Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Malcolm Martin and Tricia JacksonInstitute of Personnel and Development (IPD)2000SBN 0 85292 8165£14.95, paperback (£13.45 to IPD members)
Keywords: Personnel policy, Organizational change
Personnel practitioners cannot ignore the pace of change and its effect on employers and employees, warn the authors of a new book from the Institute of Personnel and Development.
Failure to anticipate the impact of change on people issues will weaken the role of practitioners and undermine their effectiveness, according to Malcolm Martin and Tricia Jackson, authors of the new edition of Personnel Practice.
In the authors' words:
Practitioners need to be in tune with the corporate culture in which they work and be able to identify what is valued ... To be well-informed they need to build and maintain good relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including managers, trade unions, employees and the community at large.
Personnel Practice is a useful starting point for personnel officers new to the role, their support staff and those looking for generalist knowledge about the role of personnel. Early chapters set the scene by examining the internal and external factors that influence an organisation and affect the work of its personnel practitioners. This latest edition examines the changing nature of employment, including the shift towards shorter service contracts and part-time work and the concept of core and peripheral activities.
The book also looks at the impact of new employment legislation and analyses trends in key personnel activities such as training and development and recruitment.
As well as outlining the multiplicity of roles covered by the personnel function, the authors highlight some of the broad skills needed to perform these effectively. Sections on communication, counselling, negotiating, time management and assertiveness provide pointers to developing skills which have wide-ranging applications.
Personnel Practice highlights the importance of continuous development, stressing that the acquisition of skills is not a finite exercise. It says:
Learning continues throughout our working lives, not just through formal events such as training programmes, but also through our day-to-day experiences, planned and unplanned.