Welcome to our blog. Our newsletters bring the official updates from CHaRM, but here we post more personal views and comments regarding what is happening in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment - A storm in a D cup?

There are many phrases to describe what is currently happening in the world of Parliament and Hollywood, from "well isn't it obvious that this would be the case", to 'media frenzy', 'witch-hunt' and 'it's about time'. What worries me about this surge in both 'let's talk about it we'll all feel better', #metoo and the bandwagon jumpers who issued a list of parliamentary offenders without a shred of evidence against some people, is that the current employment protections that are provided by the law are being abused and overlooked by people using the press and social media to air views that may, or may not, be true.

Read More

  • Date: November 28, 2017
  • By: Susan Rogers
  • Category: Human Resource Management

What makes the best, the best?

Those who know me know that I am passionate about training and developing people, particularly managers. It gives me a real buzz to see people grow in skills and confidence.

It was a real joy therefore to meet an Operations Manager recently who felt the same way. She, like me, had worked at Boots and had experienced some really beneficial personal and professional development. This Operations Manager had a manager working for her who she recognised was struggling in his role and she wanted to discuss what training and support we could offer him. That organisation continues to grow, in large part because they are not afraid to invest in people who can help them achieve that growth.

What a contrast it was to be contacted by another manager from a different organisation who did not really value training and wanted some management training on the cheap. It was obvious, when he realised there was a price tag associated with the training, that he was paying lip service to the idea. When he realised we were not going to play ball and deliver poor quality support, things went very quiet!

Employees will always deliver the quality of service that their employer deserves. Good quality takes time, costs a little more (not always a lot) but lasts significantly longer. When it comes to training, it is definitely worth the investment.

Read More

  • Date: November 6, 2017
  • By: Vicky Carr
  • Category: Learning and Development

I had a dream ...

In the early hours of this morning I had a dream. It was so vivid and valid to today's workplace that I wanted to capture it before it faded. My dream was about recruitment and selection. A female who was recently qualified in HR had come into a company I was working in to do some recruitment for a position. When I asked her about how her first interview had gone she said that the person had all the qualities they were looking for apart from one, which was a lack of experience in a particular test they needed her to manage. As a result they turned her application down. I was angry in my dream because I thought what a waste that was. All the things that the interview candidate could do had been overlooked for the one thing she couldn't do. As I awoke it put me in mind of what a recruitment consultant colleague of ours, Martin Johnson, often says. Martin's view is that interviewers focus on what people can't do, rather than what they can do. So what, I hear you cry. Why is that important? In today's world of high employment (a 40 year record I read in the Times on the plane yesterday) focusing on what people can do rather than what they can't will become essential in the battle for skilled and talented employees. Training people in the areas where they are weak will become an important solution to the skills shortage in the future.

So why am I telling you about my dream?

Read More

  • Date: September 15, 2017
  • By: Vicky Carr
  • Category: Human Resource Management

At last - The young have found their voice

As I read the newspapers this weekend, it occurred to me that the young appear to have found their voice. They flocked to the polls on election day in greater numbers than we have seen for a long time. It seems like the young have decided that they are no longer willing for older people to dictate what happens with regard to their futures. I am so pleased that the younger generation have started to engage proactively with their future.

For many many months, in the HR professional newsletters and magazines, we have been reading about what 'Millennials' and 'Generation Y' employees want from work. For the most part though they appear to have been fairly silent about it, putting up with whatever management style has come their way. In reading about their impact on this election, it made me wonder whether their voices will get stronger within the workplace. I do hope so. That would force many businesses, run by older and up to now seemingly wiser people, to take their needs more into account. As a business leader, I look forward to the impact of younger voices being heard and taken seriously with regard to their workplaces.

Read More

  • Date: June 10, 2017
  • By: Vicky Carr
  • Category: Learning & Development

21 years of training

It is very unusual to have an HR specialist who can also train. We are very lucky at CHaRM to have two. In the early days of my career I worked alongside a Training Manager who was responsible for all management training. He was a lovely guy and great blue sky thinker, but when it came to actually delivering or getting anything done he was a complete non-starter. My internal client managers (production and factory managers) came to me and asked me if I would develop a practical training programme for managers. I decided to give it a go and have never looked back. I became an HR specialist who can train - one of a rare breed. It was something I really enjoyed - passing my knowledge onto others. There was always a technical element to the training that I delivered because of the employment law which surrounded many of the management topics and that gave it a different edge from the normal run of the mill management courses.

When I started CHaRM, although I set the business up as an HR business, it very quickly became clear that there was a need for training, which I could fulfil and which clients asked for. It is great to see someone develop and grow and that is a great motivator for me. It is something I haven't lost in my 21 years at CHaRM and I derive great pleasure from being involved in the development of others. Over the last 21 years, things have evolved to include the development of much more senior people and an involvement at a much more strategic level than when I first started out. The talent development activities that we deliver still give me a great buzz as I watch new managers develop and grow. That job satisfaction has not changed for me, but many things in training have changed over the last 21 years.

Read More

  • Date: April 19, 2017
  • By: Vicky Carr
  • Category: Learning and Development

What happened to compassion in the workplace?

This week my thoughts have turned to compassion at work. Where has it gone? In today's throwaway society, where it is cheaper to replace rather than repair, this approach appears to have transferred to people, particularly in a working environment. There clearly is compassion in the world, demonstrated by the amount of money that is raised for sick children, or for situations like the tsunami of several years ago. So why is it that this compassion doesn't come so easily in the workplace? This week's blog demonstrates how showing a bit of compassion for employees and colleagues at work can yield real benefits to both parties, as well as increasing loyalty and goodwill towards the Company and the managers and directors involved. We could tell you lots of stories about where compassion hasn't been shown, but I prefer to think of the good examples while we are celebrating our 21st birthday, rather than the bad!

Read More

  • Date: April 13, 2017
  • By: Vicky Carr
  • Category: Human Resource Management

Happy Birthday to CHaRM

I never imagined when I set CHaRM up 21 years ago that we would still be going strong all this time later. All I knew at the time was that I needed to get out of corporate life and stop working for stupid people who let their egos get in the way of anything positive happening. Like most people who start their own business, I did not really understand what I was letting myself in for or how much I needed to learn about running a business. All I knew was HR really; the rest came along the way - sales, marketing, accounts etc. What I really wanted to do was to provide HR support to businesses who didn't have the same support as larger businesses. I knew how effective HR could be when it was done properly, and the impact it could have on businesses and on people's lives. That is what I wanted to do and that is what we have been doing here at CHaRM over the last 21 years. We are very fortunate to have such a good bunch of clients - people who do care about their employees and want to do the right thing by them. That fits so well with our own ethos and anything we can do to support that is great. I believe every small and medium sized enterprise should have great HR support.

Read More

  • Date: April 4, 2017
  • By: Vicky Carr
  • Category: Human Resource Management