Computers In Personnel Award

Personnel Today Awards

Computers In Personnel is a UK company that provides HR software solutions. The software is highly flexible and covers personnel, recruitment, training administration, skills matching, payroll and employee and manager self-service. The software and support services enable a more efficient, strategic approach to HR within your organisation.

Jane Saunders Category judge

Jane Saunders is managing partner of Orion Partners, one of the UK’s leading HR transformation consultancies. She has specialised in creating smarter, more streamlined and credible HR functions for the past 15 years. Before founding Orion Partners, Saunders held roles in Accenture’s consulting practice, and senior HR roles in the manufacturing and services sector.

FIRST CHOICE AIRWAYS

The team – FCA HR Team

Number in team: 6 Number in HR function: 84 Number of employees HR is responsible for: 14,000

About the organisation Founded in 1987, First Choice Airways (FCA) is part of travel and leisure company First Choice Holidays. It operates a fleet of 32 aircraft in the UK, and flies to 60 destinations worldwide.

The challenge FCA experienced a period of industrial unrest, which culminated in the rejection of its annual pay offer last winter. Pilots felt undervalued and were perceived to be inflexible and militant. The company needed to improve relations, engage the pilots and agree a satisfactory pay deal to remain competitive.

What the organisation did

Launched the Change Agenda in May 2005, with collaboration between HR, flight operations and the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa).

Implemented a partnership and recognition agreement between FCA, the pilots and Balpa.

Created a reward package to encourage engagement and improve work-life balance.

Created a new management structure that introduced non-pilot managers.

The pilot training team reviewed the training structure and created a clear five-year plan.

Implemented a pilot bonus scheme.

Held focus groups with pilots to understand their communication needs.

Benefits and achievements

Engagement and productivity have risen, and work-life balance has improved.

Higher customer satisfaction rates.

Secured a three-year pay deal with the pilots.

HR now sits on the board giving strategic employee relations advice.

The judge says: “The HR team provided clear evidence of effective engagement and strong business alignment. The programme has delivered tangible business results, introducing new ways of working that are now setting industry best practice.”

HIGHLANDS and ISLANDS ENTERPRISE NETWORK

The team – Organisational Development Team

Number in team: 4 Number in HR function: 11 Number of employees HR is responsible for: 600

About the organisation The Highlands and Islands Enterprise Network is a public body responsible for economic and community development across a diverse geographical area more than half the land mass of Scotland.

The challenge The network is highly diverse and widely dispersed, and staff felt there was a need to improve communication, break down barriers and gain a better understanding of what other teams did.

What the organisation did

HR came up with the idea of ‘Together Towards Tomorrow’ – the first staff event where every employee played a role in planning and contributing to the network’s success.

HR brought together staff from local enterprise companies, business units, strategy group, communications, organisational development and the executive office, creating a better understanding of each other’s roles and communicating the changes of the organisational review.

Held an exhibition of each part of the network’s area of work, involving more than 40 interactive displays.

Benefits and achievements

More than 80% of participants said the project created a sense of belonging.

More than 80% said they now had an enhanced understanding of the rationale for organisational change.

HR increased its profile and its credibility.

The judge says: “Building cohesion is a key challenge for this organisation. This highly successful initiative achieved its objective of moving the organisation towards becoming a genuinely ‘networked’ organisation. The team has demonstrated creativity in harnessing limited resources and has created a real sense of belonging.”

BOROUGH OF TELFORD & WREKIN

The team – Human Resources

Number in team: 9 Number in HR function: 85 Number of employees HR is responsible for: 5,800

About the organisation Telford & Wrekin was created as a unitary council in 1998, and is currently rated as a four-star authority by the Audit Commission. The council aims to build “a successful, prosperous and healthy community which offers a good quality of life for all the people of Telford & Wrekin”.

The challenge HR needed to support the council’s Change for Children project, which aims to provide seamless, co-ordinated support to children and their families, and reduce the number of children and young people needing crisis intervention.

What the organisation did

HR collaborated with staff from Change for Children to launch two new common processes to enable staff to intervene early and allow different agencies to work together.

Created a new team to lead the service changes and embed the new practices.

Restructured the HR function.

Established a new Children’s Workforce Development Team.

Benefits and achievements

HR took a central role in delivering the Every Child Matters agenda.

HR’s restructure has enabled more sharing of expertise and more consistency.

The council can now locate trainers for staff in children’s social care, schools and education support services in a single base, encouraging knowledge sharing and reducing duplication and waste.

The judge says: “With its project, the council was trailblazing a new approach to the provision of integrated children’s services. HR’s input has been key to its success by introducing new ways of working, encouraging the sharing of expertise, the pooling of resources and the co-ordinationof development across multiple agencies.”

KEOGHS SOLICITORS

The team – Human Resources

Number in team: 3 Number in HR function: 3 Number of employees HR is responsible for: 464

About the organisation Formed in 1968, Keoghs is a national law firm with offices in Bolton and Coventry. It has 28 partners and more than 450 staff. As insurance specialists, it acts for the majority of the UK’s major insurance companies.

The challenge Keoghs wanted to attract and retain the best talent by outshining its competitors. It set out to create a slick recruitment process to ensure it identified the best candidates in the shortest time, working with stakeholders and external agencies.

What the organisation did

Enlisted the HR director as project manager.

Set up a recruitment strategy best practice team of HR, marketing and IT professionals, litigation and employment partners/lawyers and team leaders.

Implemented an online job application process and new psychometric tests.

Collaborated with six external recruitment agencies for feedback on the project.

Benefits and achievements

Shortlists and rejections now handled online.

Agencies have dedicated channels to track the vacancies, reducing admin to a minimum.

A better understanding of attracting applicants and matching them to job requirements.

A PR campaign has improved communication methods, conveyed a consistent corporate image and raised the firm’s profile among potential recruits.

The judge says: “With a clear strategy to become the employer of choice in its market, the team demonstrated that they engaged effectively with their business and suppliers to develop a recruitment solution that can show clear business benefits and is also raising the firm’s broader business profile.”

IDEAL STANDARD

The team – Entitlement

Number in team: 3 Number in HR function: 24 Number of employees HR is responsible for: 2,500

About the organisation Bathroom fitting manufacturer Ideal Standard aims to combine innovation and beauty. It has eight sites across the UK, which produce ceramics, taps, bathroom partitions, plastic components, acrylic baths and showers.

The challenge The company recognised that to remain competitive, staff and unions needed to increase levels of safety, quality and productivity. It set out to improve productivity across its three ceramics sites by engaging staff and achieving better performance through a culture change in behaviour and attitudes.

What the organisation did

The HR director and ceramic manufacturing director negotiated pay with Unity, the company’s major union.

Created a collaboration agreement, called Entitlement, which followed a similar model in the company’s US division, co-ordinated by an internal communications manager.

Designed and ran facilitation workshops and projects to encourage the culture change.

Trained facilitators at all three sites.

Benefits and achievements

85% of the workforce in ceramics voted in favour of the Entitlement agreement in 2005 and 60% voted for it in 2006.

Twenty-two facilitators have been trained in communicating the Entitlement message.

Productivity improved by 10% in the first full year of the initiative and will increase in the second year.

The judge says: “The team demonstrated a no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to employee engagement, which is now to be adopted by other parts of the business. The employee relations impact has been very positive and the business outputs have meant wage rises for the past year have been self-funded.”

BOROUGH OF TELFORD & WREKIN

The team – Human Resources

Number in team: 9 Number in HR function: 85 Number of employees HR is responsible for: 5,800

About the organisation Telford & Wrekin was created as a unitary council in 1998, and is currently rated as a four-star authority by the Audit Commission. The council aims to build “a successful, prosperous and healthy community which offers a good quality of life for all the people of Telford & Wrekin”.

The challenge HR needed to support the council’s Change for Children project, which aims to provide seamless, co-ordinated support to children and their families, and reduce the number of children and young people needing crisis intervention.

What the organisation did

HR collaborated with staff from Change for Children to launch two new common processes to enable staff to intervene early and allow different agencies to work together.

Created a new team to lead the service changes and embed the new practices.

Restructured the HR function.

Established a new Children’s Workforce Development Team.

Benefits and achievements

HR took a central role in delivering the

Every Child Matters agenda.

HR’s restructure has enabled more sharing of expertise and more consistency.

The council can now locate trainers for staff in children’s social care, schools and education support services in a single base, encouraging knowledge sharing and reducing duplication and waste.

The judge says: “With its project, the council was trailblazing a new approach to the provision of integrated children’s services. HR’s input has been key to its success by introducing new ways of working, encouraging the sharing of expertise, the pooling of resources and the co-ordinationof development across multiple agencies.”

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