Monthly Archives: March 2015

Confident Competence – That’s your real objective.

It should surprise you to know across a typical organisation as much as 30%* of the workforce misunderstands some part of their job or function to the extent that it poses a serious risk to the organisation.

You might also be surprised to know that this figure can be equally applicable to organisations that invest significantly in Training, Learning and Development, Knowledge Management, Talent Acquisition strategies, values based recruitment, quality processes, handbooks and procedures, as it is to those who don’t.

I wonder perhaps if that’s because organisations who make these investments assume that doing so, will mean people will understand and will behave appropriately.

The evidence would tend to suggest that it doesn’t. By a long way.

If that were the case, some of the largest, most complex and well known companies would have little or no problems with people not following process, or acting or behaving inappropriately and yet any single day’s news broadcast is littered with examples of errors and oversights, malpractice and misunderstandings.

Perhaps we forget that the objective is to achieve and maintain confident competence.

And we confuse the objective with “putting people through training” or “investing in a new Learning Management system” or “developing our workforce”.

When an organisation like the NHS spends £100K a minute on training** (take your time and read that again) and has no way of measuring the effectiveness of that investment, you have to question whether or not it’s time to stop and re-think our approach to achieving and maintaining confident competence among our workforce.

The NHS is not alone. This model of train and tick (to meet targets and compliance) has become dominant over recent years.

No longer. As regulatory bodies now seek evidence of capability and confidence (Andrea Sutcliffe CQC) and the CxO now demands Assurance around reputational risk and operational exposure posed by their People. The time to stop and re-think what we’re really trying to achieve and how we might get there, is now.

* Figures based on Cognisco Assessments across a broad range of industries over a number of years.

Upto 30% pose a serious risk – through misplaced confidence. Typically 50% would benefit from a mix of training and lower cost interventions and 20% are both competent and confident in using their knowledge.

** Professor Martin Green UK DH – Independent Dementia Champion.

Managing People Risk in the Data centre

Last week I had a tour of the Equinix LD5 datacentre in Slough. It’s an impressive facility with a six nines availability record. Clearly one of the contributory factors in this is the way in which all critical procedures are doubled up; in other words, two people checking that a particular procedure has been completed properly, not unlike the pre-flight checks in an aeroplane cockpit.

Over recent years there have been a number of studies into the causes of datacentre outages with results ranging from 57% to 75% caused by human error. Look a little further and issues like “improper failover” probably have a human element to the failure as well, so the percentages may even be a little conservative. Indeed a datacentre manager recently admitted privately to me that “most outages are down to human error”. So is doubling up the only or best solution?

 

One immediate challenge to that is the scarcity of people, or at least good, qualified people. A recent Gartner reported estimate that overall across the IT industry in Europe there would be a shortage of 1.3 million qualified people by 2020. Universities like Leeds and Anglia Ruskin in the UK are beginning to address this issue with specific masters degrees in datacentre design, data centre leadership and management and a focus on datacentre research projects. But the challenge is likely to remain for the foreseeable future, and doubling up may become a very expensive option for all but the most critical procedures.

Many datacentres seem to have an interesting mix of “old lags” and young, new inexperienced staff. According to Owen Ashby at People Risk experts Cognisco, this can lead to situations where the older, very experienced staff member gets overconfident about their knowledge and capability, while the new, inexperienced staff member may be capable, but lacks the confidence to challenge upwards. Many HR systems claim to help you manage staff competency, but in reality the challenge is to maintain it and to be able to assess and ensure how staff are likely to act, work and behave in the real working environment or when under pressure from peers.

 

Much of the orthodoxy around managing people focuses on process and training. Develop and document well thought out processes and ensure comprehensive training takes place and risk of failure, or outages, will be minimised…perhaps. But despite all the training, mistakes still happen. Being able to identify staff that are consciously competent, unconsciously competent, consciously incompetent or, worst of all, unconsciously incompetent enables you to tailor appropriate remedial actions. Training isn’t always needed, sometimes mentoring and coaching is more appropriate, or risky staff can be re-assigned. Indeed firms who have used this approach often find that they save significant sums of money by not simply sheep dipping everyone with training.

Risk is generally well understood by businesses. For example, IT security is all about assessing how likely something is to happen and if it does, how serious the impact will be and then implementing the right level of security. It is strange then that few organisations assess People Risk in the same way.

 

Given the potential impact of outages on the reputation of a datacentre People Risk should be on the agenda of the Board. In a highly competitive datacentre market achieving that elusive sixth nine could be as simple as identifying and mitigating poor behaviours.

 

 Source: Cassini Reviews

Managing-People-Risk-in-the-Data-Centre

Standards of dementia care will rise

Health-Social-Care-Reform-Logo

UK care home providers will be able to gain accurate insight into the competency of carers working with dementia sufferers thanks to a unique assessment for carers launched by People Risk specialists Cognisco, in conjunction with leading, care operator, Belong.

For the first time, care home providers will have a simple, highly accurate and affordable way of measuring the competency of carers and auditing and evidencing the quality of care provided to report to regulators, residents and their families.

Improving care standards and increasing the robustness and transparency of information about resident care is high on the government’s agenda.

Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England and independent dementia champion recently said, “With increasing transparency needed in the care sector, it is really important that care providers are able to show evidence to both regulators and also residents and their families that they are delivering a high quality and bespoke, personalised care service.”

The dementia care assessment uses situational judgement questions based on real life scenarios to test carers knowledge, competence and confidence in areas of their roles.

The modules cover resident’s health and experience, their understanding of dementia and care strategies including how to deliver person centred care.

The assessment results highlight any gaps and areas requiring development and illustrate how carers are likely to think, act and behave in their roles.

Providers gain insight into the competence levels of their entire workforce, enabling them to better plan their recruitment strategies and training, enabling them to target training where it is needed most, reducing training costs and improving individual performance quickly.

Phil Orton, head of people management and development at belong said, “We are delighted to have contributed to the development of this pioneering assessment with Cognisco. Like all care providers our goal is to deliver the highest standards of care consistently and to provide assurance to residents and their families. This much needed assessment is a potential game changer for the social care sector providing for the first time, a simple and effective way of measuring and demonstrating competence of a workforce in line with providing best practice dementia care.”

Mary Clarke, CEO, Cognisco said, “We are delighted to have had the chance to work with Belong to launch our dementia care assessment. This assessment addresses a clear need in the social care market and we are looking forward to discussing it with care providers”

Dementia Care assessment hopes to raise standards

UK care home providers will be able to gain insight into the competency of carers working with dementia sufferers thanks to a new assessment launched by People Risk specialists Cognisco, in conjunction with care operator, Belong.

For the first time, care home providers will have a simple way of measuring the competency of carers and auditing and evidencing the quality of care provided to report to regulators, residents and their families.

The Dementia*Care assessment uses situational judgement questions based on real life scenarios to test carers’ knowledge, competence and confidence in areas of their roles.

The modules cover resident’s health and experience, their understanding of dementia and care strategies, including how to deliver person centred care.

The assessment results highlight any gaps and areas requiring development and illustrate how carers are likely to think, act and behave in their roles.

Providers gain insight into the competence levels of their entire workforce, enabling them to better plan their recruitment strategies and training, enabling them to target training where it is needed most, reducing training costs and improving individual performance quickly.

Phil Orton, Head of People Management & Development at Belong, said: “This much needed assessment is a potential game changer for the social care sector providing for the first time, a simple and effective way of measuring and demonstrating competence of a workforce in line with providing best practice dementia care.”

Dementia Care Assessment launched to measure competency and raise standards

A unique assessment for carers which promises to provide greater insight into the competency of carers working with dementia sufferers has been launched by Cognisco and Belong.

The Dementia Care assessment aims to raise standards of dementia care in the UK  and it is being showcased at Social Care 2015 – the UK’s leading social care conference on February today (17 February).

For the first time, care home providers will have a simple, highly accurate and affordable way of measuring the competency of carers and auditing and evidencing the quality of care provided to report to regulators, residents and their families.

Improving care standards and increasing the robustness and transparency of information about resident care is high on the government’s agenda.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England and independent dementia champion recently said: “With increasing transparency needed in the care sector, it is really important that care providers are able to show evidence to both regulators and also residents and their families that they are delivering a high quality and bespoke, personalised care service.”

The Dementia Care assessment uses situational judgement questions based on real life scenarios to test carers knowledge, competence and confidence in areas of their roles.

Providers gain insight into the competence levels of their entire workforce, enabling them to better plan their recruitment strategies and training, enabling them to  target training where it is needed most, reducing training costs and improving individual performance quickly.