What price education?

first_imgWhat price education?On 23 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Gainingan MBA can be a real career accelerator and gain you a place on the board butas Nic Paton discovered, it is also essential to ensure you grasp fundamentalstrategic and business objectivesHeatherSalter, HR director at entertainment company Clear Channel Entertainment,graduated in September as an MBA from the Open University Business School. Aformer secretary, she has worked her way up through Grand Metropolitan (aswas), Scottish & Newcastle and Apollo Leisure to a point where, if itwasn’t for the fact Clear Channel is owned by a US parent, she would now be onthe board.For her, securing anMBA on top of her OU degree and IPD qualification was not simply an option, itwas a necessity. The course, three years of distance learning modules,tutorials once a month and a residential element, was a tough juggling act.But if she wanted tohave credibility with the people who mattered – the board – to go onwards andupwards, she felt she needed the qualification.”I have now got alanguage  that lets me communicate withthem. The MBA has also changed my whole way of thinking. I am much more likelyto look at what the business needs are and tailor the solution to them ratherthan thinking something is just good to do,” she says.Yet, in the threeyears of studying, she did not meet a single other HR professional. While it isimpossible to know with any certainty what percentage of high-level HRprofessionals hold MBAs, Salter’s experience does not seem unusual. Fewer than2 per cent of those who studied at Henley Management College in recent yearshave HR or personnel backgrounds and just three of the 300 people who graduatedthrough the latest London Business School MBA programme came from an HR background.The Association of MBAs (AMBA) estimates that, out of a total membership ofaround 11,000 people, fewer than 40 of its members work in HR.”It is true, veryfew people in HR either have an MBA or intend to do one,” agrees LindaHolbeche, director of research at the Roffey Park Institute. “They tend toget their qualification through the CIPD or an MSc in organisationaldevelopment or whatever. But they are reinforcing the usual problem of HR beingapparently disconnected from the business.” The HR profession isincreasingly being urged to talk the language of business. HR professionals inturn often bemoan the fact they are perceived by chief executives, financialdirectors and chief operating offices as non-core – a useful, if slightly,well, woolly adjunct to the real business of making money. Management oftensees HR in much the same way it views public relations – glad it’s there,particularly in a crisis, but for God’s sake don’t let them get too close tothe big stuff. For Mike Jones,director general of AMBA, the fact this view still prevails in many boardroomsaround the country, is “a real shame”. But HR can be its own worstenemy, preferring to focus on “technical” qualifications such as theCIPD and ignoring the need for general business skills, he argues.”It is essentialthat the HR director or manager has a very strong understanding of theconstituent parts of the organisation. In many large companies, having an MBA is a prerequisite for getting onthe board. It is the only management qualification that gives a broadperspective on the various functions and functionalities of the business,”he says.Julia Tyler, directorof the MBA programme at London Business School, agrees. “What the MBA willdo is move you out of the HR ghetto and give you knowledge of the generalbusiness functions,” she says.Yet in one sense theMBA has become a victim of its own success. The range and breadth of coursesnow offered by a plethora of organisations and institutions, some good andothers distinctly less so, has devalued the qualification’s currency. It isimportant, therefore, to pick a well-respected course. Out of 124 schools inthe UK offering MBAs, AMBA only accredits 34. And these 34 account fortwo-thirds of all MBA students. “The MBA has lostits exclusivity, but against that is has become the mainstream managementqualification,” admits Jones.The qualification  is increasingly becoming a must-have for theyounger, up-and-coming executive, adds Professor Leo Murray, director of the CranfieldSchool of Management. To become a board-level director without an MBA or otherhigh-level business qualification is the exception rather than the norm. HRprofessionals who want to get on should consider studying for an MBA earlierrather than later – perhaps even at HRM level.”If you are aboutto get on the board of a FTSE company the probability is that you are 35-to-40years of age and are pretty high up your chosen ladder. You will probablyalready have done a general management programme or an MBA. Typically, people who do an MBA are the high-fliers in the 25-to-35 age bracket,” says Murray.An alternative optionis the executive  MBA, or eMBA. This isthe same qualification studied part-time on a modular basis and often throughe-learning. Many colleges have linked up with other institutions around theworld to offer eMBAs that are truly global, designed to attract high-fliersworking for multinationals. Ultimately, though, it is the qualification and theschool it is from, not how you got it, that matters, argues AMBA’s Jones.”An MBA is an MBA is an MBA.” So, it’s easy, then,an MBA is a passport to the board. Not necessarily. Cranfield’s Murray and LBS’Tyler agree an MBA can be an enormous career accelerator, but getting to theboard is a different matter altogether.”You cannot justsay that HR directors are not on the board because they do not have MBAs, thatis deeply far fetched. It is about knowledge, skills and persuasiveness,”says Murray. “An MBA is extremely useful. It gives you a vocabulary, anagenda that lets you relate to the business. But the further up you go the lessit is about qualifications and the more it is about your experience,determination and drive.”Neither can thequalification teach an executive what life is really like on the board, whetherfrom an HR background or not, argues John Weston, head of the centre fordirector development at the Institute of Directors. An MBA will give you asound under-pinning of effective management, but the IoD also runs a diploma incompany direction that aims to offer clear, distinct guidance on how to leadand be a director. About 300 people a year go through the course. “Most MBAs miss the unique differenceof  being on the board. Managing anddirecting are not the same thing. There is the collective responsibility,different legal duties and responsibilities. It is about operating beyond yourfunction and specialism,” says Weston.HR people need tostart to emphasise the strategic nature of HR, he adds. “Managingdirectors and financial directors tend not to understand that concept  very well. HR professionals really have toblow their own trumpet more, they have to say, ‘This company will not workunless you have an effective HR strategy in place’. They could be leaking theirbest people like a sieve and not know it.”For the HRprofessional looking to progress up the greasy pole, it appears the question ofacquiring an MBA is increasingly becoming one of when rather than if. Ofcourse, some HR high-fliers will continue to make it to the board without MBAs.But, if HR professionals want to win the battle to become an integral part oftheir organisation’s strategic and business objectives, then the MBA needs tobecome a key part of their arsenal.WhereMBAs come in pecking orderDoctorates: PhDs can be a useful tool forfocusing on business issues or problems, but they are more usually for theserious academic. Nevertheless, they can add gravitas to an already solid CV *MBA: Gives a credible grounding ingeneral management and administration skills. Graduates will be expected to beable to “think outside the box” when it comes to their function, bereal business players and, probably, on a fast-track to the board *****Specialised MastersDegree: Graduatesshould be able to show an advanced level of academic and conceptual thinking and understand their functioninside out. But while they should give a sense of the broader business picture,they may also be tightly focused on a specific function or discipline ****Management Diploma: Shows you’re thinking widely aboutyour field and how best to work within your organisation ***CIPD: a vital qualification for anyself-respecting HR professional, but worth getting behind you as fast aspossible and then moving on **Key:  ***** stand for excellent, through to *which has less relevanceMBAskills need continuous updatingOnceachieved, an MBA will need updating. Indeed, one of the central tenets of anygood MBA programme is the need for life-long and continuous professionaldevelopment. Former MBA studentsare generally encouraged to remain in touch with their colleges throughout therest of their professional working life.Four months ago, AMBAlaunched MB Academy as a specific initiative to tap into this need forlife-long learning among MBA graduates. The academy offers members a series offive-day refresher courses designed to update their management skills with thelatest thinking, open them up to new ideas and simply allow them time torethink some of their management beliefs.Among otherinitiatives, Roffey Park launched its Strategic HR Network in September. This is a forumcomprising some 30 HR professionals who can share views, contacts, bestpractice and hold discussions at least twice a year. The members will also begiven software to allow them to keep in touch through their computers outsidethe meetings. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

EU temps directive is unworkable says HR

first_img Comments are closed. EU temps directive is unworkable says HROn 26 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today HR professionals believe the draft EU directive giving temporary workers thesame pay and benefits as permanent staff is completely unworkable and willincrease business costs. The directive was published last week and will mean temporary workers willbe entitled to equal pensions and other benefits once they have been employedfor a period of six weeks. It could become law in early 2003. Laurie Hibbs, HR consultant at Capital One, believes the draft directivewill lead to a massive increase in red tape for HR and a rise in costs toemployers if it is introduced in its current form. He said: “It will be an administrative nightmare and will put anadditional burden on over-legislated HR and payroll departments since everytemp would have to be frequently enrolled and removed from benefits providers. “Temps want to be able to earn a cash sum and have the flexibility tochange jobs – by enforcing these conditions it will cost both the company andthe temp.” The directive will now go to the Council of Ministers and the EuropeanParliament where it could be amended before it becomes law. Martin Hinchliffe, HR director at Welcome Break, would like to see thesix-week qualification period extended to at least three months beforetemporary workers are eligible for the same pay and benefits. He said: “I think the period of qualification is too short. I would behappier if this was doubled.” The CIPD believes the directive could force HR departments to draw up setsof pay and conditions for every temp employed beyond six weeks. “It’s going to be a very bureaucratic process given that agency staffare brought in as a quick response to deal with short-term staffingproblems,” said CIPD employee relations adviser Diane Sinclair. By Ross Wigham The details that HR has to know– Temporarystaff will be entitled to the same pay and conditions as comparable permanentemployees– It will apply to all temps working at a firm for more thansix weeks– Qualifications and skills will be taken into account– Employers will have to negotiate separate sets of pay andbenefits with agencies for every temporary staffer working for more than sixweeks– The draft will go to the Council of Ministers and the EuropeanParliament and could be amended before becoming law– Experts estimate the directive could be introduced as earlyas the beginning of next year – The UK  has 1 milliontemps available for work each daywww.europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/greffe_index.htmlFeedbackBob Edwards, HR manager at BristolWater “I think it is the paperwork rather than the principlethat is the problem. I don’t have any objections to paying agency staff thesame as permanent staff but I do have concerns about giving them the same termsand conditions because I think it will be very difficult to do that.”Mark Hocken, resourcing managerfor Merchants Ltd “The new directive will create a necessity for ourbusiness to increase our administration workforce, this at the moment liesheavily with the employment agencies. The main impact on our business will bean increase in our overhead costs, which will inevitably make our service moreexpensive to prospective clients.”Mike Young, HR director attelecoms firm Avaya “I think it will have a big impact on us as we employ alarge number of temporary workers. This will add to the cost and red tape whichtakes away the whole point of using flexible labour. It’s meant to be flexibleand short term.”Mike Taylor, group HR director atLorne Stewart”This will force some employers to play musical chairs bychanging temps every four or five weeks. This will not benefit employers,temporary workers or UK plcs. It is another ludicrous piece of EU legislation.”Laurie Hibbs, HR consultant forfinancial firm Capital One “While all employees should expect a minimum standard oftreatment, the proposals are actually highly counter productive and divisivesince they threaten the very thing that temporary staff value most –flexibility. The directive is well meaning, but ill-conceived and burdensome.”James Reed, CEO of ReedRecruitment Group “The UK’s temporary workforce includes experts who arepaid high rates. The flexibility this offers has played a huge part in the factthat the UK has enjoyed lower unemployment than Europe.” Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Scheme to train young offenders

first_img Comments are closed. Training of young offenders has also been successful, withonly 6 per cent of those trained re-offending, compared to a normal rate ofabout 70 per cent. She said: “We have a responsibility and interest in ourown supply chain and we also need to provide a skilled and motivatedworkforce.” The Lattice Group is training young offenders and peoplewith educational problems to meet skills shortages in the company. The scheme was so successful the company has replicated themodel within the group’s Transco offices in Peterborough. Mary Harris, the director of the Lattice Foundation, thesocial responsibility arm of the company, said as well as providingopportunities for these young people, the initiative has also proved valuablefor the company. Scheme to train young offendersOn 23 Jul 2002 in Personnel Todaycenter_img Previous Article Next Article Lattice, the parent body for Transco, provides opportunitiesfor young people who are likely to be excluded from school, to receive trainingat two of its bases. As part of its corporate social responsibility programmeit also trains young offenders in Reading Prison as gas fitters and forkliftdrivers. Related posts:No related photos. In the Lattice CRED scheme for pupils aged 14 to 16,students spend three days at a learning centre in the Reading premises. Theother two weekdays are spent on year-long work placements the students selectfrom a wide range of industries. From the latest intake, 13 per cent are going on to collegeor the sixth-form, just under 30 per cent have been offered traineeships, and47 per cent have gone into full-time work. last_img read more

Law amendments clarify health and safety duties

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Amended legislation aimed at clarifying and simplifying parts of health andsafety law is now in force. It covers areas such as first aid, display screens, personal protectiveequipment, manual handling, work equipment, lifting operations and quarries. Bill Callaghan, chairman of the Health and Safety Commission, said:”Some important issues are dealt with in these amendments. They cover manysignificant changes that will affect a range of health and safety measures. “These amendments will help greatly in clarifying and simplifying thelaw’s requirements,” he said. “I hope these changes will make the regulations more accessible toemployees, who have important rights and obligations under thislegislation.” The proposed changes have been made to clarify a number of issues raisedrecently by the European Commission concerning specific aspects of the UKimplementation of the EC’s Framework Directive. The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 can beviewed at www.hmso.gov.uk Law amendments clarify health and safety dutiesOn 24 Sep 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

More power for HR directors

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Hospitals will be expected to adjust staffing levels in order to meetwaiting list targets, under new proposals announced by the Department ofHealth’s HR director. Andrew Foster wants individual hospitals to adopt the Government’s blueprintof evaluating staff levels – and how to achieve them – according to the demandsof patient waiting lists. He told delegates this approach would place greater responsibility on NHS HRdirectors and help them gain the respect of their chief executives. “Weneed to replicate it at all levels. This is part of an extremely importantargument around mainstreaming HR,” he said. “You all know one of the biggest priorities chief executives are reallyfocused on is waiting lists, and what we are doing here is not only linking inthe HR numbers but the measures we need to take. It shows how the HR functioncan provide answers to some of the fundamental challenges facing the NHS.”Foster plans to initially incorporate the approach within England’s 28regional health author- ities,then roll it out nationally. He urged health service HR directors to investigate using shared servicecentres to carry out more transactional HR tasks, freeing it to tacklestrategic work and issues including pay reforms and the Working Time Directive.”We come from a historical situation where an under-resourced personnelfunction, which is aware of the real ability of HR, tends to do onlytransactional tasks. This leaves us in a position of perpetual catch up. Theshared services approach takes the transactional aspect out of HR,” saidFoster. More power for HR directorsOn 29 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Traffic charge to drive up cost of hiring staff

first_imgThe start of congestion charging in London next month is expected to makerecruitment and retention of the capital’s emergency service staff, shiftworkers and the low paid more difficult. From 17 February, traffic passing through the centre of London will besubject to a £5 daily fee by the Greater London Authority (GLA), enforced byhundreds of high-tech cameras. According to Charles Cotton, rewards adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personneland Development, almost all employers are refusing to foot the bill, and saythe charge is a cost workers will have to bear. However, many HR professionalsfear the cost will drive potential and existing staff elsewhere. Mike Griffin, HR director at Kings College Hospital NHS Trust, said thecharge will hit NHS and public sector employers hard. “For many shifts, public transport is not a suitable or safe option.[The charge] will make working in London much less attractive,” he said. “We are just outside the zone in South East London, but it will affectthose workers who need to drive through the zone.” Griffin said the trust will shift its recruiting focus to areas notaffected, and is encouraging staff to lift-share. Ian Young, HR director at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, said there weresituations where staff could claim back the cost from the GLA – includingtransporting patient notes, drugs or bulky materials. But he said the system istied up in red tape. Most nine-to-five, office-based employers say the charge will have littleimpact. The GLA claims the charge, to be levied Monday to Friday, between 7am and6.30pm, will reduce traffic and raise millions each week to be re-invested inLondon’s transport system. By Quentin Readewww.cclondon.com Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Traffic charge to drive up cost of hiring staffOn 14 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Career file: Challenging attitudes to disability

first_img Previous Article Next Article To mark European Year for People with Disabilities, we asked Jude Sefton,MBE, to describe her work for Access UnlimitedHow long have you been in this job? I have been a trainer since 1993 but became self-employed in 1997. What does your role involve? I deliver disability equality training to staff working within various keyareas of service provision – that is, tourism, sport and leisure, retail,disability arts etc. What’s the best things about your job? The best is being in a position to bring about effective change and to beable to challenge the stereotypical attitudes that exist regarding disability. What is your current major project or strategic push? The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is currently providing a strategicpush and most of my training is linked to the duties imposed upon serviceproviders. What did you want to do for a living when you were at school? I always had a childhood ambition to become a nurse. What was your first job? While waiting to become accepted into my local school of nursing, I workedas a doctor’s receptionist which gave me valuable experience of working withpeople from all walks of life. What was the best career decision you ever made? To relinquish my incapacity benefit and become self-employed. I have had tomake several career changes to suit my deteriorating mobility levels afterdeveloping Rheumatoid Arthritis at 22. Each enabled me to develop professionalskills. How and why did you become a trainer? I found it difficult to secure employment on becoming a wheelchair user andworked in a voluntary capacity for some years as a secretary for a local accessgroup. This gave me the opportunity to develop knowledge in disability issuesand work with service providers to ensure a service of equality was offered topeople with disabilities. Which of your qualifications do you most value and why? I value my nursing qualification as it enabled me realise my childhoodambition and taught me a valuable lesson that given the right opportunities,and blending enthusiasm and drive, then anything is possible. What was the worst course you ever went on? One that was supposedly for helping disabled people back into the workplace.Unfortunately for the trainer, the delegates knew a lot more about disabilitythan she did. How do you think your job will have changed in five years’ time? I think that technology will take the training experience into a newdimension but hope that it doesn’t totally replace the human touch. What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future? I hope they will still be very much about interpersonal skills, enthusiasmand passion for the subject. What advice would you give to someone starting out in training anddevelopment? Know your subject matter inside out and once the enthusiasm and passion ebb,then move on. Always be true to yourself and your delegates. What are your favourite buzzwords? Inclusion, equality and empowerment! Are you good at self-development? I recognise the value of self-development but being self-employed havedifficulty in securing the time to pursue it. What self-development have you undertaken in the past 12 months? I have attended several DDA workshops recently to further my knowledge in thisimportant area of my work. How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues? For my sense of fun and my passion for life, not just for my disability. Up close and personalHow do you network?I find it useful to attend conferences, seminars, workshops. Ialso have good working relationships with associates working within the fieldof disability which often culminates in working in partnership.If you could have any job in the world what would it beBeing in a position to influence change and break down thebarriers which exclude disabled people is the best job in the world! I am fortunate to be able to use my personalexperiences in such a positive way.Describe your management style Structured funWhere do you want to be in five years’ time?I hope I am well enough to be still fighting the cause.What is your motto?Lose the passion, lose the delegate!’Which is the best management book you have read?I really admire the work of Honey & Mumford (LearningStyles) Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Career file: Challenging attitudes to disabilityOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Directors must be held to account for their pay

first_imgTheNational Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) among others, has re-opened the debate about the basis onwhich directors pay should be set. Recentgovernment initiatives to make the reporting of directors’ reward strategiesmore transparent and subject to a vote of shareholders are very welcome.Indeed, the effective embracing of these new mechanisms by shareholders hasforced many secretive remuneration committees to re-think their reward strategiesand links to performance.Themost recent NAPF proposals appear to go much further. They suggest definingdirectors’ pay by means of a multiple between the lowest paid and the highestpaid in an organisation. The multiple mooted was in the region of 20-times thelowest paid salary. Thisstrategy implies a strong connection between the achievements of those at thetop, and the value realised through every single employees’ contribution. Itrightly provokes controversial questions, such as whether an absolute limitshould apply to directors’ remuneration, whereby they are well rewarded and incentivised without being paidexcessive amounts. Couldit be that over-generous rewards for directors act as a disincentive to theworkforce, who feel that theirpersonal contribution to the success of the organisation is not proportionatelyrecognised? And, of course, there is the perennial question of the point atwhich money ceases to be the key motivator. For most people, there are manyother motivational drivers to performance.Itseems that in some cases, excessive rewards for directors can act as adisincentive to the majority of the key business stakeholders, shareholders andperhaps customers. Often the links to truly outstanding rewards for outstandingperformance are vague, with shareholders failing to see excellent shareperformance while bumper director payments are made.Maybethe NAPF proposals are helpful in setting a guideline against which directors’remuneration should be assessed. If a factor of say 20- or 25-times thelowest-paid employee’s salary was set, then it would be up to each company’sremuneration committee to demonstrate why they wished to operate outside thoseparameters. Thiswould help to focus remuneration committees on much more direct anddemonstrable links between the stakeholders’ interests, business performance,and rewards.Inany case, transparency would definitely be improved, and that can only be agood thing for all of the parties concerned.By Paul Pagliari, HR director, Scottish Water Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Directors must be held to account for their payOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Year from Hell: 80% of Brooklyn businesses saw revenue drop

first_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Still, the survey showed a slight improvement from months earlier. In August, 50 percent of businesses said they were doing at least 50 percent less business than the same period in the prior year, and 39 percent said they owed rent.The pandemic eroded the balance sheets of many businesses. Fifty-one percent said that they have taken on debt as a result of Covid-19.Even so, some businesses had a better 2020 than 2019. Thirteen percent of businesses, primarily in health care, construction and consulting, saw a year-over-year increase in revenue.Contact the author Full Name* (iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Brooklyn businesses, like many others across the city, had a rough year.Eighty percent of all businesses saw revenue decline in 2020 from the year before, and 47% of those lost more than half of their revenue, according to a survey by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.“The end-of-year survey results confirm what we had been tracking all along in 2020,” Randy Peers, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a statement. “Small business revenue is in a free-fall.”For many businesses, rent remains an issue. Thirty-three percent of all businesses surveyed owe some back rent, and 49 percent did not receive any rent concessions.Read moreFighting for survival, more Brooklyn small businesses pay rentHere are Brooklyn’s top retail leases of 2020“Overwhelming majority” of Brooklyn retailers asking for rent relief: report brooklynbrooklyn retailRetail Share via Shortlink Tags Email Address*last_img read more

Feeding and growth in the Antarctic collembolan Cryptopygus antarcticus

first_imgVariations in the rate of moulting and of faecal pellet production by Cryptopygus antarcticus (Willem), collected from Signy Island in the maritime Antarctic, were measured over temperatures of 0° to 20°C. Over the range 5° to 15°C total faecal pellet production between moults was similar; at 0°C there was little feeding activity, whilst mortality was high at 20°C. The temperature of maximum moulting frequency is lower for this species than for temperate Isotomidae, suggesting cold adaptation of its moulting behaviour. Growth of individual specimens at 10°C was measured from mandibles recovered from shed exuviae after each moult, using a linear relationship between body length and mandible length. At a body length of 1040-1134 μm, individuals either increased or decreased in size at subsequent moults. The results suggest that the minimum age of the largest specimens of Cryptopygus on Signy Island is probably 3-7 yrlast_img read more