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Performance appraisals: essential whatever you call them

Opinion New! Written by John Berry on 20th November 2017. Reading time: 4 minutes.

Performance appraisals have come in for some serious criticism recently. And yet the books and articles written which criticise simply advocate performance appraisal by another name – or rather a collection of names. Here's an analysis of the issues.

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Up-skilling the firm to match change in customer needs

Opinion New! Written by John Berry on 20th November 2017. Reading time: 3 minutes.

The firm had been offering modelling of telecommunications systems. It had the necessary software tools. and a well-trained, experienced workforce. But the market was changing. New questions needed huge additional skills – skills in building massively more complex methods. Here's how those skills were achieved.

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There really is no need for dead man's shoes

White Paper New! Written by John Berry on 13th November 2017. Reading time: 4 minutes.

There’s a very basic problem in SMEs concerning staff succession and promotion. It’s that there’s apparently nowhere to go – everyone is in a job and no one is about to move over to allow ‘promotion’ of those below. It’s ‘dead man’s shoes’. But it doesn't have to be so. Here's why not.

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The Role of Competency in Staff Development

Opinion Written by Sue Berry on 31st October 2017. Reading time: 7 minutes.

This article explores effective staff development showcasing a simple but effective competency framework model that can be used by any firm of any size and complexity to explore their competence gap. To understand competence gap you need to know what competencies you have now, what you need for the future, and how you are going to develop your people to bridge the gap.

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Winning employee commitment by granting idiosyncratic employment deals

White Paper Written by John Berry on 21st October 2017. Reading time: 23 minutes.

Commitment matters. If managers can get all staff to be committed, other management and leadership activities become possible. Without committed staff, there’s little the manager can do to achieve goals and the firm will just drift. This paper describes commitment and outlines research that shows what managers can do to achieve commitment. The research shows that there is correlation between the idiosyncratic granting of developmental opportunities and affective commitment in those benefitting.

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Energy and process – two keys to successful staff development

Opinion Written by John Berry on 16th October 2017. Reading time: 2 minutes.

Staff development is the act of persuading a member of staff to change – to change their skills, knowledge or behaviours – towards that wanted. That persuasion comes by way of training, mentoring or coaching. Staff have existing competencies and behaviours. The difference between what’s needed and what’s available today is what any development must focus on.

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Develop or dismiss: balancing costs and benefits

Opinion Written by John Berry on 6th October 2017. Reading time: 4 minutes.

Whilst the argument in favour of developing staff is strong, it’s not universally accepted. As this article shows, the argument rests on the various costs and benefits and ultimately on the ability of staff to ‘make the grade’. Both sides of the argument must be considered. To understand what’s needed in your own firm, you need to be able to determine market need for skills and knowledge in each job and jobholder and from the need, determine the capability you’ll put in place. Then plan and execute.

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