Comments are closed. LettersOn 20 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article This week’s lettersFamily-friendlyis a company issue Ifeel that a voluntary code will be effective in promoting family-friendlyworking, but only where those companies already embrace the work-life balanceconcept (News, 27 February) Thereare many companies, both large andsmall, which ignore current legislation anyway or find ways around the system.Unless the company has a strong HR presence and/or a seat on the board – whichin these particular cases would be rare – HR professionals do not have theempowerment to change that particular work culture. Ofcourse we can lobby and recommend but if the culture is one of “take it orleave it”, unless the employee has the courage to take this further through thecourts, this culture will not change.Incircumstances such as these whether you legislate or not will make nodifference. Iam fortunate that my company has always looked to help the individual and hashad paid paternity leave for some years. Admittedly, this is not for the fulltwo weeks which is being proposed but at least the company proactivelyrecognises the needs surrounding a new birth from the father’s perspective.JanetTeecePersonnel manager, Amadeus (UK)Staffleft to carry burden for othersOnthe subject of family-friendly policies, people have a contract to work. Makingstatutory legislation harms relationships where people “demand their rights”. Allthese extra benefits are becoming discriminatory – what about those withoutchildren, they are left to do the work while the others are at home. It isreally causing industrial relations issues within the workplace. Thatis fact not rhetoric – where is the Government’s proof that family-friendlypolicies work? DeniseReece People Strategies and Solutions, St Klare Reece AssociatesHumouressential in public sectorIwas amused and amazed that consultant Simon Derry (Letters, 27 February) tookseriously my earlier suggestion (News, 23 January) that the principles of“horse whispering” might be the next big idea in HR management. Theboardrooms of the major companies that Mr Derry advises may be dull places, buthere in the beleaguered public sector the ability to laugh at the ironic andthe absurd is an essential survival tool. DareI ask whether Mr Derry, before proffering advice to his clients, reads theirdocuments and accounts with as much care and thought as he devoted to myletter?RobertClarkeDirector of human resources, Keighley CollegeEmpathyis key to people and horseIwould like to respond to Simon Derry’s e-mail concerning “horse whispering” andits credibility (Letters, 27 February). Obviouslyhe has no first-hand knowledge or understanding of “horse whispering”. It is anunderstanding and empathy of horses, their language and how to achieve bestresults by humane methods.Thisnegates the need for bullying into submission. Much of this is achieved by bodylanguage and reading and responding appropriately to the signals which thehorse conveys.Themethods have been proven and are demonstrated throughout the UK by thosetrained in the methods. Monty Roberts, the American founder, spent many yearsstudying horses in their natural environment in order to understand theirlanguage and responses. He has also successfully transferred the methods to themany disaffected teenagers he has fostered.Ihave witnessed the process and have applied the methods to my own horse,children and work colleagues. I would argue that “horse whispering” has manytransferable benefits.LynHeath Personnel officer and horse owner, WeymouthBestpractice is not strategic HRBestpractice and strategic HR are too often mistaken as the same approach so it isgood to see RyanAir making the distinction clearer (News, 6 February).Strategic HR is about integration, making clear tradeoffs and tailoringactivities to the needs of the organisations. Tothis extent RyanAir has taken a strategic approach to motivation and decidedbest practice is not for them.However,this is not to say that, for instance, corporate intranets will not work inother organisations. Itis time HR professionals started to reconsider best practice and to think aboutthe real needs of the organisation. Bestpractice can only ensure short-term operational effectiveness, if we want tostart making a long-term impact to the bottom line then I suggest, as HRprofessionals, we take a strategic perspective and start to integrate notimitate RikTaylor Via e-mailWeneed to build a better industry Iwas a little surprised to read the negative response to my letter from MikeMurray, lecturer in construction management from Glasgow, re constructionstereotypes (Letters, 27 February).Howcan somebody miss the point so completely? Yes, Mr Murray I do get upset atconstant attacks on the construction industry, even more so when it is frompeople making a comfortable living out of it.Ofcourse there are people within the industry who are sexist and racist –construction, like other industries, reflects the prejudices that face societyin general. My point is that the original article was full of generalisationsand hyperbole.Iwas hoping the article and my response might stimulate debate on how bothmanagement practices and site culture need to evolve, while highlighting themyriad of initiatives aimed at promoting construction to attract a morecross-representative sample from society.I’mcertain that a similar article describing lecturers as pipe-smoking, boorishliberals with elbow patches and halitosis would, quite rightly, receive aclamour of criticism. IfMr Murray would like to witness first hand an initiative aimed solely atraising the profile of construction, he might like to attend the GreaterMerseyside Construction Event, at Aintree Racecourse on 3 July. Onlyby working together can we attract the under represented groups necessary toachieve the sociological diversity we so desperately need.SteveRotheramChairman Greater Merseyside Construction Event 2001Workexperience no barrier for job–I sympathise with the plight of David Bryden and all other well-qualifiedprofessionals looking for their first-level HR job (Letters, 27 January). Wehave advertised for a compensation and benefits specialist. After discussingthe issue with my European recruiting colleagues, we will seriously considerCIPD-qualified graduates without work experience.RosemaryGreenHR service leader (UK and Ireland), Dow Chemical Company –I note with interest the letter from David Bryden regarding first level HRposts. Havingrecently helped my son on a graduate hunt for a job I was surprised to see howmany companies were advertising for HR graduates with Lloyds, Abbey National,Guinness and Matalan to name a few. Thesewere all job opportunities courtesy of the careers service at his universityand advertised on its website, and included jobs for new graduates and thosewho had already graduated. May Isuggest this route as a possible start in HR and wish him luck.JoVauxPersonnel officer, Via e-mailAquandary over managers’ roleIwould like to comment on remarks made in your 27 February issue, “The principalreason why people leave a company is because of their immediate manager,” –Head of HR, Merrill Lynch. And: “Employee turnover cannot be reduced… throughbetter management,” – Head of HR marketing and research, Deutsche Bank (News).Iwould ask my (much respected) manager to clarify this conundrum but she leftsome time ago.ChrisSquireHR adviser, CardiffExpectcasualties from the minimum wage increaseWhileI applaud the recent introduction of the National Minimum wage, I am concernedabout where it is all going to end. Thenews that the minimum wage will rise to £4.10, a 50 pence rise from when it wasfirst introduced is frankly worrying for small businesses like ours. Ido agree that there should be a minimum wage to stop the exploitation oflabour, however does it really have to rise so steeply and so frequently? Doesthe Government realise it is jeopardising the future of small business who donot have the profit margins to sustain such increases? Whilean organisation based, say, in London, would not necessarily feel the effectsof £4.10 per hour, an organisation in the rural areas of Lincolnshire, forexample, would have to seriously rethink its business strategy to remain withinthe law. Idon’t have the answer – I wish I did. However, there must be a way to protectthe UK’s many small businesses that will no doubt become casualties to theminimum wage if they are given the chance.- after all large oaks from littleacorns grow.SharenPhillips HR director, ESC(UK) Related posts:No related photos.