Archive for September, 2008

An Apple a Day Won’t Keep Burnout Away

September 28, 2008

 

In this era of long work days, long commutes, and high stress, employees dedicate far less time towards preserving their mental and physical well-being. Employees have instead redirected that energy towards keeping pace with the ever-changing demands of today’s businesses.

While employers prefer to believe that extended work days enhance long-term production, the reality presents a far different picture. Employees who are always on the go never have time to recharge their batteries. As a result, they constantly run on empty, which increases the chance of illness and exacerbates the negative effects of stress. Given the endless demands for production, employees will reach burnout long before employers feel satisfied with the output.

Employers must learn to think big and bold when it comes to employee well-being. The big and the bold of employee well-being require employers to look beyond the four corners of their human resources manual. It demands that employers assume a progressive stance on the role of employees within the company hierarch. And it asks employers to engage employees in the process of creating a healthy workplace.

Most employers have the foundational elements of a healthy workplace, including health insurance, healthy cafeteria choices, and gym benefits. There are several means of building upon that foundation to truly create a healthy workplace. The basic tenets of improved employee health include employee involvement, employee growth and development, health and safety, work-life balance, and employee recognition.

Let’s take a look at each tenet:

GET EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN THE COMPANY: Too many employers discourage employee involvement, believing it an unwarranted hassle. The bottom line is, however, that employees will be more dedicated to the company when they feel heard and valued. Employers should, therefore, create an open door policy to get their employees involved in evaluating company practices. An open-door policy promotes employee involvement because it encourages employees to actually raise their concerns. There are numerous ways to get employees involved. Nike Tennessee, for example, created chatrooms for employees and holds regular breakfasts for the purpose of encouraging communication between employees and management. There is no one right way of getting employees involved. Companies operate differently and should tailor programs to meet the needs of their organization.

PROVIDE FOR EMPLOYEE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: Many employers offer training for employees on any number of topics. However, employees frequently do not take advantage of such opportunities either because they are unaware of their existence or do not feel comfortable using work hours for training. To avoid these situations, employers should widely advertise training opportunities and encourage individual employees to participate. This means not only emailing the information about the training but actually taking the time to personally deliver the message to employees.

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Health and safety concerns go hand and hand with certain industries. In the corporate world, health and safety concerns are less obvious. At a basic level, health and safety in the corporate world revolves around health management programs, such as healthy food choices, gym benefits, and employee assistance for mental health concerns. Another key health and safety issue concerns ergonomically correct working spaces. Ergonomically correct workspaces ease the discomfort caused by the strain of typing on a keyboard, sitting at a desk, and staring at a computer for extended periods.

EMPHASIZE WORK-LIFE BALANCE: The phrase ‘work-life balance’ is a bit of a misnomer, but it has broad implications for employee health. An employee’s life can never be balanced equally between life and home but companies certainly can offer perks that demonstrate recognition for employee’s lives outside of work. Telecommuting and flexible work hours, for instance, are two key alternatives to the normal work schedule. These two options offer employees with long commutes, ailing relatives, or newborn children a means to fit both work and home into their lives. Additionally, employers can create their own methods of recognizing and embracing an employee’s life outside of the workplace.

RECOGNIZE EMLOYEES: Employers should give employees ongoing feedback. Not only does regular feedback prevent confusion about how the employer views an employee’s performance, it also creates another channel of communication. Some employees are self-driven but many need reasons to push themselves. Annual promotions, occasional small rewards, and sizeable rewards for long-term employment are all perks that will keep employees dedicated and push them to excel. In addition to regular feedback and systematic perks, employers should recognize employees for a job well-done.

It is now time for companies to step up their game and get the ball rolling on employee health. A reactive approach to employee health no longer can suffice to address the problems and conflicts linked to employee burnout. In today’s business world of midnight deadlines and weekend work hours, employees deserve more than a decent health insurance plan. Employees deserve to be an active part of the company, to have a role in making improvements, and to have the flexibility to maintain a non work-related life. Just remember that a mere apple a day will not keep burnout away.

Linda Finkle, CEO of Incedo Group, works closely with leaders and management to create sustainable productivity and organizational strength. She holds a Master Certified Coach designation through the International Coaching Federation. For more information and articles by Linda and Incedo Group, please go to http://www.incedogroup.com/mediaroom.htm

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Linda_Finkle

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

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Don’t give up on the community: What the experts say

September 28, 2008

 

I DON’T think the economic downturn alters the rationale for volunteering.

As far as employees go, volunteering helps them feel better about themselves and their workplace. It also helps them to develop skills they might not otherwise acquire, such as mentoring skills if they volunteer in schools.

There are also benefits for employers. Volunteering increases employee engagement and that engagement is crucial to talent management and retention.

Employees like to feel they belong to an organisation that does more than just make money. In addition, there is plenty of demand for volunteers.

It really helps, for example, when a school can rely on 15 employees coming in every week to help with reading.

I don’t see volunteering decreasing in the current circumstances — there are too many benefits to everyone concerned. In fact, I think it will continue to rise steadily.

Rachael Hewson, associate director at Mason Blake, a financial recruitment firm

ANYTHING that makes a candidate stand out at interview

is good. These days many people have good academic qualifi- cations and work-experience records, but it is the human side that starts conversations during an interview.

It’s also important to the banking sector that it isn’t seen as being only interested in making money, so it wants to recruit people with different sides to their character.

Volunteering shows that a candidate has other interests, and the way a candidate discusses his or her volunteering often shows what he or she is like as a person. It’s also a safer area for conversation than many others in an interview — discrimination laws have made normal conversation harder.

 

CSR is here to stay. Hard times won’t change that. It’s not something that companies can just dip out of once they have dipped in. They are often in long-term partnerships with the local community.

Marcus Jamieson-Pond, CSR officer at the Addleshaw Goddard law firm

I AM not surprised by the latest City Action figures, but I do understand why people would expect less volunteering in difficult times.

I think the rise in volunteering reflects the extra efforts that have gone into promoting CSR in the past three or four years.

Also, in difficult times it’s more likely that companies will cut cash donations. Volunteering will be unaffected because it offers so many advantages compared with signing a cheque. Business benefits from the feel-good factor employees get from volunteering, and their skills are improved.

Volunteering is also popular with graduates and so there is a recruitment advantage.

We have just been nominated for a Dragon Award for our volunteering. In June, we had three weeks of volunteering events involving 37 projects and 610 of our 1,450 staff took part.

Most staff will volunteer if you make it easy for them — and it is my job to make it easier for them.

Elaine Ray, investment banker and employee volunteer at Royal Bank of Scotland

EVERYONE at the Bank of Scotland can have a paid day off to volunteer.

I really recommend the personal involvement. Giving money is good, but it’s only with volunteering that you experience the real personal sense of reward as well as a feeling of connection.

Professional expertise is extremely expensive for small charities to buy in and I feel good that I am able to provide it as a volunteer.

I am also working in my local community to give something back. Through that I get to know local people and it makes me feel part of the London borough of Southwark.

People complain about lack of community spirit; I say they should do something about it. They don’t need anyone’s permission.

I have been absolutely stunned by the sheer numbers of local people that volunteer at Time and Talents — there are more volunteers than staff.

(Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/)

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

Diversity: Raising the bar – a Law in Practice feature

September 28, 2008

 

International law firm Herbert Smith turned to consultancy Inclusive Diversity to set up a holistic, long-term diversity strategy. Alison Rawstron explains.

Setting up a diversity policy can be a daunting task. Notice must be taken of a host of legislation, including race relations, sex and age discrimination, sexual orientation regulations, disability discrimination as well as the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations and the Part Time Workers Regulations.

Ian Gatt, chairman of the diversity committee at international legal practice Herbert Smith, is responsible for raising the profile of diversity issues across the business and is the principal point of contact for any staff concerns. “It’s the right thing for the business to do in terms of respecting people’s individual choices, needs and personalities,” says Gatt.

“It makes good business sense, because a diverse organisation is a good recruitment and retention tool. Also, our clients are increasingly diverse organisations and they are looking for diversity in companies they work with – it’s a virtuous circle.”

When Gatt and his diversity team embarked on a diversity and equality strategy, they knew they had a big job on their hands. With offices worldwide and 1,200 lawyers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, they needed to have clear goals, training and communication channels. To achieve this, they enlisted the help of Inclusive Diversity, a diversity consultancy and training organisation.

Training has formed a key element of the strategy. With the help of Inclusive Diversity, 1,400 staff members took part in a classroom-based two-hour interactive training session involving facilitators and actors between April and July 2007.

“We’ve raised awareness of diversity to a new level and made people realise that it’s not about political correctness but about fundamental values of treating people fairly and equally,” Gatt says. “The feedback has been positive.”

Inclusive Diversity managing director Sasha Scott thinks that for a diversity strategy to succeed, it has to be an organisational issue that is visibly backed by senior management. “If the management does not embrace and actively demonstrate a commitment to diversity then employees will not believe in the initiative. I think too often there is a disconnect between policy and practice – for true success diversity should not be viewed as a standalone initiative but seen in practice every day throughout an organisation.”

A new strategy

Herbert Smith formed an inclusivity group with six staff members in 2003 and then overhauled it in 2007. The changes echo its rising importance on the business agenda: it now has more than 20 members and two full-time dedicated staff, Gatt and Carolyn Lee, diversity manager.

The group consists of five strands: gender, sexual orientation, disability, work-life balance and ethnicity and social inclusion. Each strand has a champion or head and several other team members dedicated to it.

“Diversity is a huge subject and we wanted to create champions for the specific areas as we saw them,” says Gatt. The aim is for the champions to get to grips with the deeper issues in their area so they can devise initiatives and feed suggestions into the wider inclusivity group.

Various initiatives have been launched in these five key areas. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network has held informal, low-key meetings to help build members’ confidence. It has also forged links with lobby group Stonewall.

The women’s network, which has recently celebrated its first anniversary, is holding a networking event for its 200 members to promote personal and professional development, with former MI5 chief Dame Stella Rimington as the guest speaker.

Other initiatives include an emergency care programme for staff with children or primary care responsibilities for elderly persons. It is a fully subsidised service that is offered to staff for an uncapped number of days. “We’re acknowledging that sometimes things don’t go according to plan,” says Lee.

In the pipeline is a maternity coaching scheme for women exiting and re-entering the workplace and a disability review of the working environment to ensure best practice is adopted. “The key for us is appropriate programmes, which we know from feedback would be welcomed by our staff,” Lee says.

The five champions also serve as a point of contact and represent a known face for staff to give feedback to. Lee thinks this is important for building trust and rapport. Employees’ opinions are regularly canvassed to inform ongoing work and the many channels for giving feedback should encourage informal and open comments from staff.

Communicating the aims and progress of the inclusivity group has been a key part of its success. Staff can find out about the diversity strategy on the company intranet, via its regular newsletter and at informal networking events.

Challenges

The biggest hurdle has been overcoming entrenched attitudes from staff members, says Gatt. “But once you’ve explained the principles and why it is good for people as individuals as well as the company as a whole, then they quickly come on board.”

 

In five steps

Implementing a diversity strategy

  1. Identify your goals. Know what you are looking to achieve and set realistic deadlines
  2. Know your business. Understand what is culturally right for your organisation and identify how a strategy will work in practice
  3. Top-down recognition is key. Buy-in from the management board is vital, giving a strategy importance and raising its profile in an organisation
  4. Bottom-up recognition makes it work. Engagement also comes from a grassroots level, because that is where it will be put into practice every day
  5. Communicate the message. Training and educating your staff will help you shift company culture and meet your long-term objectives
(Source: http://www.personneltoday.com/articles
Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

Media Outlets Urged to Match Concern About Staff Stress by Preventing Job Cuts

September 28, 2008

A meeting of members of the National Union of Journalists is to take place at The Scotsman newspaper group on Wednesday, to consider how to react to two proposed editorial redundancies. On the back of a ‘work to rule’ at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail – that began on Friday – it has prompted the union’s Scottish Organiser to appeal to the country’s biggest media outlets to honour their concerns about working conditions, by avoiding staff cuts.

Says Paul Holleran: “We have conducted a Health and Safety Executive-based survey at The Scotsman Publications and found that urgent action is required to relieve staff stress, caused by such things as too long hours, not being able to take breaks, and not being able to get your preferred holiday dates. We conducted a similar survey at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail and found similar results.

“And what we have found at The Scotsman Publications, BBC Scotland, The Herald group and the Daily Record and Sunday Mail is management all concerned about staff stress but then pursuing job cuts.”

On Thursday, a meeting was held between union reps at The Scotsman group – which includes The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News – and the titles’ managing director, Michael Johnston.

Talks centred on a company proposal to make two editorial secretarial redundancies, one redundancy at Special Features and a feature writer redundancy at the Scotsman. It’s not yet clear whether the redundancies will be compulsory or voluntary and whether any redeployment will be offered instead.

Other cuts include a reduction of shifts at The Scotsman’s picture desk and various Scotland on Sunday magazine sections. 

Today, NUJ reps across all the titles in the UK owned by the Scotsman’s publishers, Johnston Press, are taking part in a telephone conference call ahead of a proposed letter from the NUJ’s general-secretary, Jeremy Dear, to Johnston Press chief executive, Tim Bowdler, warning of industrial action, should there be any compulsory redundancies.

And these tough economic times could get even worse should the cost of newsprint go up next year, by as much as 20 per cent – as some fear.

(Source: http://www.allmediascotland.com)

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

New Centre to Tackle Workplace Bullying Launched at the House of Lords

September 28, 2008

 

Bullying and stress in the workplace could be costing organisations in the UK a staggering £13.75billion a year*.

Last year alone 33.5million days were lost by UK organisations due to bullying related absenteeism, almost 200,000 employees left organisations and the equivalent of 100 million days productivity were lost as a result of bullying.

The Centre for Research on Workplace Behaviours at the University of Glamorgan Business School, the only centre of its kind in the UK, is officially launched at the House of Lords this week (17th September) and will conduct research into the causes and effects of workplace bullying and other behaviours in businesses and organisations throughout the UK and further a field. 
According to a recent study by the TUC and the YouGov poll of more than 2,500 people at work in Britain, one in seven people in the UK have been bullied at work, with higher paid staff more likely to report problems. Co-

Director Professor Michael Sheehan commented, “Clearly the issue of workplace bullying in a serious matter and has implications, not only for those who experience being bullied at work but also for those who witness the inappropriate behaviours and for organisations themselves. Such behaviours do little to contribute to organisational loyalty, or commitment. Nor do they enhance productivity, increase job satisfaction, or decrease turnover. The centre aims to advance understanding of relationships and behaviours on a local, national and international level”.

The launch will host a range of key speakers including the CEO of Acas, John Taylor, Deputy General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, Steve Elliott, CIA and Labour Peer, Baroness Wall of New Barnet, who is the former Head of Policy at trade union Amicus.

Professor Duncan Lewis and Professor Michael Sheehan who are Co-Directors of the Centre chose to launch first in London because they are keen to be seen as a UK and global centre of research expertise. The Centre conducts pan-UK research and has worked with a number of major organisations and trade unions nationally.

Areas of expertise within the Research Centre include ‘Bullying in the Workplace’, ‘Conflict and Conflict Resolution,’ and ‘Equalities and Diversity challenges’. The Centre can also assist with organisational change and development strategies and with bespoke research studies on workplace issues such as emotion at work, group behaviours, partnership behaviours, and corporate socially responsible behaviours.

Professor Duncan Lewis in collaboration with colleagues at Cardiff University is currently involved with the UK’s first nationally representative study on bullying and harassment. The launch will feature a headline story from the study.

For more information visit: http://www.glam.ac.uk/workplacebehaviours.

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

Wales tackles workplace bullies

September 28, 2008

Wales is leading the way in investigating bullying and stress in the workplace which could be costing organisations in the UK 13.75 billion pounds a year.

The Centre for Research on Workplace Behaviours at the University of Glamorgan Business School, the only centre of its kind in the UK, is officially launched at the House of Lords tomorrow. 

It will conduct research into the causes and effects of workplace bullying and other behaviours in businesses and organisations throughout the UK and further a field. 

Last year alone 33.5million days were lost by UK organisations due to bullying related absenteeism, almost 200,000 employees left organisations and the equivalent of 100 million days productivity were lost as a result of bullying.

According to a recent study by the TUC and the YouGov poll of more than 2,500 people at work in Britain, one in seven people in the UK have been bullied at work, with higher paid staff more likely to report problems. 

Co-Director Professor Michael Sheehan commented, “Clearly the issue of workplace bullying in a serious matter and has implications, not only for those who experience being bullied at work but also for those who witness the inappropriate behaviours and for organisations themselves. 

“Such behaviours do little to contribute to organisational loyalty, or commitment. Nor do they enhance productivity, increase job satisfaction, or decrease turnover. The centre aims to advance understanding of relationships and behaviours on a local, national and international level.”

Professor Duncan Lewis and Professor Michael Sheehan who are Co-Directors of the Centre, chose to launch first in London because they are keen to be seen as a UK and global centre of research expertise. The Centre conducts pan-UK research and has worked with a number of major organisations and trade unions nationally.

 

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

Counter-offer as the staff retention method

September 28, 2008

 

An article published by the IRC is becoming more and more relevant in the times ahead. In the tight times like today, companies are rethinking their headcount requirements and the positions that are not on the critical path of the delivery of the service or the product are in real danger. A large number of the companies are just not replacing the people that have left this year, thus decreasing the headcount. The others are simply offering a redundancy packages that we can read about every day (Jobs News).

In the same time every single company will do all in its power to keep its best people, the core team, the drivers of the business. And this is where the retention comes into play:

Faced with an increasingly tight employment market, competition for experienced staff has not just impacted hiring strategies but even more so retention strategies as companies are increasingly using counter-offers as an essential part of their retention strategy. Experienced staff are often faced with multiple offers and quite often these will include a counter-offer from their current employer.

We have seen clients increase salaries by up to 50% in order to retain key members of staff within the finance sector – the costs of replacing staff are so high and competition is so tight that companies are pulling out all the stops in the ongoing issue of staff retention.

It is a difficult decision to weigh up a new company against your existing employer when a decent counter-offer is on the table and employees should carry out their own due diligence when looking at any new opportunity. Accepting a counter offer can seem like an easy option but it can also have a long-term impact on your career. When weighing up a counteroffer against a new offer of employment we would always advise candidates to analyse the reasons that prompted them to look for a new role in the first place. Quite often a counteroffer will offer a pay increase but you will fail to really address any other issues that you may have with your existing company. Our experience has shown that once someone accepts a counteroffer they will still start looking for a new role six months later!

What we will see more in the remaining in the 2008 is that people who stay with their current employer – DO NOT leave their employer that easy after receiving the hefty salary upscale. Interest rates are going up, house prices are going down. People will want to feel some security that they will be able to pay the raising mortgages.

Unless you are the CEO of Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, or Unilife CEO Alan Shortall, or someone on their level, it is quite unlikely you will be changing your employer for a higher salary, and be starting from the scratch with a new employer in the last quarter of 2008.

(Source: http://www.jobsblog.ie/Jobs/counter-offer-as-rhe-staff-retention-method/140)

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

UK Women to wait 187 years to outstrip men’s pay

September 28, 2008

With current earnings power, it won’t be until 2195 before pay parity exists and the Chartered Management Institute argues that, whereas with a glass ceiling, you could see through, that ceiling has now become opaque. 

UK Women to wait 187 years to outstrip men’s pay 

Women across the UK will have to wait 187 years before their take home pay outpaces men, according to data from a survey of 40,027 individuals. Figures also reveal the latest movements in earnings and show a higher rate of female labour turnover, as more women are made redundant, resign or seek job transfers. 

The findings, released by the Chartered Management Institute and CELRE, indicate that female earnings have increased by an average of 6.8 per cent over the past 12 months, up from 5.2 per cent reported in last year’s survey. With men receiving an average increase of 6.6 per cent, the data signals a return to the trend set between 1997 and 2006, when female movements in earnings were higher. 

In real terms the average female executive is earning £32,614 – take home pay that is £13,655 less than the average male equivalent of £46,269. At the current level of annual pay increases, this means it will not be until 2195 before female pay outstrips men. The data also shows that female directors have the longest wait. Parity for those in the IT sector will take even longer and, across all industries, female directors in Scotland will have the longest wait for parity. However, junior executives in the energy sector are bucking the trend as, with their current earning power, pay equality will arrive by 2010. 

The 35th National Management Salary Survey also provides employers with disturbing news about staff retention. Three quarters (75 per cent) admit they are finding it increasingly difficult to hang on to their staff – a figure that has risen from 28.5 per cent in 5 years. The top 3 job functions experiencing retention problems are IT (28.1 per cent), Engineering (26.3 per cent) and Sales (22.8 per cent). 

In a repeat of recent surveys, this year’s results show that the total labour turnover for female executives is greater than that for men (14.3 per cent compared to 12.3 per cent). Labour turnover amongst women is also at its highest point since 2004 (14.7 per cent). 

The figures show that women are also more likely to quit their jobs (7.2 per cent compared to 5.9 per cent) or ask for an ‘internal transfer’ (3.3 per cent compared to 3 per cent). However, loyalty to employers is highest in the South East, where just 3.6 per cent of women and 4 per cent of men have resigned in the past 12 months. Scotland sees the highest resignation rates for both sexes (9.8 per cent for women and 7.2 per cent for men). 

Unsurprisingly, given the economic conditions of the past year, redundancy figures have more than doubled (to 3 per cent from 1.4 per cent in 2007). The data shows, however, that female executives are bearing the brunt of staff cut-backs, with 3.4 per cent made redundant across the UK, compared to 2.7 per cent of men. Redundancies are highest in East Anglia (23.9 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively). 

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says: “At least with a glass ceiling it is possible to see through to the next level. However, when it comes to equal pay, it seems that the glass is now opaque. To have to wait several generations is inexcusable and it is time that the lip service of the 3 decades since sex discrimination was first outlawed is transformed into action.”

(Source : http://www.consultant-news.com/article_display.aspx?p=adp&id=5073)

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

Bank chief tries to calm jitters over Scotland job losses

September 28, 2008

 

Lloyds TSB yesterday moved to dampen speculation that its £12 billion takeover of Scotland’s oldest bank will lead to thousands of job losses in Scotland.

Susan Rice, the chief executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland, denied that the move, which will create a £30billion banking giant, would necessarily lead to thousands of jobs being shed. She admitted that it will be months before staff learn how many posts will go as a result of the deal to rescue HBOS from collapse.

Ms Rice said: “Everyone needs to keep in mind that the vast majority of staff in any bank are customer-facing. If we bring two banks together … we still need all those staff to deal with our customers.”

The two banks employ 24,200 people in Scotland and the takeover has prompted fears of bank branch closures. Ms Rice pointed out that it would take three months for the takeover deal to be finalised and two to three years for integration. “Over that period of time, staff leave, staff retire, various things happen,” she said.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister, is due to meet senior management from Lloyds TSB next week in an attempt to win assurances over jobs as well as the retention of the Bank of Scotland name and a significant presence in the Scottish capital.

Ms Rice yesterday gave a strong indication that the name of Scotland’s oldest bank would not be lost as a result of the takeover: “I am absolutely sympathetic to the word Scotland,” she said. “I believe that we will have head office functions happening here, the group’s AGM will continue to take place here. The Mound will be kept open, we have had a lot of decision-making here.”

Mr Salmond said that significant questions remained about the plans. “One is the extent of the rationalisation that will take place as a result of the overlapping branch structures,” he said. “And second, the degree of decision-making and autonomy and group operations, genuine head office operations, that will continue in Scotland.”

 

From 
September 19, 2008
Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

Everybody will have to think again about pay…

September 28, 2008

 

Andrew Garner, chief executive of executive search firm Garner

The most fundamental change to banking will be how staff are remunerated. People will no longer accept being rewarded with equity in the company they work for – Lehman Brothers led the way in doing that and some of its staff have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in shares that are now worthless.

More broadly, there will be a bigger emphasis within banks on staff management and retention. If you can’t win over people by issuing them with your own shares, how are you going to reward and motivate them?

I believe there will be more emphasis on traditional banking methods and less emphasis on computer modelling. As we have witnessed, you can’t predict the future.

Sadly, most of the Lehman employees will not find themselves being fought over by head hunters – head hunters already know the top people. So the idea that recruitment consultants are feverishly ringing

 

From 
September 21, 2008
Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com