Personnel Today Awards 2004

For UK-based HR teams in international organisations, this award celebrates excellence in human resource management across borders. The winning team will demonstrate an effective and innovative approach to global HR issues. This might include, for example, managing an international team, achieving high quality and consistency in HR policies internationally, or global recruitment strategies.

The sponsor

Founded more than 25 years ago, SHL is the world leader in objective people assessment based on the science of psychometrics. Our global capability in providing cross-border assignment management, together with the advice we can offer through our multilingual and culturally adapted tools ensures that SHL’s services are relevant all over the world.

The judge

Mark Childs is a director of outset, an HR outsourcing and consulting business specialising in reward solutions. He is also vice president reward for the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD). Mark has headed up global compensation and benefits at Fidelity Investments, Seagram, Chubb, Reckitt & Colman plc and Forte plc. His extensive reward experience ranges across public and private sectors, executive and employee compensation, international assignment management, incentives, share plans and the design and operation of core, flex and voluntary benefits.

The shortlisted teams

Compass Group plc

Compass Group HR team

Number in team: 19

Number in HR function: around 300

About the organisation

The largest food service and vending company in the world operating in 98 countries. FTSE top 30 company, the tenth largest employer in the world, and sales of £11bn.

What the organisation did

The board wanted to create an organisation that would be admired as much for the quality of its people and service as it was for its results

– The HR team set about defining a global people strategy that would achieve these business objectives. The first step was to develop its vision and values

– It was the first time the organisation had rallied behind a single vision and a set of values

– Simple tools were developed to help the cascade of information: a manager’s toolkit, a video presentation by the chief executive, a roadmap of the journey from a good to a great company

– Every employee attended 20 hours of development built around the three key elements of the vision – totalling around three million hours of development.

Benefits and achievements

Organic growth figure of 6 per cent on turnover and 10 per cent on operating profit

– Aligned group business and HR strategies to deliver the vision and values

– Implemented behavioural front line training and leadership programmes to develop the right skills and behaviour.

Mark Childs says: “An HR strategy which brings Compass’ vision and values to life and connects them in a meaningful way to employees at all levels of the organisation. A very contemporary approach, packed with personal testimonies, case studies and high quality presentation media.”

US Airways Inc

Inflight Training & Systems team

Number in team: 38

Number in HR function: n/a

Number of employees HR is responsible for: 5,646 flight attendants

About the organisation

– Seventh largest US airline with 28,000 employees. It has a fleet size of 283 aircraft offering flights to 189 airports. More than 47 million passengers boarded in 2003.

What the organisation did

In an effort to modernise communications, employees were directed to the company intranet site. The team was tasked with guiding flight attendants through this culture change since operating a computer is not part of their work routine

– The team invented a fun approach to teaching flight attendants the necessary skills

– Crew members received training in their base crew rooms and were granted home internet access

– Hard copy manuals were shifted online, eliminating print and distribution costs

– A feedback communication venue was established for flight attendants to receive direct answers to work-related questions

– Computer-based training and two computer classrooms were established.

Benefits and achievements

A discounted employee purchase programme was established for home computers

– The organisation benefits from flight attendants using their own computers to print information from the intranet rather than having to provide an enormous amount of printed material

– Use of the feedback forms provides valuable insight to the line activities and clarification on inflight procedures.

Mark Childs says: “A clearly presented CD/web-based inflight training programme. Learning was presented in a step-by-step and thoughtful manner that pinpoints how the learner is performing and shows them how the organisation needs them to be performing.”

UBS AG

Human Capital Performance team

Number in team: 9

Number in HR function: around 1,000

Number of employees HR is responsible for: 66,000

About the organisation

– UBS is one of the world’s leading financial firms and asset managers, headquartered in Zurich and Basle, Switzerland

– The UBS brand is worth US$6.5 billion (£3.6bn) with operations in more than 50 countries.

What the organisation did

Results for the Human Capital Performance team can be seen in four key integrated areas: performance management, assessment standards and quality, succession planning and employee surveys

– Its performance management system allocates specific aspects of ownership for performance management to line managers with the goal to maximise the company’s ability to consistently drive performance

– Created an innovative blend of corporate-wide standardised definitions of performance competencies and the opportunity for customisable application

– Consolidating multiple competency frameworks across UBS into a single framework that was capable of representing the work of 66,000 people in 43 countries

– Introduced a series of rating scales which allowed the individual respondent to analyse their development needs and their manager to provide overall ‘summary’ ratings.

Benefits and achievements

Unifying and integrating competency models

– Building a more credible link between performance evaluation and training need analysis

– Ensuring the behavioural aspects of the UBS vision and values are directly reinforced in an individuals’ performance review.

Mark Childs says: “An intelligent and well-structured example of employee satisfaction research, underpinned by an unusually rigorous method. This case study explores the concept of employee commitment and moves well beyond tired notions of ‘attract, retain and motivate’.”

BT Global Services

BT Global Services HR

Number in team: around 200

Number in HR function: around 200

Number of employees HR is responsible for: 21,000

About the organisation

BT Global Services is BT’s business services and solutions arm, providing global services to multi-site organisations.

What the organisation did

Developed an HR strategy built around the vision ‘People growth for business growth’. This aligned strategy has enabled a tighter and stronger focus on delivering value to the business

– The team simplified policies, processes and products to support every employee from recruitment through to performance, development and reward

– Introduced four key campaigns enabling HR to act as the change agents in the company: Engage – bringing BT values and brand to life; Enable – maximising performance; Enhance – driving for ICT success; Energise – reward and recognition

– The HR strategy became a rallying point for a global HR team and a centrepiece for its HR training event which brought the entire global team together.

Benefits and achievements

BT Global Services entered into profit for the first time this year

– The human investment ratio increased from 50p in 2002/03 to 96p in 2003/04

– Ninety-one per cent of employees know their work contributes to the success of the company

– The HR team was presented with the internal BT Award for Excellence in November 2003.

Mark Childs says: A well-written people strategy, which brings to life the much talked about but rarely delivered alignment between business strategy and HR strategy. A very readable, straightforward and well-illustrated document that presents complex issues in plain English.


 

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