euro watch: Law allows worldwide firms to be one entity

first_imgeuro watch: Law allows worldwide firms to be one entityOn 13 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. After 41 years of discussionand deadlock, the European Company Statute, or Societas Europaea, will finallybe passed. It will be adopted early next year and come into force in 2004. Political agreement was reachedon the regulation to establish a European Company Statute and on the relateddirective concerning worker involvement in European companies just beforeChristmas.The Commission estimates thatthe agreement could reduce costs for businesses in Europe, by up to 30bn euros.The European Company Statutewill give companies operating in more than one member state the option of beingestablished as a single company under community law. They will be able tooperate throughout the EU with one set of rules and a unified management andreporting system rather than all the different national laws of each memberstate where they have subsidiaries. The applicable law will then depend upon inwhich state the company decides to establish. A European Company Statute canbe set up by the creation of:A holding companyor a joint subsidiaryBy the merger of companies located in at least two member statesBy the conversion of an existing company set up under national law.Worker involvement is regulatedunder the directive, which requires negotiations with a body representing allemployees of the companies concerned. If an agreement cannot be reached, thedirective sets out standard principles in an annex. Companies which work underthe statute would be obliged to provide regular reports detailing businessplans, production and sales levels and implications for the workforce,management changes, mergers divestments, potential closures and layoffs. Thesereports would be the subject of regular consultation and information to anemployee representative body.In the case of a Europeancompany created by a merger, the standard principles on worker participationmust be applied when at least 25 per cent of staff had the right to participatebefore the merger.Priorities for the SwedishPresidencyA priority for the new Swedishpresidency, the directive on minimum requirements for worker information andconsultation rights in EU companies, will be on the agenda of the first formalSocial Affairs Council on 6 March.The directive would forcecompanies with 50 or more staff to consult with workers on issues such asredundancies and plant closures. This proposal will apply to national companieswith a threshold of 50 staff in any one member state and those employing20-plus staff in any one member state. Eurostat estimates 52 per cent ofemployees and 2 per cent of enterprises would be covered by the directive.Carrying on the socialobjectivesIn January, an informalministerial meeting entitled Gender Equality and Social Insurance was held inpreparation for the Stockholm Summit on 23-24 March.The focus was “on theposition of equal opportunities between women and men within the currentprocess of cooperative exchange on the modernisation of social protection whichhas been in progress since the EC’s communication of July 1999”.This is part of the scrutiny ofemployment and social policy in order to create a real balance and equality. Itis aimed at assessing proactive EU policy to counterbalance the effects of suchsocial challenges as the demographic time bomb and its implications for theemployment market as well as social policy and pensions; equal treatment andopportunity for all. Questions the presidency isasking ministers include: Should social protectionpromote higher and better quality employment participation among women aimingto enhance their autonomy and security, while taking account of existingincentives and disincentives for women’s labour market participation?Does the current economic andemployment climate, in terms of the development of EU policy processes, presentpositive opportunities for revising tax and benefit structures in order toidentify and eliminate disincentives for women’s participation in the labourmarket?The results should be availablebefore the Swedes hand over the presidency to Belgium in June.Date to note: 17May 2001 –  BrusselsThe European Human ResourcesNetwork meets with European Commission Employment and Competition Directoratesto discuss employment and social implications of merger and acquisition.BySusan Gibas secretary general of the European Human Resource Network, across-sectoral information network for European employers and HR strategistsdealing with issues of employment and the labour market in Europe. Contact [email protected]last_img read more

Senior HR reaps benefits of boom

first_img Comments are closed. A dramatic rise in HR positions has pushed salaries to an all timehigh.  The industry is also confident itwill weather any economic storm. Richard Staines reportsThe demand for senior HR professionals has never been higher than in thepast year as the salaries they can command rise and the number of jobs in thesector increase. Research by Salary Survey Publications shows that HR is a growing area witha third more jobs advertised in the sector over the last 12 months than in theprevious year. Figures reveal that since last year the number of HR director level jobsadvertised increased by 11.2 per cent from 456 in the year to March 2000 to 507in the year to March 2001. Average advertised salaries increased from £61,100 to £69,420, although HRdirectors are often paid much more than this because of their overall benefitspackage and can demand salaries far in excess of those advertised. At HR manager level, the number of jobs advertised increased even moredramatically from 2,801 in the year to March 2000 to 3,870 in the year to March2001 – a rise of 38.2 per cent. Their average advertised salaries jumped to £38,345, an increase of 5.6 percent. AmandaMolyneaux, HR systems and strategy adviser at Liverpool’s John MooresUniversity and the SSP report’s author, says the high numbers of jobs availablecan partly be attributed to top HR directors leaving the profession to retire, creatinga vacuum for younger people to fill. She commented, “I would expect it to level out eventually because thedays when most of the people in the top HR jobs were older are in the past. “The younger people could stay at the top for a long time, meaningthere could be fewer opportunities to move up.” Molyneaux believes this could account for the high staff turnover in theprofession but adds that an increase in the number of available jobs could be afactor. “The fact that there is growth could fuel turnover. There has alsobeen expansion in the recruitment industry, which is another sign ofgrowth.” Recruitment consultant Maureen Convery at HR Personnel Partnership thinksthe rise in HR jobs and pay shows that the HR profession is seen as playing anincreasingly important role. She added, “It is the flavour of the month and the industry has becomevery attractive to young people. They are prepared to accept lower wages atfirst and then work their way up – they are fast tracking through their careersand up the pay scales.” The SSP report’s findings are supported by a recent Development DimensionsInternational survey that indicates a 5 per cent rise in HR staff turnover overthe past year to 19 per cent. JonParsons, HR director at the direct marketing company Brann Worldwide toldPersonnel Today that experienced HR people use their contacts to find the bestjobs and are more likely to move on faster as a result. He said, “Myperception is that HR is splitting into two groups – there are a lot of placeswhere it is seen as fairly functional and is a relatively low level experiencefor people. “People in HR are looking for a good experience. As a whole, HR peopleare pretty well networked and have a good view of where the good employers –and where the not so good ones – are. “But when you are young and coming up through the profession you tendto take whatever opportunity you get.” The SSP report shows that the biggest players in the HR job market areelectronics/IT and finance. These sectors together with the communicationsindustry, also tend to pay above the average. Health service pay levels persist in falling below average for all types ofHR posts. By contrast, the biggest increases in average salary levels over thepast 12 months were in electronics and IT, district councils, communicationsand housing. Reductions in average HR salaries appear to be confined to the relativelysmall defence and security industries. Compensation and benefits managers enjoyed salary increases of 7.3 per cent,with average advertised salaries at £47,118. The number of these jobs increasedfrom 167 in the year to March 2000 to 259 in the year to March 2001 – a rise of55.1 per cent. Salaries for assistant HR managers and senior HR officers increased by only2.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent to £26,134 and £25,985 respectively. Molyneaux is cautious about the impact of the predicted economic downturn inthe UK on continued growth of the HR profession and admits that since the NewYear the HR jobs market has cooled slightly. She said, “Since Februarythere has been a decrease in the number of jobs advertised – whether this is ablip or the start of downturn remains to be seen. But nevertheless HR stilllooks healthy.” Jonathan Clark, client services director for consultancy Interim HumanResource Management says HR people will still be in demand even if the downturnhas a significant impact. “They will still be employable irrespective ofwhether there is a downturn because HR people will still be required to managecompanies as they downsize,” he said. Salary Survey Publications Report available on 01488 72705 Senior HR reaps benefits of boomOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Employment tribunals must follow clear guidelines

first_imgThe EAT finds a tribunal’s decision ‘perverse’ in failing to followestablished guidelines when determining a plaintiff’s employment status.  Plus cases on TUPE, race discrimination andvictimisationDetermining Employment Status Reid v North West Ceilings Unreported April 2001 EAT Reid worked exclusively for NWC on a self-employed basis as a supervisor andshop fitter for around four years. He received no holiday or sick pay and wasresponsible for his own tax and National Insurance. In March 1998 he wasengaged as an employee under a new contract. A short while later he wasdismissed but the tribunal struck out his unfair dismissal claim. It held Reidwas not an employee in the four-year period to March 1998 and accordingly hedid not satisfy the qualifying period of continuous employment. The EAT held the tribunal’s decision was perverse. It had failed to takeinto account well established guidelines and attached too much significance tocertain factors and not enough to others, for instance, tax and NationalInsurance liabilities is a consequence of a decision as to status and notdeterminative of it. Reid’s role as supervisor providing personal services for NWC and workingunder its control showed he was clearly its employee. Moreover, otherindividuals doing a similar job to Reid were considered to be employees andsubject to PAYE during the period 1994 to March 1998. Business Transfers and Constructive Dismissal Rossiter v Pendragon Plc IDS Brief 683 EAT Rossiter’s employment transferred to Pendragon in October 1997 following abusiness transfer to which the Tupe regulations applied. In 1999 he resignedand claimed constructive dismissal after Pendragon unilaterally withdrew ascheme relating to holiday pay and made other changes. He argued that thesechanges were a substantial and detrimental change to his working conditions,which entitled him to resign pursuant to regulation 5(5). The tribunaldismissed the claim and held the changes did not constitute a fundamentalbreach of contract. Rossiter appealed, arguing that the correct way of establishing constructivedismissal in the context of a business transfer was whether there had been asubstantial and detrimental change in working conditions (see the wording ofarticle 4(2) of the Acquired Rights Directive and regulation 5(5)). It was notnecessary to show a fundamental breach of contract pursuant to section 95(1) ofthe Employment Rights Act 1996 and in any event that act had to be construedpurposively to give effect to the directive. The appeal was allowed and the caseremitted back to the tribunal. Recruitment Procedure DiscriminatoryAyub and others v Derby City Council EOR Discrimination Digest 47 Ayub, Rashid and Sharief applied for the post of race equalities adviserwith the council. All were of Pakistani origin as was the head of the unit,Syed. The interview panel, which included Syed, unanimously decided to appointSharief but before informing him they informed deputy council leader Young. Heobjected to the appointment because of flaws in the recruitment procedure andthe lack of an observer at the interview. He insisted the recruitment drive bere-run and that the position be advertised in two Indian newspapers and onePakistani newspaper. Although the previous applicants were re-considered, thesuccessful candidate was an Indian woman. The claims of race discrimination were successful. The tribunal found thatthe procedural flaws during the recruitment process did not justify startingthe process all over again especially as there were also flaws the second timearound. It found that the real reason for re-interviewing was Young’s intentionto ensure “an appropriate” community mix by appointing an Indiancandidate rather than a Pakistani Tribunal not obliged to make a recommendationFasuyi v London Borough of Greenwich IRLB 661 EAT In November 1997 Fasuyi, of West African origin, unsuccessfully applied forpromotion. He brought a claim for race discrimination and victimisation (he hadbrought an unsuccessful race discrimination claim against the council earlierthat year.) The tribunal upheld only the claim of victimisation and awardedFasuyi £7,000. The tribunal declared that it would not make a”recommendation” pursuant to section 56 of the Race Relations Act, torecommend that the council take practicable action to reduce the adverse effectof the discriminatory act because Fasuyi had not sought a recommendation as aremedy. On appeal the EAT held there had been no error of law by the tribunal. Ithad considered the issue of a recommendation (as evidenced by its declaration)but it had concluded there was no practical recommendation that could be made.The tribunal had taken into account the fact that the council had in placeequal opportunities polices and ethnic monitoring and that the adverse effectsof the victimisation were remedied by the award of compensation. Employment tribunals must follow clear guidelinesOn 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Union clashes with Sky over new bonus scheme

first_img Previous Article Next Article Union clashes with Sky over new bonus schemeOn 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Sky’s introduction of a new bonus scheme at its call centres in Scotland hasled to a clash with broadcast union Bectu. Bectu’s officer for Scotland, Paul McManus said the new Sky Achievers Bonus isgeared at top performers at the expense of the majority of the 6,000 workforceat the call centres in Livingston and Dunfermline. McManus claims that many Bectu members will have their take-home pay slashedas a result of the new scheme. “The company says the bonus scheme willreward those who work hardest. However, the experience of the vast majority isthat earnings are being cut. Some staff have reported a 75 per cent drop inadditional earnings which they will clearly find difficult to sustain,”McManus said. But Robert Fraser, a spokesman for Sky, said the new Sky Achievers Bonus wasintroduced after detailed consultation with sales staff at all levels and itrewards the most effective staff more fairly. McManus said sales staff earnings start as low as £10,000 and staff aredependent on additional income from overtime or the bonus scheme. The union is also unhappy about changes to rules on Bank Holiday working,which mean staff can no longer refuse to work. It has also accused Sky ofreducing sick pay. Bectu has pledged to support its members in claims to the tribunals forunlawful deductions from wages, if Sky presses ahead with the cuts. Fraser confirmed Sky had introduced changes to Bank Holiday working, butadded staff are awarded an extra day’s holiday in lieu. He denied there had been any reduction in sick pay, but said there is astructured appeals process in place to address any grievances over the changes.By Quentin Reade Comments are closed. last_img read more

The workplace story

first_img Previous Article Next Article The workplace storyOn 30 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Employersshould be pleased that work is becoming a popular subject for novels and films,despite the workplace often being depicted in a way that is far from reality,writes Stephen OverellThenation’s business people toil away generating wealth for themselves, theirfamilies and society at large, often coping with immense pressure in theprocess. And how are they thanked by writers and film-makers? With contempt.From Shylock to Mr Gradgrind, from The Divine Comedy to American Psycho,business people are invariably depicted in fiction as venal, corrupt, shifty,cold, emotionally-stunted, superficial and unimaginative – destined, almostwithout exception, to make their workers suffer, their partners self-destructand their children miserable. Never mind honourable self-interest, theprofit-motive is usually presented as a disease of the mind, cognate withviolence and despair.Priorto 11 September, oppressive regimes and dictators had pretty well been usurpedby soulless corporations and heartless suits as cinema’s chief villains (WallStreet, Erin Brokovich, Mission Impossible II). When the Washington-based MediaInstitute tracked the portrayal of business people in 200 episodes of 50primetime TV programmes1, it found that more than half of all corporate leaderson television commit crimes ranging from fraud to murder, while 45 per cent ofbusiness activity on TV is portrayed as illegal. EvenHarry Potter books contain a campaign for the freedom of the elves from athinly-veiled boss-figure. And it’s no laughing matter. This 700-year‘duffing-up’ that writers and film-makers have delivered to business peopleundermines public esteem for enterprise.That,at least, is the view of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA)2, solemndefen-der of free market orthodoxy. John Blundell, the institute’s director general,thinks business people and employers should care deeply about this consistentlynegative portrayal because it fosters an intellectual climate: good, brightpeople may be turned off worthy careers in management on the grounds that it isunworthy. “Theidea of a new, improved, kinder, gentler capitalism is utterly alien to them[intellectuals, authors],” Blundell says. “They want to tear it down anddestroy it: the novel or the ‘environment movement’ is simply a means to anend, the outright destruction of business, the total demise of capitalism.”Shouldemployers really take this on board? It is hard to see that this sustainedassault by writers has had much impact. In any case, fiction authors tend tohave limited practical experience of the business world as understood by mostpeople and even less of the anxieties of management. It is the artist’sobligation to despise mercantile values while craving a six-figure contract.Such hypocrisies probably go some way to explaining why a great deal of fictionabout the workplace is so unrealistic. Yetit should be said that while the IEA takes an evangelical stance on theintegrity of the profit-motive that no number of corporate scandals could eversway, it is not alone in its broad argument. DavidGrayson, a well-known campaigner for Business in the Community, believes thepublic image of those who generate wealth is important. “I don’t think thedepiction is fair and I think writers are lazy about it. We still have not gota sense of the moral worth and value of enterprise.” Moralworth? That, I think, is an ambition too far. It is hard to see that the ‘moralworth’ of business people will ever make good dramatic capital; the resultwould be awful. Doomed, too, are attempts by employers to influence creativerepresentations of themselves. Endowing an Oxford chair of literary capitalismor sponsoring a Workplace-Creative Industries Liaison Unit are too open to thecharge of bankrolling propaganda to be viable. Yetthe IEA, in its hopeless wish for customer-focused heroes, is perhaps toodowncast. Anyone who takes an interest in the subject of work – its meaning,the many and diverse functions it has, how it is changing – cannot help beingintrigued by the growth in creative accounts of working life over recent years.Some of these offer, if not comfort exactly, then at least a little variety forcastigated employers.Forexample, one of the results of dot-com mania was to make work as shown on filmsand dramas such as Start-up, Perfect World and Attachments look suddenlydesirable. No longer is it a matter of petty tyranny or soul-sapping boredom,as Kafka or Larkin had it, and instead work looks more like a lifestyleaccessory, a means of attaining the blissful state of perpetual busyness everygo-getter aspires to.Televisionhums with the message that being motivated by one’s work is cool. Infiction, too, there seems to be renewed fascination with the complicated natureof the employment experience. Work may not have the intensity of warfare orlove, but it does have the advantage of being relatively under-scrutinised. BothRachel Cusk (The Temporary) and Serena Mackesy (The Temp) have found materialat the sharp end of the casual labour market. Meanwhile, in Matt Thorne’snovel, Eight Minutes Idle, the modern culture of blending work seamlessly intolife is taken to its logical extreme when the hero decides to move into thecall centre in which he works. Adam Thorpe’s collection of short stories,Shifts, deals entirely with characters ranging from binmen to sawmill managersreflecting on how they have been liberated and enslaved by their jobs.Eventhe modern working environment holds a peculiar passion for some writers. Mostof Michael Bracewell’s novel about office life, Present Tense, is spentdecoding the office – the grey carpet tiles, filing cabinets ‘the colour ofcold veal’, ‘Fat Val’, the line manager (“one of those people who lowerseveryone’s spirit the moment they walk into the room”), and the art of avoidingcolleagues during lunch hour. While the protagonist claims he has always felt‘out of step’ with the workplace, he fears he cannot survive without it. “Worsethan work is not working,” he sighs. Nothinglike the age of job insecurity to help a plot shift along a bit quicker – thatalone should ensure new takes on the nature of work keep coming. We have theromantic novel, the campus novel, the singleton’s tale, so who knows? One day,we may even have… the management novel.References1 Crooks, Conmen and Clowns: Businessmen in TV Entertainment, The MediaInstitute, Washington2 The Representation of Business in English Literature, Readings 53, Institutefor Economic AffairsResearchViewpoint plusReadrelated articles on this topic from XpertHR’s extensive database free. Go to www.xperthr.co.uk/researchviewpointJointhe XpertsXpertHRis a new web-based information service bringing together leading informationproviders: IRS, Butterworths Tolley and Personnel Today. It features a newButterworths Tolley employment law reference manual, a research database andguidance from 13 specialist IRS journals, including IRS Employment Review. Takea free trial by calling 01483 257775 or e-mail: [email protected] Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Seeking direction

first_imgSeeking directionOn 4 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Faced with ever-challenging demands, today’s leaders are increasinglyturning to an occupational prop in the guise of an executive coach. AlisonThomas reports Long gone are the days when the boss cracked his whip and everyone jumped toattention. Status alone no longer commands respect and today’s leaders have toprove their worth. They must lead by example, motivate and inspire, maintaintheir distance yet stay in touch. They need vision and entrepreneurialqualities to anticipate change and keep ahead of the game. It is a tall order, and to help their top people rise to the challenge, moreand more companies are turning to executive coaching. When the Hay Grouprecently conducted a survey of 170 HR professionals from around the globe, morethan half the respondents reported their organisation had introduced coachingin the past 18 months and 88 per cent were planning to broaden its scope.Moreover, 70 per cent believe coaching is more effective than training coursesas a means of changing behaviour and improving the performance of seniorexecutives and high flyers. Myles Downey, director of studies at School of Coaching, agrees with thisview: “The more senior you get, the more unique and personal-specific yourdevelopment issues become,” he says. “Attend-ing a generic programmedoes not really answer that need. You require something tailored andfocused.” He draws a distinction between development and performance and warns againstcoaching that does not relate to performance goals. “It is important tostrike a balance between the inner [your beliefs, aspirations, desires] and theouter [behaviour, results, how you impact in the workplace],” he says. The role of a coach is not to instruct, but to help executives work outtheir own solutions. Life at the top can be lonely and there is often no one toturn to for advice or support. Coaching provides a safe environment, a place toexplore ideas and discuss decisions with a trusted, highly skilled, independentfacilitator. It is not just a cosy tàte-à-tàte, however, and a thorough coach starts byexamining all the factors, external and internal, that may be affectingperformance. This might take the form of a 360-degree feedback or a survey ofthe organisation’s climate. Mary Long, chief executive of InspirationalDevelopment Coaching, goes one step further and witnesses her clients inaction. “Their perception of their impact may be very different fromreality,” she explains, citing the example of a sales director who wasvery proud of his ‘open door’ policy, but failed to notice that no one hadcrossed the threshold. Opinions differ as to how long a coaching programme should last, but thereis general consensus that it should stop if it is creating dependency. Whateverthe specific performance goals, the aim is to foster self-reliance and expandpeople’s capacity to stretch and grow. It is particularly valuable at times of upheaval, such as transition to anew role. Tony Dunk, principal of development business at CDA, points to thecase of managers who, having gained promotion through their operationalbrilliance, feel insecure in their new environment. “Operations are prescriptive and now they have to take a visionaryapproach – an entrepreneurial position. That is where coaching can be useful.It helps them to put their objectives in perspective and think things through –what they already have in their makeup, their skills set, their behaviour andattitude. Techniques tend to get compartmentalised and they often miss thepotential adaptation of something they already have as a resource.” If the stakes are high for the individual, they are even higher for theorganisation, which invests vast sums of money growing or recruiting seniorstaff. “If the support of a coach keeps someone on board for just a coupleof years longer, the savings are massive,” says Mary Long. “For theindividual, it is the fulfilment that counts. Leaders are remarkable people andwhat they want most of all is to make an impact.” According to research from Penna Executive Development Coaching, theyhaven’t got much time in which to do it. The honeymoon period has come down tothree months – and some executives are expected to make their mark even sooner.If they do hit the ground running, the company reaps handsome rewards.According to another piece of research from the Hay Group, between 50 to 70 percent of an organisation’s climate, and hence its effectiveness, can be tracedto the leadership or management style. “Most people have within them a capacity to lead, and will lead intheir unique fashion,” says Downey. “There are two more importantquestions. First, is their predisposition appropriate to the situation? Forexample, a retail environment might require someone charismatic andinspirational, while leadership in a legal practice might have a moreintellectual edge. Second, do they have the will to be a leader? I have seenpeople from relatively uninspiring positions and backgrounds come to therealisation that they have a certain innate power and that there is a way inwhich they can express it. That is very exciting to see.” The impact executive coaching can have on the bottom line was highlighted bya study conducted by MetrixGlobal for an executive coaching programme designedby The Pyramid Resource Group. Its findings, based on 43 participants,concluded that coaching produced a 529 per cent return on investment, rising to788 per cent when financial benefits from retention were taken into account.These are impressive figures, yet some people remain unconvinced, as the HayGroup’s HR survey illustrates. Of those respondents who had encountered resistance, 85 per cent attributedthis to the values of senior managers. While this may reflect a lingeringmisconception that coaching is only for people in trouble, the Hay Group holdsHR professionals responsible too. Only 24 per cent saw a role for coaching when building for growth, whilejust 13 per cent spotted its potential for easing mergers, acquisitions orrestructuring. Moreover, only 46 per cent had personal experience of coaching, which mayexplain why they have failed to convert sceptical managers. As the Hay Groupreport concludes: “If HR is to play a strategic role, HR professionalsneed to become more closely involved in developing those who determinestrategy.” Does your manager need help? 10 tell tale signs…. – You cannot get a date in their diary for months – They cannot remember the last time they met a customer – They do not understand half the jargon in the management report – All their goals are short term – They overmanage their subordinates – They have stopped speaking out at board meetings – They feel liable to be challenged by anyone about anything at any time – They feel overwhelmed with information – You can always predict how they will react – They can’t delegate and have no successor identified Source: Inspirational Development Coaching Case study – UnileverCoaching encourages staff to lead with heads and hearts “I am allowing my emotions to surface more. This makes me morevulnerable, less polished. I am better at taking criticism and acting on it. “It has allowed the real person to shine.” These comments comefrom two Unilever employees who have discovered the joys of coaching. It began in February 2000 when the Anglo-Dutch consumer products companylaunched its Path to Growth initiative, with the aim of raising top line growthfrom 1-2 per cent to 6 per cent. “One of the key elements was to create anenterprise culture,” explains Fergus Balfour, senior vice-president ofleadership development. “That requires not only leaders with the right attributes, but a teamwho behave in such a way as to create a climate in which growth canoccur.” The coaching programme was introduced as part of a broader strategy and thestarting point was an analysis of prevailing behaviours followed by thedevelopment of a leadership growth model consisting of 11 key competencies. External coaches worked one-to-one with around 70 senior managers toestablish sustained leadership development. Outside agents were also used atmiddle management level, together with some internal coaches – the firstmembers of a growing coaching cadre. In some businesses coaching was extendedto junior managers in the form of a two-and-a-half-day intensive programme.”The idea was to help them understand what coaching in leadershipmeans,” says Balfour. “By starting young we hope they will take to itmore readily and adopt it as their natural style.” The ultimate goal of this three-pronged attack is to develop a coachingculture that will extend throughout the organisation. One of the majorchallenges has been to achieve global consistency on quality and methodology,not an easy task. Another has been to persuade managers that their diaries mustbe cleared to make time for coaching others. “I would include myself inthat,” he says. “You have to be there when people need you, but it ishard.” The issue of giving up time has three significant implications. First, itencourages managers to delegate and give others more responsibility. Second, leaders find their people want to share issues or require guidance. This does not imply that they are avoiding making decisions, but they wantthem enriched by the leader’s knowledge and experience. Third, leaders must besupportive. Those who are coached will get into trouble if they are encouraged to takerisks and no one helps them to learn from their mistakes. The culture Unilever is trying to shift is the traditional male-dominated,analytical model. “The most important message we are trying to get acrossis that it is fine to be vulnerable and to put your emotions on thetable,” says Balfour. “Unless you lead with both your head and your heart, you do not inspirepeople. These are key leadership issues and the coaching process is helping usto address them.” Early indications suggest that the strategy is beginning to bite, albeit ona modest scale. It is still early days, however, and Balfour is optimistic thatthey are on the right track. “We are very encouraged to see what can beachieved and know we must go further, faster and harder,” he says.”To do that we need an internal coaching programme.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Public sector is told to increase London weighting

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Public sector is told to increase London weightingOn 9 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Public sector employers should pay London weighting of up to one-third moreif they are to effectively recruit and retain staff, an independent panel hasclaimed. The London Weighting panel has recommended that additional money paid tocompensate public workers for the extra cost of living in the capital should becomparable to the private sector. Public sector staff in inner London should be paid up to 37 per cent morethan those outside, or 33 per cent more if the effect of the City is excluded. The recommendations also say that employees in outer London should receivebetween 11 and 15 per cent more pay, figures that are broadly in line withexisting levels of London Weighting. The panel, set up by the London Assembly, claimed that private and publicworkers should get comparable levels of London Weighting because everyone facesthe same extra costs. Bill Knight, chairman of the panel, said employees and staff should worktogether to agree definitions of inner and outer London. He said the rises would mean substantial cost increases and urged employersand unions to join forces to press for more investment from the Government. www.london.gov.uk Comments are closed. last_img read more

Hammond Suddards Edge HR Manager of the Year Award

first_imgThis award recognises an individual HR manager or directorwho can demonstrate outstanding leadership. Entrants explained the contributionthe HR manager has made both to their own team and to the organisation as awhole. The judge looked for  thedevelopment of an effective HR team, and present evidence of their contributionto the businessCategory judgeMike Haffenden is a director of the Careers Research Forum and a partner insearch and selection company Strategic Dimensions. He also acts as an HRconsultant and has previously held senior HR positions in Avon, Unilever,Rowntree and Hewlett-Packard. C&J ClarkJill Youlds, head of retail HR, Clarks ShoesAbout the company Clarks Shoes is one of the world’s largest casual footwear retailers. In theUK it operates 670 stores and employs more than 10,000 staff The challenge To develop and execute an HR strategy that fully supports the firm’s UKretail strategy and trading plan What the company did – HR team encouraged to form close strategic ties with operations team tohelp implement retail strategy – HR policies given a central role in the company retail strategy – People development made one of Clarks three key strategic goals by seniormanagement – HR function given new roles, competencies and performance indicators – HR performance management process made to dovetail with strategic planningBenefits and achievements – £40.9m operating profit to March 2002 – a 58 per cent increase. In hisglobal report the chief executive acknowledged that people strategy hadsignificantly contributed to this performance – May 2002 employee survey: 91 per cent of employees described themselves assatisfied with their jobs; 82 per cent are motivated – Internal customer survey 2002: 95 per cent agreed that the retail HR teammakes an effective contribution to the retail business; 100 per cent agree thattraining and development is innovative – Survey of HR team 2002: 100 per cent were satisfied with leadership; 94per cent felt strong loyalty towards their team Mike Haffenden says:”C&J Clark has introduced a change managementprogramme based on analysis before action. It is conceptually sound, there isevidence of HR results and of business results which come from the HRresults.” The teamNo. in team 37 in HR team; four in recruitment servicesStaff responsible for 10,000 employees, 50 senior managers and directorsAegon UKGareth Humphreys, group HR managerAbout the company Aegon UK is the subsidiary of the Dutch insurer Aegon NV. It was formed in2000 and employs 4,500 staff The challenge To align centralised terms and conditions, policy and practice at a timewhere Aegon UK has grown to consist of six companies, without damaging staffrelationships or relinquishing authority What the company did – Work-life balance policies introduced such as maternity and paternityrights; introduced ‘Respect and Dignity’ at work policy and absence management – Flexible benefits scheme that includes the opportunity to buy and sellholidays, purchase vouchers for childcare and shopping and low-cost financialadvice – Appraisal system replaced by Human Resource Integrated Approach that usescompetencies as the framework for all resourcing, performance management andstaff development issues – Training strategy given a business focus through blended and e-learning – Occupational health given top priority within the company Benefits and achievements – Successful integration of new businesses with minimal fuss and disruption – Won Flexible Benefits Scheme of the Year 2001 at the Pensions SchemeAwards – Awarded British Safety Council’s highest award (Sword of Honour) – Average staff absence reduced from six days a year in 1998 to four days in2002 – Senior company in group (Scottish Equitable) listed in The Times Top 100best UK companies Mike Haffenden says:”Aegon is an example of personnel management donewell. It is providing a good, positive personnel management service which hasmade a clear and demonstrable improvement to the business with evidence oftangible contribution.” The teamNo. in team 80 Staff responsible for 4,500Costain GroupStephen Hall, group HR directorAbout the company Costain is an international engineering and construction group with morethan 130 years experience. It has been responsible for such large-scaleprojects as the Thames Barrier, the Channel Tunnel and Hong Kong’s new airport The challenge To review the HR function and change it from a ‘tea and rations’ perception,to a business partnering team which forms an essential part of the businessdecision-making process What the company did – Aligned the HR function and the jobs within it to the business strategy – People, best practice and profit made the three key aspects of thebusiness – Bottom up communication rewarded and encouraged – Global employee survey – Succession planning and targeted recruitment of talent – Performance reviews linked to pay Benefits and achievements – Increased staff training and competence – Customer service skills given equal emphasis with technical ability – Turnover projected to increase from £500m to £1bn by 2006 – Programme launched to recruit 400 new staff – Major benchmarking exercise introduced to compare costs and performance withsimilar businesses Mike Haffenden says:”Costain Group has developed a thorough strategicHR initiative that is well thought through and well presented. It is extremelyinteresting with high energy and activity, and provides a significantcontribution to the business.” The teamNo. in team 15Staff responsible for 1,500Hammond Suddards Edge has one of the country’s leadingemployment teams dealing with all aspects of employment law. A department ofmore than 65 dedicated lawyers operate its four UK offices in Manchester,London, Leeds and Birmingham. It also offers clients a pan-European servicethrough offices in Paris, Brussels, Munich, Berlin, Milan, Rome and Turin. Previous Article Next Article Hammond Suddards Edge HR Manager of the Year AwardOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

EOLG plans radical overhaul for national pay bargaining

first_img Previous Article Next Article EOLG plans radical overhaul for national pay bargainingOn 18 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Local government employers want to radically overhaul national paybargaining by including senior managers’ salaries in negotiations for the firsttime. Currently, national pay bargaining only includes pay grades from frontlinestaff to middle managers. Rob Pinkham, deputy executive director at the Employers’ Organisation forLocal Government (EOLG), which negotiates pay on behalf of local authorities,intends to include all management grades below chief officer level in nextyear’s deal. Pinkham said the pay scale has not evolved with the changing shape of thesector. “I am sure we must reform the pay spine next year,” said Pinkham.”It needs expanding upwards. Specialist managers have come in to localgovernment so it must cover more jobs. It needs reform and we must take thisopportunity,” he added. Pinkham also stated that in future deals there would be no bottom loading,which gives larger pay increases to low paid staff to reduce the pay gapbetween them and managers. Instead, he said, there must be a greater commitment to training low-paidfrontline staff to increase their value to authorities and improve retention. “We may have lost the plot on this [bottom loading] in the past,”said Pinkham. “We must improve the path out of these jobs by giving themmore skills so they are more productive and councils can afford to pay themmore.” Speaking at last week’s annual conference of local government HR body Socpoin Brighton, Pinkham said the national pay bargaining structure might be underthreat because “councils are going along at different speeds”. By Paul Nelsonlast_img read more

New fair reward system will cost more than £4m

first_imgIntroducing a new pay and benefits system that ensures equal pay could costEducation and Learning Wales almost £4m over three years. But Steve Martin, chief executive of the organisation, believes it willincrease recruitment and retention of high-quality staff, and createtransparency and openness. Development of the system began in February 2001, and required theevaluation of more than 370 job descriptions. Now there are clearly defined pay scales, with planned incremental steps ineach scale. The system makes sure that staff with acceptable performances step up withintheir scale, while outstanding performers gain additional progression. Martin said developing a harmonised structure was hard work, and performancereviews need to be managed tightly. He told conference delegates that if they want to tackle the gender pay gap,they must be prepared to spend. “It costs, you can’t do it for nothing,” he said. Education and Learning Wales incorporates the National Council for Educationand Training for Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, andemploys around 600 staff. Comments are closed. New fair reward system will cost more than £4mOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more