Co-operative Insurance Services’ (CIS) description of its change programme (Special Report, Personnel Today, 26 July) is an interesting work of fiction, especially with regard to the process of communication and consultation.
In July 2004, the CIS announced an intended 2,500 redundancies. In October 2004, ‘frequently asked questions’ were posted on the intranet. However, when staff asked their own questions, rather than those questions pre-selected for them by the company, they had to wait several months for a response, and, in many instances, received no response at all.
The video referred to in the case study was not sent to employees; it being available only on site, with a maximum of one viewing permitted. The newsletter was not distributed to employees.
Employees were informed that if they were not prepared to transfer to the call centre, they would be declared redundant. Is that what Stephan Pater, CIS’s change programme leader, means by “engaging people’s hearts and minds”?
Pater also claims that the change programme enhanced people’s CVs. Whose CVs? Presumably his and those of his cronies in HR?
The most outrageous claim in this case study is that the CIS implemented its plans while maintaining its core values, one of which is, supposedly, honesty.
If this is so, then perhaps Pater can demonstrate his honesty by admitting publicly that it was always CIS’s intention to force through changes on the basis of “if you don’t like it, you can lump it”.