Local MP Neil Carmichael and Amelore visit Treetops nursery.

 

Ruth Cornish. HVV. Neil CarmichaelAt the end of last week our local MP, Neil Carmichael visiting one of our Gloucestershire based clients,Treetops nursery in Dursley, part of the Hill Valley and Vale group.

It was very interesting hearing Neil share more about his new role as Chair of the Education Select committee. His remit is 0-18 and there is no doubt that we were all in strong agreement that society as a whole only benefits when we invest in our children and young people. Not just the provision of nursery education to enable parents to work, but expanding that support for when children start school. Parents can often struggle with childcare because the school day is relatively short compared to the business world. But also some parents need help and things feel less integrated when one moves to a school setting.

Likewise as your child gets older parents need different support and advice. Parenting teenagers is hard work but so is helping them make the right choices with regard to identifying what they want to do. I know the government are looking at what support it can give children and parents and I welcome this.

Treetops are a special client for us as being a working parent, both my younger children went there and had a wonderful time. What really shone out to me as a parent and someone quite familiar with commercial nurseries (from my time in Brighton before we relocated) was that it was very child centred, being not for profit and a former SureStart centre.

A few years ago Amelore supported them to become a social enterprise, advising on TUPE and union relations. The two women leading the bid were doing an amazing job but having had Gloucestershire County Council HR support, they were suddenly in a position of being without any HR support when they really needed it. And were up against the HR department that used to support them and had all the knowledge.

We regularly see this in the community with the shift from centralized services to very small businesses being expected to identify and buy effective support in. And feeling very out of their depth.

Amelore are very mindful of our role in the community and will always offer discounted rates and even free advice for organisations or individuals that need it. Employment law can be complicated and fear can stop people doing sensible and pragmatic things. So we are available 7 days a week for our clients and friends in the community to give them piece of mind.

How to progress your Career

 

fireman

Last week I attended a CIPD focus group.

The topic was the HR professional map (not the fire service…more later) which you are probably only familiar with if you have recently studied your professional exams. Sadly for the CIPD our focus group didn’t use or value it. Thought it wasn’t all bad news as everyone agreed that the CIPD Code of Conduct was a very good document. We share that at Amelore… we send it out with our proposals.

I always think focus groups are a great way to get a quick bit of professional development as they are almost always attended by people that care enough to turn up and say what they think.

The mixture was interesting. There was an L&D bias along with someone from a Reward background and me, a generalist with a twist.

One of the questions was about how our careers had developed. Mine had begun in training administration and progressed, once I had qualified, to HR manager/head of department/HR Director. This was in the days before the dreaded Ulrich model and Shared Service centres which have cut many career development opportunities away.

One guy that attended stood out.

He had a Retail banking background and came across as extremely driven, self-motivated and ambitious. He was an L&D professional and would be an asset to any organisation I have no doubt. He had recognized early on in his career the power of mirroring desirable organsiational behaviour and had used this technique to get himself from a trainer right up to an L&D Director.

Every organisation has its own set of unique and valued behaviours and values. These are often completely different to anything written down or spoken about by HR or the official corporate line.

When you join you need to quickly identify who the people are that are respected and looked up to and mirror what they do and how they behave.

This might include how they dress (very formally or smart casual or with a bit of style and panache), the hours they work (long or flexible or very smart and output driven), the personal values they exhibit (eg winning at any price v humility and respect for individuals), whether they look after themselves (gym, good diet, holidays space v no exercise, bad diet, booze) and how they treat each other.

Sometimes successful powerful people form a club within an organisation which they use to trade favours and keep out competition. If such a thing exists in your company you will need to work out how you can infiltrate it.
Of course analyzing your organisation in this way sometimes helps you identify that you have made a mistake because the person you are, will never match with your organisation.

In which case take a tip from the Fire Brigade…. Get out… Stay out!

But don’t call Fire Brigade, just get another job.

Choosing the right job but the wrong organisation or the right organisation but the wrong job can often shape your career as much as finding somewhere that perfectly suits you.

Successful people are clear about what they want to achieve and achieve it. Like my L&D focus group colleague. He drove his career, from job to job, organisation because he had a plan.

Do you?

Does getting legal benefit anyone?

scales of justice

Well yes it does actually… Lawyers!

If you are an individual or if you are a company, a lawyer may well encourage you to go to Tribunal. Whatever the outcome, for your business or your reputation or employability (employers don’t queue up to hire people that have taken their employers to tribunal) Lawyers will get paid.

If you are an employer, whatever the outcome of the Tribunal, whether you win or lose, they will get paid.

If you are an Individual and have a dispute, getting legal will only end in one place. You getting fired or damaging your career prognosis. Whatever any lawyer says, I just don’t know anyone in any business that has enhanced their relationship with their employer by taking or even threatening legal action. And there is no employer alive that would willingly hire someone that had taken their previous employer to tribunal.

Whatever the outcome.

It damages any relationship. You may win some money. But most likely some of that will go towards paying legal fees. So the lawyers still get paid,you get some money but then you haven’t got a job. The lawyers won’t help you finding a new career, because that is not what they do.

The good news for employers is that with the introduction of fees for Employment Tribunals claims have dropped significantly. The qualifying service for unfair dismissal claims is now two years which has also had an impact.

Thing is most employers don’t realise the average claim is around £4,500. And that claims have actually dropped by 85% in the last year. Let’s hope this isn’t reversed if we have a change of government.

Of course no-one takes good employers to tribunals and you can’t if you don’t have a case. So it pays to make sure your house is in order and get good advice but above all to value and look after your employees. Develop them. Give them feedback. Listen to them.

And if you are an individual and have an issue take advice about how to approach it. Externally is best. Not a lawyer as the workplace is about so much more than employment law. Identify what you want to achieve and if it is just a good moan, think again. Consider signing up to a Career Booster programme. Amelore are offering this soon to help people that don’t belong to a union or aren’t related to a HR advisor but want the equivalent of a HR Manager in their pocket. For more information on our Career Booster programme please email us at office@amelore.com