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International Women’s Day: odds still stacked against women in the workforce

Odds stacked against women in workforceThe 110th International Woman’s Day took place this weekend, and, aside from highlighting the continuing struggles of women across the world, comes research that reveals how in this country, the odds are still stacked against women at work. More than four in 10 (42%) women aged between 18-34 said they have personally faced a gender barrier, followed by 34 per cent of those aged between 35-54 and 26 per cent of women aged 55 and over. Of those women who have experienced inequality at work, over a third (35%) say they believe male colleagues at the same level earn more than they do.  Thirty one per cent indicate they are assigned work that is below their level and are therefore unable to demonstrate their abilities, while almost one in five (19%) say that junior colleagues don’t take instructions from them, but will do from male colleagues of equal seniority. More →

Could personality profiling help create a more productive office environment?

Could personality profiling you create the ideal office environment


Creating the most productive working space to help get the best from your people is an ongoing battle. What suits some doesn’t suit others. So if there was some way of assessing up front how people like to work and the environment that would make them their most productive, engaged and committed – before you rearrange the furniture, fittings and layout – would you leap at the chance of finding out? One approach could be personality profiling. If you could climb inside the minds of your current and future employees and assess how they best like to work, their personality and how this then drives them to be more productive in certain working environments than others – who wouldn’t want to have a delve around? Or are we in danger of pandering to personality stereotypes? More →

Employment is on the rise but pay not matching the rate of inflation

employmentThe latest labour market statistics shows employment has continued to rise, but at a slower rate than seen last month. However, at 67.2 per cent, record-breaking numbers of women are now in work, the highest since records began. The figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the employment rate in the three months to December 2013 rose to 72.1 per cent, lower than the previous three months and with just a small rise in total pay of 1.1 per cent. This slower pace of growth in employment and pay is reflected in the latest CIPD/ SuccessFactors quarterly Labour Market Outlook survey, which reveals that, although recruitment intentions remain positive, the rate of increase has slowed significantly and the vast majority of organisations expect to give pay awards below the current rate of inflation. More →

New BIFM professional standards give FMs yet more career choices

FM career choices

Unlike HR, which is wholly represented by the CIPD, FM continues to offer a choice of professional bodies. RICS boasts it is the only one that gives FMs the opportunity to achieve Chartered Status, something which the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is yet to offer. The BIFM has now announced the launch of a set of standards to “form a global competence model for the profession”. The Facilities Management Professional Standards its says, can be used to benchmark skills, knowledge and competence for those working at all levels in the FM profession. While RICS positions itself as the preferred route for a strategic facilities management career, the BIFM competences are intended to define each level in an FM’s career, from a support role through to a strategic role. FMs then, are still faced with the choice, to follow one or both organisations. More →

No pay rise for a while? Get used to it, says the CIPD

Ivor Lott and Tony Broke_96The Chartered Institiute of Personnel and Development has today released a report analysing the most sustained and severe fall in real wages since at least the Second World War, and warns that the decline will not be reversed until there is a substantial improvement in the UK’s productivity.  The report is accompanied by new survey data showing many employees expect pay rises in 2014 to be below inflation – a repeat of their experience in 2013. Have we seen the end of the pay rise?‘, which is the third in a series of four Megatrends surveys exploring the future of work and the economic challenges which lie ahead, examines the effects of average weekly earnings that are now between 7.8 percent and 10.2 percent lower in real terms than they were five years ago, in January 2009, leading to a sustained squeeze on household finances.

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Mental illness costs the UK economy £70 billion each year, claims OECD

DepressionAccording to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), issues related to mental health cost the UK around £70bn every year in lost productivity, benefit payments and spending on healthcare. The OECD’s Mental Health and Work report is an international initiative which has already produced reports over the last year exploring related issues in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and now the UK. Forthcoming reports are due later this year for Australia, Austria and the Netherlands. The new UK report calls for employers to adopt better policies and practices to help people cope with mental health issues.

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Architects should accept that other people do have a right to an opinion

Paternoster Square, London

Paternoster Square, London

All professions tend to wallow in a mire of their own existential angst, perpetually complaining that they are misunderstood, undervalued and misrepresented. But any members of the human resources, facilities management or other professions which come across as habitually concerned about their role, public image, direction or esteem in which they are held might want to contrast their situation with that of the UK’s architects. This is a profession that wrestles not only with the common professional gripes, but also with what it perceives as a fall from public grace coupled with falling fees and complete disdain for what muggles – non-architectural folk – think. And all in a country in which literally anybody is allowed to design buildings.

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BIM learning opportunities expand in new RICS and Salford University agreement

BIM learning opportunities expand in new RICS and Salford University agreementA distance learning version of a Certificate in BIM Implementation and Management, available online to professionals across the world is being offered by the University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment.  The Certificate is designed to offer those working within the built environment the fundamental knowledge and understanding of BIM principles, terminologies, tools and techniques, including the technology, process and people needs for the successful adoption of BIM on construction projects. A range of new Continuous Professional Development programmes have been agreed with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which includes a one-day Introduction to BIM Implementation and Management and a five-day Certificate in BIM Implementation and Management. More →

New study claims vast majority of builders now enjoying advantages of BIM

ConstructionA new report from McGraw Hill Construction claims that contractors in nine of the world’s top construction markets who use Building Information Modelling (BIM) believe that the technology helps them to improve productivity, efficiency, quality and safety on their projects, as well as their own competitiveness. The Business Value of BIM for Construction in Major Global Markets SmartMarket Report reveals that contractors in markets with well-established BIM use, such as Canada, France, Germany, the UK and US, as well as those in markets that are still in the initial stages of BIM adoption, such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea, are seeing a positive return on their investments in BIM, from project benefits like reduced errors and omissions, to process improvements like the ability to enhance collaboration, and internal business benefits such as enhancing their company’s image.

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Retaining valuable employees is top global priority for CEOS this year

Retaining valuable employees is top global priority for CEOS this yearThe number one priority of business leaders worldwide this year is how best to develop, engage, manage, and retain existing talent. This worker-centric approach means that employee engagement and better management will take centre stage as the way to improve competitiveness, win new customers and raise productivity. According to new research from The Conference Board and UK partner CMI (Chartered Management Institute), CEOs will concentrate on creating a strong internal talent pipeline rather than seeking to recruit externally, with nine out of the top 10 global Human Capital strategies focused on current employees, including providing training and development, raising employee engagement and increasing efforts to retain critical talent. Other closely linked priorities identified in the CEO Challenge 2014 are customer relationships, innovation, operational excellence, and corporate brand and reputation. More →

New report finds lack of consensus in measurement of social sustainability

Green-chainA lack of consensus on what is to be reported on and measured makes comparison difficult when measuring social sustainability. This is one of the key findings of the first annual Sustainable FM Index report, which examines how sustainability is embedded within facilities management service companies. Compiled by Acclaro Advisory, the University of Reading and Workplace Law; the index provides a comparative assessment of FM providers within the UK market. The results, which can be applied to internal and outsourced organisations, aims to showcase achievement, as well as highlighting areas of weakness to stimulate change and raise the delivery of sustainability. The companies which made the index, including Carillion, CBRE and Vinci facilities, have reported high levels of commitment to sustainability in terms of the governance, social and environmental criteria assessed. More →

Meeting the management challenges of caring for home workers

Meeting the management challenges of caring for home workersFlexible working is on the rise. However, as reported today, while employers are happy to equip workers with the facilities required to work away from the office, there is a worrying level of unwillingness amongst many bosses in checking the safety and comfort of home workers. Employers have a duty of care to their home workers under health and safety legislation and the Working Time Regulations 1998. This means that care should be taken by employers to ensure that home workers operate in a safe and appropriate environment. This duty of care goes beyond supplying an ergonomic workstation. Managing home workers requires a varied set of management skills and best practice processes. More →

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