Pru revamps to give HR a more strategic role

The
Prudential has restructured its HR division in an attempt to cut costs and
increase the strategic role of their senior HR managers.

Russell
Martin, HR director for the Prudential’s UK operations, explained that the
company has transformed its approach to HR by introducing self-service HR on
the intranet and a call centre to cope with the bulk of routine enquiries and
administration.

HR
specialists were given a more strategic role in March as part of the company’s
general business restructuring in the UK, explained Martin.

Seventy
HR staff were made redundant when the company’s nine business units merged to
form three new divisions based in London, Reading and Craigforth, in Scotland.

Each
division has an HR director supported by four business partners whose role it
is to plan Prudential’s HR policies.

Below
this, four specialist HR centres have been set up covering employee relations,
compensation and benefits, resourcing and development, learning and training.

Line
managers and employees are encouraged to use the company intranet People
Insight wherever possible for routine HR transactions, such as change of
address, bonus payments and internal recruitment and some training. Employees
can contact the call centre Ask HR if they have query.

Martin
said, "There has been elements of resistance among some line managers who
are used to having HR staff sitting along the corridor but it is a learning
process and they will get over that."

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