RightCoutts Employer Branding Award

Creating a distinct employer brand is now top of the list of
priorities for most key organisations. Employees these days are more creative,
selective and empowered – choosing to build relationships with organisations that
treat them as intelligent partners. Successful employers of choice work hard at
creating an identity for themselves as accessible, flexible organisations. This
award recognises those that have made a major effort in this area. The judge
looked for a clear explanation of how the employer brand was created and is
being maintained.

Category judge

Mayuri Vyas leads The Work Foundation’s consultancy team, providing
strategic support for organisational change programmes in the public, private
and not for profit sectors. The team’s capabilities include diagnostics, human
resources and change management. It challenges and innovates using ideas from
Work Foundation research, and underpins its activities with a focus on ethical
practice and the desire to increase productivity in the UK by improving the
quality of working life.

Norwich Union Life

The team

No. in HR team 6
Staff responsible for 16,000

Annette Scott-Gray, Director of HR
strategy & policy
Jayne Hannan, HR Operations manager
Ray Greenacre, HR Consultant Operations
Sandy Wilson, Head of HR policy & reward
Peter Hessay, Human Resources Director
Trevor Sevegnini, Director of HR services
Catherine Tausney, Head of HR Operations
Denise Branigan, HR Adviser
Helen Webb, Head of Employment Management

Employment Management Team

About the company

Norwich Union Life is the life and pensions division of
insurance firm Norwich Union. Part of financial giant Aviva, the company has
the backing of around £200bn of assets under management and has 25 million
customers worldwide

The challenge

To deal with the issues of retaining staff, reducing
absenteeism and attracting talent to its call centres across the telebusiness
division

What the
company did

– Launched focus groups investigating the impact of the
employer brand

– Successfully applied for DTI funding

– Identified key areas for improvement using call centre teams

– Cross-site workshops to improve employer experience

Benefits and achievements

– Closer working relationship between HR and call centre
managers

– A visible working relationship between two departments

– Improved communications

– Absence reduced by 3.5 per cent, staff turnover reduced by .5
per cent and an increase of 20 per cent in maternity returnees

Mayuri Vyas says: "Norwich Union’s employee
branding initiative sought to address issues relating to staff retention,
sickness absence and attracting talent in a competitive market within call
centres.  It was driven by a cross-functional
team that included HR and operations staff. This ensured the branding
initiative covered business practices and procedures as well as employee terms
and conditions. It was further aided by consultation with staff through focus
groups and workshops to identify the main issues and how they could be
addressed.  Benefits included
significant reductions in absence and turnover levels and an improvement in
staff satisfaction."

Alliance and Leicester Group

The team

No. in HR team 7
Staff responsible for 9,500

Graham Ledward, Group HR director
Jo BurkeLead, HR business consultant
Fay Harriman, Management development adviser
Jane Stephenson & Marie Donoghue, HR business consultants
Kate Fogg & Phil Ashcroft, HR business consultants
Paula Ward, Management development manager

Employee Brand Group

About the company

The Leicester Permanent Benefit Building Society was founded
150 years ago and from this grew today’s Alliance and Leicester

The challenge

To improve productivity, retention and customer service through
better communications and by creating an environment where staff are
effectively managed and rewarded

What the company did

– Launched and communicated a new corporate brand called
‘living life better’

– New recruitment website to highlight the benefits of working
at Alliance and Leicester

– 24-hour rest areas where staff can watch TV or read magazines

– More flexible holiday arrangements

– £4m investment in its Valuing Individual People scheme

Benefits and achievements

– Improved leadership

– More than 75 per cent of staff responded to employee survey –
with the best ever results

– Staff turnover now below 11 per cent

– More than 17 per cent of all vacancies now filled via staff
recommendations

Mayuri Vyas says: "The Alliance and Leicester’s
employee brand is built on the premise that improving the quality of working
life for staff results in greater productivity, retention and performance.  Alliance and Leicester lives its brand and
cultivates employee commitment through strong employee consultation processes.
The scope of its brand work is broad and includes culture and business
practices. The brand has been created by a carefully crafted team that includes
representatives from HR and the business. Efforts are paying off with benefits
from the initiative including a reduction in staff turnover and a drop in
recruitment cost and time."

London and Quadrant Housing Trust

The team

No. in HR team 19
Staff responsible for 644

Sally Jacobson, Group
director of HR
Chris Gillham, HR Manager
Tom Nicols, Head of HR
Brigid Hodges Organisation and Development Manager
Claire Marriot, HR Manager
Nicola Whitefield, HR Manager
Leanne Taylor, Project Support

Group HR Team

About the company

London & Quadrant Housing Trust is one of the UK’s 2,000
housing associations, managing more than 29,000 homes in the South East. As
well as housing residents from the council list it also runs sheltered
accommodation, support homes and accommodation for key workers

The challenge

To seek out innovative ways of working and help the
organisation attract, retain and continuously improve staff

What the company did

– Identified key people issues

– Introduced a research programme looking at recruitment and
retention

– Developed branded employee benefit and recognition scheme

– Encouraged continuous dialogue with staff through HR
briefings, intranet, magazines and interviews

Benefits and achievements

– Raised awareness of the employer brand

– Reduced staff turnover by 14 per cent

– Sickness absence now at an all time low of 2.1 per cent

– Helped integrate new employees into the business

Mayuri Vyas says: "The organisation has created an
employee brand which brings it high retention and lower recruitment costs in
the challenging voluntary sector. 
Employee brand work is driven by a desire to build ‘a culture that
enables the organisation to attract, retain and continuously improve people’s
potential’.  It stands out in terms of
inclusion of staff through the innovative use of roadshows and regular updates
through an impressive variety of media. 
Benefits for the business included heightened staff awareness,
successful integration of HR into the organisation, and a reduction in staff
turnover and sickness absence."

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