first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. DeborahDoyle, employee development manager at Xerox Europe, talks about how e-learningis helping the company maintain high customer relations management standardsDeliveringtraining to large numbers of employees is no mean feat. We have 1,700 staff basedin Dublin at the Xerox European Business Services Centre (EBSC). Within EBSC isa multilingual call centre and customer support function, which employs morethan 1,200 customer service representatives. They handle in excess of 50,000calls per day, covering 20 countries across Europe.Weadopted e-learning so that we could bring the classroom to our employees ratherthan the other way around, and to achieve this we established the Xerox VirtualLearning Environment – an Internet portal that all our call centrerepresentatives can access.Xerox’spolicy is to have 50 per cent of its training on-line by 2002. Having alreadyimplemented web-based IT training we wanted to extend this to cover criticalbusiness skills. We looked at a number of technology-based training providersand chose SkillSoft because of its specific Web offering. Thequality, breadth and depth of the course material was perfectly suited to ourneeds – allowing us to equip our customer service staff with the necessaryskills to deliver first-class support and ensure a consistent level ofprofessionalism across the operation.SkillSoft’straining portfolio is growing at a rate of four courses per week and currentlystands at around 385 courses, so there were lots to choose from. Ultimately,we selected modules across five curricula – communication, customer service,human resources, personal development and teambuilding. We then broke thesedown into specific subject areas that had particular relevance to our needs –interpersonal communication skills; how to excel at customer service;communicating to develop relationships; professional telephone skills; powerfulpresentation skills; managing diversity; taking control of your work day; howto lead a team and managing a customer service orientated culture.HighlyinteractivePeoplelearn best by doing and, by its very nature, soft skills training needs toinvolve people rather than stick insects or pipe cleaner figures. Itwas impressive to see how SkillSoft had managed to replicate personalinteraction within an e-learning environment. The content has one of thehighest interactive designs I have seen. Expressive photography and audio iseffectively utilised within role-play situations to simulate personalinteraction. It’sinteresting too that something is happening every few seconds – so thatlearners have to read, listen, observe, respond and react. Having reviewed thecontent, prior to putting the SkillSoft training in place, we wanted to see howeasy it was to implement and navigate the courses. We also wanted to checktheir inter-operability – ie how they performed on an open platform withcourses from other e-learning providers. We held an open day, during which morethan 700 employees from various departments tried them out. As well as findingthe training stimulating, everyone was able to log on and train simultaneouslywithout any problems whatsoever.GoodstructureSorenMathiesen has a background in customer service, tele-marketing and sales and isa mentor at Xerox Europe. The first SkillSoft course he took was ManagementSkills for the Diverse Workforce. He reported, “Although sceptical abouton-line training, I found that this course was easy to use and really caught myinterest. It has a good structure, useful explanations and gives practicalexamples.“Ialso liked the idea of receiving a certificate of completion at the end.Searchand learn“I’vesince taken many more SkillSoft courses. I can usually complete one module perday. I think they have good content, engaging graphics and a high level ofinteractivity. But my favourite feature is the sound. I don’t have to read thewhole screen – I can just plug in my headset, relax, listen and learn. An addedbonus is that both the text and the audio is in English rather than American,which seems to be unusual with e-learning.“Sofar I’ve found the courses on professional telephone skills, interpersonalcommunication skills and how to excel at customer service the most beneficialto my job, although the theory in the course turning difficult customers intodelighted customers has been very useful when dealing with angry calls fromcustomers in Denmark. I’ve learned something from each one.“I’vealso started to use the Search and Learn facility. If I have something specificI need speedy training on I can type in the subject and within about fiveseconds a list of five to 10-minute instructions on that topic comes up. I canthen complete the training and get straight back on the job.VerdictTeamhad good idea of our needsAlthoughit’s still early days, the results for the usage of SkillSoft courses are veryencouraging. Withinthe first four months, among a sample of around 100 users, 440 training hourswere completed and almost 400 SkillSoft courses were accessed (an average offour per user). The average improvement in scores between pre-assessment (takenat the beginning of a lesson/course) and mastery (taken at the end of a lessonor course) was 66 per cent.Aswell as being happy with the level of knowledge transfer, Deborah is pleasedwith the standard of customer after-sales care provided by SkillSoft –describing it as “second to none”.Thededicated account consultants have a good understanding and have worked withher team to ensure that everything runs smoothly – even to the extent ofproviding marketing support such as executive briefings, presentations andtalks to staff. Previous Article Next Article Effective e-learningOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Scots workers hard to handleOn 3 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Scottishworkers are more likely to pursue grievances and are more difficult to manage,according to the results of an online survey.Theresearch by Scottish daily paper Business AM shows that 40 per cent ofrespondents believe Scottish workers are more likely to follow up complaintsand are harder to deal with. Readersanswered four questions on the attitudes of Scottish workers compared withtheir English counterparts. Theonly question where Scots workers scored comparably with English workers was inthe likelihood of suing for unfair dismissal.www.businessam.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Shocking figures show that ethnic minority staff face harassment frompatients and colleagues every day.  BenWillmott asks what one of the UK’s largest employers is doing to tackle theproblemThe HR profession still has a long way to go in tackling racism in the NHS,according to two major studies. A confidential government report has revealed that at least half offrontline staff from ethnic minorities were victims of racial harassment lastyear. A third were harassed by their healthcare colleagues and a quarter by NHSmanagers. The report, which was leaked to The Guardian newspaper last week, followsclosely on the heels of a study by independent health charity King’s Fund,which claimed that black and Asian doctors face racism every day. Despite the advent of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act this year, it foundthat ethnic minority doctors are less likely to be promoted to the best jobs. “I find the results surprising and shocking. I think we need toacknowledge that there is a lot of work being done on diversity by trusts, butobviously there is a lot more still to do,” said John Adsett, secretary ofthe Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management. Adsett is particularly concerned about the Department of Health report’sfinding that complaints were sometimes not followed up by managers. It commissioned consultancy Lemos & Crane to carry out the study, whichwas based on the responses from focus groups in 52 NHS trusts in London,Greater Manchester, Merseyside, the Black Country, south-west Yorkshire andBirmingham/Solihull. The results show that 46.2 per cent of staff from ethnic minoritiesexperienced racial harassment and 37.9 per cent witnessed incidents. Staff in the front line, such as doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists andsupport workers, are the most likely to suffer racial abuse. The report says, “It would be safe to conclude that racial harassmentis still a pervasive phenomenon in the NHS, largely unrecorded, with littleaction taken to resolve the problem or give address to those affected.” Mike Griffin, HR director for King’s College Hospital NHS Trust in London,believes a zero-tolerance approach needs to be enforced in order to tackle. He believes most of the racism towards ethnic staff comes from patientsrather than colleagues. “A proportion of ethnic staff do experience harassment, which theywould experience as racial harassment, but not to the extent outlined in thereport,” he said. Griffin is waiting for the results of a staff survey carried out at King’sCollege Hospital, which includes a question asking employees if they haveexperienced harassment from colleagues. “Our objective is to ensure that staff feel they are supported wherethey encounter harassment of whatever kind and feel that the trust is there toassist and support them,” he said. The Commission for Racial Equality’s spokesman Chris Myant believes thereport highlights serious shortcomings in the way the NHS deals with raceequality issues. He is optimistic that the Race Relations (Amendment) Act will make the NHSget its house in order. The Act came into force in April and means that allpublic organisations will have to eliminate institutional racism and promoteequal opportunities and good race relations. “We deal with quite a significant number of cases in respect of theNHS. It has been a worry to us for many years that the premier caring servicein the UK and one of the largest employers has continued to fail to deal withrace equality practice in its employment arrangements,” said Myant. “This is further evidence of the need for a Race Relations (Amendment)Act and the procedures it will bring in across the health service as in otherparts of the public sector. “This is post-MacPherson Britain, the carpet is being pulled back andwe are beginning to see what is going on.” Legal experts believe that NHS trusts will have to promote good racerelations under the Act. Makbool Javaid, a partner at law firm DLA, said, “Trusts will findthemselves vulnerable to actions under the Act, both by individuals and theCRE, which also has enforcement powers.” South Birmingham Mental Health NHS Trust has reacted to the new legislationby appointing a manager to promote racial equality and tackle racial harassmentin the workplace. Mohammed Arif, who took up the post in April, said racism in the workplaceis still a major concern. “We will do everything in our power to ensure wereview our policies and practices to ensure that as an organisation we are notinstitutionally racist,” he said. Health minister John Hutton claimed the Government is committed to stampingout racism in the NHS. He said, “We cannot get the best from NHS staff ifthose who are from an ethnic minority suffer racism. Racism has absolutely noplace in the NHS. That means the culture of the NHS must change and every NHSemployer must play their part. “This is why we are moving on to a new phase of the programme, whichwill make leaders in the NHS accountable for building a service which is freefrom harassment and discrimination. “We recognise, however, that this will not happen overnight. Many ofour staff will need new knowledge and skills if race equality is to be trulymainstreamed into our work. We are determined to make that change happen.” Comments are closed. NHS racism alive and well – so when will it be cured?On 3 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_imgDownsizing trend continues as cutbacks biteOn 22 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today More than two out of three employers have reduced the size of theirworkforce over the past two years. The finding, in a study by IRS Employment Review, shows a similar proportionof employers predict they will downsize in the next 12 months. The survey shows that nearly 90 per cent of companies use compulsoryredundancies as their preferred method of downsizing, although voluntaryredundancies and natural wastage are also widely used. Nearly nine out of 10 organisations surveyed select staff for redundancy byskills levels and competency. They rely heavily on line managers for thatinformation. Nearly 60 per cent of employees take account of staff attendance recordswhen selecting redundancies, 55 per cent take disciplinary records into considerationand a similar percentage use past performance data. Most employers offer more than the statutory minimum redundancy payment – aweek’s salary for each year worked. Outplacement and counselling services are also becoming more common. The research, which included responses from 60 large organisations, showsthat employers that recognise trades unions are less likely to have cut backtheir workforce during the past two years than those that do not. IRS Employment Review managing editor Mark Crail said: “Lessons learnedfrom the last recession show that shedding staff too quickly can leave skillsshortages when the economy picks up. An alternative may be for staff to taketime away from work such as returning to study. “Increasing efficiencies and cutting overheads does not have to be atthe cost of skilled employees.” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Comments are closed. The T&G’s general secretary Bill Morris tells Paul Nelson why he feelsthe Information and Consultation regulations must have effective penalties ifthey are to be of any use The T&G’s general secretary Bill Morris is calling for employers to facesignificant financial penalties if they fail to comply with the forthcomingInformation and Consultation legislation. In an exclusive interview with Personnel Today, Morris also criticises HR’slack of strategic contribution and employers’ commitment to the partnershipagenda. Morris said the Information and Consultation regulations, which will requireemployers to consult with staff over issues that affect them such asrestructuring and redundancies, must have teeth if it is to prove effective. The Government has not yet made any decision about what penalties will beincluded in the legislation, which is still at the consultation stage and willnot come into force until 2005. Morris wants a code which sets out a minimum consultation standard foremployers. He is in no doubt that the only way to force companies to conform isto hit their bottom line. “I am fed up with T&G members having to turn on the radio to findout if they have lost their job. For me, it is simple. We have rights andobligations, and we get rewards. If companies do not implement the minimumstandard then they do not receive investment grants, tax breaks or a lot of thethings they get now,” he said. “It is a carrot and stick situation – which I would rather not do – butit is the only way to make them [employers] do it.” Morris believes one of the reasons for poor consultation in the workplace isthat many employers have not embraced partnership arrangements with unions. “My great concern is that employers are not crossing the line to a trueand enduring partnership. There is still a ‘them and us’ mentality, which is afactor inhibiting improvements to industrial relations, and productivity andcompetitiveness. He added that HR directors must ensure they have a louder voice in theboardroom if industrial relations are to improve. “I do not blame CEOs or the company culture, because around the tablein a business-orientated environment, every portfolio has to fight its corner.I see no real evidence that HR directors are fighting theirs.” Morris believes HR directors must introduce a staff communications structureto channel opinion to the boardroom. “The HR director must be pro-active and assertive. They convey the badnews from the boardroom down to staff, but what they never do is take the viewsof employees to the boardroom. “If the role is to be meaningful and to inform the decision-makingprocess, it needs a structure and a system in order to poll the opinions of thepeople and take them to the board so it can have a rounded view about the veryimportant assets the HR director is responsible for. My experience tells methis is not the reality.” Morris does not think the UK is returning to the confrontational industrialrelations environment of the 1970s, despite the number of high-profileindustrial disputes over the past year. However, he stressed the union is determined to take strike action ifemployers attempt to close down its members’ final salary pension schemes. “If there is one issue where there will be an uprising of disputes, itis pensions, because people feel cheated, conned and insecure in terms ofretirement. “I am giving clear notice that the pensions robbery must end and wewill have no hesitation in asking our members to take industrial action if thisis necessary to resolve the issue.” The other big issue Morris highlights as a particular concern for his unionis Public Private Partnerships and Private Finance Initiatives. He does notbelieve the TUPE code, which is supposed to protect the terms and conditions ofstaff transferred from the public to the private sector, goes far enough. “The code is toothless. It states that terms and conditions must be‘broadly similar’ – it should be ‘comparable’. Then we might have a code withsome teeth in terms of enforceability,” he said. www.tgwu.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Rules on consultation need stiff penaltiesOn 22 Oct 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_imgIncreasingly, businesses are recognising HR’s role as a value adder andgrowth generator, rather than simply as an internal business function. This is great news because it further aligns HR strategy to bottom-linebusiness performance. This is particularly relevant to UK plc, which has aglobal reputation for standing back and watching the brain drain of brightideas to other cultures and countries, so losing an estimated £10bn in revenueeach year. Too many organisations, particularly larger businesses, do not operate in away that is conducive to harnessing intellectual capital. Employees can becomean under utilised asset. Day-to-day workplace politics can become barriers toenabling employees to generate and grow innovative ideas. HR can make a real difference in helping to right these wrongs. It candirectly impact on the bottom line by working to change behaviours to promotean innovation culture. This is not just about developing suggestion boxesgathering ideas that will never be acted upon. It is about establishing anenvironment that cultivates and develops workable ideas. Within Deloitte, we have been working towards creating such a culture. Toensure that our people’s creativity is managed effectively, an internet-basedsoftware tool, called the Innovation Zone, was developed. It allows our 120,000employees across the world to submit business ideas for evaluation andimplementation. To date, 11 new businesses have been created that contributesignificantly to our growth and global business revenue. A further 12 ideas, with a projected yield of $350m (£209m) a year, areunder development via a dedicated unit of specialist analysts, who sift ideas,conduct interview panels, construct business plans, allocate resources andrecommend funding. Successful businesses generated range from a sportsmemorabilia authentication registry to a corporate fraud hotline. Creating a truly innovative environment requires significant changethroughout the business, and the onus is on the HR director to lead thisprocess. An organisation can only truly utilise its human capital in aninnovative manner within a culture that encourages sharing and, moreimportantly, leads to ideas being developed and implemented. Innovation must be seen as a business imperative and HR must work with therest of the business to inspire, challenge and reward employees who can breakthe mould and facilitate entry into new marketplaces. By taking ownership ofdeveloping such a culture, the HR director has a real opportunity todemonstrate the strategic value of HR and to make a significant difference tothe bottom line. By John Connolly, CEO, Deloitte & Touche Comments are closed. HR must add strategic value via innovationOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_imgFurthereducation can provide many benefits for occupational health professionals, by DrDorothy FergusonLifelonglearning is widely recognised as being beneficial, not only to individualpractitioners and the profession, but also to the client groups served by thoseprofessionals. 1,2,3,4Inoccupational health (OH) nursing, therefore, lifelong learning will be ofbenefit to the nurses within the specialty, to the service provided and to theemployees on whom the OH provision is focused.Thisis important for at least two distinct groups in OH – those who are alreadyqualified as OH nurses (OHNs) and those who are seeking to obtain the relevantqualification.Forthose who are already qualified as OHNs, the emphasis on lifelong learningcombines with the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) requirement toundertake continuous professional development (CPD), which acts as a reminderthat no-one ever knows everything and there is always more to learn.2AsOH nursing is such a complex speciality and is practised in such a variety ofcontexts, the potential for further study may seem limitless. Some may wish tofurther develop their counselling skills, while others want to enhance theirknowledge of health and safety.Forsome practitioners, extended nurse prescribing may be relevant, while forothers, a deeper understanding of the rehabilitation process may enhancepractice. What is important is that the practitioner identifies the topic thatwill enhance their practice and further their understanding.OHNeducation has made some progress in recent years. Where there was once acertificate awarded by the RCN,5 there is now a qualification recorded at theNMC.6 This community specialist practitioner qualification (SPQ) must be taughtat the academic level of a first degree, with some universities now offering itat postgraduate level.TheOHN qualification now shares the same academic and professional status as allother community SPQs, meeting standards set by the NMC. Forthose entering OH settings, there now exists the opportunity to undertakespecialist qualifications at degree or postgraduate level, equipping them notonly to function as an OHN, but also with the skills required of all thoseholding an SPQ.6 They will gain, for example, knowledge about researchmethodology, and are able to critically appraise evidence.Leadershipwill be explored in the course of their studies, as it is expected that thoseholding the SPQ will become leaders in their practice context. The impact ofpolicy on service provision will be familiar to them so they can contribute tothe effective planning of services.Thefeatures of care that are specific to OH will also have been studied and, as 50per cent of the programme will have been practical, they will have gained experiencein OH settings. The increasing number of OH practitioners now holding the SPQshould facilitate the development of OH practice and increase the evidence basefor practice.Suchprogrammes of study are very challenging. All are mature learners, manyentering higher education for the first time. As well as coping with thedemands of study, they also have home and work commitments,7 so it is essentialthey are supported and encouraged by their colleagues, managers and employers.Withinthe practice placement, they will have a mentor/supervisor/practice educator(the term can vary), who will facilitate their learning in the workplace.Experienced practitioners have an important opportunity to contribute to thestudents’ experience, as employer, sponsor, mentor or colleague. The importanceof such support cannot be over emphasised.Returningto study can be both challenging and rewarding, whether the student isundertaking a new qualification or extending their knowledge base for practice.Previous experience will impact on expectations and associations.8Theteaching and learning methods encountered may be very different from those metin previous, more traditional, nurse education.9 Students will be encouraged tobecome active learners,10,11 adopting a deep approach to their learning.12These skills, combined with the knowledge gained during the programme, willenable practitioners to become lifelong learners, equipped to advance OH and todevelop practice.OHNhas come a long way in recent years.5 The continuous development ofpractitioners should ensure it will continue to develop practice in a way thatwill ensure the health of the workforce.DrDorothy Ferguson is head of division of community health, School of Nursing,Midwifery and Community HealthReferences1.Lifelong learning in nursing: perceptions and realities, Gopee N, NurseEducation Today, 2001, 21 (8): 607-6152.Maintaining your registration, UKCC, 1995, PREP& You, London3.The New NHS – Modern and Dependable, NHS Executive, London, 19974.A First-Class Service – Quality in the New NHS, DoH, London, 19985.Nursing at Work, Slaney B, 2000, London6.The Future of Professional Practice: The Council’s Standards for Education andPractice Following Registration, UKCC, 1994, London7.Motivational forces affecting participation in post-registration degree coursesand effects of home and work life: a quantitative study, Dowswell T, Hewison J,Hinds M, 1998, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28(6): 1326-13338.Key Concepts in Adult Education and Training, Tight M, 1996, Routledge, London9.The Principles and Practice of Nurse Education (3rd ed), Quinn F, 1995, StanleyThornes, London10.What is active learning? Denicolo P, Entwhistle N, Hounsell D, 1992, CVCPUniversity Staff Development and Training Unit, Sheffield11.Improving your students’ learning, Morgan A, 1993, Kogan Page, London12.Assessing student learning in higher education, Brown G, Bull J, Pendlebury M,1997, Routledge, London Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Continuing to learnOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. BTEC diploma to arm managers for future needsOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article A new qualification to improve generic management skills has been launchedby Edexcel – one of the UK’s largest awarding bodies – in partnership with theBritish Army. The BTEC diploma in training and operational management is designed forsupervisors and middle managers. It covers eight core subjects, includingworking relationships, health and safety and how to lead and train teams, allwithin a training and operational context. There is a choice of two units from a range of 12, including IT,investigation, stock distribution and receipt, and customer relationshipmanagement. Approved by the Qualifications Curriculum Authority, Edexcel developed theprogramme in partnership with the Army, but claims the new programme is alsoapplicable to other organisations. “This BTEC would ideally suit other public service or privateorganisations, as well as those in the transport, security and voluntarysectors,” said Sallyann Baldry, sector development manager at Edexcel. “It recognises the broad range of skills that you need to be aneffective manager in today’s world,” she added. Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. It is generally accepted that good communication between management and workers is essential if that organisation is to function effectively. The use of representative staff bodies, such as trade unions, was slightly less common in the UK (80%) compared to the other European countries, according to the Cranet Survey on International Strategic HR Management.However, similar proportions (about 90%) communicated direct to their employees either verbally or in writing or used electronic communication or team briefings. The countries did differ slightly more regarding the levels of employees that were informed about various business issues, including strategy, financial performance and organisation of work.Most companies in all four countries briefed management about all of the issues. However, the UK and Sweden were more likely to brief professional, clerical and manual staff on these issues than organisations in France and Germany.With regard to upward communication, UK employees most commonly communicate with their managers directly, through immediate supervisors, through workforce briefings or team meetings, or via electronic communication. Swedish companies generally used most channels of downward communication.UK organisations are more similar to Sweden than their closer neighbours of Germany and France in the use of communication channels and keeping employees informed.www.cranet.org, 01234 751122 Related posts:No related photos. Firms prefer direct approach to communicationOn 9 Aug 2005 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsCommercial Real Estateeast villageNYC Luxury Market [CO] — Georgia Kromrei Isaac Kassirer of Emerald Equity and 2 Cooper Square (Emerald Equity; Apartments)Isaac Kassirer’s Emerald Equity and David Werner Real Estate Investments have fallen behind on a CMBS loan backing a high-end rental building at 2 Cooper Square.The firms are 30 days delinquent on the $65 million loan, Commercial Observer reported. Atlantic Development Group built the 143-unit luxury high-rise between East Fourth and East Fifth streets in 2010. Two years later, Wafra Capital Partners purchased the 70-year leasehold for $134 million, then sold it in 2019 to Emerald Equity and Werner for $85 million — a $50 million loss.The investors charged some of the highest rents on the Bowery, with a three-bedroom apartment asking $20,000 per month. The luxury building features amenities such as a rooftop pool and a gym.In 2019, Equity and Werner took out a CMBS loan securitized by the asset with Goldman Sachs, with an underlying occupancy of 96 percent. But occupancy has dipped this year, hovering at just 82 percent for the first three quarters of 2020.Vacancies have plagued rental buildings in Manhattan. In October, the vacancy rate reached 5.75 percent while the total number of listings reached a 14-year high, at 15,923.Elsewhere in its portfolio, Emerald Equity has also fallen behind. Its lender, Ladder Capital, moved to foreclose after the firm defaulted on a $32 million loan for four of its Harlem rental buildings.Read moreCheap NYC apartments sit vacantTRD Talks surging vacancies on WNYC Share via Shortlinklast_img read more