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In touch with absence control

first_imgBymanaging staff expectations and working closely with the local community,customer service provider Garlands has substantially reduced staff turnover andsickness absence levels.  Alex BlythreportsThebusinessFoundedin 1980 as a debt collection agency, CJ Garland & Co diversified intocustomer service in 1997. Since then the Garlands Call Centres operation hasgrown rapidly to employ 1,850 staff at its Hartlepool Marina and Middlesbroughsites, and its clients include Freeserve, Powergen and Virgin Mobile. In recentyears, however, live agent call centre operations have come under increasingpressure from overseas competitors as well as from emerging technologies suchas web and telephone-based self-service. As a result, Garlands has had littlechance to rest on its laurels. In the past two years its continuing developmenthas been demonstrated most clearly by its innovative ‘Touch’ programme.ThechallengeEffectiveHR management is critical to the success of any call centre. Recruiting,retaining and motivating good staff for a job, which by its nature can be bothtedious and stressful, is an ongoing challenge. According to a 2001 report byIncome Data Services the industry has an average staff attrition rate of 22 percent, and, according to the Call Centre Management Association a staffabsenteeism rate of 6 per cent. Garlandswas particularly concerned by absenteeism, so in 2001 it ran an anonymous staffsurvey. Chief executive Chey Garland describes the findings: “Wediscovered that many sickness days were due to non-work issues such as staffsupporting family members with problems or experiencing marriage difficulties.Having learned this, we decided to set up a scheme that would give staff theopportunity to acquire skills to help them deal with their situations or givethem access to a colleague who could point them towards professional support.”Theresulting ‘Touch’ programme has three key strands: in the community, staff workon domestic violence and drink and drug issues; in education, staff work inlocal schools as reading mentors, classroom assistants and IT trainers; and incommunications, employees run Radio GaGa, the in-house radio station that playsmusic and delivers company news. By working closely with the appropriate localagencies and support groups, Garlands has ensured that the only cost to theorganisation has been in staff time. There are now about 150 employees on thescheme and each is given between five and ten days for their chosen project.TheoutcomeThesimple result of the Touch programme is that Garlands now has an absenteeismrate of only 4 per cent (down from 6 per cent), and staff attrition hasplummeted to 5 per cent (down from 11 per cent). Given the cost of recruitingand training new staff, this alone ensures that the scheme pays for itself.Garlands has also found when analysing the performance of staff in outboundsales departments that individuals who have gone through the Touch programmehave on average seen their sales performance increase by 17 per cent. HRmanager, Simon Reay,  has six staff inhis core HR team and six in the peripheral team supporting ‘the line’. “Thissuccess can be attributed to the phenomenon of putting wise heads on youngshoulders. Due to the experiences gained on the Touch programme ourpredominantly young employees are able to relate much better to the consumermarket they serve.”Theemployee perspectiveKimSkinner, an accounts assistant who has been at Garlands for five years, agreeswith her CEO.”Whenwe were told about Touch about 18 months ago I immediately volunteered for thedomestic abuse project. I had my personal reasons for choosing that, but I wastruly amazed by what I learned from the training sessions, meetings withsupport groups and the local constabulary. It is a bigger problem than I’d everimagined and one that so few people feel comfortable discussing.”Shehas put that knowledge to good use in five one-to-one sessions with colleaguesso far, and feels that there is an all round benefit: “Sometimes nowpeople will want to come to work because they know there is someone here theycan talk to about their problems. It benefits the company as more people turnup and staff generally recognise that the company is doing a good thing. It hasalso done a lot to improve my confidence and communication skills. I woulddefinitely rather do this than have a pay rise. Money gets spent and you’venothing left to show for it, but doing something like this really makes adifference.”Learningpoints for HRAlthoughthe scheme has been successful, HR manager Reay stresses that it needs carefulmanagement. –”Don’t try to do it all yourself,” she says. “Use the availablehelp. Introduce it gradually – perhaps initially as a pilot scheme – and manageexpectations. “We were amazed by the level of interest when we set this upand we hadn’t prepared enough programmes to meet the demand. –”Finally, don’t be afraid to tackle pastoral HR issues. They may seemunconnected to work, but frequently are not, and by dealing with themeffectively you can do a lot of good both for your staff and for yourcompany,” Reay adds. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article In touch with absence controlOn 11 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE: Katharsis, Featuring Members Of The Motet, Dopapod, And RAQ, Debut Lead Single Off New Album

first_imgEarlier in the year, a new supergroup side project was born in Denver, Colorado. Katharsis—consisting of Dave Watts of The Motet on drums, Chuck Jones of Dopapod on bass, Todd Stoops of RAQ on keys, and Marcus Rezak of Digital Tape Machine on guitar—made its formal debut back in early May, with the four lauded musicians coming together to create funk-rooted, psychedelic jams. With a focus on improvisation and innovation, the longtime friends formed Katharsis as a way to tap into their shared musical sensibilities while using their special blend of psychedelic funk to expose the cathartic experience of seeing music live and in person.As Dave Watts noted to Live For Live Music earlier in the year, “I’ve been wanting to start a project with Todd and Marcus for a long time. When I found out that Chuck was moving to Denver, it seemed inevitable that we would put something together. These are three of my favorite guys to hang with, and they all happen to also be absolute monsters on their instruments.” He continued, “Katharsis is the ancient spelling of a word that means the act of releasing a strong emotion through artistic expression. That emotion is the pure joy we feel when get to play together!”After their formal debut earlier in the year, more good news is on the way from the Katharsis camp, especially for those who were unable to catch the group in action in Colorado. In July of this year, the band spent three intensive sixteen-hour days writing, recording, and improvising at Mountain Star Studios in Rollinsville, Colorado. Katharsis has given Live For Live Music the privilege of getting a sneak-peek of what to expect from these sessions and the subsequent album that is due out later in the year.“Diabolical” off Katharsis’ upcoming album was written and produced by Watts and engineered by Andrew Lundsford and perfectly encapsulates the vibe of this new act. With the powerful rhythm section propelling the song forward from its onset, the song presents a darker side of funk, all the while remaining deeply danceable. As the song progresses, the song embarks on an improvisational journey, becoming explicitly more psychedelic as it unfolds, complete with trippy ornamentations from the guitar and keys. You can check out Katharsis’s “Diabolical” below, and stay tuned for more information about the group’s upcoming release. You can also catch Katharsis live in September during their three-night run across Colorado. Upcoming Katharsis 2017 DatesSeptember 27th – Barkley’s Ballroom – Frisco (free show)September 28th – Aggie – Fort Collins, CO (opening for G. Love)September 29th – Cervantes’ Other Side – Denver, COOctober 5th – Emporium Arcade Bar – Chicago, ILlast_img read more

IT Poll: Does Your Organization Contribute to the Open Source Projects It Uses?

first_imgklint finley In a recent article former MySQL CEO and current Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos explores the impact that working on open source code has on an organization. Mickos, I suspect, is mostly talking about companies like Eucalyptus and MySQL that focus on creating open source and open core software – not companies that happen to contribute code to open source projects.I found myself wondering, however, how many companies actually contribute back to the projects they use. Does your company? Tags:#enterprise#Trends IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img

Dealing with Risks Real and Perceived

first_imgAt the end of the buyer’s process in evaluating change and a potential new partner, they worry about risks.Some of these risks are real. Some of them are not real but must be treated as if they are.Real Risks That Prevent Buyers from Saying YesThe risk that you may fail in delivering the outcome you are selling is real. Even though you don’t believe that it will happen, it is something that may happen. Your dream client has likely had a the experience of a partner failing before, and it isn’t unreasonable for your prospective client to be afraid to make a decision when they are concerned about whether they will get what they bargained for.The risk that you may sell your dream client your solution and disappear when things get difficult is very real. In fact, it’s likely that some of the contacts within your prospect’s company have been bamboozled in the past, and it is why they express skepticism now. Even if you have no intention of disappearing, the risk is real.Your prospective client may fear paying too much and that you cannot really justify the delta between your price and your competitors. It doesn’t mean that you cannot justify the delta, it’s the fear that you won’t that gives your prospective client cause for concern. They want to believe you are better, but what if you’re not?Perceived Risks That Block DealsSome risks your dream client perceives are not real. But they still require your attention.Your prospective client may worry that your smaller size is a risk and indicates a potential inability to execute. They may believe your diminutive size is an indication that you don’t have the necessary resources to deliver the outcomes you are promising. Even though it may be more likely that your larger competitor who has grown through acquisitions is straddled with crippling debt requiring the bulk of their profit to pay the interest on their loans, they may perceive bigger as safer.Some may be concerned that you don’t have experience in their exact industry or vertical. This is a similar mistake we make in hiring, believing experience counts more than anything else, even though it isn’t often true. In just as many cases the principles and values that allow you to serve some clients in one industry well easily translate to clients in a different industry. The fear is still real.Whether or not the risks are real or perceived, you must treat them as if they are real. Without discussing the issues to help your prospective client resolve their concerns about risk, you are in danger of losing your opportunity.It isn’t your prospective clients job to resolve their own concerns. That’s what you are there to do.last_img read more

How do cheergirls help cricket, PSC asks BCCI

first_imgHow do cheergirls promote the cause of cricket? Why are players auctioned like “gladiators” in IPL system of cricket?Hyderabad IPL team cheergirls.These were some of the questions that members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance posed to top BCCI officials, including its president Shashank Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan and IPL commissioner Chirayu Amin during a hearing on financial transactions related to the conduct of IPL.While the BCCI top brass claimed that IPL would help the cause of cricket and attract more talent, it was at loss to explain the role of cheergirls, sources said.It is learnt that the BCCI officials put the onus of introducing the concept on sacked IPL chief Lalit Modi.Some of the members of the committee, headed by BJP MP Yashwant Sinha, also questioned the concept of auctioning the players like “gladiators”. They said it reminded them of the Roman empire when men were sold to bidders on the basis of their physical strength.Manohar, Srinivasan and Amin were quizzed by the MPs for about two-and-a-half hours about the alleged FEMA violations.The BCCI was asked about the funding pattern of the highly popular IPL and the methods adopted for payment to foreign and Indian players.The committee also sought details of the expenses incurred on the conduct of the second edition of the tournament in South Africa in 2009. The IPL was held in South Africa in 2009 due to a clash of dates with the general elections in India.With PTI inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

Videos: Angel Rodriguez Tip-In With 1.4 Seconds Remaining Gives Miami Big Win Over Pitt

first_imgAngel Rodriguez makes last-second tip-in against Pitt.Vine/Rob DausterGuard Angel Rodriguez led all scorers with 17 points in Miami’s 65-63 win over Pitt, but no basket was bigger than his final one. With just 1.4 seconds remaining on the clock, Rodriguez tipped the ball in to give the Hurricanes the decisive lead.Wild sequence as Miami takes the lead with 1.4 seconds left over Pitt— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 10, 2016Angel with the huge tip-in and the BUC is going nuts as Miami leads 65-63 with 1.4 sec left. Here’s my view:— Austin Sapin (@AustinSapin) February 10, 2016There was a bit of drama on the ensuing Pitt inbounds, with some contact on the last second heave, but the refs did not make a call, giving Miami the win.Refs swallow the whistle and Miami wins over Pitt.— Adam Comarow (@ComarowsCorner) February 10, 2016Miami is now 19-4, and 8-3 in ACC play.last_img read more

Economy and Tourism to Benefit from CARIFTA Swimming Championships

first_imgThe economy and tourism are set to benefit from the staging of the 2013 CARIFTA Swimming and Water Polo Championships, to be held in the island from March 30 to April 3.The event will see some 800 athletes from approximately 16 countries across the region participating in swimming, water polo, and for the first time in Jamaica, open water swimming.The open water swimming aspect of the Championships will take place in Discovery Bay, St. Ann on the final day. The remaining events will be held at the National Stadium Pool in Kingston. Speaking at the press launch, held at the National Stadium Aquatic Complex in Kingston on Thursday (January 30), Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita- Headley said the spinoff from the championships will be economically beneficial to the country, as a successful staging could help to boost Jamaica’s tourism product.Mrs. Neita-Headley noted that the event, which is in its 28th staging, will see some 800 athletes in addition to “their parents, coaches, supporters, swimming clubs, and the media that will follow them” converging in Jamaica for four days of competition.“We have 2,500 hotel rooms in Kingston, so you can imagine what the value added is going to be,” she said. The Minister said she is also excited about Jamaica hosting its first open water swimming competition, which promises to be a great event that could help to increase the country’s tourism prospects.“I look forward to the open water swimming aspect of these championships. A successful staging of that in Discovery Bay, I believe, will open doors and opportunities for enhancing this great tourism product that we already have,” she added.In the meantime, the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) is reporting that the National Stadium Pool complex is being refurbished for the hosting of the event.President of the ASAJ, Martin Lyn, informed that in addition to the swimming pool facilities being refurbished, the Association has also installed a new score board and is in the process of adding brand new touch pads to the pools.“All systems are now go. We’re now filling the pool, which will take three days to be filled, as it’s over a million gallons of water. And after that, we take about one day for the stabilisation of the chemicals and then the pool will be pristine and ready for any meet of any standard,” he said.The CARIFTA championships will be staged at an estimated cost of $15 million. Mr. Lyn pointed out that in addition to seeking sponsorship, the ASAJ will be hosting a number of fund-raising activities in an effort to secure funds for the event.last_img read more

Lily Tomlin Writes To Summer Wind Farms

first_imgEarlier this week, actor and Detroit native Lily Tomlin sent a letter on behalf of PETA to Summer Wind Farms (SWF) Sanctuary urging CEO Charles Vanneste to retire all animals at the notorious roadside zoo in Brown City to reputable sanctuaries.“The animals at SWF have complex needs that simply can’t be met at your facility or any other roadside zoo, but you now have an opportunity to give something back to the animals who provided you with revenue for so many years,” writes the Emmy-winning actor and comedian.The letter comes as the facility has been slapped with numerous federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) citations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for having filthy enclosures, failing to provide animals with clean water, denying veterinary care to three ailing lemurs, and confining a tiger to a cramped cage in a basement.During an inspection in February, the USDA further warned that the “amount of animal husbandry issues at the facility” indicates “a lack of adequately trained employees,” which “can result in facility and animal conditions that result in unnecessary animal suffering.”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — also notes that these new citations follow January’s formal complaint by the USDA alleging nearly 90 willful violations of the AWA documented at SWF between November 2012 and October 2015 — the first step in a disciplinary process that could result in license suspension or revocationlast_img read more

New Obomsawin film targets First Nations schools underfunding

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin is being praised for her latest film called “Hi Ho Mistahey” that premiered at the Toronto international film festival.This documentary tells the story of Shannen’s dream, which sparked a national campaign for equitable funding for first nations schools.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has more.last_img

The Miami Heat Are The Most Impressive Playoff Team So Far

With the first round of the NBA playoffs nearing its halfway point, much has played out according to pre-playoff expectations, and that’s been good news for the better-seeded team in each series. Six of eight matchups have had double-digit average per-game victory margins; hell, the San Antonio Spurs have thumped the Memphis Grizzlies by an average of 29 points per game. It’s a massacre out there.But not everything has followed that pattern. Using our Elo ratings (which measure a team’s strength at a given moment), we found the teams that have exceeded their regular-season expectations the most since the playoffs tipped off last weekend. And even given the lack of first-round surprises so far, some teams have managed to raise eyebrows with their play, as we highlight in the video below:Chief among those teams: the Miami Heat, who are, um, torching [One of you owes me 20 push-ups. — Ed.] the Charlotte Hornets in their series thus far. Although our model expected Miami to win by 3.9 points per game, the Heat have prevailed by an average margin of 22 a game. With guys like Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow in the mix, you might think the Heat’s defense — stingy during the regular season — is behind this run. But no, it’s an unstoppable offense that’s driving the Heat’s blowouts.That Heat attack is averaging 1.24 points per play, according to Synergy Sports Technology; that’s the best of any team in the playoffs. According to data from the NBA’s player-tracking SportVU tech, Miami’s pick-and-roll performance has jumped from 91.1 points per 100 chances created by those plays during the regular season to 121.8 per 100 chances in the playoffs. Luol Deng is hitting 55 percent of his 3-pointers; Whiteside is shooting 88 percent around the rim; and Dwyane Wade is scoring 22 points per game with an assortment of crafty, old-man moves.Josh Richardson is perhaps most emblematic of the Heat getting, well, hot [Forty. — Ed.]. The rookie averaged only 21 minutes over 52 games this regular season, but he’s second on the Heat in minutes during the playoffs and, according to Synergy, is tied for the league lead in spot-up attempts — and leads outright in makes.As a team, the Heat are shooting out of their minds. So on to the natural question: Can this last? According to SportVU data that estimates shot difficulty using variables such as location, shot distance and the defender’s proximity, the Heat are taking extremely difficult shots — their playoff shot selection is of a similar difficulty to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ during the regular season, which was third-worst in the league. The difference is, their effective field goal percentage on those shots is 14.2 percentage points higher than you’d expect, given the types of shots they’re taking. (For reference, no team finished the regular season more than 4.1 percentage points better than expectation.)But although the Heat will probably cool off [I’ll just let you know when you can stop. — Ed.] before their series against Charlotte is over, our predictions now list them as 82 percent favorites to advance into the second round. If Miami gets there, a matchup against Toronto — which has underperformed its own expectations in the first round — seems likely, so we might even get to witness a fun experiment in whether “momentum” can carry over from one round to the next.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 NBA Playoff Predictions. read more