Personnel Today Awards 2001 update

Short listed teams for the tmp worldwide Award for Global HR

This is a new category in the
Personnel Today Awards and has been introduced in recognition that
globalisation is the key business challenge facing organisations operating
across national boundaries. The shortlisted teams have demonstrated that they
have introduced policies or initiatives which have had an impact globally

Claire’s Accessories
Initial start-up HR team

What they did

A series of training programmes and knowledge sharing
activities has enabled Claire’s Accessories to align HR practices in the UK
with those of its US parent company. Beginning with basic changes, such as the
design of staff responsibilities, working hours and staffing structure, the
company has sought to gain efficiencies through improved and shared practices.
The US training manager of Claire’s Stores Incorporated ran a two-week training
programme for district managers in the UK on roles and responsibilities, new
stores and paperwork, recruitment and networking skills. Conversely, the UK HR
director visited the US for a week, returning to oversee the introduction of US
style pay and remuneration packages across the UK stores. An appraisal system
was also introduced to link pay review with performance. Training also reflects
US practice and training delivery itself has been aligned to techniques from
the parent company. All these changes have been underpinned by the publication
of a weekly company newsletter, Claire’s Affairs. Head office staffing
structure has also been modified to match the growth of the UK stores.

Why they did it

The global alignment of HR practices was instigated when UK
retailer Bow Bangles was bought by Claire’s Stores Inc in 1996. The HR team
recognised the necessity of bringing people practices into line across the
organisation securing continuity and consistency in the management and
rewarding of staff. This initiative meant the business could take advantage of
best practices of its parent company while ensuring those practices keyed into
the needs of the UK operation.

Benefits and achievements

"There was a backbone of practice that worked well in the
US and we knew it would work over here," explains Shirley Froggatt, UK HR
director. Meanwhile, with the global HR team expanding over this period, a
European resourcing manager was appointed specifically to ensure senior
appointments were consistent with the purpose and values of the company. The
initiative of sharing best practice across the organisation is continuing with
the recent acquisition of French business Cleopatre and consequent expansion of
the group into Europe.

The team

Number in team 20 (originally only 3)
Number of employees 2,500
Personnel adviser (Head Office) Alison Burke
UK HR director Shirley Froggatt
Training manager Gillian Ince

Cable & Wireless Global
Global Employment Brand Management

What they did

Cable & Wireless Global (CWG) has created a new and
distinctive global employer brand in order to attract and retain the talent it
needs for its business. From the outset, HR identified and involved
stakeholders who were key to the initiative’s success. The process began with
consultations among members of the senior management team, business functional
heads, PR, corporate communications and across the company’s partner network.
Over a four-week period, the HR team carried out around 30 one-hour interviews
with business heads and senior managers to define and develop the starting
point for the new brand. Information from these interviews was then shared with
the recruitment advertising agency Barkers, which produced a vision of the new
brand. As the new brand emerged, the HR team identified gaps between the new
vision and the current reality of employment within the company. By addressing
these areas any "disconnects" could be removed. At every stage it was
made clear that this process was not to be a six- or 12-month project but would
mean the management of an evolving culture.

Why they did it

In the summer of 2000, CWG reinvented itself as an
Internet-focused business-to-business company offering a global IP network,
voice and data services. The new business would span Europe, Japan and the US
from the outset and HR realised it was necessary to create a new employer brand
which would appeal to both internal and external audiences. This new image
would deliver cost savings through reduced attrition, increase efficacy of
recruitment and increase productivity through enhancing brand loyalty and
employee satisfaction.

Benefits and achievements

The presentation material supporting the new company
personality has been translated into six languages and rolled out across 20 countries.
CWG’s attrition rate currently stands at 10 per cent, compared with the
industry standard of 15 per cent, while hires via the Internet have ballooned
from less than 1 per cent globally before the project to more than 20 per cent.

The team

Number in team 3 (plus a wider group of 30+)
Staff responsible for 25,000
Director – HRProject OfficeHelen Andrews
HR specialist Sue Browne
HR business partner Ruth Brookes
HR programme manager Andrew Armes

Getty Images
HR for Europe and Asia Pacific

What they did

Getty Images started creating a global HR function in July
1999. The project sought to bring consistency in process and strategy across
operations in 22 countries. First, small generalist teams were introduced to
all Getty Images sites around the world outside London and Seattle. These teams
would ensure that all future HR activity would be relevant to the local
business whether in Munich, Paris or Sydney. Specialist functions were then
developed, bringing the company world class programmes and processes in areas
such as total reward, organisational development and general HR management.
Across this structure, a global business partnership initiative was implemented
to make sure HR programmes would seamlessly connect with overall business
activities.While aligning HR practice across the international organisation,
and introducing world class HR programmes to the company, the initiative also
means managers now have a single point of contact for HR. They have access to a
quick and effective HR service, sensitive to business requirements, alongside
local and cultural considerations.

Why they did it

Founded in 1995, the structure of Getty Images reflected the
method of its expansion – a network of some 28 acquisitions. The creation of a
global HR function was a crucial part of integrating all these operations into
a unified coherent organisational structure with a single CEO and shared
leadership philosophy.

Benefits and achievements

The company has introduced world class HR programmes in excess
of its competitors or similar sized organisations. Integrating management
processes has saved about £28m on annual labour costs. The implementation of
new HR initiatives has contributed to a reduction in voluntary turnover from 15
per cent to 8 per cent over the past six months with an estimated saving of
more than £1.4m. "The matrix we have constructed has given us global
alignment, business relevance and local relevance," explains Ralph Tribe,
senior vice-president for global human resources. "We use that matrix as a
filter so if a HR initiative doesn’t fulfil those requirements, we simply don’t
do it."

The team

Number in team 30
Staff responsible for 1,900
Recruitment manager, Europe & Asia Pacific Claire Galvin
Director of training, EMEA Louise Wingrove
HR director Ruth Craig
HR consultant Tracey Whamond
Vice-president for HR Ralph Tribe

Judge’s comment
Craig Lydiate, managing consultant, Aon

Claire’s Accessories

"In the face of rapid growth by acquisition since 1996 the
organisation has sought to deliver a consistent and business-centred approach
to HR management. This has been achieved despite cultural challenges at all
levels."

Cable & Wireless

"The commitment to develop a globally appropriate employee
personality has been a key driver of the re-focused IP and data services
organisation, and is central to talent management and corporate success. A
truly considered and powerful global strategy."

Getty Images

"The global transformation process has been dramatic to
say the least. Financial and personnel initiatives have blended in a unique
approach to produce huge financial and operational effectiveness returns for
the business."  

The Human Resources practice within
TMP worldwide places HR professionals in all core functional specialisms, in
both permanent and interim positions. Its reputation for
"championing" the new breed of HR professional, and its association
with some of the very best HR roles, enables it to recruit successfully within
all the core HR specialisms across both the public and private sectors

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