This week’s guruThe art of improving performanceThe crucial ingredient in driving productivity in the UK is not training ora greater emphasis on vocational education, it is errr… art. Two-thirds of workers believe they would work more productively if they wereinspired by music or art in the workplace, according to a study by Arts &Business. Apparently, staff would rather their employers provide subsidisedtickets to arts events than subsidised gym membership. Art can also help recruitment and retention – in all, three-quarters ofemployees would prefer to work where there is art on the walls. Guru is concerned that art in the workplace would be counter-productive, asstaff could become distracted by in-depth discussions over the merits ofimpressionist, abstract and pop art. Having said that, Guru has long argued tothe MD that that his untidy desk is a living piece of conceptual art – aworkplace interpretation of Tracy Emin’s Unmade Bed. Women are proven cause of all lateness Guru has learned that consistent lateness is nothing to do with the vagariesof the public transport system, traffic or faulty alarm clocks. The real reasonfor staff being consistently late is that they don’t like their jobs. A report by the School of Economic Studies at Manchester University revealsthat workers who are very satisfied with their jobs are half as likely to belate as those who were neutral about their jobs. Based on a survey of 2,000 UK workers, the study finds that those mostlikely to be late are young single women, working in the private sector in anon-unionised service job they don’t like. It also says children can cause‘shocks to scheduling decisions’ that make parents late. When Guru is late for work, it is usually due to what the study calls‘intra-household conflicts relating to allocation of time’, or translated intoEnglish – Mrs Guru nagging him over not doing the washing up as he’s trying toget out the door. Need for closure on pay is a load of hype An academic at the University of Warwick has come up with a controversialnew theory on the equal pay gap – it is not worth closing. Economist Maureen Paul finds that the average female worker is more likelyto believe she is fairly paid than her male counterpart. Paul thus suggeststhere is little point in paying contented women workers more. Instead, sheadvises employers to take advantage of this cheap happy labour force byemploying more women. Guru would be interested to know how ‘contented’ Ms Paul would be if shefound she was being paid 19 per cent less than male academics. Alternatively,she could chat with Louise Barton, who is in the middle of an equal pay battlewith her employer Investec Henderson.Guru gets a Grip on leadership tactics Following the England football team’s impressive return to form againstTurkey, Guru interviewed Sven-Goran Eriksson’s right-hand man Tord Grip on howto manage a team back from the brink. At a reception at the Swedish Embassy, where Guru had somehow wangled aninvite, the enigmatic Grip revealed that the best managers in any sector arejudged on results and that leadership is the most important attribute. “To be a boss is one thing, but to be a leader is another. It’s aboutrelationships and how you build them,” he told Guru, adding that despiteSven’s laid-back image he delivers fiery and inspiring team talks. To demonstrate, Grip predicted that under Sven’s charismatic leadership,England will win the World Cup in 2006. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. GuruOn 15 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.