Our views on people, organisations and performance

Newsletter articles

1 Sep 2014

HR Insight Issue 19

Penny Tamkin, Associate Director

Penny TamkinHave you started reading our HR blog? IES experts are offering their insights into the most up-to-date thinking and their perspectives on current issues.

Take a look and see what you’ve been missing

Here is a taste of what we’ve been talking about:

A visitor's eye view

Wendy Hirsh

‘At IES we study organisational effectiveness. We wade through literature, talk to senior managers and lots of focus groups, consult academics and examine metrics. We ruminate on the alignment between business and individual performance, culture, engagement - all that stuff. And yet… I've spent a lot of my working life visiting organisations and am amused, intrigued and sometimes appalled at what a visitor experiences.’

Strategic HR and lessons from history

Peter Reilly

‘Now that it's September, coming back to work after summer distractions and in particular visiting the Edinburgh book festival, I started thinking about what have I (re)learned? One thing I've been thinking over is how do you understand the past?’

Using mediation to deal with conflict at work

Andrea Broughton

‘Conflict in the workplace is a fact of working life at some point for most people. Dealing with conflict and in particular stopping it from escalating, ultimately to an employment tribunal, is a difficult task and yet an essential one, as conflict can cause a significant amount of disruption and upheaval for both those involved and their colleagues.’

'Bad News' and its Impact on Engagement

Dilys Robinson

‘It seems that every week brings another bad news story to damage the reputation of many of our best-loved institutions. Is it surprising that our trust in the establishment has been shaken?’

You can't always get what you want...

Linda Miller and Dilys Robinson

‘A casual reader of the HR press could be forgiven for thinking that the progression of women in the workplace is no longer an issue. A closer examination of the statistics, however, reveals that the picture is not quite so rosy...’

Employment Law and other statutory changes

Jenny Holmes

‘As trailed in my blog post in September 2013, here is an update on employment law and other statutory changes that are coming into force with the beginning of the tax year on 6 April as well as a couple of other interesting changes due over the summer and into the autumn.’

Compassion: an on-trend phenomenon

Penny Tamkin

‘Right now, compassion is trending. Google hits for 'compassion' in the UK show a steady rise over the last eight or so years. The dictionary describes compassion as 'a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for someone struck by misfortune, accompanied by a desire to alleviate the suffering'. Evidence suggests that affiliative, caring, trusting, cultures with well-managed workloads are more likely to incubate compassion than harsh, coercive, disengaged, disempowered environments where work overload is the norm....’

Name calling

Peter Reilly

‘I was taking part in a panel discussion at a recent conference. We were talking about the highlights of the event for us and invited the audience to join in. I was then rather surprised when we were asked whether Human Resources was the right name for the function and was it really an improvement on Personnel as a description...’