Bursary on offer to lucky Personnel Today reader

It’s not every day you get the chance of winning an £18,000 prize, but that is what’s on offer to readers of Personnel Today, courtesy of Henley Management College. The business school is about to launch a new MSc programme in Advanced HR Management, which promises to equip HR professionals with the business and personal skills they need to step up to a senior role, and you could win a place on it.

Henley is generously providing a bursary so one of our readers can do the 16-month course, and we will report on the student’s progress in Personnel Today and on Personneltoday.com. Send your application to karen.dempsey@rbi.co.uk by 1 March 2007.

We know that many HR people leave their jobs because no-one has bothered to invest in their development. But senior HR professionals have a responsibility to groom future HR talent and ensure today’s keen HR managers are tomorrow’s top HR directors. This is a fantastic opportunity to do just that.

Shaking up the office slackers

Why is sacking staff for underperformance such an abhorrent idea? Surely paying people to do a bad job is much worse – yet this is what happens in far too many businesses.

Bad performance is tolerated because managers don’t have the skills to challenge it, because the underperformer hasn’t been given adequate training, or because the organisation fears that there is too little talent out there so it’d better hang on to the staff it’s got. Not a great formula for success.

Three-quarters of bosses believe an annual cull is a good idea. Unions argue that staff would be demoralised with the threat of redundancy hanging over them, and it’s better to motivate with carrots rather than sticks. But spare a thought for the underperformers’ colleagues. It’s pretty demoralising for them if they have to carry the weaker members of the team – and it can undermine managers’ authority if they don’t tackle the problem.

Perhaps the threat of the sack is just the motivation the office slackers need.

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