BOC saves £1.5m after shake-up at HR division

Industrial
gases group BOC has saved £1.5m in a two-and-half-year project and beefed up
the strategic role of HR.

The
changes cut HR costs by 30 per cent, said Alf Turner BOC’s HR director for
corporate and e-enabled functions.

Forty
per cent of the savings were made by cutting BOC’s HR staff from 140 to 90
employees.

Turner
told an e-enabled conference organised by IIR. He said, “The new HR director,
Don Beattie, did a health check on the HR function and felt HR lacked a
strategic contribution.”

There
was also a need to update databases and develop the self-reliance of line
managers and employees.

The
new model has separated the service and strategic role of HR, said Turner. Each
of BOC’s business units has an HR partner – five in all – who provide direction
on organisational issues, structure and strategy.

A
call centre provides the administrative and processing HR function, including
payroll and benefits, and deals with queries from BOC employees on policy and
procedure.

The
third part of the HR model is consulting services which offers global HR policy
for the group.

So
far, 4,500 employees are covered by the new model in the UK. Of the five
business units, two – BOC Edwards and BOC Distribution – have yet to be
incorporated into the HR global model.

Turner
said, “We are actively working on folding in BOC Edwards now.”

The
next phase is to develop a self-service HR system allowing employees to input
their own data. 

www.boc.com

By
Karen Higginbottom

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