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Flexible working key to £250,000 saving

first_img Comments are closed. The adoption of comprehensive family-friendly working practices has helpedNorthumbrian Water more than halve its staff turnover rate and save costs. Annette Gibson, the firm’s personnel support manager, said the utilitycompany introduced a family-friendly package in October 1999 based on therecommendations of a group consisting of employees, managers and employeerepresentatives. The company provides generous and flexible maternity leave including aphased return to work on full pay, paternity leave and a whole range offlexible working arrangements. Northumbrian Water has also introduced a flexitime scheme which allowsemployees to choose their hours between 7am and 7pm and has led to thescrapping of a costly time recording system. Not only did this generate an immediate saving of £250,000, but itdemonstrated to the firm’s 1,500 staff that they are trusted to manage theirown time. These policies have reduced staff turnover from 8 per cent to 3 per centsince their introduction. Gibson is in no doubt that eventually all employers will have to offer afull range of family-friendly working policies. “People ask themselves when they are considering moving to a differentemployer, ‘What about family-friendly polices?’,” she said. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Flexible working key to £250,000 savingOn 27 Nov 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Opioid crisis shadows rural America

first_imgThe opioid crisis competes with the economy as the most pressing issue in rural America, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Experts met at the Chan School on Friday to assess the poll’s implications and propose solutions in a panel discussion moderated by NPR correspondent Joe Neel.Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis, described the results as both surprising and disturbing.“If you’re in the polling world, you rarely ever hear people say that the biggest problem in their community is a health problem,” he said.But the U.S. opioid crisis is now so widespread that one of every four respondents knew someone who was affected. The data on drug use shows clear overlap with economic problems.“Fifty-five percent of people said that the economy where they lived was fair or poor,” Blendon said. “So these are people looking across the street and not seeing a very hopeful point of view.”Yet there is some optimism, as half of those interviewed said that they believe many problems could be addressed within five years. What citizens are hoping for, Blendon said, are long-term solutions — improved health care, strong public schools, and solid work opportunities.“They want something that really sticks,” he said.Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said that he wasn’t surprised by the findings, as his state loses 14 people a day to drug addiction. “It is a huge problem and in my judgment, it has not been sufficiently recognized as such.”While citing the need for robust treatment programs, Strickland emphasized that the crisis is tied to other issues.“Housing issues, transportation issues, food insecurity problems — all of these are characteristic to rural areas and I think related to the opioid problem.”David Terrell, executive director of the Indiana Communities Institute, agreed.“The opioid crisis is really a symptom of a lot of other deep-seated issues, including the economy,” he said, adding that jobs alone will not solve the problem.“Business attraction in and of itself is not the panacea for communities,” Terrell said. “People want to live in viable communities that have strong physical infrastructure, strong and robust schools.”Katrina Badger, program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, went a step further, pointing to studies that illustrate how the social stability of a community affects its health and economic strength.“We know from research that social connectedness — between families and neighbors, looking out for each other in times of need — really leads to longer lives and better health and well-being.”One positive development, the panel noted, is strong public support for drug treatment, rather than imprisonment — a marked change from attitudes during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.“Minority communities believe that the first epidemic, which impacted them more greatly, got a different response from the president on down,” Blendon said. “But [we learned that] filling prisons didn’t solve the problem.”To make inroads against the opioid crisis, the country needs to implement a comprehensive plan of training, treatment, and education, the panelists agreed. Strickland recalled once picking up a hitchhiker while driving to teach a class; the man turned out to be on his way to treatment for addiction.“He told me he had just gotten out of prison,” Strickland said. “He told me he was alienated from his daughter. He said to me, ‘I wish I had a car because it would be easier to get a job.’ I think about that fellow a lot. I think he illustrates part of the problems that people in rural areas face.”last_img read more

How to create organic member growth, even with a small budget

first_img 35SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall is a consultant in the credit union industry, and can be reached for partnership and speaking opportunities through Your Credit Union Partner. Her background in community development includes … Web: https://yourcupartner.org Details Organic labelling – it’s a development that has evolved slowly and quietly across the nation, and has caught mainstream attention in the past few years.  Consumers want organic produce and meats, farmed nearby and without pesticides.  ‘Locally sourced’ is now a notable label and upscale restaurants boast about farm-to-table menus.  Organic implies healthy and natural, and in the credit union world, organic growth indicates you are doing something right.  Credit unions want organic growth because it means people become members because a real market need is being met. In a world where competition grows fiercer and larger every day, organic member growth can seem difficult, if not impossible to achieve.  It is not impossible.  Marketing dollars help, but even with small marketing dollars growth is possible.  Here are some strategies that have worked for our $9 million credit union in Chicago. In the last nine months these strategies have helped us completely reverse a three year decline in membership.Be relevant and community based, even if you aren’t a community charter:  Credit unions are by definition, cooperative organizations founded on the principles of people working together. It doesn’t matter whether your charter is SEG or employer based, mutual common bond, or community chartered. Anywhere there is a group of people there is a community.  All communities have unique needs. Identify where your credit union can meet needs of your community, even those that extend beyond financial products and services. Don’t pass up the simple solutions that promote good will toward the credit union. Some employees at our office noticed many female members walk in with young kids, and opened up a space in the credit union lobby for a Little Free Library book exchange stocked with children’s books. Another employee noticed traffic flow was not member –friendly and reorganized office space to make the area more conducive to relationship building. Over time, long-time members noticed the changes, and new members get a positive first impression when they walk through the door. That is the type of place members will refer their friends and family, and word of mouth growth is the best type of growth to attract. People now join because they learn about your service, not your low rates or the most up to date technology. They join based on your reputation for caring about their needs personally, and that is a community a credit union can help.Everyone is in member services:  Rare do you find a credit union that doesn’t adopt this philosophy. The member comes first, and every employee’s job is to help the member.  Whether that means picking up the phone to help a member with an account question or going above and beyond in service, credit unions have that down.  However, and just as importantly, some of your best strategies may not come from the top of the organization. Listen to the ideas your employees have about member services, and be willing to implement. Have conversations with people at every level of the organization about member service. Not every idea will hit a 100% home run, but each employee touches a different aspect of the member experience.  Having a wide angle view of the organization is a huge advantage, and never discount an idea just because it originated from a new hire or a back office employee. When employees believe their ideas make a difference, employee engagement goes up as well.Reassess your products:  A crucial question to consider, particularly if you are running a small or medium size credit union, is whether you and your employees are utilizing your institution as their primary financial institution or to access loans or both.  If not, it is time to assess the barriers to accessibility. It is a reality that many credit unions can’t compete with larger financial institutions on rate or technology or convenience, but rarely does that mean there is nothing to compete on. Sometimes one or two small adjustments can be an investment in long term growth.  Loan growth and member growth go hand in hand.  Review your policies to see whether your rates or credit criteria can be adjusted to serve more people while managing risk. Look at your technology and see whether a simple change in a process or a product might make a big difference.  You may not be able to add every technological advance that becomes available, but automating one or two manual processes may free up time to focus on bigger picture projects.  There is significant insight in your own internal utilization, and employee access is a great place to start your organization’s self-assessment.Get creative! People everywhere still want community and personal service and will come a long way to use your credit union if they recognize you truly want to make your products affordable and accessible.last_img read more