Industrial gases group BOC has saved £1.5m in a two-and-half-year project and beefed up the strategic role of HR.
The changes cut HR costs by 30 per cent, said Alf Turner BOC’s HR director for corporate and e-enabled functions.
Forty per cent of the savings were made by cutting BOC’s HR staff from 140 to 90 employees.
Turner told an e-enabled conference organised by IIR. He said, “The new HR director, Don Beattie, did a health check on the HR function and felt HR lacked a strategic contribution.”
There was also a need to update databases and develop the self-reliance of line managers and employees.
The new model has separated the service and strategic role of HR, said Turner. Each of BOC’s business units has an HR partner - five in all - who provide direction on organisational issues, structure and strategy.
A call centre provides the administrative and processing HR function, including payroll and benefits, and deals with queries from BOC employees on policy and procedure.
The third part of the HR model is consulting services which offers global HR policy for the group.
So far, 4,500 employees are covered by the new model in the UK. Of the five business units, two - BOC Edwards and BOC Distribution - have yet to be incorporated into the HR global model.
Turner said, “We are actively working on folding in BOC Edwards now.”
The next phase is to develop a self-service HR system allowing employees to input their own data.
By Karen Higginbottom