it is difficult toagree to unpaid leave and other requests for flexibility. The research found that one in five employees cares for a dependent adultand one in three cares for children. Sue Yeandle, co-author of the study, said: “Employers should clearly bedoing more to raise awareness of their family-friendly policies among theworkforce. “The need for better training as identified by many managers, is in howto implement those policies fairly, another area that needs to beaddressed.” A separate Joseph Rowntree Foundation report finds the majority ofdual-income families have one or both parents working outside normal nine tofive hours. www.jrf.org.uk Comments are closed. Firms fail to promote family-friendly policiesOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more