Opinion

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article If we are to be a truly wired workforce and Net-connected nation, HRdepartments must push for Internet access for all – from the post room to theboardroom, says the Industrial Society’s James Crabtree Preventing a digital divide at work Just as the rest of the world falls out of love with technology, thefuture-focused British Government launches a series of expensive commercialsextolling the virtues of digital Britain. Wouldn’t it be great, the disembodiedrotating heads featured in the ads ask, if we were the first country in theworld where everyone used the Internet? A wonderful thought, but interestingfor what it conceals – the current drive for universal Internet access ignoresthe importance of giving technology to more people at work. Famously, 80 per cent of the world’s population has never used a phone. Hardto believe though it may be for Britain’s office e-mail junkies, a similarproportion of their fellow workers have never sent an e-mail. Indeed, it isexceptionally difficult to get any accurate figures on the spread of technologyin the British workplace precisely because people don’t seem to view it asimportant. What is certain is many more people now access the Internet at homethan at work. The self-absorbed cult of the wired worker – modelled on heavy Internetusers and propagated by like-minded souls in the media – generally omits tomention that the vast majority of UK employees make no meaningful use of newtechnology at all. Misguided perceptions Why does it matter? Because if the digital divide exists at all, it willmanifest itself most obviously at work. The lingering perception remains thatthe Internet and networked technology are inappropriate for large sections ofthe labour market. This view is misguided for two reasons. First, employers must realise that universal access at work is the only wayto achieve the promised cost-savings and efficiency gains of the new economy.As traditional organisations become what sociology guru Manuel Castellschristens the “networked enterprises”, all processes will need tomigrate online. All HR functions, from pay slips to maternity advice, will needto be provided on some sort of corporate intranet. Yet, such processes onlymake companies more streamlined and efficient when everyone uses them. Spendingmillions on amazing new systems can be worse than useless without universalaccess, creating instead two-speed organisations with expensive twin-trackprocesses. The brave new world of work will be braver and better when everyoneshares in the efficiency gains that networked technology can provide. Second, the Government should realise that its dream of UKOnline is heavilybased on persuading employers to make their workforces familiar withtechnology. The real digital divide is between those 20 per cent who use newtechnology intensively as part of their everyday working life, and the 80 percent who use it only at home. Ultimately it is at work where intensive andrigorous use of new programs and applications, accompanied by training, willcontinue to keep the average technophobe ahead of the game. HR must take on the battle and win What needs to be done? Those worrying about the digital divide should lookagain at the importance of pushing for access in the workplace. And HRprofessionals must win the battle of providing technology for all, from postroom staff to board members. Ultimately, the future networked enterprise willbe built upon a technologically comfortable, familiar and literate workforce,and new strategies must be implemented to make this happen. Finally, theGovernment should reconsider its slavish rhetoric of home Internet access forthe citizen, and instead think about work access for the employee. All involved need to grasp that networking is not working, and will notdeliver until more people have access. More importantly, this realisation musthappen before the digital divide, soon to be conquered in the home, migrates tothe office. James Crabtree runs the iSociety research project at the IndustrialSociety (www.indsoc.co.uk/iSociety). OpinionOn 4 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Female HR staff victims of salary bias

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. There is a yawning chasm in gender pay at the highest levels of the HRprofession, acc-ording to research released last week. It shows the HR leaders, who Denise Kingsmill is calling on to tackle the 18per cent gender bias in salaries, are suffering from a bigger pay gapthemselves. The Salary Survey of HR Staff 2001 reveals a female HR director cantypically expect to earn 25 per cent less than a male counterpart. Research by Remuneration Economics, which includes over 4,000 HR salariesfrom 152 companies, also shows that average earnings for men in HR are higherthan women at all levels, except personnel assistants. Madeleine Allen, HR director of Applied Impact Technology, said, “HRmust set the standards before it goes about changing the organisation. “HR professionals are predominately women, so the issue is a realproblem if our pay is lagging behind male counterparts. Companies should paypeople on their value to the company and not by gender.” Female HR staff victims of salary biasOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

UK call centre jobs on the line as employers aim to cut costs

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Up to 20 per cent of UK call centre jobs will be transferred to India by2010 because of cost savings and the huge pool of highly qualified talent overthere according to research . The study by management consultancy Accenture finds that more than 60,000 ofthe 340,000 jobs in the call centre sector in the UK will be switched to Indiaby the end of the decade. Steve Lathrope, an insurance partner at Accenture, commented: “It willonly be a few years before UK insurance and pension customers will, as a matterof course, have almost all their business dealt with abroad. [Theirapplications for new policies, servicing needs and claims will be handled bycall centres and processing operations in offshore locations, like India.] “There are 340,000 people working in the UK insurance sector, manydoing call centre or processing roles. Our analysis indicates that up to 20 percent of these will have been transferred to India by 2010 – due to cost savingsand because of the huge pool of highly qualified people there.” Lathrope said a large number of the UK’s major insurance companies havealready transferred part of their support operations to India, including Royal& SunAlliance, Bupa, AXA and Churchill, but he thinks this is only the tipof the iceberg. “These early moves are just to test the water. As insurance companiesgain experience and confidence they will quickly look to move the bulk of theircustomer service and claims-processing to India and other developing businesscentres over the coming few years.” Online travel agency Ebookers opened a call centre in India employing 750 atthe beginning of the month, initially dealing with telephone sales and queriesfrom customers in the UK and Ireland. UK call centre jobs on the line as employers aim to cut costsOn 19 Mar 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Regional gap in managerial pay

first_img Previous Article Next Article Regional gap in managerial payOn 30 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Regional pay variation for managers is larger than that of manual staff, according to an Office of National Statistics report.The report claims the difference occurs because employers base managerial salaries on local house prices.The survey, published in Incomes Data Services’ Management Pay Review, shows management salaries regionally differ by up to 50 per cent compared to 30 per cent for manual employees. The average earnings of managers in large organisations in the UK is nearly £113,000. But the average managerial pay in London is almost £139,000, compared to Scottish managers who earn on average less than £58,000.The IDS report says: “Rather than managerial pay running at similar levels across most of the country while manual wages vary greatly, the reverse seems to be the case.”The report claims regional differences are linked to employers setting managerial pay based on the local cost of living, in particular house prices. IDS compared regional managerial salaries to house prices and claimed “a remarkably close fit”.WEBLINK www.incomesdata.co.uk WEBLINK www.statistics.gov.uk Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

People

first_imgPeopleOn 25 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Paul Appleyard has been appointed equality and diversity manager, specialisingin disability issues, at Barclays Bank’s global headquarters in London. He overcame visual problems to gain the CIPD Postgraduate Diploma atDoncaster College’s Dearne Valley Business School (DVBS). Appleyard is registered as blind due to macular degeneration, a conditionwhich reduces all but his peripheral vision. “I can just about make outthe top letter on a typical eye chart,” he says. He went into banking when he was 18 and became an HR adviser, but herealised to progress any further he’d have to become a graduate member of theCIPD. Barclay’s gave him the time off to study and subsequently, he completed aone-year Certificate in Personnel Practice, followed by the two-yearpostgraduate diploma. The CIPD, DVBS and Appleyard himself, all had to climb a steep learningcurve to adapt the course to his additional needs, but were helped by fundingfrom the college’s student support scheme. “At first I got little more than enlarged photocopies. But over time,things got much better and the additional help I received was reflected in verygood grades during the final year. It became clear that a little more help forme was also going to benefit the staff and future disabled students in the longrun,” he says. “I use a voice input system to operate my computer and closed circuitTV to produce an enlarged image on the monitor of anything I need to read athome,” he explains. “I regard my job now as focusing on people’s abilities, and promotingthe concept of the ‘differently able’. You have to concentrate on what you cando, and when you meet a barrier, either climb it, bypass it or break itdown.” CV2001 Equality and diversity manager, Barclays Bank1997 HR adviser, Barclays Bank1993 Business banker, Barclays BankOn the moveSarah Fisher has joined car manufacturer Toyota as the new personnel andtraining director. She replaces Gary Birney who left the firm after eight years.Fisher joins the group from Siemens Business Services, where she was HRdirector. Prior to this, she held a variety of personnel management trainingand development roles within ICL (now Fujitsu).  Reporting to managing director Graham Smith, she will beresponsible for personnel, training and development strategy. Mike Russell has joined business process firm Vertex to lead on recruitmentactivities for all senior roles. He joins the group after a varied career as asenior HR professional at ICL (now Fujitsu). Russell will be responsible forall aspects of senior recruitment, including creating new techniques, enhancingexisting systems and building stronger external relationships for futurerecruitment activities. Morgan Cole has promoted employment law specialist Wendy Leydon to becomethe eighth partner at the legal firm. Leydon joined the company in 1988,qualifying as a solicitor the following year and specialising indiscrimination, collectives and strategic HR issues. She moves from being headof the law firm’s employment team in Reading and will be based at thepractice’s Oxford office. Following three other promotions, Morgan Cole now hasa total of 82 partners. last_img read more

IIP adds management model

first_imgIIP adds management modelOn 1 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Investors in People UK has launched a management framework to support itscore people development standard. The Leadership and Management Model is thesecond of a series of support tools from IIP. Last year it introduced arecruitment model, and in June this year it will launch a work-life balancemodel. “It is important that we keep refreshing Investors in People(IIP),” said chairman Tim Melville-Ross, who insisted that pressure forthese super-standards had originated from IIP clients. “As more organisationscome through Investors in People they want to know what else we can offer. Theyparticularly requested something on leadership and management,” he said. “The management model is essentially about identifying leaders andmaking sure they grow. It’s not prescriptive, but makes managers confront keyquestions on leadership.” The model follows the basic principles governing the core standard. Organisationshave to demonstrate that top managers are committed to achieving successthrough good leadership and management. They have to plan how to achieveeffective leadership, improve their leadership and management accordingly, thenevaluate their success. Melville-Ross hoped the simplicity of the framework would win through.”It is about simple things such as clarity. A leader has to be clear aboutwhat he wants, put people in place to do so, then communicate… what he istrying to achieve,” he said. He said he was keen to build up a network of business people to act asambassadors for the model. A variety of employers piloted the IIP management model last year. DiehlControls achieved IIP three years ago and agreed the management model as alogical next step. “IIP encouraged us to provide lots of training andflexible working, but we had never looked closely at the management team. Themanagement model helped us to do that,” said plant manager Steve Carroll. The firm used it to build on its performance management system and identifyexisting skills as well as help develop new ones. The Skipton Building Society piloted the model as a way of benchmarking itsmanagement development and mentoring programmes. “It very much fits inwith what we believe is important to us as a business,” said head ofpersonnel and training, Ian Walker. By Lucie Carrington Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Haulage workforce set to influence new fleet design

first_imgHaulage workforce set to influence new fleet designOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Staff at haulage firm Christian Salvesen are involved in choosing its nextfleet of lorries and influencing truck design, thanks to a new initiative. The company organised a fleet evaluation day in Stoke, where 50 workers from17 of its depots talked directly with officials from seven manufacturers abouthow they would like to see truck design evolve. Ray Barnes, HR director at Christian Salvesen, said the idea came aboutafter an internal communications survey last year. “They [the drivers] were really keen to know about the vehicles we werepurchasing,” he said. Barnes said the fleet evaluation day was developed to include drivers,trainers and warehouse workers. He added that the manufacturers were eager to hear what the staff atChristian Salvesen had to say. The evaluations will directly determine the purchase of 200 vehicles overthe next year. “There are good commercial reasons for doing this. If people feelinvolved they get more satisfaction, which leads to better customer service andimproved profitability,” Barnes said. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Absenteeism costing call centres 10m days a year

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Absenteeism costing call centres 10m days a yearOn 18 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. UK contact centres lose 10 million working days per annum due toabsenteeism. The claim is made in a publication from Dimension Data, The Merchants GlobalContact Centre Benchmarking Report. Agent absenteeism in the UK runs at 8 per cent per annum, and UK contactcentre staff now represent almost 3 per cent of the employed population. The survey also reveals that the contact centre industry is stillexperiencing a high agent turnover rate of 19 per cent globally, with Europeand the UK facing turnover rates of 25 per cent. Adrian Garton, contact centre HR manager at call centre consultantsMerchants, said this may be in part due to the fact that many UK agents now seecontact centre work as a career, and move between centres in search of betterpay and conditions. To prevent staff attrition, contact centres need to place more emphasis onstaff development, he said, and develop HR programmes that recognise thecultural differences between contact centre workers and corporate workers. Just 50 per cent of centres surveyed had specific policies for careerdevelopment, a drop from 57 per cent in 2001, and only 47.7 per cent of centreshad a specific policy for staff attrition. Garton said he was surprised that only half the UK contact centres conducttelephone interviews with candidates. “Telephone interviews are invaluable. They are the best way of findingout whether they will be happy talking on the phone,” he said. Ian Barlett, group contact centre training manager at consultancy Merchants,said contact centres need to increase training and development, after a drop ininterest over the past year, largely due to cost. “Training is one area that has been hit harder than most by companies’wider budget restraints,” he said. He urged businesses to measure the business contribution that trainingmakes. “The long-term damage and knock-on effect of training cuts will be theattrition of employees and a loss of intellectual property and reputation inthe marketplace,” he said. By Quentin Readewww.ccbenchmarking.comlast_img read more

Reunion

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. ReunionShared from Steve Boese on 20 Jun 2016 in Personnel Today Yesterday was Father’s Day here in the US and I hope any Dads reading this had a fantastic day basking in the adoration of your kids and the rest of your family. I am sure you deserved all the gifts and accolades you received.Read full article last_img

Wexner family buying Greg Norman’s Jupiter compound listed for $60M: sources

first_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Tags Leslie Wexner and Greg Norman with the Jupiter Island property (Getty, Shawn Hood Media)Retired professional golfer Greg Norman and his wife Kiki found a buyer for their $60 million South Florida compound: the family of billionaire Leslie Wexner, the founder and former CEO of L Brands, The Real Deal has learned.The Normans listed their nearly 32,000-square-foot estate at 382 South Beach Road on Jupiter Island in late January for $59.9 million. The deal is contingent, according to Realtor.com. Sources said the buyer is the Wexner family.Wexner, chairman emeritus of Columbus, Ohio-based L Brands, which includes Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, stepped down from his role as CEO last year. Wexner faced mounting scrutiny for his close ties to late alleged sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, whom he had hired years earlier as a personal adviser.ADVERTISEMENTJill Hertzberg of The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker and Michelle Thomson of Coldwell Banker’s Thomson Team have the listing for Norman’s property. Hertzberg declined comment.Greg Norman, once the No. 1 golfer in the world, and his wife, founder of Norman Design Group, rebuilt the estate’s main house, pool house and beach house and renovated other parts of the 8.3-acre property, according to a press release.The Hobe Sound property stretches from the ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, and it includes a pool house, tennis house, boat house, beach house and orchid house. It has 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, six half-bathrooms, more than 170 feet of oceanfront and water frontage, and 370 feet on the Intracoastal. A buyer could dock up to a 150-foot yacht on the Intracoastal side.The Normans previously listed the property — initially in 2007 for $65 million — before they rebuilt the estate. They expanded the property using a permit that was set to expire, adding nearly 6,800 square feet of more floor area.Linda Bright, an agent with Illustrated Properties, who is not involved in the deal, said the market is still very strong in Jupiter and throughout northern Palm Beach County. In Palm Beach, an oceanfront mansion is expected to close this week for nearly $140 million, a record price in Florida that would place it as one of the most expensive home sales in the U.S.“People are coming from all areas – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, the Midwest, California,” Bright said. “They’re escalating their retirement plans or just relocating because they can work anywhere.”Some properties are listed as pending as soon as they hit the market, she added.The Normans’ main house includes two 1,900-bottle wine cellars, a movie theater and bar. The pool house serves two pools and includes an outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower and pool bath. The tennis house is for the U.S. Open-sized tennis court. A nearly 1,700-square-foot boat house fits jet skis, boat and yacht equipment, and a small office for a property manager.In addition to garage space, an employee parking lot fits about 30 cars.Norman paid $4.9 million for the property in 1991.Ina Cordle contributed to this report.Contact Katherine Kallergis Message*center_img Celebrity Real EstatejupiterLeslie Wexner Share via Shortlink Email Address*last_img read more