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The past week has seen HR and talent management hit the headlines in the mainstream media, and largely for all the wrong reasons. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the story dominating the news as well as some less high profile ones you may not have picked up on.
How not to manage talent
This story demonstrates just how important it is to remain respectful and professional at all times – especially on email, where an apparently flippant comment can have far reaching implications. Seeing coverage across major news outlets after first being reported by the BBC, this scandal has caught the imaginations of the country’s workforce.
Graduate jobseeker Anna Jacobs was arranging an interview with Tecomak Environmental Services in Kent, but the feedback that she received on her CV in the process has got everyone talking. In emails that were seemingly attached by accident, Tecomak staff stated the following:
“Home educated oddball. Can’t get a job since leaving uni. Forages for mushrooms. Difficult to assess from her CV – might be very good but equally could be a biscuit short of a packet or a left-wing loon tree hugger. Worth an interview if only for a laugh.”
Unsurprisingly this has caused significant blowback and reputational damage for Tecomak, who have since removed their social media presence, and seen their website visited enough to cause it to crash, in addition to over 60 negative Google reviews.
This kind of reputational damage can be irreversibly damaging for an organisation of this size, and really hammers home the age old message that ‘careless talk costs lives.’ Anna has since decided to decline the company’s invitation to interview.
Forecasting group EY Item Club has revealed that rising unemployment and falling pay could attributed to a Brexit slowdown of the UK jobs market, with unemployment rates expected to rise from 4.7 per cent to 5.4 per cent in 2018 and 5.8 per cent in 2019.
This news comes after the Guardian reported that UK firms are now planning to offer pay rises of one per cent, a number which falls below the rate of inflation, leading to serious consequences for the consumer spending that is key to stable economic growth. Though the outlook for some sectors like manufacturing remains bright, living standards are expected to fall as consumers can afford less due to depressed wages.
Honesty is the best policy
When it comes to pay and benefits in the workplace, honesty really is the best policy. Having employees that resent their level of pay and the benefits that they receive is a surefire way to ensure a toxic workplace with low staff morale and motivation.
David Burkus, Associate Professor of Management at Oral Roberts University spoke to HR Grapevine and gave insights into the topic, stating that employees who disagree with pay structures can actively help to make positive change in the way in which the organisation is structured, rather than seething about it behind closed doors.
However, sometimes people really do take the honesty side to heart. Take a look at the letter that this grandmother sent to her employer when she decided that the job wasn’t right for her anymore. Do you think this is taking honesty with your employer too far?
“"Just a quick note to say how pleased we are with the support that Katie has provided recently. She has been a massive help with the redrafting of our contract of employment and the provision of advice relating to our HR policies and procedures. "”
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