Consignia is to recruit a company-wide board-level HR director for the first
time to improve its fragile industrial relations.
The move to increase HR’s influence at the troubled organisation is in
response to a damning report into industrial relations at Consignia, published
last year by Lord Sawyer.
It revealed high levels of unofficial wildcat strike action at the firm and
blamed the hostile culture on overbearing, bullying managers lacking people
The mail delivery firm, which is shedding 30,000 jobs as part of a major
restructure to eliminate losses of £1.5m a day, expects to have a group HR
director in place by the end of year to drive industrial relations
Corporate development director at Consignia, Paul Rich, said: "The
chairman quite rightly wants a group HR director to represent the rights and
issues of our people at the very top. This is the right thing to do because
when you are in a labour-intensive industry, it is important to have someone
who can represent the key people issues at board level."
The group HR director will oversee many HR policy and practice changes
including management training, communication and complaints procedures.
Rich, who was appointed earlier this year to improve the working environment
for frontline staff, said other changes planned include a review of training,
giving greater emphasis to on-the-job learning and less importance to
Next month, its complaints procedure will be streamlined, with a single form
going to both the employee’s line manager and HR. A staff complaints helpline
and independent investigators will be introduced next year.
The company’s employee opinion survey is to be held on a monthly basis to
improve communication and feedback with staff. And, the firm’s 3,000 site
managers will be given a budget of up to £10m a year to improve local working
By Paul Nelson