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  • Unions and managers are allies in business change

    first_img Previous Article Next Article Unions and managers are allies in business changeOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Managers are starting to view union representatives as allies inimplementing workplace change, according to research unveiled at the Acasconference last week. The survey, called Future of Collectivism, shows that unions are becomingmore business focused and “useful” to employers. Union officials alsofeel many employers are showing them a more positive attitude. Report author Professor William Brown said, “A convergence of interestshas occurred, spurred by legal changes and competitive pressures.” Employers are using unions to facilitate difficult organisational change,while at the same time trying to restrict their influence on traditional issuessuch as pay setting, claims the report. At the Acas conference in Harrogate, Brown told delegates that the 1999Employment Relations Act and the direction of EU law have accelerated the rateat which employers were redesigning their relationships with unions to be morecooperative. The Economic and Social Research Council report said senior individuals areoften behind an anti-union stance. Three-quarters of firms that plan to resistattempts by unions to gain recognition admit they are taking their cue fromanti-union top executives. Improved relations often coincide with theappointment of a new, senior HR manager. The research was based on interviews with 60 companies, 34 union officialsand 15 industry body representatives. It found that most companies were partiallyunionised without recognition agreements and were being targeted by unions forrecognition. Both employers and unions are trying to avoid going down the statutoryrecognition route which involves balloting, said Brown. The research is part of the ESRC’s £4m Future of Work programme. www.esrc.ac.ukBy Mike Broad last_img read more

  • Head to head

    first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article This week Martin Rooney, HR policy manager of CISInsurance, and JohnWrighthouse, head of personnel planning and development at Nationwide comparenotes on their careers1 What are your main responsibilities? MR I lead a team in the HR Policy. Our task is to devise, implementand monitor HR policies which support business activity in areas such asreward, diversity, employee involvement, social accountability, HR risks andMIS. I also contribute to the Society’s Business Recovery and Procurementagenda. JW I co-ordinate talent management, career management, communicationof the people agenda, graduate recruitment, personnel planning, personnelsystems and employee engagement. 2 What’s the pay like? MR Sufficient to buy season tickets for my sons for Hillsborough andthat should convince you I don’t always spend wisely! JW My rewards are good and I am happy. I like being associated withNationwide and what it stands for. 3 How flexible are the hours? MR Typically I leave home at 7.30am and return at 7.30pm, butadditional hours on a Sunday at home and occasional work in the evening usuallyproves helpful. JW I am normally in the office by 8am each day and leave after 6pm.There can be a bit of travel involved as we have 750 locations and I like toget out as much as I can. We don’t have set hours in Nationwide and it’s up tome to decide how to structure my day and hours. I try and get the balance rightbetween work and home. 4 What do you like about the job? MR I particularly enjoy identifying potential and developing thepeople who work with me. JW Nationwide has very strong values in how it does business and howwe engage our employees. This is shown in our approach: working with our localcommunities, our people and fair pricing for the products we offer. I like myjob because I have a lot of scope to influence and drive the people agenda andthis is important as to how we succeed as a business. 5 What are the challenges? MR Meeting ambitious annual objectives while being responsive tounseen business requirements; managing culture change; and making sure ourdiversity policy actually works! JW Creating the people environment where our employees can truly say‘Nationwide is a place where I want to work’. Identifying what personnel andpeople practices make the most difference and that will help us achieve our aimof being a great place to work. 6 What is your biggest headache? MR E-mail. JW Balancing the need for business control (as you would expect of afinancial services organisation) with the needs of individuals to learn andgrow. Because of the need to work through compliance it is easy to missopportunities to help people personally grow and develop. 7 What size is your team? MR 12. JW 28. 8 Who do you report to? MR Head of HR Peter Smith. JW Director of personnel and development Jeremy del Strother. 9 What qualifications do you have? MR BSc Management Sciences Economics; University of Lancaster, MScHuman Resources Salford University; FCIPD and NEBOSH certificate in Health& Safety. JW BSc (Honours) in Business and Administration from the Universityof Salford MA in Employment Law and Relations from the University of Leicester;diploma in Personnel Management from the NorthWest Regional Management Centre;FCIPD. 10 What are your career aspirations? MR To do justice to my career role and live up to the faith othershave shown in me. JW I would like to move into training and the delivery of training. 11 What training and development opportunities are there? MR The society encourages individuals to accept responsibility forpersonal development and education and provides limitless opportunitiesincluding community involvement for skills and knowledge acquisition. I thinkone of the major responsibilities for any manager is to evaluate and exploitthe opportunities which facilitate individual development. JW Nationwide is great at offering a breadth of developmentopportunities, both formal learning and on-the-job development. Our seniormanagers should have experience in a range of roles which ensures our leadersof the future really understand how our business works and what our customersneed. This is best achieved by having an opportunity to move outside yourprofessional comfort zone and doing a different job. I attend the HarrogateCIPD conference regularly; I enjoy employment law and am a member of theIndustrial Society Peel Club – a forum for senior HR and employee relationsprofessionals hosted by Olga Aitken. 12 What is your holiday entitlement? MR 27 days. JW 30 days. 13 What’s your work environment like? MR Excellent. Not my favourite architecture, but nevertheless thetallest building in the UK outside London, which has recently been listed. Freedrinks vending and first class restaurant facilities can be often taken forgranted. JW I am very lucky to be based at the society’s head office inSwindon. It was built in 1991 and hosts many facilities: gym, shop, greatrestaurant, clubhouse, hairdresser, and Nationwide branch. 14 What other benefits do you get? MR Pension, an annual bonus of 3 per cent, Audi A6 and staffdiscounts on certain CIS and Co-operative group products and services. JW I drive a Land Rover Discovery, have private medical cover formyself and family, occupational pension to which Nationwide contributes 20 percent of my salary, and bonus schemes. 15 What’s the best part? MR Witnessing our values come alive in our Social Accountabilityprogramme and the sincerity and conviction of staff in applying those values. JW The values that Nationwide holds – it’s great to be proud of youremployer and know you have made a difference in your job. It’s rewarding toread that Nationwide has championed something great – even when the FinancialServices Ombudsman said we had treated some mortgage customers unfairly,Nationwide chose to do the right thing and paid £90m to them. 16 How does your firm treat work-life balance? MR We introduced a major initiative – WLB – last year which was wellreceived by staff and cited by Amicus as a model for the financial servicessector. JW Nationwide is a founding member of the Forum for Work LifeBalance. We endeavour to ensure our people balance their work and homecommitments: Nationwide was the first financial services organisation toabolish its retirement age at 60 – now we review at 70. We also encouragenon-standard work patterns and have more part-time workers than ourcompetitors. Head to headOn 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more