Biggest turnaround in corporate history makes the front pages

Last month, Personnel Today revealed that Royal Mail had cut its HR spend by £57m in just two years. Speaking exclusively to Personnel Today, Royal Mail group HR director Tony McCarthy and people and organisational development director, Kevin Green, said that the HR budget has been cut from £173m at the start of 2003, to £116m.

A complete overhaul in the HR function has played a key role. The size of the department has dropped from 3,700 to 2,400 people, while HR managers have been asked to be far more accountable, with weekly ratings and league tables on performance, in areas such as sickness absence.

Green has made some significant achievements at the Royal Mail Group since joining in October 2003 as its chief learning officer. His rationale for joining Royal Mail was that it “represents the biggest turnaround in UK corporate history”.

If you’re a member of the Personnel Today HR Directors Club, you can hear about how Kevin has been pushing through radical organisational change at our next HR Directors Club event on 17 March. 

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To find out more about the event and to book your place, go to

To read about how Royal Mail slashed its HR budget by £57m, go to

To read the full feature, about how the Royal Mail team is well placed to deliver changes, in which Tony McCarthy and Kevin Green outline the next stage of their restructuring,  go to

Publications round-up

– In the February issue of Employers’ Law, we ask whether employees are obliged to disclose the misconduct of colleagues or themselves to their employer.

– Coming up in Training Magazine, we talk to David Carrier, the head of competence and training management at Network Rail, about his agenda for in-house development. We take a look at how to grow managers, in light of new research that slams the ‘sheep-dip’ approach. The impact of the new National Employer Training Programme is assessed. Also, we ask how energy company Scottish Power ensures that new recruits are up to date with the latest health and safety regulations.

– Watch out for a special report on technology and recruitment with next week’s issue of Personnel Today. The report offers in-depth comment and analysis on the latest technology trends hitting the recruitment market. Socpo’s Alan Warner provides an expert’s view of how the technology is impacting and will continue to do so when recruiting the best talent. We talk to Liam Donnelly, HR director at HMV, about the retailer’s latest e-recruitment solution. We also ask both HR and HR technology providers about their predictions and wish lists when it comes to technological developments. And document management specialist Xerox explains how it is using technology to streamline its recruitment process.

– Trying to get to grips with workplace stress? Then look out for our new One-Stop Guide to Managing Stress, due out this month. The guide is written especially for HR managers by stress experts Professor Cary Cooper and Dr Joe Jordan. It provides everything HR needs to know to build stress prevention and management strategies in the workplace. Published as part of Personnel Today’s management resources series, it offers practical steps in a clear format and is written in plain English. For information on how to order your copy of this and other titles in the series, visit over the next few weeks.

– With a general election predicted for this spring, the February issue of Occupational Health asks what Labour will do to help improve workplace health given a third term, and what would the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats do differently, if given the chance? Plus occupational health advisers at British Airways describe the benefits of professional supervision.

– What are the big issues facing public sector HR? This will be the focus of a special issue of Personnel Today, out on 8 March. A range of features and comment will be dedicated to the public sector to keep readers up to date with the latest thinking in this arena. The special issue will include a host of information, such as looking at how three public sector organisations are addressing recruitment problems and finding out about an initiative offering job secondments between the public and private sectors. We will also interview the HR director of Greater Manchester Police.

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In late February, XpertHR will be adding to its wealth of practical guidance with ‘How to’ articles on drafting restrictive covenants and implementing and managing discretionary bonus schemes. 
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