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Looking after number one

first_img Previous Article Next Article Looking after number oneOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. NicPaton explains why it is important to hold your head up during a downturn, soyou can keep your job while all those around you are losing theirsWhen organisations announce mass redundancies, it is inevitably HR’sresponsibility to pick up the pieces. While HR professionals may be good atensuring other staff cope with downsizing – providing counselling, legal adviceand shoulders to cry on – they often forget to look after themselves. “When HR staff are working flat out to eject 2,000 to 3,000 people fromthe business, they do not have time to think about themselves,” says AineHurley, partner in the business and professional services practice at executivesearch firm, Odgers Ray & Berndtson. A recent CIPD survey stated that the majority of HR professionals find theredundancy process ‘traumatic’ and that it impacted on their working and homelife. But in today’s tight labour market, the HR department is just as much atrisk of being cut back as any other part of the business. With little chance of moving onwards or upwards in such circumstances, howshould HR staff go about managing their careers in a downturn, particularly if theirdepartment has already been subject to redundancies? How can you avoid beingnext out the door? The natural inclination might be to hunker down and try to become asinvisible as possible. But according to the experts, this is possibly the worstcourse of action to take. So follow our guide to avoid becoming part of thewallpaper. 1 Reflect on your priorities Ask yourself: what is important to you? Do you want to stick with thebusiness and put in the legwork to make a success of your current position? Ifnot, in the current climate, you might as well cut your losses immediately andmove on, says Juliet Killen, product management director at careers consultancyBlessing/White. If you are certain you want to stay put, examine your personal motivationsand values, and assess how they align with the business. Focus on what theywere previously, what they are now, and how you can make the best of a toughsituation. “If people have left your department there is going to be a substantialamount of work to be done. It’s about stretching,” says Killen. Flexibility, moving quickly and developing ‘career resilience’ are all keysurvival skills, she argues. “If you are in control, you can adaptquicker.” 2 Develop your skills Within HR, a revolving cycle of skills are often required, argues PeterHood, principal consultant at career consultancy RightCoutts. At the height ofthe mergers and acquisitions frenzy, due diligence and talent management werethe skills in demand. Now, downsizing and recruitment strategies are the keyareas. So it is worth making sure your skills are as broad-based and asup-to-date as possible. “In the US, HR technology is two or three years ahead, so try and makeyourself familiar with it. It’s good to be able to refer to something that youhave not necessarily done yet. You need to get outside your own comfortzone,” Hood says. “What tends to occur, is that while development plans are establishedfor everyone else within the organisation, usually this does not extend to HR.I have interviewed HR managers who have never updated their skills,” headds. Learning the skills to conduct a psychometric testing programme, forexample, or put an NLP (neuro-linguistic programme) in place, or simply tosuccessfully implement a new system or process, can all draw attention to whatyou are doing, argues Andrea Eccles, joint managing director of career adviserFairplace Consulting. It is also vital to be completely up to speed with what is going on in yourown back yard, particularly which new employment laws are coming up. “Ifyou can be seen to be an expert, it increases your visibility,” she says. HR is still too often considered not to have enough financial or businessawareness, so why not look at the possibility of doing an MBA, or even goingoutside the function completely, asks Hurley. “Take some time to assess your personal development and training goals.If you are already in HR, why not consider a finance or technical course? Thiswill help to counter preconceptions about HR people.” Polishing your presentation skills will make you more valuable as an HRprofessional, she adds. A part-time MA in HR management could be another plusdepending on your career level. “It’s about making yourself more marketable,” says Hurley.”This will be an asset when the market picks up. If you’re doing somethingoutside your area, you’ll also start building bridges with new departments. Andit’s good for morale too.” 3 Look beyond your job description Before the axe falls, it is important to try and create cross-functionalopportunities for yourself within your organisation, argues Hood. “Try to take on another function. Many people fall into the trap ofdoing project work, but you never get any kudos from that unless it’s your ownproject or it gives you networking opportunities,” he says. Peter Sell, joint managing director of DMS Consultancy, says: “Look atthe HR strategies you have in place, and focus on how they can be improved –what the change your organisation is going through will mean in terms of humancapital, your HR methodologies or even performance management tools. “In a change situation, the people who go into denial and are not seento be contributing to the business are the individuals likely to be next forthe chop. You need to get your head above the parapet and show you are aware ofthe issues.” This could mean doing things as simple as running assessment days for newgraduate recruits, or looking at your training to promote people into theirfirst line-manager roles. Essentially, survival is all about being visible and making it clear that HRis not just a backroom service, says Hurley. “It’s about reaching out,” she says. “It is almost countercultural because in situations like this, people naturally go into theirshells. Above all, make sure that people do not perceive HR to be a narrow,internally focused function. It’s not just pay and rations.” she adds. Another useful course of action might be to look at taking on differentroles at non-executive or boardroom levels, such as becoming a trustee orgovernor. “One thing people underestimate is the benefit of having apublic/private sector mix. Becoming a trustee or governor of a charity can bean excellent networking opportunity, as well as being very worthwhile,”says Hurley. While your gut instinct may be to work around the clock, a downturn may,paradoxically, be the time to take a fresh look at your work-life balance.Develop time away from the office to get fit and creative. Stretching yourselfmentally and physically outside the workplace often helps you perform betterinside it too, she adds. 4 Network internally and externally Building a circle of allies is a key part of any survival plan. Sell advisesit is wise to identify champions of change, people who are in the position toinfluence the organisation of your career. Get them on side and work atbuilding up your relationship and influence with them. Set aside specific timeto do this, rather than letting it slip in the day-to-day rush. “At theworst, it’ll mean you’ll get a good reference,” says Eccles. If opportunities for networking internally are lacking, then organisenetworking events across the company. They can raise morale and improve cross-functionworking, as well as improving your profile and helping to adjust people’sattitudes to HR. Hurley says: “The problem is that marketplaces in a downturn start toretrench and you need to get out and network. Look at the sector you are in. Ifthere is no body you can join, start one,” she adds. You will build up knowledge of best practice and how other organisationsoperate, which can all be fed back into your own organisation, and will alsomake vital future contacts. 5 Don’t be modest Unlike our counterparts across the Atlantic, culturally, UK businessprofessionals often find it hard to blow their own trumpets. But in a downturn,this can be a necessary evil. Hood argues that, as an HR professional, you need to be in a position whereyou are the one taking credit for what you have achieved. “Usually, battening down the hatches is the wrong thing to do. If youretreat and are not being seen to do anything, you will just speed up theprocess of your own redundancy,” he says. “You need to increase yourvisibility and create opportunities for yourself.” Critically, he suggests that this must be “within the limits of yourown personality” – otherwise, people will smell a rat. Employees left behind after redundancies often have low morale, or at least,this is often assumed to be the case by managers. “You are showing that despite everything, you are still motivated,interested in the community and company and confident that you are contributingsomething,” says Odgers Ray & Berndtson’s Hurley. “You areshowing the company you are committed to them.” But trumpet-blowing must be based on results, warns DMS’ Sell. “Wearingthe suit and talking the talk is fairly superficial if you are not seen to becontributing. HR’s influence is on the bottom line.” It is also important not to put senior noses out of joint, by going over thehead of your boss, for instance. While notorious for clogging up e-mailin-boxes, the habit of copying in the boss of your boss on any initiatives youare pioneering can be a useful way of keeping them informed without causingfriction. 6 Have an exit strategy Doing everything right won’t necessarily stop the axe falling, so it isworth having an exit strategy in place. This may be as simple as knowing whento tell your firm you want out and the sort of package you’re prepared to agreeto. In a redundancy situation, it is most likely to mean ensuring that, alongwith up-to-date skills, you have maintained good contacts with all the agenciesand headhunters – something you ought to have been doing anyway. Taking advice from those who have left before you can be problematic, as itis human nature for people to put the best spin on their new surroundings. “How you cope with the negativity around the place can be reallydifficult. Talk with people outside your realm, and try to improve your ownenvironment,” says Hood. If you focus on managing your current career, having an exit strategy mightnot seem such a good idea. It can mean there is a constant question mark overyour motivation, says Eccles. But it should not be ignored. “It is important not to have the exit strategy too far forward in yourmind, because during a downturn, companies want people working at 110 percent,” adds Hurley. If all else fails …Still feeling stuck and unable to geton? Then try the ‘elevator pitch’, argues careers guru, Bill Faust. The idea isa new way to sell yourself and, suggests Faust, is a 21st century replacementfor the CV.Normally no longer than a page, the ‘elevator pitch’ is designedto say enough about you to sell yourself to a senior executive within the spaceof a ride in a lift or, as the idea originated in the US, an elevator. Itshould include information on your behaviour, skills, abilities, corecompetencies, and how you intend to best deliver these abilities in the future.It normally consists of four key elements, beginning with yourpersonal details. This is followed by a ‘personal promise’, covering who youare, what you do and how you do it.The main section of the pitch is an explanation of four or fivekey core competencies designed to support your personal promise. Each willinclude at least two examples providing evidence of how skilled you are in thatcompetency.Finally, there should be a few lines on your career andacademic qualifications and any relevant work experience that has not alreadybeen covered.As Faust wrote earlier this year: “The elevator pitch isdesigned to maximise opportunities and open doors without introducing barriersof entry.”A variant of this approach, suggests RightCoutts’ Hood, is toinclude a couple of sentences on your competencies on the back of a businesscard.But it is also vital to be wary of the pitfall that in burstingto get your information out, you forget to ask yourself ‘What do they want fromme?’Selling your talents effectively is as much about making sureyou listen to what the other person is saying as about feverishly promoting whoyou are. “It is about using that approach, but it is also importantto listen,” he says. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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New IORP draft sees member states claw back powers from EIOPA

first_imgEU member states are clawing back powers from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), according to a revised draft of the IORP Directive that would see responsibility for the proposed risk assessment framework resting with national regulators.The compromise text also sees an attempt to remove Poland’s private pensions pillar completely from the scope of the Directive, and potentially grants members the powers to veto a cross-border move.A prior draft drawn up by the Italian government, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, offered further details on the proposed risk-evaluation for pensions (REP), an area that, under the new version, would be the responsibility of individual member states.According to the newly revised version of Article 29, individual member states’ regulators would be granted the powers to specify the format, structure and sequence of any REP. The initial IORP II draft published in March granted the European Commission the power to lay down detail of the REP in a delegated act, a clause amended in last month’s initial compromise text to say EIOPA would publish relevant regulations.The new wording amounts to member states stripping EIOPA of the ability to set technical standards for the sector, reclaiming powers previously delegated to the European supervisor.Attempts to shift drafting responsibility for the REP to national regulators will be welcomed by many in the industry.There were previously calls for the framework to be drafted fully before the revised Directive could be passed by the European Parliament, as delegated acts are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny.Changes to the REP also see “new and emerging risks” reinserted, phrasing removed in the prior draft that would require IORPs to take account of climate-change risks and, potentially, stranded assets, such as coal that can no longer be extracted.Other notable changes affect the procedures for a cross-border transfer of pension assets, potentially granting members the ability to veto any such move.Under a rewritten clause that previously only saw the transfer of assets subject to approval by the “representatives of the members and beneficiaries”, the move would now be subject to “prior approval by […] the members and beneficiaries concerned”.The new version of the Directive also sees an attempt to remove the Polish open pension funds (OFEs) and other Central and Eastern European (CEE) private pillars completely from its scope.According to the amendment, funds acting “as part of the mandatory social security schemes” should be excluded.Poland and other second-pillar funds in CEE states are funded by the state diverting part of the first-pillar contributions to the private institutions.last_img read more

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TOTE Teams Up with MAN to Retrofit 2 Orca Ships to LNG

first_imgTOTE Maritime Alaska, a daughter company of American marine transportation group TOTE, recently contracted MAN PrimeServ, a division of MAN Diesel & Turbo, to convert two roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ships to dual-fuel operation on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The two 65,314 gross ton vessels, North Star and Midnight Sun, are currently powered by 4 × MAN 58/64 engines and will be retrofitted to MAN 58/64 retrofit units.The contract – signed in April 2017 and announced during the High Horsepower (HHP) Summit held in Jacksonville this week – covers the design, development and testing of a first-of-its-kind dual-fuel kit, which will serve as a foundation for the largest LNG conversion in North America, according to a joint statement.As explained, a key influence in TOTE’s decision to retrofit the vessels to LNG is to significantly reduce the most harmful emissions that result from burning diesel.“TOTE Maritime Alaska is … to convert its fleet to LNG power which will result in a significant reduction in air emissions including particulate matter, sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx),” Michael Noone, President of TOTE Maritime Alaska, commented.“We have been investigating and testing many options for shifting the fleet to LNG. The conversion of the existing engines is the most reliable and beneficial solution,” Peter Keller, Executive Vice President of TOTE, said, adding that the move comes ahead of the IMO sulphur cap in 2020.Both the North Star and Midnight Sun operate routes between Anchorage, Alaska and Tacoma, Washington. The two Orca class ships were originally constructed by NASSCO, part of the General Dynamics Corporation, at its San Diego yard and commissioned in 2003.last_img read more

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Zidane has the ambition to become France coach

first_img Promoted Content9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Reasons Why The Black Widow Solo Movie Will Be Awesome5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWorld’s Most Delicious FoodsPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeThe 18 Most Visited Cities In The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny read also:Zidane relaxes on luxury yacht after La Liga triumph “We all have a story and I, the story with the France team, it was great until my last match. With ups and downs, but my story has been beautiful. If one day it has to continue, it will happen naturally. But this is not the news. What will happen will happen.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… center_img Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, is desiring to succeed Didier Deschamps as France coach. According to Zidane, coaching the national team is something he’d welcome. He told AFP: “I said so here, a dozen years ago: if I am a coach, why not one day coach the France team? This is nothing new. Even Didier Deschamps knows it because he was the one who announced it.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Liverpool reach agreement to sign Thiago from Bayern

first_imgRelatedPosts Bayern Munich fans undergo Super Cup coronavirus tests Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Whirlwind Bayern Munich dismantle Schalke in season opener Liverpool FC have reached an agreement to sign Spanish midfielder, Thiago Alcantara, from Bayern Munich, the German club’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Thursday.British media reported the deal will cost the Premier League champions around 20 million pounds ($25.81 million), with five million pounds in add-ons. Thiago will leave the German giants a year before his contract is set to expire and is expected to sign a four-year deal with the Anfield club.“I can confirm that Bayern and Liverpool have an agreement. It was the wish of Thiago at the end of his career to do something new,” Rummenigge told Bild.Thiago moved to Bayern in 2013 when the German club appointed Pep Guardiola, becoming a vital cog in central midfield. He went through Barcelona’s youth system and made 100 appearances for the senior sideHe has won the Bundesliga title with Bayern every season since his move to Munich and also lifted the Champions League trophy last season.Reuters/NAN. Tags: Bayern MunichKarl-Heinz Rummeniggeliverpool fcThiago Alcantaralast_img read more

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