Monday, 31 October 2011

Keeping Stress in Check

November the 2nd is National Stress Awareness Day and Staysure the specialist insurance company ran a small article on their community news at the end of  last week "Keep stress in check with regular exercise"

They were saying that "Exercising has a wide range of physical benefits, but it can also help psychologically, helping to keep stress under control. Keeping active helps to keep the body's emotional chemicals in balance, underlines Ann McCracken, chair of the International Stress Management Association."

"This means we think, behave and react more appropriately to the situation we find ourselves in; this in turn increases the resources we have to deal with situations we perceive as difficult or challenging," she explained.

Diet can also play a large role in lowering stress levels. Eating starchy foods such as rice and pasta along with plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein-rich foods and milk and dairy has a positive effect on stress.

Ann McCracken also recommended that people trying to control stress should stay away from eating too much fat, salt or sugar.

They should also drink plenty of water, which nourishes the cells in the body, allowing all organs and functions to work better."

The International Stress Management Association UK is the UK's leading association for stress management professionals

According to the October 2011 CIPD survey "Stress has become the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees"  More information on this on jm Training blog 12th October

Are your employees feeling stressed.? jml Training & Consultancy offers an in-house Stress Management Course Information Here

Want to find out more about Staysure Insurance - Travel Insurance for the over 50s - Holiday Home Property insurance for the over 50s Find out more Here

Monday, 24 October 2011

Advancement of women in the workplace

There has been a great deal of media activity around the arena of "women in the workplace".

Earlier this year Lord Davies report was published on the "Equalty in the boardroom" issue and the Prime Minister David Cameron was calling for more women to sit on the boards of UK companies.

Today the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has issued a press release "Entries now open for the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards"

The CIPD said "The Opportunity Now Awards recognise the advancement of women in the workplace through a celebration of outstanding examples of best practice, innovation and individual achievement. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is proud to partner with Opportunity Now for the Directing Diverse Talent Award for the fourth year running. The Award recognises the individual impact of an HR professional's ingenuity and determination in driving diversity forward in their organisation.

The opportunity to enter applications is now open and any employer with a UK presence is eligible to enter, the deadline for submission is Wednesday 7 December 2011. A panel of expert judges will review the applications and score individuals against a scale of best practice. The award winners will be announced at the Opportunity Now Awards Dinner in London on Wednesday 18 April 2012. Organisations that achieve the highest overall scores will be included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list.

Last year's winner of the Directing Diverse Talent Award was Caroline Stroud, Employment Partner and Global HR Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Ms Stroud succeeded in presenting the business case for a diverse talent strategy. She developed an action plan to improve gender diversity including an initiative to provide unconscious bias awareness training to all partners, which ensured a fair and open way to develop talent.

Dianah Worman, CIPD Diversity Adviser and expert on the judging panel, says: "In a difficult economic climate it is even more important for employers to sharpen up their approaches to recruiting and developing people from as diverse a pool of talent as possible. This is the only way to compete successfully in the global marketplace. Our research shows that personnel professionals are well placed to deliver useful insights into developing a sustainable agenda for diversity within the organisation and that they should use their influencing skills to do this.

"I hope HR practitioners that feel they are making a difference by engaging their organisations in driving the diversity agenda will enter the competition as a way of celebrating their successes."

Awards categories include:

• The Advancing Women in the Workplace Award

• The Agile Organisation Award

• The Champion Award

• The Directing Diverse Talent Award (in partnership with the CIPD)

• The Global Award

• The Inclusive Culture Award

• The Santander Award: Inspiring the Workforce of the Future

If you are looking for more information on "Training Development for Women" take a look at the specialist page on the jml Training Website Here

Monday, 17 October 2011

Stress and Appraisal Course details now on jml Training website

jml Training has been providing Appraisal and Stress Management courses for a number of years and has recently updated the details on the jml Training website
Appraisal Training from jml Training and Consultancy

Two appraisal training courses are featured - Performance and Effective Appraisals and Managing Your Own Appraisal.

The Performance and Effective Appraisal skills course is an interactive workshop designed for people managing the performance and appraisals of employees.

It provides a combination of theory, skills development and practical exercises that will increase the professionalism, competence and confidence of the participants when conducting appraisal interviews and managing performance

Managing Your Own Appraisal - In many organisation appraisal and performance training is provided for people managing the performance of others. The idea of providing training to employees being appraised is much less common and this is a great mistake. Details of both these courses Here

 As reported in this blog last week at  "Stress Workplace hits the news again" This subject never goes away and is very important for organisations to  provide this type of training for their employees.

Pressure is a part of everyday life. This can be positive when the pressure is a source of stimulation and creativity or negative when it becomes a source of worry or tension. If people experience an inappropriate amount of negative pressures over a period of time they will become stressed.
Find out more about this course Here
Managing Stress in Your Organisation

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Stress in the Workplace hits the news again

There has been a lot of talk in the media in the last ten days around "Stress at work". The CIPD have issued a press release a few days ago saying that Stress is no. 1 cause of long-term absence - Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence, according to the 2011 CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey. Public sector respondents identify organisational change and restructuring as the number one cause of stress at work.

Stress is number one cause of long-term absence for the first time as job insecurity weighs heavy on the workplace, finds CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence survey

Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees, according to this year's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey.

A link between job security and mental health problems is also revealed in the survey. Employers planning to make redundancies in the next six months are significantly more likely to report an increase in mental health problems among their staff (51% compared with 32% who are not planning redundancies).

For manual workers, stress is now level with acute medical conditions and has overtaken musculoskeletal problems to become the top cause of long-term absence. While among non-manual staff, stress has moved ahead of acute medical conditions.

There is a particular increase in stress-related absence among public sector organisations, with 50% of these respondents reporting an increase. Public sector respondents identify the amount of organisational change and restructuring as the number one cause of stress at work, highlighting the impact of public sector cuts to jobs, pension benefits and pay freezes. Job insecurity is also reported as a more common cause of work-related stress in the public sector this year (24%) compared with last year (10%) and is higher than in the private (14%) and non-profit sectors (14%).

Unsurprisingly, given the significant budget cuts, more than two-fifths (43%) of public sector organisations report they will be making redundancies over the next six months (compared with 17% in the private sector and 24% of non-profits).

Dr Jill Miller, CIPD Adviser, says: "The survey this year shows that stress is for the first time the number one cause of long-term sickness absence, highlighting the heightened pressure many people feel under in the workplace as a result of the prolonged economic downturn.

"Stress is a particular challenge in the public sector where the sheer amount of major change and restructuring would appear to be the root cause. To a large degree, managing stress is about effective leadership and people management, particularly during periods of major change and uncertainty.

"Line managers need to focus on regaining the trust of their employees and openly communicating throughout the change process to avoid unnecessary stress and potential absences. They also need to be able to spot the early signs of people being under excessive pressure or having difficulty coping at work and to provide appropriate support."

Gill Phipps, HR spokesperson for Simplyhealth, comments: "Stress can often have a negative effect on the workplace, which can result in loss of productivity and disengaged employees. It's therefore encouraging that almost half of employers have a wellbeing strategy in place, with 73% offering counselling services and a further 69% providing an Employee Assistance Programme. These benefits allow employees access to information and advice on workplace issues, as well as emotional, psychological and personal issues, and can be a huge help during difficult times. Employers need to ensure that benefits such as these are communicated effectively to staff in order for employees to get the most from them.

"With many organisations looking for ways to save money, employee health and wellbeing shouldn't be over looked and should remain at the heart of the company. Benefits that engage employees do not have to be expensive. By introducing a recognition scheme or equipping leaders with the skills they need to care for the health and wellbeing of their teams, employers can make small, affordable changes that make a positive difference."

Overall employee absence levels have remained static at 7.7 days per employee per year. Public sector absence has decreased from 9.6 days per employee per year last year to 9.1 days this year and private sector absence has increased from 6.6 days in 2010 to 7.1 days in this year's survey. The trends in absence levels appear to reflect the relative fortunes of these sectors. Although overall absence levels show little change, the proportion of absence that is stress-related has increased. Nearly four in ten (39%) employers report an increase in stress-related absence, compared to just 12% reporting a decrease.

Other findings include:

• Absence levels are lowest among manufacturing and production organisations at 5.7 days per employee per year (6.9 days in 2010) while among non-profit organisations absence has increased to 8.8 days (8.3 days in 2010)

• Over a quarter (28%) of employers report an increase in the number of people coming to work ill in the last 12 months

• Organisations that were expecting redundancies in the coming six months were more likely to report an increase in presenteeism (32% compared with 27% of those who were not expecting to make further redundancies). They were also less likely to report they had not noticed an increase (48% compared with 66%) and less certain (20% report they didn't know if there had been an increase compared with 7% of those not making redundancies)

• Organisations that had noted an increase in presenteeism over the past year were more likely to report an increase in stress-related absence over the same period (49% compared to 33% of those who did not report an increase in people coming to work ill)

• Over a quarter of organisations (29%) report they have increased their focus on employee wellbeing and health promotion as a result of the economic context. Over two-fifths of the public sector report an increase in focus compared with just over one-fifth of the private sector

Source: CIPD October 2011

Are your employees feeling stressed.? jml Training & Consultancy offers an in-house Stress Management Course Information Here

Amey is the overall winner of the 2011 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development People Management Awards

Amey, a leading UK public service infrastructure provider, is the overall winner of the 2011 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) People Management Awards, according to a CIPD News Release issued today.

 The winners across all categories were announced at the Awards ceremony, held in London last night. Amey also won the Building HR capability Award, having shown ingenuity and innovation in the rapid transformation of their HR function to deliver significant business benefit as well as improved employee communication and collaboration.

Amey is experiencing an extended period of growth from 10,000 employees in 2009 to a predicted 35,000 by 2015. With many employees transferring in from other organisations its HR transformation needed to not only simplify that complicated process, but also reduce costs. More important, though, was the HR function's capacity to build organisational capabilities in order to achieve business objectives and drive continued growth. An emphasis on the development of the HR function itself has built commercial capability and developed project management skills. Amey has successfully implemented a number of other changes, including self service systems for non-office and older workers, and started new graduate and apprenticeship schemes.

Further improvements have included the mapping of roles with CIPD competencies, clear career paths right across the organisation and succession plans. Within HR, these improvements have been delivered alongside a reduction in HR costs of £1.6m per annum. HR has also contributed substantially to savings from organisational restructuring - including a reduction of £15m in overhead employee costs and of £0.7m in temporary labour spend in 2011. Last year the organisation delivered an increase of five per cent in profit despite client spend reductions.

Stephanie Bird, Director of HR Capability, CIPD, and chair of the judging panel for the Awards, said: "Amey has shown great insight and innovation for the sector in its work to build its HR capability in an integrated way and to deliver against a clearly understood business agenda. They have developed people in creative ways by introducing carefully targeted training and career paths for employees spanning all areas of the business, ensuring no single area could become a 'second class citizen'. They have also developed mentoring and cross-business projects. Amey's pride in delivery and willingness to take people with them in their development journey for growth has really shone through.

The HR agenda is increasingly strategic and diverse in today's competitive environment. Investing in and up-skilling the HR function against a clear agenda will not only add value, but also help to create a sustainable and successful organisation for the future."

Hugh Hood, BT, comments: "Choosing a winner from entries packed with sparkling innovation and enthusiasm was truly difficult. Ultimately Amey's edge was their crystal clear understanding of their business strategy and an approach that proactively blazed a clear line of sight to the heart and soul of that strategy. Their comprehensive approach showed a sustainable change in mindset, behaviour and capability not just within the function, but in a way that role modelled the changes that Amey needed to make."

The CIPD People Management Awards also recognise good practice in nine specific people management and development categories, four of which are new this year, as well as the Michael Kelly Outstanding Student Award. An Award was given to the winner for each category below:

• Building HR capability - Amey

• Health & wellbeing - Police Service of Northern Ireland

• Employee engagement - DB Regio Tyne and Wear Ltd

• Organisational learning - Wm Morrison Supermarket PLC

• Change management - West Midlands Fire Service

• Excellence through technology - Unilever and Silverman Research

• Performance & reward - Institution of Civil Engineers

• SME HR initiative of the year - vine HR

• Talent attraction & management - Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Children & Voluntary Youth Services

• Michael Kelly Outstanding Student Award - Jessica Haglington, Rolls Royce plc

BT is the headline sponsor for the CIPD People Management Awards. Category sponsors include JMP, Simplyhealth and Hays.

In September Amey was Named as a Top 50 Company for Graduates. The company  was listed in TheJobCrowd’s 2011 Top Companies For Graduates To Work For index, in recognition of how well the company looks after and values its graduates, as well as offering flexibility in career development.

Amey is a leading UK public services provider with more than 11,000 staff. The company works across three main markets - Inter Urban, Local Government and Built Environment, which are supported by their award-winning consultancy division.

Amey delivers services in the highways, roads, schools, waste, rail, fleet solutions, workspace, street lighting, commercial, housing and aviation sectors. By offering a complete life-cycle solution for services, they maximise efficiencies for their customers.

jml Training and Consultancy offers a range of  Management Training Services for small to large companies and organisations. Find out more about jml Training at  

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Diversity in the Workplace

Came accross this supplement from "MEDIAPLANET"  in yesterday's (30-9-11) edition of "The Independent".

"Diversity in the workplace" is the tiltle  of an in-house  diversity training course that has been run by jml Training and Consultancy for many years now.

The Mediaplanet publication feature was a special issue promoting equality and had interviews with Jacqueline Gold the very successful Chief executive of Ann Summers, Chris Sullivan CEO of RBS Corporate Banking and other features and news reports around this subject.

There was a feature on Lord Davies discussing why having more women in the boardroom is not only about equality, but also about good business practice.

Back in February this year, jml Training issued a Press Release entitled "Equality in the Boardroom"  and this blog featured the report "Lord Davies' review, Women in the Boardroom now published"

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have recently issue their report In response to the Prime Minister's call for more women to sit on the boards of Britain's biggest companies. See this blog here

If you would like more information on jml Training's customised in-house diversity courses find out more by following this link