Human Resource Management International Digest

Published by Emerald
Print ISSN: 0967-0734
Publications
Purpose - This paper aims to examine, from an insider's perspective, the ways in which Chinese organizational play may develop employee creativity. Design/methodology/approach - Presents concepts based on research. Findings - Reports how Chinese organizational play may help employees to relax physically, develop informal social relationships and support guanxi - business networks based on connections made by individuals. Practical implications - Advances the view that managers in China who want a creative workplace should be prepared to put in the time and effort to provide their employees with opportunities for play. Originality/value - Presents ideas from China that could be applied in some western organizations.
 
Purpose - Describes the process of Investors in People (IIP) accreditation that has helped Pauley Design to develop and retain skilled staff. Design/methodology/approach - Draws on the client-services manager's personal views of the process. Findings - Describes how the IIP process was carried out, what was involved and the psychological effects on individuals. Highlights the benefits to staff morale. Practical implications - Demonstrates the effect of the IIP process in maintaining staff confidence and personal and corporate morale at Pauley Design. Originality/value - Explains how Pauley Design management believes the IIP process and accreditation enables effective induction and training for all staff and gives them the incentive to stay with the company, minimizing the potential loss of skilled personnel.
 
Purpose - Illustrates how the NHS workforce-review team looks at the area of medical workforce planning and some of the problems that planners face. Design/methodology/approach - Describes a structure for workforce planning and examines some of the challenges workforce planners and those working in the human-resources field face. Findings - Argues that workforce planning is more than simply number crunching; it requires the application of both art and science skills. Practical applications - Demonstrates how the workforce is calculated in terms of the need, demand and supply for the future. Social implications - Highlights the important advantages, for individual organizations as well as for society as a whole, which can result from successful workforce planning. Originality/value - Fills a gap in the literature about whether workforce planning is an art or science.
 
Purpose - This paper aims to underline the importance of organizations attracting people who are synchronized with the organizational culture. Design/methodology/approach - Deals with defining the company's culture, recruitment advertising, and the interviewing and selection of candidates. Findings - Explains how appointing someone whose values, beliefs and behaviors are compatible with those of the organization can contribute to increased productivity and, ultimately, corporate success. Practical implications - Contends that an employee who is in sync with the company culture is more likely to be committed, perform better, stay longer and promote the company than someone who joined just for the job. Social implications - Argues that ethics, working practices, social dynamics and community involvement are all important selection criteria for the candidate. Originality/value - Urges that an emotional connection with the brand/product/service is crucial if the organization wants an employee who truly flies the flag for the company.
 
Purpose - This article shows how to get the most from employee-satisfaction surveys. Design/methodology/approach - Describes some frequently overlooked steps of successful employee-satisfaction surveys and demonstrates how to avoid the pitfalls. Findings - Stresses the importance of top-management commitment, proper design, good communications and feedback, comparing like with like, and guarantees of anonymity for survey respondents. Practical implications - Urges organizations not to try to handle employee-satisfaction surveys internally - advice that is unsurprising given that the author is a supplier of survey consultancy and support services. Originality/value - Highlights the advantages to the organization of a proper employee-satisfaction survey.
 
Purpose - Describes a team-building training session for ten members of the UK medical affairs and regional medical advisors division of international pharmaceutical company Takeda. Design/methodology/approach - Explains the reasons for the session, the form it took and the results it achieved. Findings - Details two activities - sculpting a horse's head from a block of ice and designing, making and branding chocolates - which formed the basis of the session. Practical implications - Reveals that team members learned a lot about themselves and each other during the activities. Participants reported feeling closer as a team and communication within the group is now more relaxed. Social implications - Highlights the importance of teams "getting away from the work environment" for a while to carry out team-building activities. Originality/value - Describes a successful team-building event carried out in a small division of an international pharmaceutical company.
 
Purpose - The paper's purpose is to highlight the rigour that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has applied to human-capital measuring in its employment systems. Design/methodology/approach - Draws on the author's report for Croner's, Human Capital Management, A Management Report. Findings - Reveals how the bank links employee data with reward preferences, business productivity and turnover, to provide a rich source of feedback pointing to trends that require management action. Practical implications - Demonstrates that there are circumstances when the use of bare statistics without explanation or careful analysis could lead to less, rather than more, transparency. Judicious human-capital reporting requires as much attention to interpretation as it does to the hard data. Originality/value - Deals with a subject that has received relatively little treatment in the HR literature.
 
Purpose – Looks at the increasingly competitive battle to recruit individuals in possession of scarce skills. Design/methodology/approach – Discusses the problems caused by an aging population in the UK and its impact on recruitment. Findings – As the population ages, the pressure on traditional sources of talent intensifies. Originality/value – Gives details of best practices that can help tackle the talent shortage.
 
Purpose – This article provides an interview with Marcus Buckingham. Design/methodology/approach – An interview with Marcus Buckingham, looking at his work for The Gallup Organization and also his views about management and leadership development. Findings – Marcus Buckingham answers questions about managers, leaders and the recent CIPD conference. Originality/value – Provides an insightful interview with Marcus Buckingham.
 
Purpose – This article provides an interview with Peter Cappelli Design/methodology/approach – An interview with Peter Cappelli exploring the background to and impact of the changed relationship between employers and employees. Findings – Peter Cappelli provides views and opinions about the changed relationship between employers and employees. Originality/value – Provides an insightful interview with Peter Cappelli.
 
Purpose - Describes an organizational spiritual-development program run for junior managers at the giant Guangxi State Farm Agriculture Group (SFAG). Design/methodology/approach - Draws on the inside information of the author, who is a course tutor, and some of his trainees. Findings - Reports how the program can help junior managers to avoid "counterproductive workplace behaviour" and find greater meaning in their work. Practical implications - Reveals how the course can help to promote: honest, warm and harmonious relationships in the workplace; loyalty to the company and social sanctions against employees who try to undermine their colleagues and sabotage production; participation in the cultural life of the organization; and a more unified enterprise spirit. Social implications - Details how the tenets of the course chime with the wider objectives of Chinese society. Originality/value - Contains a particularly interesting section about two volunteers who, having practised counterproductive workplace behaviors the past (one served a prison sentence for it), now lead discussion groups on the program.
 
Purpose - Explains how organizations can adapt in order to foster a culture that cultivates great leaders. Design/methodology/approach - Highlights how to manage from the front, and with conviction, to ensure that the team will follow. Findings - Argues that effective leadership can only thrive when leaders are freed from bureaucracy and organizational process. Practical implications - Urges companies to: cut the number of meetings and make them shorter to promote energy and focus; foster individual thought, talent and a sense of freedom to create; and avoid appointing "yes" men to management roles. Social implications - Argues that shareholders can impede organizational success because they tend to want reliable, predicable behavior. Favors private companies, or those owned by their employees. Originality/value - Contends that leaders must be free to "rock the boat".
 
Purpose – The paper presents an interview with consultant Dick Grote. Design/methodology/approach – An interview with Dick Grote, explaining the rationale for the process of forced ranking and the difference between this system and standard performance appraisal. Findings – Grote discusses the reasons for the contentiousness of forced ranking and explains how its apparent downsides can be combated. Originality/value – Describes how the process of forced ranking can best be implemented and used, emphasizing that correctly used it benefits both assessors and those being assessed.
 
Purpose This paper aims to claim that most people are control freaks and explain how they can be encouraged to accept change. Design/methodology/approach The paper puts forward a five‐step plan to help to create genuine change in an organization. Findings The paper describes the five stages as: uncertainty; denial; negotiation; reflection; and action. Practical implications The paper advances the view that the job of the leader is to move people through these five stages as fast as possible; arguably the definition of leadership is to get people through these stages quicker than on their own. Social implications This paper highlights, at a time when organizational change is the norm, a way in which managers can encourage their people to accept and embrace this change. Originality/value The paper reveals that authentic leadership means creating an emotional journey towards an inspirational vision of the future – creating a compelling mission or purpose – and then communicating this effectively.
 
Purpose - This paper aims to highlight the benefits to the organization and its workforce of having human resource (HR) specialists who act ethically. Design/methodology/approach - The paper considers the ways in which the changing role of HR - particularly in an era of outsourcing and globalization - puts a premium on ethical behavior. Findings - The paper shows that strategically, the way a company manages its human capital significantly affects its financial performance. Practical implications - The paper draws attention to the increasingly strategic role HR can play in helping the organization to reach the right decisions on outsourcing. Originality/value - The paper advances the view that, when HR specialists treat employees with dignity and compassion, they help to create a trusting and inclusive work environment free of harassment, intimidation and unlawful discrimination.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to provide an interview with Richard Lepsinger on flexible leadership. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides an interview with Richard Lepsinger exploring the model of flexible leadership. Findings – Richard Lepsinger provides views and a case study of flexible leadership. Originality/value – The paper provides an insightful interview with Richard Lepsinger.
 
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to lament the poor quality of many managers and highlight four key skills that can help to improve their performance. Design/methodology/approach - The paper emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, delegation, communication and organizational skills. Findings - Details the key role of training in helping to impart these skills. Practical implications - The paper highlights the role of a supportive organizational culture in management development and draws attention to the cost to the economy as a whole of poorly performing managers. Originality/value - The paper examines how middle managers' potential can be developed and maximized to benefit individual organizations and the economy as a whole.
 
I. Why innovation matters -- II. Management innovation in action -- III. Imaging the future of management -- IV. Building the future of management
 
Purpose – This paper aims to examine the reasons for, and success of, e-recruitment at SAT Telecom, India. Design/methodology/approach – The paper focuses on the problems that SAT Telecom was facing with its traditional recruitment methods, why it chose the SAP e-recruitment system and some of the lessons learned. Findings – The paper reveals that savings of around 44 percent on recruitment costs have been identified. There is now less reliance on recruitment consultants and search agents. The average time to fill vacancies has fallen from 70 to 37 days. The cost per hire has dropped. Practical implications – The paper reports that SAT Telecom believes that it has covered the cost of its investment in e-recruitment software in less than a year. Social implications – The paper claims that the e-recruitment system could help SAT Telecom to recruit a more diverse workforce. Originality/value – The paper highlights practical steps that companies can take to ensure the success of an e-recruitment system.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to examine why 360-degree feedback, which fell out of favor for a while, is now back in vogue. Design/methodology/approach – The paper puts forward some of the weaknesses of 360-degree feedback as it used to be practiced, and defines a five-step process to ensuring most effective use of the tool. Findings – The paper highlights the importance of defining the purpose of 360-degree feedback, preparing the ground, and agreeing how the survey will be run and the results delivered. Practical implications – The paper contends that the feedback collected is both fair and constructive. Originality/value – The paper provides a five-step process to implementing 360-degree feedback properly.
 
Purpose – This article describes individual coaching and a program of 360-degree feedback used with Menzies Distribution's senior-management team, including the managing director and full executive board. Design/methodology/approach – Details how 360-degree instrument used included behavioral analysis of eight competencies across 18 skill sets. It asked managers to rate themselves on core competencies such as communication, leadership, adaptability, relationships, task management, production, development of others, personal development and problem solving. It then asked their peers, bosses and direct reports to rate them across the same competencies. Findings – Reveals that managers across the business were good at getting the job done, were task focused and could be relied upon to implement, but they were weak in critically analyzing their systems and processes and then redesigning them for the better. Practical implications – Argues that the business now has a management team that is ready, willing and able to react to and lead change. Originality/value – Highlights how 360-degree feedback was a necessary first step to get a clear picture of the talent across the business before any management-development and coaching work could begin.
 
Purpose – Outlines the barriers to efficient, strategic and future-proofed succession plans, centered on a case study example of Telefónica. Design/methodology/approach – Draws on information provided by the company's UK and Europe talent manager. Findings – Describes the journey taken by Telefónica to build a succession plan that is both relevant now and adaptable to future demands, including key advice for HR specialist and resourcing teams. Practical implications – Shows that current succession plans are not working as effectively as they might. A fresh approach to the process can lead to HR developing a plan that is future proof, addresses the emerging talent market and is a true reflection of the current workforce. Social implications – Emphasizes the importance of effective talent management in a constantly evolving business world. Originality/value – Provides a useful case-study example of successful talent management and the main issues that a future-proof plan ought to consider.
 
Purpose – Demonstrates how, through monitoring and management of staff sickness in 2005, Mondial UK successfully reduced sickness absence. Design/methodology/approach – Draws upon the experience of Mondial's implementation of a sickness absence management programme, driven by the HR department but which brought together the business as a whole, from the executive board through to roadside technicians, to ensure its success. Findings – Describes how staff absence levels within technical services and among shift workers in the operations centre were previously very high. The company focused on encouraging staff to take responsibility for their health and well being, empowering line managers better to address absenteeism and making changes to the profit‐related pay (PRP) scheme to target frequent short‐term absenteeism.Practical implicationsShows how a focus on staff health and well being as an integral part of a business can make a positive impact on its productivity and profitability. Originality/value – Highlights a year‐on‐year reduction in average absence figures per employee.
 
This article has no abstract
 
Purpose – The paper aims to highlight the policies that helped Pareto Law, a “slightly wacky and highly sales driven” graduate-recruitment organization, to win the 2005 Sunday Times Best Small Company to Work For award. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores the background of the company's founders and how this influenced the Pareto Law business model. It also describes the successful model in detail. Findings – The paper describes Pareto's “high earnings, high achievement” and extremely open culture. Emphasises the importance of setting challenging but achievable goals, the generous incentives scheme, and gives examples of the practical support offered by the company's founders. Practical implications – The paper highlights a business model that has succeeded in getting the best out of today's graduates. Originality/value – The paper shows how being open with people, stretching them, rewarding them well and ensuring that work is a fun place to be has helped to achieve a dynamic and committed workforce.
 
Purpose – This paper seeks to highlight the important role human resource (HR) plays in organizations during mergers and acquisitions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper looks at the role of HR in various organizations that have undergone mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and captures the criticality of HR getting involved early during the process. Findings – The paper provides case studies illustrating that if HR is involved from the early stages of the M&A deal, the chances of success are higher than if HR gets involved only after the merger has taken place. Practical implications – The paper includes a number of case studies of successful and failed M&As and draws out the lessons for HR. Social implications – The paper draws out the factors that help to ensure that mergers and acquisitions are good for the companies and employees involved, as well as for society as a whole. Originality/value – The paper looks at the process of mergers and acquisitions from a mainly Indian context.
 
Purpose – Examines why most of what appear at first to be good merger or acquisition deals fail. Design/methodology/approach – Describes five steps through which HR can help to make a merger or acquisition a success. Findings – Highlights the importance of: making the vision tangible; getting the right integration team; good communication; ensuring that performance reviews are correctly focused for members of the integration team; and thinking about the future beyond the end of the business integration. Practical implications – Warns HR against focusing too closely on the transactional side of resource management rather than the development of the organization. Social implications – Details how mergers and acquisitions can be made to add value, to the benefit of society as a whole. Originality/value – Reveals how to “bring to life” a new vision and new way of working after a merger or acquisition.
 
Purpose – Reveals how a real-time talent-management system (RTTMS) can improve the performance-appraisal process using existing technologies and current HR best practices. Design/methodology/approach – Describes how a RTTMS works and highlights the factors needed for proper implementation. Findings – Explains that a RTTMS enables management continuously to document an employee's actual performance results and any other job-related actions or behaviors that would affect the achievement of goals set for the employee or for those around him or her, all the while providing employees with the specific feedback they need. The culmination is that management can make historically accurate data-driven decisions. Practical implications – Suggests that a RTTMS can lead to better business decisions, increased communication, higher profitability and reduced legal exposure. Social implications – Reveals if that different organizations used the same system, and opted anonymously to share their job descriptions, objectives and corresponding job codes, they would be better able to cross-validate job responsibilities and work history. Originality/value – Argues that a RTTMS is a true system improvement because it enables employees equipped with a smartphone to communicate any changes in their job responsibilities, priorities or needs to management in real time, which allows not only for the increased validity of performance appraisals, but also for an up-to-date database of all job descriptions, resulting in a better quality of hire.
 
Purpose – This article advances the view that British Airways could be less prone to disruptions and public-relations blunders if it adopted the human-asset approach. Design/methodology/approach – Describes the main aspects of the human-asset approach, shows how it has been successful at Toyota and Jet Blue, and reveals the ways in which it could help British Airways to rediscover the success it enjoyed in the aftermath of privatization. Findings – Argues that BA's drive for efficiency – in terms of relentless cost-cutting and outsourcing – came at a cost as the airline experienced industrial disputes and employee unrest that dented its image. Puts forward the opinion that approaching efficiency from a human perspective provides organizations with a more sustainable and effective business model, where values drive the efficiency and productivity necessary for success. Explains how Toyota and Jet Blue have adopted such a model. Practical implications – Reveals that there is no magic formula for developing a human asset model for a particular business; it needs thorough analysis of the needs of human assets, and the main factors and values that drive the quality of relationships between them. Originality/value – Contends that the human-asset model provides an effective framework for integrating HR with the business strategy.
 
Purpose – Contends that, despite growing globalization, too many organizations are not putting sufficient thought or resources into dealing with differences in communication, attitudes, work practices and behavior when dealing with colleagues and counterparts from different cultures. Design/methodology/approach – Highlights some of the problems that arose in a joint venture between a German and Japanese organization, and contrasts these with the successful alliance between the French vehicle manufacturer Renault and its Japanese partner, Nissan. Argues that different types of cross-border deals require different solutions, and outlines some suggested approaches. Findings – Advances four key stages to dealing with cross-cultural differences: know yourself; understand the factors that have determined what your counterparts in different countries regard as the norm; know how you are seen by others; and learn to adapt, while remaining true to your own values. Practical implications – Provides plenty to interest anyone involved in a cross-border merger, alliance or joint venture. Originality/value – Shows that millions of dollars are lost unnecessarily every year because mergers collapse, valuable tenders are lost, international teams cannot work together and countless other misunderstandings and conflicts arise from barriers of culture, language and set patterns of thinking.
 
Purpose – Describes a new breed of HR strategies that encourage employee involvement and commitment as part of high-performance working (HPW). Design/methodology/approach – Focuses on managing employee attitudes and skills through careful attention to leadership, reward and job-design policies. Highlights the differences between people's formal employment contracts and their less formal “psychological contracts”, and emphasizes the importance of the latter. Provides a case study of UK recruitment consultancy Angel Services Group Ltd, which allows staff who meet their daily targets to go home an hour early. Findings – Urges companies to have processes in place to understand the needs of individual employees. This can be done through leadership policies that require all supervisors and managers not only to manage their staff but also to know them as people. Practical implications – Emphasizes that organizations need to see HPW initiatives as part of the normal way of managing people, and not as “flavour of the month”. Originality/value – Outlines a wide range of initiatives that could help organizations to gain their employees' commitment.
 
Purpose – Reveals how the Hays Challenge, a serious game developed to respond to key business objectives for the attraction of graduate recruits, was developed and implemented. Design/methodology/approach – Describes how a recruitment-orientated serious game was developed and implemented at Hays plc. Applied research was conducted through a series of focus groups that informed the design process. Findings – Reveals that more than 40,000 players from 190 countries have played the Hays Challenge. Within the UK business 73 percent of the most recent graduate applicants have played the Hays Challenge. Practical implications – Explains that anecdotal information from the internal-recruiting teams suggests that there has been an improvement in the quality of applicants and that their knowledge about recruitment consultancies is much more evident. Social implications – Describes an interesting and attractive way of providing information about careers in recruitment to today's internet-savvy young people. Originality/value – Fills a gap in the relatively limited published research into how serious gaming can be used in the attraction and initial self-selection stage of the recruitment process. Adds further insight for practitioners into this area and demonstrates some of the benefits of adopting such an approach.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to advance the view that being able fully to understand the perspective of a client is one of the key skills of successful HR people. Design/methodology/approach – Reveals that the most successful HR people are able to look at situations from the client's perspective at all times, although this valuable insight is rarely discussed or included in training programs. Describes how these skills can be imparted. Findings – Emphasizes the importance of putting oneself in the client's environment, doing what the client does and adopting his or her beliefs. Shows that, by seeing the situation from the client's perspective, it also becomes easier to present an idea or an argument in an assured, convincing way. Practical implications – Highlights a set of skills that will not come overnight, but which will eventually bring about a surprising change in the way clients relate to their HR partners. Originality/value – Contends that, as an HR person, being able clearly to understand the client's perspective is a hugely underrated and useful tool. It will help to tailor work processes, coaching and training sessions.
 
This article has no abstract
 
Purpose – Highlights the risks employers face in disciplining employees for inappropriate behavior. Design/methodology/approach – Considers the types of approach that are necessary for a fair disciplinary process. Findings – Reveals that an employer's policies governing inappropriate behavior are worthless unless employees are educated on these policies and the consequences of breaching these policies are clearly communicated. Practical implications – Guides managers in successfully defending claims of unfair dismissal for inappropriate behavior. Social implications – Draws attention to the risks associated with the access and storage of pornography at the workplace. Originality/value – Raises the issue of organizational awareness and preparedness to undertake challenges posed by inappropriate behavior.
 
Purpose – Describes how workforce planning, talent management and the improved use of human-resource information and workforce market intelligence have supported Birmingham City Council to respond to current financial pressures. Design/methodology/approach – Draws on the work undertaken by the workforce intelligence and planning team, which is a center of excellence in the new HR structure built through the award-winning project, Excellence in People Management, to redesign the HR service in Birmingham City Council. Findings – Argues that a structured and strategic approach to workforce planning provides an effective framework to manage the financial situation the city council faces. Practical implications – Shows that workforce planning needs to be driven by service-delivery requirements and therefore integrating service, financial and workforce planning is the key to delivering workforce efficiencies. Social implications – Reveals one way in which public authorities can squeeze more out of ever-tighter budgets. Originality/value – Demonstrates that implementing workforce intelligence and planning has resulted in direct, positive influences on directorates and improved performance against financial constraints.
 
Purpose – Aims to dscribe the key factors – attracting the right people, developing them and retaining them – which have helped the UK Central Office of Information (COI) to win a place in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list three years running and to secure Investors in People status for the sixth time. Design/methodology/approach – Gives the inside story, by the COI human-resources director, of recruitment, training and employee retention in the organization. Findings – Stresses the importance of: working closely with the organization's public relations department; providing secondments, specialist training and personal-development programs; and keeping people fresh and interested. Practical implications – Argues that low employee turnover is both a blessing and a curse: few people choose to leave the COI, but this has a drastic effect on promotion opportunities, which eventually affect retention. Originality/value – Takes a very practical approach to strategic human resource management.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe how a coherent HR strategy focused on delivering the company's key strategic goals has helped Mitchells & Butlers, a UK operator of restaurants and pubs, to post industry-leading sales and profit growth over the past three years. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explains the reasons behind the reforms, the form they took and the results they have achieved. Findings – Reports, among other things, increased employee engagement, higher job satisfaction, lower staff turnover, a 500 percent return on investment in a multi-unit leadership program and a 5.2 percent rise in productivity. Practical implications – Reveals, for the company as a whole, an increased operating margin, growth in market share, higher customer satisfaction, lower departmental costs, a rise in like-for-like food sales and average profits per pub the highest in the industry. Originality/value – The paper gives an inside view of strategic transformation at a key UK company.
 
Purpose – Early last year, the CIPD released survey findings exploring how talent management strategies are being affected by the current uncertain economic backdrop and how important talent management is to organizations when things get tough. The reason for surveying on this topic was not to further contribute to the negativity awash in the media, but rather to focus on some of the positive measures that organizations can take in response to the economic challenges. Design/methodology/approach – This research pulls together the experiences of ten diverse organizations (including International Personal Finance, BT, Tesco, the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare, Gala Coral Group, Stanza, NPIA, National Express, Standard Chartered and the Borough of Tower Hamlets). Findings – Although the current economic climate has heightened the focus on short‐term business critical needs there is a strong recognition by all of the organizations featured, that short and longer term perspectives need to be carefully balanced. What's more organizations need to develop a sustainable approach to talent management which by its very nature, should be focused on developing the current but also the future talent and capability of the organization. Originality/value – This second phase of research once again validates the messages from the “War on Talent”, namely that talent management becomes more not less important in a downturn. All of the organizations included in this research recognise the importance of talent management at this time more than ever in enabling them to meet both their immediate and longer‐term business critical needs.
 
Purpose – Describes how UK healthcare-insurance provider BHSF Ltd successfully recruits, trains and retains talented graduates. Design/methodology/approach – Details the qualities the company looks for in its graduate recruits, the development program they are offered and the skills they put into operation. Highlights, in particular, the role of corporate social responsibility projects in helping the graduates to develop. Describes in detail the experiences of one graduate recruit in the company. Findings – Shows that graduate projects have included the development of the customer relationship management (CRM) system, implementation of performance metrics in customer service and revision of the staff performance-appraisal system. Practical implications – Demonstrates that small and medium-size companies (SMEs) can benefit greatly from the enthusiasm and fresh talent graduates bring to a business. Originality/value – Demonstrates that the graduate-development program benefits the business because managers are able to delegate projects to graduates, saving operational time and resources. Often graduates can research in depth and report on a particular business issue, providing new perspectives. Such reports focus attention and can be used as a management tool for decision-making.
 
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain how opening up decision making to those who can add value helps to transform organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach – Reveals how this was achieved at a top-four UK bank. Draws on some of the ideas presented in the author's latest book, The CEO: Chief Engagement Officer. Findings – Emphasizes the difference between flawed internal-marketing programs, born at the tail-end of the command-and-control era, which simply viewed employees as internal customers who were marketed at as any other “stakeholder group” when plans were afoot to refresh a company's strategy, and modern employee engagement, which involves taking the risk to reach down and engage the people it affects and the people who must deliver the end result. Practical implications – Presents a toolbox of practical processes that help leaders to take the risk of sharing power, to engage the creativity of their people. Originality/value – Advances the view that, by empowering leaders and employees to become partners in pushing an organization forward, good engagement planning is the “missing 50 percent” of strategy formulation.
 
Purpose To provide an interview with Mark Batey, R&D Director of E‐Metrixx & Joint Chairman of the Psychometrics at Work Research Group at Manchester Business School. Design/methodology/approach This briefing is prepared by an independent interviewer. Findings Dr Batey is an international authority on the Psychology of Creativity. In 2009, he was ranked second in the world for published research into creativity and in 2010, appeared with Lord Robert Winston on BBC's Child of Our Time . He presented at the 2010 HR Conference on the topic of “Addressing the Creativity Crisis,” looking at what we should be doing to develop creativity within ourselves and our organizations. Practical implications Provides guidance on how to change the culture of an organization to encourage creativity and how creativity can help businesses to survive turbulent markets. Originality/value Dr Batey draws on his experiences as a Psychologist and Chair of the Psychometrics at Work Research Group to offer businesses a new model for working. His research and training covers areas including: creativity, personality, financial behaviour, risk behaviour; attitudes towards fraud, emotional intelligence, and a whole different range of things related to how individuals can be different from one another. Through his interview, Dr Batey highlights how we can use this knowledge to work more effectively.
 
Purpose – This article describes how, when the BBC announced a round of 2,000 redundancies in late 2004, it decided to train a large number of its own employees – both within the HR department and outside it – to support their own colleagues during the period of upheaval. Design/methodology/approach – Details the author's experiences as he trained BBC managers how to guide employees through the process of redundancy and finding new jobs. Findings – Reveals that, by bringing career support in-house, as opposed to using external outplacement, the BBC devised a cost-effective solution that delivered considerable return on investment and helped to preserve the reputation of the organization at a time of difficulty. Practical implications – Demonstrates that, by employing outside consultants to train BBC employees to become internal career coaches to work with people leaving the organization, it used the wide array of talent available within the corporation. Originality/value – Describes an unusual method of boosting HR resources when an organization makes a large number of people redundant.
 
Purpose – This paper aims to advance the view that, as organizations realize the limitations of working in isolation and accept the need to develop partnerships and coalitions, they seek a new type of leadership model in which the charismatic individual who, by sheer force of personality, drives through changes and makes thing happen – the hero – is replaced by a type of leadership in which all managers are leaders. Design/methodology/approach – Provides a case example of how Lancashire County Council's Directorate of Community Services introduced this new leadership through management development. Findings – Describes the origins and implementation of the directorate's executive-coaching initiative, and how this was rolled out to the next tier of management through learning sets or management-development groups facilitated by management consultants. Following this, the program focused on the 300-plus first-line managers, by using the management-development groups facilitated by volunteers from the top 30 managers working in pairs. Practical implications – Reveals how management development in the Directorate of Community Services is being used to equip managers for the fast-changing world of local government. Originality/value – Highlights the way in which two management consultants have been used over four years, in contrast to the usual model of hiring consultants for short-term assignments.
 
This article has no abstract
 
Purpose – Explains SITEL Direct's approach to staff retention and how successful strategies to empower, encourage and promote employees provide business benefits to its clients and their customers. Design/methodology/approach – Highlights the main benefits available to agents working in SITEL's bureau and fulfillment programs: varied work, flexible hours, good training and personal development opportunities, and the chance to work in one of England's prettiest towns. Emphasizes the importance of having a settled team. Findings – Shows that SITEL has established a monthly retention target of 95 percent for its bureau agents, but in 2004, there was an average monthly retention rate of 97.2 percent in quarter one, 95.9 percent in quarter two and 94.3 percent in quarter three. Fulfillment has achieved even higher retention rates. With a similar target of 95 percent monthly retention, the program in 2004 achieved an average monthly retention rate of 100 percent in quarter one, 97.2 percent in quarter two and 97.8 percent in quarter three. Practical implications – Demonstrates that high staff turnover need not, in all cases, characterize the call-centre industry. Originality/value – Emphasizes that the agents working in SITEL's bureau and fulfillment programs are critical to the success of a client's campaign, as they are the first people that consumers interact with either directly or indirectly.
 
Purpose – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the glass ceiling, but does this metaphor fully describe the experiences of women today? Recent research being conducted at the University of Exeter has identified a further barrier that women must conquer in order to succeed. Design/methodology/approach – Looks at “the glass ceiling” over a 20‐year period. Findings – Extending the metaphor of the glass ceiling, we describe the phenomenon of the glass cliff whereby women are more likely to occupy risky or precarious leadership roles than are men. Originality/value – Takes the glass ceiling into the twenty‐first century. Identifies current challenges facing women now they are in the workforce.
 
Purpose – Describes how a fair and transparent reward system based on performance is giving greater control over outcomes, retaining the best staff for the future and saving money. Methodology/approach/design – Explains that the new performance development review (PDR) system has been delivered as part of the award-winning Excellence in People Management project, which has modernized and refocused people-management practice at Birmingham City Council, UK. Findings – Reveals that the PDR process has given Birmingham City Council the ability to manage effective performance and behaviors and link pay progression to performance rather than time served. Practical implications – Details how managers now have the tools to manage their own staff more effectively. Social implications – Shows that the PDR has shifted the performance focus more toward how employees contribute to achieving effective outcomes for the citizens of Birmingham and the behaviors employees need to demonstrate. Originality/value – Explains that staff that feel valued and rewarded, are more committed and motivated, and are more willing to go the extra mile. Increased productivity and performance, combined with the abolition of incremental pay increases, has realized a saving of around £6m so far.
 
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Top-cited authors
Gary Hamel
  • London Business School
Christine Pearson
  • Arizona State University
Jyotsna Bhatnagar
  • Management Development Institute Gurgaon
John Wrench
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Linda Holbeche
  • City, University of London