Stress Prevention During Organisational Change
Organisational restructuring can be a very demanding and stressful time for all concerned. Some low cost forward planning can mitigate the risks associated with these changes to both employees and the business. Shell Energy Europe recently embarked on a major business re-engineering project and recognised the importance of taking such proactive action.
A project team was formed that included the Project Manager, HSE Specialists, HR as well as a staff council representative. The aim was to identify any key stress
risks arising during and after the transition, filter out those not being managed, and generate practical actions that could be implemented to best manage these risks.
In a workshop facilitated by Ken Gray from the Keil Centre, a set of 40 potential stressors were analysed by the group according to:
(a) their relevance to the project (b) whether currently well controlled and (c) whether likely to cause stress. This yielded a set of ‘top five’ stressors on which there was a consensus about their potential to cause harm. Examples of the top-five stressors included:
- Heavy and Uneven Workload
- Constant Interruptions
- Relocation and Reward
- Maintaining Work and Home Life balance
- Inadequate Training
The team then worked together to complete the risk assessment process. They identified how or why each stressor could cause harm, and generated ideas about what organisational and individual actions and practical control measures would mitigate the effects of the top five stressors.
The business was keen to ensure that the prioritised actions would yield the “greatest bang for their buck”. This meant consulting on the proposed solutions and control measures with those most affected by them and selecting those that could be implemented quickly and cost-effectively. As an example, to respond to the risk of ‘heavy and uneven workload’ on project teams, that project put in place an agreed framework for work requests. This included “Line of Sight” resource management; by channelling work requests exclusively via line management, conflicting or multiple requests on any given individual were avoided. Also, minimum requirements /maximum deadline became the starting point for all work requests.
Working on Stress
This relatively simple, low cost stress prevention project was conducted by a cross-section of employees, with minimal external input. The project’s design and execution exceeds the requirements of UK legislation and regulatory guidance on preventing risks to health and safety arising from psychosocial hazards at work. It shows how at the design stage, future hazards can be identified and removed or reduced.
For more information about stress prevention in organisations, please contact Ken Gray - email@example.com
Strengthening Selection in the Public Sector
The Keil Centre has been working with three Scottish Local Authorities to enhance and reinvigorate their Senior Officer selection processes. For each client, the aim has been to implement more robust approaches that meet criteria of fairness, reliability, validity and objectivity, whilst also ensuring processes are cost effective and relatively uncomplicated to administer. Of particular importance has been the active involvement of both Elected Members and Officers across all stages of design and implementation, thereby building stakeholders’ confidence that their process delivers improved selection outcomes.
Clear & Concise
The starting point in all cases has been the need to clearly define and articulate the capabilities and qualities demanded of a Senior Officer. In the case of North Ayrshire Council, both Elected Members and Officers participated in a facilitated workshop to collectively consider and agree which specific leadership skills and styles would be most important for managing the challenges the Authority faces now and in the future.
The Keil Centre analysed the data and produced what is now known as the ‘SPEED’ Competency framework. This framework essentially sets out the criteria against which candidates can subsequently be assessed.
"The SPEED framework has really helped us all be clear about the behaviours and qualities we need to be focussing on. By having a common language, it reduces the likelihood of subjective factors influencing the quality of our selection decisions. We are
also able to extend the application of SPEED to other activities in the organisation," said Murray Macfarlane, Asst. Chief Executive, Human Resources
Fair and Objective
Panel interviews are a mainstay of Local Authority selection. Therefore, a key objective is that this element provides a thorough examination of candidates’ capability, and that performance is evaluated fairly and objectively. The Keil Centre developed a suite of
Competency Based Interview questions, user-friendly evaluation forms and rating mechanisms. Both Officers and Elected Members on the interview panel were trained in interview and behaviour assessment techniques. This enabled a consistent and rigorous
evaluation of candidate potential.
"The method used by The Keil Centre allows greater opportunity for all involved in the interview process to explore fully candidates’ experience, capability and potential. In this way, the panel have a comprehensive picture of each candidate on which to
base their selection decision and which contributes to a strengthening of the overall assessment process," said Fiona Lees, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council.
Other than the Panel interview, candidates also completed a battery of psychometric tests. Crucially, each candidate received a debrief interview on their test performance with a Keil Centre Occupational Psychologist. This mutual exploration of the key themes
within the context of the job role helps the psychologist to be better informed when feeding this data into the final selection decision making process. In a model of best practice, South Ayrshire Council also recognised the developmental opportunities this feature
offered. As a result, the Chief Executive, the Executive Directors and all Heads of Service have participated in a full diagnostic assessment with each receiving a comprehensive Personal Development Report to support the verbal feedback.
"Having experienced the process both as a candidate and as a recruiter, I recognise the very real benefits of the assessment centre approach and the use of psychometrics. It aids and abets the decision making process and provides candidates with the opportunity to take away some personal learning from the experience," said David Anderson, Chief Executive at South Ayrshire
South Ayrshire Council’s leadership competency framework is used not only as a basis for assessment, but also as a vehicle for reviewing leadership performance and development. Working in partnership with The Keil Centre, a Leadership Capacity learning
programme is being rolled out across senior politicians and the corporate management team. For more information about selection processes, please contact Ken Gray - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Factors in Incident Investigation
Different industries, countries and cultures; common issues and solutions
When accidents happen at work, most organisations are excellent at establishing the technical or engineering causes, and finding appropriate solutions. However, the reasons why people behaved as they did are often not obvious, and this can be aided by using analytical techniques borrowed from the behavioural sciences. The Keil Centre's Human Factors Analysis Tools (HFAT) are tried and tested methods, specifically designed to help investigators establish why violations and errors occur, and identify effective recommendations to influence future behaviour.
Recently organisations around the world have trained experienced investigators in our Human Factors Analysis Tools, and have all gained considerable added value, despite operating in different sectors, countries and cultures. The common factor is people.
"Every year in the forestry sector in New Zealand 2 or 3 people are killed, and around 300 are seriously injured. Often accidents occur as the result of human error but without a sophisticated tool to examine the causes of human error, the inevitable recommendation is for more training. The Keil Centre’s HFAT workshop, run in New Zealand, provided the sophisticated tool that the forestry sector needed to better analyse accidents. Whilst it is early days, the hope is that out of the workshop will come a much more sophisticated approach to investigating human error accidents, and that in turn will lead to the determination of the real causes of the accidents and better preventative measures, " said Don Ramsay, Programme Manager, ACC, Dunedin, New Zealand
For more information about human factors and incident investigation,
please contact Ronny Lardner - email@example.com
Living Safety - GlaxoSmithKline's worldwide implementation
As a multi-national pharmaceutical company employing more than 99,000 people in 114 countries, GSK requires world-wide delivery of all major programs, and translation into many languages. The Keil Centre have recently completed the design and initial implementation of GSK’s “Living Safety” EHS culture development programme. Living Safety aligns the behaviours and thinking style of managers, supervisors and other members of the workforce, including contractors, to support a strong EHS culture and excellent EHS performance. The chosen method of delivery was by training 150 local site facilitators from 25 countries at regional centres in Malaysia, India, Egypt, Mexico, Belgium, Poland, the UK and USA.
For more information about behaviour standards and safety culture development, please contact Ronny Lardner - firstname.lastname@example.org.