This week’s lettersManagement’s full support is vital for real success at work I was excitedly drawn to the headline ‘Turning management thinking on itshead’ (Professional agenda, 13 April). And crikey, what a disappointment! Customer service is only superficially in the remit of ‘frontline’ people.Why waste money training staff to ‘smile and use the right words’? If you haverecruited good people they will know how to do it anyway, mainly because theyare customers themselves. They often do it exceptionally well, but go home fedup because management regularly put the kibosh on their efforts. Now, really turning management thinking on its head means agreeing thatmanagement and supervision, in whatever organisation, are in their position forone reason alone, and that is to fully support non-management staff to get itright first time. All processes must support that value. For example: – Each worker should have customer service objectives included in theirappraisal (yes, even the gardener) – Customers should be surveyed at least every three months, to find out howthey feel they are treated – Customer survey results should be reported to everyone – Bonuses should only be paid on the outcome of these customer satisfactionmeasures – Each customer complaint should be reported to everyone for discussion,resolution and monitoring, so that it does not happen again – Ditto any praise that individuals or the organisation receives – Include topic(s) related to customer service in every meeting agenda. Making staff care is unnecessary. People go to work only wanting to do theirjobs well. They don’t get up in the morning thinking: ‘Well, I wonder what Ican mess up today?’ It’s usually management that does that for them. Anne Faris Managing director, AF Associates ELA set to further its investigatory studies I would like to clarify a couple of points about the Employment LawyersAssociation’s (ELA) work on accreditation, referred to in your front pagearticle ‘Lawyers threaten Union power base’ (News, 20 April 2004). The ELA has been consulting with its members on the question of whether weshould take a lead in introducing a form of accreditation for employmenttribunal practitioners. We are not, however, in the initial stages ofconsulting with the Government on whether to introduce such a scheme, allowingonly certain lawyers to represent claimants at tribunal, as stated in yourarticle. The catalyst for the consultation of our members was a report into theoperation of employment tribunals which indicated, among other things, thatsome form of accreditation of tribunal practitioners would be of benefit to thegeneral public. The ELA is committed to ensuring the best practice ofemployment law and, therefore, the promotion of an appropriate accreditationscheme could be consistent with that aim. Having consulted with our members, we are now in the process of analysingthe results. The issues we have canvassed opinion on include: – Whether an accreditation scheme should only focus on tribunal practice – Whether an accreditation scheme which the ELA might sponsor or establishshould be open only to lawyers or to all tribunal practitioners, includingemployment consultants and others who already practise in the tribunal. Once we have analysed the results of our survey, we will share them with ourmembers and a wider audience of interested parties. Julian Hemming Chairman, Employment Lawyers Association HR selection criteria is too short-sighted There have been many letters in Personnel Today regarding the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification versus experience.I have to say that as a jobseeker, I am finding a great deal ofunprofessionalism in recruitment. And as a recruitment specialist myself, Ihave been surprised at the stereotypical and short-sighted selection criteriaused by many organisations. Many companies only want recruitment staff from the same sector, but I thinkthis is really an insult to the intelligence of their wider recruitmentcolleagues. I am qualified and experienced in recruitment and current methods,and believe it would only take a day or two to pick up the culture of anorganisation if they hired me. I have had a number of interim project-based positions, through necessity towork, not choice. Yet I was told by a professional services recruiter that thisshowed I was a risk. I hadn’t realised studies had been carried out that showeda link between fixed-term contracts and a person’s ability to do a job. The comment that took the biscuit, however, was from another professionalservices firm, which said I had been unsuccessful because of the university Iattended. In the interviewer’s words: ‘All our team have been to the topuniversities’. As I have a good degree and a post-graduate diploma in HRmanagement, I am a little saddened that in the 21st century, people are stillsnobbish enough to place such importance on which university someone attends. Unfortunately, such narrow-minded recruitment attitudes are prevalent amongCity institutions. The more professional an organisation claims to be, the more unprofessionalits recruitment seems to be. Thankfully, many organisations are not soshort-sighted, so hopefully my job search will not last for too long. Details supplied Obesity may hinder the future workforce I have been following the debate on obesity with great interest. I found thesurvey commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) very interesting. Iparticularly agreed with John Krebbs, chairman of the FSA, when he said thatfamilies need support from schools, industry and broadcasters if the Governmentis to make a difference on this issue. I am the managing partner of a contract caterer focusing on education, and aparent of a school-age child. I have always believed today’s children are theworkforce of the future. An unhealthy workforce is not something to bewelcomed. I see it as my responsibility and that of my colleagues, to offer children amenu that is low in fat, salt and sugar, with a good quality choice of freshfruit and vegetables. But equally, it is the responsibility of those charged with the welfare ofthe workforce to seize this challenge and give their caterers the focus toimprove everyone’s diet. The problem is not just in schools. Adults needsupport as well. It takes is imagination and it is harder work to produce ahealthier menu, but it is worth it. Kate Martin Managing partner, Brookwood Partnership Where to draw the line on equal pay? Can you ask HR Hartley what he thinks we should do about equal pay? First,for people who have been in their role for a long time and therefore command ahigher salary, and also, how we can pay someone an equal salary when there areno men to benchmark their salaries against? In my firm, the HR department ismade up solely of women. Is there going to be some directive to ‘let us off the hook’ when it gets totribunal stage, if we find that we have been under-paying a female member ofstaff? Come to think of it, should we just pay all women in a similar role thesame rate of pay, regardless of their length of service? And what would happen if a man’s salary was less than his femalecounterpart’s? Would we be over-paying the woman, or should we bring the maninto line with her wages? Now, there’s a thought! Details supplied Promotions through affiliation rife in HR A letter printed in Personnel Today (13 April) entitled ‘Qualified doesn’talways mean better’ outlined the reason why HR has no credibility. Every HR professional with qualifications knows of a senior manager in HRwho doesn’t, yet got a senior position with a salary to match. To become an HR officer or assistant in some organisations, you are requiredto be MIPD. This creates confusion as many individuals begin to ask what arethe benefits of being qualified when you can just land a job in HR because yourface fits, or you have been around for a long time. HR has created its own problems. In professions such as teaching, nursingand law, you need a qualification to undertake work in your chosen field.Moving the goalposts when it suits you (often moved by the said seniormanagement officers, who have no respect for the profession or what it has tooffer) creates confusion and disgruntlement. I have worked with many seniorswho did not have HR qualifications and were able to obtain the titles MCIPD andFCIPD through affiliation alone. So what value does a CIPD qualification have?In my view, not a lot. Details supplied Comments are closed. LettersOn 25 May 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.