Go gets to grips with communications

first_imgGo gets to grips with communicationsOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today As controversy rages over government plans to implement the EU directive oninformation and consultation, Dominic Paul, director of people services andbusiness development at Go, the low cost airline, explains to Sara Bean how thecompany’s proactive communications strategy has benefited the organisationA recent announcement by the EU suggests that the decision to consult is beingtaken out of employers’ hands. Many UK business leaders were clearly irked bythe Government’s agreement to the “EU domestic works councildirective”. This will require employers with more than 150 staff to informand consult staff on all crucial decisions within the next three years, whilecompanies with more than 100 staff have five years and those with a workforceof more than 50 now have seven years. Like it or not, better communication in one form or another is on theagenda. So what can UK firms do to ensure they have an effective policy inplace? And how exactly do you construct such a policy in the first place? The communications strategy at Go, the low cost airline, is an excellentexample of a proactive approach to employee communication and a useful model toother organisations that may currently be considering how to revise theirconsultation policies. The directors and senior managers of Go kept staff informed of a recentmanagement buyout by personally ringing each member of staff. And, according toDominic Paul, director of people development, that was the culmination of theorganisation’s ongoing approach to employee communications. He explains, “The idea is to make sure that everyone feels involved.It’s a bit like when there’s a delay on an aircraft, as long as the pilotadvises you why there is a delay and how long you’re likely to wait, you feelinformed. That’s how it works with Go employees, they know what’s going onbecause we keep them informed.” British Airways set up Go in 1998 with the idea of providing a low costairline with a high level of customer service. Starting with just one aircraft,Go expanded quickly, and by the end of last year reported profits of £4m andrevenues of £159.7m, up 59 per cent from 2000. When British Airways decided toconcentrate on premium rate travellers it decided to sell off the low costairline. After six months of uncertainty, Go’s management team agreed a managementbuyout, aided by 3i, the European venture capitalist. Before news of the agreementcould break in the media, the management team went to great efforts to ensurethat staff were informed of the deal. Says Paul, “When the sale was agreed, we stopped all the phones forfive minutes and told our people immediately. As we’ve such a disparateworkforce, we then needed to tell other staff, many of who were in the air,about the management buyout. We then spent four hours calling everyonepersonally to tell him or her what was going on. Those we couldn’t get hold of,we left a message explaining what was going on.” Although each call only took around five minutes, the efforts made by the 19senior managers and directors to call all 750 staff meant that all Goemployees, wherever they were, knew that the deal was going through, what it wouldmean to them, and how a letter was being sent out to them to explain the dealin more detail. This kind of hands on approach typifies the firm’s emphasis onmaintaining a positive communications programme. And unlike many other,primarily office-based UK businesses, Go has some interesting challenges tomeet to ensure that every member of staff is kept informed. One of the biggest communications challenges at Go is the fact that much ofits staff work unsociable hours. Aside from office-based employees, includingthose in accounts, administration, engineering, marketing and sales, there areboth ground crew who work unsociable hours and aircraft crew, who for much ofthe time are in the air. The company uses a number of ways to keep staff in theloop. It operates a “cascade” system of communication where managers arekept informed of business developments and in turn pass this information on toindividual teams. There are also regular forums where general managementdecisions are explained, an overview is given of the state of the business andparticipants are given the opportunity to ask questions. When employees walk into reception, they have the opportunity to postquestions on a whiteboard and receive an answer within the week. Thisinnovation is of particular use to crew, as they’re not generally around toattend staff forums. However, says Paul, “The crew all come to the main office forbriefings. A lot of the other airlines brief staff at the airport, which candistance them somewhat from the rest of the company. We do it here, not awayfrom the rest of the business.” Go also uses the latest technology to keep staff up to date with companynews. “Go TV” is broadcast every day on television monitors and isused to supply all sorts of useful information, from the latest share resultsto more light-hearted news, such as the results of a recent “BigBrother” competition. The company intranet is another rich source of communication. Relativelyeasy to set up, an intranet affords an invaluable way of providing regularlyupdated information. By using the intranet, the management can easily post thelatest sales figures, the situation regarding the management buyout and generalstaff gossip, including employees’ birthdays. A day away from the workplace is another less formal way of communicatingcompany values. The company held a “Go” day a couple of years ago tocommunicate the vision and purposes of the company to staff. It recently held a”Let’s Go again” day to update staff and brief them on the firm’sfive-year vision. This culminated in the directors taking 670 staff out todinner. Says Paul, “We do like to do things informally. It fits into the styleof what we do. We have a relaxed approach, and this comes through in the stateof mind of our staff, whether young or more mature.” The chief executive of Go, Barbara Cassani, also makes great efforts to keepin touch with Go employees by recording a weekly message to staff every Friday.This can be accessed via an internal number for office-based staff, with aspecial external number for crew. And, says Paul, “She’s very direct andhonest with staff on what’s been happening.” Currently, the biggest challenge for Paul and the rest of the managementteam is to explain the employee share offer. As part of the purchase agreement,19 of Go’s senior management have invested their own money in the company, andall of Go’s 750 employees are being offered share options. The firm has organised a series of presentations explaining the terms of theshare options and what they will mean for employees. In practice this meansPaul has given 30 presentations in 10 days, which, where crew and pilots areconcerned, includes evenings and Saturdays. Paul agrees that this strategy is hard work but one which definitely paysoff. “It’s something I feel strongly about, because it’s important thatpeople understand how they can make the share options work for them.” Paul also believes that one of the greatest benefits of the company’sproactive communications strategy is in recruitment and retention. The resultsof a yearly survey of employees show that 93 per cent understand what Go istrying to achieve, 81 per cent think Go is a great place to work, andsignificantly, 83 per cent feel they contribute to the company’s development. As a result, the firm has a lot of internal promotion and people are oftenreluctant to leave. Says Paul, “We are a ‘people business’ and ouremployees are mainly on the front line of that, so it’s important we reflectthat in how we deal internally. It really is a simple model. We care about ourcustomers and in order to provide a good service we make sure we’ve got a happyand well-motivated workforce. It’s clear where the company is going andeveryone will pull together. There is a real energy in the business.” Communication tipsDominic Paul has “five tips forgood communication”: – Listen carefully to your people. Only by understanding themwill you know how to communicate to them– Keep communication simple. No one likes lengthy communications– Keep communication relevant. Always think about what peopleare likely to be interested in – Always be as honest as possible -it pays dividends in thelong run and leads to trust– Always remember that good communication takes effort. Planwhat you are going to say, what the message is and what it means for people. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Briefing

first_imgA round-up of news from the professional journalsAcupuncture safety Two large studies have concluded that acupuncture performed by competentpractitioners is relatively safe. Minor incidents such as bleeding, needle painand fainting were the main adverse effects recorded and all these weretransitory. Nursing Times 31 August 2001 Bullying in the NHS Poor management and a bullying culture could undermine initiatives to tacklethe NHS nursing recruitment and retention crisis, researchers have warned.Intensive telephone interviews carried out with 15 nurses and 15 GPs who haveleft the NHS revealed nurses were embittered by a constant struggle to achievetheir professional goals and provide quality care. Nursing Times 29 August 2001 Identifying ex-smokers Paying practice nurses and GPs to identify smokers who have quit has noeffect on their behaviour and will not improve cessation rates, research shows.Offering £15 to identify patients who had quit in the past three months didnothing to overcome nurses’ and GPs’ reluctance to raise the issue of smokingif they thought it would cause confrontation. Nursing Times 24 August 2001 Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. BriefingOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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On the move

first_img Comments are closed. On the moveOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Food manufacturer Greencore Group has appointed Kevin Ringrose (pictured) asgroup HR director. The group’s chief executive, David Dilger, said: “Inview of the critical strategic importance of the HR agenda to the group, Kevinwill immediately become a member of the group executive.” Ringrose haspreviously held a number of senior HR positions, including roles at Granada andTravelex. Chris Jefferies has been appointed as regional training and developmentmanager at First Bus South & Wales. It marks the start of a considerableinvestment in training and NVQ development at the company. The role is a moveacross First Group from First Great Western Trains, where he led significantpeople development success. Sue Khan has started a new job as HR manager for Pye Bibby Agriculture. Thisis a newly-created position, following Pye Farm Feeds’ takeover of the Bibbybrand. Khan was previously personnel manager at furniture material manufacturerPlumbs. Engineering company Raytheon Systems has appointed Shirley Madin toexecutive director of HR. She came to Raytheon in 2001 from AEA Technology, theprivatised arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. While there, she was promotedthrough the ranks and obtained a solid grounding in a wide range of HR areas. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Six Oxford professors elected as Fellows to Academy of Medical Sciences

first_imgProfessor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said in a statement upon the announcement of the new Fellowships: “I am delighted to welcome these 50 new Fellows into the Academy’s Fellowship. Each one has made their own outstanding contribution to biomedical science, and together they are advancing the health of our society in the UK and internationally. Their work affects us all, from the way we keep healthy through our lifestyle, to how we are treated if we become ill, to the way we receive information about health.” The new Fellows will be formally admitted into the Academy on 25th June 2020. The researchers honoured by the Fellowships include Professor David Bennett, Professor Peter Brown, Professor Ervin Fodor, Professor Peter Friend, Professor Cornelia van Duijin and Professor Matthew Wood. All six were elected amongst fifty other leading biomedical and health scientists. The Academy of Medical Sciences works to secure a future in which both UK and global health is improved by the best research, and describe their mission as translating this research into ‘benefits for society’. They also strive to ensure that the UK leads global research into biomedical and health science. Professor Sir Lechler pointed to the importance of the work of the elected Fellows during the current crisis in his statement to the Academy, saying: “never has there been a more important time to recognise and celebrate the people behind ground-breaking biomedical and health research, working harder than ever to further knowledge and protect patients and the public.center_img Six Oxford professors have recently been awarded Fellowships by the Academy of Medical Sciences, an independent body which represents the diversity of medical sciences in the UK. Image credit to Mike Peel / Wikimedia Commons “It brings me great pleasure to congratulate the new Fellows, and see our Fellowship grow to even greater heights of evidence-based advice, leadership and expertise.”last_img read more

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Shop Online and Shop Local for Ocean City Gifts

first_imgOcean City-themed home decor and other nautical gifts are available through Sting Ray’s online store.Holiday gift seekers can shop locally without leaving home.With a growing number of Ocean City businesses offering online shopping, it’s easier than ever to wrap up a bit of the beach and Boardwalk for the people on your list who love Ocean City.Here are a few options. If you have recommendations for other sites selling Ocean City merchandise online, please add them in the comments section below.First Night buttons: All-inclusive  First Night admission buttons for Ocean City’s family New Year’s Eve celebration are available for purchase online for $20 apiece. Read moreSeasonal beach tags: Seasonal tags for summer 2014 are available for the discounted price of $20 until May 31. Why not help somebody get it out of the way early? The City of Ocean City’s online store can deliver by Christmas if you order by Dec. 18.Ride tickets: Tickets for rides at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier are on sale for half-price at at the Gillian’s online store. Discounted ride tickets for Playland’s Castaway Cove, go-karts and mini-golf are available at Playland’s online store.Sting Ray: Ocean City-themed nautical gifts from the Sting Ray (and former Old Salt) gift shops are available online at oldsalt-stingray.com.Beach Tag Themes: Entrepreneur Justin Juliano offers beach towels and other merchandise featuring designs of Ocean City beach tags through history. Online shopping is available at  tagrupdesigns.com.Johnson’s Popcorn: What better way to give friends and family a taste of summer than with a tub of the legendary caramel popcorn. johnsonspopcorn.com/Mallon’s Sticky Buns: The iconic Ocean City bakery has special membership deals that include shipping three, six or 12 times a year. MallonsStickyBuns.com.A ‘Boardwalk Basket:’ The “Boardwalk Baskets” from the Ocean City Coffee Company include boardwalk favorites like Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy, Johnson’s Popcorn and O.C. Coffee, plus a few other things. shop.oceancitycoffee.comMacaroons: Order the signature treats from George’s Candies or browse gift baskets of candy.  georgescandies.comSalt Water Taffy: The century-old staple of Boardwalk cuisine from Shriver’s is available for shipping. shrivers.comIsland Beach Gear: A wide variety of beach gear is available with free shipping for orders over $150. www.IslandBeachGear.comBoardwalk Adventures: Buy discounted passes (through Jan. 4) for Ocean City’s refurbished water park and for the new Boardwalk Bounce attraction. ocwaterpark.comlast_img read more

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Statement to Parliament: Maritime and Coastguard Agency business plan 2018 to 2019

first_img the services that the agency will deliver and any significant changes it plans to make the resources the agency requires the key performance indicators, by which its performance will be assessed This plan allows service users and members of the public to assess how the agency is performing in operating its key services, managing reforms and the agency finances.The business plan will be available electronically on GOV.UK and copies will be placed in the libraries of both houses. I am proud to announce the publication of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) business plan for 2018 to 2019. MCA does vital work to save lives at sea, regulate ship standards and protect the marine environment. The Agency affects not just those working on the coast or at sea, it upholds the legacy of our great maritime nation.The business plan sets out:last_img read more

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News story: Home Office approves IOPC guidance and concludes firearms review

first_img however, the average length of an independent investigation by the IOPC has fallen and improving the timeliness of their investigations remains a key priority to avoid distress to families and police officers the police and IOPC agreed post-incident procedures for the aftermath of a terrorist attack. As a result, the post-incident procedures that followed last year’s terrorist attacks worked well and were concluded quickly Home Secretary Sajid Javid has today approved revised Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) guidance which strikes the right balance between the need for robust investigation whilst supporting firearms officers in the line of duty.The IOPC’s section 22 guidance, which has been made statutory today, includes a preference that key police witnesses should be separated after an incident, but also gives senior officers operational discretion to use alternatives, like recording proceedings on body worn video.This completes the Home Office review into police use of firearms, which was commissioned following concerns officers could be deterred from volunteering for armed roles if they did not feel sufficiently protected.The review has concluded that the right legal and procedural protections are in place for officers following a police shooting and in a great majority of incidents officers were dealt with as witnesses rather than suspects.The Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: the length of time taken to conclude IOPC investigations, inquests and sometimes further legal proceedings following a fatality causes distress to both officers and families of the deceased. In a very small number of cases, the period of time has been significant Firearms officers are highly-trained professionals who do a uniquely challenging job – putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and taking split-second decisions on whether to discharge their weapons. Any use of force by the police must be proportionate and necessary and the public must have confidence that investigations following a police shooting incident are independent and robust. But we must also make sure armed officers feel empowered to use their skills and experience in order to save lives in the most dangerous situations.center_img Latest Home Office figures have revealed recruits of firearms officers are up by 3% compared to the previous year to 6,459 as of March 2018, following a £144 million funding boost for armed policing at the 2015 spending review. the Home Office is leading work to look for further improvements to make the process simpler and quicker. The police also have a role to play in reducing delays, along with other partners Today’s approval of the IOPC section 22 guidance sets out a police officer’s responsibilities and duties in the period immediately following a death or serious injury during arrest, in or following custody or after a firearms incident. The new guidelines will take effect immediately.Additionally, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has published revised guidance which requires prosecutors to take into account the dynamic and often fast-evolving situations police find themselves in when considering a prosecution.The revised guidance takes into account recent court judgements and ensures there is a consistent approach to prosecutions involving self-defence and reasonable force by police.The firearms review has also concluded that:last_img read more

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Chicago Tribune wins Taylor Award

first_img Read Full Story The Chicago Tribune has won the Nieman Foundation’s 2014 Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Journalism with “Red Light Cameras,” a comprehensive series that exposed the corruption and mismanagement of a traffic-monitoring program that has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from unsuspecting motorists in Chicago over the course of ten years.Two other entries have been selected as finalists for the Taylor Award: “The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates” by Chicago Magazine, which revealed efforts by the Chicago Police Department to improve the city’s high crime rate statistics by deliberately underreporting or misclassifying crimes; and “The Longest Road” a three-part series by The Boston Globe’s Jenna Russell that follows the struggles of a young man with mental illness and his mother as they try to cope with the effects of his illness.The Tribune’s “Red Light Cameras” series began in 2012. Reporters David Kidwell and Alex Richards uncovered how the City of Chicago collected money through automated red-light camera fines in a program plagued by lies, deception and schemes. As a result of the reporting, federal authorities issued bribery indictments against the program’s City Hall overseer and others. Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired the vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., and his office acknowledged that its own safety claims related to the program were flawed. Emanuel also promised sweeping reforms to a program that has already collected more than $500 million.The Taylor Award will be presented on May 7, 2015 at the Nieman Foundation.last_img read more

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Israel targets flights, religious scofflaws, as virus rages

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly all flights as the government races to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control. The entry of highly contagious variants of the coronavirus, coupled with poor enforcement of safety rules in ultra-Orthodox communities, has contributed to one of the world’s highest rates of infections. It also has threatened to undercut Israel’s highly successful campaign to vaccinate its population against the virus. On Sunday, police clashed with ultra-Orthodox protesters in several cities where residents have resisted lockdown orders.last_img read more

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Kathleen Turner Tapped for Would You Still Love Me If…

first_img Related Shows Would You Still Love Me If… Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 26, 2015 We’re loving this story. Stage and screen icon Kathleen Turner will headline Would You Still Love Me If… off-Broadway after submitting her name to the show’s casting director! According to The New York Times, the two-time Tony nominee had previously been in touch with the production’s playwright, John S. Anastasi, about another project. That didn’t work out, but Turner obviously kept him on her radar!Directed by Nona Gerard, the play will co-star Broadway alum Deborah Cox (a pal of Anastasi’s son-in-law, hence she boarded the project), and will run at New World Stages from September 26. Opening night is scheduled for October 10.Turner is set to take on the role of a mom of a woman considering gender reassignment surgery. She received Tony nods for Who’s Afraid of Virigina Woolf and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, along with an Oscar nomination for Peggy Sue Got Married. Cox will appear as the surgeon and has been seen on the Great White Way in Jekyll & Hyde and Aida.Would You Still Love Me If… will also star Rebecca Brooksher and Sofia Jean Gomez. View Commentslast_img read more

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