Room for improvement

first_img Previous Article Next Article Having been born in the second world war, developmentcentres have become stuck in a time warp, offering little of relevance intoday’s workplace. At least that is what some critics say. But they still holdenormous potential and HR teams can play a pivotal role in realising this,reports Nic Paton  The prosecution team is on its feet and the case against development centresis warming up. Development centres, once beloved of organisations that wantedto pinpoint their future leaders or simply stretch their middle managers, areaccused of failing their clients. Many, it is argued, are fine at the diagnostic stage, suggesting the skillsand strengths an individual should be taking forward on their return to theworkplace. But when it comes to follow-up – making sure employees develop asrecommended – they are leaving a lot to be desired. Key among critics is Colin Barnes, a director of Sapient Partners –specialist assessment and development consultancy – and former UK director ofconsultancy at rival SHL for seven years. He cites a number of problems. First, development centres have been a victimof their own success. Because they are an effective and useful diagnostic tool,firms often see that as their main benefit, forgetting that diagnosis is alwaysjust one part of a cure. As a result, they do not have the support structuresin place when an employee returns to the workplace and any initial enthusiasmfired up at the development centre quickly wanes. “A number of organisations have stopped using development centresbecause what they wanted was development rather than diagnosis,” Barnessays. Development centres can also overlook key psychological areas, such ashow to make people – both participants and managers – buy into the process inthe first place. Adding his weight to the list of charges is Barry Spence, chief executive ofspecialist HR consultancy Cubiks, who argues that, for the past 20 years,assessment centres and their development counterparts have been stuck in a timewarp. He views too many exercises as irrelevant and old-fashioned – for instance,managing a paper-based in-tray or running a meeting in the office. “Iprobably get two to three pieces of paper a day but 80 to 100 e-mails. Andmanagers do not have a large group of people at their beck and call. People aredispersed. “The technology being assessed is paper and the application iselectronic. Development centres have not caught up with working practices andare not that relevant. They do not operate as a springboard. “What I want to understand is how you can communicate and motivatepeople who you are in touch with rarely, or you have to communicate with themin a different format. I do not know of a single development centre that looksat that.” Assessment and development centres have been established fixtures on the HRlandscape for many years. Assessment centres grew out of the second world war,when they were invented in parallel by the US, British and German armies asmeans of identifying potential officers and military leaders. OSS, theforerunner of the CIA, also used assessment centres to help recruit spies. After the war, the Civil Service Selection Board was the first non-militaryorganisation to make use of an assessment centre function, and US telecomsgiant AT&T was the first commercial organisation to set up one in 1956. The centres began to evolve into assessment and development centres in theearly 1970s. Firms began to realise they could make better use of data they hadbeen collecting as part of the selection process to help with employeedevelopment. By the mid-1980s standalone “development centres” had surfaced.The most common name, however, is still “assessment and developmentcentre”, or a close variant, with the terms “assessment” and”development” often used interchangeably. Some are even now known as”succession centres”, just to confuse matters. This confusion over their role and name is an ongoing problem, says NigelPovah, managing director of HR consultancy Assessment & DevelopmentConsultants. “Just because a venue is called an assessment centre or adevelopment centre does not necessarily bestow upon it the credibilityassociated with these processes. They use the same methodology but theirpurposes are different,” he says. “Development centres are most vulnerable, if one is honest, with thefollow-up. People have to recognise that the development centre itself is thestart of the process. An assessment centre sits at the end of the process –picking the best candidate.” The HR department must therefore play a pivotal role in maximising the potentialof a development centre and, critically, this role must start well before theindividual has even been signed up to go. First, it is worth examining what theorganisation wants to get out of the function and, indeed, whether adevelopment centre is the right answer. Then there are issues such as ensuring senior management is “singingfrom the same hymn sheet” and is wholly supporting the process. Linemanagers must be brought into the process to allow the time, space and supportfor an employee to develop. And the employee must think through career goalsand expectations. “HR professionals have to talk to consultants who understanddevelopment centres. They need someone to guide them through what is a complexprocess,” says Povah. The best organisations at developing people are often those where theobservers and facilitators of the process have been through the systemthemselves, adds Barnes. This means the whole focus of the development processhas to change, he argues, to ensure the programme is focused on work-basedsimulations and working with peers. “Feedback from peers is more helpfulthan manager feedback, especially on their development points,” he says. At Sapient, immediately after a development point is flagged, there is acoaching session on that issue, then the individual undergoes the test againincorporating what they have learnt from the coaching session. This can be donefour or five times. Relevance and validity are the watchwords for any good development centre,says Roger Austin, commercial director at SHL. This means, again, that the HRdepartment has a critical role to play in moulding the development centre sothat it best meets the needs of the organisation. “In the early days, people thought the process was self-evident so thecontent did not matter. But you have to design exercises so that theinformation you want is there,” he says. “It is all about getting the individuals and the organisation to agreethat the profile of strengths and development needs is an accurate one when putagainst the competency model. If you have brought in 360-degree assessment andit correlates, it will be much more difficult to reject.” Such feedback – which enables individuals, peers, senior managers andsubordinates to see how they handle particular aspects of their job – can be avery useful tool in making development centres work, says Cubiks’ Spence. “You do not have to reinvent the wheel. You simply need to feed thedevelopment centre output into the 360-degree feedback,” he says. Along with the changing face of workplace technology and the increasinglyrapid pace of management, development centres need to address the issue ofwork-life balance, Spence says. Firms need to know how a key manager copes withpressure and their thoughts on the balance between wealth and personal life.”More organisations are recognising that they do not want burn-out fortheir top people. If they can assist those partners in balancing their livesthey can prolong the active life of the partners within the organisation,”he adds. Half-day reviews every six months or even an office “buddy” schemecan all help, adds Sarah Macpherson, senior consultant at business psychologyfirm CGR. “If you can give people realistic goals that they can test and committo they will be fired up. You need to make sure that the plans cover long-termcareer goals and home life. It is also a good idea to identify a mentor to acton the development plan,” she says. It is up to the company and the HR department to make sure its fingers arenot burnt and its money wasted. Pre-work and pre-thought is common sense andcan help answer a lot of the questions to ensure that the right option ispicked. “If the organisation does not know much about it, it is at the mercy ofthe seller and the provider. If people think development centres are a blackbox – a magical process where its future leaders are going to be identified, itis probably not going to work for them,” says Angela Baron, adviser inemployee resourcing at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. “There is a myth that there are certain individuals and if you can onlyspot their importance it will be the be-all and end-all. But it is aboutnurturing talent and individuals.” Ultimately, with the right preparation, the prospect of returning to alonely vacuum where the development plan is left after a few days sitting inthe bottom drawer of the desk need not happen, sums up Sapient’s Barnes. “You need to start at the end and work your way back to the beginning.Start with your objective and work back from there,” he says.Map-maker takes a new directionThe next phase of Ordnance Survey’s plan to shake up its developmenttraining and processes will be launched in September. The government map-maker,working with HR consultancy Assessment & Development Consultants, isswitching from a process aimed primarily at developing middle managers to onedesigned to fast-track staff into senior positions.”What we are saying is, if you want to progress where do you need todevelop? In effect, we are doing a bit of talent-spotting,” explains JohnGreen, staff development manager at OS.The move is the culmination of a process that began in 1997. OrdnanceSurvey, with management drawn largely from the civil service, began to realiseit was operating in an increasingly commercial world where different managementimperatives – such as dealing with private customers – applied.The function operated initially through six centres, with about 45 seniormanagers going through it in the first year. This quickly developed into aprocess focused on middle managers, with about 10 events a year for eightpeople each time at a residential centre.Green admits that until then the agency had tended to concentrate ondeveloping people only when they were promoted and with little formalfollow-up. Now there is more a sense of finding out how effective people arewhen measured against the core competencies of OS.”It is about trying to make sure that development is part of theculture of the organisation,” he says.The key to success has been explaining to both participants and linemanagers what they should expect, why it is important and what will happen ontheir return. The participants need to be given a sense of ownership in theprocess to help motivate them back in the workplace, he says.Once completed, the assessor goes through the feedback with the participantand the line manager and they come to an agreement about strengths anddevelopment areas. An informal follow-up procedure, using OS assessors, hasalso been put in place.”We go back after six months or so and see what people are doing and howthey are developing,” says Green.The redesigned model, which will start as a pilot, will form more of a linkbetween participants and senior management. There will be four assessors – twofrom OS and two from A&DC. One of the assessors will be an OS director.”That is so that everyone can see that this is something that is reallyimportant, that there is a clear commitment from the top,” says Green.There will be tests on leadership, performance, interaction and other areas.Green adds that he expects about 50 people to go through the new three-day,£3,000-a-head programme in its first year.The process will be open to all the OS’ 1,900 staff, backed by their linemanager. “If you think you have the potential, you can put your nameforward,” Green says.”By putting people through development centres we think we have createda better development culture within the organisation. The feedback we have gotfrom most of the middle managers has been very positive. People have said,‘this is the best thing we have ever done’.” Related posts:No related photos. Room for improvementOn 7 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Variation in size of living articulated brachiopods with latitude and depth

first_imgGeographical variations in animal characters are one of the main subjects for study in macroecology. Variation with latitude has received special interest. Articulated brachiopods are possibly the commonest macrofossil with large variations in size of taxa through the fossil record. Here, we investigate trends in size of the 3 main orders of articulated brachiopod with latitude and depth. Data were insufficient to identify patterns in Thecideida (a micromorph taxon only recorded from low latitudes). Rhynchonellida had no clear trends in size with latitude or depth. Terebratulida exhibited hemispheric differences in size relations, with increasing length of species towards the pole in the south and no significant trend in the north. Tropical species were small (< 20 mm length between 10A degrees N and 10A degrees S), and the largest species were found between 30A degrees and 60A degrees latitude in both hemispheres. There were no articulated brachiopods recorded from the high arctic, and support for a continuous trend in size with latitude was small or absent. In Terebratulida, there was a significant decrease in species length with depth of 1.7 mm per 100 m depth increase. These trends could be explained by competition for space and reduced availability of habitat with progressive depth beyond the continental shelf.last_img read more

Utah Baseball Downs Utah Valley, 11-5

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah baseball team won its third game in a row after defeating Utah Valley in a midweek contest 11-5 at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah.The Utes had four players with multiple RBI led by Erick Migueles, who had three for the second game in a row. The others came from Briley Knight, Chandler Anderson and Matt Richardson, who each had two.David Watson got the start for Utah and worked 4.0 innings and allowing no runs on four hits.After both teams went scoreless in the first, Utah Valley threatened in the second, but Watson worked out of the bases-loaded jam with one out in the second to keep the Wolverines scoreless through two.Utah took the lead in the bottom half of the second as Rykker Tom scored on a Chase Fernlund double and Richardson singled Fernlund home to go up 2-0.In the next inning, Migueles hit his fourth homer of the season down the right field line on a 3-0 count to put the Utes up 4-0.Utah was leading 7-0 before Utah Valley scored any runs, but they did plate four in the top of the sixth. The Utes responded with four more runs in the next two innings to put the game out of reach.In all, Utah used four pitchers on the night as Zac McCleve came in to close things out in the ninth. It was the first career victory for Watson.Every Utah batter tallied a hit against the Wolverines as the Utes finished with 12 on the evening.The win gives Utah’s head coach Bill Kinneberg his 599th career victory.Utah will finish its seven game homestand this weekend by hosting Arizona State at Smith’s Ballpark beginning on Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m. April 16, 2019 /Sports News – Local Utah Baseball Downs Utah Valley, 11-5 Robert Lovell Written by Tags: Utah Utes Baseball/UVU Wolverines Baseballlast_img read more

Irish finish regular season with third straight loss to Stanford

first_imgSaint Mary’s sophomore Natalie Schultz said while the Irish did not reign victorious on Saturday, they did win the battle of the uniforms. “After they scored the last touchdown I gave up,” Schultz said. “Our helmets looked fantastic though compared to Stanford’s black ones, we just need to match up the pants to the helmets.” Schultz watched the game in her friend’s dorm room at Saint Mary’s. “My friends and I were so sad after the game, we actually began to watch ‘Twilight,’” Schultz said. The Irish football team closed out their regular season on a sour note, losing 28-14 at Stanford on Saturday. Freshman Sean Hamilton, a northern California native, cheered on the Irish at Stanford Stadium and noticed a prominent showing of Notre Dame fans. “About a quarter of the stadium were Notre Dame fans,” Hamilton said. “Pretty impressive considering Stanford set the record for amount of fans at their stadium.” Hamilton said the field conditions seemed horrible from his perspective in the stands. “The field was awful and looked to be really slippery,” Hamilton said. Hamilton said the outcome of the bowl game would largely rely on the opponent selected. “We play pretty consistently, we just need to see how it stacks up against the other team,” Hamilton said. “We always seem to make the same mistakes.” Saint Mary’s sophomore Jessica Carter said she thought the play of the Irish was terrible. “I thought we could have played a lot harder than we did,” Carter said. “I was really happy when Coach Kelly put in [Andrew] Hendrix because I felt like [Tommy] Rees was having a bad day. He just was not there.” Carter said she watched the game at home in South Bend with her family. She said she thinks the Irish have a good chance of winning their bowl game. “I hope we can play better,” Carter said. “The defense is doing better but I think we need to shape up our offense by giving the ball to [Michael] Floyd more.” Senior Julie Hyppolite chose not to watch the final regular season game of the year. “I was at a surprise birthday party for a family friend who turned 50, but was not pleased with the outcome,” Hyppolite said. Hyppolite said she hopes the team can play better for the bowl game. “I feel like we play really sloppy sometimes, but I think we can do well at the bowl game,” Hyppolite said. “We have a lot of talent on our team and I think they can put it together.”last_img read more

Nominees Needed: Backyard Badass

first_imgWhen you think of the word “adventure,” what comes to mind?About five years ago, my perception of what entailed “adventure” was skewed, at best. I thought of Ernest Shackleton trekking across the frozen plains of Antarctica, of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquering Everest, of Colonel Percy Fawcett disappearing into the dark folds of the Amazon rainforest, never to be seen again. I thought of grizzled old men (and the few bold ladies) delving into uncharted territory, the blank spots on the map, often sacrificing their lives so that a faint line could be scribbled where a river flowed.But then I learned to kayak.I didn’t go to any of the numerous kayaking schools that exist in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. I never met a professional kayaker, never aspired to be one. I took a kayaking course in my early college years, bought a boat, drove to Indiana in the middle of the night to pick it up, and largely learned by trial and error (aka swimming).And the people that I paddled with? They were office supply managers and land surveyors. English teachers and math gurus. They held 9-5s, maybe had a family, a dog, a couple cats, a house with a mortgage, a car with a payment, garbage that needed taking out. They had responsibilities, other worlds, even.But they were and are my heroes.To balance the demands of everyday life and still make time to paddle class IV on the weekends or check off another 5.10 route or even crank out a 50K takes an incredible amount of dedication, commitment, and most importantly, passion.We often call these people “weekend warriors,” and while I essentially dedicated my entire college honors thesis to the weekend warrior, I will forego naming these heroes as such and will, instead, deem them our “backyard badasses.”In celebration of the magazine’s 20th anniversary, we are giving special attention to our dedicated fans and readers who have been with us every step of the way. While our magazine will always provide exclusive interviews that showcase the region’s top-end athletes, we all agree that it’s due time we paid homage to the everyday heroes, the gals and guys out there who don’t huck waterfalls or shred singletrack for a living, but still set aside time and energy to go outside and play.Each month, we will highlight a different reader from each of the 10 states we cover — Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. We ask our readers to help us find their home state’s “backyard badass” by submitting the nominee’s name, hometown, age, contact information, and a short 3-5 sentence blurb on what makes them a hero.They can be waitress by day, environmental activist by night. They can be kayaking lawyers and ultrarunning single parents. Whoever inspires you, in whatever discipline, and at whatever level, let us know! We want to share their inspirational stories with our readers and pay tribute to the people that are making a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others right here in our backyard.Drop us a line at [email protected] Let’s talk. We’re here to listen.You can also submit suggestions through our various social media handles by using the hashtag #backyardbadass. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date!last_img read more

Generation Zoom: Freshmen forced to start university life in solitude

first_imgIndonesia has more than 4,000 state and private universities, with 98 percent of them applying distance learning during the health crisis, according to the Education and Culture Ministry.Yusri Hadi Nandika, 17, a freshman at the University of Indonesia, said he cried out of joy after receiving notification of his acceptance to the international relations program at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta in mid-August.His new life as a freshman began two weeks later from his bedroom in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi. Yusri has still not been to his campus.He is holed up in his bedroom, facing his laptop, listening to his lectures and taking notes. His laptop screen was filled with the faces of friends he had never met in real life, he said. The start of the 2020 academic year was like no other, especially for freshmen.There were no nervous handshakes nor greetings when meeting new classmates, nor exciting long walks in busy campus corridors and new classrooms.With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting face-to-face learning, this generation of freshmen has to turn to Zoom, Google Meet and other video conferencing platforms to start their first weeks at university. “I’ve never been to Jakarta in my life, nor visited my campus. Everything — the admission process and paperwork — was done online,” he said.His phone was full of updates and assignments from his lecturers sent through WhatsApp. He is part of numerous WhatsApp groups — each representing either one study course or project, or simply a forum to communicate with fellow students.Yusri said one thing he was grateful about was that his seniors in the same program warmly welcomed the freshmen, and often personally checked on them just to show that everyone belonged together even though they were not physically present at the campus.“If the outbreak shows signs of abating, I will definitely fly to Jakarta,” he said, although he was not sure when it was going to end.Read also: COVID-19 education funds leave much to be desiredIn mid-August, Nosa Kurnita, 18, started her freshman year at Petra Christian University in Surabaya, one of the epicenters of the outbreak in Indonesia, with excitement.She moved from Nabire in Papua to Surabaya two weeks after the academic year started only to get better internet access to join online classes in business management. She lives with her older brother who is also learning remotely from their rented rooming house.Nosa has still never visited her campus, and participating in online classes while living away from her parents turned out to be hard for her. Although she is familiar with the idea of distance learning, she almost never did it during her high school years in Nabire due to the poor internet connection.“Long hours of staring at the [computer] screen hurts my eyes. I sometimes simply listen to what my lecturers say in the online sessions rather than looking at the computer screen,” she said.If she could choose now, Nosa said, she preferred to stay close to her support system in Nabire.To help new students adapt to college life during the pandemic, the Education and Culture Ministry has reduced university tuition fees and relaxed rules for leave of absence during the pandemic, allowing students who take less than six course credits this semester to pay only half of their tuition fees.Students in their final year who are not taking course credits no longer need to pay tuition fees.Read also: Distance learning plan fails to account for poorThe government has also allocated Rp 7.2 trillion (US$532 million) in mobile phone credit and data plans to support distance learning for the nation’s 8 million university students and 250,000 lecturers, as well as primary and secondary school students.The ministry has registered 78 percent of the university students’ mobile phone numbers and 85 percent of the lecturers’ numbers on their system. Paristiyanti Nurwardani, the secretary of the Higher Education Directorate General, said they would disburse the subsidized 35 gigabytes of monthly internet data per student late this month.The Indonesian Clinical Psychology Association’s (IPK) COVID-19 team has been looking into data of 14,000 people who went to IPK psychologists in the past six months. The most common issues reported by these patients are linked to learning difficulties with 25.76 percent, stress with 23.87 percent and anxiety with 18.85 percent.IPK team leader Annelia Sari Sani said that although the pandemic was undeniably an obstacle, it actually gave a great opportunity for the education system to improve the way it helped students to optimize their learning experiences.“In psychology, university students are called the emerging adults, who are transitioning from a teenager to an adult. Universities often overlook this issue,” she said.“These young people have to learn to be independent and, therefore, they should not only gain knowledge that was fed by their lecturers. However, the pandemic and online learning could encourage the lecturers to do that.”She urged lecturers to challenge their students and provide a project-based learning process instead of simply shoving theories down the students’ throats during online learning.“The pandemic is forcing the education system to make a digital leap in only six months. That is a challenge, but when the situation forces us to do what we haven’t done before, there is no other way but to survive,” Annelia said. “If we take this opportunity to grow and use it optimally, we will have a generation who are resilient, resourceful and independent.”Topics :last_img read more

One injured in Franklin County accident

first_imgFRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. — One person was injured in a single-vehicle accident in Franklin County on Saturday.The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident around 1:30 in the afternoon on Bulltown Road just north of Chapel Road.According to police, a car driven by Melanie D. Lainhart, 37, of Brookville, was traveling north on Bulltown road.She lost control of her vehicle after hitting a slick spot in the roadway.Her car traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree.Lainhart was transported to Rush Memorial Hospital for treatment of lower body injuries.last_img read more

Batesville native returns with jazz ensemble for free show

first_imgBatesville, In. — Olivia McKnight and the University of Indianapolis Jazz Ensemble will present a free concert on Sunday, October 21. Due to weather conditions, the show will be held at 6 p.m. in the Batesville High School auditorium. Organizers from the Batesville Area Arts Council (Formerly the RAA) say McKnight is a 2016 Batesville High School graduate.The ensemble is known for performing big band standards from modern composers as well as Duke Ellington and Count Basie.last_img

Liverpool submit N30b bid for Osimhen

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Napoli Coach: Osimhen young lad with old brain Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea Liverpool have joined Tottenham in submitting a €70 million (N30 billion) bid for Lille striker, Victor Osimhen, according to reports.The 21-year-old, brought in last summer to replace the Arsenal-bound Nicolas Pepe, has filled those shoes impressively with 18 goals in 38 games. Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have all been linked in recent months and the latter side reportedly emerged as the mystery club who submitted a £75 million bid for the attacker.Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss, Italian journalist Diego De Luca revealed that Liverpool have now followed suit with Spurs in submitting a sizeable bid for Osimhen.“Victor Osimhen? He is a player owned by Lille,” the journalist said. “The deal is very complicated because there are various teams on the player.“Liverpool and Tottenham have offered 70 million for the player. In the short term, there may be some news on the renewal issue.”Osimhen is said to have snubbed interest from the Serie A and has his heart set on a move to the Premier League or LaLiga. Tags: Lille FCLiverpoolPlayer BidVictor Osimhenlast_img read more

Stokes, Morgan among eight England players at IPL

first_imgEIGHT England players are set to appear at the Indian Premier League (IPL) when the 10th edition of the competition begins today.Ben Stokes became the IPL’s most expensive foreign player when Rising Pune Supergiants bought him for £1.7M.Bowler Tymal Mills, bought for £1.4M by Royal Challengers Bangalore, could face former international team-mate Chris Jordan in the opening match.Jordan’s Sunrisers Hyderabad play RCB in Deccan at 15:30 BST.The Sunrisers, captained by Australia international David Warner, beat RCB in the final of the 2016 competition.All-rounder Stokes could be in action tomorrow when his side play Mumbai Indians, who have wicketkeeper Jos Buttler in their ranks.The competition features some of the best Twenty20 players in the world, including South Africa’s AB de Villiers, Australia batsman Aaron Finch and India captain Virat Kohli.England one-day captain Eoin Morgan joined Kings XI Punjab for £240 066, while limited-overs opening batsman Jason Roy was sold to Gujarat Lions and all-rounder Chris Woakes was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for £504 140.Sam Billings was also kept on by Delhi Daredevils during the first round of the auction.Fast bowler Mills is available for the whole tournament as he is limited to playing T20 cricket because of back pain.England’s other players may not be available for the full competition because of international commitments, beginning when England host Ireland in one-day matches on May 5 and 7.The eight-team IPL format is similar to the proposed city-based Twenty20 tournament for English domestic cricket, which could be introduced in 2020. (BBC Sport)last_img read more