Most people who move off benefits and into work say that having a job improves their quality of life, according to recent research by Working Links – an organisation that helps the long-term unemployed find work. Of its 1,300 clients, 80 per cent said they were more satisfied with life since finding work.
The three most positive changes were cited as: more self-confidence (67 per cent); increased self-motivation (62 per cent); and a greater quality of life (57 per cent).
Comment: Well, well, well! Who’d have thought that having a job could improve both your income level and your outlook on life? I’m looking forward to the next survey of the obvious, aren’t you?
While most companies use e-learning, just seven per cent see it as one of the top three most effective training methods, according to a CIPD survey. Only 50 per cent of employees who are offered e-learning take it up, while just 30 per cent are reported as completing their courses. Yet the use of e-learning continues to rise, with 29 per cent of companies saying that between 25 and 50 per cent of all training will be done remotely.
Large companies are more likely to use e-learning – some 79 per cent of organisations with over 5,000 staff currently use e-learning. By contrast, only 39 per cent of companies with less than 250 employees use e-learning materials.
Respondents rate e-learning as most effective when combined with other methods, while 92 per cent believe that using e-learning successfully requires a different attitude in the learner.
“E-leaning is here to stay but it’s clear from our survey that it is still not fully appreciated by learners or by training managers,” says Martyn Sloman, learning and development adviser, CIPD. “Businesses need to remember that technology is there to support people management and development strategies, not replace them.”
Comment: As long ago as October 1992, I got into some trouble for reporting – accurately – potentially embarrassing remarks made by Chris Wallden, who had been head of training development for Barclays Bank. He said – in a meeting of the Association for Computer Based Training (TACT), later the eLearning Network – that Barclays’ trainers felt that computer based training (e-learning) programmes would take away the demand for their ‘in class’ experience and so opposed the increased use of e-learning within the bank’s mixed-media approach to training. From Martyn Sloman’s comments, nothing much appears to have changed within the ‘HR mindset’ in 16 years.
Some 42 per cent of HR professionals think that the quality of leadership in HR is poor or merely satisfactory, according to a survey conducted by HR with Guts and Orion Partners. The survey concentrated on the most important qualities for HR leaders to develop and display. Its results suggest that there is a conflict within HR.
Over 40 per cent of heads of HR think that ‘taking a stand on what they believe’ is important and yet only 15 per cent of them ranked ‘taking a risk’ that highly. Moreover, 53 per cent of HR business partners think that ‘providing unquestioning service’ is important but 94 per cent of them rated ‘has an opinion and challenges’ as important too.
The survey also demonstrates the mismatch between how senior HR people see their leadership and how their employees see it. Some 71 per cent of heads of HR described themselves as willing to take a risk, while only three per cent of people who work in HR considered their boss to be likely to take a risk.
Comment: This survey illustrates a valuable lesson – and, in this instance, it happens to be connected with HR. Human beings are a mass of inconsistencies – critics would say hypocrisies. Self-image is never a good indicator of reality. We’re both mice and men – sometimes simultaneously. That’s life. You’ve just got to deal with it!