This week’s letters

Community spirit is key to success

The article about work representing a new community was a thoroughly
interesting read (Research viewpoint, 21 May).

However, it did seem just a little cynical. I genuinely believe that for
many people work is a very fulfilling part of their lives, despite your
comments that "for most, work is a means to an end, as ever it was".

Surely it would still be better if work was conducted in a community
environment. I think your suspicion that all the community adds up to is
"fitness centres, childcare and cat feeding" may well be justified if
it is simply a positive gloss on the long-hours culture.

However, at School Trends, we believe that the notion of community goes much
deeper and our community company model is acknowledged as one which can make
the workplace a genuinely more satisfying and rewarding environment to be in.

Dr Rick Norris
HR director, School Trends

Open invitation to transport forum

I would like to tell readers about an HR forum for the transportation and
distribution industry. We already enjoy the invol- vement of many leading firms
in our sector, but would welcome new members – don’t worry, there is no joining

Our prime purpose is to discuss major issues affecting our industry and to
devise solutions, using the shared knowledge and wisdom of senior HR

Recent meetings have concentrated on the national shortage of drivers, the
potential impact of the Working Time Directive and on collaboration over safety
issues and statistics. For further details e-mail robin_cooper@ryder.com

Robin Cooper
Group HR director, Europe
Ryder plc

We’re creating a two-tier system

I was concerned recently to see a job advertisement that specified a
graduate CIPD qualification via the academic study route.

Furthermore, doubts about HR professionals who have achieved their membership
via the NVQ or other routes have been expressed to me on several occasions.
Only one manager has ever said to me that they favour people with ‘real’
experience backing up their professional credentials.

Are we creating a two-tier discriminatory system in what should be a bastion
of diversity and competency? It wouldn’t surprise me.

Charlotte Dawber
Via e-mail

Oriana speakers not in real world

I read the coverage of the Human Resources Forum on board the Oriana with
interest (News, 21 May), but was concerned at some of the blasé statements made
by some speakers.

I did not know whether to laugh or cry at one of Jonas Ridderstrale’s
comments. The author of Funky Business said: "Why shouldn’t you be able to
love your company. If you can love a pet you should be able to love your

Is HR so out of touch with modern society that we still cling to this belief
that employees will give their all for their corporation? Society has changed
dramatically over the past 10 years and employee distrust of organisations
continues to increase on a daily basis.

People are far more aware of their own worth in the employment market, and
as employers don’t love employees it is ludicrous to believe that people will
love to work and work and work. They don’t.

I find it disconcerting that well-respected people in the profession are
still failing to grasp the concept of an increasingly diverse and
individualistic workforce that is in it for themselves, and why we are not
recognising or appealing to that.

Michael Keating
Personnel officer, Novas

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