Personnel Today Awards 2004

Department
for Work and Pensions Age Positive at Work Award

This
award will be presented to an organisation that can
demonstrate a commitment to Age Positive practices. The judge will be looking
for examples of best practice in recruitment and selection, training and
development, through to promotion, redundancy and retirement.

Category judge: Binna Kandola

Rajvinda (Binna) Kandola
is a chartered occupational psychologist and co-founder of Pearn Kandola.
He is an expert in the areas of diversity, assessment and development and has
worked with some of the world’s top companies including Accenture, BP, Ford, Lloyds TSB, Nike, Pirelli and
PricewaterhouseCoopers. Kandola
was the first chair of the Standing Committee for the Promotion of Equal
Opportunities and is currently chair of the Minority Ethnic Group and a member
of the National Employment Panel.

Shortlisted teams

HBOS

The team: HBOS Equality and Diversity
team

No. in team: 5

No. in HR function: 1,000

No. of employees HR is responsible for:
67,000

About the organisation

Following
the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland in 2001, HBOS has 22 million
customers and a relationship with two out of every five households in the UK.

Employing
nearly 70,000 colleagues and with assets of more than £380bn, it is the UKs largest mortgage and savings
provider.

What the organisation did


In October 2002, HBOS introduced a policy to enable colleagues to work beyond
their normal retirement age, responding to the changing preferences and
circumstances of colleagues


HR teams were allowed to proactively recruit colleagues above HBOS’s normal retirement age


As an Age Positive ‘employer champion’, HBOS promotes the Age Positive Campaign
internally and externally


HBOS has hosted 20 events and provided speakers at 40 external conferences on
age in the past 12 months


Created a dedicated Age Positive section on the company’s ‘equality &
diversity intranet site.

Benefits and achievements


Proportion of colleagues working beyond the normal retirement age has more than
doubled since the policy was introduced


The number of colleagues aged 55 or over has increased by 35 per cent in 2003

  HR support for the Age Positive campaign has
included local and national media interest, including a TV slot on BBC2’s
Working Lunch. This profiled the organisation’s success in recruiting older
workers to its contact centre, Halifax Direct. More than 60 people over the age
of 45 have been successfully placed since April 2003.

Binna Kandola
says
: “A dedicated team and a committed approach has led to an intelligent and effectively implemented
policy.”

Land registry

The team: Diversity and Equal
Opportunities team

No. in team: 3

No. in HR function: 57

No. of employees HR is responsible for:
9,200

About the organisation

The
Land Registry’s main function is to maintain and develop a register of all
freehold and leasehold land in England
and Wales.
It is a
self-financing executive agency which makes no call on public funds to carry
out its core business. 

What the organisation did


Expansion of staff data monitoring to assess age profile of the Land Registry,
including individual breakdown by local office and by grade

  The data is provided every six months


Data analysis led to the development of an outreach programme with local
schools to attract younger people


Initiated a review of retirement ages


Age monitoring also include external and internal selection boards providing a
breakdown of the range of applicants


Creation of a diversity team.

Benefits and achievements


Statistical monitoring cited by the Employers Organisation on Age and the
Cabinet Office as examples of best practice


Identification of age-related impact through a benefits review to ensure they
were not being discriminatory and to prepare for the new discrimination
legislation.

Binna Kandola
says
: “A thorough, well-researched approach, which seeks to change attitudes
as well as behaviours.”

Tesco

The team: Pension review project team

No. in team: Debut 9, RSA 6

No. in HR function: 120+

No. of employees HR is responsible for:
237,000

About the organisation

As
the UK’s
largest private-sector employer and leading retailer, Tesco has 13 million UK
customers every week. Now in 13 countries including China,
Turkey
and Japan,
Tesco, has built a
reputation for creating the best value for customers in all that it does.  

What the organisation did


Launched Debut in October 2003, an industry first, web-based benefits and
careers service, offering guidance to young people considering a career in
retail. Acts as a one-stop shop for those wanting advice on money and the world
of work


One part of Debut is a ‘clearing house’, which helps students arrange a job
swap between their home and university stores


Developed Tesco Retired
Services Association (RSA) to support staff after retirement

  Trialling ‘Save As You Study’ scheme to encourage students to save
some of their salary each month, with the amount being matched by Tesco


Operates a flexible retirement policy.

Benefits and achievements

  In 18-months the Debut club has recruited
around 3,800 members and more than 7,000 people have registered on the external
Debut website


90 per cent success rate on transfers using its ‘clearing house’. Stores report
the centralised system has lightened the workload


Request rate for transfers has doubled since the launch of ‘clearing house’,
with 300 booked for this summer


122 signed up to the ‘Save As
You Study’ scheme


Membership of RSA has risen by 800 since 2001


Tesco now has just under 2,500 staff over the
traditional retirement age.

Binna Kandola
says
: “Policies and a strategy that cover young people as well as the older
ones, supported by a simple, direct, colourful communications campaign.” 

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

The team: Group HR Team

No. in team: 9

No. in HR function: 9

No. of employees HR is responsible for:
650

About the organisation

London
& Quadrant (L&Q) is a charity providing homes for a wide variety of
economically disadvantaged people. L&Q houses 30,000 families in London
and the South East and 12 families are taken off the homeless register every
working day. L&Q also provides supported housing for vulnerable people and
has diversified into low-cost home ownership, helping to house key workers
specifically to improve public services in areas such as health and education.

What the organisation did


Dedicated recruitment campaigns designed to encourage applicants of all age
groups


Established a one-day equal opportunities and diversity programme as part of
new employee induction process


Produced a Valuing Our Older Workers
booklet


Created of an Equal Opportunities Working Party to monitor fairness and equality


Set up roadshows to promote
the new booklets

Benefits and achievements


Number of staff over 50 increased to 27 per cent


Staff turnover reduced by 20 per cent to 11.2 per cent


Won a place in 2003’s Top Employers handbook


Only Housing Association in the Sunday Times Best Companies to work for 2004.

Binna Kandola
says
: “London & Quadrant has created an effective strategy, linked to
the organisation’s mission and vision, which has been imaginatively
communicated.”

 

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