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Archive for the '2006' Category

HR highlighting bullies in the workplace

Source: Personnel Today – article
Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

HR initiatives are creating greater awareness of bullying in the workplace, according to findings from a survey by Personnel Today’s sister company IRS Employment Review

HR initiatives are creating greater awareness of bullying in the workplace, according to findings from a survey by Personnel Today’s sister publication IRS Employment Review.

Results from the study of 92 organisations show that anti-bullying policies are becoming more commonplace among companies and public sector bodies.

Just seven of the organisations surveyed were found to have no written policy on bullying, and three of these intended to put one in place in the near future. Of the 85 employers with written policies in place, 74 had introduced them over the past five years.

Thirty-seven respondents had standalone ‘bullying’ or ‘dignity at work’ policies, while 42 dealt with bullying in their harassment guidelines, and six firms covered the issue within their equal opportunities policy.

In total, 69 respondents said that one or more bullying incidents had been reported over the past two years, while 535 incidents were reported over the past 12 months.

Thirty-nine organisations said that bullying had had little or no impact on working relationships, turnover, absence, staff morale or commitment.

But 43 said that at least one of the aforementioned aspects of working life had been afected by bullying.

And 26 organisations said bullying had had a major impact on staff absence, while 20 said it had had a significant effect on staff turnover The most common forms of bullying were undermining behaviour (such as work overload or persistent criticism) and verbal abuse.

Culture change needed as prejudice against parents dominates UK workplace

Source: Personnel Today – article
Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Personnel Today highlights that Parent prejudice continues to dominate workplaces up and down the country, according to research launched to mark this Thursday’s ‘Bring Your Children to Work Day’.

A survey by consultancy Accenture of more than 1,300 employees who returned to work after having a child, reveals that one in five feel it has had a negative impact on their career.

Women are still hit the hardest, having three times as many negative experiences as men, the research shows.

While many employers extol the virtues of flexible working, many parents do not feel comfortable coming in late, leaving early or attending school events. Even taking time off when their child is unwell is something that 59% of respondents feel uncomfortable doing.

Parents are united on calling for more support from both government (60%) and employers (58%) to ease the burden of balancing work and family life.

While government plans to extend maternity and paternity leave are welcomed, parents cited a number of factors that would be needed to make this work.

Nearly 60% say there needs to be a commitment from the employer, and more than 40% say there is a need for measures to help returners come back to work and that women ought to be paid the same as men.

Globis People Solutions Founder and Managing Director invited to address the Trinity Leadership Forum

Source: Globis
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2006

Clive Lewis, Founder and Managing Director of Globis People solutions has received an invitation to address The Trinity Leadership Forum. The Trinity Forum is a Global leadership academy that works to cultivate networks of leaders whose integrity and vision will help renew culture and promote human freedom and flourishing. Clive will speak on the topic of emerging leaders and will address how leaders can help resolve conflict by listening to how others perceive them and being aware of their own vulnerabilities, miscommunications and conflict styles. Clive believes that leaders derive their mandate less from their titles than from the relationships they develop with employees.

UK plc must invest more in diversity

Source: Personnel Today – article
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2006

Only 36 per cent of firms have specialised diversity or equal opportunities function

UK organisations are still not putting enough energy, resources or money into diversity, according to new CIPD research.

Only 30 per cent of organisations have a special budget for diversity and only 36 per cent have a specialised diversity or equal opportunities function, says the report, Diversity in Business: How Much Progress Have Employers Made?

“This raises questions about how much energy organisations are putting into it,” Dianah Worman, CIPD adviser, diversity, told PM. “Only a small number invest resources in terms of a budget.”

Although 93 per cent of organisations have a diversity policy, the research suggests that it is only when organisations recognise and communicate the value that diversity can add to business that they prioritise it and get senior management support to help progress it.

“You’ve got to have top-team commitment to get it to take off,” said Worman. More than half of the professionals involved in diversity management (53 per cent) are not contracted to work on diversity, but do it anyway.

Companies are also beginning to realise the business case for diversity, with 64 per cent saying the ability to “recruit and retain top talent” was a key driver.

“But work still needs to be done,” Worman said. “The emphasis needs to be on more education and understanding.”

The survey, of 285 professionals, also reveals that disability is the most popular issue covered in diversity policies, yet 40 per cent still fail to include it, leaving firms open to potential legal claims.

Cultural clashes cause expats’ to fail

Source: Personnel Today – article
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2006

Different management styles to blame for most of unsuccessful assignments abroad.

Cultural differences are the most common reason that expatriate managers and executives fail in their assignments.

Forty per cent of senior staff sent to work abroad fail, according to a survey by consultancy Personnel Decisions International (PDI). And 85 per cent of these failures are down to variations in management styles worldwide, such as being open or secretive. In Japan and Saudi Arabia for example, maintaining group harmony is the most valued management quality. Yet French and Mexican leaders are likely to speak their mind even when their views are unpopular. In China, the business culture encourages individual problem-solving and brainstorming is frowned upon. While UK managers and executives are more extrovert and prefer working in groups.

“Problems arise when an individual’s own attributes don’t match those of the culture where he or she is sent,” said Bob Lewis, vice-president of research for PDI. “A leader who favours individuality will rub co-workers the wrong way in a country where group needs traditionally take precedence. Likewise, an even-keeled leader in a culture where emotional expression is the norm, will likely be seen as cold and unfeeling.”

The survey, which questioned 12,000 business leaders worldwide, estimated that the average cost of a failed assignment is up to four times the expatriate’s salary.

Almost all public-sector staff stressed at work

Source: Personnel Today – article
Date: Thursday, June 01, 2006

One-quarter have taken time off due to anxiety and half are never stress-free Ninety-five percent of staff in the public sector find their work stressful, new research claims.

Nearly 65 per cent of public-sector staff rated their anxiety levels as five or higher on a scale of one to ten and 25 per cent had taken time off due to stress, according to a survey by online learning provider SkillSoft. More than 50 per cent of the 1,500 workers questioned admitted they were never stress-free and 68 per cent said this sometimes caused restless nights. Monday was rated the most stressful day of the week.

“According to the Health and Safety Executive, stress is now the biggest cause of working days lost through injury or ill-health with an estimated 12.8 million days each year” said Kay Baldwin-Evans, vice-president of research at SkillSoft. “The TUC estimates that work-related stress costs the economy up to £7 billion per annum.” She urged employers to confront the issue. “By understanding what makes public-sector employees stressed at work, organisations are much better placed to manage it,” she said.

Peugeot workers bring protest to London

Source: Personnel Today – article
Date: Saturday, June 10, 2006

Demonstration will highlight anger at plans to close factory in Coventry Workers from Peugeot’s Ryton plant in Coventry will demonstrate in London against the factory’s proposed closure. Staff have been protesting since the French car manufacturer last month announced plans to lay off 2,300 workers and transfer production of its latest model to Slovakia. The plant will shut in two stages, winding down from two shifts to one in July, with final closure next summer. The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), which represents the staff, recently urged a boycott of Peugeot cars. It is now planning to hold a demonstration at a dealership in Brent Cross, north London, on Saturday 24 June. Jim O’Boyle, T&G convenor for Ryton, will lead the protest. “We look forward to spreading our message to the rest of the UK that Peugeot workers are not just going to lay down and accept the sacking of workers,” he said. “Unless the company sits down and properly engages with the unions to discuss an alternative, this campaign will go on.”

Globis People Solutions Founder and Managing Director invited to address PR University Students

Source: Globis
Date: Saturday, June 10, 2006

Clive Lewis, Founder and Managing Director of Globis People Solutions has been invited to address postgraduate students who are studying on the new PR course at the University of Gloucestershire. World-class learning organisations are quickly realising that if employee issues are handled badly, it can have a negative effect on internal and external relations. Clive will address an audience in the autumn of 2006, on how PR teams can help raise the profile of conflict resolution in organisations and impact areas such as a company’s share price. Clive is a regular visiting lecturer at the University, usually speaking on the topic of Human Resource Management and Development.

Conflict costs business 33 billion GBP every year

Source: C.E.D.R
Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Research by C.E.D.R shows the damage UK business inflicts on itself through poor conflict management

Comparable amounts:

  • Gross Domestic Product – If the cost of conflict to British business were a country it would have the world’s 57th biggest economy (out of 180 countries)
  • Entertainment – three times the amount that California makes each year from the TV, Movies and Entertainment business
  • Government spending – over half the total budget for the National Health Service last year

Results of a study into the true amount business wastes on conflict each year were recently announced at the CBI. From an unhappy customer to a disgruntled director, business can have the challenge of conflict come from any direction – a challenge that is not always adequately faced-up to. According to the research by CEDR and CMS Cameron McKenna, it is how you approach conflict that makes the difference and the UK is failing to manage its conflicts adequately.

Key conclusions from the research were:

  • British business conflict costs £33 billion a year
  • 80 percent of disputes have a significant impact on the smooth running of business
  • In a case that is a million pounds in value a company will consume an average of over 3 years of managers time trying to sort it out
  • Over a third of managers would rather parachute jump for the first time (35%) than address a problem with their team at work, and just under a third would rather shave their head for charity (27%). Some even said they would rather eat ‘bush tucker’ bugs for a week (8%)
  • Many managers do not feel comfortable addressing conflict. Half (49%) would rather attend an event at which they knew no one than tell a client a home truth and over two thirds (69%) would rather send back a bottle of wine in a restaurant than confront a boss’s underperformance directly

Few managers, only 37%, feel trained to cope with business conflict. The lack of confidence in managers feeling prepared to deal with disputes is worrying given that the significant consequences of conflict include the following business headaches:

  • Damage to company reputation
  • Exposure in the public domain
  • Effects on company morale
  • Effects on personal reputation
  • Damaged business relationships
  • Lost customers
  • Increased staff turnover
  • Failure to meet targets

There were nine possible adverse consequences of business disputes, and the research surveyed the extent to which each may have been significant in the over 300 separate business disputes referred to above.

The nine possible consequences we identified were:

  • Effects on company reputation
  • Exposure in the public domain
  • Effects on company morale
  • Effects on personal reputation
  • Damaged business relationships
  • Lost customers
  • Increased staff turnover
  • Failure to meet targets
  • Missed opportunities

Damaged business relationships and public exposure were the two most commonly cited adverse consequences of business disputes, but since different disputes have different characteristics it is not therefore surprising that no single consequence dominated.

Managers prioritisation of conflict
In the research, Managers were asked to rate against each other the following tasks that either involved conflict or were unpleasant:

  • Giving a speech in public
  • First parachute jump
  • Sing in public
  • Tell a colleague about poor hygiene
  • Tell a neighbour to cut down a hedge
  • Give blood
  • Swim the channel
  • Eat ‘bush tucker’ for a week
  • Sack a popular employee
  • Tell a boss to work harder
  • Tell a client they are out of line
  • Send back wine in a restaurant
  • Shave own head for charity
  • Go to an event where you know no one
  • Tell own team they are not performing

Companies urged to take more responsibility for workers’ health and wellbeing

Source: Personnel Today ~ article
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2006

Doctors blame employers for the high number of workers who are taking time off sick, new research claims.

One third of GPs surveyed by Norwich Union Healthcare had noticed a rise in the number of workers being signed off sick from work. Almost all blamed the increase on companies for neglecting their workers’ health and wellbeing, according to a survey by Norwich Union Healthcare. Many HR professionals agreed: 46 per cent said their organisation did not invest enough resources in pre-empting sickness and only 38 per cent said it identified employee wellbeing as an HR priority. They saw the major health problems affecting staff as stress (76 per cent), back trouble (63 per cent) and depression (57 per cent).

“Greater co-operation is needed between GPs and employers to find a solution to rising illness caused at work,” said Tim Baker, director at Norwich Union Healthcare. “Businesses must look to organisations, such as Royal Mail and Rolls Royce, which have promoted a healthy workplace and proactively managed adverse health effects, achieving a reduction in absence and ill health.”

The Health in the Workplace survey questioned 250 GPs and 200 HR professionals in the UK.

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