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first_imgLettersOn 26 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today This week’s lettersHR essential for keeping ahead The Sector Watch special on the supermarkets made for interesting reading(Feature, 12 March) and reinforced the vital importance of the HR in acompany’s ability to retain the competitive edge in today’s market-place. In the retail sector, where price differentials have reduced dramatically,retailers are now competing fiercely on customer service. This obviouslyimpacts on the quality of staff which they seek to employ, the ongoingdevelopment of that employee’s skills and the importance of the long-termretention of quality people. The current consumer boom has resulted in the announcement of aggressiveexpansion programmes by all the top retail brands, creating the projected needfor an additional 100,000 new people. In a sector where there already exists anacute skills shortage, this represents a candidate shortfall of epicproportions. In order to fulfil these projected expansion plans, companies will have toradically alter their thinking both in terms of their recruitment methodologyand their nurturing of the talent that they possess and, moreover, wish toretain. Forward thinking employers must be more flexible in their recruitmentparameters. The right attitude is more important than direct experience andcross-industry fertilisation can be very fruitful. Age should not present a barand good quality training can achieve wonders. Fundamental to delivering good customer service is the creation of a companyculture which values its employees as human beings and has the flexibility tooffer the working conditions and benefits which represent real value to theindividual. A company that wins the hearts and minds of its employees andassists them with meaningful career development will create a strong corporateloyalty. A workforce whose needs are well satisfied will in turn satisfy theneeds of the customer. Kirsty Gilchrist Senior consultant ISIS, The Berkeley Scott Group Comments were too patronising How does Paul Kearns manage so much press in your publication (Comment, 12March)? To suggest in his article, ‘Quick and dirty HR gets the job done’, that anaive lack of pragmatism is an intrinsic trait within our profession isextremely patronising. No HR professional worth their salt is against finding quick, practicalsolutions to problems in the workplace. However, advising managers that quickfix expediency is not always the best route to long-term excellence is a fullyvalid way in which we can and do add value within organisations. Allan Price Personnel manager, Mersey Docks & Harbour Company Longer courses are helpful too Octavius Black’s view that personal development is of more use thancorporate values will have many training professionals nodding their heads inagreement (Opinion, 26 February). He then argued the best way to do this is in short, sharp 90-minute sessionsand there probably are many organisations which will find this approach topersonal development seductive. However, there is another way. Slightly longer workshops and courses ofhalf-a-day upwards allow delegates time to explicitly focus on their ownobjectives and time to plan the implementation of whatever has been learnt atthe end of the course. Both of these steps are important elements of effective learning and areessential if behaviours are to be changed. Clive Lewis Managing director, Ilumine Training An escape route What made me laugh today? Guru’s story about business travel and its effectson your family (Guru, 12 March). The suggestion is that partners of business travellers are much more likelyto suffer from mental health problems. There may be a link but I doubt if causeand effect have been proved. From my experience, I’d say those with neurotic partners probably seek asmuch business travel as possible to get away from them. Charlotte Creasy via e-mail Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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