Revving up for success

first_img Comments are closed. Each year, hundreds of employees from Honda’s franchised dealer network areimbued with the corporate culture at the Honda (UK) Institute. Guy Sheppardtalks to its head, Pauline WisemanThe range of products is huge, starting with lawnmowers on one side andending with a solar-powered car on the other. In between are row upon row ofmotorbikes, all-terrain vehicles, marine engines, generators andconventionally-powered cars. This is the centrepiece of the Honda (UK)’s £3mtraining and development centre at Colnbrook, near Slough. If nothing else, itunderlines Honda’s claim to be the largest engine maker in the world. Called the Honda (UK) Institute, its role is to elevate people development amongthe almost 10,000 people employed by the company’s franchised dealer network.Its inspiration is Soichiro Honda, who founded the company before the SecondWorld War. He believed an organisation’s success depended on the skills,knowledge and enthusiasm of its employees. Although most of the people trainedat the institute are not Honda employees, they do represent the public face ofthe company. Before the institute was founded three years ago, training was handledseparately by each product division. By merging under one roof, the aim hasbeen to both expand and tailor it more to the needs of the company. PaulineWiseman, head of the institute, says the founder’s guiding principle ofcreating a company that both customers and society want is still retainedtoday. “The idea of the institute was born out of the desire to provide apositive experience for customers; ensuring no inconvenience for customers isextremely important for us.” Providing opportunity This could sound trite but Wiseman is persuasive as well as easy-going,talking with a recognisable Northern Irish lilt even though she has lived onthe UK mainland since going to university. She is clearly passionate about theinstitute’s role of providing opportunities for career development and personalgrowth as well as motivation about working for Honda. Every employee of its dealer network attends a one-day induction programmeso they can absorb the founder’s corporate values which originated in the 1940sand 50s. “It’s very important for them to soak up the whole of Honda andunderstand its history,” says Wiseman. “The institute is somewherepeople can learn about this.” She says it is just as important that theleast qualified people in the dealerships attend the induction programme as itis for technicians and managers. “A car cleaner probably gets the job ofdelivering cars to customers occasionally so they are in the front-line of thecompany. If that person is not enthusiastic and motivated in his or her job,the customer experience will not be as positive. It’s extremely important to usthat people go away with a positive feel about Honda and that this translatesinto their everyday working life.” New recruits are often addressed by senior management from Honda (UK), whoseheadquarters is at nearby Langley. This proximity underlines the importancethat training has within the company, which is responsible for sales anddistribution but not manufacturing. Wiseman reports directly to the managing directorand meets weekly with other departmental heads to shape corporate strategy. “I believe that this positioning sends a clear message to our dealersabout how important training is,” she says. “Last year, there was notan awful lot of investment in training in the motor industry but we opened thisplace, which cost about £3m. I’m told that spending here is on a much greaterscale than our competitors have spent.” All dealers are expected to have apersonal development plan for each of their employees. “We will work withthe dealers to bring these plans to life,” adds Wiseman. Although the institute is an on-going investment by Honda, the dealers haveto pay for all forms of training it provides, apart from new product trainingand induction. Courses are charged at a daily rate which is designed to coveroverheads. An exception is made for technician training because these skillshave to keep pace with technological change, so dealers pay a levy instead. Wiseman says dealers can go elsewhere for training if they want. “Wecharge what we believe is a competitive rate for training in the industry. Ibelieve that if training is to be of value to a business, it must be perceivedto be of value. If the training isn’t worth anything to the dealers because we’renot getting it right, they just won’t come.” In fact, 12,500 days worth oftraining is provided by the institute each year, giving it a utilisation rateof 85 per cent. Courses cover areas such as time management and computer and presentationskills as well as management and technical training. One of the main innovations over the past 18 months has been to create aqualification structure based on skills rather than job status. Every employeejoins the company as an associate and can progress upwards to become a member,senior member and then a fellow of the institute. There are currently about 35fellows who come from a variety of job backgrounds. Wiseman says the idea is toencourage personal motivation, quoting research showing that the two main reasonspeople stay in a job are opportunities for personal development and a feelingof being valued by the organisation that employs them. “It really is justabout prestige, although extra skills will enable you to do your job better andthe likelihood is that you will get more satisfaction out of the job and getmore pay.” She says an apprentice technician could become a fellow withinthree years. Although the institute’s core role is training, it has other functions aswell. There are one-off events, such as a talk given last month to around 300people by the leadership development guru Stephen Covey. In 1999, the institute launched a dedicated recruitment service, calledPeople First, to reduce staff turnover and thereby save on training costs. Themost spectacular results have been among car sales staff, where turnover usedto be almost 50 per cent a year, just below the industry average. “Sincewe started, we have recruited 290 people into the dealer network and staffturnover is now between 8 and 9 per cent,” she says. “By puttingadverts in, telephone screening the candidates and doing other basic HRprocedures, we took a lot of pain out of the recruitment process.” Shesays People First has resulted in a noticeable drop in staff turnover acrossother jobs as well. New products The institute employs a dozen managers and administrators as well as threespecialist trainers, who develop training for each new product during the earlystages of its development. External consultants are used for specific subjects.However, some training takes place away from the institute, with managementcourses held in hotels and new product training often provided in thedealerships themselves. Everyone in each dealership is briefed about thevirtues of a new model, and a competitor model is often brought in as well toillustrate this. The institute, originally based in Chiswick, is now in a 46,000 sq ftconverted industrial unit with seminar rooms, computer-equipped work stationsand workshop bays with specialist tools. The central display area is designedto instill a sense of pride in the company as well as provide opportunities forhands-on training with all the models. Over the last two years, the institute has piloted the development ofindividual skills training for Honda worldwide so that trainees can study attheir own pace and thereby reduce the amount of time spent away from theworkplace. “Traditionally, most training is done in the classroom, buthere the bulk of the training is done at the work station,” explainsWiseman. “Depending on their ability, they can proceed through each modulemuch quicker and get more personal feedback from the facilitator. It’s a veryspecific, practical method of training.” Because of its success, the concept may now be adopted throughout Europe.Wiseman says the UK operation acts as ‘the mothership of Europe’ which meanstraining is generally piloted ahead of the continent. Honda’s modern apprenticeships for technicians last three years and involve25 weeks at either the institute or the company’s regional training facility atDoncaster. More than 150 people are currently going through the scheme, whichis run by three dedicated trainers. Wiseman is “fairly happy” withthe requirements laid down by the Government for modern apprenticeships butsays the use of outside organisations to run it was abandoned last year, partlybecause Honda is dealing with so many different products. “Outsiders could not get their heads around what we were trying todo,” she says. Management training is generic to all types of dealer.”We don’t own these businesses but can support them with all sorts oftraining right up to leadership itself, helping them to plan for succession,develop their staff and recruit new staff,” she says. Ways of ensuring that qualifications are recognised throughout the motorindustry are currently being explored. Technical courses are already accreditedby the Institute of the Motor Industry and Wiseman is working to ensure salesand management qualifications are also included. As chairwoman of the education and development committee of the Society ofMotor Manufacturers and Traders, Wiseman is closely involved in an effort toestablish accreditation for management qualifications through the Retail Forum.”In this country, there is no set of management qualifications whichtranscend all franchises. It’s a major project.” Training evaluation Evaluation of training within the institute is run at four distinct levels,ranging from verbal feedback from trainees through to whether the organisationthey work for has moved forward as a result of the training. “We have aplanning manager and part of her job is evaluation of our trainingdelivery,” says Wiseman. Having run the institute since its launch, Wiseman could claim much of thecredit for its achievements but says the organisation stands or falls on itsmanagement and administration staff. “The experience of everyone who comesthrough the doors is down to them. My greatest pride is the positivity andenergy of those people and the pride they take in the institute. You can’tover-estimate the effect that has,” adds Wiseman. She says that one of the biggest challenges is a likely change in the lawwhich will mean franchised car dealers will no longer be tied to selling onetype of car. “It’s very difficult to say what exactly will happen but wecould end up having to spread the offer much more widely.” As with so much of the institute’s work, inspiration will probably come fromfounder Soichiro Honda, who died in 1991. One of his aphorisms, quoted in a brochure about the institute, seemsparticularly apt: “No matter how difficult the task, to the person with expertise, it isthe easiest work to do.” CVPauline Wiseman2001: took on additionalresponsibility for Honda (UK)’s parts division1998: head of Honda Institute1995: Honda (UK) head of finance 1993: Honda (UK) dealer development manager 1991: joined Honda (UK) to set up business developmentdepartment for car retail network1988: business manager with Peugeot-Talbot in Slough1986: accountant with John Martyn Group, an Edinburgh-based cardealership1985: worked for chartered accountants in Edinburgh aftergraduating from Dundee University with a degree in accountancy Revving up for successOn 1 May 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Chicago White Sox To Honor Grateful Dead On One-Year Anniversary Of Final Performance

first_imgOn July 5th, 2015, the surviving four members of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, welcomed guitarist Trey Anastasio, pianist Bruce Hornsby and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti to Soldier Field in Chicago, IL for the final night of their “Fare Thee Well” celebration. Marking the band’s 50th anniversary, the five shows (two in Santa Clara and three in Chicago) were the final shows to be billed as “Grateful Dead,” though obviously using that label stirred up contradictory feelings in the band’s loyal fanbase.Now, one year later, the Grateful Dead celebration is returning to a Chicago stadium, as the MLB team the Chicago White Sox has announced a “Grateful Dead Night” on July 5th. Hosting the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field, fans in attendance will not only get a custom-designed White Sox/Grateful Dead t-shirt, but will also be treated to a performance from one-time Dead member Tom Constanten, with Terrapin Flyer, outside the stadium before the game as well as during the game, between innings.You can see the tiny picture that has shared of the shirt, below:For more about the event, head here.[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

Internet Mana told to remove ‘f*** you John Key’ ad

first_imgOneNews 15 August 2014The Internet Mana Party has been asked to remove an advertisement which features a crowd chanting “f*** John Key” from YouTube.Family First NZ complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the party’s Join the Revolution ad, and the Authority has upheld the complaint.The Internet Mana Party was advised about the decision on Wednesday, and was asked to take down the clip.The video was still on YouTube this morning. If the clip is not removed the Authority will then ask YouTube to remove it.Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First, said the party had “dragged political debate to a new low level” with the ad.“A political advertisement which simply denigrates another political leader in an offensive fashion doesn’t belong in any election campaign,” he says.“Political parties should show social responsibility and observe taste and decency – especially as they seek to engage families in the political campaign.” Mana sanitises rally video after ASA ruling3News 15 August 2014Internet Mana has toned down its controversial political rally video in which a crowd of young people chant ‘F*** John Key”.Christian lobby group Family First’s national director Bob McCoskrie complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the clip, filmed at the party’s Christchurch event last month.The complaint said the video was “dragging political debate to a new low level”.“This advertisement simply denigrates another political leader in an offensive fashion,” Mr McCoskrie says.The authority upheld the complaint, saying the personal nature of the video was a “significant issue” for the Complaints Board.“The Complaints Board agreed that political parties as organisations should be prepared for robust expression of opinion from all voters which may take a range of forms. However, the Complaints Board unanimously agreed the use of a strong expletive with the name of the leader of a political party, packaged into an advertisement calling for a change in Government, was likely to offend against generally prevailing community standards,” the decision reads.It says the video went “beyond what was acceptable”. footage read more

USC to compete in invitational

first_imgAfter two weeks off from racing, the USC cross country team will take on five other schools at this weekend’s Northridge Invitational. This race will be the first time this season the Women of Troy run a 6-kilometer distance.In addition to meet host Cal State Northridge, USC will compete alongside UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Bakersfield. The course, recently moved from a local park in Northridge, Calif., to the Cal State Northridge campus, is a flat, fast course that will play to many of USC’s strengths. Eleven of the team’s runners will compete this weekend.“All of the girls have made big improvements in the last four weeks, so it’s hard to single out one person that I expect to run fast,” USC coach Tom Walsh said. “My main goal is to win the team title, but we will have to run fast and be aggressive if we want to win that team trophy.”The few extra weeks of training bode well for USC, particularly in a distance many runners are not accustomed to. The team has been running well during its rigorous training, and Walsh is optimistic about its performance.“The team dynamic has changed some,” Walsh said. “The freshmen know that they are expected to contribute right now, and the older girls know that I expect them to step up and lead. The good news about the freshmen is that all six girls keep improving each week.”This meet carries extra significance as well — it will help Walsh select his runners for the Pac-12 championships on Oct. 29, another 6-kilometer race. The pressure of this selection process will affect how the runners race.“Only two spots [of seven] are secured, and we have 10 people battling for those final five spots,” Walsh said. “The race on Saturday will carry a lot of weight in determining those remaining five spots because the race is 6-kilometer, and also because I want to see who can run fast under pressure.”The meet begins Saturday.last_img read more

With Cole Hamels, Zack Wheeler off the board, Madison Bumgarner could be next

first_imgMajor League Baseball’s Winter Meetings don’t start until next week, but teams aren’t waiting to pursue baseball’s top free agents.Two highly-regarded starting pitchers came off the market Wednesday as left-hander Cole Hamels signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Atlanta Braves while right-hander Zack Wheeler reportedly agreed to a five-year deal worth $118 million with the Philadelphia Phillies.After back-to-back offseasons in which the pace of free agency moved slower than a big rig …last_img read more

World primed for a football feast

first_img11 June 2010The wait is almost over. At 2pm (Central African Time) today, a Fifa World Cup™ like none of the 18 that have gone before it will begin, and not only South Africa but an entire continent will rejoice.Over the next 31 days a footballing and cultural fiesta will unravel in Nelson Mandela’s homeland, and the colour, noise and excitement promise to stun the senses.From 15 May 2004, when South Africa was invited to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, to this moment – with the big kick-off between the host nation and Mexico but hours away – the resonance of the first world finals to be held on the continent of Africa has proved an inspiration for millions.In footballing terms, South Africa have some way to go to join the elite. The national team, nicknamed Bafana Bafana, are down at 83rd in the world rankings, and have just a solitary Fifa World Cup victory to their name: 1-0 over Slovenia in 2002.But as it becomes the 16th nation to stage football’s greatest event, South Africa will dominate the world’s sporting consciousness like never before.As a country, South Africa believes it will bring significant changes, uniting black and white around the green and gold of the Bafana Bafana jersey and lengthening the distance between today and a troubled past.With their noisy vuvuzelas and inherent exuberance, South Africans promise to make this a spectacle that the world will not forget for a long, long time.That goes for players as well, the superstar names – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney – and the rest who have travelled from all four corners of the globe to showcase their skills in 10 magnificent stadiumsThe footballing calendar is so congested it can sometimes be difficult to generate real excitement around an event with another, equally big and exciting competition following swiftly on. South Africa 2010 promises to be different as it unleashes the potential of a continent whose teams have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a Fifa World Cup before.In the seven months since all 32 contestants became known, conjecture has swirled from north to south, east to west, as to who will be the likely winners.Can Brazil make it to a sixth title? Will Spain, crowned European champions for the first time two years ago, take the vital last step to global dominance? Can Diego Maradona inspire Argentina from the bench in the same mercurial fashion as he managed on the pitch in 1986?Will England under their Italian coach at last bolt some tangible achievement on to their undoubted potential? Can Italy repeat their success of the 1930s in winning back-to-back competitions?Similarly, will it be the host nation, Cameroon (making their sixth appearance at the global showpiece), or the talented Cote d’Ivoire who lead the African charge?All will become clear over the next five weeks until only two teams are left standing and, at Soccer City Stadium, they will dispute the right to be called world champions for the next four years, before it all starts up again at Brazil 2014.The same awe-inspiring Johannesburg venue, which witnessed Mandela’s first mass rally following his 1990 release, will stage today’s opening match, the first of 64 games.In one sense, it is familiar territory for the South Africa coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, as he prepares to lead a team at his sixth Fifa World Cup, which is a new record. In another respect, it will be like nothing he has experienced before, with the recurring hopes of a Fifa World Cup host nation lent an extra dimension by the passion and fervour with which the Rainbow Nation’s people will back their team.There are exciting games to anticipate in all ten venues. There is the traditional “group of death” – commonly perceived to be Group G, where Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Portugal and Korea DPR lock horns – and match-ups that renew long-standing rivalries.Only one newcomer has joined the party – Slovakia – while two coaches will attempt to emulate Franz Beckenbauer and Mario Zagallo in becoming Fifa World Cup winners as player and coach.They call Johannesburg the City of Gold, and there could be no more appropriate setting for the winners of the 2010 Fifa World Cup to clasp the gleaming trophy above their heads.Before that moment, late in the evening of 11 July, a huge number of unforgettable stories are waiting to be written.Source: Fifa.comlast_img read more

FTC Clears Google’s Acquisition of AdMob

first_imgThe Federal Trade Commission just cleared Google’s acquisition of mobile advertising network AdMob. According to the FTC, the acquisition raised “serious antitrust issues,” but these were ultimately overshadowed by Apple’s move to start its own mobile advertising network and the fact that Google has numerous other competitors in the mobile advertising space. The FTC voted 5-0 to close its investigation of Google’s acquisition.After Google announced its intentions to acquire AdMob for $750 million last November, we noted that Google was definitely trying to dominate advertising on the iPhone and Android. Since then, however, the mobile advertising market has clearly changed. Apple acquired Quattro Wireless in January, and just a few weeks later Opera Mobile acquired AdMarvel. Apple also announced its own iAd network earlier this year, which will provide additional competition to Google.In its decision (PDF), the FTC acknowledges these changes in the mobile advertising marketplace and notes that it “reached this decision based on important developments in the mobile advertising marketplace, particularly actions by Apple that should mitigate the anticompetitive effects of Google’s AdMob acquisition.” According to the FTC, the acquisition of AdMob isn’t likely to result in a “substantial lessening of competition.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts frederic lardinois Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#news#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Semerad’s hot shooting lifts TNT past Ginebra for 2-0 lead

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next What ‘missteps’? Anthony Semerad gave TNT a big lift late and the KaTropa stunned the top-seeded Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, 107-103, for a 2-0 semifinals lead in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken View comments Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img Import Joshua Smith, who dominated the Gin Kings in Game 1 with 35 points and 13 rebounds, was held to just 16 points ad 16 rebounds, but the hefty big man still came up with a crucial basket–a putback that sealed the KaTropa’s victory with 8.1 ticks to go.Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio each had a game-high 22 points for Ginebra, which took a 103-102 edge after a Tenorio triple with 1:12 remaining.TNT shoots for a sweep on Thursday night at Araneta Coliseum.Ginebra is facing a tall order down 2-0, but since 1993, the Gin Kings remain the only team to overcome such deficit in a best-of-five series when they shocked Talk ‘N Text in the 2010 Philippine Cup quarterfinals.Jayson Castro shot just 5-of-15 from the field after going 1-of-10 in the semis opener on Sunday but he did, however, closed in on a double-double with 12 points and eight assists with his last dish leading to Semerad’s go-ahead 3-pointer.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES MOST READ Semerad sank four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including a right corner triple that put TNT ahead for good, 105-103, with 52.7 seconds left.The Fil-Australian forward uncorked 12 of his 14 points in the finals five minutes and 18 seconds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Tony (Semerad) made big shots today and again, those are the things that could really help us in the playoffs,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela.“Teams will really focus on Joshua (Smith) defensively that’s why I said after the first game that the locals should contribute in Game 2,” he added. “And today, it was a collective effort but what Tony did was more glaring because everything he hit were all in the fourth quarter.” Valdez’ full focus now on national teamlast_img read more

Former India spinner Anil Kumble replaces Clive Lloyd as chairman of ICC’s cricket committee

first_imgThe International Cricket Council (ICC) board unanimously agreed to the appointment of former India captain Anil Kumble as the new chairman of its cricket committee here on Thursday.Kumble, 41, who has 619 Test and 337 One-Day International wickets to his name, succeeds former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, who led the committee since 2008.”In Anil Kumble, we have a new chairman who has unquestioned experience not only as a player with India but also as an administrator because of his association with the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). I am sure he will carry on Clive’s good work and bring contemporary thinking to the committee and understand clearly the issues facing the modern game,” ICC president Alan Isaac said, commenting on the appointment.Isaac also admired outgoing chairman Lloyd’s work. “I would like to thank Clive Lloyd for his chairmanship of the ICC cricket committee and to his tireless contribution to the game. The ICC board were united in their admiration for his work as chairman.”The ICC media release added that two members of the present panel — former Australia captain Mark Taylor and ICC statistician Davin Kendix — have got a one-year extension while former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop has voluntarily stepped down. On his way out, Bishop nominated the recently-retired England captain Andrew Strauss as his replacement, which was accepted by the ICC board.last_img read more