What makes a learner?

first_imgElaineEssery canvasses opinion on how to identify whether an individual will be worththe training spend – and how to encourage them to identify the new skills theyneedTheconcept of learning is taking over from training. If training subscribes to the“empty bucket” theory, where people are filled up with knowledge andinformation, learning perhaps puts more focus on the individual as an activeparticipant in the process. Trainingmay have its place when the need is to implement something new, but other formsof learning also contribute when we need employees to perform competently. Eachapproach has a cost attached to it, be it training course fees or theinvestment of time and effort in coaching and mentoring on the job. So how canwe tell if that investment is going to pay? To adapt an adage, you can lead aperson to learning, but you can’t make them learn. Which begs the question,what makes a learner? BillLucasChief executive, Campaign for Learning, and author of Power up YourMind: Learn Faster, Work Smarter, out this monthFortoo long we have looked at the tools and techniques that individuals need tomake them successful learners, but we’ve missed two key areas: all that happensbefore the learning and all that happens after the learning. Learnersmust be emotionally ready and motivated to learn – as well as the tools andtechniques to help them learn, they need the competence to release their owncreativity, then they need the ability to reflect on the learning and adapttheir behaviours accordingly. Ifwe’re going to make learning work, we’ve got to be sure we have a range ofreturn on investment indicators that includes all these points.PaulSinclairHead of training and development, Warrington Borough CouncilMypet phrase is that a training course is a last resort. If you can develop acompetency framework that is meaningful to the workforce and people can see apay-off in developing core competencies, that’s likely to attract them and makethem become positive learners. Weneed to help individuals identify the bit that’s missing that would make themfully competent in their role and agree individual interventions, rather thansend them on a training course when they may only need 5 per cent. The bigbreakthrough in traditional appraisal is when the individual you’re encouragingto develop says, “I think I need help in that area”.DavidButcherDirector of the Business Leaders’ Programme Cranfield School ofManagementI’dmake the distinction between training and development rather than training andlearning, because learning encompasses both. The difference is to do with howmuch of the person’s mindset you’re trying to engage. With training you’redealing mostly with knowledge and skills, but development is about much moreholistic concepts. Thebig distinction between executives who are successful learners and those whoare not is the fixedness of the mindset. If someone has strongly-heldattitudes, it’s not worth trying to dismantle them, and the possibility ofdevelopment is emasculated. Peopleseeking to develop others need to know them much better than if all they wantto do is train them. GarethDentHead of learner information, UFIOurexperience shows there is an enormous demand for learning. The real question iswhat makes a non-learner, because curiosity and a thirst for learning arepresent from an early age. It’sdown to what people learn about learning. If you’ve been successful atlearning, that breeds motivation to learn more, but if you’ve learnt thatlearning is difficult and painful, you’ll view it as a risky endeavour. We thenhave to switch back on that desire to learn by making sure the investment weask people to make is tiny in terms of time, effort and risk and by linking itto reward.AlisonClarkeDivisional learning and development director Whitbread RestaurantsOneof the things we’re thinking about a lot is that people in the past have alwayslearnt by rote, the way they did at school, and if you ever tested anybody’sknowledge from school these days, you’d probably find they hadn’t retained ahuge amount. Theonly way you ever get people inspired to learn is if they generate the interestthemselves. If people believe in what they’re learning and feel it adds valueto their lives, they’ll be hungry for more. If training is served on a plate –not very interesting and not just in time for what people need – you’re betteroff not supplying it. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article What makes a learner?On 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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HR is at the heart of huge growth plans at Unilever

first_imgHR is at the heart of huge growth plans at UnileverOn 30 Oct 2001 in HR transformation, Personnel Today Related posts: Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. center_img Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a… Consumergoods giant Unilever has put HR at the centre of its bid to transform thecompany and achieve ambitious growth.Thecompany wants to increase its revenue from 2 to 6 per cent and to achieve thisit has had to redefine its whole business strategy in the last year.  AgnesRoux-Kiener, director of organisation effectiveness in Unilever’s corporate HRgroup, told the seminar on Organising for Success that HR made sure it did notremain a back-office function in the new Unilever model.Personnelhas followed the example of IT and marketing by having an HR academy fortraining the team and HR websites.”HRis not separate from the rest of the business and the transformation has beenled by HR. “Peoplehave said that HR is a back office function – we are not happy about that andwe are making sure we are adding value to the business. HR is about movingpeople in, developing people and moving them on,” she said. last_img read more

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EOC calls for contract rights when taking career breaks

first_img Previous Article Next Article The Equal Opportunities Commission has criticised employers that requirewomen to resign when taking a career break to have children, following anemployment tribunal ruling. In the ruling a former Barclays employee, who took a two-year career break,was told she could not bring a case of unfair dismissal against the bankbecause she did not have continuity of service. Jane Unwin from Shaftsbury, Dorset had worked for Barclays for 20 yearsbefore taking a two-year career break in 1998 to care for her daughter, nowaged three. She returned to work in November last year but resigned within months in adispute over her new job. The employment tribunal disregarded her previous service with the bank andruled that she could not bring a case for unfair dismissal because she had notbeen in work for the minimum 12 months required to make a claim. An EOC spokeswoman said employers should allow staff to maintain theiremployment contracts while taking career breaks as best practice. She said, “We are concerned that women who take career breaks to havechildren are being forced to resign and lose their employment rights. We havehad complaints about this. “We would like to see women given the guaranteed right to work on thesame basis as before the career break.” But Caroline Rouse, a spokeswoman for Barclays, said it was standardpractice for employers to ask their staff to resign when taking career breaks. She added, “Our benchmarking of our maternity and career breakarrangement against other industries leads us to believe our family-friendlypolices are among the best.” Unwin is still claiming breach of contract and sex discrimination, whichdon’t require a year’s service before a claim can be made. www.eoc.org.ukBy Ben Willmott Comments are closed. EOC calls for contract rights when taking career breaksOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Prove you’re worth it and win

first_img Comments are closed. Where are the UK’s most talented HR innovators? Who sets the pace for changein people management? Which organisations are pioneering employers? The searchis on to find and reward the outstanding talent within this country’s humanresources professionIt’s that crucial time of year again when Personnel Today launches itsannual awards in recognition of the achievements of its readers. This is ourfourth year for what has become the key industry event and the Personnel TodayAwards 2002 promises to be our best yet. This year, we have more categories than ever – giving you lots of choice toenter and covering no less than 11 core areas within the HR function. There are four new sponsors supporting the 2002 Awards – Andersen, AonHealth Solutions, SHL and Snowdrop Systems. One significant new category hasalso been added – the Andersen Award for Innovation in Measuring Human Capital.This award recognises the growing importance of quantifying the value ofhuman capital and underlines the editorial commitment Personnel Today has madein the last 18 months towards strengthening reader awareness of this area. Thejudges for this category will be looking for HR teams in enterprises which havebroken new ground in measuring human capital return on investment. Details of the 11 categories are listed here. As always, entrants will beexpected to provide clear evidence to support their claims and prove positiveoutcomes for their business or organisation. Any company or organisation canenter up to two categories. Entries can be submitted by HR directors, managers,chief executives and other directors within the business. Entries from large orsmall organisations serving the public and private sectors are welcome. The ethos of the Awards will be to spotlight three shortlisted teams in eachcategory who can demonstrate innovation and achievement, teamwork, leadership,effective use of resources and evaluate HR’s contribution to the organisationas a whole. So, if your team has made a difference in the last 18 months why not win therecognition you deserve. Entry costs nothing, and simply by making the effortyou could put your operation on the map, share your good practice with othersand win your team an unforgettable night out at the spectacular Great Room,Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on 31 October. All 33 shortlisted teams willbe invited to the glittering awards ceremony, attended by up to 900 key peoplefrom the world of HR and industry. Don’t miss out, let your team stand out. More details are available on thePersonnel Today Awards websitewww.personneltodayawards.com Previous winners2001Award for Excellence in HR through TechnologyUniversity for Lloyds TSBAward for Excellence in TrainingNationwide Building SocietyHR Manager of the Year AwardCathy Callus, Happy ComputersAward for Global HRGetty Images IncAward for Best HR Strategy in Linewith BusinessAsda StoresAward for e-learningConsigniaDepartment for Work and PensionsAge Positive at Work AwardHalifax PlcAward for Organisational ChangeVenturaAward for Communication StrategyMWH Programme ManagementAward for Innovation in Recruitment and RetentionNorth Wales PoliceOverall WinnerUniversity for Lloyds TSB2000Award for Excellence in Training Asda StoresAward for Best HR Strategy in Linewith BusinessLex ServiceAward for e-learning Royal Bank of ScotlandAward for Innovation inRecruitment and RetentionPfizer GlobalAward for HR Manager of the YearSteve Daniels, Ulster BankAward for Outsourcing UnisysAward for HR Excellence throughTechnologyBritish TelecomAward for Promoting Age Diversityin the Workplace The Nationwide Building SocietyAward for Organisational ChangeForte Hotel GroupAward for Managing Employee HealthBritish GasOverall WinnerAsda StoresCategory sponsorThe Human Capital practice at Andersen is the leading integrated HR servicesconsultancy in the UK (voted No 1 in Management Consultancy magazine survey,July/August 2001) providing a full range of HR services including: HR strategy,e-HR, executive reward, share  schemes,expatriate  management, employee tax,employee compensation and HR outsourcing. It is supported by the Andersen Legalnetwork for all aspects of employment law advice and support.Learn more at www.andersen.com/ukCategories for 2002AndersonAward for Innovation in Measuring Human CapitalAON Health SolutionsAward for Managing Health at WorkDepartment for work and pensionsAge Positive at Work AwardHammonds Suddards EdgeHR Manager of the Year AwardThe Industrial SocietyAward for Organisational ChangeKnowledgepoolAward for Excellence in TrainingMicrosoft Great PlainsAward for Excellence in HR Through TechnologyRebus HRAward for Best HR Strategy in line with BusinessSHLAward for Global HR StrategySnowdrop SystemsAward for Communication StrategyTMP WorldwideAward for Innovation in Recruitment and Retention Previous Article Next Article Prove you’re worth it and winOn 26 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Drinks giant puts fizz back in management

first_imgDrinks giant puts fizz back in managementOn 1 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Drinks manufacturer Britvic has overcome a series of logistical challengesto implement an in-house training programme for shop-floor supervisors. Nine team co-ordinators at its Beckton plant took part in the year-long NEBSCertificate in Management programme – part of a larger strategy to develop therole of team co-ordinators, who provide the first level of supervision atBritvic. The NEBS CIM provides a basic foundation for line managers and aims toimprove performance, while serving as a stepping stone to furtherqualifications. Its modules cover the areas of managing people, activities,information and resources, and the award provides knowledge and skillsappropriate to at least the S/NVQ in Management Level 3. “We were looking for more than just an academic programme that wouldgive them a qualification at the end,” said Terri Turner, operationsdevelopment manager at Beckton. Against that wish list were the logistical challenges of releasing employeesfrom a production line that runs round-the-clock, in the heart of east London,as well as bringing together team co-ordinators who work different shiftpatterns. The answer was a tailored programme delivered on-site. In order to geteveryone together, tuition often took place as early as 6am – the start ofBeckton’s early, and most popular, shift. To facilitate bonding, the programme was launched with a five-day, off-siteintroductory certificate. Involving senior managers from Beckton, theintroduction built a sense of commitment to the programme among candidates,also enabling them to bond as a group – difficult in the fast-movingenvironment of the shop-floor. Action learning sets – comprised mainly of candidates who shared shifts –were formed to promote networking on the shop-floor. Britvic took networking astep further, setting up an in-company mentoring scheme in which each candidatewas mentored both by their immediate manager, the shift leader, and by a memberof Beckton’s leadership group. The scheme had the dual effect of expanding the team co-ordinators’understanding of the organisation and building ‘the coaching and mentoringabilities’ of senior managers, said Turner. “The mentoring, in particular,has given rise to challenges for the shift leaders – the team co-ordinators arecoming back with the latest management theory and feeding it up the line.”Britvic put £20,000 into the programme. The timing of the NEBS programme hascoincided with ‘massive reorganisation over the last year,’ according toTurner. “We’ve undergone huge organisation change without any impact onproduction,” she said. “We now have fewer, more highly-skilled people, and that is what we arecontinually aiming for,’ she continued, citing the level of shift leader as anexample. Turner’s message is that to maintain a critical edge: “You have toinvest in people’s development. The NEBS programme is a very practical vehicleto do that, particularly where you can flex the programme to meet youroperational needs,” she said. www.nebsmgt.co.ukBy Margaret Kubicek Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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IIP backs HR to solve the productivity problem

first_imgHR professionals must grow their roles if the UK’s poor productivity levelsare to be improved, claimed the chief executive of Investors in People in anexclusive interview. Ruth Spellman believes HR holds the key to solving the productivity gap, butmust make itself more central to decision-making within their organisations. “The HR function needs to get real and understand the pressures ofbusiness,” she said. Spellman does not believe that US strategy guru Michael Porter, who is beingemployed by the Department of Trade and Industry to tackle the problem, willprovide an answer. “It’s a bit of a vote of no confidence in our managers,” she said.”We have to learn from other countries, but we can’t go running overseasevery time we have a problem.” She also accused HR of becoming too insular as a function and urged it towiden its aspirations. “I’d like to see many more HR managers not just getting on the board,but becoming major directors or CEOs. Why not?” she said, “I reallywant to get away from that legalistic ‘do not do’ attitude.” IIP is set to launch two new areas of accreditation – work-life balance andmanagement and leadership – following a £30m investment. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. IIP backs HR to solve the productivity problemOn 12 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Letters

first_imgThis week’s lettersWhy is HR constantly left holding the baby?It is interesting to note that HR directors are being asked by the CBI toplay a major role in changing the public perception of UK business when itappears that the leaders of these businesses believe HR professionals lack thecommercial acumen to make strategic decisions or sit on the board. Marc Hommel’s article ‘Stepping up to the mark’ (Strategy, 10 June) waslittered with patronising terms which owed more to a lesson in classroombehaviour than serious business issues. It typifies the narrow minded,finance-centric approach often used when referring to HR practice and wasironically summed up by the adapted ‘baby on board’ sign. Perhaps it would be more helpful to try to explore new approaches tobusiness thinking which enables HR to bring a fresh perspective to strategydevelopment on the board rather than hammer home the same tired old messages. Karen Roberts HR & training manager, Molecular Products Old-fashioned views deter best candidate The views of John Spartan (letters, 17 June) frankly beggars belief. I amstunned that someone who is a ‘head of HR’ is naive enough to think this way. Let’s take his question: “Are women not able to promote themselves inthe workplace by their education, skills, aptitudes, experience andmerits?” Well, clearly not if one looks at the statistics. The fact thatthere are so few women (or ethnic minorities for that matter) in the top ranksof just about any organisation you care to name, is surely a testimony to theexistence of gender (and race) bias. Does he not agree with the concept that to compete equally, those from aposition of disadvantage need extra encouragement and help? I don’t know what kind of outfit JBMS is, but if its head of HR limits theavailable pool of talent he recruits from with this kind of institutionaliseddiscrimination, then any advantages which come from a diverse workforce willsurely be lost and the best person for the job may be continually passed overin favour of a white male. Also what message about JBMS’s values do these viewssend to its customers? Ian Henly FCIPD Service centre manager, Crown Prosecution Service Has he never read equality research? I am somewhat surprised to find someone supposedly head of HR in a largeorganisation not only suggesting the maternity regulations cause problems foremployers but also that women do not need equality legislation these days. DoesJohn Spartan (letters, 17 June) also believe we do not need disability and racerelations legislation or is he just anti-women? It appears he does not believe there is such a thing as the ‘glass ceiling’or ‘old boys’ network’ which gives all advantages to men while preventing womenfrom entering, surviving and flourishing in the workplace. Does he not read the research on this subject that shows the manager isnormally a man even in areas where there are a lot of women employed? Even withthe Equal Pay Act, women are still paid less than men in like positions. If dealt with in the correct way, women returning to work after maternityleave are soon back up to speed, especially where the organisation has a robustmaternity leave policy that enables women to be kept up to date with changes inthe workplace. I admit managing maternity leave and getting the right calibre of maternityleave cover can sometimes be difficult, but the benefits far outweigh theproblems, especially when most industries now have difficulty with recruitmentand retention. The equality legislation is not about advantaging one gender over another oreven one section of the population over another, it is about trying to providea level playing field; it is about educating employers to realise that everyonehas something to offer and that the ‘white, male, middle class’ worker is notalways the best person for the job. Sorry, John, but I think you sound a little bitter in your letter and havenot really looked at the situation with an impartial eye. Denise Carter Senior HR adviser, Company name withheld HR must polish up its internal image firstI was interested to read Scott Beagrie’s feature on what HR needs to do toboost its image, ‘What are HR directors worth?’ (Personnel Today,17 June).Progress on this issue must surely involve improvements in how employees regardthe HR function and the role it plays in the organisation’s development. Employees are not only HR’s business, they also shape external views throughtheir advocacy (or otherwise) for their employer. HR must build from the ‘inside out’ if it is to enhance its reputation (andso the reward) for the service which it delivers. Nick Wright Director,  Fishburn Hedges LettersOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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BA pays the price for its air of indifference

first_imgBA pays the price for its air of indifferenceOn 5 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today The unofficial walkout of British Airways (BA) ground service staff atHeathrow with all its attendant damage was a salutary warning to the airlineindustry and everybody beyond. For years, surveys of employee satisfaction have been pointing to a steadygrowth of disaffection, reflected in the election of a generation of avowedlymore aggressive trade union leaders. But what has propelled this shift is notso much a new militancy, as a demand for respect – a widespread feelingexpressing itself through industrial relations. That presents a major challenge to the HR community, but it is also anopportunity. The BA dispute bubbled up from below. None of the unions negotiating aboutthe introduction of swipe cards for months beforehand guessed that theirmembers were this ready to act. It was certainly a surprise to BA. Had BAmanagement the slightest hint that the enforced introduction of swipe cardswould lead to £40m of lost revenues and tens of millions more in lostreputation, it would not have acted in such a self-defeating manner. After all,20,000 other workers within BA had already accepted the new system. The trigger for this unexpected storm was not so much the monitoring ofattendance; it was apprehension that the new technology would permit awholesale recasting of the workplace bargain – on BA’s terms and time-schedule– and that workers would have no say in the matter. And on top of poor pay, ifwork was to be distributed around the rhythm of customer demand, then workerswould have been reduced to little more than automata. This is where the question of respect kicks in. Of course there was fearabout change and further intensification of the pace of work without additionalcompensation. But what made the reaction so highly charged was the sense thatthe whole approach showed how BA regarded the workforce. Any durable solution to these types of disputes must involve systems andprocesses the workforce trusts – that gives them a voice in how the workplacebargain is to be reshaped. Thus the traditionalist collective bargaining dealcannot always offer a sustainable position. It needs processes involving thetransmission of information and consultation in a way that encourages genuineemployee input to how working practices are shaped. BA needs a more European, social partnership approach to organising workthan either our unions or management are ready to accept. Tony Woodley,designated successor to Sir Bill Morris at the Transport & General WorkersUnion, said unions musn’t get too close “to the gaffer” – and Britishmanagements do cherish their autonomy and discretion. The implementation of the EU directive on information and consultation ispainfully slow, and there is a respect deficit out there. Now is the time forHR to make the case for pre-emptive action to mitigate the risk of being in thesame position as BA was. By Will Hutton, chief executive, The Work Foundation Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

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On the job: where HR gets the chance to say what it really feels

first_imgOn the job: where HR gets the chance to say what it really feelsOn 20 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Political correctness has gone utterly barmyIt’s January 20th and I’m still steaming! Well past Christmas, the New Yearhangover. The season to be jolly, wasn’t it? Was it hell. ‘Twas the season formanagers’ folly. Political correctness can no longer be said to have gone mad.It’s gone utterly barmy. Don’t put up a Christmas tree. Don’t throw a Christmas party. Don’t eventhink of following any wandering stars. Why? You might offend the sensibilitiesof the staff by the water cooler who worship the ancient Macedonian gods. We don’t stop people participating in Ramadan. And rightfully so. It’s abona fide religious event that should be respected. Try that argument about themajority belief (Christianity) and you’d be for the high jump. The DTI’s Christmas cards didn’t have any images of a Christian nature onthem. They did have a rock guitarist (commonly believed to be an emissary ofSatan) and the word ‘Goal’. Surely venerating people like David Beckham fallsunder the auspices of ‘thou shalt not worship graven images’? So there we have it. In the thousands of years since Moses came down fromMount Sinai with the 10 Commandments (surely the eldest of HR proclamations)and found the Israelites worshipping a statue of a calf, we’ve gone from theworship of Golden Bulls to Golden Balls. I’m tempted to just end it all, but am afraid of the industrial tribunalthat would result if I don’t include crucifixion, hanging, ritualdisembowelment and the death of a goat in the process. HR Hartley HR director at large Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Recruitment: Why the long……….process?

first_img Previous Article Next Article Read full article Comments are closed. Recruitment: Why the long……….process?Shared from missc on 9 Dec 2014 in Personnel Todaycenter_img What’s with the long, arduous multi-stage recruitment processes that seem to be increasingly common place these days? When chatting to job seekers I find that a 6 stage (or more) recruitment process that may incorporate psychometric testing, multiple technical tests, cultural evaluations, competency based screening (to name a few), is nothing out of the ordinary and I can’t help but wonder if it’s necessary?Has the length, rigorousness or even quirkiness of a company’s recruitment process become a marketing tool to tell the world that what lies beyond this extensive screening must be worth all the work and effort put in?I believe that in this day and age we should be striving to create efficiencies, thus not being on-board with what seems to me to be an in-efficient waste of time. The only thing I believe you can be certain of after a 6-8 stage process is just how keen the candidate is on the position/company given the willingness to stick around for that long. I don’t believe that you will gain any more of an in-sight into their suitability to the position, over a well put together 2 stage interview process where the questioning is intelligent, relevant to the role and type of person you are looking to hire, which may or may not include a specific skills based test. Specific preparation is key! Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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