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In Britain these days . . . .

Roger · 7 · 644

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Online Roger

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'Mission creep' in the HR function - change HR back to 'Payroll Dept'  ;)  I'm afraid this rings true  >:(

" . . . . . a trend in workplaces across the country, from the public to the private sector, from schools to banks, charities to multinational conglomerates. That trend is the growing, destructive and unaccountable power wielded by HR departments.

“It’s a basic power grab,” said one finance industry veteran, blaming “young revolutionaries”. “They think they’re saving the world [but] the power mania I would say is the more driving factor.”

Formerly humdrum bureaucratic backwaters, charged with processing paperwork, HR departments have in recent years morphed into real centres of power: controlling who keeps their job, what workers can say or do, and, in some cases, even determining the entire mission of an organisation. Fuelled by the pandemic and social unrest, these office bureaucrats have used workplace policies and practices to become all-powerful arbiters of social norms – professional and political.

It has expanded its influence into every part of the economy. The UK now employs more than 400,000 workers in HR, representing 1.3 per cent of the entire workforce in 2019. That’s up from under 1 per cent in 2004. There are serious questions about what share of these workers are engaged in any productive activity or whether they are a symptom of an economy throttled by growth-stifling bureaucracy. In an economy like the UK, where productivity growth per hour has risen just 4 per cent in a decade, it is an urgent question.

Academics and lobbyists make grand claims for the beneficial effects of HR on work, but there is little definitive evidence to support these. Len Shackleton, professor of economics at the University of Buckingham, says that though some studies claim a link between HR initiatives and productivity, most fail to account for external factors like general economic growth and may not apply across all sectors.

Aside from the economic effect, there is a basic question of whether HR is actually making life better for managers and workers, or making it harder. Matt Young, a corporate affairs consultant who formerly worked at Lloyds, says that thanks to HR “mission creep”, businesses are “struggling with policies that often run counter to their commercial interests”.

Along the way, many HR departments have become a channel for the dissemination of radical political ideas like critical race theory. In many cases, managers are simply too afraid to contradict them.

“A great many bosses are cowards and they do not stand up to this sort of ideology,” says one veteran of the hospitality industry, who did not want to be named. “There’s a degree of fear,” says another chief executive, who also asked to remain anonymous, “a sense that if we don’t do this, we’re going to get into trouble.”

In other words, captains of industry, just like lily-livered ministers, fusty professors and complacent mandarins, are quaking in their boots before the chirpy HR person wielding the bureaucratic tools of the trade – the staff handbook and the ubiquitous Zoom link.

This extraordinary inversion demands an explanation. We need to know how this came about and what it means. How has the conservative, technical function of HR grown to wield so much power over our professional and private lives and how much damage is it doing
?"

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/17/hr-monster-destroyed-workplace/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Coolkorat

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This article is absolutely true. I would add 'compliance departments' into the same category of 'land-grab' departments that make no positive addition to the productivity of a company. Once upon a time they would have been a function of administration, now they are all-powerful arbiters of who, what, where and how. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.


Online Roger

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Stories like this seem to appear every day :-

" . . . the Health Secretary, who accepted the report’s recommendations in full, has been criticised by colleagues after the final document appeared to focus on “equality, diversity and inclusion” (EDI). Lord Lilley of Offa, who was the trade secretary under Margaret Thatcher and Sir John Major, pointed out that the phrase was used many more times than “patients” after government and NHS officials involved in EDI were recruited to help write the review. Whitehall sources said that draft versions of the report went even further, advocating “crazy anti-racism targets” and creating “legions of diversity and inclusion experts” but were watered down by Number 10. “They wanted wholesale wokery,” a source said of the authors.

Writing in The Telegraph, Lord Lilley cited the report as an example of the Government succumbing to “the prevailing woke ideology”, saying the document appeared “totally obsessed with EDI
”."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/06/18/nhs-management-review-hijacked-wholesale-wokery/

Peter Lilley again:-

"What the public wants from government and what our public servants want to deliver have never been more different. Ask the public their priorities and they will likely say; help with the cost of living, a functioning health service, schools making good the learning lost during the pandemic, and economic growth to pay for services without higher taxes.

What they don’t ask for is more focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, obsessing over multiple definitions of gender and sexuality, or “decolonising” everything from the curriculum to our buildings. Yet, these are the priorities for many who dominate the public service
."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/19/government-outwitted-woke-whitehall-blob/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Cheers CK.

Thanks for your reply. Here's more - the venerable Charles Moore in the DT banging that HR drum again. I must say I agree with him generally even though he's writing here about what goes on in our bloated Universities.

"What is emerging, however, is that the worst threats to freedom of speech in universities (and in other workplaces) do not come from explicit prohibitions. They are to be found in the vast multiplication of human resources (HR). What used to be called personnel, dealing with things like pay questions and dismissals, has become a monster machine for imposing new rules of behaviour and language not necessarily wanted either by management or staff. HR is a third force in the workplace, politically driven.

HR tools include encouraging the anonymous denunciation of colleagues, accepting an accusation against someone just because a person (not even, in all cases, the accuser) says someone else was made to feel “uncomfortable”, and the mandatory training of all staff that forces them to accept HR’s own definitions of what is “inappropriate”. Probably the best way to defend freedom of speech in the workplace would be simply to cut HR departments by 90 per cent. Government could set an example by starting this in the public sector.
"

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/21/hr-machine-undermining-free-speech/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Here's another one CK   ::)  It's really shocking to read this stuff given all the other terrible incidents with the Police that are occurring.

"Police have failed to solve a single burglary in neighbourhoods covering nearly half the country over the past three years, a Telegraph investigation has found. Of more than 32,000 neighbourhoods analysed, 16,000 of them (46 per cent) had all their burglary cases in the past three years closed with no suspect caught and charged by police.

Almost 2,000 of the neighbourhoods - each containing approximately 3,000 residents - recorded at least 25 burglaries, but none were solved. The worst neighbourhood, in Sheffield, went three years without any of its 104 burglaries being solved.

Despite the devastating impact break-ins can have on victims, burglary has not been regarded as a policing priority. Some forces no longer routinely dispatch an officer to investigate the crime. If there is no CCTV or forensic evidence readily available, the case will often be closed within hours.
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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/19/police-fail-solve-single-burglary-nearly-half-country/

The UK is a bl**dy madhouse atm after years of Tory Govt.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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I'm thinking I'll be glad to get back to Thailand asap . . . .

The NHS - parlous or wonderful ? Alison Pearson in the DT commenting on General Messenger's recent review of the NHS, commissioned by our Govt :-

Pearson responds to the General being  “mindful of the strain that you (NHS Staff) are working under” -  "what about the strain that more than 6.5 million sick people are under as they languish on a hospital waiting list? How about the strain on the taxpayer caused by a National Insurance hike designed to pour extra billions into the NHS frontline which, so far, appears to have delivered a huge increase in the number of managers and only a 7 per cent rise in nurses[/b]?"

" . . . a health service that is outperformed in nearly every area (stroke, cancer survival and heart attack recovery) by 18 comparable countries? A service which, furthermore, has seen its clinical negligence bill soar from £582 million in 2006-2007 to a staggering and scandalous £2.2 billion in 2020-2021?"

" . . . institutionalised mediocrity, colleagues on semi-permanent “sick leave”, a culture of secrecy and bullying to keep clinical staff in line, exorbitant non-disclosure agreements to silence whistleblowers, chronic misuse of public money and a gravy-train which sees managers given big pay-offs only to jump aboard again after yet another futile reorganisation."

"I have had several emails from angry NHS staff drawing my attention to scandals, dumb priorities and cover-ups. In one county, a source says the NHS got rid of Clinical Commissioning Groups, only formed in 2013, and replaced them with Integrated Care Boards. “We previously had six or seven directors and a chief officer,” says the source. “All have been made redundant, many with 20-plus years’ service in the NHS, so their severance packages are eye-watering. The six redundant directors are being replaced by eight or nine chiefs (not kidding!), all on more money than the old directors. You truly couldn’t make this stuff up.” " 

" . . . a reader tells me about a recent operation at a leading fertility clinic where a woman had an operation to become a trans man, and her eggs were frozen. All paid for by the NHS, which won’t fund “social egg-freezing” for ordinary women. I’m reliably informed that everyone concerned with the procedure was “sworn to secrecy” and threatened with dire consequences if the story got out."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/columnists/2022/06/22/nhs-wasting-money/

Just scandalous IMO and worrying to think, if a Tory Govt can't sort this out, who the hell can !!
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Maybe this is not a widespread problem (yet) in the UK, the fact that it exists at all says something . . . .  ;)  More from barmy Britain   >:(

"Perhaps it’s no surprise, therefore, to find that the British Left are so keen on the latest progressive import from the US. Drag queens reading stories to primary school children.

In America, the trend has already caused bitter controversy. US liberals tend to think it’s wonderfully inclusive, while US conservatives tend to think it’s wildly inappropriate. There was particular uproar in June over “Drag the Kids to Pride”, an event at a gay bar in Texas. Photos showed children watching a drag queen dance in front of a pink neon sign that read, “IT’S NOT GONNA LICK ITSELF!”

This week, council libraries in Britain have started hosting drag queen storytelling events, too. Younger Labour MPs seem thrilled. On Tuesday, Stella Creasy (Lab, Walthamstow) tweeted that she’d had “a lovely afternoon” attending one. “So wholesome,” replied Nadia Whittome (Lab, Nottingham East).

Not everyone, however, shares their enthusiasm. On Monday, a drag queen storytelling event in Reading was stormed by a group of furious mothers. The drag queen ended up being given a police escort. Now, I certainly wouldn’t condone any threats or abuse. I simply wonder why we’re importing a new culture war, when we’ve got quite enough culture wars going on as it is.

In any case, what exactly is the purpose of this idea? Small children already have stories read to them by their teachers. So where is the demand for drag queen storytelling coming from? Are five-year-olds across Britain saying, “I very much enjoy having a nice story read to me in class. But I’m afraid I find our teacher Miss Jenkins tediously heteronormative. Please can we henceforth have stories read to us by someone genderfluid, presenting as female?”

If it isn’t children demanding it, it must be adults. But again, why? Do our librarians think books are so boring that children will only take an interest if they’re read aloud by a man in a sparkly frock?
"

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/columnists/2022/07/27/why-do-left-want-little-children-taught-drag-queens/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein