Addleshaw Goddard HR Impact Award

This award recognises an HR professional or team that has added value to their organisation through an innovative, clever or determined solution. Entries provided evidence of speed of reaction, thinking ‘outside the box’, clear communication, a sophisticated understanding of the business drivers, and measurement of the benefits.

Addleshaw Goddard has one of the largest teams of employment lawyers in the UK. It focuses on the effective management of people issues that can have a serious impact on client businesses – complex, unpredictable and sensitive matters that may have a high value or affect reputation or strategy.

Judge: Paul Turner

Paul Turner was formerly general manager (people) at West Bromwich Building Society, where he led his HR team to a series of accolades, including overall winner in the Personnel Today Awards 2004. He also made the our Top 40 HR Power Players list in 2005 and 2006. Turner is now a consultant and performance coach, and is undertaking a coaching PhD.

Bircham Dyson Bell
The team:
Number in team: 7
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 304

About the organisation Law firm Bircham Dyson Bell has doubled in size and turnover in the past five years. It now has more than 300 staff – 52 of whom are partners.

The challenge The firm had achieved staff turnover rates of less than 10% per year since 2003 – less than half the average for law firms in central London. But it needed to keep the employee turnover rate well below the legal average while maintaining the company’s open culture during a period of rapid growth.

What the organisation did

  • The HR team took the revolutionary step (for the legal sector) of replacing the traditional measure of post-qualification experience as the basis for reward and career progression with a new competency-based career development framework.
  • The communications strategy team co-ordinated the efforts of all departments and included a confidential online survey and departmental briefing sessions for all employees.
  • The leadership team handed its development over to the staff most affected through an extensive consultation and implementation process.

Benefits and achievements

  • Turnover grew by 20% to £30m from 2005-06, while the workforce only grew by 6%, demonstrating increased staff productivity.
  • Annual staff turnover is still just 9.1%.
  • A 23% rise in the number of staff with a clear understanding of promotion criteria.
  • A 10% increase in the number who believe Bircham Dyson Bell is good at developing employees.

The judge says: “An innovative career development framework was created to provide a more effective way to recognise talent. This has supported high business growth and, in doing so, broke new ground in the legal sector.”

The team:
Organisation and Talent Development
Number in team: 35
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 15,000+

About the organisation British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) is the operator of the UK’s largest digital pay television platform.

The challenge The effect of converging technology and a rapidly changing competitive landscape was being felt very keenly in Sky’s customer operations business. Sky wanted to develop great leaders who could support their teams to deliver exceptional customer service.

What the organisation did

Customer operations’ senior leadership team attended a two-day meeting to define departmental priorities, which led to the development of the Choose to Inspire programme, which involved:

  • Running two sessions a day, six days a week for 685 leaders.
  • Undertook 360-degree feedback process for all leaders, involving more than 4,700 questionnaires.
  • Engaged key stakeholders from all levels within customer operations to support the design, development and delivery of the programme.

Benefits and achievements

  • Achieved a 96% attendance rate – the best ever achieved in Sky’s customer operations.
  • 90% of participants rated the programme positively.
  • The total cost was £149,384 (£17,000 under budget), and saved £122,762 compared with external providers’ quotes.
  • Leaders are re-engaging with their people.
  • People are sharing ideas and challenging ineffective processes and procedures with greater confidence.
  • The culture of coaching and feedback is now being consolidated across the whole division.

The judge says: “The programme was created to develop Sky’s leadership capability with the aim of inspiring its people to live its values and ‘wow’ customers. It focuses on the importance of the leader as a role model – a key driver in culture change.”

Broadway Homeless and Support
The team: HR
Number in team: 7
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 173 (plus external clients)

About the organisation Broadway is a London-based homelessness charity with 180 staff. It works with more than 2,000 people each year who are, or are at risk of, becoming homeless.

The challenge Broadway has demonstrated the success of its HR initiatives. But in an increasingly competitive contract commissioning environment, funders are reluctant to pay for ‘overhead costs’, including HR staff. It needed a way of generating more income to sustain its level of HR support.

What the organisation did

Launched the Beyond a Helpline initiative, delivering HR strategy and support to other small charities:

  • A workshop for other agencies’ directors.
  • An HR audit, action plan, advice and training.
  • Launched the brand for its ethical HR consultancy – Real People – whose income has doubled over the past two years.

Benefits and achievements

  • External customer base and income from external consultancy work doubled in two years.
  • Won a government contract to deliver a leadership and management development training programme to homelessness hostels across England.
  • 12% voluntary staff turnover rate, compared with a sector average of 18%.
  • 2.8% absence rate, compared with 5% sector average.
  • Listed in Sunday Times’ Best Small Companies 2007 list.
  • Client dissatisfaction levels have fallen from 17% to 5%.
  • Won HR Excellence Awards Best Learning and Development Strategy, and National Training Award winner 2006.

The judge says: “Broadway’s HR team turned a problem into an opportunity. High impact was achieved through generating income to support its activities and by building best HR practice in the charity sector.”

Homeserve GB
The team: HR team
Number in team: 20
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 1,000

About the organisation Homeserve is one of the UK’s fastest-growing home emergency services.

The challenge In 2005, the recruitment function needed to identify and attract more than 500 future staff. Attrition rates were at an all-time high of 65%, and the calibre of candidates was declining. The recruitment process was not fair, objective or measurable, and it had a poor employer brand.

What the organisation did

Launched a recruitment process, which included:

  • Developing a competency framework.
  • New job descriptions that reflect key performance indicators and are linked to bonus payments.
  • Designing an ‘Experience Day’ for applicants.
  • Psychometric online assessments.
  • Measuring new channels of candidate attraction for return on investment.
  • A 12-week candidate care programme for recruits
  • Team manager workshops on competency-based questioning and interviewing skills.
  • High-impact launch of the new process on the theme of TV show 24.

Benefits and achievements

  • Staff turnover reduced by 25%.
  • Staff satisfaction increased from 20% to 82%.
  • Call centre agent performance (measured against key performance indicators) has improved by 36%.
  • Annual attrition rates reduced from 9% to 2.9%.
  • Conversion from interview to placement has improved from 33% to 65%.
  • Reduced the number of hours team managers spent on recruitment, saving 55 weeks per year.
  • Candidates now give the recruitment process an average score of nine out of 10.
  • Won European Call Centre Award for Best Contact Centre Recruitment Practice 2006.

The judge says: “A classic case study of transforming recruitment processes. The high impact delivery captured the imagination and gained the commitment of the management team.”

McDonald’s Restaurants

The team: Reputation Team (HR)
Number in team: 5
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 67,000

About the organisation McDonald’s is the world’s largest and most well-known fast-food chain. It serves more than 2.5 million customers in the UK every day.

The challenge McDonald’s had one of the most poorly perceived employer reputations in the world. A measure of this was the term ‘McJob’, which was coined in the 1980s. The term is a generic description of an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects.

What the organisation did

Launched the McDonald’s Reputation Programme of integrated HR-driven initiatives, including:

  • Poster campaign (‘Not Bad for a McJob’).
  • Highlighting its commitment to anti-ageist recruitment practices.
  • Launching an intranet, providing online training and access to a wide range of content.
  • A UK petition tour to change the definition of the term McJob.

Benefits and achievements

  • Staff turnover is now at an all-time low, while staff pride is at an all-time high.
  • 14% rise in the number of staff who say they are proud to work for McDonald’s to 82%.
  • UK Brand Index Corporate Score increased by 16 points – the biggest sector rise of any of the UK companies monitored.
  • Named Best Place to Work in Hospitality 2007 by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine.
  • Listed in The Times’ Top 50 Companies Where Women Want to Work and The Guardian’s Britain’s Top Employers 2007.
  • In 2005, McDonald’s became the first large multi-site employer to achieve Investor in People Profile status.

The judge says: “Redefining the phrase ‘McJob’ presented a major challenge that required vision, creativity and delivery. A great example of how to transform an employer brand.”

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