This week’s letters Avoiding the opt-out issue I was involved in the ‘hurried panic’ of organising an opt-out process for alarge international aerospace company when the Working Time Directive (WTD) waslaunched in 1998 (News, 26 November). The company did, and still does, rely on heavy amounts of overtime beingworked to achieve its output targets. The opt-out was, in HR circles withinthat company, referred to as the ‘get out’ clause. Instead of trying to change its old-fashioned attitudes towards work-lifebalance issues and basic employee welfare, the company continues to avoid theissue and is at the forefront of trying to maintain the opt-out. My present company gave the option to employees to sign an opt-out formwithout any pressure at all. A small number did sign, but the company alteredshift patterns and generally tried (and still tries) to man the business withworking hours at the forefront of its planning. This is what all UK companies should be striving to do instead of trying totake the easy way out and resisting change. I find it hypocritical of many HR managers who on the one hand decry andresist the WTD, and on the other advocate the relocation of their businessesabroad because of the UK’s reluctance to join the euro. This could only happenin HR. David Barry Senior HR officer, Legrand Electric Talented are bitter and disillusioned The roundtable discussion titled ‘Talent Magnet’ (Features, 12 November)seems to have missed the crux of the talent management problem. Working in career consultancy, many of my clients are precisely thosetalented people who large companies fail to retain. Most of them are totallydisillusioned, and some are bitter. The underlying reason, almost inevitably, is that something has gone awrywith the psychological contract they thought they had with their employer. Iforganisations wish to retain talent, they need to recognise that as the peoplewith talent grow and develop, their motivational needs change. Those changesneed to be factored into the psychological contract between employer andemployee. Tying that need into business requirements is one of the biggest challengesfacing those concerned with the development of people. Dorothy Wilson Nottingham Public sector pride of award-winning teams As I held my Personnel Today Awards trophy aloft – Oscar-like – at theGrosvenor Hotel in October, I wanted to say a few words. It was not to be – Iwas chaperoned off the stage before I could give my Gwyneth Paltrow-esquespeech. The Borough of Telford & Wrekin is extremely proud to receive theRebusHR Award for Best HR Strategy in line with Business. I was delighted thatour local government colleagues at the City of York and Merseyside Fire Servicewere also award winners. HR professionals in local government have known for a long time that ourprofessionalism and the contribution we make to our organisations matches thebest in the private sector. Awards such as this provide us with an idealshowcase for excellence, and we should make better use of them. Professional bodies, such as local government HR body Socpo, have animportant role in gaining recognition for what we achieve and sharing bestpractice – a role that they play increasingly well. It is said by some that the public sector is a ‘soft option’, that not beingprofit-driven, we have the luxury of being able to develop HR strategies andpolicies more concerned with up holding ‘political correctness’ than withdelivering business objectives. This has never been an accurate portrayal. There is, however, no place today for self-indulgence or navel gazing. Ifwhat we are doing as HR professionals is not making a significant contributionto our organisations’ key priorities then we should not be doing it. The improvement agenda in the public sector, driven by comprehensiveperformance assessment, puts effective people management centre stage, and ourprofession must be positioned to seize that opportunity. The success of local authority entries in the Personnel Today Awards againstimpressive competition is reassuring evidence that HR in local government iswell-placed to meet that challenge. Robert Cragg Head of personnel & development, Borough of Telford & Wrekin DIARY DATE – next year’s Personnel Today Awards will be held on 27 November2003 What do you think?Send your letters to Jane King, editor, by e-mail [email protected] or fax: 0208652 8805 or by post to Personnel Today, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton,Surrey, SM2 5AS LettersOn 10 Dec 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.