Freeserve opts for holistic path to productivity

Internet service provider Freeserve is using a holistic approach to people
management to help improve productivity, motivation and staff turnover.

The firm’s new talent management director, Norman McQueen, is responsible
for all HR and training, as well as running the company’s facilities

The idea is designed to draw together everything that affects staff, and as
part of his role McQueen has to oversee the upkeep of offices, maintenance and
source new office buildings.

"The buildings are one of the primary things that affect people, so I’m

"It’s all about having a consistent culture and anything that affects
the staff is my department," he said.

Freeserve is also using a twice-yearly review system linked to bonuses to
keep the workforce motivated and productive.

All staff, including the CEO, are set five objectives designed to stretch
them professionally throughout the year. Staff are then measured against the
targets and paid a personal bonus every six months if they meet the targets.

"The key is that it keeps people focused on their achievements.
Productivity is at the heart of this because if personal achievements are met,
the company benefits," said McQueen.

Setting the targets could be difficult because the firm’s 400 staff are made
up of creative, sales and technical workers, but McQueen uses a question and
answer process to identify them.

"You have to analyse what the job is and how to be successful at it,
but you also have to break it down so you can agree how this can be
measured," he explained.

Staff also receive an annual review and the mix of increased development and
potential bonus payments has driven staff turnover below the industry average,
to 11 per cent.

By Ross Wigham

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