This week’s business round up

first_imgThis week’s business round upOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today 30,000 jobsto be lost?Citycommentators are forecasting up to 30,000 job cuts and more than 700 branchclosures if a £20bn Lloyds TSB bid for Abbey National is successful inpreventing a union with the Bank of Scotland. Lloyds TSB advisers are reportedto have approached Abbey about a possible deal that could save as much as £600ma year, but eradicate 30,000 jobs. Lloyds TSB refused to comment. Related posts:No related photos. Execs cause concern Two seniorexecutives walked out of the Dutch-owned former Barings Bank last week. Thehasty departure of chairman and chief executive officer of ING Barings DavidRobins and deputy chief executive Malcolm Le May, has the company’s 2,000traders, analysts and investment bankers concerned. ING has yet to confirm howmany jobs will go in the City when it announces the outcome of its strategicreview early next year. CEOs go in board coupUp to 8,000jobs could be cut in the steel industry after a boardroom coup at Corus,formerly British Steel, which forced two of its chief executives to leave lastweek. The company, which merged with the Dutch steel group Hoogovens last year,is now expected to close one of its main plants. These potential cuts followthe loss of 5,000 jobs announced last summer.center_img Previous Article Next Article Web firm axes 45 staffUp to 45staff will lose their jobs with e-business solutions company Nettec by the endof the year. According to the firm, regrettable deferrals, delays andcancellations on a small number of projects, together with a downturn inInternet advertising business, meant jobs had to be cut. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Vodafone training staff for a WAP future

first_imgVodafone training staff for a WAP futureOn 13 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. This week’s training news…Vodafone hasjoined forces with Knowledge Pool, the IT skills training company, to developWAP technology courses. The initial course will be made available to Vodafone’scorporate customers, who will also be able to attend training sessions on usingWAP technologies for training. The courses will run throughout 2001. New vocational GCSEs willneed employer inputNew plans for vocational GCSEsannounced by Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett last week needemployer involvement, says NTO chief executive Andy Powell. Although supportiveof the qualifications, Powell criticised the plans. He commented, “It’sregrettable that plans announced do not spell out clearly how employmentsectors will be involved in ensuring the vocational GCSEs meet real economic needs.” acts to solve skills crisisThe European Centre for theDevelopment of Vocational Training has launched a new on-line survey, What isthe extent of e-learning in Europe? The survey aims to collect statisticalinformation about how e-learning is growing across Europe. In particular, thesurvey will look at the quantity of e-learning being developed, investment inhardware and the proportion of trainers currently using electronic teaching aids. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

EU to force British employers to inform and consult on jobs

first_imgFallout from the M&S debacle has led the EU to take a tougher line onthe adoption of domestic works councils. The European directive would force UKcompanies to inform and consult workers on all decisions that could affect therunning of the company. M&S’ announcement that it is closing all its European stores, with aloss in France of 1,700 jobs caused a furore when it emerged that it had failedto consult with its French staff. The company has since been forced to suspendits closure plans in France until it has completed a full consultation andinformation process with its French workers. But the controversy has led to condemnation from the EU and the insistence,by European commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou that, “Such behaviour hardlyreflects well on the reputation of the company itself in the eyes of theconsumers. That is why we are very much looking forward to the rapid adoptionof the Commission proposal guaranteeing proper worker information andconsultation.” Unlike the current European Works Directive, which only applies to companieswith more than 1,000 staff, as it stands, the Domestic Works Council directivewould apply to any employer with 50 or more workers. The draft proposal wasmade last November, but was not passed because of objections from a minority ofmember states. Negotiations are still ongoing as to the size of the companiesaffected, the devolved role of collective negotiation and the details of therules on confidentiality. Says Diane Sinclair, adviser on employment relations at the CIPD,”Everything will depend on the final text. The European Works Council and theproposed national-level directive are new to the UK. We have had a tradition ofvoluntary consultation in this country and the directive would represent a newstyle of industrial relations.” Comments are closed. EU to force British employers to inform and consult on jobsOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

CRE calls for public sector race scrutiny

first_imgCRE calls for public sector race scrutinyOn 24 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. The Commission for Racial Equality has called on inspection bodies toscrutinise the public sector’s adherence to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act.It calls for close inspection of racial equality in service delivery andemployment in its annual report. The CRE welcomes the act, which places a duty on public bodies to monitorand promote racial equality, claiming it has become a major consideration forthe public sector and government. There has been progress, particularly inreporting and recording incidents. CRE chairman Gurbux Singh said the troubles in Bradford and other citiesshould not divert attention from the opportunities the act has brought. Last week, Personnel Today reported on Unison research that suggested only11 per cent of public sector employers have set targets to increase theproportion of staff from ethnic minorities. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR fails to drive forward corporate responsibility

first_imgHR fails to drive forward corporate responsibilityOn 11 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Only one in five companies have a clearly defined corporate socialresponsibility policy, according to a major survey of HR professionals. The survey, which collected the views of nearly 400 senior HR professionalsfrom UK firms, reveals that over half the companies questioned had no CSRpolicy at all. The research was conducted by and consultants CorporateRe:Action, and shows that many firms are involved in occasional charitablegiving rather than a co-ordinated CSR approach. Corporate Re:Action director Nick Corble suggests that HR departments shouldbe looking to take the lead in this area, which has traditionally been seen asthe responsibility of senior management, and warns that legislation could forceaction. He said, “HR should grasp the nettle and make it a strategic goal. Ithink CSR is going to become an absolutely fundamental part of company law overthe next few years and we would advise businesses to get good at it before theyare forced to.” Corble believes most companies know they should contribute to the widercommunity, but have not formalised a way to do it. He added, “There’s a sort of ‘chairman’s favourite charity’ syndromethat seems more prevalent than firm strategic policy.” Leo Martin, commercial director of Good Corporation, which was launched thisyear to create a “global badge of responsibility”, agrees that CSR isshrouded in confusion and that HR should take a more active role. “HR is in a great position to take a lead in this because a big chunkof it relates to people inside the company. “HR directors are on the front line, so it’s natural that they beinvolved,” he added. Ross Wigham Comments are closed. last_img read more

Cup may kick off rise in sick leave

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Cup may kick off rise in sick leaveOn 16 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today England’s dramatic World Cup qualification could mean football-mad staffwill give work the yellow card next summer. Employment law specialist Simon Bellm believes most firms will see a rise inabsenteeism when the month-long tournament kicks off in June and advises HRprofessionals to be flexible. He said, “It’s difficult to take disciplinary action for one-offinstances of absence. It might be better to come to an agreement to vary hourstemporarily.” Nick Hawley, head of HR at Japanese-owned engineering company Denso Marston,suggests employers allow TVs in canteens and radios at workstations during thecompetition. Related posts:No related photos.last_img

How many hours should I work?

first_img Comments are closed. Although my company talks a good talk on work-life balance, there is clearlyan unspoken view by the board that the ‘serious’ managers are those that work50 or 60 hours a week. Personally I am quite happy to work long hours, but asan HR manager I feel I should set a good example. Any advice? Claire Coldwell, consultant, Chiumento As an HR manager, your role is to ensure the company operates legally andthat appropriate HR policies are devised and used. Most people who are enthused about their work are happy to work long hours,but no-one likes to be taken for granted, or see people being promoted simplyfor working unreasonable hours. In the long term, morale takes a dive andpeople leave. What is important is to be seen to work effectively. No-one is fooled byunproductive people staying late into the evening, and the board needs to bemade aware of that. Is the policy appropriate if it is being ignored at senior level?Investigate the reasons for this happening – are people unable to delegate? Arepeople inadequately skilled? Does the nature of your business mean that longhours are frequently necessary? Whether it is a training, recruitment orcultural issue, you, as HR manager, are accountable. It is not enough to simply provide a good example – your role is tochallenge if policy is not working in practice. Suzanne Taylor, HR consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes Your company is certainly not alone in its attitude to long hours, despitehaving the best intentions to encourage its employees to take a balancedapproach. As a recent article in Personnel Today pointed out, the UK tops thelist of the longest working hours in Europe. Working time legislation has sofar failed to significantly change attitudes to the long-hours culture and inreality this won’t happen until examples are set at the most senior levels ofbusiness. Having said this, there are times when it can be healthier to work longhours – avoiding the stress caused if tasks are rushed through or notcompleted. There are many who may be labelled as ‘workaholics’ but who do findimmense satisfaction from a long day’s work. You cannot take the weight of responsibility for your own company’s approachto long hours, and it is not your responsibility to make others change the paceof their work or decide whether or not they are happy to stay late. However, it is sensible and wise to set a good example. Perhaps you couldmake a point by leaving the office on time at least occasionally, or to take afull hour for lunch once in a while. Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMSConsultancy There seems to be an issue here that goes deeper than just work-lifebalance. Your comments on what the board says and what they expect demonstratesa lack of clear direction from a people management viewpoint. Your role is toinfluence good people management policies, not support poor working practices. Working 50 to 60 hours per week has been shown to cause stress. Also, thereis research that clearly demonstrates long hours result in a drop inperformance. This message needs to be put across to the board. Look forevidence such as turnover figures, higher than average sickness and qualityissues to make your point. It might be interesting to question your own values– why are you happy to work such long hours? Previous Article Next Article How many hours should I work?On 23 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

System keeps Interfleet on right lines

first_img Previous Article Next Article e-HR in action: How an expanding engineering and consulting group keeps ontop of its disparate HR needsSeven years ago, Interfleet was a UK traction and rolling-stock business,created from the engineering arm of British Rail. Today, it operates as aninternational rail infrastructure and business strategy consultancy. With clients all over the world, it now has six offices across threecontinents including Derby and London in the UK, Philadelphia in the US andSydney and Brisbane in Australia. It recently expanded its European operationwith the acquisition of TrainTech Engineering AB in Sweden. Although its workforce numbers less than 500, with HR data spread across 20disparate systems, many of them manual (including a paper-based leave system),Interfleet was a classic candidate for an enterprise-wide HR system. Added tothis, the HR department already had its work cut out with the typical globaland cultural issues that arise following a merger. After looking at a number of providers it decided on MidlandHR’s Trent HRmanagement and payroll system. “It is important that the HR department concentrates on the businessand related cultural issues that taking on a new business creates, rather thanworrying about collating leave sheets,” says Mark Nosworthy, MidlandHR’sproject assistant for the Trent system at Interfleet. “The company willnow be able to do this because of the reduction in administration as a resultof employee self-service. This will enable HR to be more strategic.” Interfleet currently has the people, development, absence, organisation,recruitment and training modules in use in the UK and, last October, theorganisation went live with self-service HR in Australia. It hopes to go livein Sweden by the end of the year. The organisation admits, however, that thepaperless approach has received a mixed reaction in some areas. “A number of the more mature employees are used to filling inpaper-based leave sheets so the transition to the new system may be more of achallenge to them,” says Nosworthy. But he emphasises that the ease-of-useof the system means that little training was needed. “We arranged 30-45minute awareness sessions for managers to explain the technology,” hesays. Interfleet HR assistant, Louise Sherwin, who oversees the Trent system on aday-to-day basis, says that while HR can expect a significant reduction inadministration, the overwhelming benefit so far has been the system’s in-builtreporting tools. “We can quickly find out how many holidays are left, forinstance.” She says the system is also helping to drive staff training byletting HR know when essential refresher courses in first-aid and health andsafety are required. The database is also used to download information on to the Interfleet intranetwhich contains contact details, phone numbers, policies and the companyhandbook. Interfleet was an early adopter of the Trent system and Anton Roe, softwaredirector at MidlandHR, says that its progress and use of reporting tools isparticularly pleasing, especially as it is putting the new functionality togood use in a live situation. “Organisations that are forward-thinking are now using the reportingsuites to develop key performance indicators. In one of our recent releaseswe’ve included an analytics module specifically to help with this.” System keeps Interfleet on right linesOn 2 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Mobile working – get smart about smartphone health and wellbeing

first_img We may all be increasingly connected to our smartphones, but delivering phone-based health and wellbeing benefits has to be about much more than just offering a few clever apps, as Katrina Philippou explains.Technology is reshaping our world in innumerable ways, largely for the good. However, when we think about the effects of technology on our health and wellbeing we often dwell on the negatives, and not without reason.Seventy per cent of all internet is now accessed via a mobile phone and as a result the average person now checks their mobile devices 85 times per day. This is cause for concern; there is growing evidence of a link between overuse of smartphones and social media and associated feelings of isolation, depression, stress and distraction.About the authorKatrina Philippou is marketing manager at Personal GroupWhile this is a problem, it is not the whole story. There are many ways in which new technology is being used to improve our health and wellbeing. There are a host of free apps out there; from those providing fitness and nutrition advice to apps like MindShift and Sleepio, which help people cope with anxiety and insomnia.Some forward-looking organisations are using technology to improve occupational health and wellbeing, harnessing cleverly designed apps to allow staff to use their mobile phones to improve their wellbeing and increase organisational productivity.For example, at Personal Group we have developed an innovative employee engagement app called Hapi that puts employees’ benefits – including a whole suite of health and wellbeing benefits – in the palm of their hand, available to access whenever suits them best.Evolution from ‘traditional’ benefitsThe biggest consideration when developing a health and wellbeing programme in the digital age is the evolution of “traditional” benefits. It is crucial that we understand that these programmes are now so much more than just an EAP phoneline.As much as the traditional helpline is very useful, employee assistance has now evolved to include a much broader range of services to help staff when they need it most. Financial, physical and mental wellbeing are now equally important, and a wellbeing programme and a benefits offering should incorporate them all.As well as the traditional EAP helpline, there are so many other ways to engage staff in their wellbeing. Even access to cognitive-based therapies, articles or interaction with a counsellor can all be achieved through a smartphone.One of our clients recently demonstrated this perfectly. ScotRail gave every member of staff a fitness tracker and encouraged them to monitor their steps. Alongside this, they ran competitions throughout the year where staff could win vouchers for fitness devices, equipment or activities, encouraging them to stay healthy.As a result, one member of staff celebrated losing more than two stone. Other organisations have embraced the rise in popularity of fitness devices and used them as a way to increase awareness and participation in their wider wellbeing programme.Combining these initiatives alongside video content, instant access to discounts and advice through a fitness blog, staff are able to see that health and wellbeing programmes have come a long way and they will most certainly want to get on board.Tackling ‘stigma’ of asking for helpOne other massive benefit of offering health and wellbeing benefits through mobile devices is that organisations are able to talk to their staff in the way that they actually want to be communicated with.The stigma associated with asking for help, not knowing a programme exists and uncertainty over how confidential usage is, were all in the top four reasons for not using an EAP and wellbeing programme. Promoting your wellbeing resources via mobile, allowing access whenever and wherever suits your employees, can boost sign ups and drive greater usage.Another bonus of using technology to deliver and communicate your wellbeing is that the business can dig into the data and understand not only what benefits are working, but which areas staff need help with in order to be healthier and happier at work.Most benefit platforms should have a management information system with insights into usage, behaviour and adoption, and if you don’t have one, you are missing a trick.Our Hapi hub, for example, allows you to access insight on what areas of the platform are being used most and from which devices. This can drive creation of bespoke content and promotions to shine a light on a certain benefit staff aren’t using and create content that will be received the best.An example would be, say, all of your staff access wellbeing content after 7pm but aren’t staying on the site for very long. You can test if introducing a fitness video series that is optimised for mobile in bite-sized chunks would make staff more or less likely to stick around and explore a bit more.Similarly, this information might reveal interesting insights that staff wouldn’t necessarily share in the staff survey. Say you see a spike in employees reaching out to the EAP in the middle of a massive project. If this is the case, you can react quickly and implement new benefits or promote existing benefits to ensure people get help when they need it most!Convenience in a digital ageLastly, the major benefit of embracing technology in your health and wellbeing programme is arguably the most important: convenience.Some staff may be on their feet, on the road or might not have access to a computer for most of the day, if at all. Instead of sending out a barrage of emails that may or may not be read, why not reach staff where you know they will pay attention?The average person is on their phone for five hours a day and it is likely that if you send a push notification to employees on a device they are using external to the workplace, they may be more likely to consume the content and engage with it.This make benefits available to them at home, out of the office or on the road. If they are stressed at work, chances are they do not have the time to log on to the benefits platform and may worry about being caught seeking help.Push notifications reminding staff to take the stairs (it burns so many more calories than taking the lift!), or sending out a reminder that you are having a “make your own smoothie” event will let staff know you are actively looking out for them and their wellbeing is at the heart of what you do.These are only a snapshot of the benefits to embracing technology in your health and wellbeing programme, but it is important to realise that staff aren’t going to get off their mobile phones any time soon.So why not make the most of the time they are spending online and on their apps by offering an employee app that contains all of your wellbeing information in one place, to show staff that you care and that you want them to be happy?ReferencesHow mobile is overtaking desktop for global media consumption, in 5 charts, Digiday UK, June 14, 2016, Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression, Anxiety Risk, Psychiatric News, 17 January 2017, Interesting Mobile App Usage Stats, Adobe Digital Experience blog, 06 June 2016, No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Mobile working – get smart about smartphone health and wellbeingOn 5 Apr 2019 in OH service delivery, Occupational Health, Wellbeing and health promotion, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more