September 20, 2021
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first_imgThis article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Ireland full-back Eimear Considine cracking new sporting codeThe memory still makes Eimear Considine cringe. Playing for Ireland in a sevens match against the USA in San Diego, she gave away a penalty and remained standing close to her opponent, trying to put her off.“She started giving out to me,” says Considine. “I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t understand I had to be ten metres back.”It may sound strange for someone to be playing international rugby and not be familiar with the laws, but this was Considine’s first-ever game.A talented Gaelic Football and camogie player, she was 23 when approached by the Ireland Sevens set-up in 2014 – via a LinkedIn email – to see if she would take part in a trial. The IRFU were recruiting players from different sports as the country targeted a place at the 2016 Olympics.“I did some fitness testing and worked one-on-one with coaches – tackling, passing,” she says. “I joined up with a few girls from other sports doing skills and drills, then we were put in with the senior girls’ training. Someone got injured, there was space on the plane to San Diego and I was playing my first game against the USA. It all happened in the space of three months! @IrishRugby with the first try of the Autumn international, @EimearConsidine getting to within inches of the line, calm composure in recycling the ball with @DjougangLinda getting over the line for her first international try #IREvWAL @ScrumQueens pic.twitter.com/M51KsWurY2— Elaine Hayes MCCT (@e_hayes12) November 10, 2019This year could be busier than ever, though. She has a holiday booked to Australia in April to visit her sister, Ailish, who plays AFL for Adelaide Crows, but before and after that there is plenty on the rugby agenda.Ireland’s Six Nations campaign has been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, their fourth-round game against Italy postponed after wins over Scotland and Wales and a defeat by England. The big goal this year, though, is September’s European qualifying tournament for the 2021 World Cup.“Qualifying for the World Cup and then performing in that World Cup because at the last one we didn’t perform to our best. Those are three big aims for every girl in the squad. We want to put Ireland rugby back on the map.” “Rugby came at a good time. I was living in Dublin but playing Gaelic Football and camogie for my county, Clare. I was sick of the travel and the commitment of being involved with two sports.“Rugby was in Dublin so I thought I’d give it a try, a new challenge. There was the international draw, too. My sport would never allow me to qualify for the Olympics. I never expected to get so far.”Ireland didn’t make it to Rio but she did get to play sevens all over the world. Then Munster called her up for the InterProvincial Championship, even though she’d never played 15s. Within a year, she was playing at a World Cup.“It was like starting all over again,” says Considine. “They’re completely different games, sevens and 15s. I’d only played three-and-a-half games before my first Ireland cap in the Six Nations and then I was playing in the World Cup. It’s crazy. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Swapping Gaelic Football for rugby meant a steep learning curve but she is thriving now “I’m 28 now and the younger girls say, ‘You’re so experienced’, but I’ve only played two seasons of 15s as I went travelling for a year after the World Cup.” Pass master: Eimear Considine in action for Ireland (Getty Images) I’m proud to support @20×20.ie and you too can #ShowYourStripes & pledge to PARTICIPATE, ATTEND or PROMOTE women’s sport. Play your part in shaping the future of sport in Ireland! #20×20 @20x20_ie #ShowYourStripes @Duckyc7 @ljfeely @griffinciara94 pic.twitter.com/M2SeLHWnrP— Eimear Considine (@EimearConsidine) March 8, 2020Considine has now clearly found her feet at Test level. She featured in Ireland’s back three for every game of last year’s Six Nations and was Player of the Match in November against Wales – an impressive feat when on the losing side. She worked as a pundit for eir Sport during last year’s men’s World Cup too.The regular day job is teaching PE and Irish at St Mary’s in Glasnevin, and she says the school are “amazing” when it comes to time off for rugby. She feels teaching complements her rugby, allowing her to switch off from the pressures of international sport.“The joke at work is what life will I have this weekend – famous life or teacher life! I have two separate lives and it’s good to be able to box off rugby on a Monday once I step into school. The only thing I’d like more of is time.”last_img read more

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first_img Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Photo from talktestcfl.com video of HIV Home Test Kit The Anatomy of Fear LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment!center_img Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Please enter your name here TAGSCOVID-19Florida Department of Health in Orange CountyFreeHIVHome Test Kit Previous articleAudubon Florida to host premier event virtually: “Reimagining Audubon Florida: A call for inclusive conservation”Next articleThoughtful Christmas Presents for 2020 Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Nearly 40% of new infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virusFrom the Florida Department of Health in Orange CountyThe Area 7 HIV program of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is now offering free at-home HIV testing kits to Central Florida.Residents of Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard counties can request a kit by visiting the Talk Test Treat Central Florida website (https://talktestcfl.com/). The self-administered kit will be mailed to individuals at no cost and comes with step-by-step instructions, the oral testing swab, and test tube. The test is confidential and follow up by Area 7 HIV staff is optional.“We are pleased to offer this service to the Central Florida region,” said Dr. Raul Pino, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, knowing one’s HIV status is important because nearly 40% of new infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virus. This at-home test can further our efforts to fight the spread of HIV within the region.”The at-home HIV test allows individuals to test themselves for HIV without sending a sample to a lab for analysis or visiting a clinic. Designed for home use, the test kit is the same test healthcare professionals have used for years and provides preliminary results in just 20 minutes.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2018 HIV Surveillance Report, the Orlando Metropolitan Area (Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford) ranked number five in the country for new HIV case rates.The CDC recommends that all individuals 13–64 years old be tested for HIV at least once during their lifetime, and persons at increased risk for HIV infection be tested at least annually.  With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Studies have shown that providing antiretroviral therapy as early as possible after diagnosis improves a patient’s health, reduces transmission, and can eventually lead to undetectable HIV viral loads.To learn more about the At-Home HIV Test Kit program, call 407-858-1400 or email  [email protected] Florida Department of Health is a nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board that works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.last_img read more

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first_img Howard Lake | 4 November 2009 | News  71 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Mobile operator O2 has announced that it will drop charges to charities on donations of £10 or less from its customers. This will result in an extra 10p in the pound being received by charities using dedicated 70 prefix short codes, the company claims.Simon Davis of O2’s Sustainability team acknowledged that the move followed the ruling earlier this year that VAT is not payable on charity donations made via text message.So charities will receive 90% of the value of the donation by text. Davis commented that O2 would still charge charities 10% of the donation, to cover its “network costs, VAT on the cost of the text message, insurance against bad debt and a range of third party costs”. Advertisement AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.center_img He argued this was fair on the grounds that it was “comparable with the fees charged by online charity giving platforms.”Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the Charities Aid Foundation, welcomed O2’s move but pointed out that “this still means £1 will be lost in charges on a £10 donation”.She added: “Eventually we would like all mobile phone companies to charge no more than 10 pence whatever the size of donation because research shows that is the maximum amount acceptable to donors”.CAF would, she said, “continue to work with Joe Saxton [of nfpSynergy] and the Institute of Fundraising to persuade the other mobile phone operators to follow O2’s lead.”http://blog.o2.co.uk/home/2009/11/text-raising-funds.htm O2 drops charges on text donations to charities Tagged with: Individual giving mobilelast_img read more

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first_img Tagged with: Funding Ireland  26 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Diplomats in Ireland operating under the International Charity Bazaar (ICB) fundraising initiative will seek applications from Irish charities from next week.Last year ICB supported eight charities in Ireland mostly operating in the health, social welfare and arts fields. The ICB mainly raises its money from two annual events, a Diplomatic Ball and a charity bazaar.Over 50 Dublin-based embassies participated in ICB’s fundraising last year, raising over €80,000. The executive director of ICB is Jane Chilcott, wife of the British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland.Organisations applying to ICB have to be registered charities and have projects where up to €20,000 can make a contribution. No funding will be provided for salaries.The closing date for applications is 31 March 2015, with selected charities notified by 1 May. Funds will be distributed in December. Howard Lake | 20 January 2015 | News Diplomats seek funding applications from Irish charitiescenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Photo: Ferrero Rocher chocolates by Blaz Cure on Shutterstock.com About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

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first_imgthe poster of the 2018 film “The Nun” a paranormal horror film in the conjuring franchise Richard Edgemonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/richard-edgemon/ Linkedin TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Facebook Linkedin ReddIt + posts TV Review: Netflix’s new show doesn’t lecture viewers about sex Review: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ tells a meandering story with stunning visuals, anime action Previous articleUniversity tests alert system to practice safety preparednessNext articleNo. 4 Ohio State presents challenges for No. 15 TCU Richard Edgemon RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Richard Edgemonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/richard-edgemon/center_img Facebook Richard Edgemonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/richard-edgemon/ Richard Edgemonhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/richard-edgemon/ Review: ‘First Reformed’ beautifully wrestles with faith and sacrifice Richard Edgemon print“The Nun” is the fifth film in “The Conjuring” franchise, produced by James Wan, and second spinoff, with “Annabelle” and “Annabelle Creation” released in 2014 and 2017 respectively.The film follows the story of Father Burke, played by Demián Bichir, a priest specialized in paranormal investigations on the order of the Vatican to investigate the apparent suicide of a nun at a cloistered abbey deep in the woods of Romania. Along with Burke, the Vatican sends a novitiate nun, Taissa Farmiga, that has yet to take her vows to speak with the other nuns at the abbey.(Trailer courtesy of IMDb.)Falling more in line with the Wan directed “Conjuring” and “Conjuring 2,” this film relies more on atmosphere and well-crafted set pieces rather than jump scares. This is director Corin Hardy’s second feature film, having previously directed “The Hallow,” which was released in 2015 and revolves around a demonic creature terrorizing a family in the remote woods of Ireland.Hardy’s experience with the paranormal shows in the film with the references to holy and desecrated land and an above average understanding of exorcisms than most B-movies.While many scenes follow predictable storylines that audiences have seen year after year, the real success for “The Nun” is a simple but effective use of visual effects and creative sets.Verdict Overall, “The Nun” is exactly what it appears to be from the trailers, one of just the numerous ghost and horror films that are released for Halloween; this one just came out a month earlier than the rest. Beyond that, the film kept my attention for almost all of the tight 96-minute film. Even though horror fans will see the set pieces far before the planned scare, what shines is how perfectly executed those scenes were.The film’s tendency to favor atmosphere over heart pounding scares could leave some moviegoers bored, but the film does give a solid start for this year’s scary movie season.6.5/10 Review: ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ has a striking visual style but fails to excite or enthrall Twitter World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution ReddIt Welcome TCU Class of 2025last_img read more

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first_img Sponsored Content Print Article Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day PUSHING ON: Relay for Life held at Recreation Center Kathy White and Suzanne Barton were the honored at Pike County’s culminating 2019 Relay for Life event Friday night at… read more You Might Like Published 9:23 pm Monday, May 6, 2019 Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits CGI leads Relay for Life fundraising, other teams honored Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Email the author Latest Stories Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… The Pike County Courthouse won the Relay T-shirt contest and Pike County High School received the Spirit of Relay award.Scott said Relay for Life is a countywide effort to defeat cancer.“Relay includes Troy and all area of Pike County,” he said. “All of us are affected, directly or indirectly, by cancer. So, it is encouraging to have participation from all areas of the county.”Troy University held its Relay fundraising event in April and the Pike County and Troy University events will make up the total for Pike County’s Relay contribution, Scott said. Messenger photo/Jaine TreadwellThe PCHS Relay for Life team is awarded for being the “Spirit of Relay” during the 2019 campaign. Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Book Nook to reopen By The Penny Hoarder By Jaine Treadwell The 2019 Pike County Relay for Life fundraising campaign topped off Friday night at the Troy Sportsplex beginning with the Survivors’ Dinner and concluding with the Luminary Walk that celebrates those who have been victorious over cancer, honors those on the battlefield and remembers whose fight is done.Isaiah Scott, Pike County Relay chairman, said donations from the 13 Relay teams are continuing to come in so the official total of funds Pike County raised for the American Cancer Society will not be available until all donations have been tallied.However, the top fundraising teams have been acknowledged with CGI of Troy honored as the top Relay fundraising team for 2019. CGI raised $19,000 for the fight against cancer. Southside Baptist Church in Troy and its Relay Queen Pageant, took second place with $15,500 raised and the Brundidge United Methodist Church/Pike County Cattlewomen team was third with $5,538.Scott congratulated the top fundraisers and expressed appreciation to all teams for their support of Relay and to all who gave in support of the fight agains   st cancer. “Back a few years ago, the Pike County Relay was held on the university campus,” Scott said. For various reasons, it was moved to the Tr s oy Sportsplex. However, all funds raised for Relay here in Pike County go in one pool.”Scott said Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society but it is not a culminating event.“Fundraising continues throughout the year won’t stop until cancer had been defeated.” Plans underway for historic Pike County celebrationlast_img read more

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first_imgWanda Jewell/iStockBy BRIANA STEWART and SOPHIE TATUM, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Liam Spady, a student at the Community College of Philadelphia, struggled with homelessness –“couch surfing” on friends’ sofas at night as he studied by day for his culinary arts degree.The 22-year-old said that before the coronavirus swept the city, he relied on college resources like his on-campus food pantry for meals and snacks, but since the pandemic’s fallout, he is dependent on his credit card to meet those basic needs.And without the quiet safe-haven that his campus provided, Spady told ABC News that even studying has become more challenging as he adjusts to finishing his last semester. Spady who said he went into ​foster care at age 16 when he was removed from his mother’s home, is now temporarily back in that home with a mix of relatives coming and going at all hours. It’s often noisy, which makes it tough to study.“One thing that has really gotten me personally is the culture [of transitional housing] … At home, people are not as in tune with like the whole going to college thing, so [studying at home] is not the same,” he said. “Doing my work on campus is easier. I have my peers around; it just flows much better. And that has drastically been changed because of the coronavirus.”The soon-to-be Culinary Arts graduate will earn his Associates’ degree on Friday and said he has been accepted to a transitional housing program. He plans to apply for state grants that will allow him to transfer to a four-year university in the fall to earn his Bachelor’s degree. However, he made it clear that having access to the necessary funding will ultimately determine his ability to continue his education.In the meantime, as a staffer at the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services, he is keenly aware that for students like him the next phase of the education journey will be especially tough amid the pandemic.“There’s already a lot of stress when it comes to young people who are homeless and in school because you have to worry about where you’re going to stay and if it’s safe,” Spady said.As colleges and universities around the country shut down campuses and dormitories under coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders, the cost comes at a steep price for low-income and homeless students who rely on on-campus resources to get through school. Further, students on the cusp of graduation in the next few weeks face an uncertain economic future amid record unemployment and uncertain job prospects–the very kind of work needed to help them net and pay for food and housing.Sara Goldrick-Rab, the founding director of The Hope Center for College Community and Justice, a Temple University-based research group focused on college students’ needs, said as soon as the pandemic hit, her organization started hearing from students whose schools were closing.“What I really wish people knew is that students who are so-called housing insecure people, who have trouble paying their rent, people who have trouble paying their utility bills, people who might just be late on a payment or are living in overcrowded conditions that are not safe — These people often look like me,” said Goldrick-Rab, who is also a professor at Temple University.“Everybody thinks this only happens to somebody else’s child. The truth is, this can happen to anybody. Rent is really unaffordable now, and it’s even less affordable around college campuses.”With schools closing dorms, students have begun to file class-action lawsuits as a way to try and be reimbursed. In addition to the growing number of lawsuits, many universities — including some of the country’s most selective and expensive private schools — are facing mounting public pressure campaigns from students to cut tuition rates during the hiatus from in-person classes.According to the National Center for Homeless Education, which operates some programs for the U.S. Department of Education, more than a million children and youth face homelessness and those students meet with greater obstacles when they attend college. Many of these students “struggle to provide for their basic needs. They often maintain rigorous work schedules that impact the amount of time they can devote to their studies. A particular challenge exists during breaks at residential colleges and universities, when dormitories close. During these times, unaccompanied homeless students living in the dorms often have nowhere to go and insufficient funds to pay for housing,” the report found.Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have led to many colleges and universities closing on-campus operations, forcing many students to find an alternative place to live for the remainder of the semester and without on-campus services.For Marcella Middleton, a mother and first-year graduate student at North Carolina State University, the coronavirus pandemic has threatened the stability she has worked to provide for herself and her son.Housing insecurity is not new to her. Coming out of foster care, Middleton faced homelessness throughout her undergraduate career, telling ABC News she would work on campus in between semesters to have a place to stay.The pandemic’s subsequent shut-down meant that she was forced to telework and work reduced hours. The cut in pay put a drain on her finances and forced her to apply for rental assistance.“I got to a place where I didn’t need to ask for much help and now I’m having to do it again, so that’s been difficult. But I know that I need help and I know I have to make sure my son is taken care of,” Middleton said.The 28-year-old has relied on resources like on-campus therapy, a benefit she says has been instrumental to her success as she earns her Master’s degree in social work. However, Middleton says in-person counseling has become temporarily unavailable as North Carolina State University’s Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center has now transitioned to online video counseling in response to social distancing recommendations.“As somebody who experienced a lot of trauma growing up, I really put a lot of stake in the mental health services that are rendered at the college because they’re free and they come with the package of going to college. And, so, not having access to that has been really difficult because that’s a necessary outlet for my consistent success,” Middleton said, adding that she’s now looking into the online alternative.Marcy Stidum is the director of Campus Awareness, Resource, and Empowerment (CARE) Services at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. CARE Services offers four programs, including support for students experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, and the foster care system.When campus closed, “the initial wave was students who had nowhere to go and were completely homeless,” Stidum said, describing the situation since as a “very continuous rollercoaster ride.”Stidum said that about 300 students were able to stay on campus after the initial influx.“That includes international students. That includes our LGBT community who cannot go home. Our domestic violence and family violence community and our students also who were homeless in high school who are actively homeless,” she said.“So, all those students had nowhere to go, and it comprised about 300 to 400 students.”Now, she said, they are seeing the “second wave” — students who are unable to work and have become housing insecure, which Stidum described as “a step right before homelessness.”The emergency assistance program, which CARE Services oversees, is working to help students with rental assistance using federal funding through the recently passed CARES Act, Stidum said.“But then for some students, it’s not enough,” she added.As part of the federal stimulus package, on April 9, the Department of Education announced it was distributing more than $6 billion to colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which once allocated by schools through cash grants, is intended to go toward students’ various needs during the pandemic, including food, housing, health care, and childcare.“What’s best for students is at the center of every decision we make,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “That’s why we prioritized getting funding out the door quickly to college students who need it most. We don’t want unmet financial needs due to the coronavirus to derail their learning.”In addition to federal aid, some groups have been working to crowdfund emergency relief money for students. Goldrick-Rab said this was a priority for her group.When COVID-19 forced students off-campus, Goldrick-Rab said she started hearing from students and schools struggling to figure out the next steps.Not only were schools worried about students in residence halls when they closed their doors, but they were also worried about students who lived off-campus who might lose their jobs and not have the means to pay rent, “or were being told that they had to leave and go home even though they were locked into leases,” she said.“Homelessness in America is often an invisible problem because we think it means that somebody lives on the street or they sleep in a tent,” Goldrick-Rab said. “But more often than not, especially for people who are pursuing an education, they’re actually couch-surfing.”For Middleton, the pandemic has highlighted the need for policy changes to better support college students who are facing homelessness.“This is a perfect time to really try to support young people that are experiencing housing instability, especially in the midst of COVID-19,” she said. “This is something that has been going on and the inclusion of young people in the planning stage has not been happening.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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first_img Teambuilding can be wasted on the wrong sets of people. Now is the time to reject group mentality, says David ButcherDo you ever stop to think about how odd the idea of teamwork is when it comes to co-ordinating managerial effort? Or have you ever wondered how it comes about that we put so much emphasis on running the business using the curious device of “management teams”? No? But then perhaps you don’t think the idea of putting the words “executive” and “team” together is curious at all. Maybe to you, like many people, it is the most obvious thing in the world to think “team” when you contemplate best management practice. It cannot have escaped your notice that management teams do struggle to work well together, especially senior management teams, so what is obvious to you may not be quite so apparent to them. The fact is that teams generally are difficult to use well in organisations. Rarely do they approach the ideal of individual selflessness, mutual trust, transparency and total inclusion that create the conditions for real synergy – the very purpose of teams. Management teams in particular rarely come anywhere near this. Their members usually have their own agendas and are prepared to co-operate up to a point. There are often hidden alliances between individuals and political positioning is key to understanding what drives team processes. But it does work after a fashion.So why don’t management teams come up to our expectations? Basically the problem lies in the way we extol the virtues of teams to deal with most things managerial, and to compound the problem, use an unrealistic ideal as the model for management teamwork. Calling a managerial task force, designed to meet on only two or three occasions, a “team”, is not sensible. Executive committees are not teams, nor are steering groups. But most important of all, management teams that meet once a week and spend most of their time making routine reports to one another, or deciding who should have premium car parking spaces at the front of the building, are most certainly not teams. I believe it is a fallacy to give them that title. There are many managerial activities that should not be dealt with through teams. And where there is a need for teamwork, as with addressing fundamental business issues or co-ordinating key operational processes, then it makes much more sense to relax the ideals of teamwork. High levels of interpersonal trust and openness, for example, require a huge investment in team development, if they can ever be achieved at all. The time and money might be better spent elsewhere, such as on leadership coaching for key executives. Work with the political realities of management teams, not the dogma of team perfection.The management team “problem” is interesting because we often feel that those teams should be the model for teamwork across the organisation. In fact their inherent difficulties exist in many organisational teams to some extent – it is just that our expectations are high for the management team. But we should learn from their example. A critical appraisal of when to use a team, and how team-like it really needs to be would at the very least reduce the amount of hype surrounding a rather overused concept.David Butcher is director of the management development programmes group, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Moving the goalpostsOn 1 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Our survey says…On 6 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Staff satisfaction has realimpact on the bottom line and with the latest advances in methods, surveys haveseen something of a renaissance. By Veronica SimpsonEmployee surveys are far from the newesttool with which a company assesses staff satisfaction. Historically wheeled outby large organisations once a year, the staff survey was used as more of a PRexercise, an end in itself. But recent improvements in the design and analysisof these surveys has generated a huge boom in their usage – and theirusefulness.Most people credit the US retailgiant Sears with its renaissance. Around five years ago, a survey of thecompany’s staff and customers was published, which showed that there was a verysignificant link between staff satisfaction and customer satisfaction – andtherefore the bottom line. Suddenly all US companies of acertain size and ambition were paying extra close attention to their staff’swell-being, and cross-referencing their survey data. This linking of oneelement of company performance with another to draw meaningful conclusions, hasgenerated a major refinement of the survey process – its design, motivation andanalysis.It has also created a powerfulboardroom weapon for HR departments. As Stephen Harding, managing director ofInternational Survey Research (ISR), says, “It’s a very important way ofdemonstrating the value of HR. A week’s training course for staff can be seento have a direct impact on how customers feel about staying with a bank, forexample.”Andy Brown, associate director ofMori Human Resource Research, the largest independent research agency in theUK, has seen tremendous growth in this category in the last three years. Hesays, “It’s not just the volume of companies that are doing it that’sgrowing, the quality of the research is light years ahead of where it was 10years ago, when companies might do an annual employee survey and nothing else. “There is an increasing amountof specialised research. A lot of them are now doing employee surveys alongsidecommunications audits, culture and value surveys, or training and developmentsurveys.”New generationRetail and finance businesses areparticularly benefiting from this new generation of analysis. ISR works withmost of the UK’s retail banks, including Lloyds, Barclays and the NationalWestminster. Their employee surveys are now being linked in with individualbranch performance data to see how staff satisfaction is impacting on customerretention and financial performance.In addition, Harding says,”Surveys are now linked much more thoughtfully to what the business istrying to achieve and other measures of success, such as customer satisfaction,measures of quality, financial indicators. When it comes to action plans, theyare very much more thought through and business consequences are thoughtthrough right from the start.” Nokia, for example, builds its surveysaround the company’s five core values.With the growing body of surveydata, it is also possible for companies to make comparisons in their own sectoror on a national basis.”If we do a survey for Shellor General Motors in France then we will compare the results with Frenchnational norms, based on surveys we have carried out there over the last two orthree decades,” says Harding. “There are quite strong culturalfactors that should be taken into account when looking at your results. TheSwiss, for example, are generally happiest at their jobs. Italians less so.”Within sectors, says Harding,”if we look at Bank X we can say, ‘Here’s how you compared to other banksin the UK financial sector’. And then they can start targeting areas in whichthey are underperforming. If you haven’t got these kinds of benchmarks there’sa danger of charging off to address what are seen as negatives, when,relatively speaking, they are not unusual for that country or sector.”But while benchmarking is clearlythe new religion for professional survey firms, it is rarely possible tocompare like with like – each survey for every client will be slightlydifferent, based on the unique culture and goals of that organisation, or theoriginal purpose of the survey.This is where research agencyMillward Brown thinks it is on to a winner with its new approach to measuringemployee satisfaction, called “Employee Dynamics”. Account managerMartin Attwood says, “The value of good employee relationships lies in thedegree of commitment and enthusiasm that employees show for their work. “We have done a great deal ofwork looking at brand communication, and what makes consumers more loyal tocertain brands. We used that model to look at what makes employees loyal, andcame up with a pyramid structure which, at the one end, has staff who are notcoping with their job right up to those who are totally bonded with their joband their company. It provides simple boardroom metrics that you could use toshow how happy your staff are.”We deliberately designed itas a coherent framework that works across companies, continents andframeworks.” The benefits are obvious, saysAttwood. “You can compare staff satisfaction between departments, andtrack attitudes consistently over the years, to see how changes you have madehave impacted on loyalty.” In addition, retail customers cancarry out one survey on employees and another on customers, to see how loyaltyin one area is impacting on loyalty in the other.But this model is in its infancy.Millward Brown has tested the system extensively on its own staff, and isrunning a major study in the UK. It has not yet taken it into the commercialarena.Logistical senseNew technology is another area richin potential for employee surveys – especially for companies with a widegeographical spread. At Getty Images, a company with 2,600 employees spread across20 different countries, putting out its recent survey on the Internet made alot of logistical sense – it maximised contributions from all internationaloffices, for the minimum of HR time and effort. The response rate was an impressive80 per cent of the survey group (about 2,000 employees). Ralph Tribe,vice-president of HR, explains, “We held the survey open for three weeksto maximise the response. But whereas with a traditional survey you might get aflurry of responses initially and then nothing, with the Internet you can veryquickly assess initial response, and then fire off e-mails to generate more.Doing this throughout the whole three-week period meant our response rates wereway above average.” Consultancy Towers Perrin, whichhandled the technological side of the exercise, claims 55 per cent was a moretypical response rate.Much of the above work, it has tobe said, is restricted to the minority of companies with a large enoughworkforce, and bank balance, to both justify and warrant such appliance ofscience – although the growing presence of intranet systems is of value to all.For many small to medium firms inthis country, surveying is often a much more seat-of-the-pants affair. And manyof them are happy with it as such. Helen Tiffany, group training anddevelopment manager at magazine company Haymarket Publishing, is reaping thebenefits from a staff survey and about 100 Investors In People employeeinterviews, conducted over the past 18 months. As the director of a fairly new HRdepartment in a rapidly expanding company, Tiffany felt that it was importantto get feedback from staff about their satisfaction with their jobs, theircareer opportunities within the company and their perception of training andpersonnel resources. She  joined the company two years previously when all Haymarket had inthe way of HR was two part-time employees devoted to training. She says,”The biggest thing that came out of the research is that people felt therewas nowhere to go with personnel or career issues.” Although she had been working hardto bring the company up to scratch on appraisals, job descriptions andsubstantially boosting in-house training, a lot of the work has not beenpublicised. “Since the surveys we have improvedinternal communications via intranet and Haymarket bulletins,” sheexplains. “The HR function is much more recognised now. People know that Iwill provide legal counsel, advice and attempt to empower managers to deal withpersonnel issues.”Improved conditions”As a response to issuesraised in the interviews and survey, we have also dramatically improved workingconditions in some areas – new desks, new PCs and software. It’s been a veryuseful exercise and something we will do annually.”Having worked as an HR consultantfor several years, Tiffany had no qualms about drawing up her ownquestionnaire. “I took a lot of informationfrom exit interviews, especially for the problem areas that needed addressing.As for the style of questions, I made sure there was a reasonable mixture ofnarrative questions with quantitative data next to them. “Everything was completelyanonymous. The data processing was done internally and the information then wasseen by only two or three people within the company, including myself.”Tiffany is clear that surveys andfeedback are part of the ongoing evolution of company culture. Having fed backthe actions leading from the initial surveys to staff, she regularly attendsthe various departmental councils, forums and workshops to pick up on personnelissues, which will be fed back to the boards, with ensuing actions communicatedto staff through the intranet and bulletins.Not all firms follow through quiteso thoroughly. According to Andy Brown at Mori, despite the advances in surveydesign and analysis, many companies are still prey to the following pitfalls:doing a survey and not doing anything with the results, or doing a survey anddoing something with the results, but not telling anyone about it.Brown says, “That’s such avital part of the psychological link with the employee, in saying that time youtook to complete the survey was well spent.”He continues, “If the chiefexecutive backs the whole idea you get high response levels, greateraccountability among line managers and the greater likelihood of action at theother end.”Value added analysis”We are trying to do morevalue added analysis – we don’t only tell them how they are doing, but whichitems are important in driving outcomes like motivation and commitment. It maybe that the lowest scoring is not the most important.”If you have paid a consultancy tohandle your survey, the chances are the best of them will build in models forhandling the issues raised in analysis. ISR’s Harding says, “When wetalk to companies about a survey, we are discussing how they are going to rollthis out with line managers and how line managers are going to communicate theresults before we even draw up the questionnaire. We have focus groups onaction planning. When the results are in, there are data decision workshops invarious layers of the organisation.”Brown stresses the importance oftracking results and feeding back actions. “At the BBC, we have been doingresearch with staff about communications. They have been exemplary in trackingthe results, and taking actions where needed. “Because we have tracked datafor three or four years, we have seen marked rises in how well they are doingin terms of how good they feel about internal communications,” he says.Ultimately, the better thesurveying and action initiatives are communicated to the workforce at large,the better it is for the HR department and staff motivation.Other tools forcommunicationSurveys are certainly the mostcomprehensive way of taking a sounding of staff attitudes. But the roles ofother forms of inter-staff communication are equally important.Exit interviews, for one, can be agood source of information on which to base your surveys, highlighting problemareas of pay, management or working conditions – people are usually much morefrank in their opinions if they are about to leave your employ (as long as itdoesn’t jeopardise their references).In devising surveys andimplementing and communicating action taken on the back of them, forums and councilsare also invaluable. Low-cost airline EasyJet conducts regular culture surveysto ensure that the working practice and experience reflects the ideals set outin the company business plan. These surveys are the responsibility of the”culture committee”, a body of individuals drawn from all aspects ofthe company, who meet every month to discuss issues and action arising from thelast survey, and focus on the direction of the next.At Southend Hospital (see the casestudy at https://www.personneltoday.com/features),the employee questionnaire was devised by a working group drawn from all areasof the hospital, and all levels. The momentum generated by these groups’involvement in company policy can be harnessed and nurtured by the HR division,to spread a feeling of inclusion in key decisions throughout the staff base.Regular staff forums also provide an opportunity for the HR manager to showtheir face, and keep the profile of HR high within an organisation.There are also occasions wherequestionnaires would be too bland and clumsy a measure. ISR’s Stephen Hardingsays, “For example, we have been working with an FMCG company that merged.The hardest thing for it to achieve is integration of the soft stuff – culture,HR policy and people feeling they are part of a new organisation. Goingstraight into a questionnaire in that environment is too sensitive, too raw.What we do at this stage is focus groups and interviews at various locations.We were able to pull out some really important themes that were reallybothering these people and causing them to leave. And a year later, we havecome back and done a questionnaire-based survey.”The questionnaire bit is onlythe sandwich filling between to qualitative processes – designing the survey tosuit the client’s requirements, and analysing the results at the end. When itcomes to thinking it through into actions then you need real live people roundthat table to say what can be done.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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first_imgWith record-low interest rates for at least another few months and housing supply set to remain low, the general consensus among households across the UK is that property prices will increase in 2016, albeit at a slower rate than in 2015.The latest data from the House Price Sentiment Index (HSPI) from Knight Frank and Markit Economics found that house price growth this year is expected to be led by the East of England and London, with more modest levels of price increases set to be recorded in many other parts of the UK.The future HPSI, which measures what households think will happen to the value of their home over the next year, increased marginally this month to 70.5 from 70.3 in December. This is the highest reading since June 2015, but remains below the peak of 75.1 reached in May 2014.Expectations for residential property price growth among households in the East of England hit an all-time high of 81.1, suggesting that they expect to see the highest rise in property values over the next year.Home prices in London, where an average HPSI reading of 79.1 was recorded, is also expected to outstrip the national average.In contrast, there was a noteworthy fall in the future reading for the North West, down from 67.5 to 62.3 in January, as well as Scotland, which dropped to 61.8, down from 65.8 in December.Homeowners with a mortgage outstanding expressed the greatest confidence that home prices will increase over the next 12 months at a reading of 76, followed by those who own their property outright at 73.1.“Mortgage borrowers are the most positive about the outlook for house prices over the next year, perhaps reflecting the anticipation of a longer period of ‘ultra-low’ rates after the Bank of England’s decision to hold rates this month, and signals from rate-setters that the UK base rate could be at 0.5% for some time yet,” said Gráinne Gilmore (left), Head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.The future sentiment index is now sitting just above where it was in January 2015, Gilmore explained, pointing to the fact that UK house prices rose by 4.5 per cent during the course of the year.“The latest house price sentiment index suggests that monetary and political housing policies have not had a dramatic impact on households’ assessment and outlook for the value of their property,” she added.housing market knight frank house price rise in 2016 House Price Sentiment Index HSPI property prices UK house prices January 27, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles 40% of tenants planning a move now that Covid has eased says Nationwide3rd May 2021 Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » UK house prices set to rise in 2016 previous nextHousing MarketUK house prices set to rise in 2016Households across the UK expect house prices to rise in 2016.The Negotiator27th January 20160558 Viewslast_img read more

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