People on the move

first_img Previous Article Next Article • Alex Wilson has joined ICI as senior vice-president of HR. He moves fromGuinness where he was HR director for three-and-a-half years. Prior to joiningGuinness he spent 12 years at Grand Metropolitan, where his last post was seniorvice-president of HR for North and South America. Wilson started his careerwith the Ford Motor Company in 1974 as a trainee personnel officer.• Carmel Maguire, previously assistant chief executive for personnel andtraining at Nottingham City Council, took up the post of HR director at theBritish Library on January 4. She held the Nottingham job for eight years andwas in post when the council became a unitary authority on April 1 1998,growing to three times its size. She previously worked for Hereford andWorcester County Council where she specialised in employee relations andemployment law.• Peter Armitage has been appointed head of HR at Minit UK, owners ofSketchley, Supersnaps and MR Minit shoe bars and key cutters. Armitage has beenrunning his own consultancy since December 1997. Before that he was HR directorfor Pret a Manger for a year, a job he took after leaving Superdrug where hespent four years as personnel controller. He starts on February 7.• West Bromwich building society has promoted Paul Turner to general managerof people development. Turner has risen through the ranks after starting withthe company as a management trainee in 1975. He held posts as branch manager,regional manager, operations controller and assistant general manager ofcustomer services before becoming assistant general manager of peopledevelopment in 1998.• Tracy Newton-Blows has joined Dell Financial Services as European HRexecutive with responsibility for HSB European business operations. She startedon January 5 after moving from Macmillan Davies Hodes where she was arecruitment consultant.• Salisbury District Council has appointed Karen Gard as personnel andtraining manager. It is her first move out of education after spending 19 yearsas personnel officer at Yeovil College and three years as personnel manager atStroud College, Gloucester.• IT recruitment consultancy Certes has promoted former HR manager WendyMerry to the new position of HR and customer services director. Merry joinedthe company in 1998. She was previously head of HR at Sears Financial Services. Comments are closed. People on the moveOn 18 Jan 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR label sends out all the wrong messages

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. HR label sends out all the wrong messagesOn 8 Feb 2000 in Personnel Today Now the hype of the millennium is largely over we should perhaps use theadvent of the Year 2000 to reflect on our profession and its role in the future– although amid all the planning to avoid problems with the Y2K bug I couldn’thelp but wish that there might occur some small glitches which would strikedown only those PCs and telephones operated by line managers and personnelstaff. How refreshing it would have been to see the faces of all those peopleforced to leave their offices and work stations and go out and speak to people,face to face.But I return to my thoughts about the future and realise the sameconsiderations which motivate my secret wishes also direct my thinking aboutour profession. One issue which concerns me is what we call ourselves. Ofcourse what we do and how we do it is more important than what we callourselves, but the trend in the past few years to call ourselves the”human resources department” sends out signals about ourselves andour profession that I hope are not true.As a former “gunslinger” in the 1970s and 80s, I knew at the timethe confrontational system of industrial relations was hardly progressive letalone constructive, but perhaps like politics was an example of the art of thepossible in that particular era.In many personnel departments there grew a reputation for admin, welfare andother costly and reactionary services. In that context, I can understand whypeople might want to distance themselves from the organisation and language ofthose times. But in one step the Americans and academics set about “inventing”the human resources management culture. They dressed it up as”proactive” – another term I dislike. Furthermore they pretended,like road-to-Damascus visionaries, to be privy to some new philosophy whichrequired their followers to “add value”, be”customer-orientated” and clasp mission statements to their bosoms.I don’t know of any personnel director or manager who does not understandthe role of his department in these areas. We all know our organisations mustbe flexible, nimble and, above all, people-orientated. I believe crucially inthe individuality of people. I find myself, therefore, at odds with I guessabout two-thirds of our profession who, by their title, regard the people theywork with as “resources”, to be bracketed with equipment, capital orfacilities as simply another “resource”.Frankly I find the term “human resource” to be demeaning toworking people. The term sends all the wrong messages and I cannot believeemployees in whichever enterprise are happy to regard themselves as “resources”.I am no dinosaur but I am a personnel director. I do not think we need toadopt or invent new words or complex jargon describe our responsibilities forpeople. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Large firms look set to get claims ball rolling

first_img Previous Article Next Article CBI figures show a third of companies employing more than 5,000 staff expect a claim for bargaining rights in the coming year. This compares with 13 per cent overall and less than one in 10 firms with fewer than 200 staff. Dominic Johnson, head of employee relations, said this is because the need to show majority support from staff means unions will target companies where they are already recognised in one part of the business or where they have a history. According to the CBI’s latest employment trends survey, the biggest companies are five times more likely to recognise a union than those employing fewer than 50 people.Even where unions have been de-recognised many employees are still members giving the union a good starting point, Johnson said.The TUC said it is too early to say which companies will be targeted, but large and small businesses are likely to be affected. “We would assume that there will be recognition agreements in a variety of companies, both large and small, the only ones that won’t be affected are those with less than 20 people, because the law does not cover them,” said a spokesperson.“All workers are entitled to a voice at work, regardless of the size of the company.”Johnson said, “Small companies are less likely to face recognition claims in the next 12 months, but no company should expect not to be approached.”• Staff at Virgin Atlantic are being asked to vote on whether they want to be represented by a union. A secret ballot of the 5,000 staff will be held next week, according to a report in The Guardian. Comments are closed. Large firms look set to get claims ball rollingOn 20 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

This week’s case round up

first_imgNonconsensual terminationCole vLondon Borough of Hackney IDS Brief 674 EATCole’s jobceased to exist following a reorganisation. Her options were either to take upa new position if a comparable job was available (which there was not) or toapply for other vacant posts. She could also opt for a severance package. Cole wastold she was not likely to be successful at interview for a vacant post but thecouncil omitted to inform her that she had priority rights in that regard.Believing any application for a vacant position would be unsuccessful, Coleasked to take voluntary redundancy and the council agreed. Cole thencomplained to the tribunal that she had been unfairly selected for redundancyand unfairly dismissed. The tribunal held there was no dismissal but rather amutual termination of the contract. If however, there had been a dismissal,Cole’s application for voluntary severance constituted a dismissal for “someother substantial reason” and the council had not acted unfairly.Colesuccessfully appealed to the EAT which held that but for the council’s decisionto reorganise Cole would not have applied for the severance payment. There wasno consensual termination, rather this was a dismissal by reason of redundancy. This week’s case round upOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.center_img Previous Article Next Article Ill-considered implicationsOsborne vValve (Engineering Services), unreported, November 2000 EATOsborne commencedtribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and breach ofcontract but shortly afterwards realised the breach of contract claim waslikely to exceed the tribunal’s £25,000 jurisdictional limit. She applied towithdraw that part of her claim in order to pursue the matter in the HighCourt. Thetribunal accepted her withdrawal and made an order dismissing the breach ofcontract claim. Osborne subsequently learned that the order for dismissalconstituted an adjudication on the merits of the breach of contract claim andby the principle of res judicata she would be prevented from bringing futureproceedings on the same matter. She sought a review of the decision but wasunsuccessful.On appeal,the EAT found that the chairman was aware of Osborne’s reason for withdrawingthe breach of contract claim, namely the transfer of the claim to another courtclaim but failed to properly consider the implications when making the orderfor “dismissal”. The appeal was allowed.last_img read more

Pub chain cuts costs with e-payroll

first_img Comments are closed. Pub chain SFI Group has slashed payroll costs by bringing the functionin-house using an e-HR system. SFI HR director Sue Hodder said the move from an outsourced HR system to anin-house, integrated payroll, time and attendance programme, had achieved suchsignificant savings that the system will pay for itself within 18 months. Hodder said managers at the group’s 170 outlets are now able to input datadirectly into the main system. She said the new system would for the first timeprovide the company with information on staff turnover and sickness absencerates. Hodder is optimistic the system will help manage staff more effectively andreduce high turnover levels, which across the industry run at between 40 and 50per cent for managers and up to 200 per cent for bar staff. Hodder said managers are being trained to use the system on a one-daycourse. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Pub chain cuts costs with e-payrollOn 19 Feb 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

In brief

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article In briefOn 1 Apr 2002 in Vexatious claims, Personnel Today This month’s news in briefCourt of Appeal rules on ability to pay Tribunals should not take into account an individual’s ability to pay whendetermining whether they should be liable for employers’ costs in the event ofa frivolous or vexatious claim, the Court of Appeal has held. Acas settles at last in equal pay dispute Acas has settled a long-running equal pay claim with 900 claimants followinga tribunal ruling in 1999 that its service-related incremental pay scalediscriminated against women. Each of the claimants will receive an average of£6,500. Standard European CVs boost for jobhunters The European Commission is planning to introduce a standardised format forCVs to aid recruitment between member states. The European CV, which will bevoluntary, will be available in both paper and electronic form. Employers must give reasons for rejections Employers will have to respond to requests from unsuccessful applicants onwhy they were rejected under the data protection code on selection andrecruitment, according to employment lawyers at Fox Williams. If employers donot respond, the applicant can ask the Information Commission to carry out anassessment of the employer’s information handling. last_img read more

Online recruitment keeps firm ahead

first_imgOnline recruitment keeps firm aheadOn 23 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today The new screening process has led to an increase in theproportion of graduate applicants accepting job offers from 50 per cent to 90per cent. The online application uses a psychometric questionnaire anda 20-minute numerical test to find the type of graduate the company wants,while automatically rejecting unsuccessful applicants. Accountancy firm Saffery Champness has dramatically cut thecost of recruiting graduates after the introduction of an online assessmentsystem. HR director Jon Young said: “The old system wasresource intensive, time consuming and very expensive. Getting a quick decisionmeans we can offer jobs to graduates before other companies,” he said. Related posts:No related photos. Prior to online screening Young would receive around 1,000applications for 15 graduate places, which would have to be sifted manually forsuitable candidates. He explained that by using web-based screening, the firm hadcut costs by 67 per cent and in one instance was able to offer a job within twodays of the student applying. Previous Article Next Article The company would then invite a pool of applicants to acostly two-day interview and testing process that up to 60 per cent wouldsubsequently fail. The length of time it takes the company to recruit has alsodropped from 11 months to four, allowing it to steal a march on its rivals bybeing in a position to make offers much more quickly. Comments are closed. The best candidates are invited to a half-day assessmentbefore a final offer is made.last_img read more

Local govt stuggling with strategic HR

first_imgLocal govt stuggling with strategic HROn 25 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Local authorities are struggling with strategic HR, according to anunpublished government report. Quantitative research involving 100 local authorities – yet to be releasedby the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) – highlights areas in whichcouncils are struggling, with strategic HR being one of the major problems. Leadership, diversity and partnership working are also cited in the reportas problem areas for authorities. Geoffrey Tierney, divisional manager for local government capacity and modernisationat the ODPM, said the research does show HR is succeeding in other areas,including team training, secondments and leadership programmes. Tierney, commenting on the report, said it is critical that authorities getto grips with strategic HR. He is concerned that poor strategic HR could undermine the Government’s £27minvestment over the next financial year in building the capacity of the localgovernment workforce. “Capacity is about the skills, knowledge and attitude of anorganisation. We must resist the temptation to treat people as delivery units.Staff must be seen as the most valuable resource that is nurtured anddeveloped,” Tierney said. last_img read more

Healthy approach to skills crisis

first_img Previous Article Next Article DonnaYurdin, assistant vice-president of organisational effectiveness at US hospitalgiant HCA, describes how a fresh approach to management skills increased staffretentionInteraction Management and Targeted Selection Designed and delivered by: DDI, Keystone Place, Building B, Sefton Park,Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, SL2 4JS Phone: 01753 616000 Fax: 01753 616 099 E-mail: [email protected]: www.ddiworld.comHCA is one of America’s leading providers of healthcare services, with anannual revenue of $18bn and 168,000 employees. From its Nashville headquarters,HCA owns or operates 200 acute care, general and psychiatric hospitals in theUS, UK and Switzerland. Achieving its aim to provide the highest quality careto its patients is highly dependent on finding and retaining nursingprofessionals and other key staff. Staff retention is a pervasive problem in the healthcare industry. Goodpeople who can fill certain clinical positions are in short supply, enablingthose with the right skills to change jobs frequently as healthcare facilitiescompete fiercely for their services. HCA’s mid-America division, covering Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, wasparticularly aware of the need to stabilise staff turnover so as to maintainthe highest standards of care as well as achieve favourable business results.Data obtained from an employee survey, focus groups and formalised exitinterviews showed that while compensation and benefits packages were certainlyimportant in retaining employees, most of those who had left HCA did so becauseof their relationship with their supervisors, who were in many cases unsuitedto and ill-prepared for leadership roles. HCA would promote people for their technical ability, expect them to beeffective and learn on their own, but then lost them because of their poormanagement skills. The company needed to identify people who would be suited toleadership roles, who could help HCA attract people to work at its hospitalsand stay with the company. Poor communicationThe research showed that its weak performance management system was a majorfactor in high staff turnover, leading to insufficient professional developmentopportunities, absence of clear ‘career tracks’, poor communication and littleconnection between pay and performance. Looking at research, it was clear that the best way to reduce turnover wasto give managers and supervisors the knowledge and skills they needed to createa work environment that would attract motivated and engaged employees. Theyneeded not only to manage the career development of existing employees moreeffectively so as to improve their commitment to HCA, but to select the rightpeople to work for them in the first place. HCA called on global HR consultancyDDI to help implement a new retention strategy encompassing leadershiptraining, performance management and selection. The first step was to launch a development initiative to provide managerswith basic knowledge and skills. The core curriculum included legal aspects ofHR, finance for non-financial managers, productivity and information systems.In addition, DDI provided leadership skills training that would familiarisepeople with the new performance management system. This included four modulesfrom DDI’s leadership development system – Interaction Management: tactics foreffective leadership; Performance Planning: setting expectations; PreparingOthers to Succeed; Facilitating Improved Performance; and Performance Planning:reviewing progress. A module on effective communication was included in theleadership curriculum to help participants apply those principles within thecontext of the new performance management and compensation systems. The leadership training was implemented in all the mid-America sites byDDI’s certified instructors and also certified instructors from Nashville-basedconsulting firm CG&A, LLC. The training modules were reinforced on anongoing basis by DDI’s e-learning tool, OPAL, which provides just-in-timecoaching and instruction. With DDI, HCA designed a competency-based performance management processthat allowed employees to become more involved in determining the course oftheir current jobs and professional development. In the new process, each employee has their own personal development plan toguide professional growth and prepare for future jobs or roles. This representsa dramatic departure from the previous process which was driven bybackward-looking annual review discussions that focused on past behaviour andcontributed little to the support of individual development. DDI provided HCA’smanagers with training to build their confidence in driving performance andemployee development. Job familiesTo improve HCA’s ability to select individuals who would fit in with the jobspecifications and organisation, DDI worked with the company at corporate levelto conduct job analyses and categorise positions into multiple job families.Competencies and success profiles were assigned to the job families to drive amore accurate selection process. With the competency framework and job families in place, the mid-Americadivision then set about teaching HCA hiring managers how to interview moreeffectively using DDI’s behaviour-based interviewing system, TargetedSelection. This makes the interviewing process more consistent by setting outtechnical and behavioural competencies against which candidates are assessed.Customised interview guides, distributed electronically to interviewers througha web tool, make the interviewing process more standardised. Hiring managerswere then given training in the new competency-based interview techniques. Targeted Selection is a visible success. Those attending classes had neverbeen trained to interview. They arrived sceptical but left incredibly excitedabout their ability to interview effectively. “In the past, when it came to hiring, we had missed so many timesbecause we found somebody we liked or somebody was referred to us, and wewanted to do right politically,” says Paul Rutledge, president of themid-America division. “With this process, you interview for a job on the technical andbehavioural competencies, and use a specific interviewing methodology. We areable to improve the quality of the job match by reducing variation in theinterviewing process. Those same behavioural competencies are then integratedinto the personal performance management plans.” The mid-America division has sent all of its 1,000-plus managers through theleadership education and preparation modules and is in the process ofsuccessfully implementing its new performance management and selectionprocesses. Results from the first year of implementation are extremely positive.”We’ve gone from 29 per cent staff turnover to 23 per cent turnover in 12months for the whole division,” says Rutledge. “And we’ve seensignificant improvement in our ability to retain registered nurses.” One facility in particular – Nashville’s Southern Hills Medical Center – isa prime example of the impact of the DDI programme. Staff turnover has droppedto 27 per cent from a high of 43 per cent in the late 1990s. A new positive culture is emerging at Southern Hills, making it an employerof choice within the Nashville healthcare community. Southern Hills HR directorConnie Yates is able to make new hires an unusual offer. “I tell them, ifyou don’t like Southern Hills after three months, come back and tell me,because you are going to like it. No-one comes back,” she says. “Our HCA leadership effort is more than just an HR matter, it’s amanagement issue,” concludes Paul Rutledge. “It has operationaloutcomes that affect the company’s bottom line. This is about management beinggiven tools that make them more effective – and the company moresuccessful,” he says. The results achieved in the US have been so impressive that HCA in the UKhas also rolled out a leadership development and performance managementprogramme in partnership with DDI UK. HCA runs some of the most famous privatehospitals in the UK, including The Harley Street Clinic, The Lister, LondonBridge, The Portland, The Wellington and The Princess Gate. DDI has been ableto draw upon its experiences in the US and bring intimate knowledge of thebusiness issues HCA faces to the UK roll-out. The outcome has been similarly successful. Staff turnover has fallen from 29to 20 per cent, and sickness absence from an average of eight to 10 days perperson to 2.5 days. UK HR director Jasy Loyal says: “Working with DDI hasbrought HR to the forefront and helped us to achieve strong goals.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Healthy approach to skills crisisOn 1 Jun 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Top job: Mary Canavan, director of human resources at the British Library

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Mary Canavan has been appointed director of Human Resources at the British Library.She will be responsible for the development and implementation of a modernisingHR strategy for the UK national library’s 2,500-strong workforce. Where were you working before and what were your duties? I developed HR strategies in the context of local government when head of HRat the London Borough of Havering, where modernising people practices have beenhigh on the agenda. What will be the duties in your new role? The British Library is embarking on an ambitious modernisation strategywhich requires major change across many aspects of HR, and a real commitment toensuring the people agenda is centre-stage. My role will be to develop astrategically focused and effective HR function in tune with the needs of thelibrary. What do you hope to achieve in your new role? To develop a proactive HR strategy which facilitates and supports the futuregrowth and success of the library. Which aspects are you most looking forward to? Working with a diverse group of staff who are employed in activities such asconserving ancient manuscripts or developing ground-breaking digitisationtechnology. What is the strangest situation you have been in at work? Sitting opposite my boss when part of a ceiling fell down on him. Who is the ultimate Guru? Nelson Mandela because of his capacity to forgive and lead his countrythrough momentous change. What is the best thing about HR? The range of different people you work with on a daily basis. How do you fill your spare time? Catching up with friends over excellent food and wine. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken? Climbing Ayers Rock, because I am terrified of heights. What is the essential tool in your job? Perseverance. What advice would you give people starting out in HR? Don’t specialise too early and get as much general experience as you can. Do you network? Yes, it’s a crucial part of being effective in my job. If you could do any job in the world what would it be? To own my own restaurant on the beautiful island of Paxos. Who would play you in the film of your life? Judi Dench, because she’s a strong woman with a sense of humour. Canavan’s CV2003    Directorof HR, London Borough of Havering2003    Head of HR, LondonBorough of Havering1998    Senior HR manager,London Borough of Enfield1993    Personnel manager,London Borough of Waltham Forest Top job: Mary Canavan, director of human resources at the British LibraryOn 23 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more