M&S skills audit ensures firm has vital staff data

Marks & Spencer is to complete a nationwide audit of staff skills to
comply with forthcoming legislation.

The retail giant will map its employees’ skills to evaluate whether it has
the resources to deliver on company objectives, and to comply with changes to
the Operational Financial Review rules that will require people management data
to be published in annual reports.

The firm has already piloted the scheme among its 3,000-strong workforce in

Naomi Stanford, former head of organisational development at M&S, told
delegates at the CIPD’s HRD conference in London last week that the scheme
could prove a direct link between food stock levels and management skills.

The firm’s 65,000 UK staff will be divided into 23 job families. They will
then fill in a self-assessment skills questionnaire and agree a ranking with
their line manager in areas that include retail focus and ‘big picture’

Stanford said that through the Irish audit, M&S found staff have 199
skills it is not making use of. For example, a horticulturalist was found to be
working in the bakery department.

"Companies will soon have to think about how they will report the value
of their people," Stanford said.

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