Letters

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article LettersOn 18 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today This week’s lettersHR must do best job at all times Am I am missing something in your news story “Quality of staff slips asHR cuts cost of hiring” (News 4 December). Why is this news? The surveyfindings are worrying and as an HR professional who considers herself business-focused,I don’t want to be tarred with this brush. Cost cutting should not be a reasonfor quality cutting. Surely all HR professionals should be constantly seeking to cut costs inboth good times and bad, and finding ways of improving their recruitmentmethods every time they recruit. It is part of reducing overheads andincreasing the bottom line in whichever organisation you work. HR is a direct overhead for most organisations. The benefit of maintainingthat overhead should be quantifiable – making tangible savings is a part ofthat. The fact that 40 per cent of those surveyed are not doing this does notsay much about us as a profession. Also ask the fundamental questions – is using recruitment agencies the onlymethod you can adopt in your industry sector? I work in the IT sector and havedone for 15 years. It is a tough market and you have to be creative – in somecases recruiting overseas has been the answer. If HR is to be a business-focused profession and rid itself of the”cardigan and Kleenex” image, cutting costs while maintaining anever-improving quality should be a constant activity – otherwise it’s not doingits job. Helen Carless MCIPD Why gloss over PC hypocrisy? The news story “Decent lip gloss a career essential” (News, 27November) encapsulated perfectly the tyranny that society exercises overwomen’s appearance at work. I’m 24, a graduate from a good university, a size 12, with long blonde hair,and, yes, I wear make-up. How could I not, being all too aware of the prejudiceand vilification that going bare-faced in today’s business world attracts? How intriguing it would be to see how willingly the company directors (who Isuspect are male) questioned would wake up half an hour earlier to make uptheir faces if it seemed their career prospects depended on it. If theyresisted, how meekly would they bear the accusation that it looked as though”they cannot be bothered to make the effort”? I disagree with Khalid Aziz’s assertion that this survey is an issue of”political correctness”. It simply reveals an alarming level ofhypocrisy, lack of integrity, and bad manners at the top of Britain’scompanies. Surely, we should be approaching each person we meet with an open mind anddetermination to consider them on their merits, not on some nebulously unknownquantity of what amounts to beauty. Sarah Lougee Remuneration strategy, DLO Human Resources Pick your victim for cushy number It is ironic isn’t it? We rail against the Taliban while at the same timeforcing girls to experiment with make up against their will. Then, when theygrow up and throw off these shackles, men discriminate against them –absolutely typical. Still, the legal item “Pregnancy offers no bars to fixed termcontracts” (Legal 27 November) is excellent news for women. If Iunderstand it correctly, a pregnant woman will now be able to apply for atemporary position, lie about her condition, and, if she times it cleverly,will not have to do a day’s work. Further to this – providing the company has a contractual maternity payscheme in place not dependent on minimum length of service – she will receivefull pay for the duration of the contract. Come on girls, what are you waiting for? Just a word of caution, ensure youpick a company with a commitment to a good gender equality programme.Opportunity Now will be only too happy to provide you with a list of theirmembers. S Jette Westminster House, Winchester Editor: Would S. Jette care to reveal his true identity? After all,he couldn’t possibly be afraid of “make-up wearing girls”. last_img read more

Back to baseline

first_img Comments are closed. Focuson your inner game, says former Harvard tennis captain Tim Gallwey as he servesup his team-building ideas to Patrick McCurryWhat has tennis got to do with teamworking in organisations, achievingcultural change and improving management coaching? A great deal, according to Tim Gallwey, a US teambuilding expert visitingthe Industrial Society’s School of Coaching this month. The core of Gallwey’s approach is what he calls ‘the inner game’, the ideathat whatever outer goal you are trying to achieve there is always an innergame being played in your mind. “How aware you are of this inner game canmake the difference between success and failure in the outer game,” hesays. His ideas were first presented in a sports coaching book, The Inner Game ofTennis, published in the 1970s and based on his experience as captain ofHarvard University’s tennis team. “The publisher thought it would sell a few thousand copies, but itended up on the bestseller lists because corporate managers realised the ideason tennis coaching could be used by companies to help people learn andchange.” Companies such as IBM, AT&T, Apple Computer and Coca-Cola picked up onthe approach to help achieve cultural and behavioural change among theiremployees. Gallwey says the philosophy centres on helping individuals becomemore aware of their behaviour, in a non-judgmental way, before expecting themto change. “It’s like learning to improve your backhand,” he says. “Theindividual must first become aware of where they are now before they can setgoals for the future. Change happens best from the inside out, not when it’simposed by someone else.” The job of the coach in an organisation is to help staff become more awareof their current behaviour, but without judging that behaviour as ‘bad’, and tohelp them overcome the inner doubts or self-limiting views that prevent themchanging. But it is about helping the individual gain the awareness, confidenceand desire to change and not about imposing a set of behaviour, says Gallwey. “If a coach or manager tries to force or manipulate staff to behave ina certain pre-conceived way there will always be resistance. People have to seefor themselves the benefits of change.” In recent years he has been developing these ideas for teamworking in theconsultancy IGEOS, which he co-founded with Valerio Pescotto, an expert ingroup dynamics. After speaking at a one-day coaching conference at theIndustrial Society this month, Gallwey and Pescotto will return in May to run afive-day team training course. Habitual behaviour Traditionally there are two approaches to teambuilding, says Gallwey. First,the academic route in which managers decide what behaviour they are seeking and‘teach’ them to teams. The other is the experiential route, such as raftbuilding, in which teams are encouraged to bond and work together on a specificproject. But neither really tackles the habitual behaviour of team members, arguesGallwey. He uses simulations in which the team is set a task and then observed.”They’ll set about it in their habitual way and the usual problems surface,such as not listening to each other, splitting off into sub-groups, not takingrisks and so on. “As they get more frustrated they become more willing tolook at their behaviour in a non-judgmental way.” At this point the observers help the team flesh out principles that willimprove the team, such as genuinely listening to colleagues and expressingtheir own views clearly. “We often see dramatic changes,” says Gallwey: “For example,at the outset team members will usually speak for up to 50-60 seconds onaverage, but by the end that falls to perhaps 10 seconds, which shows they arenow thinking about what they want to communicate and doing it clearly.” Other key elements of the teambuilding include encouraging team members totake responsibility for decisions and not blaming others, he says. “Thesimulations help teams become more aware and ongoing coaching helps themmaintain this at work.” It is easy to interest companies in these ideas, says Gallwey, but muchharder to get them to put the ideas into practice because they are challengingdeeply ingrained habits and behaviour patterns. IGEOS is currently working with a large UK multinational, which Gallwey willnot name, but he is excited about the new links with the Industrial Society:”It is passionate about changing the quality of work in the UK.” But in today’s semi-recessionary environment, it is very tempting forcompanies in the UK and globally to take a “command and control”stance and try to impose top-down change. But such an approach is likely tofail in the long run, argues Gallwey. “When companies or individuals are under a lot of pressure that’s oftenwhen the worst comes out in teams and people find it hard to worktogether.” Some companies will respond to increased business pressures by cuttingtraining and coaching, but others will take a more enlightened view, he says:”They realise that it is in the difficult times that they really need tomake a difference in the way their teams work together.” Top tips for teambuildingMake a serious personal commitment tothe development of staff that report to you directly and develop your owncoaching skillsRecognise that building effectiveteams is the critical variable to corporate successAssess your teams’ clarity of purposeand identify blocks to effectivenessIdentify the cultural and systemicobstacles to learning and coaching Back to baselineOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Skills best suited to private sector

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. I am currently working for a public sector organisation, and have been forthe past four years – all within HR and training. I am looking to move to aprivate sector role in order to utilise my creative skills and naturalinitiative and am struggling to gain interest from private companies. Anyadvice would be really appreciated. Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS Consultancy In your letter you say you have natural initiative and creative skills somoving to the private sector should be achievable. The fact you have not yet achieved that objective may be a reflection of thejob market or your ability to promote yourself. Does your CV reflect yourpersonal perception of what you have to offer? You must give potentialemployers examples of how you have been creative and where you have used yourinitiative. Private sector employers have certain perceptions about public sectoremployees and you have to prove them wrong. Have you thought of creative waysof getting your CV in front of potential employers? While I am not suggestingusing purple note paper or including your picture, a well presented coveringletter with your key selling points might be the answer. Johanna Simons, HR consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes It is quite usual for employers to want to match industry sector experiencewhen recruiting, especially when there is a choice of potential candidates onthe market. In your case, the move from the public sector may be seen as evenmore of a broader step and could, therefore, be off-putting for some potentialemployees. What I would suggest is you ensure your CV focuses on your past achievementsand personal skills. Try an introductory paragraph highlighting your personalskills and list your key achievements under each role. For example, areas couldinclude savings you have made against budgets, managing people, projectsundertaken, or percentage increase in efficiencies. It is important prospectiveemployers can see you are focused on the bottom line and managing change. Another idea is to send a covering letter with your CV, highlightingachievements that match your skills and experience directly with the role. Youshould also tailor your CV for each role and expand on the essential areas ofexperience and cut down on those that are of secondary importance. A highly-focused application should be harder for a potential employer tooverlook and hopefully this will result in more success for you. Doug Knott, senior consultant, Chiumento Current employment trends suggest we may soon find we are all working forthe NHS, local government or a major retailer! So it may be advisable to reviewyour decision to move to the private sector. You should also be careful about assuming all private sector roles willprovide you with the opportunity to utilise your creativity and initiative.Equally, don’t assume these skills are absent from all public sector roles. Yousay you are struggling to gain interest from private companies. Ask yourselfwhat those people making the selection decisions feel you are lacking. Contactcompanies which have declined your applications for feedback. Possible perceived limitations could be commercial awareness and businessunderstanding. In your CV and covering letter highlight achievements andexpertise in these areas. Demonstrate at interviews that you understand thatmany private sector organisations have to deliver year-on-year price reductionsand not the inflation plus increases to a captive customer base typical oflocal government. You could also consider moving into interim/contract roles in the privatesector where the person specifications are typically less stringent than forpermanent roles. This would enable you to gain experience and prove yourcapability to operate in this sector. Comments are closed. Skills best suited to private sectorOn 2 Jul 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Police turn to OH for help with murder case

first_imgPolice turn to OH for help with murder caseOn 1 Mar 2003 in Police, Personnel Today Detectives in Cambridgeshire are hoping that someone in occupational healthcan help with a murder investigation. The remains of an unidentified man were found in Upton, near Peterborough,on 21 December last year. The man had been shot and repeatedly stabbed beforehis body was dumped in a field north of the A47, where it was set on fire. Two partially-burnt memos were found near the body, one of which appears tobe from ‘Armstrong’ and is addressed to ‘Talbot’. It appears to be an OHappointment to which the patient was required to bring a urine sample and acompleted questionnaire. Detective Superintendent David Hankins, who is leading the murder enquiry,said: “We believe the victim was between 30 and 45 years old, short,stocky, with short dark hair and wore size eight or nine shoes. He has damageto his two front teeth. He appears to be white, but DNA tests suggest he mayhave been Asian or Middle-Eastern.” “Maybe someone will be able to tell us where the memo came from or whoTalbot or Armstrong are.” Anyone with information should contact Cambridgeshire Police on 01733 563232or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Organisations fail to take race equality seriously

first_imgOrganisations fail to take race equality seriouslyOn 1 May 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Virtually all employers charged with providing a race equality scheme underthe Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 have failed to comply with thelegislation, a survey has revealed. Public authorities were meant to have a full RES in place by 31 May 2002. Ayear on, 96 per cent do not meet the minimum requirements of the RR(A)A,according to a poll of 100 public authorities by law firm Field FisherWaterhouse. “One possible explanation is that those drafting the RES reports didnot pay enough attention to the legislation itself, relying instead onsummaries and guidance,” said Field Fisher Waterhouse partner RichardKenyon. “While some of this material is very helpful, it is possible tomiss the basic legal requirements without reference to the legislation.” A contributory factor was probably the Commission for Racial Equality’sdelay in finalising the code of practice and guidance, which were not readyuntil just before the 31 May deadline, he added. The CRE has warned HR practitioners in private firms delivering publicservices that they too must comply. The CRE’s chief executive Trevor Phillips said: “Even if the law doesnot specifically cover private sector companies, we think it essentiallycaptures [those] that work for the public sector.” “Why should public money be spent in a way that is raciallybiased?” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Staff entitled tp pay rises while on maternity leave

first_img Comments are closed. Pay rises awarded to pregnant workers must be taken into account whenworking out their maternity leave pay, even if the increase took place justbefore they stopped work to have a baby, the European Court of Justice (ECJ)has ruled. It has intervened in a case brought by Michelle Alabaster against heremployer, the Woolwich Building Society, which has dragged on since 1996 in UKand EU courts. She had complained that a pay rise just before her maternity leave had notbeen reflected in her maternity pay, claiming the building society hadtherefore committed illegal sexual discrimination. The Woolwich and the British Government opposed this, noting the pay risecame after the reference period used to calculate maternity pay (ending 15weeks before maternity leave). Proceedings ended up at the Court of Appeal,which referred them to the ECJ for guidance on EU law. It has ruled that under European case law “any pay rise awarded betweenthe beginning of the period covered by the reference pay and the end of thematernity leave must be included” in calculations. The Court of Appeal also asked how to take account of such a belated payrise, but the ECJ said it was for national authorities to decide, in theabsence of EU law. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Staff entitled tp pay rises while on maternity leaveOn 13 Apr 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Briefing

first_img Previous Article Next Article BriefingOn 1 May 2004 in Personnel Today A round-up of news from the professional journalsCourt rules against use of a hoist The right of community nurses to work without putting their own health atrisk through lifting patients has been dealt a serious blow by a recent courtjudgment. Barrister Suzanne Fullbrook told an RCN ethics conference in Londonof a judgment made against East Sussex County Council, in which the family oftwo pro-foundly disabled sisters argued that their dignity at home wasinfringed by the use of a hoist. Nursing Standard, 13 April Calming influence Live performances of ballet and jazz are reducing the levels of aggressionamong patients in an A&E unit. The weekly performances at Chelsea andWestminster Healthcare NHS Trust are held in the hospital’s reception area andthe entertainers have also visited wards and A&E. The initiative is part ofan ongoing study into the effect of music on patients due to be published inthree months. Nursing Standard, 13 April Nurse prescribing The Government has announced plans for a major extension to nurseprescribing powers. The new proposals will allow suitably competentpractitioners to prescribe emergency medication such as thrombolytic drugs andantibiotics. Nurses can already prescribe more than 180 medicines and, underthe new scheme, 60 more would be added to the list. Nursing Times, 14 April Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Comment on Recruiters, your Job Board is going to eat you! by Andrew

first_img Previous Article Next Article Thanks for the reply Greg Read full article Related posts:No related photos. Comment on Recruiters, your Job Board is going to eat you! by AndrewShared from missc on 18 May 2016 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.last_img

Canadian developer bets big on comeback of cities

first_imgShare via Shortlink The site of its proposed project sits along Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. A wave of development has brought a young population into the area, hence its nickname “Young and Eligible.”Oxford is no stranger to projects of such scale: It’s Related Companies’ partner on the 26-acre Hudson Yards megaproject on Manhattan’s Far West Side. In Toronto, Oxford is also building a convention center, offices, apartments and retail over railway tracks next to Rogers Centre, where the Blue Jays play.Still, the planned project comes at a time when city dwellers have been fleeing to the suburbs in droves. And many companies are reconsidering their real estate footprints after the success — and potential cost savings — of working from home. [Bloomberg] — Danielle Balbi Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsDevelopmentOxford Properties Group Rendering of Canada Square (Oxford)One major Canadian developer is making a big bet that urban centers will rebound after the pandemic.Oxford Properties Group, the real estate division of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, is planning a $2 billion megadevelopment in midtown Toronto, according to Bloomberg. The developer wants to bring a mix of apartments, offices and retail to a 9.2-acre area that’s largely parking lots.The development, dubbed “Canada” Square,” would have five new skyscrapers totaling 3 million square feet. The rest of the area would be turned into parkland.Read moreInside Oxford’s big Manhattan betA risky bet on Hudson Yards has been crucial for this Canadian fund’s global pushlast_img read more

Owlwood Estate, owned by famous and notorious, sells for $88M

first_imgShare via Shortlink TagsLA luxury real estateOwlwood Estaterobert shapirowoodbridge group Robert Shapiro, Tony Curtis and Sonny & Cher with Owlwood Estate (Getty, The Viewpoint Collection)A Holmby Hills estate that asked $180 million when Ponzi schemer Robert Shapiro owned it has sold for about half that amount.Owlwood Estate, a 10-acre property that includes a 12,000-square-foot mansion, sold for $88 million to Calch Urban Investments, a Chicago-based LLC, Variety reported. The publication did not identify the true buyer, except to say it was a billionaire.The off-market deal for the three-parcel property at 141 South Carolwood Drive closed just before the new year, according to the report. Compass’ Tomer Fridman, Sally Forster Jones and Tyrone McKillen along with Hilton & Hyland’s Drew Fenton had been marketing the palatial property on behalf of the Viewpoint Collection . Viewpoint, headed by Frederick Chin, took control of Shapiro’s portfolio on behalf of his defrauded investors.The sale ranks as the third priciest residential deal in Los Angeles in 2020.Built in 1936, Owlwood includes an Italianate main house with nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, along with a guesthouse. The entire property — off of Sunset Boulevard — is landscaped and features a pool and tennis court. Among its past notable residents were singers Sonny and Cher and actor Tony Curtis. A young Marilyn Monroe was reported to have stayed in the guesthouse for a time, according to Variety.A more recent — and infamous — owner was Shapiro. The former head of Woodbridge Group of Companies, Shapiro bought the estate for $90 million in 2016. By September 2018, Woodbridge was bankrupt and an embattled Shapiro slashed the price on Owlwood to $115 million.In October 2019, Shapiro was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a massive Ponzi scheme in which federal authorities said he misappropriated $36 million in investor money, lavishing family and friends with luxury travel, cars and homes. The scheme eventually collapsed when his web of companies couldn’t repay interest payments to investors.By the time he was sentenced, Shapiro had already agreed to pay the Security and Exchange Commission $120 million as part of a civil settlement, and his many Los Angeles residential properties have been sold off in the past couple of years to help pay back investors. [Variety] — Alexi Friedman center_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more