Brent Council has begun implementing a new people management strategy, which includes a complete overhaul of HR, to help improve service delivery.
The shake-up will see a new people centre set up to deal with transactional HR work such as payroll and training administration. HR will then encourage staff to take control of aspects of their own employment – for example, checking pay and pensions online.
Brent will also appoint four strategic HR managers to provide support to various council departments and encourage cross-working with other local public sector organisations.
Val Jones, Brent’s director of HR and diversity, said the council expected the centre to lead to significant savings, but would not give a figure as to how much.
“This approach is more about increasing efficiency and making sure money is being spent in the right places,” she said.
A number of the 50 existing HR staff will move across to the new people centre when it becomes operational at the end of the year, but Jones refused to rule out job losses in the long term.
“Over time we may lose some people as we rejig processes and change the way people work,” she said.
Jones admitted that implementing the new HR model was “a huge piece of work”, but said the project was vital to the council’s future success.
“National policy objectives such as personalisation of services, efficiency and multi-agency working – which we embrace locally – all contain considerable challenges,” she said.
“HR needs to pull its weight to support the rest of the council in delivering them,” she added.