Targeted learning

    With diverse workforces, management consultant companies need to tailor training schemes to suit individual clients. European HR Frontiers talks to Oz Hussein from MDA Training about its range of specialised simulations.

    Please could you describe the history of MDA Training?

    Oz Hussein: MDA Training was set up in 1988 by Professor Walter Reid, a former professor at London Business School. He identified an opportunity in the marketplace for tailored financial and commercial leadership training, with an emphasis on practical application. MDA Training quickly grew, securing contracts with major companies and financial institutions across the world. The company now has seven offices worldwide and portfolio of learning products that are genuinely unique to the marketplace. They range from graduate and leadership development to commercial skills development.

    What kind of experiential training techniques do you offer?

    MDA firmly believes that people learn more from active engagement than passive listening. That’s why its in-class and online business simulations encourage customers to learn by doing. There are no preset outcome... View More

    Knowledge economy

    A happy workforce is a productive one. James Biggs, consultancy and well-being director at Lorica, explains why keeping your staff well informed about company benefits makes sound business sense.

    What trends are you currently seeing in employee benefits and rewards?

    James Biggs: Recently, we’ve seen a distinct shift in mentality; employers are no longer offering benefits simply to meet statutory requirements or be competitive in their industry. Today, the focus is firmly on employee well-being. People have woken up to the fact that having a happy, healthy workforce makes good business sense, and so reward and benefits programmes are being shaped around this.

    How can employers develop an effective employee well-being strategy?

    There are three core elements to well-being: physical, mental and financial. All three are, of course, intrinsically linked – issues in one area will almost inevitably eventually affect the others. Most employers already offer benefits that tick boxes across the three: medical insurance/cash plans, gym memberships, employee assistance programmes, workplace pensions, discount schemes and so on. Well-being is ab... View More

    Driving change

    Managing director of Fleet Evolution Andrew Leech examines the changes to salary sacrifice and company car schemes following the recent HMRC review into employee benefits. Salary sacrifice has long been a staple of benefits portfolios, enabling employees to ‘exchange’ gross pay for such things as pension, childcare vouchers and company cars. While it has helped maximise income for years, the sheer breadth of things now under its banner – from wine to white goods – is starting to come under scrutiny from HR managers. It was only a matter of time, then, before HMRC reviewed this area to ensure that employees were not living the high life at the expense of the exchequer. The long-threatened review happened in November 2016, with the new regulations enforced from April 2017. There have been significant modifications to some benefits, while others have been altered more subtly. The main change was the introduction of a corresponding ‘benefit in kind’ on any salary sacrifice benefit and the removal of the employer’s NI saving. For some schemes, this can cause a real headache, but others – gym membership, health plans and cars, for example – have always been subject to this so... View More

    Unleash your digital people potential

    Going digital enables HR to simplify processes, engage people and deliver stronger business impact. Claus Johansen, CEO of eloomi, explains how onboarding new employees, delivering learning and development, and managing performance are becoming smarter, cheaper and faster.

    HR executives are facing stronger demands to make visible contributions to businesses. In response to this, they are using digital tools to harness the power of the organisation’s most important asset, its people. “Onboarding new employees with engaging information and training on their smartphones is probably the easiest way to benefit from the digital opportunities,” says Claus Johansen, CEO of online learning and performance improvement software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, eloomi. “Even before a new employee starts, he or she can access content about a company’s values and products simply by clicking on a button.”

    Smarter means faster

    “The HR directors and VPs eloomi meets across Europe and the UK are very keen to innovate and implement up-to-date tools that help them attract, retain and develop talent more efficiently. They see a digital platform as a great opportunity to make ski... View More

    Breathe easy

    Companies need to ensure their employees are safe, healthy and productive. With high levels of substance misuse, alcohol and drug testing is growing in popularity. Andrew Lowdon, impairment marketing manager at Dräger, reveals how robust and reliable methods are vital, and why the future of screening may be in a single breath.

    What are some of the main reasons companies test their employees for drugs and/or alcohol?

    Andrew Lowdon: With 76% of people who misuse substances thought to be in regular employment, businesses are faced with real risks to safety, health and productivity. By investing in a workplace drug and alcohol policy, employers can reduce mounting costs and identify potential problems before they escalate. Understanding the implications of drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace is an important part of developing a robust and cost-effective strategy to address the resulting issues. To comply with legal requirements, protect staff and the public, and look after the general health and well-being of the workforce, drug and alcohol policies are becoming significantly more mainstay in general industry.

    Could you explain th... View More

    Keep it simple

    Companies are increasingly ditching annual appraisals for ongoing feedback models. Clear Review’s CEO, Stuart Hearn, explains how his company’s continuous performance management software provides a user-friendly way to boost employee engagement and increase productivity.

    Tell us a little bit about the concept of continuous performance management – where did it spring from, and when did it start to become popular?

    Stuart Hearn: It was first recognised in 2012 when Adobe publicised its decision to drop annual appraisals and ratings in favour of having regular, developmental ‘check-ins’ combined with continuous feedback. Following that, some of the largest companies in the world followed suit, including Microsoft, GE, Deloitte and Accenture. This led to a domino effect, and it’s now the standard in performance management.

    What sets Clear Review apart from rival performance management systems?

    One word: simplicity. Clear Review is the simplest performance management system in the world. Every time people see Clear Review for the first time, they are amazed at how easy it is to use compared with other systems they have seen or used. Thi... View More

    Time to make a change

    Digital learning and support platforms are revolutionising staff management and development. Tim Buff, CEO and chief learning strategist at Agylia, advocates a ten-point process for companies looking to upgrade their human resource management technology.

    The world of human resource management (HRM) has been transformed. Older established suppliers have found it hard to keep up with newer specialists emphasising focused business solutions and providing quick and easy integration into other HRM systems. A learning management system (LMS) is a digital learning and support platform. Previously, these have been limited to managing and tracking elearning; all-pervasive mobile access has led to dramatic shifts in learner behaviour. Any company that is considering its first LMS, seeking to change, or perhaps supplementing its existing system, ought to consider the following ten things.  

    Know your business objectives

    What problems do you want to solve? It may be all about improving sales with just-in-time refresher training delivered to phones, or digital job aids on desktop PCs for clerical teams, induction programmes to accelerate new starter productivi... View More