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Stress in the workplace: Are you sure this does not apply to your company?

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first_imgBrian Palmer, deputy head of Charles Russell’s employment unit, considersthe approach which employers should adopt to stress in the workplaceIt was Winston Churchill, when speaking of Joseph Chamberlain, who said”Mr Chamberlain loves the working man – he loves to see him work”.Until recent times, that could also have been said to be most employers’ ideaof their ideal manager. However, with the Health & Safety Executive(“HSE”) report from May last year estimating that stress-related workaccidents and ill-health cost the country £7bn per year and individual claimsby employees now leading to awards in excess of £100,000 per employee, thewell-advised employer will now have the issue of workplace stress at the top ofhis concerns. In this article, I will consider what stress is; its causes and effects.Then I will review potential claims which an employee can bring together withhow employers may seek to prevent claims. What is stress? The HSE defines stress as, “The reaction people have to excessivepressures or the types of demands placed on them when they worry they cannotcope.” It would appear that the necessary ingredients for work-related stress are: 1) An experience personal to the employee 2) Caused by workplace pressures 3) Which impacts upon the employee’s capacity to cope with those demands orhis perception of that capacity. How frequently does workplace stress occur? Recent surveys have been carried out by the TUC, the Industrial Society andthe HSE. The TUC report “Focus on Health & Safety” was published inNovember 2000 after 9,000 safety representatives had been surveyed. Sixty sixper cent of those polled said that stress was their main health concern. JohnMonks, the TUC general secretary, stated, “Stress at work is a seriousproblem. But a modern, 24-hour economy does not have to mean long hours – we shouldbe working better, not longer. Partnership between employers and unions, andrespect for people at work, are the keys to creating a healthy workplace”.An Industry Society report published in September 2000 found that stress wasthe second highest reported cause of absence from work. Five million employees,one-fifth of the working population, suffered from high levels of stress withserious effects on their physical and mental health. The HSE’s study published in December 2000 found that: – Those groups reporting highest stress were, in order, teaching, nursing,management, professionals, other education and welfare, road transport andsecurity – In those highest stress groups, at least 20 per cent reported themselvesas being “very or extremely stressed” – for teachers the figure roseto 40 per cent – Extreme stress was most frequently reported by those in managerial andtechnical occupations – Full-time workers were more stressed than part-time workers; and – There was little difference in stress levels between men and women. What causes stress? There are, obviously, many causes of stress. The TUC survey indicated thatthe safety representatives considered the main causes of stress to be asfollows:- – Workload – 74% – Cuts in staff – 53% – Change at work – 44% – Long hours – 39% – Shift work – 30% – Bullying – 30%. Others areas which might cause stress will include lack of supervision,inadequate training, generally poor and/or dangerous working conditions andpoor relations with colleagues. What are the effects of stress? It is the reaction of the individual employee to pressures placed on himwhich may give rise to legal problems for the employer. The difficulty for theemployer is that different employees can react very differently to the samepressure. Some employees regard pressure as the necessary “adrenalinefix” to produce their best work while other employees can collapse underthe strain. It is this latter case, where the costs and effects to an employercan be considerable. The most obvious manifestation of stress in an employeewill be decreased job performance and then, usually, absence. Long term absencewill have an effect on other employees, the general efficiency of theorganisation and, depending on the employer’s sick pay scheme, potential lossof earnings for the employee. What potential claims can an employee bring? There is obviously an overlap between personal injury claims, in the purestsense, and employment related claims under normal principles. Traditionally,employees could not recover compensation for ill-health caused by stressarising from the workplace. However, the landmark decision in Walker vNorthumberland County Council [1995] IRLR 35 found that the general duty ofcare owed by an employer to his employee could extend to the risk ofpsychiatric damage caused by the work which the employee was called on toperform. In this case, Mr Walker, who worked for Northumberland County Council from1970 to 1988, had a dramatic increase in his workload in the 1980s. He told hissuperiors on several occasions that his department was understaffed. Then inNovember 1986, he suffered a nervous breakdown and went on sick leave. He wasready to return to work by February 1987, but his doctors told him this wasonly on the condition that he had increased support. His employers agreed toprovide him with an assistant at this time. In actual fact, little, if any, additional assistance was given to him andthe work again became too much and he went on sick leave in September 1987, hewas subsequently dismissed by the Council on grounds of permanent ill-health in1988. The Court found that, although his first breakdown was caused by overloadof work, it was not reasonably foreseeable that the overload would result inhis illness. It was accepted, however, that his employer should have foreseenthe second breakdown and his claim, therefore, succeeded and subsequentlysettled for £175,000. The key points which an employee must prove for a successful claim are: 1) That the stress caused a recognised mental illness 2) That that illness was caused by workplace stresses and not other factors 3) That the risk of illness was reasonably foreseeable by the employer; and 4) That the employer did not meet the standard of the hypothetical reasonableemployer in exposing the employee to workplace stress. The key point in the Walker case is that his employer should haveappreciated after his first breakdown, that he was more vulnerable topsychiatric damage than other employees so that he would be more likely tosuffer health problems if put in the same position again. Subsequent cases have lowered the hurdle which an employee would need tocross. With the increased awareness of stress-related issues in the workplaceand the dangers of such stress, employers may be argued to more conscious ofthe possibility of stress-related illnesses and the foreseeability thatpressurised working regimes may lead to stress induced illnesses. Randy Ingrama site warden for travellers, was verbally and physically abused and was evenshot at by site residents during the course of his employment. Perhaps notsurprisingly, the stresses of his position led to him having to retire at theage of 39 due to ill-health caused by stress at work. He received a record settlementof £203,000. Potential claims Potential claims may be under common law and/or statute. Common law Traditionally the general duty of employers to their employees is to keepthem safe from harm, providing a safe place/systems of work and safe andcompetent fellow employees. More recently, the courts have found impliedcontractual terms, that the employer should take care of its employees’ healthas well as safety. Where an employer breaches this duty, it may be argued to bea significant breach going to the root of the contract of employment entitlingthe employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal. Typically such a claim may arise where the employee is not coping and theemployer, well aware of the problem, does nothing to alleviate it. Provided theemployee does not delay his resignation for too long after the incident, he maybe able to establish constructive dismissal. An employee may be able to bring a personal injury claim where he can shownegligence on the part of the employer, in breaching the common law dutiesreferred to above or breaching one of the statutory duties referred to below.The employee must show a breach meeting the key points from the Walker caseoutlined above. It must be established that the stresses will lead to an actualmental or physical illness. Simple upset or injured feelings or normal anxietyor stress will not be sufficient. Breach of Statutory Duties While, as yet, there is no specific stress-related legislation, variousother provisions may be called upon by employees in stress-related litigation. Working Time Regulations 1998 Limits are imposed on the number of weekly working hours and entitlements tobreaks, rest periods and annual holiday are granted. Although many employeesmay have opted out of the maximum forty-eight hour week, such an opt-out doesnot entail abandoning the general right to health and safety protections. Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 Employers are under a duty to take reasonably practical measures in order toensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and others in theworkplace. The duty extends to systems of work, working practices andprocedures; machinery, plant and equipment; and the working environment. Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 The relevance of these regulations to stress is that an employer is under anobligation to carry out a hazard study or risk assessment for the workplace,following which, the employer must put in place the appropriate preventative orprotective measures to safeguard his employees from harm. Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 The stress of seeking to juggle parental and work obligations is sought tobe alleviated by these regulations. Unfair Dismissal It should not be forgotten that an employee dismissed for absence orunder-performance may be able to allege unfair dismissal under the EmploymentRights Act 1996 (“ERA”), assuming that the employee had beencontinuously employed for one year at the date of termination. Automatically Unfair Dismissal Any employee dismissed for complaining about a stressful work situation, maybe able to argue that the dismissal is connected with raising health and safetyissues. If successful, under Section 100 of ERA, the dismissal will beautomatically unfair. Similarly, any employee suffering detriment by virtue ofraising such a concern will, under Section 44 ERA, have a right tocompensation. The compensation which can be claimed in both cases is unlimitedand there is no qualifying period of employment in order to bring these claims.Furthermore, protection against victimisation may be obtained under the PublicInterest Disclosure Act 1998 in “whistleblowing” cases. Disability Discrimination Act 1995 A stress-related illness could possibly amount to a disability so that,under the Act, the employer would be obliged to make reasonable adjustments tothe workplace to accommodate the disability and the dismissal of such anemployee could amount to disability discrimination. However, for an employee tohave a disability within the meaning of the Act, he must have a physical ormental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on hisability to carry out normal day to day activities. As stress itself is not yeta clinically recognised condition, the initial hurdle of proving disabilitywill be difficult. Indications are that, unless the employee can demonstratethat the stress induced a clearly recognised medical condition, it is unlikelythat the Act will be of much assistance. Criminal offences Employers should not lose sight of the fact that breach of the Health &Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health & Safety at WorkRegulations 1992 could result in criminal convictions in addition to anycompensation claims which an employee may have. Furthermore, it could also bepossible for an employee to argue that the Protection from Harassment Act 1997(primarily introduced to combat “stalking” offences) could providethat harassment in the workplace would amount to a criminal offence. Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Finally, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes intentionalharassment, causing alarm or distress or racial, sexual and other forms ofharassment at work (as well as elsewhere) a criminal offence. How can employers prevent claims? Given the significant areas of potential claims outlined above, the welladvised employer will aim to take preventative action by engaging in stressmanagement. The Health & Safety Commission and the HSE continue to provideguidelines for employers. Employers are encouraged to undertake a three stageapproach to stress management. Assess the risk Risk assessments should be performed in order to ascertain potential causesof stress and the level of such risks to individual employees and to theorganisation as a whole. Additionally, the HSE generally recommend for largeemployers that the risk assessment be carried out by way of a full auditconducted by an external organisation. Employers must recognise that, once aproblem is highlighted, the employer will be fixed with knowledge of it andhave to do something about it. However, the “ostrich” approach ofburying one’s head in the sand, is not to be recommended. Tackle the causes of stress The risk assessment referred to above should highlight situations withrecommendations for improvement. These can include establishing a clear policyon stress; putting in place stress management training; establishinganti-bullying or harassment policies and ensuring that regular appraisals ofemployees’ work take place with an allowance for grievances to be raised. Good managers will already appreciate the benefits of ensuring best possibleuse is made of available resources. Work should be fairly distributed amongemployees and priorities clearly set. Handling of employees who have suffered stress-related illnesses The usual consultation and monitoring which an employer should undertakewith regard to any absent employees should take place. In addition, theemployer should consider offering stress counselling to the employee, perhapsinvolving external third party assistance. The employer should consider whetherany reasonable adjustments should be made to accommodate the employee’s returnto work, such as part-time working. Finally, when the employee has returned,the situation should be regularly monitored to ensure that it does not recur. Conclusion While employees have many potential avenues of attack open to them, themajor obstacle which they face is proving, supported by medical evidence, thata recognised illness exists and that such illness was caused by work pressures.Having said that, increasing awareness of the issues, means that employers willbe expected to tackle workplace stress. By adopting the stress managementstrategy set out above and putting in place appropriate measures, employerswill give themselves the best chance of minimising potential claims. One neverknows, they may even benefit by decreasing absenteeism and achieving anincrease in motivation, productivity and efficiency! Unless employers tackle the issue voluntarily, employers may find stricterlegislation in place. On 7 June 2000, the Government and HSE’s RevitalisingHealth & Safety Strategy Statement set out the Government’s target toreduce the rate of work-related ill-health by 20 per cent by 2010. If employersdo not aim to achieve that target voluntarily, they may find (assuming Labourwin a second term) legislation in place forcing them to do so. This article is of general application and of general guidance. It shouldnot be relied upon without seeking separate legal advice. Neither the authornor his firm can accept any responsibility for actions taken or omitted to betaken as a result of relying on this article alone Related posts:No related photos. Stress in the workplace: Are you sure this does not apply to your company?On 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

ESPN: New York Knicks agree to trade Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas Mavericks

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailMoses Kinnah/iStock(NEW YORK) — The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks are close to a trade that would send Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas and set up the Knicks for a major run at two star free agents this offseason.ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Knicks would also send Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to Dallas, freeing up salary cap room for this offseason. The Mavericks would send back Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.Dallas is working to acquire a first-round draft pick to include in the trade. They owe their own first-rounder to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the draft-night trade to acquire Luka Doncic.Sources told ESPN earlier on Thursday that Porzingis met with Knicks management to discuss concerns about the state of the franchise and his future. ESPN says Knicks officials were left with the impression that the 23-year-old would prefer to be traded.Porzingis tore his ACL last January and hasn’t played since. The fourth overall draft pick in 2015, Porzingis was averaging a career-high 22.7 points per game before the knee injury. The 10-40 Knicks are angling for one of the top picks in this summer’s draft. They decided against signing Porzingis to a rookie extension before this season, resulting in more salary cap room. That move, however, gave Porzingis the chance to be a restricted free agent this offseason.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. January 31, 2019 /Sports News – National ESPN: New York Knicks agree to trade Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas Mavericks Written bycenter_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

UK: BMT’s Naval Experts Secure Prominent Roles Within QEC Project

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first_img View post tag: Roles UK: BMT’s Naval Experts Secure Prominent Roles Within QEC Project View post tag: Navy View post tag: Naval BMT Defence Services Ltd, a subsidiary of BMT Group, announces that two of its naval experts have secured prominent roles within the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carrier project. As part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) platform design team, Rob Weedon has assumed the role of Chief Naval Architect and will be responsible for General Arrangement (GA), hydromechanics, shock, escape and transversal areas including whole-ship safety.A Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (MRINA), Rob has worked on ship design aspects of the QEC project since 2001.Martin Hails who joined BMT in 1995 and has played an instrumental role in a variety of submarine and surface ship programmes, including previous roles on the QEC project, has accepted the position of Chief Systems Engineer. A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), this role will see Martin take charge of aviation, fire safety, auxiliaries, outfit and furnishings, as well as mechanical systems.Roy Quilliam, Technical Director at BMT Defence Services comments: “As this project moves further into detail design and manufacture, there is an increasing need for deeper levels of technical understanding within the ACA platform design team. BMT is committed to supporting Thales UK in its role as an Alliance member and I am delighted that we are able to provide two highly experienced and competent specialists to fill these roles, reinforcing the strong calibre of people we have within the business. We’re confident that their deployment will be to the benefit of BMT, our partners and the overall programme moving forward.[mappress]Source: BMT, August 24, 2011; View post tag: secure View post tag: UK Back to overview,Home naval-today UK: BMT’s Naval Experts Secure Prominent Roles Within QEC Project Industry news August 24, 2011center_img View post tag: experts View post tag: Prominent View post tag: QEC View post tag: project View post tag: News by topic View post tag: BMT’s View post tag: within Share this articlelast_img read more

Charity tax plans cause anger in Oxford

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first_imgOxford University may be set to lose millions of pounds if government plans for a cap on tax relief on charitable donations are realised. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Andrew Hamilton, has written a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, expressing his concern at the proposals. The government plan to cap tax relief at 25 per cent of income or £50,000, whichever is higher. Higher tax rate payers can currently claim relief of more than half the tax they pay on income which is donated to charity.However, they did appear to climb down in the face of opposition from charities, with Downing Street announcing that a “formal consultation” on the measures will take place in the next few weeks. The Treasury previously said that it would discuss the measures with charities.Oxford and Cambridge accounted for more than 44.2% of new philanthropic funds given to universities in 2010-11, so are set to be particularly affected by any reduction in donations.A spokesperson for the university commented, “We are certainly concerned about the potential impact in higher education, where the government’s own policy emphasises the role of private and philanthropic investment rather than the public purse. A step that penalizes the government’s own approach seems ill-considered.“Oxford’s fundraising campaign recently passed its initial target of £1.25bn and we are continuing to seek support. The generosity of Oxford’s donors provides huge public benefit, contributing to teaching, research and student bursaries. We have done our best, along with other universities and charities, to foster a culture of giving in the UK, and this move risks undermining that culture.”David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, stated on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme that the change might raise between £50 million and £100 million for the Treasury. He also said that the government would work closely with charities to minimise negative impacts on philanthropic giving. Mr Gauke defended the measure, claiming “at the moment people are able to give to charities and indeed make use of other reliefs within the tax system that gets their rate down and the concern that we have [is that] we don’t think it is fair that people are able to get the rate down that low, even when the donations are to perfectly legitimate charities.”In a bid to dampen criticism, the Treasury has released statistics showing the extent of tax avoidance in the UK, which show that almost 1,000 UK tax payers earning more than a million pounds a year pay less than 30 per cent tax on their income.Oxford has received at least 11 donations of more than a million pounds in the past two years – five of these in 2009/10, and six in 2010/11. This does not include donations from those who wished to remain anonymous nor those from foundations, which a spokesperson for the university claimed would account for considerably more donations of above one million.According to a Philanthropy UK report on charitable giving to universities, more than 3,500 donors gave gifts in excess of £25,000 to Oxford in 2010/11, with 500 of them donating above £250,000. James Martin has donated £95 million to the university since 2005, and Leonard Blavatnik donated £75 million in order to found the Blavatnik School of Government.Last term, the University received more than £26m from Ms Mica Ertegun, in what it described as “most generous gift for humanities students in the University’s 900-year history”.Martha MacKenzie, the OUSU President, commented, “Philanthropic gifts are incredibly important to student support in Oxford. Donations are a vital source of income for undergraduate bursaries and one of the only sources available to help plug the gaping hole in graduate funding.”She continued, “I believe it is right for Oxford to protest against these changes as they make it far less attractive to donate; the largest donors will give less to the University as it will now cost them more to do so.“It is also slightly strange that the government would choose to equate charitable giving with tax evasion whilst simultaneously encouraging us all to donate more and become more involved with the third sector.”Anthony Breach and Kevin Feeney, co-chairs of the Oxford University Labour Club, expressed similar concern against the plans, stating, “At a time when Government is slashing state funding to universities, OULC believes that choking off private funding to universities will undoubtedly harm both the student experience and the world-class academic performance of Oxford and other British universities. “Whilst the best American universities have developed extensive alumni and philanthropic networks in the absence of state funding, this move by the Government will cripple any such attempts by Oxford and its colleges to encourage donations.”“We also do not believe that it will have any substantial effect on tax evasion, and that any comprehensive strategy to tackle tax evasion would need to include putting pressure upon tax havens to ensure that those revenues which belong to the British Government are appropriately collected.”last_img read more

Huddersfield bakery explosion leaves one man dead

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first_imgA Huddersfield bakery is recovering from tragedy after an employee was killed and another badly injured when an explosion at its factory caused part of the roof to fall, starting a fire. The explosion occurred at Andrew Jones Pies bakehouse in Old Leeds Road on Good Friday, only minutes after the 5am shift had started.Thirty-seven-year-old baker David Cole was killed instantly and his colleague, 23-year-old Marcus Cartwright, remains in hospital. There were seven employees on-site at the time of the incident.Representatives from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have visited the site, though the cause of the explosion has not been confirmed. It is thought the cause is gas-related and it is not being treated as suspicious. A spokesperson from the HSE said there are currently no findings to report and the investigation is ongoing.A special meeting between the employees took place yesterday to decide what will happen with the business going forward. The firm’s two shops in Marsh and Brighouse have been closed since the incident. However, it has been reported on the BBC Bradford & West Yorkshire website that the firm hopes to use a disused factory in Brighouse in order to start production by the end of the week.A message on its website reads: “Due to unforseen circumstances, the pie factory and our shops will remain closed until further notice. Sorry for any inconvenience.”The bakery supplies butchers, farm shops, sandwich shops and other retailers.last_img read more

Capitol Police chief apologizes for failures in Jan. 6 siege

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first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The interim chief of the Capitol Police has apologized for failing to prepare for what became a violent insurrection despite having warnings that white supremacists and far-right groups would target Congress. Yogananda Pittman, in prepared testimony before Congress on Tuesday, said that the Capitol Police “failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours.” She listed several missteps: not having enough manpower or supplies on hand, not following through with a lockdown order she issued during the siege and not having a sufficient communications plan for a crisis. Five people died in the Jan. 6 riot.last_img

Sutton Foster-Led Younger Picked Up for Second Season

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first_img View Comments Broadway darling Sutton Foster’s latest small screen star turn is a hit! TV Land has renewed her series Younger for a second season, Variety reports. Created and executive produced by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, the show also stars Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor and Nico Tortorella.The comedy, which the two-time Tony winner previously described to Broadway.com as “Tootsie but with age,” follows Foster as a New Jersey divorced single mother in her early 40s who kickstarts her career by passing herself off as a 20-something, landing a hot job at a New York City publishing company. Younger is based on the novel of the same name by Pamela Redmond Satran.Foster, who won Tonys for work in the musical comedies Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes, last appeared on Broadway in 2014 in Violet. She was previously seen on the ABC Family drama Bunheads, which was canceled following a one-season run.Check out Broadway.com for our Younger recap every Tuesday and Foster’s recent Show People with Paul Wontorek interview below! Star Filescenter_img Sutton Fosterlast_img read more

Bankrate highlights CU affordability vs. banks: ‘No surprise,’ says Nussle

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first_imgCredit unions continue to offer free checking accounts to their members at a high rate, while more and more banks continue to charge for them.Nearly three-quarters of credit unions (72%) offer free checking, compared with only 38% of the largest banks in the United States, according to a recent report from Bankrate.com .Five years ago, 65% of banks offered free checking, compared with 78% of credit unions.“As not-for-profit, member-owned, community-based financial institutions, credit unions are focused on providing the best service for their members,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “The fact that credit unions by and large offer better deals to their members than other financial institutions is no surprise. With lower fees and better rates, more and more Americans are discovering that credit unions are their best financial partner.”In addition to those that offer always-free checking accounts, 26% more–for a total of 98%–offer accounts that become free when certain requirements are met, such as when e-statements, direct deposit or a combination of both are used, the report found. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Drive sustainable high performance through agility

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first_img 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Deedee Myers Deedee Myers is founder and CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd. and co-founder of the Advancing Leadership Institute. For the past 20 years, she has been passionate about establishing and developing … Web: www.ddjmyers.com Details The cornerstone of competitive advantage and performance is the design of an organization. No matter how incisive and cunning your strategic plan is, an organization’s ability to reach its potential is jeopardized if the design, culture, and structure are not aligned.The alignment challenge is ongoing because of increased complexity, unpredictability, and instability of external environmental change. An organization design needs to be performance efficient today while embodying flexibility for the long-term unforeseen future.We have been researching and studying the components of sustainable high performance and share some observations for you to consider as you evaluate practices to evolve your organization for ongoing success.Traditional strategic planning focuses on creating stability in the conditions among an organization’s customers, its suppliers, competitors, and distributors or delivery channels. An agility framework is designed and constructed differently; each element and feature embeds flexibility as the foundational practice. The pieces are then aligned to support long-term adaptability with high performance.The agile organization has three common elements:1. Robust Strategy produces results regardless of the environment.Take advantage of momentary opportunities with the assumption that one single opportunity will not last forever, yet the profit generated exceeds the cost of change.A robust strategy does not minimize enduring traits and dynamics of the organization; it fully leverages them for an advantage.The agile organization moves with speed and elegance as its Board and CEO approve and orchestrate the change.Elements needed are a broad range of products and services supported with passion, urgency, enthusiasm, and engagement; and, a compelling competitive advantage in offerings, quality, service, and support.2. Adaptable Organization Design features maximum surface area, transparency in information flow, relevant and deft recruitment and talent management and rewards systems, and fluid decision-making.Promote a shared perspective on motivating and engaging employees.Implement clear and open information-sharing practices and processes for real-time communication.Use multiple reward and bonus practices aligned with the strategy and expectations. Each person understands how his or her contribution is meaningful and relevantly rewarded.Recruit employees who are quick learners and appreciate the change.Employees are self-accountable and conduct frequent goal-setting reviews.Use a talent management strategy wherein the employment contract states change is an expectation and a condition of employment.3. Shared Leadership and Organization Identity understand that any change effort requires more than a single leader and an aligned organization identity.Leadership is an organization capacity rather than an individual expectation, thereby maximizing the surface area.Share knowledge and spread power, empowerment, and accountability throughout the organization.Minimize with intent, top-down direction, and decision making.Create organization identity with intention. Integrate internal culture, external brand, image, and reputation.Proactively promote value-creating capacity and capabilities. Ongoing learning, including double-loop learning, generates current and future value.Integrate critical thinking, competency building, and capacity.Transforming an organization to be truly agile is not easy in the short term. People will readily accept some of the changes and resist others. We notice employees excited about understanding how their contribution connects to an objective, that their rewards are tied to individual performance, and the expectation to be self-accountable. However, getting to that excitement and understanding is a challenge, and once on the other side of the transformation, it makes the new practices worthwhile in sustaining an organization in a complex environment. Leadership alignment, in thought, words, and actions, is the most important factor of success.last_img read more

British officials confirm H5N1 in turkey outbreak

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first_imgNov 13, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The avian influenza virus found this week in turkeys at a farm in Suffolk, England, is the lethal H5N1 variety, veterinary officials announced today.Laboratory experts are still running tests on the samples to gain clues about the strain’s origin, according to a press release today from the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The farm is located near Diss, about 107 miles northeast of London.Authorities have declared a 3-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the farm, plus a much wider restriction zone. Farmers in the zone are required to isolate poultry from wild birds, and movements of birds out of the zone are banned. DEFRA also banned bird-related gatherings in England, including bird shows and pigeon racing.The BBC said 6,500 poultry at the farm would be culled. The farm produces mostly turkeys but also raises ducks and geese.”A full epidemiological investigation and tracings of any dangerous contacts are underway and all possible sources of the outbreak will be investigated,” the DEFRA statement said.Fred Landeg, DEFRA’s acting chief veterinary officer, told BBC News today that initial genetic sequence data suggest that the outbreak strain is closely related to H5N1 viruses found recently in the Czech Republic and Germany, “which does suggest a possible wild bird source.””However, at this stage we are looking with an open mind as to the origin, and all potential sources of the origin will be investigated,” Landeg said.Previous news reports said the turkeys were free-range, which could have allowed them to come into contact with wild birds. Landeg said there is a lake at the affected farm that attracts a number of wild fowl, the BBC reported.Wild birds were initially suspected as the cause of an H5N1 outbreak in February at the Bernard Matthews turkey farm in another part of Suffolk, about 70 miles from London, but officials said later that the source was probably contaminated turkey meat imported from Hungary.The H5N1 findings at the Matthews farm represented the first outbreak of the lethal virus in British poultry. However, authorities also identified the virus in a wild swan that washed up on a Scottish shore in 2006 and in an imported pet bird in 2005.Today’s confirmation of H5N1 represents yet another infectious disease setback for Britain’s farmers. A laboratory leak of the foot-and-mouth disease virus from a vaccine research and production facility sparked outbreaks at five cattle farms in August and September. Veterinarians have also recently reported outbreaks of bluetongue disease in English cattle herds.See also:Nov 12 CIDRAP News story “UK reports H5 flu outbreak in turkeys”last_img read more