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Northern Ireland delegates told how to LOVE YOUR PEOPLE - CIPD

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Northern Ireland delegates told how to
Some 40 delegates at the Northern Ireland St Valentine’s CIPD event
LOVE YOUR PEOPLE heard how three of the province’s best
organisations improve performance by leading managing and
developing their people effectively. Joy Chambers from IiP Champions
outlined the organisation’s strategies for talent management and left
delegates envious of the exceptional Work life balance practices
instigated in NTNI.
John Mulholland local Branch Chair was delighted by the turn –out
and the feedback from delegates:
The Newsletter of the Northern Ireland Branch - Volume 3, Issue 4, Spring 2007
Northern Ireland
is about to
introduce a
smoking ban, how
will organisations
manage the
If you are not yet ready these are the steps you should follow:
1. Develop a policy. Establish a group to provide assurance that the
law will be complied with in your organisation.The group needs to
be representative including management and employees but
especially smokers and non-smokers. Ask the trades-union
representatives to help. Identify those responsible for implementing
the policy.
Fortified by chocolate fondue and Indian head massages Marie Lindsay
Principal of St Mary’s College gave a comprehensive overview of
practices, which have led the school to achieving the European
Quality Award (twice). Having achieved Specialist School for Science
status St. Mary’s will continue to invest in all its people pupils staff and
parents to create a challenging environment to raise the quality of
teaching and learning for pupils and ultimately standards of
Home Office statistics indicate that smoking materials were a factor in
a substantial proportion of accidental fires in recent years. If number of
fires attributed to accidental causes fall, then employers who
demonstrate compliance with the new rules may be able to negotiate
more favourable insurance deals for their businesses.
Offences and penalties will include:
• Failure to display minimum statutory no-smoking signs
Fine: up to ВЈ1,000 or fixed penalty notice of ВЈ200
Smoking in a smoke-free place
Fine: up to ВЈ200 or penalty notice of ВЈ50 (discounted to ВЈ30 for
early payment)
Failure to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place
Fine: up to ВЈ2,500
For more information see consult the Health Promotion Agency site
2. Communicate and consult. Communicate the policy to
employees, consult on the options and gather the views of staff.
Ensure that employees are aware of the dangers of smoking and
second-hand smoke. Offer health information and help to those
wishing to quit.The policy should state that it complies with the law
and applies to all staff without exception as well as visitors,
customers, subcontractors, and so on. It should include the names
of those responsible for implementing the policy, arrangements for
smokers and information about disciplinary action for non
"I am delighted that we were able to showcase the people
management practices of local organisations which have received
national and international acclaim. Hopefully delegates will be able to
replicate their success."
Joanne Morrow felt that there was:
"a good mix of talks and creative/innovative sessions."
Based in Belfast, Heat Ltd is the largest Heating Installation &
Servicing company in Ireland and one of the top ten in the UK. Last
year Heat came 31st in the Sunday Times BEST COMPANIES TO
WORK FOR.The organisation commits heavily in terms of corporate
social responsibility and last year spent ВЈ60,000 on social events for
its staff, as well as a further ВЈ60,000 on charitable donations as
requested by staff.
The longer term positive effects extend to improved health of the
work force which is the whole point of the legislation. Employers can
look forward to reductions in sickness absence as a result of a decline
in smoking related chronic illness.
Paula Vernon summed up the thoughts of many delegates when she
"This has been one of the most informative and interesting
conferences I have had the pleasure to attend. The speakers were
excellent, the day was fun and relaxed and the chocolate and head
Belfast Business Centre, Cathedral House, 23-31 Waring Street
Belfast BT1 2DX Tel: 028 90436631
Registered Charity No: 1038333
3. Implementing and monitoring. Allow as long as possible for
implementation but it much be enforced by Monday 30th April
Display copies of the policy in-house, give it to all staff and publish it
in employee handbooks, on intranets, etc.After the ban comes into
force, display statutory no-smoking signs in accordance with the
Make provision for the disposal of cigarette ends and provide for
on-going monitoring of the ban.
From the experience in the Republic of Ireland and later Scotland, most
people have responded very positively to a cleaner working
environment. The ban will normally be taken to include smoking in
company vehicles which does present a difficulty for enforcement.
Exemptions will include hotel bedrooms, nursing homes and prisons.
Courtesy of Health Promotion Agency
Page 2
"Grab life by the throat"
Gerry Faloona, guest speaker and former student at Belfast Institute
of further and higher education, (BIFHE), told his audience "It’s not
how high you reach in life that matters, its how quickly you get up
again after you get knocked down".
He mentioned during his talk that he had spent several years building
up a business in Belfast, only to lose everything in the final dying
throws of civil unrest.An early morning telephone call confirmed his
company vehicles and equipment were part of a burning barricade at
the centre of a street riot; his entire business had literally gone up in
Gerry told us that he felt lost and numb for a few days but then
decided he had to "grab life by the throat" He went on to explain how
his positive never say die attitude got him back on top. He shared with
us his philosophy that when successful people decide they are going
to be successful, they are, and stressed his belief that one of the most
important things in being successful was the continuous quest for
knowledge. Gerry has no formal academic training but took a
management course at BIFHE in his late 30’s some twelve years ago.
Gerry is currently the senior partner in a successful training company
and a recognised professional speaker in great demand.
During his talk he made references to two personality types; vacuums
and radiators. A vacuum (he suggests) is a person with a negative
outlook on everything; one who can suck away all of your confidence
and enthusiasm, a radiator is one with a positive view of life; one that
exudes the encouraging and enthusiastic, traits needed to help people
to excel. We were warned to avoid the vacuums and embrace the
radiators; not bad advice.
Nominations open for
CIPD Student Awards
Letters have just gone out to CIPD course providers to announce the
High Achievers Awards 2007.
In Northern Ireland at any one time during the academic year, well over
200 students are participating in programmes at certificate level
(Personnel Practice and Training Practice) and at masters level
(Professional Development Scheme) provided by Further and Higher
Educational Institutes and Universities. Some senior practitioners also
achieve these professional standards through an �Assessment of
Professional Competence Route’.
These students are mainly in full time employment, studying on a parttime basis devote many hours in their own time to attain their goals.
The Awards Ceremony will be incorporated into the HR Challenges
2007 event to be held in Belfast during October. The conference is
aimed at the all of the local membership but including those students
enrolled in CIPD courses. The organisers estimate that delegate
numbers will be a substantial up on last year’s event which attracted
about 130 people.
This is a premier event provided by the CIPD local branch, a unique
experience, adding value and vital continuing professional development
to HR professionals.The conference is also directed at tutors providing
An objective of the Northern Ireland CIPD branch is to engage with
other organisations and this was one of the reasons that the
committee agreed to support BIFHE student event for their school of
The well supported event was also supported by the IAM (Institute of
Management) and CMI (Chartered Management Institute). Guest
Speaker Gerry Faloona has been named by CMI as chartered manager
of the year N. Ireland 2007 and is one of the final dozen nominees for
the UK manager of the year 2007.
Gerry’s Faloona's company ETE is an organisation specialising in
providing training and qualifications for both staff and management
mainly but not exclusively in Retail, Wholesale and Food service
Gerry Faloona 2nd from right
them with a chance to meet nationally respected authorities in different
subject areas of HR. On this occasion the event and the High Achievers’
Awards also to be sponsored by Penna.
Nominations will be accepted for Students who commenced their
study on or after 1st April 2006 and finishing at the end of the normal
academic year, 30th June 2007, so the closing date for receipt of
documents to the Judging Panel will be Monday 20th August 2007,
without exception.
The small independent Judging Panel will be chaired by Adela Ginn,
Chartered FCIPD, past Chair of the N.I. Branch and of course their
decisions will be final.
The minimum qualifying criterion is that the nominated student has
received an overall distinction in their study.The Judging Panel will use
further agreed short-listing criteria as appropriate to the selection
There will be no personal interview within the judging process.
Contact for Advertising
If you are interested in placing an advert reaching 2,600
HR/Personnel and Training professionals then contact:
Tel: 028 9043 6631
1/2page @ ВЈ800 or 1/4page @ ВЈ500 plus VAT
CIPD Northern Ireland publishes advertisements in its newsletter as part of the overall service to members. This does
not represent an endorsement by the Branch of any of the Companies or Organisations who advertise with us.
�If HR managers don’t defend the
training budget when the going gets
tough, then who else will?’
By Gabriel Finnegan
Some employers feel aggrieved at the idea that they need to spend
money training employees to address skills gaps – "why does the
education system not prepare people adequately for the workplace?"
Accountants class training as an expense �not central to operational
The opposing argument is that the world of work is now changing at a
faster rate than it has done at any time in the past. Businesses that hope
to remain competitive must equip their staff with the latest skills to win
new and retain existing customers.
Quality of product and service is seen, as the aspect that separates
successful businesses from failing ones, so to what extent is there a link
between the commitment of an organisation to learning and
development and the quality levels realised? Quality standards generally
focus on managing and involving people and present a chance for the
HR manager to exhibit an understanding of the strategic impact of
quality improvement on business performance.
Business success is the achievement of a better return on investment
for shareholders than might be achieved were the resources simply
deposited in an investment account at the bank. Key to the confidence
that shareholders require is the understanding that the business has a
high level of confidence that the organisation can meet customer
requirements consistently. Having an external auditor come in and
regularly assess against set criteria provides an additional check that the
business can provide customer satisfaction.
Human Resource managers have not been traditionally credited with
full understanding of the financial implications of learning and
development activities within their organisations.When asked to justify
training costs they are much more likely to quote Reid & Barrington’s
subjective list of benefits:
Training helps new employees learn the job more quickly
Trained staff are less likely to make costly errors or to have
accidents at work
• Recruiting high-quality staff is easier when the organisation has a
reputation for training.
• Trained workers are likely to be more flexible and able to
undertake a range of jobs
• Trained employees may be more committed to the organisation
and less likely to leave for other jobs
• Training can help to focus employee attention on how to achieve
high levels of quality and customer service
In lean times, corporate accountants focus on cutting costs that are not
seen as central to operational activity and as a consequence, usually, the
first two areas to suffer are: advertising and training.The HR manager
has an important responsibility to establish the value of each training
activity so that when the challenge presents itself the response can be
made in terms of investment in human capital and the value that people
have in meeting strategic objectives.
In establishing the need for training it should be demonstrated that it
helps employees to quickly acquire new competencies and a
commitment to a different organisational culture. Training must be a
value-adding investment, essential to the future of the business. The
strategic objective should be continuous improvement of performance,
and continuous improvement of the organisation, teams and individuals.
A focus on training also serves to build a general climate of selfinitiated learning and development.
HR professionals are best placed to make a compelling case to
continue with key training initiatives. If HR managers don’t defend the
training budget when the going gets tough, then who else will?
To help with this, it may be useful to down load the "Costing your
spend on training" factsheet from
Page 5
Page 4
VOYPIC, the Voice of Young People in Care, is a registered charity that
acts as an independent regional voice for young people in care and care
experienced young people. Its aim is to give these young people a
voice in decisions that affect their lives. Currently around 2,500 young
people are in care in Northern Ireland. Some information about
VOYPIC can be seen on its web site at
Recently VOYPIC has won a major contract from the DHSSPS worth
around ВЈ3m over five years.This has presented the present board with
a major challenge and the board is seeking to improve the corporate
governance within the body and to strengthen itself by taking on new
directors from specific backgrounds.
The Organisation wishes to canvass among CIPD members for a
volunteer board member. The ideal candidate would be a qualified
member of the CIPD and possibly come from a care background or
have experience of working in the broader care field within the health
and social services or within one of the many voluntary bodies within
the sector. However, this is not a necessary prerequisite as the main
need is for an experienced HR professional. Billy Lyttle will be able to
provide you with more information about VOYPIC and the role of the
new director if you would be willing to assist them.
Billy Lyttle
Tel [internal] 39191
Tel: [external] 028 90823191
Smoking ban puts
jobs at risk
When the smoking ban comes into effect in Northern
Ireland, it is very likely to have a similar impact as the ban in
Scotland. There the Scottish Licensed Trade Association
reported that drink takings were down 11% and as a result a
third of bars reduced their staffing levels. However conditions
for staff did improve, air pollution surveys in bars found that
air quality had improved by 86%. Scottish BMA chair, Peter
Terry, claimed the ban had made a "huge difference" to public
health, and said that
"Much more needs to be done to reduce the numbers of
smokers, particularly among the young and pregnant women".
Clearly Northern Ireland will need more than smoke-free
legislation, there will be an on-going need for education and
the use of NHS backed cessation projects. Perhaps
surprisingly only one smoker and one business have been
taken to court under the year old law in Scotland and 175
people have paid the fixed penalty, (not requiring court
appearance), for breach of the law.
As a CIPD member,
what can I access on its Website?
Paul Benedict J. R. tops my favorites list on
my web browser ever since I came into
contact with CIPD. As a learning
professional, it is worth every penny I
pay for my yearly membership fee.
bookstore discounts, regularly updated
fact sheets, ever-lively discussion forums,
brilliant student support materials,
ground-breaking research and policy
publications like Change Agendas, Guides, Event Reports, Public policy
perspectives, Survey Reports, Information on Innovative Training
courses, prestigious conferences and exhibitions, weekly e-newsletters,
and the national level branch activities, the following FOUR exclusive
membership benefits are my favorites from the website.
Over 650 Company Profiles
CIPD Library and Helpful Librarians (
Over 12,000 books and reports, 140 journal titles with over 16,000
journal articles, hundreds of special collections including examples of
company policies, Surveys - including salary surveys, statistical
publications, directories and training manuals –I could not believe my
eyes, when I personally visited the Library last year – such was the
experience to see all that is relevant to your career at one place.
Whilst some resources are reserved for reference only, I was told that
most items are available for loan to CIPD members and can be sent to
me through the post. Last month I asked for a particular book and it
came to me the next day by recorded delivery. I rang their Enquiries
service (020 8612 6210) once for some factual information on a topic
and the staff were extremely helpful in guiding me step by step to
unleash the potential resources available online. Have you ever tried the
�advanced search’ option at the website? Try once and you will be its
frequent visitor. (
I cannot but mention that once I stretched my request a bit more and
On 12th April the Irish News will launch an exciting new awards initiative aimed at the
business sector in Northern Ireland which will culminate with a high profile, black tie event
on June 21st namely �The Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards’.
The awards will provide the platform to profile and celebrate the talent and creativity
that exists within companies, both small and large. If you want the opportunity to spotlight
your excellent worklife balance initiatives or impress us with your flexible working policies
now is your chance. The Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards promises to be an
exceptional night attracting many of the top employers and employees within the
Northern Ireland business community.
We would very much like you to be involved in what will surely be a superb night of
celebration as it recognises and rewards all that is good within Northern Ireland business.
Look out for your Workplace & Employment Awards pack coming your way soon.
Business Partners
Industry Partners
When I googled for SWOT analysis it generously brought forth
1300000 links and I was lost in that immensity. I was desperately
looking for specific examples of SWOT reports from top companies of
the UK. After a while, logged on CIPD’s website and to my surprise,
there I found 650 company profiles compiled and produced by
Datamonitor. The links provide us with up to date information on
leading UK, US and European companies with their histories, key
employees, major products and services, performance reports, top
competitors and of course, their SWOT analysis reports. This section
also has nearly 5000 industry reports, 1400 country economic reports
to provide you with Market Analysis and industry forecasts. Oh! What
an enlightening experience when you find them at a time when you
need them most.
asked the staff to do a search of the Library database for me on a
particular topic. They gladly obliged and sent me a reading list by email
the very next day. That was a wonderful experience of being a part of
this professional body. Have a go yourself…to experience it.
Hundreds of Practical Tools and Training Activities
As a person working in the Learning and Development Department, I
found this section is very helpful to me. It has plenty of interactive aids,
checklists, diagnostics, frameworks and ideas to help us review, plan and
implement change in our organizations. It has an alphabetical list of
Over 330 Online Journals
Last year while writing my Management Report on Diversity
Management, I was frantically looking for the latest efforts taken by the
industry leaders. CIPD website provided me with downloadable fulltext articles, totally free of charge from over 330 profession specific,
business and management journals, with an exception of only a few. It’s
extensive back files go as far as 1950s and 1940s and with some even
earlier: (Harvard Business Review is available from Oct, 1922, altogether
85 Volumes!). It is a sheer joy to find whatever you need, whenever you
want, right in front of you.
practical activities and exercises for trainers to use in groups or for
individual assessment. I would recommend the Methodical Madness
exercise (a creative, problem solving exercise), Diversity Awareness
Exercises, and one or two Induction exercises to understand their
power and user-friendliness.
Whenever you are asked to present or to write on any of the HR
issues, let CIPD website be your starting point. Just log on and click
�Information Resources’ on the left panel. With over 70,000 relevant
pages on the website, you are sure to win.
This was the key message emanating from the Management &
Leadership Conference – Leaders Aim Higher held at the Culloden
Hotel on February 28th. The conference, organized by MLN (with the
support of UU, DEL, SfBN, Invest NI and Construction Skills) attracted
some 180 managers from across Northern Ireland.
Delegates were treated to inspirational words from leadership guru
Rene Carayol MBE (from BBC’s �Clear your Mortgage in 2 Years).
Uplifting presentations were also given by a local manager (Eileen
Sowney, AIB), a local leader (Andrew Lowden, Glenaden Shirts) and
local entrepreneur (the indomitable Hugh Daly).
MC for the day Noel Thompson guided attendees through a balloonmaking icebreaker, awards presentations and breakfast & lunch
networking opportunities
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Northern Ireland Branch CIPD will be held on Thursday 10th May 2006 in the
Holiday Inn Ormeau Ave, Belfast, at for the transaction of the following business:1.
Adoption of the Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 11th May 2006.
Matters Arising from Meeting 11th May 2006.
Chairperson’s Report
Adoption of the Audited Accounts for year ending 31 March 2007
Appointment of a Branch Auditor for 2007
Election of Branch Officers and General Committee to serve for 2007/ 2008.
Any other Competent Business
Feedback from the event has been quite incredible with comments
ranging from "the best ВЈ50 I have spent in 20 years" to "the most
inspirational and powerful seminar in my career". Keep your eye on for a full review of the conference
including access to the presentations from the day.We will also keep
you informed on further MLN events throughout the year.
Leadership Lunch Series Proves Popular and Informative
Management Month saw the first in a series of Leadership Lunches hosted by Leadership Management International (LMI).The
theme of the event was around the subject of "Leading Change in Your Business".The guest speaker for the event was Aidan
Donnelly of Fenix Solutions Ltd where he talked about the leadership challenges facing the management buyout of Kingston
Communications over the past year. Fenix Solutions Ltd is involved in the telecommunications sector.Aidan described how he
was able to gain 30% extra productivity from attending a LMI programme recently which has resulted in spectacular growth for
his own organisation. Plans are in place to hold Leadership Lunches in June, September and December this year. Eric Cairns has
agreed today to be the guest speaker at the next Leadership Lunch planned for the 18th June.The theme of this lunch will be
around "Developing Your Organisation" where we will be examining the phases and associated problems when we grow our
businesses and how to overcome them. If you are interested in becoming involved with the Leadership Lunch Series contact
Michael Clarke on 02891 452576 or email Michael on
(From left to right) – Bill Manson (chief Executive of the MLN);Aidan Donnelly (Director of Fenix Solutions Ltd);Alistair Risk
(GM of the Holiday Inn ; Barbara Douglas (B4B); Kieron McGuire (MD of Fenix Solutions Ltd) and Michael Clarke (Director of
Leadership Management International)
Page 7
Page 6
With the right Attitude you can
reach a higher Altitude!!!
Martyn Sloman was appointed to his current
position of Adviser, Learning, Training and
Development at the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development (CIPD) in January
2001. He has responsibility for research into
the role and contribution of learning and
training in organisations, for e-learning and for
the links between people management and
technology. He is currently leading a major
project investigating the extent to which a
global model for learning, training and
development has emerged.
Martyn will
speak on
The Changing
World of the
New business models demand new
approaches to training and learning, but what
does this mean in practice? What new
frameworks for trainers are emerging in the
global knowledge and service economy? How
are our perceptions of the role of the trainer
changing? How will cultural and contextual
issues determine best practice and will China
prove to be radically different? Using
illustrative case studies drawn from different
countries the session will explore how training
and learning is building competitive advantage
in organisations across the world.
Our Annual General Meeting is approaching
fast and I would urge you to come along and
share your views on how we can take CIPD
forward in Northern Ireland. Members of the
current committee provide a broad range of
experience and expertise in personnel and
development and we have been successful in
achieving the objectives set out in our business
plan. I am delighted that we have been able to
bring in some new blood to the committee
Elsewhere in this edition you will read about
some of the highlights of a highly successful
Management Month and I am delighted that
the local branch has made our contribution
to that. CIPD sponsored the �Grab Your Life
by the Throat’ event and I must admit I
thought where else but Belfast could you get
away with a title like that! I am delighted to
report on the success of two of the main
contributors of our Love Your People eventNorthbrook Technology who recently
received their Investors in People Champion
award and HEAT who made the top 10 of
the Sunday Times Top 100 organisations to
work for. Congratulations to both of them
and congratulations also to Botannic Inns
and CEEA who came in at 49 and 69
On the theme of success as a result of
Wendy McCulla’s article in the last
"Soundbytes", Richard Taylor and Mark
McCrory have come forward to join the
Branch committee. Mark recently won the
Labour Relations Agency Award for Best
Dissertation in MSc (HRM) 2005/06 in UUJ
and it provides a great link not just to
promote our High Achievers Awards but
also to confirm a date for our Student
Conference on 17th October 2007. Please
check the website for further details.We will
in touch with the local providers by the end
of April to confirm details.
this year, and this has helped freshen things up
a bit. It is very encouraging that many of this
year’s new members have enjoyed the
experiences, have made a positive contribution
to the Branch and all being well, will take on a
little more responsibility next year. Hopefully
the commitment is not all one way, and
committee members gain a great deal in terms
of networking, CPD and learning by working
with a group of enthusiastic and motivated
A word of warning however– we want people
commitments. Its not just a case of turning up
to get your photograph in Soundbytes! With
this in mind, I would like to thank this year’s
committee for their hard work, enthusiasm
and support throughout the year. Financially
we made a profit; the feedback from events
programme has been very positive; we have a
more proactive approach to member service
and I hope you will agree each edition of
Soundbytes has improved in terms of content
and presentation.
Best wishes
John Mulholland, Chair.
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