More than 50 per cent of HR professionals report that strategic planning is part of their function, according to a Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) study of 427 HR executives in the US. They reported that HR departments to a large extent can strategically contribute to organisations through such efforts as retention programs (75 per cent), work/life programs (70 per cent) and succession planning (69 per cent). However, more than 80 per cent of HR executives felt that their department’s focus on administrative duties limited their ability to contribute at the strategic level.
CEDA: prepare for the ageing tsunami
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) recently called for more policy initiatives to protect against the “economic tsunami”of population ageing. Futhermore, countries that do not respond to ageing will be left behind, according to CEDA chairman and national president Ivan Deveson. He called for policies based on the “three Ps” of growth in the labour market: participation, productivity and population. These include measures to promote lifelong learning and retraining, accelerate economic reform and raise national savings.
Wanted: professionals who can play hardball
Making accountants into ‘touchy-feely’ types may sound like a good idea, but it is not in the employer’s best interests, according to a global Lee Hecht Harrison survey of accountants and engineers. “We know finance professionals in particular are not great at empathising with others. But it is a misconception to think that all we need to do is teach them to be nice,” said Geoff Aigner, NSW general manager of Lee Hecht Harrison. “The trick is not only to teach professional managers new skills, but just as importantly, when to use them. Too often professionals think in black and white. To be great leaders they need to discover shades of grey.”
What workers don’t like in bosses
Being everyone’s friend and micromanagement are the two worst leadership sins, according to a recent survey of 900 workers by DDI and Badbossology.com. It also found almost one-third of bosses were considered bad because of a lack of leadership skills. More male bosses were criticised for their poor leadership skills and for being arrogant. Male workers also found their bosses to be four times more risk averse than female workers, while females were considered bad bosses because of a lack of sound business judgment/acumen and for not delegating.
Organisations must understand Gen Y to survive
If organisations don’t start managing and communicating differently in the workplace, they will have problems with attracting and retaining the right people, employee engagement, and productivity, according to Aon’s communications practice leader, Ingrid Selene. Speaking at a recent people capital management conference in Sydney, Selene said organisations need to consider changing their management practices and styles to better suit Gen Y staff through initiatives such as developing Gen Y ‘acclimatisation’ style training courses or coaching programs for baby boomer managers.
BT launches employee mental health drive
BT recently launched a program to tackle problems such as anxiety, depression and stress in its workforce. The company worked with unions to create the program for its 104,000 employees around the world. BT has some 500 people off sick every day with psychiatric problems. The program will demonstrate how regular exercise, healthy eating, relaxation techniques and the support of friends and family can help to ward off depression, stress and anxiety. It will also educate staff to help reduce the stigma of mental illness and promote the range of support services that the company provides.