Queen speaks of safety – but not corporate killing

first_imgQueen speaks of safety – but not corporate killingOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today New laws to“revitalise” health and safety at work were announced in the Queen’s Speech,but plans to introduce a new offence of corporate killing were not included.Themeasures will form part of the Safety Bill, one of 19 pieces of legislationearmarked for the 2000-01 parliamentary session.Most of theBill will be devoted to transport safety but there will be a section on healthand safety in the workplace, the Queen announced in her 12-minute speech.Penaltiesfor health and safety offences will be tougher and public organisations willlose their immunity from prosecution.Fines couldbe linked to company turnover and there may be prison sentences for a widerrange of offences.Moves toreduce the level of workplace deaths, accidents and ill-health were unveiledover the summer by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.Of theSafety Bill, Prescott said, “There have been a number of disturbing safetyissues raised in recent years, both among the travelling public and in theworkplace. We are determined to do something about this.”The SafetyBill has been published in draft form and is unlikely to get on the statutebook before the General Election, expected next May.It will,however, get a high priority if the Government secures a second term. Previous Article Next Article By HelenaJonescenter_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Government fails to galvanise workforce

first_imgGovernment fails to galvanise workforceOn 23 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Chancellor Gordon Brown announced a £300m boost forcommunity volunteering earlier this month. The state-of-the-art metallic podiumgave way under the considerable political weight of Lord Falconer, ministerresponsible for the new initiative and Gordon Brown uncharacteristically joked,“I think it’s in shock at the sight of me giving away money”.Launching the initiative the Chancellor spoke less thaneloquently. “A new era of active citizenship and the enabling state is withinour grasp, and at its core is a renewal of civic society,” he said. Heproclaimed an end to “centralising government”, saying the man from Whitehallno longer knows best, but the woman from the WRVS does.Unsurprisingly, political commentators seized upon theapparent contradictions. Many were suspicious of government seeking morevolunteers – was this a cheapskate way of cutting services? Unison’s assistantgeneral secretary, Keith Sonnet said, “If this is intended to use unpaidvolunteers to do the work of paid public employees it is a daft idea. How arethe authorities going to deal with vast numbers of volunteers walking around hospitalsand going into schools?” With regard to the end of “centralising government” andempowerment in the field, Polly Toynbee pointed out in The Guardian that “underLabour every social programme comes with rigorous targets to be monitoredruthlessly”.So much for the sceptics. The facts are that voluntarygroups are struggling to find enough people to help out with existing tasks.With more women in the paid workforce the female army that voluntary groupsused to rely on for voluntary work has dwindled. The Financial Times says thereis a decline in the hours of voluntary work carried by men between 35-to-50,largely due to the pressure of their jobs. Gordon Brown believes that up to100,000 over-50s can be encouraged to supplement the work of nurses, teachersand the social services. As usual our political commentators have missed the bigpicture. This is a long-awaited move that on its own won’t solve the problem,but it is a great start. There isenormous need and enormous scope for effective actions. Already 170,000 peopledo voluntary work for the NHS and as chairman of an NHS Hospital Trust, I knowwhat an enormous contribution they make to the stretched full-time staff.For me this scheme is not embracing enough. It only looks atthose out of work who are volunteering to help public services. What aboutthose in work? Despite all talk of pressure of work, the evidence of businessbenefit from encouraging employees to contribute in the community isoverwhelming. Come on Chancellor, let’s encourage all sections of society tobuild our communities and benefit their businesses, whilst developingthemselves at the same time. By Professor Clive Morton, Chairman of Whitwell Learning,author and former vice-president of the CIPD Previous Article Next Articlecenter_img Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

HSE addresses stress

HSE addresses stressOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. HSE offers practical guides to help organisations tackle work-related stressMore than three-quarters of workers believe stress in the workplace needs tobe controlled in the same way as other health and safety issues – but nearlyhalf say their organisation has no means to tackle it, a study has found. The research by the HSE was undertaken to find out what impact itsthree-year drive on work-related stress has had so far. While 79 per cent of workers polled believed workplace stress needed to becontrolled in the same way as health and safety issues, more promisingly, 40per cent of those surveyed said their organisation had taken steps to reducestress. Follow-up interviews with respondents found 35 per cent said theirorganisation had used some sort of primary level intervention to tackle theissue. But nearly half – 42 per cent of those polled – said their organisation wasunaware of any resources to help them tackle work-related stress. Elizabeth Gryngell, senior policy manager at the HSEs health directorate,said publicity was all well and good, but only action by managers could tacklethe issue. The HSE began its campaign to raise awareness of work-related stress back inNovember, when it launched National Stress Awareness Day as part of a widerHealth and Safety Commission strategy on the issue. It said it hoped to see significant improvements on the latest figures whenthe study is revisited at the end of the campaign. The next phase of its campaign is to publish a comprehensive set of guidesto help organisations tackle what is now recognised as one of the largestcauses of occupational ill health in the country. These guides will provide practical advice on how to go about tackling theproblem of workplace stress, said the HSE. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. read more

Resource Guide: Management

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Alist of useful online resources to help you in your professional research andeducational needsInstituteof Healthcare Managementwww.ihm.org.uk7-10Chandos StreetLondon W1M 9DETel: 020-7460 7654Fax: 020-7460 7655e-mail: [email protected] body for management within health in the UK, with around 9,000members in the NHS, management consultancies, commercial organisations andacademia. Includes information about provision of healthcare management,details of IHM publications, conferences and courses, discussion forums, adatabase of training courses and providers, plus news, policy resources andlinks to other useful sites.CareerdevelopmentSiriuswww.sirius.comCareerdevelopment process site, specifically aimed at university population, butoffers a wealth of resources for anyone searching for vocational guidance.Rather wordy, but worth a closer look.Instituteof Managementwww.inst-mgt.org.uk2Savoy CourtStrand London WC2R 0EZTel: 020-7497 0580Fax: 020-7497 0463Themission of the IOM is to provide the art and science of management,representing approximately 3 million employees in the UK. Verydetailed Website, includes a counselling and career development section,including guidelines on CPD and a careers information factsheet, detailing thepotential paths leading to a successful career. Also includes a news updatesection for professional managers and other potentially useful information.Icirclewww.icircle.comCareerssite offering advice on every aspect of career development from CV preparationto assertiveness at work. Very general site, but content is continually updatedand offers some useful information about presentation and everything workrelated. It also has a very thorough page of relevant links to other sites,giving full contact details and a summary of each.TheIndustrial Societywww.indsoc.co.uk3Carlton House TerraceLondon SW1Y [email protected] Personnel and Developmentwww.ipd.co.ukInstituteof Personnel and DevelopmentIPD House, Camp RoadLondon SW19 4UXTel: 020-8971 9000Fax: 020-8263 3333Professionalinstitute for those working in management and involved in the development ofpeople.TrainingPPITrainingwww.ppimk.comCoursesbased on how to communicate at work more powerfully and achieve goals moreeasily.TheTraining Registrywww.tregistry.comDirectoryof management training courses, financial, HR, leadership, IT, health andsafety and leadership courses.PresentationskillsTheSpeaker’s Coach www.magma.caACanadian site offering tips for anyone having to speak and present informationin public.PresentationSkills for the emergent managerwww.ee.ed.ac.ukActuallya site aimed at engineers, but contains all the information necessary foranyone faced with a presentation to senior management. Tips come under headingsincluding: The object of communication; How to get the message across; Theimportance of planning; Formulating objectives; Identifying your audience; Structure;Sequential arguments; Attention grabbing; Presenting a structure; Creating arapport; Use of visual aids; The delivery, and so on.Thesite also has links to other similar sites as well as tips on how to improve managementskills. It is easy to use and understand and contains effective advice withoutbeing bogged down in management jargon. BBCOnlinewww.bbc.co.ukAsever, the best news resource to be found. As well as up-to-date news on allmanagement issues it also contains an easy-to-access archive system, as well asbackground briefings on all aspects of management and healthcare.Compiledby Kate RouyThislisting is not exhaustive and the journal welcomes further additions fromreaders as well as suggestions for further topics of interest to include inthis series Resource Guide: ManagementOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

…in brief

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. This week’s news in brief Permit plan halted The Home Office has withdrawn plans to change the system for overseasexecutives who want to extend work permits or apply for residency (News, 4September). After pressure from the Immigration Law Practitioners Associationand Personnel Today, the Home Office will suspend any changes until a bettersystem is developed. Generation X aim high Three-quarters of HR professionals claim that Generation X staff havedifferent expectations for their working lives to older employees. Research bylaw firm Charles Russell released today shows that half of those who noticed adifference claimed staff are particularly looking for a better work-lifebalance. Over 100 HR professionals of FTSE 500 companies were surveyed. www.charlesrussell.co.ukBenefits hide jobless The UK’s low unemployment rate could be much higher if the large number ofunemployed claiming sickness benefit instead of unemployment benefit was addedto the total. A study by David Webster, a former labour economist at the LondonSchool of Economics, shows that up to 7 per cent of Britain’s workforce iseconomically inactive because of long-term sickness. www.the-ba.netChange angers CBI Employers’ body the CBI is unhappy with reports that the Government isbacking away from plans to charge staff for applying to employment tribunals.The initiative was one of a number of DTI proposals announced last month totackle the steady increase in the number of employment tribunals. www.cbi.org.ukHR network launch A network for those involved in strategic HR has been launched by Roffey Park,aimed at building effective organisations. The Strategic Human ResourcesNetwork will provide a forum for members to network both virtually andface-to-face, as well as learn from colleagues in leading-edge HR. Related posts:No related photos. …in briefOn 11 Sep 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Reform safeguards staff rights

first_imgThe Government hopes proposals to give more protection to employees’ termsand conditions when they are transferred between employers will help overcomeresistance to the involvement of the private sector in the delivery of publicservices. Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt told the TUC’s annualconference last week that proposed changes to the Tupe regulations would helpreassure public sector employees that their working conditions will beprotected. “Workers need reassurance that their rights will be safeguarded in thevital process of public sector reform and in business restructuring in theprivate sector. That is why I am announcing proposals for the reform of theTupe arrangements including looking at occupational pensions,” she said. Terry Gorman, former president of Socpo, gave the proposals a cautiouswelcome. He said, “Anything that helps protect the situation for staff whilebusinesses are forging links has to be welcomed.” Gorman is concerned that companies that take over local government servicescould be tempted to shed staff to make cost savings if they cannot do itthrough terms and conditions. Yvonne Bennion, policy specialist at the Industrial Society, thinks thesuggestion in the Tupe consultation document that there could be a differentinterpretation for private- and public-sector staff is a recipe for confusion. Patricia Hewitt’s proposals for Tupe– Measures to better protect occupational pension rights– Greater flexibility when applying Tupe to transfers of insolventbusinesses– Better guidance on the extent of protection against transfer relateddismissals– A legal requirement for the old employer to give the new employer detailsof terms being transferred– More flexibility for employers to change terms and conditions after atransfer if there is a sound economic, technical or organisational reason forthiswww.dti.gov.uk Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Reform safeguards staff rightsOn 18 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Why was it so hard for this man to find work?

first_imgWhy was it so hard for this man to find work?On 2 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Dr Augustine Stevens is an example of why the Government needs to act tomake it easier for refugees to find employment in the UK. He is a former Minister of State for Education and Cultural Affairs forSierra Leone with more than 15 years of parliamentary experience. He was alsodeputy head of Sierra Leone’s Economic and Technical Cooperation Unit and is anexperienced lecturer who taught at the University of Illinois in the US for 10years. In 1997 he arrived in the UK and was given refugee status after he wasforced to flee his country because of the civil war. But despite his impressive CV it took him a year-and-a-half and more than 50job interviews to find employment. Dr Stevens was eventually offered a post by the Refugee Council, where he isteam leader for employment and support. “I came here in 1997 because of the continuing war in Sierra Leone.Because of my background I did not expect it too difficult to find employmenthere. “I pursued teaching positions but I could not secure any more than twohours a week. That was not enough to feed my family and keep me off thebenefits system I longed to leave,” he said. Dr Stevens, who has a doctorate in philosophy and political science,suffered 18 months of frustration as he attended interview after interview,being told he was either over qualified or did not have the necessary UKexperience. He said, “I think there were are some cultural difficulties. Forexample, in the US fundraising means selling cakes to raise small amounts ofmoney, whereas grant-raising is for large-scale projects. “While at the University of Illinois I helped raise $1m for theuniversity but I was not able to say that I had fundraising experience.” On another occasion Dr Stevens was asked whether he had mediation skills andso he outlined his role as a mediator during conflicts in his own country aswell as in Chad and Western Sahara, only to be told that this was not relevantbecause he did not have UK experience. “There are cultural differences that recruitment and personnel peopleshould be sensitive to when they are interviewing refugees,” he said. He applied for a huge variety of jobs including a position as a minicabdriver, which he could not take because he had no passport and consequentlycould not get a driving licence. Dr Stevens finally secured his job with the refugee council after workingfor another voluntary sector organisation and he now helps other refugees tryand overcome the obstacles he faced in his search for employment. He is convinced that there are many thousands of skilled refugees who couldmake a real difference to the skills shortages in the UK. “We haverefugees with experience in construction, medicine, health services, teaching,catering, the hospitality sector and tourism,” he explained. Dr Stevens believes that details of asylum-seekers’ occupations should beincluded in their application forms and the Government should invest in askills audit so there is a database available to employers revealing the rangeof skills in the refugee community. Another development that Dr Stevens would like to see is the creation of apermission-to-work document that includes details of refugees’ qualificationsand experience – one of the aims of Personnel Today’s Refugees in Employmentcampaign. “There needs to be something to give employers confidence to consideran individual fairly and remove the concerns that some employers have overhaving anything to do with refugees.” The Refugee Council plays a key role in helping refugees become moreemployable and offers training in business information, accounting, health andsocial care, IT and childminding as well as English language tuition. www.refugeecouncil.org.ukBy Ben Willmott Policy makers hear campaign aimsPersonnel Today took part in a high level policy-making forum on theeconomic and social implications of free movement of staff within the EuropeanUnion.The magazine’s Refugees in Employment campaign was highlighted at theInstitute for Public Policy Research’s influential seminar in London last week.Editor Noel O’Reilly and deputy editor Catriona Marchant outlined the aimsof the campaign and contributed to the policy debate.The forum was attended by academics, government policy makers in the HomeOffice and Foreign Office, the CBI, TUC and the Number Ten policy unit.Sandra Pratt, principal administrator for the immigration and asylum unit atthe European Commission presented a paper on common EU policy in this highly sensitivearea. www.ippr.org Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Call for public services shake-up

first_imgHR in public services needs a radical overhaul to tackle the problems thesector faces recruiting and retaining staff. An Audit Commission report, Recruitment and Retention, published today callsfor HR to be given greater involvement at board and senior management levels toensure public sector organisations develop comprehensive recruitment andretention strategies. The study finds that although public sector HR is more ‘progressive’ andoffers better flexible working, training and development opportunities than theprivate sector, it fails to make an impact because the function is notstrategic enough. Keith Handley, immediate past president of local government HR body Socpo,agreed with the report’s main findings. “Too many authorities blow the trumpet about people being their mainasset yet do not even have a HR person on the management team,” he said. The report also identifies a need for improved monitoring of staff turnover,absence rates and job satisfaction, and advocates greater use of exit interviews– only a fifth of more than 300 ex-public sector workers polled in the reporthad ever had exit interviews. Other recommendations include reducing the number of targets to givefrontline staff greater autonomy and freedom to concentrate on quality ofservice. Trish Longdon, director of people development at the Audit Commission, said:”Staff feel overwhelmed by the unhelpful number of targets. These do nothelp staff to prioritise as there are so many of them.” Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Call for public services shake-upOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

A slice of the action

first_img Comments are closed. HR director Nick Taylor’s elevation to the Pizza Express board has allowedhim to influence company strategy and implement the necessary training schemesto enable the company to expand worldwide. DeeDee Doke reportsFor most HR directors, a seat on the company board represents the pinnacle oftheir ambitions – a ‘final destination’ of sorts, and the successfulculmination of a career. But for Pizza Express HR director, Nick Taylor, beingselected to a board seat was just the beginning of a journey to help hisambitious, UK-headquartered restaurant and retail food company realise its ownfuture. And as a straight-talking pragmatist, Taylor would probably be thefirst to admit that since his ascent to the board in February 2001, the newposition has proved more of a hot seat than an easy chair. “On Monday morning, I was a very happy HR non-board director, doing myjob. The next day, I was a main board director. Great,” Taylor recalls.”Get a bit of grooming and development, perhaps? No. While I had muchexperience of the front line, I had the problems of not being groomed for amain board role. So it would have been good if I’d been told the year before,‘You’re board material. It’s time to develop you’. That would have made life alot easier.” (See box on p24) So, not only is Taylor still learning the ropes of being a director, but hehas also taken on a major, high-profile project that could make the differencebetween future success and failure for his company, and himself, as the firstHR director at Pizza Express to achieve a board position. Founded in 1965, Pizza Express now has about 300 restaurants in the UK andIreland, as well as other branches – mostly franchise-owned eateries –elsewhere around the world, including Cyprus, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary,India, Japan, Poland, Spain and Saudi Arabia. It also owns the Café Pastarestaurant chain, and has begun a retail operation in which Pizza Express foodproducts are sold in several supermarket chains in the UK and Hong Kong. Aggressive expansion plans anticipate hundreds of additional Pizza Expressrestaurants in the UK and Ireland. Internationally, short-term plans call forthe opening and operating of more company-owned restaurants in France andSpain, with continued expansion elsewhere through franchise agreements. Overthe long-term, the international outlook suggests future investment of companyequity in “other territories”, which are as yet undisclosed. The very nature of this corporate strategy forced Pizza Express’ leaders toconsider the company’s future in terms of its people. Who did they have on handto carry out their ambitions? What skills did they need? And if there were gapsin people or skills, how were they going to fill them? Early this year, with the help of the London-based Institute of Directors(IoD), Taylor launched a new development programme for Pizza Express’s mostsenior managers. It was a completely new training concept for the company.”Ironically, the one target group we had never done any work on was thevery senior. Beyond area manager, the training rather fell off,” saysTaylor. “It really became apparent that we needed to do some development workfor the future, particularly as the business became more complex. We have sixdivisions now. You’ve got to make sure your top people have got the skills todo all of this, not simply run one restaurant,” he continues. “It was that recognition – that we are going to be a global player, weare going to have more divisions – that sowed the seed,” Taylor says.”And it is my job to make sure we’ve got the right people in place.” Devising and getting a plan approved for the senior management developmentprogramme took Taylor nearly a year. “There was, pretty much, totalagreement on the need for development, even prior to my appointment to theboard,” Taylor says. “Indeed, my appointment was part of thatprocess, in recognition that we needed to develop for the future. That was theeasy part. Where the battle came, was how we were actually going to carry outthat development, or training, call it what you will.” There was no shortage of educational or training providers who wanted thePizza Express business – from universities offering MBAs, to corporate trainersdelivering executive coaching. As Taylor found out, the toughest part wasselecting the right development for his company’s specific needs. He knew, however, that a purely academic approach was not the right answer.Pursuing the academic avenue would have gone against the cultural grain ofPizza Express’ traditional informality, unstructured environ-ment and pragmatism– not to mention a hierarchy of primarily self-made businesspeople, most ofwhom had succeeded without an advanced degree. “It was critical that we got the right fit. If it was too high a level,it would have switched our people off – they wouldn’t have listened, theywouldn’t have learned anything. They would have just said: ‘It’s typical HRgobbledy-gook, it’s not relevant to our business, Nick’.” Taylor saw the potential of involving the IoD after he and anothernewly-appointed Pizza Express director began a director development coursethere. He began exploring the training and development options with the IoD tosee if a good match could be made. The IoD’s director of development, John Weston, says: “We actually satdown with them right at the beginning and asked, ‘What is it you want? What isit you need?’ It’s a sort of diagnosis process. Because often when you sit downwith somebody, they don’t quite know what they want. But maybe they’ve got areasonably good idea, and you’ve got a reasonably good idea of what you can do– the skill is finding where we can help. “We ended up with a programme that has evolved out of the diagnosisprocess, that they own as much as we do. You’ve got to tailor it to the needsof the organisation.” An interesting difference in the IoD’s experience with Pizza Expresscompared to its usual dealings with companies, was who was calling the shots indeveloping the programme, says Weston. “The HR director is usually not the decision maker. What is differentin this case, is that Nick actually had the genuine responsibility andauthority to do that programme. If the programme ‘sponsor’ is not the decisionmaker, or isn’t the person who identified the need, then you can sometimes dowhat’s not actually required. It helps when the person you’re talking to is thedecision maker – and he was.” The pre-launch portion of the programme included group meetings, andone-to-ones between Taylor and each of the 18 participants. The diagnosisprocess also required these Pizza Express managers to undergo in-depthinterviews and profiling by IoD representatives – an early trial by fire forthe participants. “It was a long, drawn-out process,” says Taylor, “extremelyexpensive, and quite painful in a couple of cases. It is quite daunting to haveto look at yourself in the mirror; what you see is not always very nice. But itwas well worthwhile, because it really did set the scene. It made theindividuals feel it was serious. They also began to see some areas fordevelopment, and gave the IoD and the trainers some very good material to workwith before they launched the programme.” All of the company’s most senior managers – those reporting to the mainboard – were invited to participate. Only one turned down the offer. Twoparticipants, who had been external appointments to their current roles, hadadvanced degrees. Another participant had his last training in the 1970s. Thenumber of years in service at Pizza Express ranged from one year to 25. “From an HR practitioner’s perspective, it was a group from hell. Youcould not get a more diverse group in a room all at once.” The main skillin need of development was strategy, Taylor says. “We’d been a veryinward-looking company. The majority of the candidates were internallypromoted. Therefore, the issue for us was preparing people for that awfulconcept, ‘thinking outside the box’. We made it clear we were not there to makethem better wholesale directors or HR managers; they were learning businessskills about strategy, and developing strategic leadership skills.” By the end of this month, the group will be more than halfway through theyear-long programme. “I lay awake in a cold sweat at night during thefirst couple of modules, waiting for the feedback,” he admits. “ButI’ve spoken to virtually all of them after each module, and generally, I’vebeen delighted by the feedback. Overall, it has been great, and they’ve allreally enjoyed it.” Once this initial programme ends, it will be reviewed for fine-tuning.Taylor would like to see it become an annual offering, with the group ofparticipants roughly a third of the size of the first. One possibility is thatthe initial in-depth interviews and profiling of prospective participants willeventually be used to screen out some of the candidates. “Bearing in mind this was the first time we had done this, to suddenlyhave gone from no development at all, to saying ‘right, it’s you and you butnot you’, could have been desperately unfair and deeply divisive,” Taylorsays. The managers involved in the programme are now working better together as agroup, Taylor notes. However, immediate results were not expected, heemphasises. By the same token, his own coursework at IoD is nearly complete, but he sayshe does nothing differently in his day-to-day role in spite of being”aware of an awful lot more”. Look ahead to five years time though,he adds, “and the difference will be immense”. Getting on the ‘hallowed’ boardNick Taylor has managed otherrestaurants, worked in Pizza Express’ franchise department, and headed up thecompany’s training department, as well as HR. He’s been on the front line, andhas experienced what it is like to have little use for an HR department. But hedidn’t have preparation to join the ‘hallowed’ board.Ascending to the company board without appropriate training ordevelopment is all too common – a scenario that companies should seek toprevent. The selectee’s first reaction is typically “delight. ‘Imade it! I made it!’ – which then turns to complete apprehension”, saysProfessor David Norburn of the University of London’s Imperial College. The IoD’s John Weston agrees. “What we have often foundover the years, is that people get trained very well to be managers, or upthrough functional disciplines. But when they get to the board, it is acompletely different game. The rules have changed, they’ve got collectiveresponsibility for the whole organisation.”Norburn says the process of preparing for the board must beginearly in a career, so the aspirant can gain a breadth of experience across avariety of functions, and preferably, across international borders. Suchexperience will demonstrate an ability to adapt: the more adaptations a personhas to make, the better for their upward climb – and for the company as well. Further, Norburn says, failure should be rewarded as itreflects a willingness to take risks, in spite of the typical company attitudeof ‘it’s not my fault’. Accountancy and engineering are among the most commonprofessional backgrounds represented on a board, with the occasional marketeerthrown in, says Weston. HR is still rarely present at the table. What excitedIoD about Pizza Express, he says, is that “this company is saying: ‘Wevalue HR so much, we’re going to put the HR director on the board’.”Defining strategyWhen it comes to strategy, the IoD’sJohn Weston is quick to point out the critical link between HR and corporatestrategy, the need to define that strategy, and Nick Taylor’s proactive stancein sharpening Pizza Express’ strategic knife-edge. “HR is relatively simple in principle: it is about havingthe right people in the right place with the right skills at the right time tofulfill the strategy,” Weston says. “Personnel is about havingpolicies and procedures, and strategic HR is about aligning those things withcorporate goals. If you don’t have corporate goals, you can’t have a strategicHR policy.”So set the company strategy first. That’s what mostcompanies have got to do, and to be honest, not as many as you’d think actuallydo,” he adds. “Some have a mission, some have a vision. But noteveryone has a strategy. “The hardest thing about strategy is implementing it. Alot of strategies don’t happen because when it comes to the implementation,it’s too difficult or too big a challenge. Strategy is a reasonably simpleintellectual concept, but people struggle making it happen and managing thechange – that is where HR comes in,” he says. “The skill of a good HR person is to say, ‘Here’s thecompany strategy: how do we make sure we have the right people in the rightplace at the right time? How do we make sure they’re inspired and involved, andhow do we make sure we get them to do these things to ensure the strategybecomes a reality? And that’s what Nick is trying very hard to do.”Websiteswww.pizzaexpress.co.ukwww.iod.com A slice of the actionOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Depression affecting work performance

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Depression affecting work performanceOn 1 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Anxiety and depression, and the medication for them prescribed by doctors,appear to affect workplace performance, according to research published by theHSE. A study conducted by the Health and Safety Ergonomics Unit at LoughboroughUniversity and the Department of Health and Social Care at Brunel University,found sufferers described a variety of accidents and near misses that theybelieved were linked to their condition or the side effects of medication. Those with responsibilities for others, such as teachers, doctors ormanagers, seemed to present a particular risk to safety at work. The study said that failing to take medication was common because of its unpleasantside effects, lack of improvement of symptoms or because it made people feelworse at first. Sufferers were often unprepared for the side effects and would have welcomedbetter information from doctors and pharmacists. Mental health problems were not well understood by employers, with littlesupport in the workplace, the study concluded. Professor Cheryl Haslam, of the University of Nottingham’s Institute ofWork, Health and Organisations (formerly of Department of Health and SocialCare at Brunel), said: “People suffering from anxiety and depressionexperience great difficulties at work managing their symptoms and dealing withthe side effects of their medication. “Many were unprepared for the fact that it can take two or three weeksbefore they start to see improvements. Patients need more information from GPsabout the medication and the side effects, so they know what to expect.” www.hse.gov.uklast_img read more