TSI Blog

Candy Corner And Corporate Social Responsibility

May 8th, 2017 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

There have been many an article written about how Corporate Social Responsibility can have a positive effect on employee engagement and productivity levels. And, implementing such schemes also attract the best talent, so it’s no wonder many organisations take this responsibility seriously.

But actually, Corporate Social Responsibilities can be much more far-reaching than the organisation itself, as my daughter has recently discovered.

As part of her BTEC Business Studies Diploma, the class were set a task, and the degree of success counts towards their grades – important to get it right, right?

The class split up into groups and had to come up with a business idea, a service, a product, come up with a name for the business, pitch for investment and devise a business plan to get the business off the ground.

My daughter and her friends overheard another group deciding that they were going to run a lunchtime movie session in the main hall, and quickly latched onto the idea of … read more »

Anonymity and Confidentiality in Employee Research

May 2nd, 2017 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

Anonymity and confidentiality has always been a contentious issue in employee research and seems to have become more so over the last year or so.

At The Survey Initiative, we frequently facilitate pre-survey focus groups, and always include a telephone number/email address in our questionnaires allowing potential participants to contact us directly, which has led to many conversations along the lines of “I’m the only bloke aged 35 who’s been here for 10 years and works in Sales & Marketing so you’ll know who I am”.

Being an ethical organisation, we conduct all of our surveys strictly in accordance with the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct, the key applicable rules being:

Rule 26. Members must ensure that the anonymity of participants is preserved unless participants have given their informed consent for their details to be revealed or for attributable comments to be passed on.

Rule 27. Members must take reasonable steps to ensure that anonymisation is effective, with reference to developments in technology … read more »

Lhyk shoeteng ghoti in ah baruhl

April 25th, 2017 by Oliver Newton | No Responses

You are probably thinking my spell checker is broken from the title, but you’d be wrong (I know this as it is showing angry red lines under the words above as I type this). What I have written makes sense when you speak it out loud, even though it doesn’t on paper. It is the phrase –

“Like shooting fish in a barrel”

Ghoti is a creative respelling of the word fish, using some of the strange irregularities in the English language.

·         gh, pronounced [f] as in enough [ɪˈnʌf] or tough [tʌf];

·         o, pronounced [ɪ] as in women [ˈwɪmɪn]; and

·         ti, pronounced [ʃ] as in nation [ˈneɪ̯ʃən] or motion [ˈməʊʃən].
The other two words I took from how they are pronounced phonetically. Technically correct, but you have to think a bit harder to work out what the message is. You have to read the above paragraphs to find out the meaning, when it should be clear within one sentence.

This can be an issue in communication within a company. Sometimes different departments use specialised terms or abbreviations that others outside may not … read more »

“Send Three And Fourpence, We’re Going To A Dance”

March 20th, 2017 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

Strangely enough, it’s rather fitting that I should start this blog by explaining the title.

Some years ago, military orders and messages were relayed down the line via a series of radio transmissions. The radio operator had to listen carefully to the command and repeat the message onto the next operator in a series.

If you have ever played ‘Chinese whispers’, you may very well know the outcome of the process.

So, “Send reinforcements, we’re going to advance” famously degenerated to the title of this blog.

Now it may seem amusing and intriguing how passed down messages end up as garbled miscommunication, but actually, communicating accurately is paramount in any organisation. Avoiding the pitfalls of poor communications practice is not easy. Afterall, we give and receive messages day in and day out without giving it much thought. Therefore, because it comes naturally to us, we very often omit to think about the process of communication.

Communication is all about conceiving, sending, receiving, interpreting messages and … read more »

The Letter H

February 21st, 2017 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

The Letter H is such a versatile letter, yet so often overlooked. When used at the beginning of the word it’s very often silent – in honour, honest and strangely in hotel for example. And ‘commonly’ it’s often ignored in everyday speech – ‘ello, ‘ow are you? Wikipedia tells us that H-dropping or aitch-dropping is the deletion of the voiceless glottal fricative or “H sound”.

Voiceless glottal fricative! Really? What a dreadful term for a beautiful letter. And there’s a reverse phenomenon, H-insertion or H-adding, is found in certain situations, sometimes as a hypercorrection by H-dropping speakers, and sometimes as a spelling pronunciation or out of perceived etymological correctness. And of course (one of my ‘pet hates) many people incorrectly pronounce the letter as haitch rather than aitch.

It’s the effect that H has on other letters that I find so interesting. Put it after a P and we get an F sound, as in alphabet and the very fine and noble … read more »

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