This week’s letters
Profit/enterprise ratios would flag up innovation
Innovative solutions are required to tackle issues raised by the article ‘HR
held back by inability to measure human capital’ (News, 24 September).
One option might be to develop profit/enterprise ratios (P/E). These would
show the proportion of profits derived from new ideas and processes. This
directly relates to the input of individual employees and therefore indicates
the efficacy of recruitment, training and reward strategies in boosting the
While not an exact science, a first shot at arriving at a P/E might be to allocate
profit made over a set period to different generations of product innovations
Each £1m of continuing profit could be divided between products or services
in place for more than 10 years, 5 to 10 years, 3 to 5 years, and less than 3
The idea is to favour profit derived from recent innovations and discount
cash cows. Profits from business processes in existence for more than 10 years
are divided in half, while profits from newer innovations are multiplied.
Profits derived from processes in place between 5 and 10 years remain neutral.
These figures are totalled and set in ratio to the total profit.
While all business leaders recognise the importance of promoting innovation,
few have been as quick to realise the importance of HR strategy. It is up to us
to demonstrate the connection.
Prof. Alec Reed, CBE
Chairman, Reed Executive
Move is wake up call for the UK
Instead of being so willing to transfer call centre jobs to the other side
of the world, perhaps we would be better off concentrating upon improving the
lot of our existing UK employees (Analysis, 17 September).
The article claims that ‘training and motivation is better in India’, yet
these are issues which can be influenced through better training, increased
involvement and setting high service standards in the UK.
UK call centres are not all the same – in our centre we deliver eight weeks
training for all new starts and have made improvements that have led to
dramatic reductions in absence and turnover figures. It is all about better
people management and creating an environment where people want to work.
Let us not forget this is not just about cost, it is about delivering
service to the customer. We should not be so eager to give our jobs away to
HR director, Kwik-Fit Insurance Services
Lost chance to gauge absence
The new code of practice on employment records (News, 17 September) will be
a major hindrance to our operations.
We employ around 120 labouring staff each year and have a high turnover of
temporary workers. We have just installed new procedures to help combat
These include friendly return-to-work interviews and monthly individual and
group discussions on workplace strengths and weaknesses.
Those employees who may take advantage of the system will not sign
authorisation forms for the code, and I feel the new code will hinder any
attempts to understand absenteeism.
Personnel officer, Shetland Catch