Tuesday, 21 September 2010

There's no such word as can't! says Dr Peter Honey

Peter Honey: There's no such word as can't! - 21st September 2010

World famous Learning Styles 'guru' Dr Peter Honey certainly inspired and entertained members of the Charity Learning Consortium at its recent meeting, in a thought provoking presentation. Can you force someone to learn, when they don't want to? Should learning always be fun? And is the Learning Styles Questionnaire sufficient to help promote learning? These were just some of the conundrums that Peter Honey tackled.

Even the unwilling can be helped to learn, said Dr Peter Honey - world famous for his Learning Styles Questionnaire - at an entertaining and thought provoking presentation to members of the Charity Learning Consortium (CLC).

Dr Honey used the analogy of a horse to illustrate his point - turning the assumption that 'you can lead a horse to water, but cannot make it drink' on its head. You could, he suggested, make sure the horse was really thirsty, perhaps ensure there were plenty of other horses drinking already to entice the horse to join them, or make the water somehow more attractive to a horse!

"You can't force horses to drink, but you can make it as easy as possible for them to do so," he said. Equally - he pointed out - you can maximise the probability of learning by engineering a successful learning environment.

Dr Honey challenged assumptions in this way several times - perhaps surprisingly stating that "of course the learning style questionnaire isn't sufficient on its own to promote effective learning" - as a learner's motivation, external pressures and their environment are all not taken into account (back to the analogy of the horse).

Another strongly held belief - that learning should be fun - was also challenged: "I've never bought into the idea that every learning experience should be jolly," he said. Don't we in fact learn from mistakes (which can be painful), and could there not be richer learning through adversity, he suggested?

"There is no correlation between the popularity of something, and how much you learn! If it's not so enjoyable you may have to put more effort in, and ultimately learn more as a result." But he recommended using a 'force and support' principal - if you are going to 'enforce' learning - for whatever reason - make sure there is support.

Peter Honey's memorable presentation was just one of the highlights of the CLC's members' meeting last week. At the initial roundtable introductions, one member commented "I come here to learn from everyone else, steal your ideas, go back to work and gain the glory for myself!"

Exchanging ideas is certainly one of the Consortium's strengths. More than 70 charities have joined the Consortium, which provides them all with access to a range of eLearning - including Microsoft Office, Personal Development and Leadership & Management. Initially charities may join because of the cost savings on offer, but they also benefit from networking with others working in L&D in the Third Sector, within an exclusive online group, and at quarterly members' meetings.

The CLC members' meetings are the perfect place to gain valuable feedback on projects, network, and learn together. High profile speakers like Peter Honey and Donald Taylor Chairman of the Learning and Skills Group and the Learning Technologies conference, have recently brought a new dimension to the debate. Workshop-style sessions with Laura Overton - Managing Director of Towards Maturity and winner of this year's Colin Corder award for services to IT training - have also been invaluable sources of inspiration, helping members progress their organisations on their L&D journeys. We wait to hear tales of glory...

More information about the Charity Learning Consortium

Formed in 2001 by six charities looking to share learning resources, the Charity Learning Consortium (CLC) now has more than 70 member organisations and continues to grow from strength to strength. The CLC provides members with a large portfolio of eLearning, offers networking opportunities and a place to discuss best practice in the voluntary sector. Members have access to an online networking tool; shared member resources and eLearning documentation. They may also be invited to attend quarterly member meetings (dependent on subscription level) to discuss developments, take part in free workshops and watch member presentations on their challenges and successes in implementing eLearning. Find out more at www.charitylearning.org

Source: Charity Learning Consortium

Importance for employers of managing stress during tough economic times

From The CIPD 20th September 2010

New guidance highlights importance for employers of managing stress during tough economic times

Employers have been advised it is in their interests to prevent and manage stress at work, as a new guide is launched highlighting the potential legal risks they face if they ignore their responsibilities in this area.

The guide, produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Acas and the cross-Government Health, Work and Wellbeing programme, spells out employers' legal obligations in identifying and preventing stress at work.

The guide, Work-related stress: what the law says, which was written by John Hamilton, head of safety, health and wellbeing at Leeds Metropolitan University, also highlights recent cases where employers have faced significant compensation payouts for failing to identify and prevent stress adequately. In addition it provides advice on how employers can tackle stress through good people management.

Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work, commented: "It is in employers' interests to manage stress at work proactively and not just assume all staff are coping, particularly in a tough economic environment where many employees are under pressure to do more with less."

The CIPD's quarterly July 2010 Employee Outlook survey showed almost half (49%) of staff have noticed an increase in stress at work as a result of the economic downturn.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser, CIPD, said stress at work can have a significant impact on business performance. "Employers that fail to manage stress effectively risk losing key staff through high absence levels and employee turnover. They will also suffer from low staff morale and risk higher levels of conflict and accidents in the workplace. In addition, they potentially face costly personal injury claims, as well as damage to their employer brand."

Peter Brown, head of work environment, radiation and gas policy, HSE, added: "A certain level of pressure at work helps to motivate people and can boost energy and productivity levels. But, when the pressure individuals are under exceeds their ability to cope, it becomes a negative rather than a positive force.

"This guide summarises the legislation relevant to work-related stress and provides some tips for employers on the steps they can take to manage stress and support employee wellbeing."

Jane Bird, director of operational policy and performance, Acas, said: "Managing employee health and wellbeing is important for maintaining a productive workforce. Effective line management is key to preventing stress where possible and managing it when it does occur. If managers create and maintain effective, two-way communication, they are more likely to notice when someone is struggling and intervene."

More Information:
. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is Europe's largest HR and development professional body with over 135,000 members, supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations
• The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. For more information, visit hse.gov.uk
• Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members. For more information visit www.acas.org.uk

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Conference gives practical information to help organisations tackle performance issues

The CIPD Conference gives practical information to help organisations tackle performance issues head-on according to their Press Release of the 7th September 2010.

CIPD Performance Management Conference 12 October, Hallam Conference Centre, London

The role of Human Resources is becoming increasingly important in today's competitive market place, where good practice performance management is essential for boosting productivity. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) Performance Management Conference will give help and advice to organisations on how best to develop and communicate their performance management plan to engage and motivate employees.

The conference will give helpful guidance on how to create a suitable performance management system, how to align it to organisational objectives and how to embed a culture of high performance within the organisation. It will also offer practical tips on managing the process, including ways in which to deal with poor performance.

An opening speech from Duncan Brown, Director, HR Business Development, Institute for Employment Studies (IES), author and commentator on performance and reward issues, will begin the conference. He will be followed by a mix of expert case studies giving examples of performance management in practice and a discussion session which will allow delegates to explore current performance management systems and share advice and ways to improve.

Angela Baron, CIPD Adviser, OD and Engagement, says, "In difficult economic times it is even more important to ensure that people are aware of what is expected of them and that they are fully supported to give their best possible performance. Performance management is a tool which has proved more evolutionary than revolutionary and at its best is a powerful driver of both good line management and employee engagement. It helps people understand how their role fits into the business and how their actions impact upon business success.

"This conference is a great opportunity for HR professionals, line managers or indeed anyone who's involved in performance management to come together to share their experiences and learn from each other."

The programme includes the following sessions:

• Performance Management as a Continuous Function - Mathias Weigert, Head of Reward Europe and Ingrid Waterfield, UK Head of Performance Management and Reward, KPMG LLP
• Tackling Poor Performance Issues Head-on -Nora Hutson, Head of HR Professional Services, Surrey Police
• The Bigger Performance Picture: strategies for creating a high performance culture - Caroline Edwards, HR Director, The Carphone Warehouse (UK) and Peter Smith, Head of Strategy and Performance, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
• Planning Positively for Future Performance - Debbie Meech, People Director - Cable & Wireless Worldwide and Janet Willars, Consulting Stregths Specialist, Centre of Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP)

Source: CIPD

Equality & Humans Rights Commission extends the deadline for giving evidence to its Inquiry into disability-related harassment

13th September 2010 -
Deadline extended for evidence of disability-related harassment in Britain

The Equality and Humans Rights Commission has today extended the deadline for giving evidence to its Inquiry into disability-related harassment. The Inquiry is investigating whether public bodies and public transport providers are fulfilling their legal obligations to prevent disabled people from being harassed.

Disabled people, their family, friends and associates now have until Friday 17 September 2010 to tell the Commission about their experiences of name-calling, intimidation, bullying or violence and other types of harassment. The Commission also wants to know if they sought help from any public body or transport provider and what support they got, either as a result of being harassed because of their disability or because of their connection to someone who is disabled.

Public bodies and transport providers are being asked to disclose what steps – if any – they are taking to meet their legal duties. Councils, police forces, schools and other public bodies as well as bus, train companies and other public transport providers found to be failing in their duties could face enforcement action by the Commission.

Evidence can be submitted in someone’s own words or via a questionnaire, and sent to the Commission by letter, email, telephone, textphone and via a secure portal on its website. Evidence can be taken in disabled people's preferred formats where required.

Mike Smith, lead Commissioner for the Inquiry, said:

“We’ve given people a few extra days to share their experiences with us to make sure everyone who wanted to contribute has a chance to do so. We’ve had a good response so far – with more people contacting us about this Inquiry than any we’ve previously held and the evidence we’ve received looks strong.

“The next phase of evidence gathering is already under way. We’ve set up hearings with representatives from different sectors, which will be carried out over the next few months and are on track to publish our findings in spring 2011.”

Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission
The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Overview of new workplace legislation, with Equality Act up-date

Overview of new workplace legislation, with Equality Act up-date in the spotlight at CIPD Law on Tour workshops - 2nd September 2010

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) Law on Tour is a series of highly informative, practical workshops examining the important changes brought about in forthcoming legislation and essential case law, particularly in the spotlight is the Equality Act 2010 and what this means for organisations. As well as reviewing the basics of discrimination to give real context to the Act's provisions.

The Tour offers 12 separate workshops between the 5 and 22 October. It is run by leading employment law experts who will offer guidance on the latest changes in employment law, with a particular focus on:

• the Equality Act 2010
• a discrimination law refresher
• new and forthcoming legislation
• an essential case-law round-up
• the coalition Government and what it means for employment law

New and forthcoming law to include:

• Agency Workers Regulations 2010
• additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010
• the Default Retirement Age
• information and consultation

Mike Emmott, Employee Relations Adviser at CIPD says: "The Equality Act brings together separate pieces of legislation into one single Act, simplifying the law and strengthening it to help tackle issues associated with discrimination and inequality in the workplace. It's crucial for HR professionals to be up to speed with legal developments relating to Equality and other relevant legislative commitments, in order to guide and protect their employers and employees. They need to be confident that their work practices are sound and reflect the latest changes in the law."

Format - Leading employment law experts facilitate the workshops, which include group discussions, case studies and clear presentations. Supporting documentation is also provided to ensure that complex legal issues around employment are explored and communicated effectively.

Dates & Location - The Law on Tour workshops will take place at the following locations:

• Edinburgh: 5 October 2010
• Manchester: 6 October 2010
• Birmingham: 7 October 2010
• Bristol: 8 October 2010
• Leeds: 12 October 2010
• Nottingham: 13 October 2010
• Cambridge: 14 October 2010
• London: 15 October 2010
• Cardiff: 19 October 2010
• Oxford 20 October 2010
• London: 21 October 2010
• Southampton: 22 October 2010

Source: CIPD

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The Performance Solution: A Research Journal of Coaching, Mentoring, Supervision and NLP

The Performance Solution is extremely proud to announce that we have released the first issue of our brand new research journal: "The Performance Solution: A Research Journal of Coaching, Mentoring, Supervision and NLP". -2nd September 2010

The journal is made up of articles written by graduates and current students of our MA coaching programmes run by Kingston University.

The journal is available to download for free

About The Performance Solution - The Performance Solution works internationally to discover the ingredients for maximum impact and how to get more of that. Through our Modelling Winning Performance consulting system, Executive Coaching and Leader Development interventions backed up by the hard skills of process and programme management, and academic accreditation where required, we ensure that our interventions are fully integrated and sustainable.

Award winning coach, Sally Vanson MSc, Managing Director of The Performance Solution is one of Europe's most popular business coaches,her broad management career across various industries is backed up by post graduate qualifications and as an international trainer and developed of NLP. She also trains,accredits and supervisors business coaches and carries out research into identity issues in professional service firms.

Allan Parker PhD, F.I.E.T Operations Director, whose international career enables him to work with clients in the areas of project and process management to maximize their productivity and performance. Allan is a Chartered Engineer, is NLP trained and holds an accredited Certificate in Advanced Coaching Skills.