Ventura wins award for organisational change

Personnel
Today Awards 2001: The winner of The Industrial Society award for
organisational change was the change programme team from Ventura. HR Director
Kate Marsden.

What
they did

The
Ventura HR team overhauled its work practices and culture with the aim of
making the company more competitive. It introduced new terms and conditions for
its 1,500 staff, including streamlining employment contracts so that all
employees worked under the same terms.

The
work patterns of call centre staff were changed and shift work introduced so
staff could respond more effectively to business demands, explains HR director
Kate Marsden.

The
team also reviewed its performance management system by linking individual
contribution to company objectives. A staff bonus scheme was introduced to
provide an incentive for improved staff performance. Ventura also re-positioned
itself in the local recruitment market with 500 new staff joining over a year.

Marsden,
who sits on Ventura’s board, says, "All these changes sprang from what we
needed to do as a business to remain competitive." The programme was
achieved, from director level downwards, through clear objectives, good
communication and a flexible team approach both across HR and the business as a
whole.

Why
they did it

Ventura,
part of the Next Group, was subject to an internal review by its parent company
in the second half of 1999. A key finding was that the work environment needed
to change in response to increasing competition in the outsourcing market. As a
result, a new managing director and board of directors were brought in to
spearhead the change programme. They also came up with a new mission statement
with specific corporate objectives. It was the task of the HR team, led by
Marsden, to interpret the company objectives into a clear change plan over a
12-month period.

Benefits
and achievements

Ventura
recorded a profit increase of more than 20 per cent year-on-year, despite a
managed reduction of overall turnover. There were also operational productivity
improvements of more than 30 per cent in five months, without any adverse
effect on staff service levels. Ventura also secured new business contracts,
leading to the creation of 500 new jobs.

Why
they won

"A
good, robust approach to organisational transformation. Best use of tools, data
driven and well-produced materials all add up to an excellent piece of work"
Judge: David Miller, managing director, changefirst

Other
finalists

Barclays
Achieving world class

In
early 1999, the newly formed Barclays Corporate Banking business outlined the
objectives of a big cultural change to its 12,000 staff. The HR team involved
line managers in unionconsultation which allowed the introduction of performance-related
pay. A strategic review required the HR team to develop leadership potential,
and it then ran a leadership programme.

Prime
Focus
Performance, development & review scheme

The
Prime Focus HR team has rolled out a training and development strategy,
including a new performance, development and review scheme. A competency
framework was agreed with staff and a set of behavioural indicators for
recruitment, training and development. Performance-related pay has been linked
to these competencies.

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