Red tape blurs HR's vision of best practice

One of the major problems facing employers - especially smaller operations - is the vast number of laws and regulations which aim...

One of the major problems facing employers - especially smaller operations - is the vast number of laws and regulations which aim to make life safer and more pleasant but which do not always seem to make sense in the real world.

"Employment legislation is becoming a nightmare and is having the exact opposite effect of the intentions behind it," said David Clarke, chief executive of the British Computer Society, which is a member of the judging panel of the Best Places to Work in IT 2005.

"The HR departments in organisations are so busy trying to live within the legislation that they have no time for additional activities such as developing their people," he said.

This kind of red tape can militate against the integral criteria for a good workplace. Fundamental to these, said Clarke, is "respect for the individual, which includes being appreciated when things go well, and being helped and coached when they go wrong".

People also need to know their company has a clear vision and strategy and is a winner in whatever it does. People need to be in winning teams, said Clarke.

This will pay off in business benefits, he added, because "people are much more productive and motivated to go that one step further for the benefit of the business. You keep people, so there is no need for constant recruitment and training."

Clarke sees the Best Places to Work awards as an opportunity as an opportunity to "showcase best practice and motivate other companies to follow the lead of the winners, especially if the winners of the awards are seen to get tangible business benefits from their approach".

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