Aero engine cash keeps Rolls-Royce jobs secure

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Aero engine cash keeps Rolls-Royce jobs secureOn 20 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. More than 7,000 jobs have been safeguarded after theGovernment invested £250m in Rolls-Royce to help the firm develop two new aeroengines.The investment will be used for the further development ofthe Trent aero engine family, which will be used to power the Airbus IndustrieA380 and the Boeing 747X among others.Thirty customers and operators have already ordered morethan 1,400 Trent engines worth more than £12bn.John Rose, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, said, “The newTrent programme will reinforce the position of Rolls-Royce as a leader in theworld civil aviation market, as well as strengthening the company’s links withthe world’s two major airframe manufacturers.“The programme will provide a further stimulus to technologyacquisition and high-technology manufacturing in the UK. It will also sustainmore than 7,000 jobs in Rolls-Royce and its UK supply chain.”Announcing the Government’s support, Trade and IndustrySecretary Stephen Byers, said, “The Government backing for this project is apractical demonstration of our commitment to helping hi-tech, high-skillcompanies in the UK to compete on a global stage.“The investment will provide a substantial boost to manufacturing,not just in the East Midlands but throughout the country, with more than 7,000well-paid, highly skilled jobs being safeguarded, as well as a direct returnfor taxpayers from the sale of engines.“This project will ensure Rolls-Royce’s Derby plant remainsa centre of excellence for aero engine design, development and production foryears to come.”By Ben Willmottlast_img read more

Canadian ruling could drive a firm to drink

first_img Comments are closed. Canadian ruling could drive a firm to drinkOn 6 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Just when employers thought therewas an end in sight to their ever-increasing legal responsibilities, thoseclever lawyers have found a new one. A judge in Canada recently awarded$200,000 (£90,852) in damages to a woman who crashed her car while driving homedrunk from an office party. He found the woman’s employer partly responsiblefor allowing her to drive in an unfit state because the party she attended hadtaken place during company time. Law firm Eversheds is now warningthat UK employers could be held liable for staff drink-driving. Lawyer DamianKelly said, “This case may have happened in Canada, but much of thejudgement was based on English case law. It is not impossible that we may seesimilar cases in the UK.”A totem gesture fromtraining coHow busy is your head of totem poledesign? If they have a bit of spare capacity they might want to enter TotemTraining Events’ competition to design a pole. The native peoples of Canada andthe US originally carved totem poles to represent a clan, its kinship system,accomplishments, rights and values. The totem shown is has foursections of cedar carved with symbols representing the values and aspirationsof one of Totem Training Events’ clients. The winner’s totem pole will besimilarly carved with the company’s logo, images symbolising its products andservices or whatever captures the spirit of business. The totem will be createdat Totem Training Events’ stand at Enterprise South in Bournemouth on 9 May. Sorry the boss is on gardeningleaveGuru wants to be managing directorof the universe. No, he isn’t plotting some dastardly international espionage,but wants to reply to a job advert to run the Catholic newspaper called theUniverse. This is just one of the unusualmanagement titles that readers have sent to Personnel Today since it launchedits competition last month.The most curious we’ve received isfrom a Swedish company called Wideyes – it has a senior manager called”company gardener”, but apparently it has more to do with corporategrowth than green fingers.   Guru has decided to put off thejudging until next week, so if you’ve heard of any other ridiculous titles,send an e-mail to the usual address and you could win a bottle of bubbly.HR staff find it hardto mask true feelingsSometimes it can be hard for HRprofessionals to come up with anything original to write down for an employeeperformance evaluation. Guru was once accused of having “a zest forlife” in an early job review, which he later realised was boss-speak forhaving an attention deficit disorder. Here are a few more blunt effortsfrom one large US corporation that will remain nameless: “Since my lastreport, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig”, or”works well under constant supervision and when cornered like a rat in atrap” or even the priceless “when his IQ reaches 50, he shouldsell”. But Guru’s personal favourites are, “I would not allow thisemployee to breed”, and “this employee is depriving a village somewhereof an idiot”. Guru would like to hear from his disciples on the bestexamples they’ve come across.last_img read more

Work is the answer to refugees’ problems – employers can help

first_imgWork is the answer to refugees’ problems – employers can helpOn 3 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. The Refugee council’s CEO Nick Hardwick backs Personnel Today’s Real AsylumDebate campaign and calls for urgent government actionAsk anyone working on social exclusion issues what the single most importantfactor is in helping people escape dependency, poverty and dislocation and theywill tell you it is work. The position of refugees in the UK is no different from this. Yet therestill exist multiple barriers to education, training and employment, to thedetriment of not just these refugees, but also to the rest of society. And, the first barrier – believe it or not – is that asylum-seekers are notallowed to work for their first six months in the country. Most asylum-seekers and refugees are highly skilled professionals,successful in their own countries and, as the Home Office’s study TheSettlement of Refugees in Britain, 1995 put it, “the skills level ofrefugees in fact exceeds that of the general British population”. Despite this, the unemployment rate among refugees is unacceptably high.Latest research puts it at 70 per cent or more – far above the national averagefor any disadvantaged group in the UK. It can be explained by the fact that refugees, from the moment they arrive,face an array of obstacles on the path to work. We welcome and fully endorse Personnel Today’s groundbreaking campaign toget the Government to implement a skills data- base and reduce red tape forasylum-seekers and refugees seeking work, and hope that its impact will be farand wide. My message to the new Government is that what refugees, employers and theeconomy all need urgently is a staged progression from arrival to employability,to employment and then to integration. Clearly, some of the obstacles asylum-seekers and refugees face in gettingwork are down to racism – or are they a consequence of the heated, but not veryilluminating, debate on asylum? Indeed, in recent months both the police andthe CBI have expressed their concerns that the ill-informed and inflammatorytalk about immigrants and refugees is harming our society. The warm reception Kosovan refugees received when they were evacuated herein 1999 shows what can happen when the British public is informed of whomrefugees are, what they are fleeing from and why we have a duty to help. At the moment this kind of leadership, which must come from politicians ofall parties, is noticeably absent. Of course, racism is not the only reason some employers are wary ofrecruiting refugees or asylum-seekers. On top of the problems they share withother excluded groups, such as living in unemployment black- spots or lackingaccess to social networks, refugees and asylum-seekers also face uniqueproblems. Months of living on £36- worth of vouchers a week exacerbates theirexclusion through the poverty and indignity of the system. Refugees and asylum-seekers may not have UK work experience or theirqualifications may not be recognised here, so some employers may be reluctantto take them on. At a more fundamental level, refugees simply may not be familiar with thework culture in the UK. I know from speaking to the many refugees on my ownstaff that the culture of selling ourselves to potential employers in jobinterviews is alien to many other parts of the world. The Refugee Council works with organisations such as the BMA to make iteasier for refugee doctors, for example, to take medical exams here so thatthey can practise in the UK. We also provide job market orientation courses at our Training andEmployment Section in Clapham, south London. The lack of proper support to asylum-seekers dispersed outside of Londonmeans that most will find it hard to access English classes. The result isrefugees learning English and getting into work many months later than shouldbe the case. Historically, refugees coming here have rebuilt their lives and contributedto the UK through their work. Today’s refugees are no different in that theywant to work, have plenty of skills to offer and can make a real difference toour society. Nick Hardwick is chief executive of the Refugee Council last_img read more

De Beers polishes up its knowledge

first_imgThe diamond mining and marketing company De Beers is implementingClick2learn’s Aspen Enterprise system for a pilot e-learning project for 500employees in South Africa and the UK. Rising to 8,000 employees for the final roll-out, the project is scheduledto run for 12 to 18 months and is designed to help De Beers establish ane-learning infrastructure and position e-learning within its longer termcorporate learning strategy. “E-learning was an obvious next step in our continuous drive to keepour employees’ skills up-to-date and fill any skills gaps quickly andeffectively,” says Willie Maritz, HR manager responsible fororganisational development at De Beers. “We are hoping e-learning can be delivered rapidly across multiplelocations to massively increase workforce productivity. The pilot programme isabout evaluating various e-learning possibilities,” he added. During the pilot, De Beers will use Click2learn’s Aspen suite to deliveroff-the-shelf e-learning content, including IT training content from ThomsonNETg and management skills training from Skillsoft as well as proprietary DeBeers content developed using Aspen LXS Designer. Click2learn will also be working with its South African-based Aspen partnerand learning integrator Learning Resources. Following the pilot, De Beers plans will work with Click2learn to adapt thecompany’s existing knowledge resources. It intends to capture, manage and disseminate knowledge throughout thecompany and is keen to assign experts to specific learning content who can beon hand to help employees with any queries. Related posts:No related photos. De Beers polishes up its knowledgeOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Learning for life: Stress management

first_imgLearning for life: Stress managementOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are theprocesses by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve theirpractice. There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-datewith what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifyingwhat you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to helpyou to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will alsohelp you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understandand what you need to explore further. 1.What percentage of European Union workers experience stress at work? a) 48 b) 38 c) 28 d) 58 2. Who needs to be involved in policy development? a) Managing director b) Stakeholders c) Line managers s) Experts 3. What sort of committee needs to be established? a) Steering b) Standing c) Health and safety d) Sub-committee 4. What sort of approach should the committee take? a) Authoritarian b) Utilitarian c) Liberal d) Democratic 5. Which of the following is NOT an objective of the stress policy? a) To communicate commitment b) To raise awareness c) To decide blame d) To clarify roles 6. The implementation of a stress policy should be facilitated in whichthree ways? a) Communicated, supported, business procedures b) Communicated, supported, management and staff accept responsibilities c) Communicated, business procedures, management and staff acceptresponsibilities d) Business procedures, supported, management and staff accept responsibilities7. Which is NOT the way for longer-term effects of the policy to beassessed? a) Changes in rates of absence related to stress b) Performance c) Use of counselling services d) Use of disciplinary procedures 8. Who should be encouraged to take ownership of the policy? a) Management and staff b) Occupational health c) Health and safety officer d) Personnel 9. Which is NOT a stage of policy development in this article? a) General principles b) Partnership approach c) Selling the policy d) Writing the policy 10 What should be carried out once the policy has been implemented? a) Risk assessment b) Audit c) Evaluation d) Planning Feedback1.c).2.b) List who in your workplace has an interest and therefore a stake in astress policy and identify who would be best to represent their interests on apolicy development committee. 3.a) Write short notes on what youunderstand about each different type of committee. If you are not sure of allthe different types of committees, carry out a search for this information. 4.d)All these words sound quite plausible, but answers a, c and b are allleadership styles and b is a branch of moral philosophy! Look up each one andensure that you understand them and their differences. 5.c) Today’ssociety is very much a ‘blame’ culture. However, there are efforts to move awayfrom this in the workplace. Discuss this with your colleagues. 6.b). 7.d)See answer to question 5. 8.a) Although this article is about developinga policy for managing stress, it is also about developing policies per se.Think how policy development follows the quality assurance and problem-solvingmodels of assess, plan, implement and evaluate. More about this can be found inmany publications but the HSE’s Successful Health and Safety Management 1997deals with this topic in depth. 9.d) Of course all these stages are partof policy development but this stage has not been mentioned in the article! 10.c)The article actually says ‘evaluation’ but audit would have been correct too.No policy is worth having unless its effectiveness is measured from time totime. What policies does your organisation have? How often are they reviewed?What information is required to monitor their effectiveness? Consider what you cando to improve the situation if it is not up to standard. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

HR strategy forum

first_img Previous Article Next Article HR strategy forumOn 22 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today The dilemma: I am the new HR director of the European divisionof a US-owned specialist technology training consultancy. Globally, thebusiness has grown by 70 per cent per annum in the last three years, but growthin the European division has been static. I have been recruited to help turnthe business around. The parent company hopes to float the company on the Nasdaq next year, butcannot do so until the European division, the second largest in the group, hasbeen restored to rapid, profitable growth. There are a number of barriers tosuccess. While the quality of our delivery is exceptional and customers alwaysrecommend us, we have no organised sales processes or capability within thebusiness. There is no dedicated sales organisation, and sales efforts are typicallyreactive, with operational project managers following up leads as and when theysurface. As a result, the organisation struggles to drive sales growth in aconsistent pipeline, and finds it difficult to forecast accurately. Although weoffer interesting work and good opportunities for global travel, staff turnoveramong fee-earning consultants is at about 40 per cent. They are beingconsistently poached by bigger, generalist consultancies. These organisationssee technology training as a small but profitable sideline that can be boltedon to their core business of enterprise-wide systems implementation. They areperceived as higher status employers, offering opportunities for trainingconsultants to move into lucrative programming work. Recruitment is an ongoing problem. It is fully devolved to line managers,and recruitment costs are spiralling out of control as we try to backfillresignations on time-critical projects. We are struggling to maintain promisedstaffing levels on existing projects, and I am worried that as we move into agrowth situation we will not be able to staff new projects. What strategicsteps should I be considering? Solution 1 by Neil Roden, HR director, Royal Bank of Scotland The European operation has some key strategic HR issues to address to meetits business goals. Particularly the effectiveness of the sales team, retentionof good staff, cost control and possibly morale. Step 1 Board buy-in: Review the business case with the European boardto ensure a common understanding of and buy-in to the business goals,priorities and issues for the European operation. Agree the need to quicklydevelop a transformational people strategy that supports these business goalsby addressing key issues such as sales structure, resourcing, retention andemployee attraction costs. Step 2 Address key strategic HR issues: Review the organisationalstructure in the sales team – consider appointing a head of sales to drive theteam forward. There is a need to introduce better sales processes, embed asales culture and recruit a proactive, qualified team. This is crucial todelivering rapid growth. Step 3 The organisation is losing significant numbers of staff. Reviewyour internal resourcing and development strategy to address 40 per centturnover, retain good employees and ensure the appropriate staffing of roles.Establish an attraction strategy that communicates your employee propositionand is underpinned by revised recruitment processes. Consider training managersin conducting structured interviews.  Addressthe spiralling recruitment costs through key supplier relationships andnegotiated rates.  With 40 per centturnover and low profitability, there may be a morale dip that needs to beunderstood and addressed. Step 4 Agree an implementation plan: Once you have identified the keyissues and your proposed actions, you need to review them with the board andagree on how you plan to implement them. It is essential your strategytranslates into business performance measures, such as increased income orreduced cost, and not just intangibles. Step 5 Communicate and mobilise: This is something you need to dowith the board’s agreement. To succeed, staff will need to be engaged in thetransformation of the business. They need to know what it is, have clear goalsto strive for, and understand what they need to do to deliver it. Maximise theavailable communication channels and ensure there is opportunity for two-waycommunication. Solution 2 by Louise Allen, director, LA Partners Step 1 Differentiate between short- and long-term priorities: Becausethe performance of the European business is an essential part of a widerstrategy to float on Nasdaq, there will be tremendous pressure on the HRdirector and European managing director to make changes very quickly.Therefore, a short-term strategy will be essential. This must be balanced bydeveloping a longer-term strategic response in tandem. Step 2 Short-term – refocus on sales: This should be your immediatepriority. The business has a reputation for good work, so this could become theunique selling point for winning future business. Work with the sales directorand sales team to review where and how they have been successful in the past(and where not). Harness this information to create a revitalised salesprocess. Start with the core client base, targeting the sales force to takeadvantage of repeat business, expanding from there. Step 3 Short-term – performance management: Examine the performancemanagement system – how are targets set; are accountabilities clear; who arethe good performers; are they recognised and rewarded as such? Overhaul thesystem to ensure clarity of business goals/sales targets and ensure regularhigh quality reviews take place. Identify and single out the high achievers forspecial recognition and reward. Celebrate success. Step 4 Short-term – leadership issues: The shortage of goodconsultants is seriously inhibiting business performance. Revisit why so manyare leaving. What key issues can be reversed quickly, for example, pay,benefits, bonuses, and so on? Make a strategic decision to invest in thosepractices that are essential to stem the losses. If there is a lack of moraleor motivation, consider the quality of management among the sales team. Isthere a leadership issue to be addressed? Step 5 Longer term – develop strategies for recruiting and growing atalent base: For example, can candidates be sourced and groomed once theyhave graduated? Other issues appear to centre on the quality of leadership,direction, focus and structure. It will take more time and effort to resolvethese issues. It is essential to ensure that these issues are are prioritisedin line with business growth targets, so that appropriate investment is made available.It is a people business after all. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Culture change initiative boosts M&S sales

first_imgAn initiative to increase involvement and engagement among customer servicestaff at a Marks & Spencer store in Gateshead has contributed to a 6 percent increase in sales. Nigel Mills, area head of HR for M&S in the North East, told PersonnelToday that the programme to create a new work culture within the Metro Centrestarted in August last year, to coincide with the re-opening of the store afterrefurbishment. Mills said that although a huge amount of planning had gone into thephysical refurbishment of the store, similar forethought had not gone intotrying to create a new beginning for staff. He said that a culture existed where the priority for staff was getting foodonto the shelves, rather than to the customer. To try and create a work environment where customer-facing employees weregiven more autonomy, responsibility and encouragement to be creative, Millsbrought in ABA Consultants to work with both managers and staff. They created four 10-strong teams of customer service staff with the aim ofgiving them the freedom to decide how they wanted to run their sections withminimal management input. ABA was careful to ensure that the 40 staff included those who wereextremely negative about the proposed changes, to prevent them sniping fromoutside the selected group and undermining the initiative. ABA also heldsessions to secure management buy-in. “We had to ensure that managers were prepared to give away somepower,” said Mills. “They had to stand back and be prepared to letstaff make mistakes.” The customer assistant teams were each given a team sponsor from managementwho they could run ideas past, and who would offer coaching support. Staff responded by coming up with a wide range of ideas to improve thecustomer experience, including customer newspapers and bigger portions in thecafe area. Others included storytellers and drawing areas to occupy children whiletheir parents shop, a dedicated food-tasting area, and staff-run lunchtimeseminars on improving customer service. The ‘One Food Team’ initiative culminated with an ‘Astounding StoriesConference’ at Newcastle United Football Club, where the assistants involved inthe project addressed 90 of the top M&S managers in the region. Mills has no doubt that the project contributed to a 6 per cent rise in thestore’s takings over the past year, as well as significant improvements in howstaff rated their ability to satisfy customer needs. By Ben Willmott Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Culture change initiative boosts M&S salesOn 23 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Who’s installing what?

first_imgWho’s installing what?On 3 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Workforce HR Manager Companion Care, which established and operates joint venture veterinarypractices around the UK, is going live with Workforce HR Manager software fromIntellect. The year-long implementation sees the system rolled out to 31practices nationwide. Surgeries have access to six core screens, designed toprovide the veterinary partner with access to staff contact details, holidays,absence, appraisals and employment history. Implementation of Workforce Onlinewill now follow, giving employees access to self-service HR functions. www.workforcehr.com4th Contact benefit system LogicaCMG of South Africa is implementing 4th Contact’s online benefitssystem after seeing the system in use by colleagues in the UK organisation’sBirmingham office. The system is initially being used to track holidays for its100 plus workforce, but plans to build the rest of the benefits includingpension and medical aid in the next few months. “It now providescontinuity across two divisions of the company,” says Paul Watson, managingdirector of 4th Contact. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Up to scratch?

first_imgNottingham Occupational Health puts its quality of service to the test withthe Parasuraman’s Servqual tool.  ByLesley Baxter Are you providing an excellent quality of service for your occupationalhealth clients? The Servqual tool proved a useful way to explore the quality ofservice provided by an OH department, and highlighted areas that could beimproved to increase customer satisfaction. Nottingham Occupational Health (OH), which looks after the hospital and theuniversity, decided to measure the quality of service being offered to OHclients by using Parasuraman’s Servqual model of service quality.1 Customer satisfaction and service quality (SQ) has been studied since theearly 1980s,2 and until recently, private retail industries were the mainfocus.3,4,5,6 Further research in the late 1990s related to the public service sector,7,8,9 and subsequent research within healthcare settings is demonstrated in theliterature. 10,11,12,13 Despite this improved measurement of customer satisfaction from a patient’sperspective, there is still a dearth of research in the occupational health(OH) setting related to this topic.14 Measurement of service quality The Servqual model addresses five aspects (or dimensions) of SQ ofimportance to the customer (see box below). The Servqual instrument comprises 22 statements used to assess SQ across thefive dimensions, with each statement used twice: once to measure expectations,and once to measure perceptions.7 Although the Servqual model has been heavily criticised and debated for mostof the 1990s, it still dominates as a reliable and valid SQ measure. Although Servqual has been successfully applied within a variety of privateand public sector settings, very little evidence exists of its use in an OHsetting. However, its benefits have been recognised, and consequently it may beof great interest to the occupational health community if it proves to be avaluable measure of SQ. Study implementation Due to the size and diversity of our OH client base, it was decided toconcentrate this study on the population of one NHS hospital (approx. 8,000staff), half of whom attended the OH department over one year (October2001-2002). Through a process of systematic sampling, 400 questionnaires weredistributed to the randomly selected subjects. Thirty were returned undeliveredand 115 were returned for analysis. Of the sample group targeted, 18 per cent were male and 82 per cent werefemale. This is not unusual, considering that the majority of participants holdjobs that remain predominantly female-orientated. The mean age was 35. It was useful to note (Figure 1, page 25) the fairly even response rateacross the range of healthcare professionals, which indicates that all workersare interested in having their opinions considered, and that the less academicstill found the questionnaire easy to attempt. Figure 2 (page 25) shows the health professional within the OH departmentthat the respondent saw at the time of their visit. The number seen by an OHnurse is higher than any of the other categories, and this has a bearing onfuture education and training priorities. Findings Table 1 (page 26) shows the questions asked and the five dimensions thateach item belongs to. The expectation section shows what the customers of theNHS OH department would expect to encounter, and the perception section showswhat their perceptions of the department were after their experience. It isclear that what the customer expected and what they received was notdissimilar, but overall, the service provided was below their expectations. Table 2 (page 26) demonstrates that the SQ areas of reliability andassurance were equally the most important, with responsiveness and empathy ajoint second, while tangibility (appearance) was the least important factor forcustomers. Having identified what the customers think are the most important aspects ofSQ, Table 3 (see page 27) shows whether the OH department is meeting therequirements of the customers. It compares their perceptions of the servicereceived and their ranking in importance of the five quality aspects. As the perceptions section and the ranked statements section were separateentities within the collected data, it proved difficult to compare with anycertainty whether or not the department is meeting the SQ needs of the customerin accordance with what they consider important. However, it is evident thatperceptions of the service are positive, and in the areas of reliability andassurance (the two most important features for customers), it seems the serviceis delivering according to expectations. Further breakdown of the questionnaires revealed some interesting findings.The admin and clerical staff scored the lowest for satisfaction, but there isno real evidence why this may be so. But the author notes that although theadministration and clerical staff attend the OH service for routine healthscreening, they rarely require health surveillance intervention, advice or careafter, for example, a needle-stick injury. Perhaps this more personalised care is what slightly improves satisfactionscoring among the other job category respondents. There was no dissatisfactiontowards any particular aspect of the service, although there was a slightlyhigher overall satisfaction rate in attendees for immunisation and healthscreening, as opposed to referral by manager, nurse advice or counselling. Itis evident from the data displayed in Table 1 (left) that workers’ perceptionsof the ‘tangibility’ element of SQ within the OH department scored slightlylower than other aspects of service quality. This correlates with the fact thatthe OH department is old and requires some modifications. The OH department’s opening hours are 8.30am to 5pm. Qualified nurses’perceptions of the OH department’s opening hours were compared with the viewsof the admin and clerical category (who mainly work within normal workinghours). The qualified nurses remain satisfied, as do the admin and clericalstaff, and while there is slightly more satisfaction among workers with normalworking hours, there is no great difference in the two opposing job categories.Discussion The results show that it is possible to adapt a standard SQ tool (Servqual)and apply it within an OH setting. There was a concern that the questionnaire may appear too complicated, but91 per cent of the respondents completed all three sections. Overall, staff satisfaction scores were between five and six, which showssatisfaction with the service, although it did not quite meet staffexpectations of an OH service. Following consideration of the findings, anumber of changes have been implemented. While it is vital to remain fullystaffed during normal daytime hours, work is underway to take the service tothe user. For example, more screening and health surveillance programmes arebeing set up in the ward areas to improve staff morale and increase the ease ofaccess to our OH service. Monthly nurse meetings have been set up covering a variety of topics, toallow as many staff as possible to attend (admin staff and doctors are alsofree to attend if the subject is of interest to them). The department has beendecorated, areas re-carpeted and plants purchased to make it more visuallyappealing. A process of benchmarking will allow a long-term view of how the OH serviceis performing, which will be far more valuable than one set of data. It willenable the identification of the impact of positive and negative changes, anddetermine future plans for the benefit of the OH service and its customers. Further adaptations to the Servqual tool, for use in the OH setting, would meanconsidering a more statistically robust method for gathering data whencomparing staff perceptions of service quality and the ranking of importantaspects. This would more effectively demonstrate whether staff believe there isa provision of an excellent service in the areas they find most important. Theapplication of the adapted tool within another OH setting would also be useful,as it would start the process of external benchmarking of similar data andwould help establish whether the tool can be replicated with reliability andvalidity. Conclusion Continually monitoring and improving the OH service will ensure theattainment of excellence and provision of a high quality service to the staff,contributing significantly to their health, safety and well-being. With foresight and slight adaptations, tools such as Servqual can beextremely valuable in the field of healthcare, and certainly in an OH settingwhere the emphasis is on income generation, business needs and value for money.It is important to note that the response rate of the questionnaires is only 31per cent, so care must be taken not to read too much into the data as thelarger number of non-responders may have a different view to the responders.The rate of response in each category is also too low to make a meaningfulcomparison of their satisfaction level. However, this tool could be easilyreplicated in another OH department and used internally as a means forimproving the OH service and proving its worth. Following this study, we have implemented a number of changes and plan toreplicate the study. There are also plans to modify the questionnaire andtarget the management population to ascertain their views of the service. If the ‘quality’ message is not heeded by our organisations, and other morequality-focused organisations enter the marketplace, our business might not beas secure as it has been in the past.15 Lesley Baxter is an OH adviser at Nottingham Occupational Healthdepartment References1. Refinement and reassessment of the SERVQUAL scale – Parasuraman A, BerryLL and Zeithaml VA, 1991, Journal of Retailing, 67(4), pp420-451 2. Improving the quality of services marketing: service (re) design is thecritical link – Ballantyne D, Christopher M and Payne A (1997) Advances inrelationship marketing (2nd edition), London: Kogan Page Ltd, pp183-198 3. Another look into the agenda of customer satisfaction: focusing onservice providers’ own and perceived viewpoints – Athanassopoulos AD, 1997,International Journal of Bank Marketing, 15(7), pp264-278 4. ‘Interrogating Servqual: a critical assessment of service qualitymeasurement in a high street retail bank’ – Newman K, 2001, InternationalJournal of Bank Marketing, 19(3), pp126-139 5. Understanding customer satisfaction – a UK food industry case study –Adebanjo D, 2001, British Food Journal, 103(1), pp36-45 6. Customer satisfaction – lip service or management tool? – Broetzmann SM,Kemp J, Rossano M and Marwaha J, 1995, Managing Service Quality, 5(2), pp13-18 7. Using SERVQUAL to assess customer satisfaction with public sectorservices – Wisniewski M, 2001, Managing Service Quality, 11(6), pp380-388 8. Continuous improvement in public services: a way forward – Curry A andHerbert D, 1998, Managing Service Quality, 8(5), pp339-349 9. Service improvements in public services using Servqual – Brysland A andCurry A, 2001, Managing Service Quality, 11(6), pp389-401 10. Measuring customer satisfaction: how do you measure customersatisfaction? – Zimmer-man PG, 1998, Journal of Emergency Nursing, 24(3),pp269-271 11. The service quality approach to developing user satisfaction tools –Roberts P, 1998, Nurse Researcher, 5(3), pp43-50 12. Measuring service quality at a university health clinic – Anderson EA,1995, International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 8(2), pp32-37 13. Patient perceptions of service quality: combining the dimensions –Carman JM, 2000, Journal of Management in Medicine, 14(5/6), pp339-356 14. Client Satisfaction with Nursing Services: Evaluation in an occupationalhealth setting – Mitchell R, Leanna JC and Hyde R, 1999, AAOHN Journal, 47(2),pp74-79 15. Quality – why do organisations still continue to get it wrong? – DaleBG, van der Wiele A and Williams ART, 2001, Managing Service Quality, 11(4),pp241-248 16. Evaluation, quality assurance, quality improvement and research –Verbeek J, Hushof C and van der Weide W, 1999, Evaluation in OccupationalHealth Practice, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, pp21-37 17. Quality and audit in occupational health nursing – Maynard L, 2002,Occupational Health Nursing (2nd Edition), London, Whurr Publishers Ltd,pp157-175 Measure of service quality– Tangibles – physical facilities,equipment and appearance of personnel– Reliability – ability to perform the promised servicedependably and accurately– Responsiveness – willingness to help customers and provideprompt service– Assurance – knowledge and courtesy of employees and theirability to inspire trust       andconfidence– Empathy – caring, individualised attention the firm providesto its customers Related posts:No related photos. Up to scratch?On 1 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Bushwick retrofit project provides blueprint for greening buildings

first_imgTagsArchitecture & Designgreen buildingsResidential Real Estate Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink 75 Linden Street is one of the houses being retrofitted with eco-friendly designs in Brooklyn. (Getty, Google Maps) New York City’s sustainability goals for the next decade are ambitious: The Climate Mobilization Act of 2019 mandates that the city must cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. And a good chunk of that must come from buildings, which contribute close to 70 percent of the city’s total carbon output.Landlords have been fretting over how to make their buildings more green since the legislation passed last year, but a new project underway in Brooklyn may provide a blueprint.The project, called Casa Pasiva, will retrofit nine buildings in Bushwick, all of which have affordable apartments, with eco-friendly design touches. Upgrades such as new facades with rigid insulation and a self-cleaning finish that repels water will help them meet strict passive house standards, according to the New York Times.ADVERTISEMENTOther elements that will help the buildings become more green include electric induction stovetops (rather than gas) and a rooftop system that will help purify and circulate air. The updates will affect 143 units in total.The $20 million retrofit project is being undertaken by RiseBoro Community Partnership, a local organization, and architect Chris Benedict, who conceived the design elements for the buildings. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority also kicked in about $1.8 million through its RetrofitNY program, which aims to help building owners find budget-friendly ways to make their buildings more sustainable.But rehabbing buildings to make them more sustainable isn’t just a way to reduce carbon emissions; it may also help landlords cut costs. RiseBoro’s Ryan Cassidy told the Times that the retrofits will save $180,000 per year in energy costs for its buildings.“Our mission is long-term affordability, and low energy use is a stabilizing force,” he said. “It’s good for the environment, but it’s also good for our budgets.”[NYT] — Amy Plittcenter_img Share via Shortlinklast_img read more