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Work needed to get women into IT

first_imgIT companies are failing to recruit and retain female IT professionals,claims a guide released by the National Computing Centre (NCC) last week. It shows that the proportion of women in IT has fallen from 29 per cent in1994 to just 18 per cent this year. The Best Practice Guide to IT Skills calls on employers to improve diversityin the workplace by understanding staff work-life balance issues, and providingeffective training and career development paths. It also estimates that there is a shortage of 50,000 to 70,000 ITprofessionals in the UK, although a bigger problem could be the lack ofappropriate skills. Companies need to understand their skills requirements and develop a skillsstrategy, claims the guide. Julia Brant, research officer at the NCC, said, “HR departments arestrongly advised to look at good training opportunities, and flexible packagesand working arrangements. “But above all they must work very hard to ensure that the businessethos of their company stresses that women are valued for their knowledge andexpertise and given equal opportunities and pay.” Getting women into the IT sector is also high on the political agenda, withTrade & Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt announcing last month that theGovernment is to work with IT employers to look at how they can recruit andretain women. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Work needed to get women into ITOn 6 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

No learner is an island

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article No learner is an islandOn 1 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today If you have a global workforce, bringing the team’s knowledge of a newproduct up to speed via conventional training can be costly and impractical,which is where e-learning comes in. Sue Weekes reportsCable & Wireless is a major global telecoms organisation, operating in70 countries. It has two divisions, Cable & Wireless Global, which focuseson IP (internet protocol) and data services and solutions for businesscustomers, and Cable & Wireless Regional, which provides telecoms servicesto 27 countries. Included in the regional division’s sales patch are exotic locations such asthe West Indies, the Solomon Islands, the Falklands and the Maldives – nice forsite visits but not the easiest locations for co-ordinating global training,which is where e-learning comes in. Towards the end of last year, the company launched a range of internetproducts and wanted to ensure its sales force in the various regions fullyunderstood them. It decided to run a pilot e-learning project to train itsemployees. Cable & Wireless had used e-learning before and already had a long-termrelationship with London-based bespoke learning company Fuel, which provides itwith instructor-led and online training. It was the first time, however, thatthe regional division had tried e-learning. Individual assessment “The purpose of the project was to see if e-learning was a viable methodof delivering education to Cable & Wireless Regional and to see if ourstaff would accept it,” says Simon Joy, strategic e-learning managerwithin HR at Cable & Wireless Regional. The pilot system was rolled out to 500 employees based on 30 islands acrossthe West Indies. For the e-learning project to be effective, the sales teamneeded some prerequisite knowledge to fully understand the benefits of the newproducts and implant in them an underlying technical knowledge. Fuel knew thatlearners would be at varying knowledge levels and so composed an onlinepre-course test to assess each one. This meant the full-blown course could thenbe created to an individual’s requirements. Fuel designs all of its e-learning programmes to work with a standard browserand via a 28k modem and upwards. “Most users will access the training on acorporate network but it is also created for access from home so we make sureit will work across 28k modems,” says Fuel CEO Steve Dineen, whoco-founded the company in 1994 with Chris Campbell. “We also created a web-based learning management system, an LMS‘light’,” he explains. The LMS, which is designed to be plug-and-play andis accessed through a standard browser, has since become a commerciallyavailable standalone product. Easy does it Fuel prides itself on creating engaging content and took a lively, visualapproach to the training with material broken down into bite-sized chunks.”We made it analogous and tried to contextualise it wherever possible – soto explain a network we would use a motorway and traffic,” explainsDineen, who is clearly pleased that the material appears to look ‘very easy’ onthe screen. “It’s actually very hard to make technical content look easyon screen,” he says. The course also employs the use of highly visual andfun-to-play breakout games for the user to test themselves. Although Fuel already had an existing relationship with Cable &Wireless, Joy says it knew it needed a partner that could create educationallyeffective and engaging content on its products. “Poor content is probablythe main reason for the failure of e-learning in some companies, along with badinternal marketing,” he says. All of Fuel’s e-learning consultants have worked in instructor-led trainingand it also employs educational psychologist Charles Low as head of e-learningeducation, whose background is in teaching and adult training. “It isimportant not to overwhelm your learners and for Cable & Wireless wecreated a structure that could be broken down easily. It is also alwaysimportant to have consistency on a technical level, consistency of message,look and feel so learners can comfortably move on to the next level,”explains Low. The more diverse the audience, the harder his job, he says, adding:”it’s a case of putting your stick in the ground somewhere. If you pitchit too low, you lose them and if you pitch it too high, you lose them. If youcan hit around 90 per cent of the audience you’re doing well.” Evaluation Feedback from the Cable & Wireless pilot scheme proved more thanencouraging from both the pre- and actual course. It was marketed to staff viaa punchy e-mail, which included the web address for accessing to the training,from the CEO of Cable & Wireless. “The online evaluation completed by all those taking the course hasgiven us unbiased, instant feedback from the start – that 94 per cent of themsay they would like future training to be delivered by e-learning is a powerfulendorsement,” says Joy. Although initially pitched at the sales force, the training is available foranyone in the regions who wants to improve their product knowledge and has beenaccessed by secretaries, admin staff and billing clerks. Low was also pleased with the uptake: “Users liked things such as themini breakout games and feedback showed that most were happy doing the trainingat their desks. The average scores on the pre-test were 36 per cent but on thepost-test it was 70 per cent. Of all who took the post-test, only 1 per centfailed, which is pretty good. At two hours though, some people did think thecourse was too long.” Around 1,400 employees have now registered for the training which is beingrolled out to offices in Spain and Panama (the course was originally designedin Spanish as well as English). The pilot proved the value, acceptance levelsand cost-effectiveness of e-learning to Cable & Wireless Regional, saysDineen, who adds Fuel is now embarking on a joint venture with the telecomsgiant. “The feedback has consolidated our views and helped shape our futureplans. For instance, it is helpful for resource and facility planning to knowthat just 10 per cent of staff are uncomfortable about learning at their deskand want to learn in a dedicated training area.” Moving forward The cost of the e-learning solution to Cable & Wireless was less than£150,000 and Joy believes the bill for traditional education for what they’veachieved would have been up to £2.6m. In terms of cost savings, it has alreadyprovided a return on investment, he says, but the benefit goes far beyond that:”In terms of educating our staff, our customers are already realising thebenefits. Many of our team are now able to engage in much richer conversationswith each other and our customers,” and, as a final endorsement, he adds:”We are planning to move 49 per cent of our education to e-learning.”As part of the next phase of the programme, Fuel will be meeting the Cable& Wireless directors – including those representing HR, marketing andfinance – in order to work alongside them to develop a longer term strategy forthe organisation’s educational needs. This is likely to involve skillsetanalysis to align training with business needs and also put in place competencyframeworks. Certainly the Cable & Wireless experience proves the benefit of a pilotand Joy emphasises the importance of implementing one going sooner rather thanlater if you think e-learning may suit your needs. “Do not spend yearsplanning an infrastructure strategy and then plan a content strategyafterwards; these activities run parallel. You will learn a lot from your firstexperience that will allow for future planning, so get the pilot goingquicker.” In summaryPilot testing Cable & Wireless Regional’srequirement: To implement a pilot programme of new product training, initiallyto 500 people across the West Indies.Why? Although the product training in itself was important, theprogramme was also a pilot project to see if e-learning was a viable method ofdelivering education to the regions and to see if staff would accept thismethod of deliveryIs e-learning delivering? The pilot was judged a success on thebasis of staff feedback and results. Around 1,400 employees have now registeredfor the training. The cost-savings mean the training has already paid foritself, says Simon Joy, strategic e-learning manager within HR at Cable &Wireless RegionalIn summaryCable & wireless e-learning tips for success1 Content is king; get key members ofstaff to trial a few hours of e-learning from different vendors before making adecision2 Internal marketing and motivationis as important as the technology3 Get your pilot project up andrunning – you will learn a lot from your first experience that will allow forfuture planning Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Budget boost must benefit businesses

first_imgBudget boost must benefit businessesOn 30 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. There is no clearer sign of this Government’s backing for Investors in People than the extra funds announced by the Chancellor during his Budget statement.He said: “I can today respond to joint work by the CBI and TUC by announcing an additional £30m so more businesses can reach Investors in People standards.”This new money the Government is pumping in will be used to encourage take-up of the Standard within small firms and should answer critics in the business community who may have doubted its commitment to the Investors in People Standard.The money in the Budget is on top of the £2.5m already allocated this year to raise the profile and boost the delivery of Investors in People in the shorter term (News, 9 April). And the number of companies committing to working towards the Standard is on the up again – nearly 2,100 organisations in the four months to January this year, almost back to the levels of the same period in the previous year (2,400). And we can expect Investors in People recognitions to rise accordingly.However, I want to put a special emphasis on increasing the number of small businesses achieving the Investors in People Standard. They employ 44 per cent of the country’s workforce but less than 1 per cent are working towards IIP status. I realise that the smaller the company, the harder it often is to find the time, money and expertise to invest in your workforce.But the Standard can bring benefits to any size of firm and must be made available to all. The new money will directly benefit firms employing less than 50 people through measures such as the development of beacon status businesses.These beacons will spur other businesses to follow in their footsteps and achieve Investors in People recognition through a mentoring and support programme. Clear targets will also be set so that the improvement in uptake is transparent and reflects the size of the investment.Why am I such a strong supporter of the Standard? Because the bottom line is that it works. Investors in People is the best workforce and business development standard we have. Employers with Investors in People status recognise that success in businesses comes from a motivated and well-trained workforce – as the 25,000 who have received the standard during its first decade will testify.In a recent study, 73 per cent of IIP companies surveyed said that it helped them to meet their business objectives. Half reported a positive impact on business growth or performance. More than half said they had seen customer satisfaction improve.By the end of this year we want 45 per cent of organisations in England with more than 50 employees recognised as Investors in People, and an additional 10,000 smaller organisations. We must meet these targets and move well beyond them in future years.More than a third of UK employees now work for a company that either has or is working towards the standard. But if we want to raise the skills levels of our workforce to match the best in the world by 2010, mobilising more employers – large and small – must be our priority.Raising skills levels is essential to our economic growth. Firms with higher levels of training have higher productivity. The challenge we face is to embed workforce training and development in all businesses large and small – and Investors in People has a central role to play in this.John Healey is Education and Skills Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

AGR offers advice on discrimination

first_img Comments are closed. The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has launched a new briefingpaper to help graduate recruiters understand disability discrimination. Recruiting Disabled Graduates outlines disability discrimination legislationin the workplace and offers advice on a range of issues, including attractingdisabled graduates, planning recruitment and selection activities to avoiddiscrimination, tailoring induction programmes for disabled employees, andretention and career building for disabled staff. Carl Gilleard, chief executive of AGR, said: “It is important graduaterecruiters make sure recruitment processes are inclusive. “Most recruiters would like to feel that their procedures are just, buta lack of knowledge about particular issues can lead to unintentionaldiscrimination. “This new briefing paper is designed to keep them up to date whilehighlighting the positive reasons for recruiting disabled people.” Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article AGR offers advice on discriminationOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

HR holds the solution for women to reach potential

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Surprise, surprise, another report shows that women are failing to achievetheir potential because of management attitudes and unfavourable workpractices. The research by Catalyst and Conference Board (News, page 1) findsthat male executives are unconsciously stereotyping the genders. The solutions lie with HR. First, HR must take a lead in tackling the longhours culture. This is not just an issue for women, but talented staff of bothgenders, whether or not they have a family. Organisations that encourage andreward long-hours working are discouraging the many talented individuals whowant to have a life as well as a job. The other key responsibility for HR is to develop a robust and credibleperformance management process, as Helena Feltham, Marks & Spencer’s HRdirector points out. This is how you ensure an objective approach to successionplanning and career development and maximise the number of people of bothgenders who can achieve their potential. It’s not about equality – it’s aboutorganisational effectiveness. Chicken outfits not always a good idea In an effort to instill passion and fun into work, and boost the motivationand performance of staff, companies have introduced all sorts of wacky ideas.Dressing up as a chicken or having an ‘Elvis Day’ has probably helped achievethese goals in particular companies. The problem is that corporate efforts toget people to be more ‘creative’ or ‘individual’ can sometimes result inhalf-baked social engineering. Often the most talented individuals tend not to respond to forced spontaneityand jolly japes organised from the top. As our feature on TV’s Inspector Morsesuggests, your next brilliant business innovation is as likely to come from thegrumbling trouble-maker in the corner as from the bright-eyed and bushy-tailedstar from the top business school. By Noel O’Reilly HR holds the solution for women to reach potentialOn 18 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

OHP heal thyself

first_imgOHP heal thyselfOn 1 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. OH practitioners may be so involved in helping others they neglectthemselves and end up burnt out and exhausted. Tips on identifying the causes,spotting the symptoms and dealing with the problem are offered, by NerinaRamlakhan Working in occupational health is challenging and can even be frustrating attimes. This is particularly true in organisations that are struggling to learnhow to function effectively in an increasingly turbulent and unstructuredworld. As an organisational consultant and physiologist, I have spent a number ofyears working at various levels within organisations, often liaising closelywith OH departments. I have witnessed a shift in the role of occupationalhealth and an impact on the health of the OH practitioner if the turbulence isnot navigated with care and attention to self. The aim of this article is toraise awareness of what can cause burn-out and to highlight those strategiesthat can help to prevent it. What is burn-out? Since Freudenberger’s1 pioneering work on burn-out among the caringprofessions, there has been an explosion of interest in, and research about,this particular syndrome. Burn-out has been described as “to fail, wearout, or become exhausted by reason of excessive demands on energy, strength, orresources”. Maslach2 defined it as: “The loss of concern for thepeople with whom one is working … (including) physical exhaustion … (and)characterised by an emotional exhaustion in which the professional no longerhas any positive feelings, sympathy or respect for clients or patients”. The symptoms of burn-out are as varied as the sufferers. Some people becomeirrationally angry. Some resort to blaming any annoyance, large or small, onexternal factors. Some become quiet, introverted and isolated, which canindicate the start of a serious depression. Others manifest burn-out by under-or over-eating or abusing alcohol or other mood-altering substances. Stillothers may experience a range of physical symptoms, including chronic illness,high blood pressure and frequent headaches. In my experience of working with OHPs who have come close to burning out orare actually burnt out, they may become obsessive workaholics – working longerand less productive hours to get the job done. Time management becomes reactiveand firefighting the norm at the expense of creative and visionary work. Figuring out if you are stressed and on the verge of burn-out is notdifficult if you take the time to step back and evaluate your situation (seebox). The more difficult issue is often related to teasing apart the variouscauses of burn-out and then trying to manage those that are controllable. The work environment The work environment has undergone profound changes in the past 30 years orso, driven largely by information technology and global competitive demands. Inparallel, the image, perception and role of occupational health has changed,and the terrorist events of 11 September served as a further catalyst forraising issues about safety and wellness. Clients’ needs have also changed and this has inevitably had a knock-oneffect on the role of occupational health and its practitioners. Says OHconsultant, Carol Cholerton: “OH has shifted from being a nice-to-havebenefit, to having to justify its existence to the business in very hard-nosedterms.” This inevitably places additional responsibilities on OH practitioners toacquire and develop marketing skills that will enable them to be heard bymanagement. In other words they need to be able to speak the language ofbusiness. For many OH practitioners, frustrations arise when they feel they arenot being heard. Are you susceptible? Personality and burn-out Freudenberger1 identified three personality types in the caring professionsas being sensitive to burn-out: – the dedicated and committed personality type – the personality type that is overcommitted and whose private life isunsatisfactory – the authoritarian personality and/or patronising personality type. No matter what the personality type, when external demands continue toincrease, self-imposed demands can create even more pressure, and compoundingthis may be the insidious ego stroking involved in working harder. Althoughanyone can experience excessive stress, in my experience of working with OHdepartments, many practitioners do possess certain traits, which may bereinforced in their training, that make them more susceptible to burn-out; theyare conscientious and committed and much of their personal identity may be tiedup with their professional identity. Some people report that it is tough out there and getting tougher. However,some people and some organisations are nonetheless thriving. Darwin’s idea isthat it is the fittest that shall survive, but he did not mean strongest –which is the usual misapprehension. He meant those organisms that are mostadaptable to changing conditions. The following toolkit contains what I thinkcan help in these turbulent times. Many of these are things we all know andrecommend to our clients or patients but often neglect to follow ourselves. So,a little reminder. The lifeskills toolkit Understand your energy levels and manage them effectively: balance energyrecovery and expenditure. – Manage food stress – start the day with breakfast and then eat little andoften throughout the day, particularly if you are going to be working longhours. Keep healthy snacks (nuts, fruit, bagels) with you and avoid going forquick fixes such as caffeine or sweets. Try to drink at least one litre ofwater a day. – Create a healthy balance between activity and rest – research inchronobiology suggests that we should take breaks every 60 to 90 minutes inorder to rejuvenate and replenish mental/physical energy. Take a break away fromyour desk whenever possible, find a flight of stairs and walk up and down a fewtimes, go for a walk around the block, change mental channels for five to 10minutes. If you cannot get away from your office, do some stretches at yourdesk to release neck and shoulder tension, eye exercises to release tension, orbreathing exercises to lift your energy. – Stay fit for the job – we have evolved as an active species and as such weneed physical activity to keep stress in balance. Try to engage in some form ofaerobic activity at least three times a week. – Create healthy boundaries in your life – do you take a lunch break (even20 minutes is enough to replenish your energy)? What time do you leave work? Doyou take work home, and if so, do you do it? Do you talk about work /thinkabout it constantly when you go home? Can you engage in something positive thatwill help you to switch off? If you are going to talk about work, put a timelimit on it and do not allow it to ambush your whole evening. – Optimise sleep – this means keeping work out of your bedroom, allowingyourself time to wind down in the evenings (even if this means going to bedlater), minimising caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants and using relaxingessential oils such as lavender in your bath or on your pillow. Try to let goof anxieties about how much or how little sleep you should be getting as thisjust compounds insomnia. If you wake up at night and cannot get back to sleep,try getting up and writing about what may be bothering you. If you have atendency to wake up with your ‘to do’ list going round and round in your head,try writing lists before you leave work. The emotional toolkit In the wake of the tragic events of 11 September, I have become more awareof the way in which the current world conditions and emotional climate canimpact upon individuals. Increasingly, we need to develop and hone our sense ofemotional balance. This means becoming aware of when we are carrying aroundnegative emotions and losing balance. – Awareness – get into the habit of regularly doing an emotional check,particularly if you have just been ‘counselling’ a client. Are you holding anytension in your body? Can you release it by stretching or using breathingtechniques? Use your journey home (even if standing on a packed commuter train)to do an emotional check and relax your body. The key to doing this is bybreathing slowly and deeply from your diaphragm and bringing your mind intopresent focus. – Keep a journal – avoid bottling things up. Getting your feelings out on topaper can be an effective way of letting off steam and making sense of things. – Support – one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself andothers is to form a support network with other OHPs. This should not amount toa group of people sitting around complaining, but a forum for sharing problemsand seeking solutions. Talk to friends and family and be selective about whowill give you a genuine listening ear and help you to find constructivesolutions. – Join a yoga or pilates class – breathing techniques are very effective forreleasing negative emotions such as anger and fear as they arise. – Honesty – this is about truly acknowledging how you feel about asituation. Often, when we become emotionally overwhelmed by a situation orproblem our knee-jerk response is to run away from confronting it by engagingin manic ‘hyper-productivity’. We may be keeping ourselves busy but notactually getting much done and the mind is continuously running by itself withno guidance or direction. The key is to stop, clear space to focus mentally anddeal with your feelings constructively, even if it means having a good cry. The marketing toolkit Marketing is important for the OHP who is frustrated by an unresponsiveorganisation. This is about what the client wants, not what the OHP wants. If no-one is listening, why? Are you listening to the client? Are you givingthem solutions that can be used? This is not about lack of vision or ethics, or even pandering to clients.This is about listening to clients, becoming aware of their problems and thenconsidering how this relates to your business. As one OHP put it: “It’sabout thinking out of the OH box into the business they are operating in.”Find your supporters The dreaded word ‘networking’. Who is on your side? Who will listen to, andsupport you? Take every opportunity to liaise with your clients and get to knowthe business. Speak the right language Communicate in such a way that will achieve buy-in. Can you communicate effectivelyin meetings? Can you chair meetings? Can you use the language that the businesscan relate to? OH professionals increasingly need to enable themselves and empower othersto survive these turbulent, unpredictable conditions and transform them into opportunitiesfor survival, if not growth. This means being totally committed to self-careand achieving balance – whether in the clinic or the boardroom. Highperformance depends as much on how much you renew and recover energy as on howyou expend it. When people feel strong and resilient – physically, mentally,emotionally, and spiritually – they perform better, with more passion, forlonger. They win, their families win, and the organisations that employ themwin. References 1. Freudenberger HJ (1975) The staff burn-out syndrome in alternativeinstitutions. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 12(1):35-45. 2. Maslach C (1976) Burned-out. Human Behaviour, 5(9):16-22 Nerina Ramlakhan, PhD is an organisational consultant and physiologist. Sheruns a company called Equilibrium Solutions. Assess your risk for burn-outThere are two types of stress – eustress and distress. Eustress, or positivestress, occurs when you control your stress effectively. Distress, or negativestress, occurs when stress controls you. The following is a simple test tohelp you to assess your predisposition to distress in your life. The morequestions with a ‘yes’ response, the greater your risk for burn-out.– Are you highly achievement-oriented?– Do you tend to withdraw from offers of support?– Do you avoid discussing problems with others?– Do you have difficulty delegating responsibilities to others,including patients or clients?– Do you prefer to work alone?– Do you externalise blame?– Are your relationships asymetrical; ie are you always giving?– Is your personal identity bound up with your work role orprofessional identity?– Do you have a difficult time saying no?– Is there a lack of opportunity for positive feedback outsideof your professional or work role?– Do you live by the laws ‘don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel’?Case studyAnna is a good example of a dedicated and committed OHP. She strives to workharder to meet the increasing demands made on her. She feels unable toquestion, nor effectively protest the right of clients or management to makesuch escalating demands. She is a nurse of deep conviction and cannot say nobecause of a basic belief system that the needs of others are worthwhile, whilehers are not. When her efforts meet with less and less success, she works even harder.Despite her decreasing cost-effectiveness, she continues to believe that withlonger hours and greater intensity she can make a genuine difference to theorganisation she is working for. Breaking the cycle of burn-out came about when Anna was transferred to adifferent team with an experienced and observant OH manager. Her manager, awareof the dangers of Anna working from a deficit position (I’m not good enough),soon intervened and worked with Anna on establishing some healthy boundaries –a more balanced ratio of client-contact time to administrative time, healthierworking hours and breaks during the day, a holiday, and a communication skillscourse. Anna was willing to contract for these changes with her manager inorder to break the cycle. 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Council turns to Hollywood for themed training events

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. A Welsh council has turned to the movies to draw out Oscar-winningperformances out of its managers and improve public services. Last week, Personnel Today featured Rhondda Cynon Taf council on the frontpage after it came under fire from local politicians for sending more than 200senior managers on a Star Trek-themed training day, costing £5,000. But county borough HR officer, Tony Wilkins, defended the programme, sayingfun has been a key factor in training managers to create a shared corporatevision, which has helped to pull the council back from the brink of bankruptcy.Wilkins said the organisation had been “a council in crisis” fouryears ago, when it was created from the amalgamation of three borough councilsand half a county council. The themed training days form part of the council’s quarterly professionaldevelopment days – which bring the entire senior management team together – andprovide them with a mixture of classroom learning and experiential training. Wilkins said the training days give senior management an opportunity tocreate a forum for ideas that could be shared across departments, and in turncreate a shared identity and vision for the council. The ‘Starship Endeavour’ staff training day was the latest in a line of‘blockbuster’ development programmes, which have included ‘Songs from theMovies’, and Lord of the Rings events. The Star Trek training programme included such events as ‘If we are to leavethe Delta Quadrant safely, Katherine, we must plot a careful course throughBorg Space’ – training about the importance of having good financial andperformance management processes. Managers have responded favourably to the new approach with 97 per centrating the themed events as good or very good in terms of relevance to theirjobs, compared with just 59 per cent in July 2002 under the old trainingregime. Wilkins believes the management training has improved leadership across thecouncil and has also helped the participants to engage with the business. “We are taking away painful days stuck in a room and replacing themwith an atmosphere where people get stuck in and talk,” he said. “The light-hearted approach is incidental to the content, doesn’t costany more and enables managers to be creative and still focus on what isimportant,” he added. The council’s innovative approach to training is reaping rewards. This year,it was praised by the Welsh Assembly for the progress it has made in improvingservices. By Michael Millar Previous Article Next Article Council turns to Hollywood for themed training eventsOn 23 Sep 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Learning for life: WRULD

first_img Previous Article Next Article Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are theprocesses by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve theirpractice. There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-datewith what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifyingwhat you have learned is not always easy. These questions are designed to help you to identify what you have learnedfrom studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you canapply to practice, what you did not understand and what you need to explorefurther. 1. How was the state of work-related upper limb disorders (WRULD) inpodiatrists identified? a) Through focus groups b) By questionnaire c) By Mori poll d) Through medical notes 2. WRULD may be caused by a) Stress b) Trauma c) Repetitive tasks d) Arthritis 3. How many podiatrists were piloted the questionnaire? a) 15 b) 12 c) 10 d) 8 4. The sample size for the survey was a) Small b) Medium c) Large d) Extra large 5. What question was added to the questionnaire? a) Average length of breaks b) How many patients podiatrists see per day c) What other work do you do? d) Do you have a family? 6. What question was omitted from the questionnaire? a) Age range b) Hours worked? c) What, if any, hobbies podiatrists have? d) Average length of time spent gripping per day? 7. Who, besides OH, could help to improve podiatrists working practices a) Managers, physiotherapists, doctors b) Managers, physiotherapists, health and safety c) Health and safety, physiotherapists, doctors d) Managers, physiotherapists, health and safety 8. What does NOT need to be considered with regard to the instrumentsused? a) Cost b) Size c) Pressure d) Sharpness 9. What ergonomic factors should be considered for podiatrists? a) Work space, position of couch and chair b) Work space, adjustable couch and chair c) Height of couch and chair d) Patient’s position 10. What helps to stop callus formation? a) Correct shoe fitting b) Regular care of the feet c) Debridement d) All of the aboveFeedback1) b – Although with small groups, a focus groupapproach may help supply quite a bit of information too. Refresh your knowledgeof the advantages and disadvantages of using questionnaires. 2) c – Allthree other answers may contribute to WRULD, of course. 3) d 4) a 5) b –This shows the value of piloting a questionnaire. 6) c – This shows thateven with piloting you can still miss vital questions. Discuss the use ofquestionnaires with your colleagues and find out what people find good and badabout them. 7) d  – I would liketo add occupational therapists here because they could work with patients tohelp prevent foot problems by supporting patients so they are able to care fortheir own feet. Is there also a role here for practice nurses, health visitorsetc. on health education? Therefore, should we be working with other members ofthe primary care team? 8) a – Cost is important, of course, but the price willnot necessarily prevent WRULD. 9) b – Are there other members of thehealthcare professions that need their workplaces looked at from an ergonomicperspective? 10) d –  Again, isthis where OH can work with others on health education on care of the feet.Consider what you can do. How can you help educate people to prevent callusformation and develop healthy feet for later life? Learning for life: WRULDOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR developing into strategic player in the US

first_imgHR developing into strategic player in the USOn 3 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today The US HR profession is maturing into a strategic organisational role byaligning itself with business aims, according to a new study. A report by the US-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),designed to provide an occupational snapshot of HR as its practitioners view ittoday, shows that HR’s business value in the US is increasing. However, respondents said the perception is that HR is not held in highesteem by many in their organisations, and that the lack of corporate HRstrategy, budget and top-down implementation of people policies, are the mostchallenging obstacles faced by HR departments in the US. Susan Meisinger, president and chief executive of SHRM, said the businessvalue HR professionals contribute to their organisations is growing as morebusiness leaders recognise the power of effective people management. “HR professionals are capable of leveraging human capital,strengthening organisations and improving the bottom line,” she said. “The voice of the HR professional is an important one.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Nationwide HR chief says honesty is best way to calm staff credit crunch fears

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Nationwide HR chief says honesty is best way to calm staff credit crunch fearsBy Guy Logan on 24 Oct 2008 in Personnel Today The HR chief at the world’s biggest building society has urged HR departments to be upfront with staff about the impact of the economic crisis on their organisation.John Wrighthouse, HR director at Nationwide, said HR departments should go beyond providing obligatory trading information during the credit crunch.“A confident organisation engages its employees and helps them understand the consequences of the economy and the impact on their business, but just giving information is not where their responsibility stops,” Wrighthouse told Personnel Today. “The responsibility means providing meaning to that information, as well as options.”Nationwide is one of eight lending organisations that signed up to support the government bail-out plan for the UK’s struggling banks. Wrighthouse said that it was up to HR to take the lead on informing employees about the consequences of such activities.“The key skill in these times is being able to navigate ambiguity and create meaning,” he said. “These issues rarely present themselves on a plate in digestible, bite-sized pieces, but the prize goes to the one who is able to create a clear vision from the disparate pieces.”Stephen Sidebottom, head of industry association CityHR, said businesses would only survive the economic downturn if they were open with employees.“Success will come down to authenticity and organisational honesty, and HR as a function has to lead the way as being straightforward and honest,” he told Personnel Today. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more