Family-friendly finance firm cuts absence rates

NCR Financial Solutions Group has reduced absenteeism by two-thirds and
increased employee satisfaction at its Dundee-based manufacturing plant through
the introduction of family-friendly policies.

Talking at the AnUMan conference in London last week, Peter Denheen, HR
director of global operations, said the firm has introduced a variety of new
schemes including flexible hours and extended maternity leave.

NCR also provides paid time off for family commitments such as funerals,
graduations, and first days at school.

Since the introduction of these policies in 1999 sickness absence has fallen
from 6 to 2 per cent.

A staff survey shows a 20 per cent rise in the positive perception of
managers and a 15 per cent increase in job satisfaction.

"It’s the small things that make the difference, and is that [time off
for family commitments] really an unreasonable request?" said Denheen.

He said allowing staff time off does not create a gap in production, costs
very little and pays back in employee trust and commitment.

Denheen added that these initiatives have had a positive impact on the
firm’s bottom line.

NCR has also had opened a gym and crèche at the plant to "add value to
the company".

Denheen told delegates the first thing the company tackled in trying to
change the work culture was improving internal communication.

A survey showed that most staff get their company information via gossip, so
news is now released to all staff at the same time.

The company has also introduced a partnership agreement, a drive to improve
attendance and performance and a new bonus scheme.

By Quentin Reade

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