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Is flexible retirement the solution to the skills gap problem?

first_imgIs flexible retirement the solution to the skills gap problem?On 27 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Plansto abolish the compulsory retirement age may keep skills in the workplace, butsome feel it might be opening a can of worms. Richard Staines reportsNextmonth a working party will meet to debate the details of age discriminationlegislation which will affect all UK employers. Itfollows employment minister Margaret Hodge’s announcement to a select committeeearlier this month that the Government intends to abolish compulsory retirementat 65 and allow older employees to choose how long they want to continueworking. Bodies,including the CBI, CIPD, Employers’ Forum on Age, TUC, Socpo and Age Concern,will work with the Government to develop the age discrimination legislation,with the new rules becoming law in 2006. Thereare some key employer concerns that the working party will have to tackle.  SamMercer, campaign manager at the Employers’ Forum on Age, said, “The first issueis that the law has to be workable and flexible and employers have to be consultedon the law’s content.”Shebelieves there is a “serious lack of communication” between HR managers andpension fund managers and this has to change if flexible retirement systems areto be implemented. TheEmployers’ Forum on Age also believes the Inland Revenue will have to reviseits laws on pensions. At the moment, only fully retired people qualify forstate pensions with older people working part-time relying only on theirsalaries to support them. The forum wants a more flexible system, where olderemployees working part-time would be able to withdraw part of their pensions.Changesto the retirement age and its possible impact on pensions could makerecruitment harder in the public sector, according to Socpo adviser TimRothwell. He said, “One of the main reasons people go into local government isthat there is an excellent pension system. We shall have to take a careful lookto ensure the changes do not disrupt the existing pension system too much andcause problems for us when we try and recruit staff.”Socpoalso wants the Government to clarify at an early stage which occupations areexempt from the retirement ruling. Police officers and firefighters, forexample, are required to have good fitness levels and compulsory retirementfrom active duty could be justified on fitness grounds.Butthere are those who question the change to contractual requirements ofretirement more fundamentally. RogerBrown, senior partner of law firm Endale & Company, believes the Governmenthas missed the point. He questions whether ending a compulsory retirement agewill prevent age discrimination against those seeking work. Brownsaid, “The problem that the Government was seeking to tackle, but has missedalong the way, was the blatant discrimination against anyone over 40 securing ajob in mainstream industry and commerce. “Removinga compulsory retirement age will do nothing to stop such discrimination. Whatit will do is create chaos in all aspects of the employment process, not leaststate and occupational pension provision.” CBIdirector-general Digby Jones believes the outlawing of a contractual retirementcould lead to a US-style scenario, with many firms face rising litigation costsfrom disgruntled employees.Hesaid, “There is a need to raise the level of employment among older workers,given skills shortages and an ageing population – but doing away withcontractual retirement ages is not the solution. There may be justifiablereasons why an employer cannot extend retirement age. Indeed, it might be irresponsibleto employ people over retirement age.”Whiledetails of changing compulsory retirement and other proposals will be discussedover the coming months by the working party, legislation will definitely beenacted. This is due to the ratification of an EU directive last May, whichmakes age discrimination at work illegal.Employerswill have five years to comply with the new rules produced, but the Employers’Forum on Age is advising companies to introduce flexible retirement in advanceof the legislation.Itis proposing a “decade of retirement” model, in which an older member of staffagrees with the employer on a date when he or she will retire. The amount ofwork expected of an individual can be reduced over several years and his or herrole changed to make the transition smoother.Hodgeurged companies to adopt this approach when she announced the changes to theselect committee earlier this month. She called for employers to change theircultures to pre-empt the legislation. They need to overcome misconceptionsabout older workers having poor sickness absence records and not being able toadapt to new technology, she said. Hodgesaid, “We believe the culture change is necessary to ensure we make the bestuse of the undoubted experience and talents of all people who want to work.“Thedemographic changes mean the economy will not survive without using the talentsand experience of older workers.”Hodgeis not the only one who believes HR teams should be dealing with ageism now.TheTUC feels there is a good business case for implementing the DfEE’s existingcode of practice on age discrimination. Forinstance, firms following the code are required to evaluate the loss of skillsbefore operating early retirement schemes and consider alternatives for thosewith crucial abilities.KayCarberry, head of equal rights at the TUC, said, “With compulsory retirement,companies could be losing staff who have accumulated a lot of experience andknowledge in that workplace.”CIPDadviser Mike Emmott advised employers to adopt this “enlightened approach” tomanaging people. He said, “Employers should not be looking at people onsuperficial grounds such as age – they should be looking at what they are doingfor the company. Perhaps they could look at pension provision and moving olderpeople into part-time roles. Older people would perhaps not be so worried abouta drop in income – particularly if they had access to some of their pension.”Buta timely flexible retirement, where employees are able to draw on state andoccupational pensions while they work part-time, will not be possible withoutchanges to the Inland Revenue’s rules.Ministersagree in principle that rules should be relaxed, but the details need to bethrashed out if companies are to benefit from progressive retirement measures.GovernmentadviceTheGovernment urges companies to:–Make sure retirement programmes meet the needs of the organisation–Use succession planning effectively so that companies do not lose key skillswhen employees retire–Investigate whether different pension arrangements would ease the problem–Agree on a retirement policy with employees, communicate it effectively andapply it fairly–Support and guide people approaching retirement age–Ensure employees have choice and flexibility.Peoplecannot draw on state pensions before the age of 65, but they can draw onoccupational pensions before this. Employeesmust have retired from the employer with whom they arranged the scheme beforethey draw on occupational pensions. They can draw on personal pensions whetheror not they continue to work for the same employer.Weblink read more

Call for managers to take lead in work-life balance

first_img Comments are closed. Katie Hawkins reports on the debates at the fourth employers’ law briefingin LondonSenior managers should embrace work-life balance practices to convince staffof the benefits, the HR director of Shell Gas and Power told delegates. At the employers’ Law/Rowe & Maw Briefing, Liz Rayner said introducingwork-life balance practices is not enough. She said, “You need todemonstrate in practice that taking advantage of them won’t unduly affect anindividual’s career progression.” She said managers often feel under pressure to be constantly available andbe seen to be enjoying working long hours to pre-empt criticism fromcolleagues. Teamwork is essential for flexible working practices to besuccessful. She said, “Probably the most important issue is whether you have a goodsupport system around you, so that you don’t feel that the only person capableof dealing with emergency – or even day-to-day matters – is you. “Trusting others to make decisions in your absence is vital and, in thelong-term, also helps them to grow and learn.” Shell has introduced work-life balance strategies in the UK, includingcareer breaks, job-sharing, term-time working and home working. Rayner saidafter the briefing, “There has always been a wish that we can attract,motivate and retain talent.” Delegates heard her attribute the rise of work-life balance practices toincreased business pressures. “Organisations now have to face increasedcustomer demand, global competition and a workforce with much higherexpectations,” she said. “In today’s marketplace, we are all expected to know more, react fasterand stay infinitely flexible – at any time of the day.” Shell has joined the Employers for Work-Life Balance group, which includesKPMG, the BBC and HSBC, to share information and best practice on the issue. Previous Article Next Article Call for managers to take lead in work-life balanceOn 15 May 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Q & A

first_imgRelated posts: 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… Previous Article Next Article Q & AOn 11 Dec 2001 in Military, Personnel Todaycenter_img Comments are closed. Your legal questions answeredQ  Our company is going through alarge-scale redundancy programme. One employee is being particularly difficultand is insisting we pay him the same enhanced redundancy package we offered toredundant employees two years ago. Is he right? The package we are offering atthe moment is less, although still more than statutory redundancy pay. A  For your employee to arguesuccessfully that he is entitled to the previous redundancy package, he willneed to show he has a contractual right to receive that same package. This will depend on his ability to show that the previous package has becomecontractual by “custom and practice.” The legal test is that it mustbe “certain” and “notorious”. The sorts of questions you need to consider are: How often the same packagehas been offered to your staff; what sort of information about the package wasgiven to employees at the time; were the packages expressed to be discretionaryand/or capable of variation or discontinuation at any time; did each redundancypackage require individual sign off by the employees’ line managers? If you are able to show some of these, then you may be able to resist theemployee’s claim. Q  We are reducing the number ofsales managers from two to zero. Our current head of sales will absorb their role.We have told both of the displaced managers what is happening but one of themis disputing our business case. He is also refusing to enter into anyconsultation with us, and is threatening to “create trouble”. Whatshould we do? A  If the company’s business caselooks genuine, the tribunal is unlikely to probe the commercial merits of anydecision to make redundancies. But the issue of consultation is more difficult. If you have made repeatedunsuccessful attempts to engage in dialogue with the employee, then you areprobably justified in abandoning your efforts to consult with him. Given the employee’s unco-operative behaviour, he is likely to havedifficulties in bringing a claim for unfair dismissal based on a lack ofconsultation. Keep a record of your attempts to speak to him, so that if heclaims lack of consultation, you can rebut that. Q  Two of our employees are in theTerritorial Army and may be called up to go to Afghanistan. If this happens, wewill need to arrange cover for them. Do we have to take them back when theyreturn? A  If your employees ask for theirjobs back within six months of the end of their military service, you areobliged to reinstate them on terms no less favourable than before. If this isnot reasonable or practical, they must be employed in the most favourableposition and on the most favourable terms reasonable and practical. However, if they wait more than the six months, you are under no obligationto reinstate them. If they apply within the six-month period, then their periodof military service does not break the continuity of their employment with you.Nicholas Moore is head of employment at Osborne Clarke last_img read more

City staff ready for pay cuts in tough climate

first_imgCity staff ready for pay cuts in tough climateOn 22 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Most City workers would understand if their company was forced to cut pay inresponse to the economic downturn, research claims. The study, by global recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley, shows employeesin the sector are realistic about current market conditions and opportunitiesfollowing 11 September. The survey of 1,200 City workers in London and Dublin reveals nearly a quarterof employees would choose temporary pay cuts as an alternative to redundancy. A similar proportion reveal they would opt for a reduced working week withlower pay to avoid losing their jobs. One in 10 staff would opt for unpaid leave and 29 per cent would like timeto do company-sponsored courses without pay. More than a third of employees admit to feeling a little more stressed since11 September and 5 per cent feel significantly more stressed. A fifth of employees reveal that in future career moves work-life balancewould be a priority. City Personnel Group development manager Hilary Jackson believes the surveyreflects the change in attitude towards work in the City since the event. “With the current economic climate, 11 September has proved to be awatershed for the sector. Staff realise that 2001 was not a good year foremployers and are being realistic that pay and bonus levels will be down,”she said. “The difficult conditions have made employers and staff a lot more opento work-life issues.” Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

How can HR handle its own redundancy?

first_imgHow can HR handle its own redundancy?On 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article HRprofessionals are not immune to experiencing raw emotion when their own jobdisappears but their best plan is to view their choices dispassionatelyIhave been through the redundancy process twice now but nothing prepares you forthe emotional roller-coaster ride – shock, anger, fear and disillusionment areall dominant emotions. Inmy first role in HR, I was responsible for establishing a new technical centrefor Fisons. I formed a team from scratch, putting people in new roles andrelocating staff from three other UK sites. I became involved in the personalas well as professional lives of the individuals I was dealing with. Relocationisn’t easy – the majority of staff I was managing had families to consider –and schools, housing, support for partners were critical issues.Butnot everyone wanted to relocate to this division and I got my first experienceof handling redundancy. Fouryears on, the process was repeated but this time my own role was included. Peoplewere angry. They had been through one upheaval and now a corporate takeovermeant everyone was asked to move again. Having built up a team, I was now facedwith the task of dismantling it and working out what my own next career movewould be. Almosthalf the team were given the option of redeployment, including myself. The bigquestion became “should I stay or should I go?” It was time to bedispassionate and help the undecided employees make their decisions.  Idecided I had to remain impartial at all costs. I was there to ensure peoplehad considered all of their options. I found it useful and important not toexplain the rationale behind my decision – to leave the company – under anycircumstances. Tosecure trust you have to be honest and there was no secret made of my decision.I just didn’t go into the reasoning behind it. Idecided to cross over from HR to line management at a call centre. I wanted topractice what I had preached for the last five years. But a few years on – anda hostile acquisition later – redundancy loomed once more. Iautomatically went into HR mode. I was a line manager overseeing a team of 20people, the majority of whom had only been working for three to four years.This was their first job since leaving school, they had very limited experienceof job hunting – they were terrified.  Idecided to tackle this head on by setting up a self-help group – in effect amini-outplacement scheme of my own. I rearranged the team’s timetable so jobsearching could be fitted in. I sold this concept to the company by explainingit would maintain staff morale and productivity over the four-month periodbefore the site closed. Theteam was given structure to their job campaigns and consequently weresuccessful with everyone being re-employed. Therewas one flaw to my plan however – while focusing on everyone else I hadforgotten about myself. I felt responsible and gave out too much of my owntime. Peoplebecame dependent on me, plus news travels fast and soon I had people queuing atmy door for advice. Someboundaries should never be crossed. A big no-no is socialising with staff. Whenredundancy is announced, the last place it should be discussed, if you are in aHR capacity, is down the pub.   Howdo you cope alone? Well, you have to accept that you can’t. Internal support isoften limited for HR so external support is key.Itook full advantage of outplacement services and networking. But the mostuseful skill I learned was above all to maintain a positive outlook at alltimes. SuePyatt is business relationship manager at HR consultants Penna Sanders&Sidney Comments are closed. last_img read more

The great dictators

first_img Previous Article Next Article The great dictatorsOn 21 May 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Recent biographies of Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler exploretheir motivation and impact as leaders. While there is little doubt the SecondWorld War dictators were masterful at leading the masses, have they gotsomething to teach today’s HR professionals about management? Paul Simpsonexamines their success and reviews the biographiesNow that Attila The Hun has authored his own book full of management tips,albeit posthumously, it cannot be long before the world’s bookshelves aregraced by such bestsellers as Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Dictators andJoseph Stalin’s Six Steps To Conflict Resolution. The suggestions may seem facetious, but there’s a serious point. Monstrousas they might have been, stories about the rise and fall of the world’sdictators may tell us something about ourselves, even – perish the thought – theway the companies we work in are run. But let’s not be silly about this; Hitler didn’t fail because he was a poorman manager. He failed because he made it clear to most of the world that thealternative to fighting him was slavery or death. However, sometimes theextreme nature of these regimes makes it easier to spot behaviours that couldbe submerged in other more peaceable organisations. Hitler, Mussolini andStalin were alike in their belief in their own greatness and their pathologicalreluctance to hear or accept bad news. Now be honest: doesn’t one or both ofthose traits describe chief executives or bosses you’ve worked with? The world is never short of new biographies on Hitler, Stalin or, to alesser degree, Mussolini, for the simple reason that we are fascinated by whatdrives men to such extremes and marks them out as different. But if you readthe latest crop of biographies there are moments when they don’t seem thatdifferent to the rest of us or, even, to other managers – as uncomfortable asit might sound. Bruce Pauley’s comparative study Hitler, Stalin and Mussolinimakes this point most clearly. In purely selfish terms, only Stalin can be said to have succeeded to anygreat extent in that he remained in power until a not-untimely death. Stalin’sexperience contrasts with that of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of CommunistVietnam, who was a low-key leader who encouraged collective decision-makingand, although he was involved in three major wars, tried to avoid conflict. His regime endures today, but his low-key approach may have led rivals,encouraged by the Chinese, to regard him as weak. In 1957, his mistress (andmother of his son) was raped and murdered by the head of the Vietnamese secretpolice – a crime no other dictator would have left unpunished – and by the timehe died in 1969 he was regarded as ‘Uncle Ho’ by his country’s younger leaders.That fate never befell Chairman Mao, who had his own peculiar approach tohuman resources. Fortunately, the Chinese leader’s theory, that it didn’tmatter if his country lost half a billion people in a nuclear war because theywould still have half a billion left and would therefore be the winners, wasnever put to the test. Adolf Hitler The management textbooks: Hitler Hubris and Nemesis by Ian Kershaw (Penguin)ISBNs 0140288988, 0140272399 His life in one paragraph Austrian good for nothing who failed at almost everything he’d done, apartfrom being a soldier, until he was 30. Born the same year as Stalin (1889), herose to power in circumstances still debated today and presided over one of themost infamous regimes the world has known. After taking on Britain, the US andthe USSR simultaneously, he was defeated and killed himself in a Berlin bunkerin 1945. What kind of leader was he? Of all the dictators, Hitler scores highest measured against the definitionof what makes a leader, as opposed to a manager, by Abraham Zaleznik, theprofessor of leadership at Harvard Business School. Hitler did articulate ashared vision, set a personal example regarding the values inherent in thatvision, took risks in the interest of that vision (although not, ultimately, inthe interests of the collective), and motivated exceptional performance byappealing to the values and emotions of followers. He inspired with his confidence, determination, and persistence and engagedin symbolic behaviour such as acting as a spokesperson for the collective.Historians still debate whether Hitler did what he did because the Germanpeople lived in fear or were, to use the title of a recent controversial book,Hitler’s willing executioners. Yet, in his sinister fashion, he did inspire a part of the German nation andwas, largely, popular until 1939 when he invaded Czechoslovakia and the massesrealised that, contrary to his protestations, he really did want war. He took care to live up to his image, not wearing glasses but readingspeeches in large print, being photographed in his uniform and refusing toaccept the salary offered his chancellor – an effective PR gimmick – althoughthe Mein Kampf royalties kept him rich. The image of the Fuhrer working tirelessly away at his desk is fixed in theminds even of his critics but this image of the ultimate Type A workaholicisn’t, Kershaw makes clear, the whole truth. Hitler often retreated to hisvilla in Berchtesgaden to hide from his ministers. Behind that image of aruthless efficient regime there was, above all, chaos, a vast chaos created byHitler’s sheer laziness and need to be the indispensable arbiter in ahopelessly disorganised and disunited government. How successful was he? Like many charismatic leaders in business, Hitler was immensely successful,by his own estimates, in the short term. But his growing conviction thatprovidence was speaking through him (and that anyone who argued with him waswrong) and his style of setting subordinates at each other’s throats by givingthem the same task ultimately undermined the regime. His goals were clear in peacetime (although concealed from world leaders andeven the German public) and even, when successful, in war, but not from 1941onwards. His twin goals, defeating the Allies and exterminating the Jews, werein the short term incompatible because they were both a huge drain on finiteresources. His brutal attitude to the conquered people of eastern Europe forcedthem to resist to survive. And, like too many leaders, he fell for the fallacyof his own infallibility, a belief inspired, initially, by his knack foroutguessing his cautious generals. Like Mussolini, he had an absolute gift for appointing the wrong people.Most of his inner circle were fawning incompetents or mad, the obviousexception being Albert Speer, who revived Germany’s war economy. Hitler’s deathin a Berlin bunker was no chance occurrence; it’s the finale he would havescripted. Like many a disappointed leader, he blamed his people, saying theydidn’t deserve to win. How good is the book? Kershaw’s two-volume biography bids for definitive status with its sheerbulk and accumulation of detail. Kershaw is at his best delineating the ThirdReich’s labyrinthine decision-making process and Hitler’s hold on Germany. Hisreticence about Hitler’s personal life lets him down as the Fuhrer remains,ultimately, a one-dimensional monster. Benito Mussolini The management textbook: Mussolini by R.J.B. Bosworth (Arnold) ISBN 0340731443 The life in one paragraph Socialist agitator and journalist turned patriot after the outbreak of WorldWar I who took over power as fascist leader in 1922. Sealed disastrous alliancewith Hitler in 1939 which led Italy to war and defeat as the Nazis’ allies andended with Mussolini’s execution by his own countrymen, in 1945. Il Duce was62. What kind of leader was he? Mussolini was the ultimate tactical manager who couldn’t spell the wordstrategy, let alone come up with one. He was also the ultimate ‘do as I say’manager – a flaw exacerbated by his habit of saying different things to peopleabout the same subject on the same day. He once said: “My ministers arelike light bulbs I switch on and switch off”, and he usually switched offthe more gifted ones. He was a conscientious, if hopeless, leader who liked tomake sweeping statements about what Italy must do but changed the subject whenanyone asked how such goals were to be achieved. Il Duce concentrated power in his own hands (in 1926 he was prime minister,head of three government departments, all the armed forces and the fascistmilitia) for fear of potential rivals, but he would not delegate. The resultwas that instead of reforming the Italian state as he had pledged, he paralysedmost of it. If you take Zaleznik’s list of leadership attributes, Mussolini only reallysucceeded at the symbolic stuff – he probably never inspired an exceptionalperformance from anybody, for example. How successful was he? Even judged by his vague goals to transform Italian society and improve itsposition in the international pecking order, Mussolini was a complete failure.The Italian economy, though, may have outperformed its rivals in terms ofgrowth and full employment until 1938 after which, in its most critical period,it declined. His failure is underlined by the fact that, alone of the ‘great’dictators, he was deposed not just by his own people but by the leaders of hisown party who voted their lack of confidence in him, giving the king the excuseto sack him. How good is the book? Bosworth is too busy arguing with other historians to offer massive insightinto Mussolini. At times, arguments about theories overwhelm the personaldetail about the dictator’s life. You get a much better sense of Mussolini fromDenis Mack Smith’s biography Mussolini (Phoenix) ISBN 1842126067, which isstill available. A pity because Bosworth does underline how every sin offascist Italy is blamed squarely on Il Duce, a man who, Bosworth compellinglysuggests, may never have believed in any cause greater than his ownself-aggrandisement and seemed, ultimately, disappointed by the human resources,that is the Italian people, with whom he tried to change history. Mack Smith’sbook also serves as a wonderful cautionary tale of corporate life. Joseph Stalin The management textbook: Stalin by Edvard Radzinsky (Sceptre) ISBN 0340680466 His life in one paragraph Born in Georgia in 1889, Stalin grew up in an abusive home, and soon gave upon his childhood ambition to be a monk (to mum’s eternal disapproval) to becomea revolutionary. His contribution to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution wasnegligible and when he succeeded Lenin in power he felt obliged to punish ordestroy all those who had played a bigger part than him. Initiated purges whichkilled or imprisoned millions and have never been rationally explained but ledthe Soviet Union to victory over Hitler. Died of a stroke in 1953 before hecould unleash a final purge. What kind of leader was he? Psychologically astute, possessed of a certain psychopathic charm, possiblyafflicted by the horrendous beatings he suffered as a child and the suicide ofhis wife (a tragedy he would have felt more deeply because of his own sensethat he might have contributed to it), Stalin was the ultimate eminence grise. Although his working day didn’t typically start until about midday, heunderstood the power of detail far more than any of his rivals and had theself-discipline to sift through tons of paperwork to ensure that each one ofhis goals was being met. His ego was even larger than the empire he ruled over– unlike Hitler and Mussolini, he got his name inserted into the nationalanthem. Ultimately, the regime he created had no real values other than fear of(and slavish devotion to) the dictator referred to by his uneasy colleagues as‘the old man’ – a lesson every manager who manages by fear (albeit a milderfear) should learn. How successful was he? Judged purely by his own selfish terms, extraordinarily successful. Heseized power in the mid-1920s, expanding his power base (and his regime) untilhis death in 1953. The purges protected his position, representing in extremehomicidal form the kind of change that runs through many organisations when anew leader arrives. Yet the very structure he murderously created began to fall apart while hewas alive. His subordinates, partly in fear for their lives, probably left himto die on the floor of his dacha after he had had a stroke. By 1956 his heirs had repudiated him in one of the biggest U-turns inpolitical history. Stalin’s contribution to political theory is on a par withLuxembourg’s contribution to the history of naval warfare and, with the old mangone, nothing underpinned the regimes of Brehznev and Chernenko except brazenself-interest. Stalin is still credited with defeating the Nazis, although you could arguethat he helped Hitler by purging the Soviet Army’s officer corps and ignoringrepeated invasion warnings. Fighting for his own survival and that of hisregime, he gave the generals an unusual degree of autonomy. But as soon asvictory was achieved, he purged millions more in a bid to keep down thepopulace and his subordinates. He could be charming, sensitive and brutal, a man who liked to get hissubordinates drunk in the hope they might incriminate themselves, who had ahabit of ringing his old Bolshevik pals to wish them well after signing theirdeath warrants. What he failed to do, to return to Zaleznik’s criteria, was to instill anyvalues but fear in the collective and so, ultimately, he – as much as Gorbachevor Yeltsin – made the break up of the Soviet Union inevitable. How good is the book? A revelation. Takes the reader inside Stalin’s reasoning (if one can usethat word) in a way none of the other books quite manage to do. This biographyis a fascinating portrait of how one man accumulated unprecedented power andkept it until his death. It also at times, in its detail of the subordinatesendlessly shuffling for favour or sheer survival, reads like a dark Kafkaesquefable of 20th century corporate life. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Eurozone top value for expat staff

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Eurozone countries offer good value for money for companies sending staffoverseas, claims research. The report, called the Worldwide Cost of Living, in which 130 cities fromaround the world were ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit, shows that Londonis the most expensive city in the EU, although it has dropped to eighth placein the rankings, with Paris coming a relatively cheap 17th. Zimbabwe’s Harare has become one of the most expensive cities in the world –more costly than London and New York – due to its exchange rate policies. Itsgovernment has doggedly held the Zimbabwean dollar to the US dollar, despiteenduring inflation of more than 100 per cent. The biggest fall was taken by Argentina’s Buenos Aires, which has plummetedfrom 22nd to 120th. The survey shows the Argentinian peso has been allowed todevalue rapidly. The costliest cities are in Asia, with the Japanese cities of Tokyo andOsaka remaining at the top of the list – although the gap between them and HongKong has narrowed. Eurozone top value for expat staffOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

PC courseware endorsement for duo

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Two leading Dublin-based e-learning companies have just announcedendorsement for their IT courseware by Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations’(OCR’s) Computer Literacy and Information (CLAIT) qualification – the UK’sfastest-growing package of IT qualifications. Educational Multimedia Corporation earned its endorsement for its MicrosoftOffice e-learning package, which includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint andAccess Core courses. Its Word and Excel Expert courses have also been endorsedby the CLAIT Plus qualification. The courses are self-paced and include apre-assessment module and multimedia animations, simulations and interaction. Electric Paper’s courseware, meanwhile, includes a mandatory core unit,called ‘Create, Manage and Integrate Files’ and has additional units availablefor Microsoft Office applications. It is available on CD-Rom and in network andintranet versions. “Our product allows users to structure their learning programmes onprior knowledge, available time and the amount of information they canassimilate in a session,” says Jonny Parkes, managing director of ElectricPaper. “Job applicants are now expected to be IT literate before enteringthe workforce. For employees who would like to improve theirs, it’s never toolate to learn.” Electric Paper is also launching AutoTest NXG, a web-based version of itsEuropean/ International Computer Driving Licence (ECDL/ICDL) testing solution. Educational Multimedia Corporation scooped the e-Learning Company of theYear award at the inaugural 02 Digital Media Awards which showcases Irishcompanies operating in the field of digital media. PC courseware endorsement for duoOn 1 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Shift workers face risk of accidents

first_imgShift workers face risk of accidentsOn 1 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Shift workers are more vulnerable to accidents, sleep-related car crashesand other mishaps because they work such long and inconsistent hours, a studyby insurer Zurich has suggested. One in seven of the more than 800 public sector employees polled admittedthey had nearly fallen asleep at the wheel, and 15 per cent said they had hadto pull over from driving because of fatigue. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) suffered from insomnia, 13 per centreported feeling depressed, and a fifth claimed they were more forgetful. Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of those polled reported to have carried outshifts lasting between 16-18 hours, and a further one in 10 had worked shiftsthat were between 19 and 24 hours long. A quarter of nurses said the pressure of working irregular hours was theworst part of their job, along with 16 per cent of the police and 9 per cent offirefighters. Vanessa Brindley, Zurich marketing manager, said workers should look atmeasures to help tackle the problem, such as finding an alternative to drivingif they’re exhausted, and writing a checklist list or adopting a routine tohelp them remember to secure their home. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Columbia Property Trust ponders $2.2B takeover offer

first_img Full Name* Message* Tags No timeline has been set for how long the review will take as it depends on how the process evolves, Mills said.“We certainly don’t want to drag it out for months and months,” he said, adding that the best guess may be a few months. “We’re really focused on it with our advisers, Morgan Stanley, and our advisory team.”Arkhouse Partners, which is teaming up with the Sapir Organization and 8F Investment Partners on the bid, is offering $19.50 per share. Since the bid was announced, the REIT’s stock price has gone up from about $14 per share in February to north of $18.The stock price run-up follows a painful quarter in which Columbia Property Trust reported a 10.3 percent year-over-year decline in its normalized funds from operations.First-quarter revenue from the REIT’s operation was $64.4 million, down 15.6 percent from a year ago but up 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2020.Still, the REIT’s executives maintained an optimistic view, saying that property tours by prospective tenants at its properties — including soon-to-open 799 Broadway and 149 Madison Avenue — have dramatically increased lately, and existing tenants in its portfolio are beginning to plan in earnest for life after Covid.“We’re not declaring full recovery, just yet, by any means,” Mills said. “But we do see a lot of positive movements in our portfolio.”Contact Akiko Matsuda Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* Columbia Property Trust CEO Nelson Mills with 799 Broadway and 149 Madison Avenue (CPT)The board of Columbia Property Trust is seriously considering an unsolicited proposal to acquire the real estate investment trust for about $2.24 billion.The Manhattan-based REIT allocated $2.4 million in strategic review costs for that purpose, according to its quarterly financial report.CEO Nelson Mills said during an earnings call Thursday that Arkhouse Partners, which made the bid in mid-March, is “very much part of the process.”“They have access to the data room and access to us and our advisers,” he said. “It’s always been a friendly, open dialogue.”Read moreColumbia Property Trust collects 98% of its rent in Q3Columbia Property Trust’s rent collection stays steady in Q4Investor group with Sapir Org ties makes $2.4B bid for Columbia Property Trust columbia property trustCommercial Real EstateReal Estate Mergerslast_img read more