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HR Zone Any Answers Digest #9 – HR and knowledge management, promoting appraisals, return to work interviews…


HRZONE Any Answers Digest – Issue 9
Tuesday 11 June 2002

********** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS **********
HR and Knowledge Management… Overcoming negative views of
appraisals… Holiday entitlement for part-timers… Return to
work interviews… Assessment tests for recruitment…
********** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS **********

Any Answers continues to produce informative and lively
discussion across the range of HR issues, and you make it happen!
Air your views, solve your problems, or share your experience at

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What you asked this fortnight

New questions posted include:

Any recommendations of assessment tests for recruitment?
Robin Windley

Could I get a template for a return to work interview? And any
views on this process?
Andrea Macregor

Could anyone clarify the necessity for working your notice?

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trying to target? To find out whether TrainingZONE / HR Zone can
help develop your business, call Stuart Roy on 0117 915 8641.

Featured question: HR and Knowledge Management

Q – How can HR facilitate the creation, exchange and management
of knowledge across the organisation?
Question submitted by Tashkah

Members’ responses
(edited responses appear – see the site for full responses)

Start with a plan to build up user confidence first through a
pilot study. In some cases(generally because of the size of the
organisation) this may not possible. The good aspects of a pilot
are that you can control the amount of information and iron out
glitches early on without much problem.
Going ‘live’ across the whole organisation is risky, until you
have a good flexible plan to achieve your objectives mapped out.
Susan McGaughran


From a policy perspective, one of KM’s biggest hurdles is the
time/motivation/responsibility objection. ‘I’m too busy doing my
real job to help other people’ sometimes occurs, but more often
it’s actually management that discourages their staff from
getting ‘distracted’ by helping others.
I see the role of HR, then, as being about challenging manager’s
concept of what their people’s ‘job’ should consist of, and
championing the notion that it should be helping the company to
solve problems, irrespective of nominal functions or
responsibilities. Practically, this means introducing measures of
how helpful people are as part of their appraisals, backed up
with people-connecting processes and systems (yellow pages,
online discussion forums like this one etc.)
Sam Marshall


By creating the belief that such an exchange is in the interest
of both the people and the company – in that order!
Wayne Thomas


Use a pilot group to address a sub-set of your firm’s knowledge,
but also get the pilot group to produce a framework and
description of the processes which will be used across the
Choose a pilot group whose role is intrinsically knowledge-rich
(e.g. it’s probably more relevant to involve an R&D function or
an IT area than the cleaners).
Look for ways to ‘reward’ or at least recognise those people who
do share their knowledge : HR can suggest what would work in your
Make it an objective for every employee to provide at least one
contribution to the knowledge base, and for each manager /
department to make as many contributions as they have staff.
Nick Thomas

To read responses in full, go to

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Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q – What are part-time workers rights regarding holiday pay and
statutory holiday?
Rebecca Potter

(see site for responses in full)
A – When non-full time staff queried this, we adjusted our
contracts because the entitlement wasn’t equitable for non-full
time staff. The contract now states a total number of days
inclusive of bank and public holidays, so that non-full-time have
a pro-rata of the full number and do not get less holiday if they
don’t tend to work on Mondays.
Su Jones

A – For someone who works part-time, their entitlement should be
in direct relationship to the proportion of the hours they work
compared to a full-time member of staff, if they are not to be
given a disproportionately high amount of time off. ‘Rolling in’
all the entitlement for a ‘holiday year’ (including all public
holidays), and advising staff which days they must take as
‘designated days’ each year places the onus on the employee to
manage their annual entitlement and decide which days they will
take off as paid holiday.
Incidentally, its easiest if you calculate individual
entitlements in ‘hours’ rather than ‘days’.
Martin Cluett

To see all the responses to this question in full, go to:


Q – Appraisals are about to be launched in my company and have
been met with negativity. How do I overcome this in the training?
Lisa Birch

A – I decided to concentrate on the surrounding management skills
that make appraisals effective rather than the process itself. I
ensured that managers who I anticipated would be negative were
sandwiched with ones I knew to be more positive. During my
opening I acknowledged the negative feelings towards appraisals
and how this was common in many organisations. Then I asked them
why they felt appraisals had such a poor image and listed them on
a flipchart (that way I managed to control the discussion without
getting too involved in negativity).
Wendy Gannaway

We invited a range of people from the various functions and
levels to contribute to a Core Design Group. This group was
responsible for defining the principles that we wanted the new
system to help deliver. I made sure that this group had some well
known dissenters (I always find that there is a lot of good
nuggets in critical comments, if it is listened to with respect).
(more on site)
Norrie Silvestro

To see the responses to this question in full, go to:

Do you have anything to add? Or do you have a problem or a query
on any HR-related subject? Join in now, at

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Copyright (c) 2002 Sift Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
long as attribution is given.
HR Zone, 100 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6HZ
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225

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