This week’s guru

Guru hits snooze button to boost performance

Guru had an unpleasant experience last week – he was curled up under his
desk taking 40 winks when the MD caught sight of his left foot jutting out from
behind the waste paper basket.

Luckily Guru was able to show his enraged employer research by Nasa that
finds performance increases by 35 per cent if employees take a 45-minute ‘power
nap’ in the afternoon.

Guru’s boss was suitably impressed and even came back a little later with a
pillow for Guru to rest his head on. As Guru nodded off again he reflected that
of course the Nasa theory is absolute rubbish, otherwise Spain and Portugal
would be economic superpowers.

Dickens of a job getting through

Despite all the talk of joined-up working by the Government, the
immigration department can feel like Dickens’ circumlocution office.

In December, immigration minister Lord Rooker promised
Personnel Today that a skills database would be introduced to record the skills
of asylum seekers and refugees in the White Paper Secure Borders, Safe Haven.
It wasn’t.

Guru was then told the refugee integration strategy was being
driven by the National Refugees Integration Forum, and would be released in May.

But forum members said they had never been given a deadline for
the launch of an integration strategy.

Guru decided to fire off an angry e-mail to the department
running the consultation on the White Paper. The e-mail bounced back
immediately – wrong address. Do you get the feeling that they don’t want anyone
else’s views?

Killer questions take the biscuit

Finding the right person for the job is obviously one of the
biggest challenges facing HR professionals.

As part of this process, asking the questions that give insight
into an applicant’s character is obviously important.

Research by Office Angels reveals that 90 per cent of employers
claim they pose a ‘killer question’ that will often ‘make or break’ an

Among the questions currently being used by the 1,000 employers
surveyed include: ‘Who was your favourite Pop Idol finalist and why?’, and
Guru’s favourite, ‘Jaffa Cake: cake or biscuit?’

What other killer questions are there that Guru should know

On-the-job boost for oldest

Members of the oldest profession in
Germany are at last beginning to reap the rewards of modern employment
benefits, including profit sharing.

Prostitutes in some of the country’s brothels have signed
contracts after a law was passed giving them employment rights.

Vice girls at Berlin’s Cafe Pssst enjoy a 40-hour week and can
take part in a profit-sharing scheme. They also have the right to claim social
security, health insurance and a pension.

Guru was pleased that these often overlooked workers are now
beginning to come under the protection of the law.

Of course, they have been benefiting from some progressive
employment practices for some time, such as working flexibly and, where
appropriate, job sharing.

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