Why line managers often can’t manage

The devolution of HRM practices to line managers is an ongoing topic in human resource management; meaning, in brief, that many HRM practices now fall under the remit of line managers. Take, for instance, recruitment and selection: while a HR representative from the HR department may attend interviews for new recruits to the organisation, it is the line manager - the person whose team will be joined by the new recruit - that suffers the consequences of the hiring decision, and so also ultimately (in consultation with the rest of the interview panel) owns the selection decision. However, the issue with line managers now undertaking more and more HR-related tasks (including conducting performance appraisals, advising training and development needs of individual subordinates), is that most Continue reading here [...]

A comment on the junior doctors’ strike….

It is shocking to think that, in 2013, highly educated and trained individuals are pushed to working excessive, slave-labour hours. Enough is enough and the junior doctors have had no choice but to take a stand and fight for better conditions. Not only are the excessive hours a threat to patient care, they also impact on the individuals themselves, who are more at risk of burnout from excessive work pressures arising from habitually working overtime. Besides physical health risks, the psychological risks and business risks are also increased, with implications on morale, productivity, performance and talent retention. Who wants to work somewhere they feel unappreciated, overworked and ignored? The psychological contract has been severely, if not irreparably damaged here and it is going Continue reading here [...]

Sabbatical Post – Doing the Basics

HRM received bad press recently with many commentators questioning its value to organisations. The resignation of the HR Director of the BBC has raised questions over the efficacy of the discipline. Why the resignation of one person should spark calls for a review of the area or even questions over the feminsation of HR is anyone's guess. But harm us it has and we need to think hard about how we got here and more importantly how we are going to get away from this negative spotlight. This is important for all of us as we go through the 'Ulrichisation' of the profession - a time of great change. But it's also important not least women, because HR has been one of the areas where women have succeeded most in achieving management positions. Last week in this blog I suggested that academics and Continue reading here [...]

Sabbatical Post – The ADDIE Model, Practitioners and Academics Living Apart

Having crossed over the line between HRM practice and academia I am conscious more than ever of how these two communities live very much apart. I'm sure the way it's supposed to work is that the practice 'surfaces' its concerns and the academia takes up the challenge ultimately informing practice of what its concerns should  be. Or something like that. However, during my time as a practitioner I never felt assisted by Irish academics helping me to understand my challenges as a manager and now that I'm in academia I'm often puzzled at how oblivious Practice is regarding the work that is going on in Irish universities. A good example of this is the ADDIE model. This model is a staple approach to identifying training needs and implementing and evaluating training. Developed (perhaps) by the Continue reading here [...]

Excessive Rewards & Short-Termism Negatively Affecting Trust in the Financial Sector

The Anglo tapes that were leaked in the media over the past summer have done nothing to rebuild public confidence in a banking sector which has been hit with scandal after scandal - from technical mishaps (recall Ulster Bank) to public blatant deception (Anglo et al.). This lack of trust is replicated, however, among the staff of banking and financial institutions. A survey conducted by the CIPD highlights that trust in senior leaders and employee morale remains low in the financial sector. Less than a third of workers confirmed they were proud to work in the financial sector. Moreover, the majority reported that they believed that some people in their organisation are rewarded for inappropriate behaviour, and that some people are paid far too much. In other words, has anything changed? The Continue reading here [...]

HRM Textbook

Check out a new HRM textbook to which I’ve contributed a chapter on Employee Resourcing: Crowley-Henry, M. (2013) Employee Resourcing: The Planning and Recruitment Phase, in R. Carbery & C. Cross (eds.), Human Resource Management: A Concise Introduction(pp.19-39), Palgrave Macmillan: London. It goes on general release in October 2013, but pre-orders are being taken… It is targeted at undergraduate students and/or newcomers to the HRM field. It is written for students rather than academics and covers the fundamental HRM concepts and topics in a concise and informative way. There are links to practice, exercises, questions and glossaries to aid student learning. Check it out! Feedback on the text would be appreciated…

Upward Coaching & Reverse Mentoring

Upward coaching is where a junior employee coaches (develops) and then continues to mentor (advise) a more senior employee in the organisation. And its potential is catching on... particularly in terms of younger employees teaching more senior colleagues about social media and how it can be used in the work environment. As a career development initiative, it has benefits for both the mentor and the mentee, emparting new skills on both which can be used in the workplace: more strategic leadership and training skills for the mentor, more implementation skills using social media for the mentee. It empowers junior employees to act in the role of mentors, teaching something that oftentimes comes naturally to them, having grown up with social media. It enables more senior employees to pick Continue reading here [...]

A balanced view: when working from home doesn’t work

Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer has come under attack in recent months after she made changes to Yahoo employees' work-from-home arrangements. Women and parental rights advocates hotly contested the imposition to have to come into the office to work. Teleworking (working from home) policies and practices have been taken up by many organisations in the public and private sector, and for many employees it has has led to a better work/life balance. Why waste time on a long commute to work if you can get the job done from home and connect with work via computer, internet and mobile devices? However, on the other hand, Marissa Mayer may be on to something. In practice working from home often means no fixed end time to the working day, with home and work chores overlapping and blurring throughout the Continue reading here [...]

Gender equality in the workplace: The need to walk the talk

John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, the multinational networking organisation, has admitted that while he has always considered himself sensitive to gender issues in the workplace, he hasn't 'walked the talk' with regards to taking leadership in ensuring gender equality, development and promotion in the organisation. To improve this going forward, he has asked his top managers to develop and implement women-focused initiatives. Only one quarter of the organisation's employees and top executives are women, which has led Chambers to confess that Cisco's existing gender equality and development policies and practices haven't worked. He suggests that, subconsciously, without realising it, we go about our day to day work with gender stereotypes and biases, which we don't even realise are placing Continue reading here [...]