Personal profile

first_img Previous Article Next Article If you had three wishes to change your company what wouldthey be? To have the resources to meet the public expectations of ourservice, to guarantee the safety of our police officers and to be able toreward excellent performance. What motivates you to go to work?Making the difference – there’s never a dull momentwhen introducing change into organisations. What is your least appealing characteristic?My unwillingness to accept that some people in organisationsdon’t always see that my proposals are for the good of the company and that mysuggestions are made from the best of motives. Related posts:No related photos. CV 1998 to date head of corporate services, Isle of ManConstabulary1996 Director of human resources, North Wales Police1992 Human resources manager, Enron Power Operations 1989 Personnel development manager, Clayton Aniline 1987 Personnel manager – Scotland, KelcoInternational1985 Employee relations representative, Marathon Oil UK What is your greatest strength?Getting people motivated and into the spirit and ethics ofthings despite themselves or their organisational hang-ups. What is the best thing about working in HR?Being recognised as so critical to the success of anenterprise that human resources practitioners are an automatic choice for anyproject/management group.center_img What is the strangest situation you’ve had to deal withat work?Moving – after years of handling redundancy situations andexperiencing high unemployment –  to anisland where there is zero unemployment and whereability to work is regulated by work permit. Based on the Isle of Man, Roy Martin is head of corporateservices for the island’s Police Service and chairman of the local CIPD branch.He has previously held, in both the public and private sectors, a variety ofsenior appointments at director and managing board level. Personal profileOn 23 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today What the worst thing about working in HR?Being seen by unenlightened line managers as administratorsand providers of non-strategic support services. Comments are closed. What is the most important lesson you have learned inyour career?No matter how good it was, the past cannot be recaptured;there is no going back. Organisational management must look forward.last_img read more

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Stricter New Deal set to herald full employment

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. TheGovernment has pledged to achieve full employment with a tougher version of theNew Deal that aims to lower skills shortages. Itis keen to tackle pockets of long-term unemployment with the loss of benefits forthose older than 25 who refuse jobs or training.Alsofrom April, lone mothers of children older than five receiving unemploymentbenefit will be required to attend interviews with personal advisers to helpthem find work.Unemployedpeople who find new work will receive job grants of £100 when they secure newjobs.DeniseBrogan, colleague relations manager at Asda, welcomed the New Deal update. Shesaid, “We support any initiative that helps us recruit new colleagues.”Theprevious New Deal helped Asda recruit older workers in towns includingHarrogate, Yorkshire, and Broadstairs, Kent. Butsome companies were concerned that previous New Deal recruits lacked basicskills (Personnel Today, 5 September 2000).TonyBlair pledged to spend an extra £200 million on the initiative, which theGovernment believes has helped more than 250,000 people back into work.Companies,including financial giant Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Asda, Tesco and NHStrusts, have agreed to take on trainees from the scheme.Theannouncements came in the week when the number of people claiming unemploymentbenefit dipped below one million for the first time since 1975. Previous Article Next Article Stricter New Deal set to herald full employmentOn 20 Mar 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Help with habits

first_imgWhat are the signs of drug or alcohol abuse by staff in the workplace? HRmanagers and clinicians talk to Phil Boucher about how they have tackledemployee addictionWith drug abuse now accounting for 13 per cent of workplace accidents and 64per cent of cases of deteriorating job performance, according to a study by theHealth and Safety Executive, many HR professionals are asking the question,”I know there are people in the company taking drugs but how do I dealwith it?” The whole area of drug abuse at work is shrouded in myth andmisconception, often making it hard for HR managers to deal with the situation.Contrary to popular opinion, drug-taking is not confined to the high-flying,adrenaline-addicted echelon of the workforce. As Dr Neil Brener, consultantpsychiatrist and medical doctor of the Priory Hospital in London, explains,”People from all walks of society use cocaine at work. It includeseveryone from secretaries to post boys and executives – the whole crowd. “There are three main types of drug users in the workplace: those whosee it as a method of support and are unable to cope with the stress, pressureand workload of their jobs; those who use it on a social basis and it then getsout of control; and people who have turned to drugs as a consequence ofemotional problems unconnected with the workplace, such as bereavement.” Although there is the option of screening and organisations such as airlinesare considering introducing compulsory drink and drugs testing for staff, thepreferred route is to treat the problem of drug abuse as a health issue. Yetresearch by Alcohol Concern and Drugscope has found that 43 per cent oforganisations do not have a workplace alcohol and drugs policy, and 84 per centdo not run awareness programmes for managers. The CIPD, which has charted asignificant rise in the number of companies experiencing workers with drugproblems, agrees that prevention is better than cure and asserts that employerscannot afford to be complacent about drugs in the workplace. “The best way of dealing with an alcohol or drugs problem is to runawareness-raising education programmes as you would for any other kind ofsocial problem, says Diane Sinclair, employee relations adviser at the CIPD. “Someone with a drugs or alcohol problem should be treated in the sameway as someone with an illness. And the best solution is to help them –counselling, other types of treatment and rehab. Dismissal should really be thelast resort.” With this in mind, here’s a guide to spotting the signs of substance abuse,identifying the professions that are particularly vulnerable, looking at whatcompanies have done to tackle the problem and where to go for help. Alcohol Chemical names: ethanol or ethyl alcohol What it does: With 93 per cent of people in the UK consuming alcohol,it is not commonly perceived to be a drug. But research by Alcohol Concernindicates drinking costs industry more than £2bn a year and accounts for 25 percent of all workplace accidents. Preferred profession: Publicans and bar workers, doctors, sailors,railway workers, lawyers and those in literary or artistic occupations and themilitary. Tackling the problem: In the late 1980s, British Rail realised it hada drinking culture and took steps to address it, according to Kevin Groves, HRspokesman for Railtrack. Pre-employment screening was introduced in 1989 andrandom testing was introduced in 1993. “Generally there is no problem aslong as people are up front with us,” he says. “We constantly stress that if you have a problem and are in asafety-critical role such as signalling, you need to tell us for your own sakeand that of the passengers. Anyone in a safety-critical role is immediatelymoved and disciplined if they are found to be under the influence of anysubstance. We then provide support and counselling if there is a problem.”Where to go for help: Alcohol Concern (020-8200 9525) and AlcoholicsAnonymous (01904 644026) offer advice and links to counselling servicesnationally. Perseverance is required as alcoholism is recognised as possiblythe most difficult addiction to treat of all. Tobacco Chemical name: nicotine What it does: The Royal College of Physicians says, “Nicotine isas addictive as drugs such as heroin and cocaine”. And a joint study bythe World Health Organisation and TUC concludes that smokers are more likely tohave days off work through ill-health, are less productive and pose a firehazard in the workplace. Preferred profession: Research by anti-smoking group ASH suggeststhat men and women in the unskilled manual group are most likely to be addicted(45 per cent and 33 per cent). Research also found that men in the 15- to64-year-old age group in social class 5 (unskilled, manual group), are threetimes as likely to die of lung cancer as men in social class 1. Women in socialclass 5 are almost twice as likely to die of lung cancer as women in socialclass 1. Tackling the problem: Su Beacham, director of personnel and trainingwith JD Wetherspoons, says, “Thanks to the implementation of structurednon-smoking areas in our pubs our staff have minimal exposure to smoking andthe vast majority prefer it. If staff want to stop smoking we point them in thedirection of suitable courses so they can get as much information as possible. Robin Hayley, an addiction councillor with Allen Carr, says, “Mostsmokers want to stop smoking and are looking for help to achieve it. Involvingpeople who know what they are doing is crucial but you have to take theposition that you are helping people achieve their desire, not forcing them todo something they don’t want to do.” Where to go for help: Most organisations already have stringentno-smoking policies but to help employees wishing to quit, contact ASH(020-7739 5902) or Allen Carr (020-8944 7761). Amphetamines AKA: speed, ecstasy Chemical names: amphetamine, metamphetamine, MDMA What it does: Induces feelings of exhilaration power, strength,energy, self-assertion and focus. Typically, they come in tablet or powdered formand will drastically reduce feelings of tiredness and hunger. Signs of use: Immediate effects include talkativeness, compulsivebehaviour, heightened self-consciousness and increased suspicion of people andobjects. The clearest physical indicators are dilated pupils, paleness, loss ofcoordination and a lack of spatial awareness. Preferred profession: Includes fishermen, lorry drivers, factoryworkers, the catering industry and members of the medical profession, accordingto Simon Dowson, a spokesman for Narcotics Anonymous. “Amphetamines areused in almost every industry you can think of, although it is most likelywhere shift work or unsociable hours are the norm,” he says. Tackling the problem: It’s important to have a policy based onfactual information and which deals with each case individually. Rachel Lohan,communications manager for the public information service on drugs, Drugscope,says, “It is crucial to get the involvement of all parties concerned forthis to be successful. Consult management and staff together so that it is notan imposed policy, and take advice from staff who know about the situation andfrom outside organisations who know the best way forward.” Amphetamine withdrawal can lead to depression months down the line so it is generallyan ongoing process. Where to go for help: Narcotics Anonymous (020-7730 0009) andDrugscope (020-7928 1211) are national organisations concerned with addictioncounselling. Cocaine AKA: coke, charlie Chemical name: cocaine hydrochloride What it does: Psychologically, taking cocaine produces short, intensesensations of alertness and excitability plus an exaggerated feeling ofcompetence and power. Signs of use: Poor judgement, irritability and erratic, aggressivebehaviour are common. Impaired dexterity and the ability to estimate time anddistance can also become altered immediately after use. The clearest physicalindicators are dilated pupils, a twitchy nose, flushed appearance and overlysociable behaviour. Regular users are more likely to be absent from work. Preferred profession: Although it was exclusive to high-livingexecutive-level professions, a gramme of cocaine can be bought for £10, makingit accessible to almost everyone at work. Tackling the problem: John Hughes, manager of HR policy at the BBC,says, “First you have to make a distinction between alcohol and drugs. Wehave an agreement with the union on alcohol dependency that works quite welland we tend to follow the same policy on drugs.”We see it as a medical ratherthan a disciplinary problem,” he continues. “If people refusetreatment or do not continue with a course then they are liable to disciplinaryaction. But if someone is using drugs (such as when Blue Peter presenterRichard Bacon – he had to appear on Blue Peter and apologise for hisdrug-taking) and they are in a position that reflects badly on the BBC or aprogramme, you have to act speedily.” Where to go for help: Cocaine Anonymous (020-7284 1123) and PrioryHealthcare (www.prioryhealthcare.co.uk) can both put you in contact with localcounselling groups. The individual’s GP should always be consulted before anysteps are taken. Opiates AKA: smack, junk, skag Chemical names:  includeopium, heroin and morphine. What it does: Opiates sedate the central nervous system and cause thebrain, lungs and heart to relax. Typically, an opiate “high” involvesa sense of euphoria coupled with reduced nervous tension and anxiety. Users mayalso display indifference to pain and appear to be both physically and mentallyrelaxed. Signs of use: While intravenous users can develop ulcerated veins andneedle marks, most opiates are smoked or swallowed. Drooping eyelids, poormotor coordination, limited concentration and reduced visual activity arecommon signs of use. Preferred profession: None. Claire Maxwell, unit manager at heroincouncillor Detox 5, says it treats people from all social classes. “Someare manual workers, others run their own businesses and there are even a fewhigh-fliers from the City.” Tackling the problem: Support and an understanding of the problem arecritical. Opiate use in the workplace most often develops when people need helpcoping with long hours, competition and stress – the medical profession isparticularly at risk, with 1 in 15 doctors likely to have some kind ofaddiction. Metian Enver, HR officer for the Association of Anaesthetists, says,”It is vital that staff know who to approach, that their discussions willbe in confidence and that their role is supportive, not punitive.” Opiate withdrawal is arduous so be prepared for treatment to take monthsrather than days. Where to go for help: Contact the National Drugs Helpline on 0800776600 or an experienced and sympathetic GP. Previous Article Next Article Help with habitsOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Stressed social worker wins £140,000 compensation

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Stressed social worker wins £140,000 compensationOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today A council’s failure to listen forced a residential social worker to retirefrom stress-relates illnessA former residential social worker with Worcestershire County Council whowas forced to retire after developing a stress-related illness through work haswon £140,000 compensation. Thelma Conway had worked for the council for 20 years and was backed in herlegal action by Unison. Conway began work as a residential social worker at a home for people withlearning difficulties in Redditch in July 1994 and subsequently blew thewhistle on bad management practices. Her manager resigned after aninvestigation, after which there was an 18-month period with various actingmanagers in charge. In September 1996, Conway was put in sole charge of the home but received noadditional training and was working up to 80 hours a week. This led her tobecome depressed. Social services inspectors recommended the home needed a permanentexperienced manager, but the council failed to act. Conway took 45 days off sick in the year before finally leaving for goodbecause of ill-health in February 1998 and retiring in December 1999. The council admitted liability and her settlement was based on the injuryshe suffered, claims for loss of earnings, loss of pension, medical treatmentand retraining costs. Hugh Robertson, head of health and safety at Unison, said the Conway casehighlighted the need for employers to stop thinking of OH departments as aperipheral part of their organisation. Appropriate OH intervention could havenipped the case in the bud, he argued. “An OH department needs to be linked to the ability to intervene in theemployers’ working practices.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Aiming to work in employment law

first_imgI was an area manager for a large UK restaurant business for four years,until I decided six months ago to move into HR. I was given the opportunity to doso by working on several small projects with the prospect of an HR positionwhen one became available. Now, due to a downturn in business, I have been maderedundant. I’m going to take a year out to get my CIPD qualification and, ifpossible, specialise in employment law. How can I build on my experience to getthis qualification, and what are my employment prospects likely to be once I’vecompleted it? Claire Coldwell, consultant, Chiumento If you are keen on a career in HR then taking a year out is a greatopportunity to gain your CIPD qualification. This will make you more marketableto a future HR department and also provide opportunities to network with otherHR practitioners. If you want to specialise in employment law, you will need to work in ageneralist HR role first, as most employers like to see a track record with abreadth of HR experience. In order to build on your experience, you might consider part-time workrelated to employment law or attending relevant courses on the latest employmentlegislation. You may also wish to consider voluntary work, such as with the CitizensAdvice Bureau or trade unions, where you can gain useful experience of advisingpeople of issues relating to work and employment. Once you have completed your CIPD studies, your prospects will be enhancedand the combination of an HR qualification with your management skills andexperience will mean that you are well placed to take a field HR role, forexample. An HR practitioner who has direct experience at the front line isvalued as they understand what life is like in the real world, so don’t playdown your area management experience – this is your USP. Ultimately, your employment prospects will depend on the professionalism andthoroughness you bring to your job search, so maximise your opportunities forbuilding strong networks while you are studying. Jo Selby, associate director, EJ Human Resources Given the state of the market at the moment, if you have decided that youwant to complete your CIPD, now is a good time to take a year out to completethe qualification. There are many places that offer the course, but you need todecide whether or not you wish to do the Masters. There are differing views asto whether it is beneficial to be working while studying so you can put intopractice what you are learning – you may wish to consider taking a part-time HRrole while you are at college. Once you have completed your course in 12 months’ time, hopefully the marketwill be more buoyant and as such there will be more opportunities available.But with the qualification under your belt, you will certainly be moreattractive to employers. Margaret Malpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning There are full-time CIPD programmes and you could look for one that doesemployment law as one of the electives. You may find you’re quite a maturestudent on a full-time course. If this is not for you, you could look atflexible learning. Your experience will be valuable in any CIPD programme, butunfortunately you do not have sufficient length of exposure to do thequalification solely using experience (known as PAC). You need five years’managerial HR experience for this. You will then be very marketable. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Aiming to work in employment lawOn 18 Dec 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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CBI chief urges HR to create value

first_imgDigby Jones believes that if HR is to be taken seriously it needs to promotethe pivotal role it can play in boosting staff productivity. Paul NelsonreportsChief executives do not understand the vital role HR plays in running asuccessful business, according to the director-general of the Confederation ofBritish Industry. Digby Jones is in no doubt that HR deserves a place on organisations’ mainboards, and blames ill-informed chief executives for snubbing the profession.”Chief executives and finance directors have got to have a betterunderstanding of HR and the things it can and cannot change,” he said. “Not enough companies think creatively about the regulations they face.It is left to the last minute, the HR director is wheeled in and says: ‘you cando this, you can’t do that’, and wheeled out again – and I would think thechief executive throws something at the door as they leave.” Jones believes HR needs to promote the pivotal role it could play in helpingorganisations ensure their staff fulfil their potential and boost productivity.”It is important that more HR people are on the board, but even moreimportant that they are seen to earn their place. Senior HR professionals mustmove away from just dealing with regulation – which chief executives view asslowing business down – to becoming directors on main company boards, viewed asbusiness partners driving the organisation forward,” he said. “HR must change from telling the chief executive bad news every day, tosaying ‘we are in charge of your best asset – your people – and want to be onthe inside working with you’. HR directors ought to be in there at the startsaying: ‘involve me now’.” Suspicious Although he describes himself as a champion of HR, Jones is opposed toplanned regulation that will force employers to include HR measurements, suchas information on diversity and absenteeism, in company reports. Ministers are set to consider the proposals for HR reporting in Novemberfollowing a report by Denise Kingsmill, who is chairing a government taskforceset up to tackle the issue. Jones claims that his members would view the moveas more HR red tape. “Chief executives are very suspicious of it all. The red tape,regulatory environment of HR has got such a bad reputation. “I personally believe in it [HR], but CBI members would say: ‘Oh I seewhat you want, another regulation that we must comply with, tick some moreboxes and stick it in the annual report.’ “Before we know it, it will become an obligation to do what the reportsays, and suddenly, I am stuck with even more red tape that I will have toemploy another four people to deal with.” For the same reasons, Jones is also unhappy with the Health and SafetyExecutive’s (HSE) move to introduce stress management standards for employers.He is concerned they could be too prescriptive. Positive pressure He said the HSE and employers should focus on training managers in spottingthe fine line that exists between positive pressure on employees and stress. “There should be guidance, education and training for staff aboutstress as it is an important issue. I make it very clear that I expect my staffto work under pressure. You find me an employee who does not want to work underpressure, they enjoy it,” said Jones. “The signs of stress are quite easy to see and good managers should betrained to recognise, understand and take stress off employees.” The CBI leader has been unhappy with the Labour government’s record onemployment regulations because he believes it is too rigid. He wants theGovernment to adopt the same approach to legislation adopted by other EUcountries such as France and Germany, by introducing broad directions employersmust work within. “I would draw down some very wide parameters and say that we want ourbusinesses to comply with these, and then come back in five years and see howit is going,” Jones said. “This would not be a cop out. It is the way Europe does it instead of‘do this by a week on Friday or we will see you in court’ – and it [theGovernment] wonders why we are not competitive.” Jones cites the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) as an example of legislationwhere the Government has failed to take business needs into account. The Act,which outlines employers’ responsibilities when handling staff information,came into force in October 2001, but is so complex effective guidance forbusiness has still to be produced. The Information Commission, set up to aid compliance with the DPA, iscurrently redrawing its codes of practice on the legislation, after criticismthat its original guidance was unworkable. Jones said the Department for Trade and Industry now has an opportunity toprove it is concerned about employers’ needs as it drafts the forthcominglegislation on information and consultation due to be introduced from 2005.This will place a duty on employers to consult earlier and more fully withstaff on issues that affect their employment, such as redundancies andrestructuring. He urged the DTI not to include heavy financial penalties for firmsbreaching the new law. “If you penalise companies financially over this, you may as well makea big sign saying: ‘would you mind going to make these things in China please,and make the people redundant on the way out’, because that is exactly what willhappen.” Another piece of regulation that Jones is worried could damage UK firms’productivity and competitiveness is the Agency Workers Directive currentlybeing finalised by the EU’s Council of Ministers. As drafted, the directive would mean temporary staff have the right to thesame pay and conditions as permanent staff after six weeks in employment. Afterfive years, the directive would give agency staff equal rights from day one. The UK employs around 700,000 of Europe’s one million temps, and the CBIestimates that 160,000 agency jobs could be lost in the UK if the directiveremains in its current form. Flexibility Jones wants the qualifying period for temporary staff to gain the same payand rights as full-time workers to be nine months. The CBI’s leader is in no doubt that an unchanged directive would damage theunique flexibility of the UK’s employment market, which is vital if the UK isto compete against emerging global competition from Asia and Eastern Europe. “Agency working is a bit of ‘suck it and see’ on both sides, and awonderful way for a mother to get back her confidence and bring her talents tothe workplace after having a baby,” said Jones. “But if employershave to treat these people the same in every respect as full-time employees,then they will not employ them, and China will think it’s Christmas Dayagain.” www.cbi.org.ukDigby Jones’ CV2000 – Director-general, CBI1998 – Vice-chairman of corporate finance, KPMG1995 – Senior partner, Edge & Ellison1990 – Deputy senior partner, Edge & Ellison1984 – Partner (property and commercial law), Edge & Ellison Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article CBI chief urges HR to create valueOn 18 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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High-performance culture

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. High-performance cultureOn 1 May 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. We asked HR operations manager Warwick Hall how BMW developed a new breed ofsupervisor to meet the skills demands of its latest engine plant in the WestMidlandsOne statistic sums up the training problem confronting BMW since it beganmanufacturing petrol engines at Hams Hall in Warwickshire three years ago. Only20 per cent of shop floor workers had received relevant training before beingrecruited, compared with 80 per cent at its sister plant in Steyr, Austria. Warwick Hall, HR operations manager at the UK plant, says the reason isobvious. “Walk into the average technical college in this country and youwill probably find the engineering department in mothballs.” Much of this dates back to cutbacks in engineering’s training infrastructureduring the late 1980s and early 1990s, which means fewer apprentices went on tobecome the experienced engineers of today. Even if people did arrive with therelevant background skills, additional training was necessary because of themuch deeper level of knowledge expected of them to perform the plant’s complexmachining and assembly operations. Without a suitable college network to fall back on, BMW has had to relyheavily on its own bespoke programmes to plug the skills gap. Huge resources have had to be allocated to foster a learning environmentamong the 650-strong workforce at Hams Hall. By 2005, around £20m is due tohave been invested in its training and development programme with 45 per centcoming from government grants. Hall says: “In the past, we had done a lot of work teaching peopleabout problem analysis and resolution but had not talked to them about thematerials, tools and manufacturing processes they were working on. What wasmissing was fundamental basic engineering knowledge.” At Hams Hall, semi-skilled workers are expected to look after and maintainequipment in their particular section of the plant to both increase a sense ofownership, and reduce dependence on maintenance staff. Jobs within each section are regularly rotated, making it much easier tocope with holidays and absenteeism because everyone ends up being able to doeach other’s job. FlexibilityThe key to managing such a flexible workforce has been the creation of technicalleaders, who are each responsible for between five and 20 people, depending onwhich area of the plant they are working. Their role includes guiding, coaching and deploying people within their areaas well as checking the quality of the processes they are responsible for.Disciplinary issues and formal appraisal of staff remain the responsibility ofmanagers. Hall says: “A technical leader understands and knows his area betterthan anyone else. He ‘owns’ the plant and equipment and makes any necessaryimprovements and changes. All our equipment here is very complicated, technicaland inter-related. A traditional maintenance person would come, perform themaintenance function and then leave. He does not have ownership in the sameway.” The mixture of technical and inter-personal skills needed for the job meansthere are few obviously qualified people to take on the role. Hall says: “They must have a technical engineering or maintenancebackground and a good knowledge of the production processes, the product andthe quality requirements. They must be good at planning with and working withpeople. We are looking for someone who has the empathy to understand andappreciate what their team members are going through, and be able to operate ontheir behalf.” He says the main dilemma when identifying potential technical leaders iswhether to go for someone who already has the softer, people-related skills andbuild on the technical knowledge, or to build on the softer skills in someonewho already has the technical background. Selection How then, has BMW selected and trained people for the role? Hall says mosthave a background as engineering apprentices and the initial intake was mainlydrawn from people who had already maintained and serviced the machinery. One option for candidates lacking the necessary technical background hasbeen to join the plant’s two-year mature apprentice scheme, which includes oneyear of full-time college. This has been developed because of the dearth ofrelevant engineering skills in the local labour market. The 31 people currently on the scheme are aged between 23 and 35. “Theystay on the same pay and we are giving them the ability to have a fresh start.It will bring them to the base requirement for consideration as a technicalleader,” says Hall. Assessment for this role includes aptitude tests and questionnaires.”We will observe them working with others in a team exercise and give thema personal interview as well as a technical one,” says Hall. “As andwhen we have a vacancy, we will put them into the role, under development,before they have any training.” At this stage, a mentor is assigned to give advice and, where necessary,help. “The mentor works in a different area of the plant, otherwise theywill know all the answers and simply tell you what to do,” says Hall.”If they work in a different area, they will have to question you to findout the problem. This gets you to find the answer yourself.” Technical leaders are given time to find their feet in their new role beforeattending formal training at Woodland Grange. Hall says: “Training is about doing the right thing at the right time,and there are a lot of things we can’t do in advance. We develop them intotheir role so they have an understanding of what they need. “Someone with some experience under their belt has an opportunity totalk with his tutors about those experiences, so they will come out with a muchgreater level of learning.” There is no formal validation of the technical leader training programme,although Hall says this is being worked on with the Engineering and MarineTraining Authority and could be introduced within two years. “The nextstep up is into a process or quality engineer type role, from where managementis the next progression. The best recognition they can get is when their workteam say they are doing a great job.” He denies the role creates resentment among shopfloor employees.”Technical leaders develop a good level of respect, upwards and downwardsbased on their knowledge, capability and competence. We have a differentenvironment here. There’s a culture of training.” Everyone is expected to achieve NVQ Level 2 in performing manufacturingoperations within a year to 18 months of joining. “We will put themthrough the necessary training for that, irrespective of whether they have theappropriate qualification, because we want them to understand the way weoperate,” says Hall. The plant’s training philosophy is simple – give employees the necessaryskills to perform at their best in their appropriate role. “I firmlybelieve people will do anything, provided you give them the right toolkit,” says Hall. Once a funding package for training had been agreed with the Government,partnerships were set up with Sutton Coldfield College and City CollegeCoventry to provide bespoke off-site training for the company in technical,engineering and business skills. Lecturers were brought in to complete thenecessary training. These colleges also run related BTEC and City & Guildscourses on site. Although the Hams Hall HR department is responsible for the foundation andinduction courses, all other training is run by outsiders. The plant has three training managers but no dedicated trainers of its own.The annual budget for training is £1.1m a year, or £1,500 per employee. Hall insists that neither the plant’s German-based parent group norgovernment training agencies such as the Learning and Skills Council havemodified the training programme to meet their own objectives. “The factthere was external support available was irrelevant. We have done nothing toimplement a skills, training or competence strategy because of externalinfluences.” He says the spin-off for the Government has been to enhance the regionalskills base. Applying a BMW blueprint to meet the plant’s training needs wouldnot have worked, because the skills base varies so much from country tocountry. “BMW wants us to build a high-quality product which is verycost-effective and attains the necessary business performance objectives,”says Hall. “It is up to us to encourage people to deliver that for them.What we do here is not the same as what we do in Germany, South Africa or theUS. It is observed by other plants, but it does not necessarily mean they will follow.”If someone does, then Hall’s advice is not to be too prescriptive. “Theprimary lesson for me is to go into these things with an open mind and be braveenough to allow your organisation to float and find its own level.” With technical leaders, this has meant allowing individuals to work out theboundaries of the role themselves, depending on the technical demands of theirwork area as well as the personal demands of the people they work alongside. CVWarwick hall2000 HR operations manager for Hams Hall1995 BMW manager responsible for the Hams Hall training projectFrom 1977 Various roles in industrial relationsand personnel management with Land Rover, Austin Rover and the Rover Group1974 Sales support engineer in UK, Europe and the Middle East 1968 Mechanical engineering apprentice Management training for technicalleadersAll technical leaders undergo asix-day training course to develop their management and interpersonal skills.The course is specifically tailored for the needs of Hams Halland is run by Woodland Grange, the Leamington Spa-based management trainingcentre. The main subjects covered are:– Managing Hams Hall’s processes and systems– Working with people and facilitating effective relationships– Playing a leading role in the development of fellow employeesLinda O’Shaughnessy, the centre’s head of management training,says: “It’s a very different type of training to that in technical areas.I think this area is often ignored in business; people are promoted because oftheir technical ability to manage others, without being given this type oftraining beforehand.”The BMW programme is highly interactive, using case studies andexisting situations for team and individual exercises. It is based around a‘buddy’ system, where trainees from different areas of the plant team up beforeand after the course. The idea is that any advice they give to each other will bemore dispassionate than any given by someone they work alongside. The course is split into two three-day segments. After thesecond one, trainees examine a problem specific to their work area which isusually concerned with managing people. They then give a PowerPoint presentation to managers and fellowtrainees about how they have dealt with, or intend to deal with, the problem.So far, nearly 50 people have participated in the course, which costs around£600 per person.last_img read more

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UK workforce measures up to rivals

first_img Comments are closed. Rome and Lisbon compete for the title of hardest-working capitals in WesternEurope, writes Delwyn Swingewood. Employees in these cities put in an averageof more than 1,800 hours work a year, dispelling the myth that Latin nationscare more about siestas than business. The next hardest working capital isLondon, where employees average 1,787 working hours a year. Anyone who values their leisure time should aim for a job in Berlin orCopenhagen, where the average number of annual working hours are less than1,700. The truly indolent should head for Paris, which is not just the laziestcapital in Europe, but also the laziest in the world. According to the 2003 UBSPrices and Earnings Survey, the average Parisian puts in 1,561 days at work ayear. By comparison, Hong Kong lays claim to being the world’s most industriouscity, where the average number of hours worked per year is 2,938. The survey provides a global overview of prices for goods and services,wages and working hours from 70 cities around the world. It uses the ‘Big MacIndex’ as a way of benchmarking purchasing power. The global average is 37minutes’ work to afford a Big Mac. Irish luck means Dubliners only have to putin 15 minutes to buy one of these delicacies. By comparison, industrious staffin Lisbon have to labour for 33 minutes. UK workforce measures up to rivalsOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Shorter breaks lead to higher productivity levels

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Short breaks are taking over from traditional summer holidays and lead tohigher productivity at work, according to new research. A survey by Reed.co.uk shows that the UK’s attitude towards holidays ischanging and that UK staff are set to take 82,763,000 short breaks this year. Of more than 6,500 people surveyed, less then one in three (30 per cent)will be taking a traditional fortnight’s summer break, while 70 per cent saidthey were more likely to take a short break than they were five years ago. Two-thirds of UK staff feel that shorter breaks lead to higher productivitycompared with traditional two-week holidays. Workers also believe short breaks make the return to work less stressfulbecause they don’t have to face big backlogs of work on their return. “Short holidays mean that things can generally wait until you getback” said one respondent,. Another put it more bluntly when they said:”There is less work to catch up on and fewer mistakes to correct caused bythe people who attempted to cover for you.” Martin Warnes, head of operations for Reed.co.uk, said: “The UK appearsto be undergoing a shift in attitudes towards holidays, with rising numberstaking short breaks instead of the traditional summer fortnight. “While factors such as the increase of cheap flights and last-minutedeals play their part, it seems many people also find that short breaks cutdown workplace stress.” Comments are closed. Shorter breaks lead to higher productivity levelsOn 13 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Hiring times almost double in four years, claims Glassdoor

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Research by Glassdoor Economic Research has revealed that hiring times in the UK have almost doubled over the past four years.The employer review site’s report Why is hiring taking longer? shows that the average UK job application took 28.6 days to process in 2014, up from just 14 days in 2010.A similar upward trend was evident for other countries included in the survey, with hiring times also growing in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the US. After controlling for economic factors including industry sector, job type and geographic area, the length of the recruitment process has grown, on average, by between 3.3 and 3.7 days.French candidates reported the longest wait for employment, at an average of 31.9 days, followed by Germany at 28.8 days and Australia at 27.9 days. By contrast, Canada takes the least amount of time to hire new employees, only taking 22.1 days, on average.Recruitment resourcesRecruitment selection techniquesRecruitment selectionRecruitment process checklistThe longest recruitment processes were reported for jobs in government, academic or senior executive positions.Police officers in the US reported the longest wait (127.6 days), followed by patent examiners (87.6 days), assistant professors (58.7 days) and senior vice presidents (55.5 days).The shortest processes were typically found among entry-level or unskilled job descriptions, with the quickest hiring times reported for entry-level positions in marketing (3.9 days), sales (5.4 days), and account management (5.9 days). Servers and bartenders also reported a short wait of just 5.7 days.One reason for the increased wait could be the higher number of pre-employment screening processes that are being conducted, Glassdoor suggested.These include more background checks, skills assessments, drug tests and personality profiles. Each of these additional employer “screens” was found to add a significant amount to the average time required for candidates to go through the recruitment process, in some cases adding a full week.“Right now hiring delays can represent money left on the table both for workers and employers. There has been surprisingly little research on ‘interview durations’ from the job seeker’s perspective, and how company HR policies influence delays in job matching throughout the economy,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Hiring times almost double in four years, claims GlassdoorBy Clare Allerton on 18 Jun 2015 in Candidate experience, Labour market, Personnel Today, Recruitment & retention, Pre-employment screeninglast_img read more

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