Guest harpist to perform

first_img WhatsApp Local News Pinterest TAGS  Twitter Facebook Saint Andrew Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1415 N. Grandview Ave. in Odessa. Saint Andrew Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1415 N. Grandview Ave., has scheduled guest harpist, Vincent Pierce to perform during the morning worship service at 11 a.m. today. Pierce is the principle harpist of the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, an adjunct instructor of harp at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Odessa College, and the harp instructor for Ector County Independent School District. Guest harpist to performcenter_img WhatsApp By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Twitter Pinterest Facebook Previous article081718_Fire_02Next articleTips for Choosing a Pacifier for Your Baby Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

Less is more

first_imgWith legislation looming over the use of temporary and agency workers, JimMatthewman, worldwide partner at Mercer Human Resources, looks at how onecompany approached streamlining its management of temporary staffThere are an estimated 1.8 million temporary workers in the UK costingbusinesses about £1.7bn a year. Under new legislation making its way throughthe European Parliament, that cost may rise considerably. Under the current proposals, submitted in November and due for introductionby June 2003, temporary workers would be entitled to the same terms andconditions as the permanent position they are covering. There is still considerabledebate to be had. The UK and Ireland propose that the regulations should onlyapply once a person has been in employment for more than a year, while some ofthe other EU countries want the provisions to apply from day one. But just how widespread is the use of contingent workers – defined astemporaries, agency staff and contractors – within given industries or aspecific skill group? Contingent workers are found at lower skill levels inproduction, packing and labouring roles, semi-skilled and skilled levels inadministration, research and manufacturing and expert levels such as projectmanagement, software design, engineering and interim management. At current average rates, 100 contingent workers will be costing a UK firmclose to £1m a year. Given current market conditions and significant pressureto reduce costs, most firms would do well to undertake an audit to identifywhere the contingent workers are being used, how many are being used, at whatcost and on what terms and what approval processes are being used. Of course, use of contingent workers is highly dependent on organisations’specific business models and associated people strategy. Some industries, suchas consulting engineering, where projects are typically long-standing yetintermittent, contingents might make up a third of the workforce. Others,notably retailers, are high employers of temporary staff for the ‘goldenquarter’ around Christmas and the January sales. The reality of using temps However, experience shows that where organisations might feel they have agood handle on using and deploying temporaries, the reality is often verydifferent. But, why might this be the case? A recent case study, where Mercer HR Consulting conducted a pan-Europeanaudit, highlights some of these points. The organisation has a large contingent workforce operating in more than 10countries across Europe. To our surprise, there were more than 400 separatesupplying organisations ranging from multi-country, large-scale employmentagencies such as Manpower and Adecco, to small boutiques, often providing ahandful of workers. In some countries, HR took responsibility for sourcing the workers, while inothers it was the role of procurement, and in some, the line managers. Thislack of consistency had allowed a whole series of inefficient processes andbehaviours to develop. While the company had a broadly similar approval processacross countries, there was a lack of agreed, formal policies around usage –indeed, some managers saw the use of contingents as a convenient way to bypasslimits (and freezes) on permanent recruitment. The lesson learned was that the processes might be similar but this needsbacking, requiring clear direction and effective implementation. Even where amajor supplier was involved in a number of countries, the service standardprovided was very mixed. The main issue being one of pushing inappropriatecandidates or difficulties in the supplier relationship. Again this points tothe need of a common set of key performance indicators for supplierperformance. It is common that local operating companies create policies framed withinlocal legislative frameworks. These do vary across Europe – for example, inItaly and France there are restrictions in respect of ‘body shops’ and, as aresult, workers are usually supplied under professional service agreements, egcontractors. Varying definitions Internal definitions of contingent workers also varied between countries.The audit also showed the clear need for a single, agreed definition oftemporary, agency and contracting workers, as well as skill definitions inorder to analyse, measure and monitor usage. This then provides the ability toidentify where, how many and the cost of usage. In this particular example, the bulk of contingent workers were either lowskilled or skilled. There was no apparent value in continuing relationshipswith smaller agencies, as there was little difference in the pay rates and nodifference in the quality of worker. Additionally, better bulk terms were available through arrangements withlarge volume suppliers. An added bonus was the reduction in bureaucracy throughmaintaining fewer agency relationships. We also found there was a difference in definition between true specialistsand experts with readily-available skills. As you would expect, a premium ispaid for true specialists, who are mostly sourced from niche agencies. Thesespecialists tend to be critical to the business. However, experts in common fieldsare available from volume suppliers at better rates and hence another area ofpotential savings. Lack of consistency We found there was little consistency in the way the contingent workforcewas managed. The division of responsibilities between procurement and HR wasunclear, and varied between geography and business unit. This, combined withlittle use of automation, resulted in poor management information and fewcontrols. As a result, the organisation was incurring additional costs throughlack of pay rate management and process inefficiencies, resulting in anextended time to hire. Finally, there was little vendor management through theuse of key performance indicators, which could have been used to drive andmonitor cost and quality improvements. The audit – conducted over a period of eight weeks, largely throughquestionnaire but also structured interviews and a workshop – identified somesignificant areas of cost reduction. The main area of potential reduction was smarter sourcing of temporaryworker according to skill level. This was shown to be in the order of £13.7m insix months, with a similar level annually thereafter. To achieve these, theorganisation needed to address three key areas: – Consistent use of technology – Reduced number of suppliers – Strong management information to drive cost and quality improvement ofvendor management. Over the past 10 years, e-procurement and e-recruitment systems haveadvanced significantly. Technology provides the opportunity to achieve hard, bottom-linesavings by automating the business rules and processes to manage therequirement, authorisation, attraction, selection, tracking and payment ofcontingent workers. Today, there are in excess of 20 specialist e-recruitment/vendor managementsuppliers. Some, such as PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP have recently added newmodules. Not all, however, provide the full functionality or are trulypan-European, especially in language versions. Choosing a supplier However, the use of a single system across an organisation has compellingbenefits. The software operating through a management web-based portal would ensureauthorisation processes are both standardised and adhered to. It can also provide instant updates to line managers as to where candidatesare in the process and, ultimately, be used to monitor invoicing. Clearly, having more than 400 vendor suppliers, each with a degree ofmanagement resources managing the relationship, was highly inefficient. The critical question for any organisation is what is the appropriate numberto provide assurance of both quality and timelines to meet the business need?Three main options should be reviewed: – Insourced versus outsourced – A single master managed service provider – A vendor-neutral option accessing an agreed list of suppliers. There is a strong temptation to opt for a single master vendor solution. Butas we noted, there may significant service variation between geographies and adanger that all the eggs are in one basket, resulting in unsuitable candidatesbeing put forward. The other major problem lies with implementation. If managers have been usedto sourcing key contingents from niche suppliers, there is likely to besignificant resistance if they are told only one source is now available. It alsolikely that the niche suppliers will be reluctant to ‘partner’ with a singlesupplier if this inevitably means their rates and margins are squeezed. In our case study, many of the resourcing managers preferred the idea of twoor three master vendors so they could play one off against another. This isreally avoiding the issue and likely to lead to variable quality. The third alternative is to consider a neutral master supplier – a supplierthat will co-ordinate a preferred list of suppliers without being one of thedominant vendors. The organisation benefits from having just one relationship to manage, andthe line managers feel there is still a reasonable choice of suppliers, albeitthe contact with the suppliers is now removed from day-to-day operations, whilesmaller niche providers will feel the neutral vendor is more objective andunbiased. Probably the hardest and most critical question is how to implementsuch a solution. Given the size of savings, there will be senior management pressure to implementfast – within six months. But in order to realise these gains, there are anumber of steps which need to addressed: – While the business case will be compelling at the most senior levels, itwill be operational managers who will find their current, convenient practicescurtailed or restricted. There will need to be an education exercise to winthese people over – Many of these arrangements are likely to have been built up over manyyears with cosy, personal dealings – the exposure of these arrangements maywell be uncomfortable at all levels of the organisation – Some of the contracts may be long-standing and will need to be reviewed oreven renegotiated, although the likely introduction of new legislation may be aconvenient opener for discussions – The technology solution will require swift implementation, includingconsideration of revised business processes – Irrespective of whether an organisation chooses a master vendor or neutralvendor option, the terms of such a relationship need to be clearly agreed withclarity on expected savings and margins, key performance indicators andreporting schedules. So, in the end, the issue is the balance between clear cost savings andpotential risk to everyday operations. In our experience, managing contingentworkers is as much a behavioural issue as a cost equation. The new legalscenario prompts a re-questioning but it also provides an opportunity to get agrip on a loose process. In today’s climate, this might be a giant quick win. www.mercer.comWhat do employers think?Last year, Personnel Today andManpower surveyed almost 1,000 employers to see what they thought of theDirective. Key findings include:– More than 70 per cent of organisations think it will damagetheir businesses through increased red tape and employment costs– 45 per cent of firms pay their agency staff the same aspermanent staff and 23 per cent pay temps more than permanent employees– 50 per cent of employers surveyed do not provide their tempswith holiday pay, while only 20 per cent of respondents provide agency staffwith maternity leave, 12 per cent provide paternity leave and 10 per centprovide pension provision – 25 per cent of organisations use agency staff for periods ofbetween six weeks and three months, 14 per cent of firms use them for periodsof between three months and six months, and 8 per cent use agency employees forbetween six and 12 months– 3 per cent of respondents use temps for periods of between 12months and 18 months, and 2 per cent employ them for more than 18 monthsSnapshot of the directiveThe European Commission (EC) issued aproposal for a draft Directive on temporary work in March 2002. Changes were proposedby the European Parliament in November and, in response, the EC issued arevised proposal in December.Under the revised proposal, temporary agency workers will beentitled to the same working and employment conditions as if they had beenrecruited directly by the company for the same job. There are three derogations to this “equal treatment”principle. It does not apply to pay where assignments last less than six weeksor where agency workers are employed on permanent contracts with the agency andcontinue to be paid in the time between postings. Collective agreements mayderogate from the principle as long as an “adequate level ofprotection” is provided for the temporary workers.The proposal requires member states to periodically review therestrictions on the use of temporary agency workers and discontinue any thatare not justifiable. It also provides that temporary workers should be informedof any vacant posts in the client organisation and, if recruited, the agencyshould be entitled to compensation.The Greek President is seeking political agreement on theproposed directive at the council meeting in June. Once adopted, member statesare likely to have two years to implement the directive.www.agencyworkersdirective.uk.com Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Less is moreOn 29 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

End of an era, end of a subculture

first_imgPakistan will lose a whole lot of runs and experience when Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan retire. Their biggest contribution, though, was the example they set, showing young players what it meant to be professional sportsmen in PakistanShan Masood was sitting next to Misbah-ul-Haq in the dressing room at the P Sara Oval. It was the third day of the second Test and out in the middle,Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali were battling to salvage the mess they had contributed to in the first innings, one that would eventually cost Pakistan the Test.Masood was caressing the bruises that so many young Pakistan batsmen suffer early in their careers. He was out of the Test XI, having been dropped three Tests after making 75 on debut against South Africa. But he had worked his way closer, scoring runs in Sri Lanka on an A tour just before this series and then in the warm-up game before the Tests. He had changed his game, become more expansive, and felt he was hitting the ball better than ever.And now here he was, on the inside but still far enough outside to require looking in. Two Tests were gone and this could easily become another series he missed altogether, and what was worse was that he wasn’t actually playing at all, and thus not cashing in on some good form. And next to him was sitting the man who would’ve played a big part in the decision that was eating away at him.Misbah asked him how old he was.Twenty-five.“You know what I was doing when I was 25?” Masood recalls Misbah saying. “I was graduating out of college and I hadn’t played first-class cricket. I started playing for Pakistan when I was 27. I played in Sharjah, got out on a flat wicket to Brett Lee and Andy Bichel. You’ve already started your career, have 4000 runs at first-class level, made your debut against the world number one side, you scored 75 there, what are you worrying about? You have your best years ahead of you, what are you worried about?”“Maybe he’s right,” Masood thought.Masood was picked for the next Test in Pallekele. Younis Khan – of whom Masood is fan, pupil, mentee and friend – made sure that Masood’s spot in the dressing room would be right next to his own. Masood was leg-before in the first innings for 13, a call that could have gone either way and made none the easier by the fact that he felt he was batting well.Later in that innings, Younis called Masood over. A year earlier, Masood had widened his stance, on Younis’ advice. Younis felt that Masood’s height necessitated a broader base. Now in Pallekele, he reassured Masood that it was still a good idea but he had maybe gone a little too wide. And stressed that he could see Masood was hitting the ball really well, and that he only really needed to make minor adjustments, to stand a little more upright, be more open-chested, and it would be okay.In the second innings, Masood scored his first – and so far only – Test hundred, setting up Pakistan’s highest-ever successful run-chase. He made 125 out of 382 and 242 runs of the target were made in company with Younis. Masood’s out of the side again currently. He may never have another Pallekele again, or become the Test opener Pakistan have craved for so long, but what a time to have been young and batting in the Pakistan side.That time is over. Or it will be about a month from now, when Pakistan play the last of their three Tests against West Indies. Sometimes, they say, when you’re having a panic attack, writing down your thoughts is a handy way of riding it out. But no matter how many times you write this out in full – the third Test in Dominica in May 2017 will be the last Test Misbah and Younis play for Pakistan – the anxiety is not going to go away.It has little to do with the number of runs they’ve made, or the Tests they’ve played. Combined, after all, they have played fewer Tests than Sachin Tendulkar and only 20 or so more than Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh or Jacques Kallis. Together they are still around a thousand runs short of Tendulkar and have made less than 2000 more than Ponting.Okay, it does have something to do with that – that kind of experience out in the middle of a Test that has to be won, drawn or lost is priceless. But these are not the massive numbers we have become used to dealing in these days. And those runs, good as they were, have come and gone. And, unlikely as it sounds, especially right now, those runs will come again in the future. It doesn’t even have to do with the wins they wrought, the 15 century stands, or Pakistan’s brief ascent to number one. Wins come and go, rankings go down and up.Acknowledging the value of their numbers is like acknowledging that bricks have something to do with houses being built. One falls, another rises. But turning them into homes, that is the magic.And so, what really goes with the pair is a subculture within the side. If Pakistan has been cursed in never quite having a proper finishing school to help ease a fledgling cricketer’s transition from domestic to international cricket, then Pakistan has also been blessed to have this pair performing that service within the team.Sure, they helped players score runs, take catches and win matches, but of much greater value was what they showed them about being professional sportsmen in Pakistan; how much of their souls will go and the scars it will leave; the sacrifices that have to be made and the people they will please and the people they will piss off; the blood and sweat they will have to cede but also that they will have to preserve to keep on keeping on; the compromises they can afford and those they cannot; which distractions are important and which aren’t; living with the injustices they will face and carry out; the real limits of their own ambition; the importance of purpose and will, but also that of fate; and so much more that has little to do with scoring runs at the crease and also everything to do with it.They have not rebooted the broader culture of Pakistan cricket because two old men can only do so much. That culture is a product of the country it has grown in. But what they did do was alleviate it and temporarily short-circuit it by creating this space, which is as best as anyone could have hoped for. Not for nothing was Younis referred to as an institute within the side. How much could you learn? Some, like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, bought in. Others like Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad didn’t, or – optimistically – haven’t yet.The real lesson is in their pairing, that two entities as contrasting as this pair can and did come together as coherently as this. Misbah and Younis are at worst different species and at best personality types bound to rub each other up all wrong. Yet what this union has felt like is what it must have done that moment when somebody first spread peanut butter on one slice, jelly on the other, put the two slices together and created the greatest sandwich known.Except you will still be able to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich long after May. Younis and Misbah are as good as gone and already the hardships loom. It starts with a tour of Bangladesh in July, a Bangladesh that are no longer that Bangladesh, least of all at home, and who’s to say that tour itself will not serve as the most intrusive wake-up call? And then, the future.Could either have gone on, you might naturally wonder? Probably not Misbah. Younis? Perhaps. Though he had begun to look more and more vulnerable at the start of each innings over the last year, in which period he still produced three hundreds, including a double in England and an unbeaten 175 in Sydney. More to the point, he could have stayed on to try as best as possible to ease transitions; in a batting line-up where Azhar and Shafiq now assume greater responsibility while also trying to instill it into newcomers; for the new captain, because when he has to make that first tricky on-field call, who will he turn to? Not the guy who isn’t there in the slip cordon anymore, that’s who.If there is any solace at all – and right now it feels thin – here it is. It’s disorienting enough to see one Pakistani great walking off, and not being pushed, into retirement. But two in a couple of days? In a country where culling senior players is a revered old blood sport, that’s enough to knock you back into your senses and start smelling a purge. Except, even if Inzamam-ul-Haq has wanted them to go, this doesn’t feel like one.With Misbah there was no real need for a push. One foot he had already taken out the door and deep down, the combination of his poor form and position as a captain losing Tests must have told him the other needed to follow. And who has ever bullied Younis into making a decision he didn’t want to make? If it came to it, would Inzamam really have been able to push him out? No: if Younis Khan is retiring, it is because Younis Khan thinks it is time to retire.Which means, for now, disorientation is the normal. Not only are they leaving when they wanted, they are doing it – just about – having not exhausted supplies of goodwill or patience, their grips being prised off, one fingernail at a time.One final example left behind, then, in two careers full of them.(ESPNCricinfo)last_img read more