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Stress is too often ignored

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Stress is too often ignoredOn 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today The Mental Health Foundation urges that stress at work should be taken moreseriouslyMost companies fail to classify stress as a mental health problem,dismissing it as something all employees suffer from to a greater or lesserdegree, research has claimed. A study of senior executives, Burnt Out or Burning Bright?, by the MentalHealth Foundation was unveiled in April to coincide with Mental Health ActionWeek. Mental health problems are generally only recognised when they are”serious” diagnosable conditions, and stress is not one of these, itsuggests. The report also finds that junior employees suffer more from workplacestress than do their more senior colleagues. The foundation has called on company directors to view their employees’mental health in the same way they do their physical well-being. It has urged that stress should not be sidelined as part of human resourcesbut there should be a national campaign led by a mainstream captain ofindustry. All companies employing more than 100 people should offer some kindof independent employee counselling service, it adds. Those questioned recognise that employees, particularly junior staff, feelthey have to hide their stress and are perhaps unable to recognise stress thatcould become unhealthy. Senior managers are better able to cope with stress it found, by going tothe gym, for example. Newer companies are also found generally to be more aware of the need tomanage stress – for instance by offering external counselling, shiatsu, a quietroom or discounted sporting facilities. “The business world knows just how crucial this issue is, and the waysin which it will have a major impact on business. But their key requirement nowis knowing where to start and how to tackle the problem of undue workplacestress,” said Ruth Lesirge, chief executive of the foundation. In a separate report, the foundation has found that one in four people onlyfind out a friend is experiencing mental health problems when that person isadmitted to hospital. And 5 per cent only realise following a friend’s suicide,it added. The report, Is Anybody There?, found that although nine out of 10 people saythey are able to provide some sort of support to friends experiencing mentalhealth problems, more than one in three people supporting someone with mentaldistress wanted a professional to talk to themselves. 020-7535 7441 last_img read more

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HR falls foul of union tactics

first_imgThe HR director for South West Trains has hit out at the RMT union forblocking the company’s pay deal. Beverley Shears told Personnel Today that the RMT union has refused SWT’soffer to match the rail industry’s best pay deal, in the dispute over thedifference in pay increases between drivers and other railway staff (guards,ticket officers and platform staff). “I find it amazing that at some of the meetings I have been sitting atthe negotiating table with people who do not work for this company and have noconnection with this company whatsoever,” she said. SWT has given non-driving staff a 7.6 per cent increase over 18 months butthis has so far been opposed and more strikes are looming. Shears believes that union officials, who want the same increase as driversbut phased in differently, have not had the best interests of SWT’s staff atthe top of their agenda during talks. “I have been trying my utmost to come up with a workable solution, tothe point that when we were at Acas I said ‘name the best deal in the industryyou have settled for and I will match it’.” “We want to get back to where we were before, a modern customer-focusedbusiness that puts its staff at the forefront of its industrial relationspolicy.” Shears is convinced the SWT is the victim of political infighting within theRMT union. “There is no doubt that we have been caught up in the politicalcrossfire of the RMT’s general secretary,” she added. A spokesman for the RMT said: “The dispute is over pay increasedisparity between drivers and non-drivers. We want a pay increase of 3.8 percent from April and October last year – the same as the drivers. “We cannot accept an offer that is not equal.” By Paul Nelson Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. HR falls foul of union tacticsOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Look abroad to beat UK skills shortage

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Look abroad to beat UK skills shortageOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today HRprofessionals should consider looking overseas for top talent if they want tobeat skill shortages in the UK.AndyNewall, corporate HR director at Allied Domecq, the world’s second largestspirits and wine company, believes companies need to “fish where the fishare” and may need to look abroad for the right staff.Speakingat the CBI’s International HR Exchange on employee development and careerplanning, he told delegates that for most companies, the main restraints ondeveloping business is finding the right people rather than cashflow andtechnology.Newallsaid that when Allied Domecq needed to grow, it advertised in Australia, whichhas the second biggest number of wine experts after France.Newallsaid research shows that 90 per cent of companies are finding it more difficultto attract talent than three years ago and only 7 per cent of employers saythey have the talent they need to pursue their business strategies.Hetold delegates that they should improve succession planning to ensure the nextgeneration of managers are ready to replace those that leave or retire. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Ready steady go!

first_imgReady steady go!On 4 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Ilene Dolins of GMAC Global Relocation Services examines how companies canbetter prepare employees for working abroad – with a little help from the firm’slatest Global Relocation Trends SurveyThe way businesses operate across borders is changing rapidly and onlycompanies prepared for these changes will survive and thrive. Companies withhigh levels of success in their international assignments are the same onesthat have integrated US domestic and international programmes into a singleglobal HR programme. They have embraced a global perception of their entireworkforce. GMAC Global Relocation Services (GMAC GRS) conducted its eighth annualGlobal Relocation Trends Survey in November and December 2001, in co-operationwith the US National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and the SHRM Global Forum.Participants represented 150 companies that conduct business worldwide, andthose responding were senior HR managers and international relocationprofessionals, primarily from US-based multinational companies (83 per cent). The survey covered such topics as the impact of current events on expatriateprogrammes; the shift away from long-term assignments; outsourcing relocationprogrammes; changes in the expatriate population; female expatriates;assignment success; retention; and the impact of technology and communication. The ‘pressure point’ of this survey was not the events of 11 September, butthe global economic climate and its impact on individual business sectors withsignificant expatriate workforces or global operations, says Bill Sheridan,senior director of the NFTC. Sectors most affected were technology, telecoms,power and utilities and financial services, the latter because”cross-border deals were drying up”, Sheridan tells globahr. Since the survey tracks global relocation trends over eight years, manycompanies use it to benchmark their own policies and programmes. Sheridan says,”Employers still look to what’s happening in their own individual sectorto decide what they should be doing.” A key figure in the survey was the amount of revenue the participatingcompanies realise outside their home country. At 44 per cent, that figure hasbeen consistent for the past few years. With almost half of business growth inother countries, the need for global talent that is trained and interested in aglobal assignment becomes more important than ever. As a result, companies canno longer count on finding the right person when a need arises. They mustanticipate opportunities and ensure that people who are eagerly awaiting theopportunity for a global assignment have been well trained. Dave Whitwam, CEO of Whirlpool, reinforces this: “The thing that wakesme up in the middle of the night is not what might happen to the economy orwhat our competitors might do next – it’s worrying about whether we have theleadership capability and the talent to implement the new and more complexglobal strategies.” Ever-changing world conditions demand greater preparation, responsivenessand flexibility than before. A prime example of how quickly the world canchange was 11 September. A question was included about the impact of thosetragic events on global relocation programmes, and 96 per cent responded thatno impact was felt. Because the survey took place just after that event,however, it may have been too soon to tell if changes to relocation programmeswould be affected. Indications are that changes are indeed taking place ascompanies institute stronger security measures; review ‘danger’ locations morecarefully; and put crisis management programmes in place for unforeseenemergencies. Overseas assignments Companies appear to be taking a more cautious approach to making internationalassignments, but there does not seem to be a reduction in expatriate activity.While expat activity continues to increase, only about a quarter of thesurvey’s respondent companies had an increase in their expat populations in2001, compared to nearly half in the 2000 survey. Another 39 per cent expectedactivity to remain at the same levels, 7 per cent more than in 2000. E James Simon, president and CEO of GMAC Global Relocation Services, pointsout that in addition to the challenges put forward by 11 September, “theworld was already experiencing financial pressures that were leading to a moreprudent approach to global expansion. However, companies recognise their growthopportunities outside their home country, and [in] global expansion andconsequently, international assignments continue to go hand in hand.” Changing perceptions The survey results revealed some disappointing outcomes. HR professionalswill likely need to focus even greater attention on ensuring that companyleaders perceive global assignments and human capital costs as hard-core costsof doing business instead of as non-essentials. HR issues, such as identifyingpools of potential candidates for global assignments and conductingintercultural awareness programmes, ranked much lower on scales showing howrespondents’ companies prepared for global expansion than “determiningbusiness objectives and needs” and “evaluating programmes to ensureneeds are met”. To change the reigning perceptions the HR professional must play an integralpart on his or her company’s strategic planning team. A failed assignment cancost a company three to five times the employee’s annual salary. And notattracting first-choice candidates can interfere with the company’s objectivesin a particular country. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, says: “Headquarters at GEdoesn’t run companies. It runs a school that teaches how to run companies, anddoes it so well that GE maintains a huge trade surplus in talent. That’s myjob. We spend all our time on people. The day we screw up the people thing,this company is over.” To develop a proactive global relocation programme, an understanding isneeded of what motivates people to be successful. When asked when and whyexpats leave the company, 6 per cent said during the assignment; 13 per centwithin one year; and another 13 per cent within two years. In GMAC’sexperience, the numbers are actually higher, reaching perhaps as high as 40-50per cent within two years. Unfortunately, the way organisations are structured, the human resourceprofessional responsible for sending someone out and bringing them back nolonger has responsibility for tracking the former expats. An astounding 49 percent of respondents didn’t know what would happen when they returned home. Global fluency is critical to a successful international assignment andcentral to this is understanding cultural differences and having the ability toadapt to them. Global organisations are only as good as the global talent ofeach employee and their ability to recognise how profound changes in worldmarkets affect all operations. Individuals need to understand the uniqueness ofdifferent cultures in the way they approach business issues. Most companies (69 per cent) provide cross-cultural preparation of at leastone day’s duration. Forty-four per cent provide training for the entire family;21 per cent for the expat and spouse; and 4 per cent for expats alone. Whencross-cultural preparation is available, 67 per cent of expats participate. Whenasked if cross-cultural preparation is mandated for employees going oninternational assignments only 30 per cent said yes. The selection process When selecting people for international opportunities, it is important tocarefully select and assess those who will go on assignment, and equallycrucial to keep in mind that someone who might be successful in Brazil might bea poor candidate for Singapore. As HR professionals know all too well, peopleare often selected by a business manager based on their availability andtechnical skill. In response to a survey question ranking assignmentobjectives, on a scale of 1 (least common) to 5 (most common), filling a skillsgap ranked highest (3.1), followed by launch a new endeavour (2.8), andtechnology transfer (2.7). Management expertise and transfer corporate cultureranked below these (2.2 and 1.9 respectively). Companies need to provide a variety of assignment opportunities for the”new traditional family”, where the spouse/partner does notnecessarily join the expat on assignment because of their career path orpersonal issues related to children’s education, elderly parents, and so on.There are also more ‘significant others’ – both same sex and opposite sex.Forty-four per cent of respondents include provisions for significant others intheir relocation policy, up from 30 per cent in the 2000 survey. Those companies that adapt their programmes to meet the needs of this new‘family unit’ will successfully meet their global business challenges. Morethan half of the respondents indicated they are exploring alternatives tolong-term assignments, for instance. For them, the chief reasons are costeffectiveness, obtaining first-choice candidates and dual-career couples. Otherapproaches companies are taking as an alternative to long-term assignments areexpanding their use of business travel versus relocation, training localemployees and project-related moves. Other highlights include: The number of female expats increased to 16 per cent, up from 13 per cent in2000, and is expected to reach the 20 per cent mark in 2005. In the 1995survey, however, respondents had anticipated the female expatriate populationto be 20 per cent by 2000. The latest results may reflect more realisticexpectations of the growth in the percentage of female expats than in the past.During assignments, most married expatriates are accompanied by their spousedespite what appears to be a negative impact on the accompanying spouse’scareer. Before assignment, nearly half the expats’ spouses are employed, andduring assignment, only 14 per cent of spouses are employed. This is consistentthroughout the eight years of the survey. The primary reason is that workpermit/visa issues prevent spouses from working in many countries. When comparing the careers of expats with careers of employees with nointernational experience, 36 per cent of respondents reported that expatsobtain new positions in the company more easily; 36 per cent said they arepromoted faster; and 24 per cent said they change employers often. Only 25 percent of expatriates had previous international experience, compared to 44 percent in last year’s survey. This could be interpreted several ways: perhapsthere is a smaller pool of experienced candidates, or maybe more people arereaching out for a first-time global assignment. Conclusion Companies with a long-term plan for leveraging the value of their”human capital” will find they have the best candidates to choosefrom for global assignments; supportive, positive families; career path growth;and as their company expands globally, they will have a cadre of leaders withthe training and international experience necessary to take the company intothe future. What companies must ultimately look at, says the NFTC’s Sheridan,is “their investment. Is the employer maximising their investment in theirexpatriates?” Weblinkswww.gmacglobalrelocation.comGMAC Global Relocation Serviceswww.nftc.orgNational Foreign Trade Councilwww.shrmglobal.orgSHRM Global ForumWhat to focus on– Provide training programmes before offering international assignments.Create a surplus of global talent, trained and eagerly anticipating a globalassignment when one is available– Select candidates carefully – look beyond technical expertise.Do they have a supportive family? Will their personal attributes help make theassignment successful? Are they interested in a global assignment?– Provide employee/ family support – a supportive, positivefamily can make or break the success of an assignment. The company needs toprovide programmes from the beginning to long after the return home, includingcross-cultural preparation, home finding, settling in and repatriation Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Better safe than sorry

first_img Comments are closed. Better safe than sorryOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. The road towards maximum workplace safety needn’t be a slippery slope.  Charles Shoesmith explains why you shouldget a grip on reducing the risksWorkplace accidents happen because people take unnecessary risks. However,they do this because there are favourable consequences associated with takingthese risks, which typically involve practical benefits such as saving time andavoiding inconvenience. There may be a ‘macho’ element to the risk-taking,boosting the individual’s perception of their gutsiness or status, perhaps. Butit is important to understand that the perceived, attractive benefits of takingthe risk are real to the individual and easily outweigh the benefits of beingsafe. To reduce the likelihood of these risks being taken, we must focus on theconsequences associated with the unnecessary risk, and present them in a waythat makes the safe alternative become the more appealing proposition. Extensive research by the health and safety sector has proven beyond doubt thata clear correlation exists between safety initiatives and the actual reductionin accidents. These initiatives should set out to achieve all of the followingobjectives: – Continuous improvements in workplace safety – Avoidance of a sense of complacency at all costs – Keeping the need for maximum safety at the forefront of people’s minds These objectives are easily stated, but in practice are not so easilycarried out. Fundamentally, humans have evolved as problem-solvers, toolmakersand fighters, who are at their best when dealing with real, tangiblechallenges. Workers on an oil rig, for example, will be adept at working towards thecommon goal of locating oil, drilling for it and piping it to people who needit. This is a fascinating, tangible challenge and oil workers are renowned fortheir skill at delivering the goods. Nobody working on an oil rig needs to bereminded of how important the process of harvesting oil is for themselves andtheir team-mates. Oil rigs are extremely dangerous places and, ideally, part of theprofessionalism of any rig worker will be continuous awareness of safetymeasures that maximise safety on the rig. But in occupations where the dangers are not so obvious, accident preventionis a much more intangible issue – at least until an accident occurs. And farfrom being seen as fascinating, safety measures are regarded by many employeesas being somewhat uninspiring compared to other work issues, no matter hownecessary those measures are. Behavioural theory suggests people will only produce continual desiredbehaviours if they want to behave in that way. A basic point, obviously, butits implications for maximising safety in the workplace are critical. The principal factor is that you need to give good, solid reasons forbehaving safely at work in a continual way that is essential to achieveworkplace safety goals. This means that traditional methods of improving safety at work –observation of an unsafe act by a manager or colleague, followed by coachingthe employee who committed the unsafe act – are limited in their effectiveness.In practice, this approach is unlikely to succeed in bringing about thesustained behavioural change really needed. Coaching rarely sparks a permanentchange in the employee’s behaviour because it doesn’t address a crucial issue:the need to focus on behavioural and motivational factors at stake inmaximising workplace safety. The first step is to try and remove as many negative consequences associatedwith the safe alternative as possible. At a practical level, this meansensuring the safe behaviour measures are feasible and easy to carry out. The second step is to focus on giving people additional incentives to choosethe safe alternative. In practice, this means providing what is known as ‘extrinsic reinforcement’– making something available which people value, as a reward for carrying outthe safe behaviour. Extrinsic reinforcement is extremely useful for tipping thebalance away from taking the risk. Experience shows that the most effective kind is ‘positive reinforcement’ –using a positive approach to motivate people to develop behavioural habitswhich will maximise safety. Positive reinforcement can create a collaborative,team effort devoted to maximising workplace safety, inevitably creating highlevels of morale. Positive reinforcement also elicits a performance better than the minimumrequired for compliance with safety needs. People are literally positivelymotivated to produce what is known as ‘discretionary performance’ – the extralevel of performance they want to produce. Time and time again, the use ofpositive reinforcement in the workplace does indeed yield discretionaryperformance. To be most effective, positive reinforcement should not be implemented intactical isolation, but as part of a clear strategy directed at maximisingworkplace safety. Furthermore, the emphasis should be targeted in as much asthe focus needs to be on changing behaviours associated with specific incidents.The strategy therefore becomes one where people are positively reinforced forchoosing safe behaviour where they would previously have tended to take anunnecessary risk. So, what kind of specific positive reinforcements should be used? The mosteffective involve some form of ‘social reinforcement’ – which is simplyrecognition given to an individual by a valued peer or manager when they carryout the safe behaviour. Social reinforcement also occurs in situations where an enjoyable time isassociated with some achievement – celebrations are good examples of suchreinforcement, with the emphasis upon providing mutual ‘pats on the back’ and asense of joint accomplishment. Practical experience of implementing positive reinforcement to createcontinuous behaviour shows that delivery must be planned, systematic andapplied in four ways. The first level of application focuses upon individual achievement, andoccurs at the point at which people carry out the safe behaviour in question.This presents an opportunity for observing a person doing the right thing, andopenly recognising this through a positive comment. The important thing is that such recognition can be delivered by anyone –peers, supervisors or managers. For those making the effort to change, thisrecognition can be a very powerful form of encouragement. The second level focuses on group achievement, and involves setting up aframework which enables all members of the team or work group to be recognisedfor progress made during a given period in which the increased incidence ofcritical safe behaviours is measured. Level three is where the entire work group celebrates the achievement of keymilestones – such as fully adopting a safe habit – by taking part in a socialfunction, such as a celebratory dinner, outing or any other valued activity,funded by the organisation. The final level is where this celebrating is enjoyed not only by members ofthe team or work group, but by all members of the organisation. Such acelebration might occur, for example, in response to the collective achievementof a number of critical safe behaviours. Once again, the safety achievementshould be marked by a memorable social event. Providing positive reinforcement in this way can be enormously effective.The social element of the reinforcement is also mutually self-reinforcing, asindividuals quickly reach a point where they are keen not to let theircolleagues down. Furthermore, with the mundane element that is present in mosttypes of work, the appeal of the respite a social celebration can provide isimmense. Quite apart from anything else, it lets people see that maximising safetycan be associated with events that are a fun, welcome break from the usualroutine. Overall, the aim of this approach is to create a new pattern of learnedbehaviour, or a habit. Once the habit is established, the extrinsicreinforcement can be faded out, because the safe behaviour is now driven by theindividual. Habits established across the workforce eventually create cultural definition– this is ‘the way we behave around here’ – with respect to safety. As such, itprovides a powerful behavioural guide for newcomers and visitors. Ideally, to maximise the success of positive reinforcement as a way ofpermanently changing behavioural habits in a desired direction, theorganisation needs to equip itself with all of the following: – A comprehensive and practical understanding of what influences the choiceof safe and unsafe behaviours, to aid the design of future work practices – A method of analysing present behaviour to understand current risk-takingpatterns and inspire intervention strategies – An outline of the key elements required to change unsafe behaviours as thebasis for the design of a ‘change programme’ – A focus on other behaviours which are important for supporting the safetyinitiative – for example, effectively targeting management action – A behavioural emphasis when addressing issues to do with promoting apositive safety climate to increase voluntary effort – An understanding of how to optimise the transfer of learning from thetraining room to the work site, to maximise the effectiveness of training andinduction processes As long as positive reinforcement is used to encourage good habits formaximising safety, the goal of 100 per cent safety is a perfectly reasonableone. Of course, there will be times when the application of negative consequenceswill be appropriate. But the overall issue is one of balance, and researchshows that the emphasis needs to be focused on the delivery of positivereinforcement if long-lasting behavioural change is to occur. Safety happens in the vast majority of cases because people remember theneed to take small but significant actions to improve safety, and want to takethose actions. These actions really matter, because all kinds of safety – from thatinvolved with climbing a mountain, to flying a passenger airliner or keeping aworkplace safe – are invariably a matter of paying attention to detail.Maximising workplace safety depends on doing the simple things well. An enormous improvement in safety can be obtained if people remember to doeveryday things safely, such as holding the handrail when walking down steepsteps, or looking where they are going. It is the neglect of such behavioursthat are associated with the vast majority of accidents. Safety is always a matter of remembering and wanting to carry out all theright small actions that maximise safety, and carrying them out so often thatthey become a habit. Management of positive reinforcement is the best way toinfluence people’s choice of behaviour to lead to these safe habits. last_img read more

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Creative employers solve age-old conflict

first_img Comments are closed. Pastgenerations saw their ancestors work until they dropped. Today’s generationhave made it quite clear they are not prepared to accept the same deal,however, planning to retire early to enjoy the good life. Butwith changing demographics, lifestyles and poor pension provision, theseambitious plans have little chance of materialising. Employers,faced with an ageing population, need to find ways of keeping us in work.Employees, many having families later in life, need to find ways of earning forlonger. And staff with no family ties need to find ways of funding theirlifestyles into old age. Facedwith the increasing costs of pension provision and poor performance of pensionfunds, both need to find ways of getting the best value out of their investment.Escalatingcosts of pension schemes are forcing employers to close their final salaryschemes. Those who recognise the need to continue to provide an acceptablepension have opened up either a career-average revalued earnings scheme ordefined contribution scheme – meaning they can lower their contribution,provide a reasonable employee benefit and manage the long-term risk of theirschemes by shifting some of it to the employee. Aneven bigger challenge is the retention of experienced staff. Those who want tocarry on working are making ever-increasing demands on employers to help findwork-life balance.Whileexisting legislation can be used as an excuse not to do anything creative, betteremployers are breaking new ground – either removing or extending theirretirement ages, introducing career breaks and flexible working practices foreveryone. They are seeing a rise in both new graduates and staff over 50 andbenefiting from reduced turnover and training costs.Withage discrimination looming in 2006, the more creative employers will benefitfrom valuing ability rather than age and will have trialled many of the newways of working that will be forced upon us in the future.Ifyou have already made these changes and feel confident enough to wait for theinevitable, think again. What about your age and service-related benefits suchas holidays, absence and redundancy payments – not forgetting your position onsalary management, pay progression and training policies. Claims for direct orindirect discrimination await for your decision.Marks& Spencer won the Department for Work and Pensions Award for Age Positiveat Work at the Personnel Today Awards 2002 for removing the mandatory retirementage of 65, allowing valued employees to continue working on the same terms andconditions of employment. This helps us retain experienced people and thatmakes good business sense. DeniseKeating, Head of people proposition, Marks &Spencer Creative employers solve age-old conflictOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Met director stands up to damning inquiry findings

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. TheHR director of the Metropolitan Police Service has defended the organisationfollowing the publication of the findings of a damning survey into employmentand workplace behaviour.Thesurvey of more than 15,000 of the 43,000 Met staff forms part of the MorrisInquiry, the independent investigation into professional standards andemployment matters at the police force.Lessthan one in five (19 per cent) agreed that HR/employment policies wereconsistently and fairly applied across the force.Thesurvey also found there was little confidence among staff that the Met wasembracing all aspects of diversity, and the majority believe diversity has yetto become part of police culture.ButMartin Tiplady, HR directorat the Met, told Personnel Today thatthe survey only provided a ‘snapshot’, and did not reflect how the Met hadlooked before, or how it would look in the future.”Iam concerned with the findings, some of which are less impressive than wewished, but we are in an organisation that has come a long way in the pastthree or four years,” he said.Tiplady said management at theMet would now discuss the findings with the Metropolitan Police Authority andstaff associations to create an action plan.IanLawson, who directs the Work Foundation’s Campaign for Leadership and isresponsible for the Met’sleadership development programme, said the results put the Met where heexpected it to be “at this stage in [its] process of transformation”.Summary of evidenceFindingsfrom the Morris Inquiry survey include:–19 per cent of respondents agreed that HR/employment policies were consistentlyand fairly applied across the organisation –  52 per cent said that they were satisfiedwith their current job–58 per cent agreed that their job makes good use of their skills and abilities–58 per cent agreed that their manager supports them to achieve a reasonablework-life balance–30 per cent agreed there is equal access to job and promotion opportunities –29 per cent said they felt their contribution was valued by the organisation–38 per cent said that they were clear about the development opportunitiesavailable to them–46 per cent said they received the training they needed to do their jobsBy Michael Millar Met director stands up to damning inquiry findingsOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Brookfield Property Partners could go private in $6B deal

first_imgEmail Address* Brookfield’s Brian Kingston and Bruce Flatt (Photos via iStock; Brookfield)After nearly eight years as a publicly traded company, Brookfield Property Partners could be going private.Brookfield Asset Management, the real estate firm’s parent company, announced a proposal to buy the shares of Brookfield Property Partners that it does not already own at a value of $16.50 per share, or $5.9 billion. The deal would be a significant discount from the company’s book value per share of $27.02 per share, according to Yahoo Finance.The deal, if approved, would represent a premium of 14 percent from its closing price on Dec. 31.Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management already owns about 65 percent of Brookfield Property Partners’ shares, according to the latter’s third quarter earnings call.“The privatization will allow us to have greater flexibility in operating the portfolio and realizing the intrinsic value of BPY’s high-quality assets,” Nick Goodman, CFO of Brookfield Asset Management, said in a statement announcing the proposal.The company’s existing shareholders have three options. In exchange for their shares, the they could receive $16.50 in cash, 40 cents of Brookfield Asset Management’s Class A shares or 66 cents of Brookfield Property Partners’ preferred units.Brookfield Property Partners is one of the largest office landlords in New York City, with a portfolio of about 27 million square feet that includes the colossal One Manhattan West project it owns with Qatar Investment Authority.The firm reported huge losses since the pandemic hit due to challenges with its portfolio of malls — it’s sitting on about 120 million square feet in retail real estate across the country. In the third quarter, it reported a $135 million net loss, while its rent collections averaged 70 to 75 percent, up from just 34 percent in the second quarter. The company has also looked to turn over some of its struggling malls to its lenders.By taking the company private, the parent company could also keep a tighter lid on Brookfield Property Partners’ financials. Over the years, its accounting practices and valuations have come under scrutiny by financial news outlets, research firms and short sellers.Brookfield Property Partners uses an accounting practice known as IFRS, which many international firms use, rather than GAAP, which is used by its American rivals. Under IFRS, the company does not have to rely on third party appraisers for its valuations and gives management much more discretion on its valuations compared to GAAP.Brookfield Asset Management said it has presented its proposal to Brookfield Property Partners’ board of directors and general partner for review, and that it has asked the board to appoint a special committee to commission an independent valuation of the company’s shares.Contact Keith Larsen Full Name* Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Tagsbrookfield asset managementBrookfield Property PartnersCommercial Real Estatelast_img read more

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Flow law for ice in polar ice sheets

first_imgTheories of glacier flow are based commonly on the assumption that ice is not a newtonian fluid, but has a non-linear stress-dependent viscosity1–5. Here we re-examine the spreading of Antarctic ice shelves and suggest that the data cannot define a unique flow law. Tilt measurements in four boreholes in both the Arctic and Antarctic seem to show that a linear flow law ε̇ = A1τ (where A1∼10−15 s−1 Pa−1 at −28 °C), where ε̇ is the effective strain rate and τ the effective shear stress, may be just as appropriate for describing the flow of polar ice sheets.last_img read more

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Signatures of dual scaling regimes in a simple avalanche model for magnetospheric activity

first_imgRecently, the paradigm that the dynamic magnetosphere displays sandpile-type phenomenology has been advanced, in which energy dissipation is by means of avalanches which do not have an intrinsic scale. This may in turn imply that the system is in a self-organised critical (SOC) state. Indicators of internal processes are consistent with this, examples are the power-law dependence of the power spectrum of auroral indices, and in situ magnetic field observations in the earth’s geotail. However substorm statistics exhibit probability distributions with characteristic scales. In this paper we discuss a simple sandpile model which yields for energy discharges due to internal reorganisation a probability distribution that is a power-law, whereas systemwide discharges (flow of “sand” out of the system) form a distinct group whose probability distribution has a well defined mean. When the model is analysed over its full dynamic range, two regimes having different inverse power-law statistics emerge. These correspond to reconfigurations on two distinct length scales: short length scales sensitive to the discrete nature of the sandpile model, and long length scales up to the system size which correspond to the continuous limit of the model. The latter are anticipated to correspond to large-scale systems such as the magnetosphere. Since the energy inflow may be highly variable, the response of the sandpile model is examined under strong or variable loading and it is established that the power-law signature of the large-scale internal events persists. The interval distribution of these events is also discussed.last_img read more

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