Judgement That Impacts on Your Email / Internet Policies

The European Court of Human Rights’ judgment on the right of a Romanian worker to privacy in his email accounts clarifies the boundary for UK employers on rights to privacy in the workplace.

In this case, the employer asked Bărbulescu to set up an email account for work purposes. He was subsequently dismissed after his employer checked his messages and found he had been sending personal messages to his brother and fiancée during working times.

The original ECtHR judgment found that Bărbulescu ‘s right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had not been breached. They judged that it was reasonable for employers to check whether employees were carrying out work during working hours.

The decision of the Grand Chamber, however, overturns this decision. They found the employer had not struck a fair balance between the right to privacy and the employer’s right to ensure the effective running of the company.

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Workforce Agility

The world of work has changed. Successful organisations know something others don’t: slow, steady and consistent no longer win the race.

Competitive businesses today are fast, flexible and – most importantly - agile.

They create fewer obstacles to responding quickly. They take unpredictable, dynamic market trends in stride. They sidestep when necessary to keep moving forward because they’ve built a workforce based on a non-traditional model that is adaptable, fluid and responsive. They adopt simple, cost-effective processes through which they manage a workforce that is both connected and autonomous.

Competitive businesses today are fast, flexible and – most importantly - agile. They create fewer obstacles to responding quickly.

They take unpredictable, dynamic market trends in stride. They sidestep when necessary to keep moving forward because they’ve built a workforce based on a non-traditional model that is adaptable, fluid and responsive. They adopt simple, cost-effective processes through which they manage a workforce that is both connected and autonomous.

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Sales Management at the Heart?

The following article was written by Paul Bridle.

I read an article recently saying that “CEOs who put sales management at the heart of their agenda have captured astonishing growth — outstripping their peers by 50 to 80 percent in terms of revenue and profitability”.

I was a little astonished at this. To me it is like saying, the person that puts organic food
at the heart of their diet are healthier. Probably very true, but the belief that this alone can make a healthy person is ridiculous.

Not five minutes later I came across an article about HR being more effective when it has a seat at the Board and is part of driving the strategic direction of the business. Also a good point but my answer is the same as the previous statement.

Sales are only effective if the strategy is right, the marketing is effective and the organisation has a clear path to its market. This requires engaged people (HR) and good systems (sales) excellent communications (management)….and I could go on. T

here was a time when you could have a sales driven business where Sales Department was the core of the business and everything else was tolerated because sales were King. Those days are gone.

Technology, media and social networking has changed the game. More than this, the public are aware of sales techniques and can see the difference between a sales person and an expert or specialist (or as Apple call their retail staff – Genius).

People do not want to be sold to, but people do want to buy.

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Board Observation Checklist

Successfully conducting a board meeting involves three stages; preparation, conducting the board meeting and post-meeting actions.

To effectively observe a board, and their approach to governance, all three stages must be considered.

When preparing to observe, and provide feedback about a board meeting, you need to ensure that you have prepared.

You need to consider:

  • When the board meeting is taking place
  • Where the meeting is and at what time
  • Who you need to communicate with regarding your observation – for example, you may need to liaise with the Chair or Board Secretary well in advance to ensure all security permissions are granted / confidential aspects understood etc.
  • Timelines for providing your feedback and to whom and in what format the feedback will be presented

This checklist provides details of each of three elements / stages of a board-level review.

Examples of both good and bad practice are included to assist in rating each element (using a red, amber, green) and identify areas of strength or development for the board.

BOARD OBSERVATION CHECKLIST

Conflict Management – A CIPD Report

The CIPD report ‘Conflict Management – A Shift in Direction?’ is based on research which set out to examine changes in employers’ use of different methods of managing individual conflict, and how far recent changes in legislation on dispute resolution have impacted employer practices.

The report is based largely on the telephone and face-to-face interviews with HR managers, supplemented by a small number of interviews with employment lawyers, ACAS officers and trade union officials.

Key findings from the research highlight that:

    • The introduction of employment tribunal (ET) fees has changed the balance of power between employers and claimants.
    • Employers spend an average of 19 days of management time dealing with individual ET cases.
    • The longer-term future and impact of fees will depend on decisions still to be taken by the courts and/ or the Government.
    • Beyond the introduction of ET fees, recent legislation has so far had only a limited impact on employers’ approaches to managing conflict.
    • Employers and trade unions generally take a pragmatic approach to deciding whether or not to seek settlement of a claim or allow it to go forward to a hearing.
    • There is an increased level of interest by employers in using settlement agreements as a means of terminating employment.

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How CEOs Should Handle Criticism

Corporate leaders have always been targets of criticism, both from inside and outside the firms they lead.

But these days leaders are getting it from an increasing number of sources, thanks to a bevvy of internet platforms designed to bring more transparency to work, as well as a social media ecosystem capable of spreading word rapidly. 

“The opportunities for negative comments about CEOs to emerge are through the roof,” said Brian Kropp, of CEB, a research firm based in Stamford, Connecticut.

Just ask Oscar Munoz. The boss of United Airlines is the latest example of the perils of CEO critique. Not only did Munoz feel the heat when a video in April emerged on social media showing a United passenger being dragged off a flight by authorities after refusing to give up his seat to make room for United crew members needing to get to a job in another city, but his leaked internal response to his employees regarding the incident quickly drew ire from company review websites, social media and cable news.

While United’s incident is extreme, it shows just how important it is for leaders to be prepared to face such circumstances. Whether it’s a full-blown national scandal or an internal spat about direct reports, CEOs would be wise to develop the skills necessary to take criticism constructively.     

First and foremost, CEOs need to take any criticism thrown their way head on, Kropp said. In most cases, leaders who try to ignore or deflect negative feedback are likely digging themselves a deeper hole, one that could potentially come with serious consequences for the companies they lead.  

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