IBM halves HR costs through Web

IBM
has more than halved its HR costs through a complete overhaul of its policies
and by harnessing the power of e-technology.

Ray Leighton, e-HR executive at IBM, said the company made dramatic changes to
enable HR to take a more strategic role in the business and to cut costs.

As part of the process IBM has shed a third of its HR staff but its success
has been highlighted by a survey, which shows that customer satisfaction has
doubled and is now at about 90 per cent.

Leighton said, "IBM wanted HR to become strategic rather than
administrative, to lead change proactively in the organisation. We were not
doing that. We were a processing shop." He said that during the process
line managers had to take on HR responsibilities and were more effective than
some practitioners they replaced.

Leighton said IBM had to transform its HR departments across Europe as part
of its change in policy. A mainstay of the new approach was the creation of a
giant HR service centre in Portsmouth which performs much of the day-to-day
administration and provides HR support to all of IBM’s companies in Europe.

Leighton was speaking at the HRForum.

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