Learning for life: Stress

first_imgLearning for life: StressOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article LifeLong Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the processesby which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their practice. Thereare many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses, study daysand workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection. Readingarticles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date with whatis going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying what youhave learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to help you toidentify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will also helpyou to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understand andwhat you need to explore further. 1.Two definitions of “burnout” are given in the text. These are dated:a)1982 & 84b) 1984 & 86c) 1986 & 88d) 1988 & 892.Mutomaa et al (1990) found certain factors as key issues in burnout. These are:a)Psychological & physical aspects of an unsatisfactory work environment b) Social & physical aspects of an unsatisfactory work environmentc) Social & psychological aspects of an unsatisfactory work environmentd) Social, psychological & physical aspects of an unsatisfactory workenvironment3.As well as unsatisfactory relationships with patients, what environmentalaspects increase the risk of burnout?a)Noise, heat and uncomfortable postureb) Noise, heat and isolationc) Noise, isolation and uncomfortable postured) Isolation, heat and uncomfortable posture4.The Work Stress Inventory used which scale for identifying the amount of stressa)Nominal b) Likertc) Semantic differentiald) Visual analogue5.The proportion of usable questionnaires returned was:a)38%b) 48%c) 58%d) 68%6.In scoring the Maslach inventory what indicated burnout?a)Low score for emotional exhaustion and high score for depersonalisation andpersonal accomplishment.b) High score for emotional exhaustion and low score for depersonalisation& personal accomplishmentc) Low score for emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation & high score onpersonal accomplishmentd) High score for emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation & low score onpersonal accomplishment7.Whose status is lower in the eyes of the public according to Mandy 2000a)Dentistsb) Podiatristsc) Nursesd) Other healthcare professionals8.Which theme did the Work Stress inventory identify as common to bothpodiatrists and dentists?a)Lack of colleaguesb) Lack of understanding of scope of practicec) Lack of professional statusd) Lack of team work9.For how long have the professions of podiatry and dentistry been completelyindependent?a)50 yearsb) 75 yearsc) 100 yearsd) 150 years10.How long had the podiatrists in this sample been qualified?a)10 yearsb) 5 yearsc) 3 yearsd) 1 yearFeedback1.c)It may be worth carrying out a literature search of burnout and finding otherdefinitions and comparing them. Discuss with your colleagues what youunderstand burnout is and how closely it meets with these definitions. 2.b); 3. a) Write some notes about why noise, heat and uncomfortable postureadd to stress levels and burnout and add some ideas as to how the occupationalhealth professional can help improve the environment.4. b) Using a researchtext book read further and familiarise yourself with the Likert scale. It mayalso help to revise your knowledge of statistics.5. c) Carry out aliterature search for details on postal questionnaires and find out whether ornot a 58% return was good or bad and what influenced this result. 6. d); 7.b); 8. a); 9. c); 10. c) Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Nurses in fear of bullies at work, RCN study finds

first_imgNurses in fear of bullies at work, RCN study findsOn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Upto one in six nurses has been bullied, a report by the Royal College of Nursinghas found.Asurvey of 4,500 nurses found that 17 per cent reported having been harassed inthe previous 12 months by another member of staff, with the proportion rising to29 per cent among respondents from ethnic minorities. A third of those affectedintended to leave.“Healthcareorganisations must introduce and implement effective anti-harassmentprogrammes,” said Christine Hancock, RCN general secretary. “Nurses need to beable to work free from fear.”GaryTheobald, head of personnel at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust, said HRmanagers cannot rely on grievance procedures to deal with bullying becauseevidence is difficult to establish.“Eachcase has to be looked at on its own merits if someone has a relationship with asuperior and feels he or she is being intimidated,” he said. “Inthese cases quite often mundane comments take on additional meaning, so it isvery hard for the individual to say, ‘There is the evidence’. “Itis usually long-term, covert and there are no witnesses.”MarieCleary, HR manager at Poole Hospital NHS Trust, said the hospital does not usethe grievance procedure for the same reasons. “Theprocess that we adopt is always one of working with the individuals to look atthe reasons for the behaviours and look at replacing negative behaviour withwhat we would expect. It is a case of drawing the line but educating staff.”Thetrust has held training on awareness of bullying and urges staff to reportincidents. ManyNHS trusts have been prompted to address the issue since protecting staff fromassaults and poor treatment – more typically from members of the public – hasbecome a priority after the Government set out its national HR strategy for theNHS in 1997.www.rcn.org.uk ByPhilip Whiteley Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Assessment of fitness

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Assessment of fitnessOn 1 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Any judgement of a person’s ability to do a job must be rigorous butfair.  The proposed framework offers aconsistent and transparent method for assessment, by Siva Murugiah, GretaThornbory and Anne Harriss Assessment of fitness for employment is not a new concept. In fact it has along history originating from the times when young men were required toundertake tests of endurance for their tribal initiation as warriors. More recently it has taken the form of pre-employment health assessment,health surveillance, and screening during work. However, assessment of fitnessto or for work according to Battigelli1 has two aspects: “On one side itpresents the functional and anatomical endowment of the subject examined and onthe other, the task to which the individual is operationally fitted”. The recent implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995)appears to have accelerated the debate on assessment of fitness to workfollowing a period of illness and the diagnosis of a health deficit. In O’ Neil v Symm & Co2, one of the first cases brought under the DDA,the industrial tribunal ruled in favour of the employer. The tribunalestablished that the employer has to ensure that an effective assessment offitness to work is undertaken, before deciding on the employment status of thenow “disabled” employee. According to Battigelli1, clinical assessment of fitness to work”regretfully Éremains all too often inadequately documented, resulting infailure by the examiner… to match the worker’s endowment to the task orwork”. It is clear that occupational health nurses need to recognise the legalrequirements of employment for the benefit of both employers and employees.What would be desirable is a framework that would help integrate the manyvariables that need to be considered when assessing fitness to work of anemployee diagnosed with a health deficit, or for assessing disabled people foremployment. This article proposes such a framework, taking into account the intricaterelationship between employers and employees. It is not the intention to evaluate the current battery of assessment toolsin use, but rather to consider the factors that should be considered whenassessing the fitness of employees returning to work following the diagnosis ofa health deficit. The framework could also be used to help with documenting theassessment process. The fitness to work framework The proposed framework fits in with the two aspects suggested by Battigelli1and includes the work environment and legal aspects to ensure that theassessment is comprehensive, equitable and transparent. Assessment of fitnessto work must take into consideration personal aspects, work characteristics,work environment and legal aspects. Personal aspects From a clinical perspective, the whole process of determining fitness is aseries of measurements and, as such, is an exercise in relativity. The extentof fitness or impairment must be gauged in terms of the demand of the task tobe performed. Assessment of fitness to work in a manual labourer, for example,will require that the worker’s ability to undertake heavy muscular tasks bemeasured. However, this will obviously not be a consideration when assessingthe fitness to work of an office worker. Assessment must be made for each individual as generalisation of assessmentfor fitness to work, based on medical criteria alone, may not stand up incourt. An individual with Multiple Sclerosis may be able to continue with the samejob for many years after diagnosis before any disability or impairment affectswork performance. Equally, another person with the same diagnosis may requiredeployment much earlier because of the rate or progress of the disease. When assessing each person, past occupational experience, skill levels,technique and ability have to be taken into account in light of themedicalhistory. Clinical assessment may explore basic stamina and physiological endowment3and examples of methods used are maximal work capacity, oxygen consumption andaerobic capacity, plus a range of motion and related features or strengthtesting. Besides these, it may be necessary to undertake a battery of tests and toexplore lifestyle that may inadvertently impact on work performance. Disabilityapplies equally to physical and mental impairment4. The person’s psychologicalstate should also be assessed. An illness or injury resulting in disability maywell leave psychological scars. Thus, assessment of fitness to work has toconsider the psychological, physical, sociological and intellectual aspects ofhealth. Characteristics of the work Care must be taken that assessment for fitness to work does not become amere inventory of anatomical and functional attributes without attempts tocompare the individual to his or her work. The fitness to work model advocates that the OH nurse needs to have athorough knowledge of the job specification in terms of essential and desirablequalities required for that job. The extent of fitness or impairment must be weighed in terms of the demandof the job to be performed, the specific type, intensity (concentration,strength, vigour), duration (length of time) and schedule (shift patterns,etc.) plus an understanding of materials and work processes to ensure effectiveassessment. Liaison with human resources and management is essential in establishing thefitness standards required for specific jobs or areas of work. For certainoccupations such as drivers5,6, offshore workers7 and teachers8, standardrequirements for fitness to work are published in key documents and these needto be consulted. Equally, some professional associations provide guidelines for standardrequirements on fitness to work, such as those produced by the Association ofNational Health Occupational Physicians for healthcare professionals, the Associationof Local Authority Medical Advisors for fireman and police, and the JointAviation Authority for pilots. It is also essential that the process of decision-making is adequatelydocumented1,9, or it may result in failure to display a reasoned match of anempolyee’s attributes to specific work requirements. The fitness to work modelprovides occupational health nurses with a framework to match a person’sattributes with specific work requirements, as well as a framework for thedocumentation of the decision-making process. It therefore aids transparencyand equitability. For some jobs, there may be a need to test hand-eye co-ordination and thework-pause sequence may need to be examined in relation to individual abilitiesor impairments. The person’s functional capabilities must always be matched tothe operational requirements of the job they are doing. It may be necessary totake into account the timing of meal breaks, for example, for people who havehealth conditions such as diabetes. The effects, including known side effects, of medication taken by theemployee should also be considered as these may impact on the health and safetyof both the individual and others including co-workers, contractors, visitors,customers or clients. The work environment Able-bodied individuals may previously have worked effectively andefficiently but after illness or impairment they may become a hazard tothemselves as well as others. Occupational health nurses need to reassessenvironmental risks with particular reference to the disabled person’sabilities. The temperature of the environment in which the person had previouslyworked, for example, may be inappropriate after serious illness. Thermalcomfort is generally a skin temperature of between 32.0C and 35.5C and a coretemperature of between 36.6C and 37.1C. However, these temperatures apply toable-bodied individuals and may not be suitable for those with compromisedhealth status. At temperatures substantially higher than these, optimal levels bothphysical and mental performance, may deteriorate due to a complicated interplayof physiological processes. At temperatures substantially lower, there is areduction in neuromuscular function, due to reduced nerve conduction velocity11,and a reduction in manual dexterity12. Lighting conditions, noise levels, exposure to chemicals, etc. must also betaken into consideration. The assessment has to consider the individual’sabilities and/or deficits in light of the work environment. Welfare facilities such as toilets and showers or washing facilities in thework place should be assessed to ensure that the individual is able tomanoeuvre and use them. In certain circumstances facilities must be suitablefor wheelchair access. Equally, access to and from the work site or buildingmust be assessed and consideration given to evacuation in an emergency such asfire, as generally lifts cannot be used and wheelchair users and others withrestricted mobility may not be able to use stairs. Legal aspects The whole issue of defensible medical rationale is based in the firstinstance, on the common law duties of the employer to take reasonable care oftheir employees. The duties can be summarised as follows: – The employer must take reasonable and positive steps to ensure the safetyof his employees in the light of the knowledge that he has, or ought to have – The employer is entitled to follow current recognised practice unless, inthe light of common sense or new knowledge, this is clearly unsound – Where there is developing knowledge, the employer must keep reasonablyabreast with it and not be too slow in applying it – If the employer has greater than average knowledge of the risk, he musttake greater than average precautions – The employer must weigh up the risk (in terms of the likelihood of injuryand the possible consequences) against the effectiveness of the precautions tobe taken to meet the risk and cost and inconvenience. Still within the common law position, the employer owes a higher duty ofcare to the vulnerable employee with a known pre-existing medical condition.This is defined as the “egg shell skull” principle as illustrated inthe case Paris v Stepney Borough Council13. Besides the common law position there are statutory laws such as theEmployment Protection (Consolidated) Act 1978 and therein employer’s liability.The Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1992), and the DisabilityDiscrimination Act (1995), to name a few. Within the Employment Protection (Consolidated) Act employees have beengiven protection against unfair dismissal provided they satisfy certainqualifying conditions. It is beyond the remit of this article to explore eachof the conditions except to say that these also need to be considered in theassessment. In Shook v London Borough of Ealing (1986)14 it was ruled that “theemployer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the alternatives areexplored and the disabled individual is not discriminated against”. Thisruling was reached even before the DDA came into force. The DDA makes it illegal for employers of 15 or more staff to discriminatewithout justification against those with a disability as defined by the Act.The whole concept of disability and to a greater extent, deciding on fitness towork has to be based on the definition of disability as stated in the Act. Section 1 of Part 1 of the Act defines a disabled person as someone with”a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-termadverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-dayactivities”. The Act says that Part 11 (employment) and Part 111 (goods,facilities, services and premises) also apply in relation to a person who hashad disability as defined in Section 1. Accordingly, it is advised that occupational health nurses are fullyconversant with the Disability Discrimination (Employment) Regulations 1996.Further information and a variety of useful publications can be obtained fromthe Disability Rights Commission16. This legal position has given a greater impetus to the need for assessmentof fitness to work. It also brings into focus the need for health alliancesbetween the occupational health service, general practitioners, hospitalconsultants and employers. Occupational health practitioners, including nurses, need to be aware thatindustrial tribunals have made it clear that conflicting medical opinions onfitness to work would be ruled in favour of occupational healthpractitioners17. This implies that employers are entitled to rely on the viewsof the OH practitioner. Therefore assessment of fitness to work must be adefensible position. The fit to work framework thus proposes that the four variables mentionedabove are considered in assessment of fitness to work. It is also envisagedthat OH nurses use their professional knowledge and skills to ensure that theassessment is rigorous but equitable. Using the fitness to work frameworkenables a consistent and transparent method of assessment, decision-making anddocumentation. References 1. Battigelli MC (1994) Determination of Fitness to Work. In Zenz C,Dickinson OB, & Horvath EP (eds) Occupational Medicine, 65-69, 3rd ed. St.Louis:CVMosby. 2. O’Neil v Symm & Co. [1998] Disability Discrimination. Health Law. May1998 p 7; Reading Industrial Tribunal. 3. Magaria R (1979) Biomechanics and Energy of Muscular Exercise. Oxford:Clarendon Press. 4. Department for Education and Employment (1996) Disability DiscriminationAct 1995: Code of Practice for the eliminationof discrimination in the field ofemployment against disabled persons or persons whohave had a disability.London: HMSO. 5. Medical Advisory Branch (1996) At a Glance Guide to Current MedicalStandards of Fitness to Drive. Swansea: DVLA. 6. Taylor JF (1995) Medical Aspects of Fitness to Drive, a Guide for MedicalPractitioners. 5th ed. London: Medical Commission on Accident Prevention. 7. UK Off shore Operators Association (1992) Medical Aspects of Fitness forOffshore Work. A Guide for Examining Physicians. London: UK Off shore OperatorsAssociation. 8. Department for Education (1993) The Physical and Mental Fitness to Teachof Teachers and of Entrants to Initial Teacher Training. (Circular No. 13/93).London: Department for Education. 9. UKCC (1998) Guidelines for Records and Record Keeping. London: UKCC 10. Precht et al (1973)Temperature and Life. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 11. Vangaard L (1975) Physiological reactions to wet-cold. Aviation Spaceand Environmental Medicine, 46, 33. 12. Wyon, et al (1979) The effects of moderate heat stress on mentalperformance. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment Health, 5, 352. 13. Paris v Stepney Borough Council [1951] All ER 42. 14. Shook v London Borough of Ealing [1986] IRLA 46; All ER. 15. Department for Education and Employment (1996) Disability DiscriminationAct 1995: Guidance on matters to be taken into account in determining questionsrelated to the definition of disability. London: HMSO. 16. Disability Rights Commission. www.drc-gb.org 17. Ford Motor Company v Nawaz [1987] IRLR 163. Siva Murugiah is Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences, RCN DevelopmentCentre, South Bank University. Greta Thornbory is a Consultant in OccupationalHealth, and Anne Harriss is Programme Director,Occupational Health Nursing, RCNDevelopment Centre, South Bank University last_img read more

Professional dilemmas

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. How feasible is it to establish a link between e-learning and knowledgemanagement? It seems the obvious thing in theory but I’ve heard there aredifficulties. The link between e-learning and know-ledge management isn’t just feasible,it’s a reality organisations must open their eyes to. E-learning and knowledge management have traditionally been treated asdifferent issues. However, introducing e-learning alone is not enough. Thebenefits of true organisational learning go beyond attending the traditionalcourse. It is important to harness the knowledge and experience of theorganisation and feed it back into the learning process. Value is added to the learning process by using a ‘holistic’ e-learningsolution, which makes content in the organisation’s know-ledge repositorydirectly accessible to individuals using courses as part of a planned curriculum.As analyst house Gartner pointed out, information and data are only utilisedsensibly when they are not just managed, but integrated into in-house trainingand interactive co-operative solutions. Only then can the intellectual capitalof employees be fully realised. To establish this link, the two systems should share the same infrastructureto ensure the highest degree of integration of corporate and individualknowledge. The hybrid e-learning experience should then be delivered to employeesby way of a portal. Portals dominate an interface between employees, and mostpeople are now accustomed to using them at work and at home. Delivering dynamice-learning through a portal, which also makes use of the knowledge storedwithin the organ-isation’s knowledge management system, ensures people usingthe portal day-to-day have access to learning material, and, more importantly,will actually use it. This approach ensures that every employee is not just a‘learner’, but potentially a teacher as well. A knowledge management-based e-learning model can offer prepared coursecontent via the portal, but also allows employees to develop courses based onexisting documents and make these ad-hoc training sessions available tocolleagues via the portal. Response from Peter Richards, general manager UK, Hyperwave Professional dilemmasOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

How to… conduct an appraisal

Comments are closed. Manyemployees view their annual appraisal with a mixture of ambivalence andcynicism. One reason for this is that the appraiser can abuse the exercise byusing it to highlight an employee’s performance failings and as a forum forcriticism. Fortunately, the shift from appraisal as a retrospective assessmentof performance towards a forward-looking, joint discussion about developmentmeans managers and employees have an opportunity to transform the annual ritualinto a meaningful and profitable experience.PersonnelToday’s recent report, UK Line Managers, Are they good enough?, in conjunctionwith Richmond Events and Computers In Personnel, reveals 68 per cent of linemanagers handle their organisations’ performance management, compared to 32 percent of HR professionals. Worryingly,performance management is highlighted by the HR respondents as one of linemanagers’ problem areas. HR’s role is not only to create the template for anorganisation’s appraisals and implement appropriate feedback systems, but alsoto lead by example. HR should, therefore, be the most expertly appraiseddepartment in the company.Preparationis everythingAppraisalsoften fail as a result of lack of preparation on the part of the appraiser.It’s unrealistic to expect the appraisee to take the exercise seriously if youhaven’t even bothered to go through their appraisal from last year, so makethat your starting point. Familiarise yourself with their employment history.If you are well prepared you could improve communication, put your relationshipwith the employee on a better footing and make them feel better about work.Yourorganisation may have a formalised structure in place to elicit furtherinformation, such as a multi-sourced feedback or full-blown 360-degree appraisalsystem (if not, then consider putting one in place). If the feedback throws upinconsistencies, such as wildly differing views on an employee’s performance,leave adequate time before the appraisal to investigate further.Anticipateany questions or problem areas that will arise during the exercise. Avoid beingtoo prescriptive but the employee, reasonably, will expect you to have answersto all of their questions.Tomaximise the benefit of the appraisal exercise, it is not unreasonable toexpect some preparation on the part of the employee, too. Get them to list inadvance their strengths and weaknesses, achievements as well as performancehighs and lows for the previous 12 months.Createa framework for the appraisalThisis the template HR should set for the entire organisation. Recognise that theexercise should be stimulating, not stifling, so while imposing a structure itis essential to retain a degree of flexibility.Atypical framework will allow for the following:–A general introduction, stating the purpose of the appraisal–To review objectives set at the last appraisal and a forthright and honestdiscussion as to whether they have been met–If the objectives have not been met, to highlight any difficulties and how theycan be resolved or dealt with –Outline and agree future objectives–To formulate a personal development plan (PDP) for the year ahead and how itwill be achieved–To identify any training and development required by the appraisee to meetthose objectives–Sufficient time for the employee to discuss concerns.Therecan be a tendency to assume too much from the exercise but the employee willexpect to:–Receive constructive feedback on their performance–Understand what their objectives are for the year ahead–Be made aware what their career prospects are for the year ahead and in thefuture–Be able to air grievances about management or the organisation without itaffecting their prospects–Be able to discuss salary frankly–Above all, to feel notice has been taken of what they have said.Whatshould I do if bad feeling or hostility arises?Oneway to avoid such unpleasant- ness is to frequently discuss performance anddevelopment throughout the year. Regular informal chats with employees can alsoprovide early indications of any discontent or resentment so they don’tsuddenly, and confrontationally, surface in the appraisal.Makesure you listen to what is being said. “Listen to what appraisees say andignore how they say it,” says Terry Gillen, author of Exercises inAppraisal and Performance Development. “More than a good appraisal, peoplewant a fair appraisal; they want confidence in their appraiser. Activelistening forms an essential foundation.”Alwayskeep the discussion on the track of the appraisee’s performance anddevelopment. Be assertive about it if necessary.Wherecan I get more info?Books–The Appraisal Discussion, Terry Gillen, Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD),£6.99, ISBN 0852927517–Exercises in Appraisal & Performance Development, Terry Gillen, CIPD,£175, ISBN 0852927738ReportsUKLine Managers, Are they good enough? Personnel Today Management Resources,£25, Esco Business Services, 01371 810433, [email protected] only do five things…1Make sure both parties prepare in advance2Set clear objectives3Actively listen4Be specific and descriptive5Make it an ongoing process, discuss performance and development through out theyearExpert’sview Terry Gillen on appraisalsTerryGillen is a consultant trainer and author of 11 books and trainers’ resourcesincluding The Appraisal Discussion, Exercises in Appraisal & PerformanceDevelopment and Leadership Skills for Boosting Performance. His website iswww.terrygillen.co.uk DoHR and line managers work closely enough in terms of developing their appraisalskills?Unfortunatelynot, and HR is often its own worst enemy in this regard. All too frequently,appraisal training focuses on the formal processes and documentation and not onday-to-day performance management skills. Where managers are trained in thelatter, coaching and staff development, formal appraisal is what it should be –an overview of conversations that have already taken place.Whatare common failings when conducting appraisals?The‘mother’ of them all is the appraiser doesn’t know what performance theyactually want. (Here is a challenge for readers: describe three fictitiousstaff, one whose performance is acceptable, one under par and one who is verygood. If you can’t begin immediately, you’re thinking about it for the firsttime). Another is to think of giving feedback as an end in itself: it isn’t. Itis a step towards modifying behaviour and improving performance. Lastly, theappraiser sees it as an HR process. It isn’t. It is about what good managers doanyway.Whatqualities and characteristics make for good appraisers? Feedbackand performance development is part of their day-to-day management style. Soformal appraisal is just an ‘overview’ of what they already do. They know whatperformance they want from staff in terms of both inputs (what they do and howthey do it) and outputs (the results they achieve). They see themselves as aperformance coach not a performance police officer, and enjoy developing peopleand seeing them move on (knowing talented people will always want to work forthem). They see performance management as part of their job, not something theysqueeze in once a year. Previous Article Next Article How to… conduct an appraisalOn 8 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. read more

Letters

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. LettersOn 5 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. This week’s lettersHow can HR rely on doctors’ diagnosis on fitness to work?When is an employee fit for work and when are they not? Answer: when theemployee decides and/or dismissal looms. I don’t know if any of your readers have experienced this, but I am becomingincreasingly concerned (actually, very annoyed) at the ability of doctors tochange their diagnosis of a patient’s (employee’s) health in a very short spaceof time – and in particular, where the employee is at risk of dismissal or hasbeen dismissed due to ill-health capability. In a recent case we were informed in writing by an employee’s doctor,(through the access to medical records route) that the employee would not befully fit to carry out his normal duties for up to six months. Similarly, inthe same letter, the doctor stated he would not be able to follow our normalshift patterns (which can include six 12-hour shifts in a row) without causinghim some detriment. In other words, the employee could not cope with our shiftsystem/working environment. We had supported this employee’s difficulties at work (caused by a roadtraffic accident unrelated to work) for some two-and-half years, includingallowing him to work half shifts for a period. However, when we received his doctor’s medical report in answer to specificquestions we had asked, the company took the decision to dismiss on the groundof capability because it was not prepared to wait a further six months. Therewere also issues around health and safety for him and our other employees andour general responsibility to maintain a duty of care etc. It should be noted that, prior to dismissal, we sought legal and furthermedical advice on the interpretation of a doctor’s letter. Both sourcesconfirmed that our interpretation of the doctor’s letter was correct. Imagine our surprise when the employee turned up to his appeal hearingagainst dismissal a week later with another letter from the same doctor, contradictingwhat he had originally written about the empl-oyee’s health. He can work12-hour shifts straight away and we don’t have to wait six months after all. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the employee had persuaded thedoctor to change his ‘story’ to help the employee keep his job. The doctor’sletters were a week apart. As a result of the doctor’s second letter we had toreinstate the employee. In my view, this case raises serious issues about the accuracy of doctors’reports and the ability of employees to influence their doctor’s view of theirmedical condition when the employee is faced with dismissal. Apart from the costs incurred by carrying out a lengthy dismissal processinvolving HR, line managers, doctors, occupational health, lawyers, union repsand company directors, the company is now left with the difficult task oftrying integrate this employee back into the workplace. Because of theconfusion created by the employee’s own doctor, we are still unsure whether heis fit and capable to do his job. In essence, employees who can be a potential liability to themselves andothers in the workplace can remain employed if the employee can persuade theirdoctor that their livelihood is at stake. It begs the question as to how you manage these kind of employees in theworkplace and whether there is any point in spending the money to obtainmedical reports which, after all can be altered if the company’s interpretationdoes not suit either the employee or their doctor. This is not the first time this has happened and I doubt it will be thelast. Paul Robertson HR director, Marriott Headhunters have moved with marketSimon Howard’s article on headhuntingin The Sunday Times (Jobfile, 22 June) strikes me as based on hearsay and rumourand I would like the chance to air my point of view through Personnel Today. In today’s market, headhunters are being far more flexible withtheir fee arrangements. It is now common to have a percentage fee rate based onan agreed average base salary (not package as suggested in The Sunday Timesarticle), where the consultant derives no benefit whether the offered salary isabove or below that agreed figure, ensuring an unbiased negotiation stage to anoffer. Additionally, Howard’s comments on the involvement ofpurchasing are also way off the mark. The key to any search is to get the rightcandidate for the role. If you don’t succeed in that, then the tenure of yourrelationship with a client will be short. The benefit to the consultancy of apreferred supplier list is the knowledge that you will access opportunitiesacross a company and will be able to build long-term, mutually beneficialrelationships – the key to future business success.As for his comment that recruitment companies complain of not beingtaken seriously, I can only surmise that his relationships are with companiesthat don’t deserve to be taken seriously. Any headhunter worth his salt will bea trusted business adviser who seeks to add value (and save a client time andmoney) by providing best advice, in an area where many people think they know alot, but often know very little.The article paints a rather poor picture overall of clients aswell. If the author’s view is that the client is a victim, and has no power inthe negotiation of terms and conditions, then he has again missed the point. Inthe current market, the balance of power markedly favours the client. At theend of the day, if the client doesn’t like what they are being offered, theycan go elsewhere. Making ill informed, gross generalisations about an industrysector in a newspaper as respected as The Sunday Times, is not what readersexpect.John BakerHead of Practice, Macmillan Davies HodesGet used to it: staff consultationis hereYour article ‘How will National Works Councils affect UK firms?’ (features,1 July) raises a number of issues which may have led to unnecessary panic inthe run-up to implementation of the Information and Consultation Directive.The article seemed to be designed to send HR professionals off totheir boards with proposals for employee consultation arrangements. We now havethe draft regulations, which clarify some of the issues raised. The Government has decided to introduce a ‘trigger mechanism’requiring 10 per cent of employees to request a consultation arrangement,before an employer has to respond. The arrangements havesome similarities to those that have been in place for trade union recognitionfor the past three years. Given that there were only 264 new recognition dealsin the first two years of this new legislation, there does not seem much of abasis for employers to panic. The term ‘National Works Councils’ may have turned out to be amisnomer – although, as drafted, the statutory arrangements may encouragenational-level discussions. As your article says, the directive requires thatconsultation must take place ‘at the relevant level of management’. The draft regulations, however, have elected to requireconsultation at the ‘undertaking’ level if voluntary agreements are not reached.This may mean large organisations finding they have to provide information to,and consult with, a committee of up to 25 people representing all theiremployees. For many, this is one good reason for reaching a voluntaryagreement, allowing more local discussions to take place. This appears to be anarea where the Government is keen to receive further opinions.To be effective and contribute to the success of anorganisation, consultation needs to be a business imperative rather than aresponse to legislation. Just as we all now expect higher levels of customerservice than we did 20 years ago, so we do all expect higher levels ofinvolvement in the workplace. The successful consultation arrangements will be part of astrategy to engage employees and contribute to organisational success.Increasedemployee involvement is here to stay. The forthcoming European Company Statute will require companiesto have arrangements in place before registering as a ‘European company’, andthe Kingsmill and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development discussiondocuments also propose that companies will be required to outline theirapproaches to consultation as part of their ‘human capital’ reporting.The legislation will be in force, but the successful works councilswill be those that are not simply implemented ‘because we have to’, but thosethat are introduced as part of a strategy to engage and motivate employees. Ifyou get a request from the required number of employees, you have probablymissed the point.Ken AllisonHead of HR Consulting, Bond PearceEditor’s reply: We have sincerun a detailed article on how, where and when you will need to properly informand consult with your staff, and when you need to set up a works council. Seeour 22 July issue p16, or go the features section of our website:www.personneltoday.comAlienating people defeats HRobjectiveI find the views of Dixons’ David Longbottom refreshing (Offmessage, 8 July). Any HR function that distances, or worse alienates, any of itscolleagues (note, I use the term ‘colleagues’ rather than ‘potential audience’)is surely defeating the prime objectives of the HR function.You cannot measure effectively what you do not understand, andalienation shows a lack of understanding for colleagues’ needs.People resources are, in my opinion, immeasurable in thecontext of the ‘bottom line’. One employee might have an attendance which isborderline, for example, but be very effective and productive. Another maynever have any time away from work, yet freewheels.We try to apply Key Performance Indicators and the like. tocapture and confirm this, but they will not capture ‘bottom line contribution’.We should not lose sight of a fundamental role of HR, to helpmanagers and supervisors achieve and maintain a competitive edge through theirpeople.Their understanding of the tools, properly applied pay,thought-out recruitment, and disciplinary procedures, is critical.HR professionals must surely stay close to all levels withintheir organisation. Understanding real needs allows the formulation of soundstrategies, with appropriate administration.Without this understanding, imposed strategies will be unlikelyto achieve objectives, and can be counter-productive in trying to fix thingsthat are not broken. Tom EnglandManager, health/safety & training, Mondi Paper Report on work-life balances leftwingYour sensationalist headline ‘Industry slams work-life balancereport’ (News, 24 June and News Analysis, 1 July), is one-sided.As expected, Ruth Lea’s report is considered and thoughtful andattempts to balance the left wing, clich‚-ridden, claptrap peddled by WillHutton and his ilk. Most professional HR people I know try to ensure the workenvironment is productive and enjoyable (the two go together) and work and‘life’ are not the separate polarised entities suggested by this ludicrousterm. As ever, there are people who jump on the bandwagon, and criticisecounter arguments with the vehemence which arises when self-interest isthreatened. Mike Haffenden Partner, Strategic Dimensionslast_img read more

Greek gifts bear fruit but honesty withers on vine

first_imgThe gifted footballers of Greece may have demonstrated the power of teamworkand a commitment to their country by becoming European football champions, butthe Greek nation comes bottom of the league for tax honesty. A report by theEuropean Commission shows that more than 20 per cent of work-by-value goesundeclared in Greece. Undeclared work in an Enlarged EU shows the UK is farmore honest, with only 2 per cent of its gross domestic product concealed fromthe tax authorities, second only to Austria (1.5 per cent). Other high-mindedcountries were The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and (Greek) Cyprus. The‘informal economy’ – ie, tax dodging – was also a problem in Hungary andLatvia. http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/employment_analysis/work/undecl_work_final_en.pdf Comments are closed. Greek gifts bear fruit but honesty withers on vineOn 13 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Ben Lambert’s legacy: Eastdil founder brought Wall Street to real estate

first_imgFull Name* Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsBrokerageeastdil securedNews Analysisobituary Photo illustration of Benjamin Lambert (iStock; Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Until the ’70s, commercial real estate brokerage was the unruly stepchild of dealmaking. Properties worth hundreds of millions of dollars were marketed off-the-cuff, research and due diligence were patchy, and the commission-dominant compensation most firms used inspired the infamous “eat what you kill” culture.Benjamin V. Lambert decided that wasn’t for him. He envisioned the business as an extension of Wall Street, with institutionalized practices backed by detailed property-level analysis and a focus on relationships rather than transactions.Why couldn’t a broker, he figured, be less cowboy and more investment banker?Lambert, who died this weekend at 82, put that vision to the test.Eastdil Realty, the firm he founded in 1967 from an office at 72 Wall Street, popularized the sale-leaseback technique for corporate offices, insisted that buildings be marketed like securities with a prospectus, and religiously avoided being looped in with his rivals.He even paid his people differently, adopting Wall Street’s salary-and-bonus structure rather than commissions. “Other firms have brokers,” was and remains the unofficial company line. Eastdil has “trusted advisers.”Read moreEastdil Secured co-founder Ben Lambert diesEastdil’s Ben Lambert sells Fisher Island condoTop Eastdil broker in LA heds to NYcenter_img Over the decades, he was at the center of several industry-defining transactions. He helped Wells Fargo and the Ford Foundation set up their commercial real estate investment vehicles. He arranged the financing for Donald Bren and Alfred Taubman’s purchase of the Irvine Ranch in California, one of the largest land deals in U.S. history. (A handwritten spreadsheet breaking down the expected performance of the property hung on the wall of Lambert’s conference room, according to a 2011 profile by The Real Deal.)He helped dispose of assets from the government-backed Resolution Trust Company after the 1980s savings-and-loan crisis. And of course, his firm had a longtime lock on trophy office towers in core U.S. markets, selling everything from Manhattan’s GM Building and Sony Building to Chicago’s Willis Tower.In 1997, Lambert and one of his top dealmakers, Doug Harmon, landed what was seen as New York’s trickiest and most plum assignment: selling the $5 billion commercial and residential portfolio of Leona Helmsley, the “Queen of Mean.” The 125-building package, built and bought over the years by her husband, Harry Helmsley, included such gems as the Starrett-Lehigh Building at 601 West 26th Street, the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Avenue and the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue.Eastdil also developed a specialized practice in debt and equity placements, bulking up its brand as the first “real estate investment bank.”Ben Lambert in a New York Times Q/A in 1983Lambert went back and forth between running Eastdil as an independent shop and as a division of an institutional giant. He started Eastdil as a subsidiary of investment firm Eastman Dillon, bought it out in 1970, sold it back five years later, and bought it again from a new corporate overlord in 1980. (‘I have to have something new to do constantly,’ he told UPI in a profile that year.)In 1986, he sold a 50 percent stake in the business to Nomura, the Japanese giant that was at the time the world’s largest securities outfit. Eastdil became a subsidiary of Wells Fargo in 1999, and in 2019, Lambert and CEO Roy March orchestrated a management-led buyout in a venture with Guggenheim and Temasek.“Eat what you kill” is still the prevailing culture in commercial real estate. But almost every other Lambertism has been adopted and mimicked by Eastdil’s main rivals, with varying degrees of success. The business is a lot more institutional now, and Ben Lambert is the biggest reason.Contact Hiten Samtani Share via Shortlink Message*last_img read more

Population size and status of the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) at South Georgia, 1951?1985

first_imgThe elephant seal population of South Georgia was surveyed comprehensively during the 1985 breeding season. 87711 females and 10260 adult males were counted. The counts were corrected using a model of the haul-out distribution to adjust for date of count. Annual pup production was estimated to be about 102000. Counts made at various beaches on South Georgia between 1951 and 1964 were examined to compare pup production then with present data. Although the population has fluctuated substantially, the 1985 population estimate was very similar to the estimate based on an incomplete survey in 1951. This contrasts with the Indian Ocean and Macquarie Island populations of this species which recent surveys show to be declining.last_img read more

Distributions and predator-prey interactions of macaroni penguins, Antarctic fur seals, and Antarctic krill near Bird Island, South Georgia

first_imgWe studied the distributions, abundances and interactions of macaroni penguins Eudyptes chrysolophus, Antarchc fur seals Arctocephalus gazella, and their zooplankton prey, m particular Antarctic krill Euphausia superba, near Bird Island, South Georgia, South Atlantic Ocean, in February 1986. Simultaneous surveys of marine birds, Antarctic fur seals and Antarctic krill were conducted along a series of transects radiating from the breeding colonies of the vertebrate predators. We examined the relationships between the distributions of predators and their prey with respect to the abundance of krill in the water column and marine habitats near the colonies. Antarctic fur seals and macaroni penguins showed positive correlations with Antarctic krill density across a wide range of spatial scales. Because krill was abundant close to the colony and predator densities decreased with distance due to geometry, distance from colony was a confounding variable. When the influences of distance and direction on predator abundance were factored out, we were able to demonstrate an additional influence of Antarctic krill abundance at measurement scales between 10 and 100 km for Antarctic fur seals and for macaroni penguins at the scale of 70 to 100 km. Water depth was an important correlate of Antarctic krill and Antarctic fur seal abundances but not of the abundance of macaroni penguins. We found no evidence that the fur seals or macaroni penguins were concentrating their foraging for krill in the vicinity of the shelf-break.last_img read more