Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sha la la?

I loved the Sha la la story in People Management’s 27th August 2009, written originally on Lou Burrows blog. Experiences I have witnessed over my work history make me chuckle but that’s probably due to my “sense of humour”, watching people agreeing with the boss all the time.

Being a young HR professional working hard to gain a name and good reputation within HR I so glad to see that “backing singers” are everywhere, but I think the only thing worse, or funnier are the “backing singers” who are serial buck passers!

I do believe that many become unstuck in the end so we might as well enjoy laughing at them for now.

HR on the box…

People Management Magazine reported in their magazine a report on TV program “Can You Bank On Me? BBC1 24 August 2009” the program was about City high-flyers that were sent to work in struggling business to come up with ways of saving the real business. According to the write up the high-flyers managed to fail spectactually.

Unfortunately I was on holiday when the show was aired and have not managed to find the full show yet. It stagers me the amount of so called “business experts” there are who I believe don’t actually know or have that true business acumen. I spend a lot of time reading HR information and I find it so easy to work out in seconds if the report is getting written by either an acting HR professional working operationally or someone with pure business acumen and someone not operating in an operational role.  When I was studying at university we spent many hours analyzing a business’s cash flow and market position coming up with ideas of what could save the business and discussing pros and cons of each one.

It does highlight that to run a business it is impossible to have one skill but you need a range, a lot of high-flyers will be skilled in one area and not be able to look at the bigger picture.

Will employer policies be ‘fit’ to run alongside new sick not system…

The new sick note system has been heavily published recently but I have to chuckle and think is it needed? As an operational HR professional who deals with sick notes often I believe the current system does what it is needed to do. Within the industries I have experience in if the employer needs more information about an employee’s health they will either make a referral to an occupational health service, external health authority or request more information from the private doctor.

When dealing with someone’s sickness I don’t believe there is an easy one fix solution due to the range of sicknesses an employee could be suffering from and due to the sensitive nature. An employer has to tread carefully and treat all employees equal; not suggesting an illness may not be legitimate and seeks to gather all information before making a decision on the employee. If a doctor has to sign someone fit to work does that mean they will be requesting job information about the employee i.e. a job description and job specification? Doctors are good at identifying a medication issue but I don’t believe they can affectively link that to a business situation. It means nothing to a doctor to sign someone off work, if they have a person telling them that they are really ill a doctor might find it easier symphasing with the employee signing them off work rather than an occupational health department paid by the employer to truly judge the employee against the job requirements.

I personally laugh and think that this is another example of a none operational professional who has been given and pot of money to investigate an issue and is trying to come up with an easy blanket solution. I have seen it done time and time and again and believe it will not solve anything.

Who is responsible for getting a fair deal for migrant workers?

It’s not often I look at the front of a magazine and laugh, but when I looked at the cover of the 10th September 2009 People Management Magazine it had a male “migrant worker” doing manual labour and in the back ground two well dressed people with high visibility jackets on and the slogan “Bitter Harvest, Who is responsible for getting a fair deal for migrant workers?” 

My initial view is get rid of the people standing there watching and share out their wages! But when you think harder about it the whole things makes me smile, we have massive unemployment and also people who are willing to work for anything. I agree all employees need to be protected but if our businesses need to reduce costs to stay competitive and there are people willing to do the job, surely it’s unfair to demand stuff from businesses that might mean they can only operate for a couple of years rather that long term success. A lot of migrant workers earn more money doing these jobs here than jobs back home even though we deem the money to be insufficient.

It makes me smile how people try and split the argument easily down the middle, surely our main aim is that British companies succeed and we should not be protecting an individual who will make money and leave the country. Yes all employees need to be protected but where can you draw the line. We have increasing unemployment and people refusing to do manual jobs, yet migrant workers are willing to do the hard work without what we call the sufficient payment.