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HR deals with how people are managed within an organisation and is responsible for a number of areas, including recruitment, selection and employee relations. Participants will learn more about the processes, procedures and skills they need to manage their people effectively.

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Attracting and Retaining Good Staff

About this Article:
In this article Jeremy Thorn examines how to recruit and retain the right people.

About

About this Article:
In this article Jeremy Thorn examines how to recruit and retain the right people.

Opening Words:
Recruiting your very first, formally employed member of staff is often one of the most memorable events for any new business owner.  

This is not only because it is often a really tough decision to take, to commit to an ‘extra mouth’ to feed every month, but also because you will probably never forget whoever you first recruit. But even the most experienced managers find recruiting and retaining good people just as hard as winning and keeping good clients.

Useful Reading For:

All managers and anyone involved in the recruitment process.

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Fads and Fallacies: Why HR Needs a New Learning Science

Article Overview:
In this article Bill Lucas looks at the merits of 'learning fads' like blended learning, brain-based learning, kinaesthetic training and emotional intelligence, and briefly considers the evidence that supports these.

About

Article Overview:
In this article Bill Lucas looks at the merits of 'learning fads' like blended learning, brain-based learning, kinaesthetic training and emotional intelligence, and briefly considers the evidence that supports these.

Opening Words:
Once upon a time we thought learners were all “blank slates” just waiting to be written on. Consequently teachers and trainers spent much time filling their pupil’s heads with facts. Then, during the last century we “discovered” psychology and began to explore the role of personal experience in learning. And in the1980s and 90s, at the same time as rapid advances in neuroscience, especially safe brain-scanning, whole new horizons of possibility opened up as we began to understand the true complexity of the mind’s operating systems.

Disillusioned with classroom training, many in HR have recently turned to the burgeoning hordes of providers offering solutions which promise to be more effective than the old, largely discredited techniques. Offering “accelerated learning”, “brain-based learning”, “kinaesthetic training”, alternatives to IQ like “emotional intelligence”, and, in the last few years, “bite-sized” and “blended” learning, many have played fast and loose with their evidence base. But the training world has largely swallowed their marketing hype and not bothered to check out the science on which is based.

Useful Reading For:
All trainers.

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Good Practice in Appraisals

Article Overview:
All managers know that staff appraisals are an essential part of ‘performance management’. But Organisational Development Consultant, Jeremy Thorn, suggests that ‘performance enhancement’ might be a far more rewarding focus.

About

Article Overview:
All managers know that staff appraisals are an essential part of ‘performance management’. But Organisational Development Consultant, Jeremy Thorn, suggests that ‘performance enhancement’ might be a far more rewarding focus.

Opening Words:
In some organisations, appraisals are widely reported to be dreaded, by both managers and subordinates. Managers often dislike conducting them, especially those who have not been trained, perhaps because they see appraisal interviews as a possibly embarrassing formality, which take up too much precious time. And across the desk, staff often say they find appraisals daunting, often threatening and, sometimes, even de-motivating. Done badly, the appraisal process can indeed frustrate and damage staff relations, especially if seen as a one-off ‘end of term report’ – or even worse, a ‘character assassination’!  

Done well, however, an appraisal can be genuinely productive and enjoyable, for both the appraiser and the appraised. Indeed, in many organisations, I hear complaints by staff very much more often that their appraisals have not been carried out by their busy line managers on time, rather than that they have happened at all.

How does any organisation ever achieve such a positive outlook?

Useful Reading For:

All managers and anyone wanting to improve the way the appraisal system is used in their organisation.

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Help, I am the New HR Director. Now what?

Article Overview:
This excellent article from Joe Espana, considers the difficulties faced when someone is appointed to the role of HR Director. Joe argues that they have approximately 90 days in which to make an impact, and suggests different strategies for dealing with three different scenarios that might exist within the organisation.

About

Article Overview:
This excellent article from Joe Espana, considers the difficulties faced when someone is appointed to the role of HR Director. Joe argues that they have approximately 90 days in which to make an impact, and suggests different strategies for dealing with three different scenarios that might exist within the organisation.

Opening Words:
You've made it. What you always wanted to achieve; a senior HR role with a seemingly dynamic company, a CEO who gives every indication that he is on your side and will listen, and a real challenge that will allow you to make full use of your talents. And then the realisation of what you've taken on really hits. A friend of mine once describe getting his new HR Director role like this: His challenges felt at first like having to climb Mount Everest and being at base camp. Two months into the job he was beginning to realise that what he had taken on was definitely the summit of Mount Everest, but he now realised that far from being at base camp he was actually at Heathrow waiting for his delayed flight to Kathmandu - and, oh by the way, he'd forgotten to pack the oxygen needed for the climb.

The issue for many senior appointees in these sorts of circumstances is knowing exactly where to start. The requirements of an organisation in which everything seems important and urgent needs careful balancing. And on top of that, there is the added pressure of having to demonstrate value and contribution as soon as possible. By any measure, the new HR Director has approximately 90 days to show that he or she was a sound recruitment decision. The key issue, therefore, is to work out where the biggest return for effort exists.

Useful Reading For:
Management involved in HR.

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Induction Training Using Technology - Part 1

Article Overview:
This article is the first in a series of three that looks in detail at induction. In this article, Diane Bailey examines the nature of induction and why it is so important. The article contains a useful tables indicating what needs to be included in any induction programme.

About

Article Overview:
This article is the first in a series of three that looks in detail at induction. In this article, Diane Bailey examines the nature of induction and why it is so important. The article contains a useful tables indicating what needs to be included in any induction programme.

Opening Words:
Much time, energy and money is spent in recruiting staff. Why then does the effort and commitment so often fail during the very early days of an individual’s employment? Possibly because too much is left to, and expected of, line managers who are not trainers and how have many competing demands and priorities.

The first few days of induction is the period during which staff decide whether to stay or go. It is also the period during which the organisation has a chance to demonstrate clearly its values and quality standards, including those which relate to staff issues. This period is largely responsible for shaping the potential of each individual as an employee. In practical terms, the wrong impression created during those first few vital days and weeks will negate much effort devoted to other retention tactics and ploys such as pensions and staff restaurants.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone wishing to ensure that induction training is effective and serves both the organisation and individual well.

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Induction Training Using Technology - Part 2

Article Overview:
This article is the second in a series that looks in detail at induction. In this article, Diane Bailey looks in detail at how induction at House of Fraser was changed to meet the needs of the business.

About
Article Overview:
This article is the second in a series that looks in detail at induction. In this article, Diane Bailey looks in detail at how induction at House of Fraser was changed to meet the needs of the business.

Opening Words:
In the late 1980s and early 1990s the strategic repositioning of the company required new attitudes and performance standards from employees. Quite simple, the old ways were good, but not good enough if House of Fraser was to continue to be the ‘best store in town’.

The company realised that the opportunity to influence the attitude and behaviour of employees, and their perception of the company, is never greater than at the time of induction. It had clearly identified the need to make induction as effective as possible. The link between induction and quality service was clearly recognised. A corporate induction pack was seen as a way to establish standards across the company.

The project brief detailed a package which would:

• Establish the quality blueprint for induction across the store group.
• Provide a corporate structure and approach for induction which would allow individual store personality to be reflected, providing for local details and information to be added where necessary.
• Identify and define the responsibilities of the training department, line management and the new recruit for the effective implementation of induction.
• Provide materials and tools for the trainer, line manager and new entrant, including video and text materials.
• Emphasise and reinforce the partnership necessary between the training department and line management in providing effective induction training.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone wishing to ensure that induction training is effective and serves both the organisation and individual well.

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Induction Training Using Technology - Part 3

Article Overview:
This article is the third in a series that looks in detail at induction. In this article, Diane Bailey looks at the implementation of a public sector induction programme.

About

Article Overview:
This article is the third in a series that looks in detail at induction. In this article, Diane Bailey looks at the implementation of a public sector induction programme.

Opening Words:
As part of a review of training needs, one public sector body with which we worked had identified a need to improve the way in which managers carried out the induction of new staff at Head Office and in its 40 plus geographically dispersed branches. Circumstances and resources were such that induction had to remain a local responsibility. It was decided to support local induction by the development of a corporate induction package, using self-study and distance learning methods. The required package was also to provide guidance for line managers on carrying out induction.

The main purposes of the induction package were to:

• Establish corporate standards of induction.
• Smooth the preliminary stages of settling into a new job.
• Establish quickly a favourable attitude in the minds of new staff, so that they are more likely to stay with the department.
• Obtain effective output from new staff in the shortest possible time.
• Communicate to new staff the organisation’s values and standards.
• Deliver core induction knowledge.
• Equip line managers to manage effective induction.
• Use training technology both to improve the quality of induction training and to reduce the demands made on local managers.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone wishing to ensure that induction training is effective and serves both the organisation and individual well.

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