Previous Article Next Article Outsourcing restores faith in HR credibilityOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. HR outsourcing remains a topic on everyone’s agenda. I should know becauseI’ve recently been outsourced. And you know what – it’s great. Myths abound about outsourcing – it is bad for the individual, outsourcersare only interested in cost cutting, everyone will be overworked, underpaid andlife will never be the same. I only agree with the last point. HR has been criticised for decades by linemanagement as a reactive and second-rate administrative function offering noadded value. This has led to minimal investment and discouraged high-flyersfrom joining the function. In many organisations the most important strategicevent HR is allowed to get involved in is the Christmas party. Then along comes the HR business process outsourcing companies. They areinterested in making money, of course, so what are their priorities? Well, itis not in creating a reactive team, and investing the bare minimum. The BPO players are making HR their core business. It is no longer somethingreserved for the back office of large industrialists, but for the front officeof companies who have to invest to survive. What does that mean for the HR professional about to be outsourced to anorganisation he doesn’t even know? For me, it means investment in the tools ofthe job to make the HR professional’s life easier, and it means that HR is nolonger a cost or an overhead but rather a revenue generator, core to thebusiness. It is not easy. HR professionals will have to work harder than ever, but atleast they will be doing it with the support of the business. But make nomistake, if you have been hiding for years in the comfort zone of a largeorganisation you will be found out, which I don’t think is such a bad thing. If it is all good news, why aren’t the line managers at BP Amoco and BTsinging its praises (News, 24 September)? It is all about the change curve. Theproblem is many of the retained HR business partners have forgotten to mentionto the line managers that things are going to change. The welfare job that HRhas been doing for years – those Christmas parties and disciplinary meetings –is now their responsibility. In an outsourced world, HR will get the basics right – such as dataintegrity and administration – will offer policies and practices that willattract, retain and develop employees, and will act as a strategic partner.This will mean shared services through centralised administration, use ofportal, self-service technology and less local HR presence. It is not a painless change. But the change curve will be just as steepwhether the company opts for the DIY approach, or achieves it throughoutsourcing. By Alan Bailey, Head of communications andchange management, Xchanging HR Services
Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Lennar Executive Chairman Stuart Miller (iStock)Instead of spending on restaurants and movies, Americans’ funds went toward initial home purchases and upgrading to better homes.That is among the reasons Lennar Executive Chairman Stuart Miller attributed to the Miami-based homebuilder’s strong fourth quarter and fiscal year results, during an earnings call Thursday.“The home used to be just shelter,” he said. “Now it is the hub of our entire lives.”Lennar reported fourth quarter and fiscal year earnings of $882.8 million, up 31 percent year- over-year; and $2.5 billion, up 40 percent year-over-year, respectively. The company’s stock rose to $79.68 at 3:36 p.m. Thursday, up 7.2 percent from its closing price on Wednesday.In fiscal 2020, Lennar delivered 53,000 homes, a 3 percent annual increase. It received 56,000 new home orders, up 9 percent, year-over-year, according to the company.In the fourth quarter, the company delivered 16,000 homes, down 2 percent, year-over-year, and saw 15,000 new home orders, a 16 percent annual jump. The orders totaled $6.3 billion, up 22 percent, year-over-year.For next quarter guidance, Lennar expects new orders of 14,500 to 14,800, deliveries of 12,200 to 12,500, and a gross margin on home sales of 23.5 percent to 23.75 percent. It expects the average sales price of homes to be $390,000.For the 2021 fiscal year, the company expects new orders of 62,000 to 64,000, and a 23.75 percent to 24 percent gross margin on home sales. Lennar expects an average sales price of between $386,000 and $388,000.Among the factors Miller cited for making him bullish on Lennar’s future performance include retaining homebuyers, as customers upgrade to a new home with nicer kitchens and larger yards. And the company should see a windfall from its relationship with Opendoor, expected to go public in the near future, Miller said.He said past worries about millennials starting families later in life than their parents — thus becoming homeowners later — are dissipating. And the new use of home offices, home gyms and homes as daycare will keep demand strong into the new year.And even once discretionary spending on movies and restaurants returns after Covid-19 vaccines reach the masses, a strong economy will lead to continued appetite for homes, Miller said.Nationwide, the number of housing units under construction grew for the third month in a row, as housing continues to drive the construction industry. The last time single-family homes were built at this pace was 13 years ago, just before the housing bubble burst.Lennar is continuing to build homes in South Florida. It recently paid $13.7 million for land at Arden, a planned community in western Palm Beach County. It also purchased a former mobile home park in Homestead for $29 million, with plans to build a new housing community.Contact the author Full Name* Share via Shortlink Message* TagshomebuildersHousing Marketlennar
There is something quite paradoxical about a place which is one of the leading research centres in the world, where academics are constantly pushing the boundaries of what we know, helping to shape the way we will live in the future and what we think of the past, but which nevertheless seems quite happy to stay just as it is.Many of Oxford’s relics of the past, such as matriculation, sub fusc, May Day morning on Magdalen Bridge, and Oxford terminology are endearing little anachronisms that serve to remind us of what a unique place this is. But Oxford is also home to some other antiquities that we could probably do without. One is the enduring gender gap that we see each summer when the examination results come out and when we look over at High Table in Hall. Men continue to get more first class degrees than their female counterparts, and they continue to heavily dominate the high positions in academia. Still, you cannot have a ‘gender gap’ at an institution that members of only one sex can be a part of, and it is quite perverse to think that great advances have already been made in order to bring about a gender gap at all. Not until 1920 were women admitted to membership of the university and it took almost thirty years for a woman, Agnes Headlam-Morley, to be elected to a full professorship. A quarter of a century then passed before the first of the traditionally all-male colleges, Balliol, elected a woman as a Fellow and Tutor. Twenty years later in 1993, Professor Marilyn Butler, former Rector of Exeter, became the first female head of a former all-male college at either Oxford or Cambridge. Progress, one might say, though painfully slow.In 2001, the percentage of female Oxford professors was 8.5% and, after several years of highly public initiatives to improve this gender imbalance, a few months ago it stood at 8.6%. In the mathematics faculty, only three out of over twenty professorships are held by women; in the faculty of modern history the ratio is two to fifteen and in the department of chemistry only one professor is female. Five years ago 22% of men achieved firsts in finals compared to 17% of women. Feminists would be appalled, but could it be that men are simply more intelligent than women? Recent research carried out by Paul Irwing and Richard Lynn at Manchester University, claims that men are on average five IQ points ahead, and the gap widens as the higher levels are considered. At IQ scores of 125 – the level that they think seems to correspond with people getting first-class degrees – there were twice as many men as women. At scores of 155 and above – levels associated with genius – there were 5.5 men for every woman. But how are we defining ‘intelligence’ here?What we can definitely say is that men do better in tests designed by men attempting to measure one aspect of human intelligence – namely, spatial and verbal ability. This, however, is not what any Finals examination is designed to assess, and so we cannot use research on IQ scores to explain away the discrepancies between something like the number of firsts achieved by men and women at Oxford or Cambridge.Recent studies have shown that there are real gender differences which may be interpreted as putting women at a disadvantage: for example, the difference in the way that men and women approach certain challenges or the difference in their behavior, which in turn reflects their different goals. “Women who seek deep understanding will ask more questions than men, may advance more tentatively and are initially more receptive to the authority of teaching staff,” suggests Dr. Chris Mann, who carried out a three-year study at Cambridge looking into the issue. Men, in contrast, are more likely to make suggestions in tutorials, advance their own theories on subjects and challenge the opinions of tutors and other students. This “intellectual muscle-flexing,” the study argues, is typically seen as an indicator of excellence by a predominantly male teaching staff, rather than the “softly softly” approach adopted by many women. Men, perhaps as a consequence, generally have higher expectations of what they will achieve than women. This was the only factor that was predicative, albeit weakly, of finals marks in a study carried out in Oxford in 2000 by Mellanby et al. It found factors such as intelligence, differences in work ethic, anxiety, depression, happiness, academic motivation, competitiveness, exam strategy and risk-taking in revision unable to explain the gender gap in Firsts. “We therefore thought,” said Dr Mellanby, “that the gender gap must result from factors outside individual differences between sexes and was more likely to be related to a ‘male’ style of answers being deemed more worthy of First Class marks.” Interestingly, the gender gap is also highly subject specific. For example, it’s big in PPE, English, History and Maths and non-existent in Engineering, E&M, Biochemistry and Geography. Surprisingly, there seems to be no evidence to support the popular notion that extended essays favour women more than ‘sudden death’ exam papers – subjects for which there is no coursework and the degree class depends solely on exams sat in the final year. They are part of the assessment in English and History here and in History at Cambridge, yet all three still have big gender gaps in favour of men and so women have fared no better since the introduction of this system.What is it that gives men in general the confidence to aim for the very top? There is a danger of making sweeping statements that ignore men who advance tentatively and women who expect to do well and succeed, yet the research seems to agree that men and women appear to have different experiences of academia at Oxford. Perhaps the fact that most Oxford tutors are men is significant when considering that women achieve fewer of the degrees the higher class they are. Female undergraduates at Oxford, it seems, have fewer female academics to look up to and use as role models. Dr Mellanby suggests that “the whole Oxford experience might be more conductive to males than females excelling academically.” He continues, “People have talked of the confrontational tutorial being more likely to ‘put down’ females.”The gender gap in Finals is something that OUSU’s women-only Finals Forums each Hilary Term try to address. However, the effort seems like a drop in the ocean. Acknowledging this, Ellie Cumbo, OUSU VP (Women), said, “This year, Women’s Campaign is going to put the pressure on. We have compiled and formatted the most up-to-date results and plan to submit a paper asking the University to thoroughly investigate the Finals gap.” OUSU see the gender imbalance among the academic staff as the biggest problem and Cumbo went on to say, “As previous generations catch up with ours, the gender discrepancy among tutors is already evening out; it’s crucial that those in charge do all they can to speed this process up, however.” This situation is by no means particular to Oxford. The Times Higher Education Supplement published survey results in 2004, which reveal that female academics are paid less than male academics at every British university. The pay gap stretches to almost 25% at some institutions and 18% is average. Women were also found to be more likely to take on pastoral and teaching-based roles than the more lucrative research-led positions, which often lead to promotions. The roots of the problem, however, probably lie much deeper than just simple pay discrimination. Most importantly, commitment to academia is not conducive to a busy family life. Women who want to have children are forced to make compromises between the two, meaning they have less time to devote to research and networking – especially networking that is usually done over dinner. It is hard to resist the conclusion that in Oxford it is still largely a man’s world, and a woman’s success is to some degree dependent upon her ability to adapt. There seems to be something amiss at a university where research concludes that men get more first class degrees than women, but not because they are more able or work harder.The solution to this problem in the long run seems to be a better gender balance within the senior academic positions so that the University can move on from being so male-dominated. In the meanwhile, however, the current female undergraduates may just have to figure out for themselves what it is that men are doing proportionally more than women, the thing that the assessment system manifestly deems more deserving of the top degree.ARCHIVE: 1st week MT 2005
Borders Biscuits and Macphie of Glenbervie were both honoured in the 2011 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, hosted last night.The two firms were among 20 winners announced at the awards ceremony in Dunblane. Borders Biscuits came top in the Bakery and Cereal category for its Gourmet Goodness range, launched in March this year, which uses “imaginative ingredients” from around the world.Food ingredients firm Macphie took home the Food Service accolade for its Red Velvet Cake Mix and Vanilla Rainbow Frosting.The event, now in its 15th year, was hosted by BBC Radio 2 food and drink presenter Nigel Barden.
The 35th annual SunFest Music Festival, held in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, is going down May 3-7, 2017. The waterfront festival will see headlining acts from Widespread Panic, Weezer, Ziggy Marley, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, and Steve Winwood.Also performing are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Blink-182, Dirty Heads, Marshmello, Flo Rida, 3 Doors Down, Fetty Wap Feat Monty, X Ambassadors, and many more. See the full lineup here.The lineup includes a fun mix of both old-school and contemporary favorites, with local vendors and artists lining the waterfront. The sun-filled festival has 3 stages and 50 bands in just 5 days. Learn more about ticket prices and scheduling on the festival’s website.
Saint Mary’s faculty and students reflected on last summer’s Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Women’s Leadership for international undergraduate women during an informational panel Wednesday evening in the Warner Conference Room of the Student Center. Elaine Meyer-Lee, director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, recalled the SUSI application process and the joy of hearing the College had been accepted. “We thought it was a very perfect fit with some Saint Mary’s strengths so we decided, let’s give it a try,” Meyer-Lee said. “We pulled it all together and we were selected to host the [program] we had applied for, which was to bring four women each from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Myanmar and Mongolia.” Meyer-Lee noted that most of these countries had been in a great transition during the time the program was beginning. “They were clearly identifying countries that were at sort of transformative points,” Meyer-Lee said. “There is a lot of literature out there about how important women’s leadership is and social change and they wanted to create this opportunity.” Once selected for the Institute, the College built in a role for Saint Mary’s students within the program. “We included the students originally as participants, then changed it to a mentor and participant role,” Meyer-Lee said. “We brought on 10 students to do this and they participated side-by-side with the [international] students; they lived in the dorm with them, and they went through all of the classes and communal activities for a very intense five weeks.” Meyer-Lee said students spent the first four weeks on the Saint Mary’s campus, where they were able to travel to local areas. The final week was spent traveling to the East Coast where the students were able to visit Niagara Falls, upstate New York, Boston, New York City and Washington. Meyer-Lee then introduced senior Ambreen Ahmad, a student who participated in the program last summer. Ahmad lived in a quad in Regina Hall with three participants, all from different countries including Mongolia, Myanmar and Tunisia. “This summer was a really great experience. This is definitely a great experience for anyone who is interested in political science, business, communication and social justice because it really allows you to learn and communicate with people from all around the world,” Ahmad said. “I actually learned a lot from the perspective of these girls, who are really accomplished and are only our age.” Ahmad noted how inspiring and interesting the program was for her because it allowed her to see the perspective of the young women from different countries aside from everything our society learns from the media. “It really helps in establishing and enhancing intercultural relationships because, no matter what you end up doing in your life, everything is so much more of global context and it really helps for you to learn to communicate with people who have different backgrounds,” she said. “Being able to build bridges between [the differences] is a great thing.” Ahmad added that she, along with the other students and participants from the program keep in contact through Facebook. “Almost every day someone is posting something on it,” she said. “Learning from these women what is happening in their respective countries really gives us a firsthand account from them. I think just having a connection with people from [different countries] makes you learn more about it that you may have never done on your own.” For Ahmad, living with the participants and getting to know them on a more personal level was the best outcome she received from the experience, she said. “Living in a quad gave me the most roommates I ever had,” she said. “To me, living with them was the greatest part of it. That gave me the opportunity to hear their perspective on Americans and in some ways debunk them. Being that firsthand person to explain Americans to them was really good.”
It’s time to dig deep! Full casting has been revealed for the much-buzzed about one-night-only concert presentation of Bombshell. Smash alums Jeremy Jordan, Brian d’Arcy James (Something Rotten), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton) and more will join the company for the event benefitting The Actors Fund. The show is set to take place on June 8 at the Minskoff Theatre.Joining Jordan, d’Arcy James, Odom, Jr. and the previously announced Christian Borle, Will Chase, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing, will be Jaime Cepero, Ann Harada, Donna McKechnie and Wesley Taylor.The ensemble will include Yesenia Ayala, Ioana Alfonso, Emily Bindiger, Colin Bradbury, Benjamin Chavez, Dennis Collins, Neal Coomer, Alexa De Barr, Josh Franklin, Karla Garcia, Mary Gatchell, Alex Gibson, Tyrone Jackson, Reed Kelly, Jenny LaRoche, Marty Lawson, Carolyn Leonhart, Karen Lloyd, Michael McArthur, Paul McGill, Chase Madigan, Kevin Osborne, Nicole Prothro, Lillie Ricciardi, Eugene Ruffolo, Michael Ruocco, Sarah Tolar, Jessica Walker, Katie Webber, Tatiana Wechsler and Sam Zack. All cast members appear subject to availability.Bombshell was the Marilyn Monroe musical created in NBC’s series Smash. The June 8 event will feature music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and direction by Joshua Bergasse and Wittman. View Comments
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Clips of the Week! This being the first full week of August, its seemed appropriate to have a water themed entry, so we have fly fishing Shenandoah, tubing, kayaking, and EXTREME kayaking for you, along with an important message form Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy, and remember, if you have a video you want featured in clips of the week, leave a comment or email [email protected] favorite outdoor videos of the week that was:1. Beautiful BrookiesWe’ll kick off this week with a gorgeous little vid from our friends at Two Fisted Heart Productions (you may remember them from the tidal Potomac doc in the F3T, Urban Lines). The message is simple, you can always go home again…to fish, and features some awesome shots of wild Shenandoah National Park brook trout leaving the water in pursuit of yellow sallies. This is what small stream trout fishing is all about.The Way It Began from TwoFisted Heart Productions on Vimeo.2. Watauga WhitewaterWant to know what running the Watauga in a kayak at 240 cfs is like? Here you go.3. Ozone Falls First DescentThis is a little old – it’s from January – but we just came across it this week. This vid features the first descent of 100+ foot Ozone Falls in Cumberland County, Tennessee, by Pat Keller and was scouted and shot by BRO contributor Chris Gratgmans. The video’s title, and GrindTV.com post have the hilarious title of “Kayaker Survives 100 Foot Drop…” like he went over the falls by accident. You can read the full story of the descent in Canoe & Kayak magazine.4. Tubing Never Looked So GoodHere is a short little ode to tubing on Deep Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Looks like a blast.5. Writing, and Carving, on the WallThis is a semi-public service announcement from Great Smoky Mountains National Park addressing graffiti and vandalism of historic buildings on park grounds. This has special relevance this week as several monuments around the East, including Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial, National Cathedral, and Smithsonian, and a statue of Jackie Robinson in New York. Vandalism in National Parks is on the rise across the nation, which is both baffling and infuriating.
14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in a key Fair Housing Act case that Miami has standing to claim in court that it was harmed by the discriminatory lending practices of banks—but it must meet a high standard of proof to establish causation.The 5-3 ruling found that Miami’s damages—including diminished property taxes and higher costs of city services—fell within the “zone of interest” of the housing law.Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority and emphasizing longstanding court precedents, wrote, “We hold that the City’s claimed injuries fall within the zone of interests that the FHA arguably protects. Hence, the City is an ‘aggrieved person’ able to bring suit under the statute.”But the decision in the consolidated cases of Bank of America v. City of Miami and Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami was not a total win for Miami. Breyer said plaintiffs in a suit like Miami’s must prove more than just the foreseeability of the injuries to establish a causal relationship between the banks’ actions and the harms suffered by the city. The court remanded the case back to the Eleventh Circuit, which ruled in favor of the city. continue reading »
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