Morale crisis at Consignia

first_img Comments are closed. Morale crisis at ConsigniaOn 5 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Consignia lacks the skills, leadership and staff morale to cope with thecurrent financial and business challenges it faces, according to a survey of600 of the company’s senior managers. The report by trade union Amicus provides a damning insight into the postalgroup, which is facing increasing competition and losing £1.5m a day. The survey shows six out of 10 senior managers believe Consignia is notcapable of meeting its business challenges. Nearly 90 per cent of respondents do not think there is the necessaryleadership in place to take the business forward. And more than half claim thecompany does not have the right level of skills to overcome its problems. Eight out of 10 senior managers surveyed believe morale among employees hasdeteriorated over the past year, and almost seven out of 10 claim their moralehas plummeted over the same period. Work-related stress is also on the increase, with nearly half claiming tohave experienced tiredness, lack of sleep, and irritability in the past sixmonths. Amicus general secretary Roger Lyons is so concerned by the findings he iscalling for a meeting with Consignia chairman Allan Leighton and chiefexecutive John Roberts along with Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewittto investigate how to improve morale. A Consignia spokeswoman said increasing competition in the sector isdamaging employee morale. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Why do we clutch at academic musings?

first_imgAfter more than 20 years as an HR practitioner, one thing that has alwaysstruck me as odd is why we so often look to academics for new ideas. Ourprofession is fundamentally a job of dealing with everyday issues, with realpeople in real situations, so why do we look to HR academics and their researchas a means of legitimising our methodologies? Rather than formulate new HR strategies in the crucible of the workplace –where theoretical shortcomings and implementation problems are readily apparent– we still seem to clutch at the musings of academics as a foundation for thenext big initiative. Don’t get me wrong, HR academics have their place – but it is called auniversity rather than a workplace. Beware of ever letting them loose in thereal world. After all, academic research was quite clearly to blame for theplague of competence frameworks in the 1990s that infected so many HRinitiatives and rendered them ineffective. One piece of beloved research by HR academics is the Sears-Roebuck employeesatisfaction/customer service/profit chain case study that everybody seems tobe quoting these days. It is popular because it appears to support what allgood HR people want to believe: good HR practices lead to good business. One little-quoted aspect of this study is that Sears employedeconometricians to prove the correlation. Why? Is it not that obvious to thenaked eye? As an ‘economist’ myself I must say I have never felt suchtechniques were designed or appropriate for the HR field. Senior HR professionals who understand the real strategic issues have beenagreeing for some years now that there has to be a paradigm shift in HRthinking. This is partly why the whole debate about harnessing human capitalhas moved to the front of the new concept queue. Yet, if there has to be ashift from existing models, what use is academic research based on existingorganisational HR practices? When such HR professionals are asked which HR paradigm they want to move tothey invariably refer to Dave Ulrich’s change agent/business partner model. Butdoes this particular paradigm have a solid theoretical foundation. Has it beenproven? The ‘HR Scorecard’ (Becker, Huselid, Ulrich, Harvard Business SchoolPress, 2001) which tries to show HR how to align itself strategically appearsto be trying to move HR further down the road to complex answers based onarcane regression analyses, rather than common sense solutions to difficult HRissues. Do we really need academics to tell us how to get the best out of people? Ifthat is their forte would they still be working as academics? Answers on apostcard (failing that e-mail) please. By Paul Kearns, Senior partner, Personnel Works Why do we clutch at academic musings?On 4 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

NHS course defies drop-out myth

first_img Comments are closed. NHS course defies drop-out mythOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Learners within the NHS are dispelling a myth about e-learning. Drop-out rates are often cited as one of the reasons for e-learning’sfailure, but the NHS e-Tutor blended training programme, commissioned by theNHS Information Authority (NHSIA), has achieved a completion rate of 93.8 percent and average learner satisfaction ratings of 5.95 out of six. “Since the project’s inception, 91 learners have completed theprogramme and have qualified as e-tutors,” said Carol Hulm, ECDL servicemanager and NHSIA project manager. The courses are operated by the Training Foundation under the Institute ofIT Training Certified e-Learning Professional (CeLP) Programme. www.trainingfoundation.com,www.elearningprofessional.com Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Briefing

first_img Previous Article Next Article BriefingOn 1 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. A round-up of news from the professional journalsInfection directors Infection control nurses say Government plans to employ a director ofinfection control in every hospital must be backed by more appropriatelytrained nurses. The appointment of the directors is part of a package ofgovernment proposals in a bid to cut the number of healthcare associatedinfections (HAI). The UK’s HAI rates are the highest in Europe, and account foraround 5,000 deaths a year. Nursing Standard, 11 December Passive smoking New research shows that passive smoking increases an individual’s risk ofdeveloping lung cancer by up to 30 per cent. A report published online by theInternational Journal of Cancer found that people exposed to second-hand smokeare 13 to 32 per cent more likely to develop lung cancer than unexposedindividuals. Nursing Times, 11 December Small risk to hepatitis C Health professionals and emergency staff who observe standard precautionswhen exposed to blood are at no greater risk of the hepatitis C virus (HCV)than the general population, according to a new study. The research, publishedin the Archives of Internal Medicine used data from surveys and blood screensfrom emergency personnel whose specimens had been tested for antibodies to HCV.(Arch Intern Med 163 (21) 2605-2610) Nursing Times, 9 December last_img read more

HR: Why The IQ/EQ balance is important

first_img When hiring a new staff member, what are the key criteria you look for outside of the competence or experience in fulfilling the job description?We live in an age of collaboration and knowledge sharing and so the ability to positively influence situations and navigate your way around day to day scenarios with tact and diplomacy are fundamental to success. Intelligence, experience and skill are essential for success but we must stop thinking of intelligence as knowledge gained in academia. It is now widely accepted that the most successful among us have a blend of IQ and EQ, the proportions of which are widely disputed. We define and measure EQ in 5 areas. They are Self-awareness/self-control, Empathy, Social skills, Personal Influence & Motivation. So how do you screen for EQ? Here are a few questions that may help:Tell me about a time when your actions positively impacted someone else?Have you ever been in a situation where you realised that you have had to change or modify your behaviour? How did you notice this?Tell me about a time you have had to prepare yourself for a situation you knew would be negative. What did you do? How did it work out?Have you ever received criticism? What was it? Were you surprised?Tell me about a time that you were angry with someone at work. What did you do?Situational questioning will require you to observe not just the answer but how the interviewee is answering and how comfortable they are with the questions, but you will be ensuring best possible chance of securing a well-rounded professional who will flourish and succeed in a broader range of environments and circumstances. Read full article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.center_img Previous Article Next Article HR: Why The IQ/EQ balance is importantShared from missc on 23 Feb 2015 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Vanbarton takes control of Prodigy Network’s William Street hotel

first_imgMessage* For investors who have been largely left in the dark about what’s going on at Prodigy, the deal is another blow in their quest to get their money back. Of the thousands who invested some $690 million in Prodigy’s developments in New York and Chicago, many have joined forces in the past year to file at least 13 lawsuits against the company.In late February, Prodigy sent a letter to investors in AKA Wall Street asking them to contribute $40 million to keep the building afloat, warning them that they could lose their investments in full. The letter included a report from Eastdil showing that Prodigy has received at least five offers for the property, though it’s unclear what became of those talks.The pandemic hit New York a short time later, compounding Prodigy’s long-standing issues. The hotel at 84 William Street closed its doors permanently in August.Larry Davis of Shorewood Real Estate Group, Prodigy’s New York development partner, did not respond to a request for comment. Vanbarton also did not respond.Representatives for Prodigy could not be reached.Mary Diduch contributed reporting.Contact Sylvia Varnham O’Regan 84 William Street with Vanbarton Group’s Gary Tischler and Richard Coles (Google Maps)Vanbarton Group has taken control of a Manhattan hotel building backed by investors in the near-defunct crowdfunding platform Prodigy Network.The mezzanine lender held a UCC foreclosure auction for interests in the entity that owns the 84 William Street hotel in November, according to marketing materials reviewed by The Real Deal. Vanbarton won the auction through a credit bid, meaning it bid using the debt it was owed, a source familiar with the matter said. The lender has now taken over the developer’s position.Records filed with the city Tuesday confirmed the transfer of the Financial District property, setting the value of the deal at $73.5 million. Eastdil Secured marketed the auction.AKA Wall Street is the third Prodigy property to be taken over by lenders this year, after two downtown co-working buildings were acquired by Arbor Realty Trust several months ago.The crowdfunding firm, which was founded by former real estate broker Rodrigo Niño in 2013, has been struggling for more than a year with a rising tide of legal and financial issues. Niño died in May at the age of 50, and his widow, Juanita Galvis, said in a recent court filing that the company has no employees left other than one bookkeeper.Read morePanic at ProdigyCrowdfunding firm to investors: Cough up $40M or lose it allProdigy Network’s AKA Wall Street Hotel Closes Permanently Email Address* TagsDistressFinancial DistrictHotel MarketProdigy NetworkVanbarton Groupcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Full Name*last_img read more

2021 poised to be good year for townhouse sales

first_imgNorthwest Brooklyn had the most recorded sales, with 102. One of those, a $25.5 million townhouse in Brooklyn Heights, marked a new record for the borough and was one of several sales above $10 million in the neighborhood.“There is simply not enough supply of townhomes” in the borough’s more desirable enclaves, Derderian said. “Especially in Northwest Brooklyn, the price points tend to be more appealing, which drove up demand.”That tracks with the year-end report from Leslie J. Garfield, a brokerage specializing in townhouse sales. In Brooklyn, “pent-up demand paired with a renewed interest in more space, privacy, and outdoor space has pushed the market forward at a rapid pace,” the firm wrote.Its year-end report, however, is slightly less rosy than Serhant’s; Leslie J. Garfield saw its townhouse sales decline by 45 percent in Manhattan and 13 percent in Brooklyn, and the average sale price for townhouses slid, too.Still, the firm noted that an “uncharacteristically busy” December is a reason to be optimistic about 2021.“There seems to be a new buyer pool for townhouses, made up of purchasers who have migrated from co-ops and condos to single-family townhouses or multi-family conversion opportunities,” the report said.Contact Amy Plitt Share via Shortlink Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* Full Name* 2020 was strong for townhouse sales in New York City. (Getty)Last year may have been “garbage” for New York City’s residential market, but there was one bright spot: townhouses.That’s according to the year-end townhouse report from Serhant, which tracked sales in 2020. It showed the median sale price rising to $3.6 million — up 16 percent from 2019.The median price per square foot was also up, to $1,249. And total sales volume for the year was up 27 percent, hitting $875 million.“The desire for townhomes decreased over the past 10 years as buyers’ preferences shifted toward new development condos,” Serhant’s Garrett Derderian said. “However, with people spending more time at their homes because of the coronavirus, the desire for townhomes surged as space became a top priority.”Townhouse demand was stronger in some neighborhoods than others. According to Derderian, the submarkets of Downtown Manhattan (which includes pricey enclaves like the West Village, Chelsea and Tribeca) and Northwest Brooklyn (home to Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Cobble Hill and other neighborhoods) were the most popular, with buyers pushing prices up.The median price for Downtown townhouses hit $10.75 million in the second half of the year, a 60 percent increase the previous quarter, when in-person showings were not permitted.Read more“A garbage year”: The state of Manhattan’s luxury resi market in 2020What Brooklyn’s record $25.5M sale means for borough’s resi marketWhat will make or break New York’s residential market in 2021 brooklynManhattanResidential Real Estate Tagslast_img read more

Nearly half of home sellers overpaid their broker fees in 2020

first_img(Getty)In a historically tight housing market, people are falling over themselves to purchase homes — so why are nearly half of American home sellers overpaying brokers who represent buyers?The average commission sellers offered to buyers’ agents was 2.7 percent of the final sale price in 2020, according to a new report by Redfin. But 45 percent of Americans selling their homes last year didn’t get the memo and extended the conventional fee of 3 percent or higher.That’s an improvement from previous years; in 2012, about 60 percent of Americans paid 3 percent or more to buyers’ agents, while the national average was 2.8 percent.But if you’re a seller who paid more than the average, those fees represent thousands of dollars that ended up in someone else’s pocket.It’s also bad news for homebuyers. Broker’s commission fees are traditionally paid by the seller — both for the agent they hire and the buyer’s agent — so are often baked into the price of a home. In a market where prices are rapidly climbing thanks to historically low mortgage rates and inventory, the last thing buyers want is another reason for higher costs.Even the savviest sellers would be hard-pressed to figure out whether they are paying too much or too little in commissions.The industry’s longtime rule of thumb is that agents representing buyers and sellers evenly split a 5 to 6 percent commission off the final sale price, so both walk away with 2.5 percent to 3 percent. But until last year, there was no publicly available record of what sellers actually paid real estate agents to sell their homes.It took a landmark settlement between the Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors to mandate that brokerages and Multiple Listing Service systems publish sales commissions for agents who represent buyers. (There is still no public record or requirement for disclosure of commissions paid to agents representing sellers.)Redfin has quickly embraced the new transparency requirements — and as a discount brokerage that’s baked under-market-rate broker fees of 1 percent to 1.5 percent into its business model, doing so is in its best interest. Earlier this month, it published agent commission data for 700,000 of its listings.The company’s chief economist, Daryl Fairweather, noted that greater transparency will allow all participants in the housing market to better advocate for themselves and get the best deal.“When a homeowner can see that their neighbor offered a 2.5 [percent] buyer’s agent commission rate, it makes it much easier to justify offering a similar rate when they sell their home,” she said in a statement.On the flip side, when buyers can see that their agent is getting paid thousands of dollars more if they purchase one home over another, “it makes it easier for the buyer to ask their agent for a refund of a few thousand dollars if they opt for the home with the higher commission,” Fairweather explained.Redfin’s analysis was based on data provided by MLS systems, so a market like New York City with no MLS will not have comprehensive accounting. The analysis also excluded commissions over 10 percent or under 0.5 percent as outliers. Contact Erin Hudson hamptons-weeklyredfinResidential Real Estate Email Address* Message* Read moreRedfin to publish broker commissions on 700K listingsRedfin, CoreLogic and CoStar’s love triangleNAR hit with another antitrust lawsuit over commissions and MLS rules Tags Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Thor facing foreclosure on Harlem rental building

first_img Full Name* Share via Shortlink Tags New York state has banned commercial foreclosures and evictions until at least May 1. But East West Bank alleges that because Thor failed to sign a notice of hardship declaration, it is able to proceed with the foreclosure. An attorney for East West Bank declined to comment, citing pending litigation.The lawsuit also named the commercial brokerage Avison Young as a defendant, alleging that it has an interest in the property. Avison Young declined to comment.Thor purchased the five-story rental building in 2015 for $30 million. It has 50 rental units along with more than 9,000 square feet of retail space. Its tenants include Insomnia Cookies and Smile Direct Club.Thor, led by Joe Sitt, has faced other challenges in its portfolio — some that predate the pandemic. The company is facing another possible foreclosure on its Charles Scribner’s Sons Building at 597 Fifth Avenue. And last year, SL Green took control of 590 Fifth Avenue after Thor defaulted on its mezzanine debt in August.The company has recently tried to pivot away from retail toward industrial. In 2019, the company started ThorLogis, to buy and develop logistics properties. Late last year, Amazon took more than 300,000 square feet at 280 Richards Street, a warehouse the developer owns in Red Hook.Contact Keith Larsen Message* Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Thor Equities Group Chairman Joseph J. Sitt. (Thor)The coronavirus could soon claim another victim in Thor Equities’ real estate portfolio.East West Bank filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court to foreclose on Thor’s mixed-use property at 17 West 125th Street in Harlem. The lender claims that Thor is delinquent on three loans totaling about $20 million.In 2015, California-based East West Bank provided three loans to Thor for the property: a $13.5 million acquisition loan, a $3.82 million building loan and a $5.6 million project loan. The developer subsequently renovated the properties.In 2019, Thor allegedly missed two loan payments and reached an agreement withthe bank to extend the loan into 2021, according to the complaint. Thor then reached a payment deferral and repayment agreement in April 2020 after the pandemic began. But the complaint alleges that Thor missed its loan payments in November and December, triggering new defaults.ADVERTISEMENTIn the months that followed, East West Bank alleges it sent multiple default notices to Thor that have gone unanswered. The lender also sent Thor a notice of hardship declaration due to Covid-19 that went unreturned, according to the complaint.“Overall, our global portfolio has performed well for the past year but, unfortunately, the difficulty some tenants are having paying their rent in this challenging environment, have thrust us into this situation,” Katie Smith, Thor’s director of marketing and communications, said in a statement to The Real Deal.Read moreSL Green moves to foreclose on Thor’s 590 Fifth Ave Introducing ThorLogis: Thor Equities ambitious plan to break into logistics and e-commerce Qatari royalty snags flatiron retail building from Thor Equities Commercial Real EstateharlemReal Estate LawsuitsThor Equitieslast_img read more

Cold hardiness of terrestrial mites at Signy Island, maritime Antarctic

first_img(1) The cold hardiness of four species was studied in respect of supercooling ability, cryoprotective substances, chill-coma temperatures and survival under anaerobiosis. The effects of low temperature acclimation and starvation on cold hardiness were examined experimentally. (2) Mean supercooling points of field animals ranged from -6.1° to -28.8°C during Jan-Mar 1980. In Nanorchestes antarcticus (Strandtmann) and Alaskozetes antarcticus (Michael), a bimodal distribution of individual supercooling points occurred with the low group (LG) consisting of animals without gut nucleators. In Stereotydeus villosus (Trouessart) and Gamasellus racovitzai (Trouessart) only a high group (HG) was present in the supercooling-point distributions. (3) In all species, except the predatory G. racovitzai, starvation combined with low temperature exposure for various time periods lowered the mean supercooling point. This was associated with increased concentrations of glycerol in the body fluid. Glucose, ribitol and mannitol together with straight chain hydrocarbons were also detected in the extracts by GLC techniques. (4) Chill-coma temperatures varied from -4.5° to -8.0°C. (5) Under anoxia at 0°C, survival of A. antarcticus was greater than that of G. racovitzai, with the later nymphal stages being slightly more resistant than adultslast_img read more