Personnel Today Awards 2014 winners: Managing change award goes to Marks & Spencer

personnel-today-awards-2015-managing change
Marks & Spencer collects the 2014 award for managing change.

Beating strong competition in the shortlist for the Award for Managing Change, Marks & Spencer took home the award following its efforts to effectively update its people management and payroll systems. Here, we take a look at the achievements of the winner, and the rest of the shortlisted candidates.


WINNER: Marks & Spencer

About the organisation

M&S is one of the UK’s leading retailers, and employs more than 85,000 employees in its UK and international divisions. It has almost 800 UK stores and 455 international outlets.

Managing change – the judges

Nick Kemsley, co-director, HR Centre of Excellence, Henley Business School

Vanessa Robinson, head of research, CIPD

The challenge

M&S’ payroll systems needed extensive modernisation; the previous system was more than 20 years old. With a large number of systems capturing people data, there was no single source of people management information. M&S needed to update many manual and inefficient processes and improve consistency across stores, in a huge change project.

What the organisation did

  • Outsourced payroll administration team to chosen provider, Ceridian.
  • Opted for a software as a service solution (Saas).
  • Launched online payslips.
  • Rolled out time and attendance, holidays and absence processing in one automated tool (previously had been paper-based).
  • Introduced ~”smart box” at each store where employees swipe in and swipe out.
  • Centralised administration from stores into HR shared services.
  • Managers now enter roster requirements into the People System (Your People Planning, or YPP) so can see additional hours employees requested to work and holiday requests.
  • Used YPP roadshows to show managers and employees the new ways of working.
  • Used e-learning, accessible in store and from home, to aid training on the new system.

Benefits and achievements

  • A total of 70,000 employees per month log on to the system.
  • Improved payroll accuracy and salary sacrifice means cost savings.
  • Moved HR admin from 600 people in stores to 120 people in shared services.
  • Because staff can declare availability, this means greater flexibility to offer more hours at peak times.
  • Management information more accurate and produced more effectively.
  • 200 holidays and absences booked every hour through the system on a typical day.

Judges’ comments

“A good example of HR being business-focused, mature and pragmatic.”


RUNNERS-UP

Direct Line Group – HR Transformation Programme

About the organisation

Direct Line Group’s household name insurance brands include Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege, Green Flag, Tracker and NIG. It completed a successful stock market flotation in 2012.

The challenge

Direct Line committed to shareholders that it would remove £100 million in costs from the business by the end of 2014. Since its de-merger from RBS, head office functions had become bigger and more complex and needed to be streamlined. At the same time, HR staff numbers needed to be reduced while still providing support for the transformation of the business.

What the organisation did

  • Changes consisted of two key elements: launch of HR self-service and transformation of HR operating model.
  • Reviewed delivery of HR operational services such as payroll and recruitment and brought them in-house.
  • Completed implementation of major new HR systems infrastructure, with seven new systems put in place.
  • Implemented self-service so managers can access tools to manage teams and make decisions about their people.
  • Talked to key stakeholders about strategic business priorities.
  • Change in learning and development so delivered more efficiently and is more in line with external benchmarking and business needs.
  • Reduced FTE HR operation by around 50%.

Benefits and achievements

  • Despite reduction in size and budget, HR still managed to successfully deliver its targets through 2013.
  • Dealt with more than 90,000 job applications and 3,000 new hires.
  • Delivered almost 1,500 courses.
  • Reduction in queries to HR support team from 15,921 in first quarter of 2013 to 10,311 in the first quarter of 2014.

Judges’ comments

“Large-scale project easily linked to business objectives.”


HMRC

About the organisation

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is the revenue-generating arm of the UK Government and is responsible for making sure that money is available to fund the UK’s public services.

The challenge

To meet austerity targets, HMRC’s funding was reduced by 25% in 2010 and a further 5% in 2013. To increase revenue and shave costs, it needed to put more staff into compliance (tax evasion/avoidance), while reducing headcount by around 10,000 people. It is doing this through the workforce management programme (WMP).

What the organisation did

  • WMP provided intelligence and insight to ensure HMRC makes effective use of resources and develops the right skills.
  • Set up project teams for specific areas related to the changes, such as resourcing, delivery, communications.
  • Supported members of WMP team to gain project management and CIPD qualifications.
  • Provided support, assistance and advice for those moving offices or leaving the departments.

Benefits and achievements

  • Moved 1,816 people from declining parts of the department to revenue generating areas.
  • Recruited more than 7,000 people externally.
  • Managed exits for more than 3,000 people and dealt with ‘natural wastage’ of 8,348 people.
  • Promoted 10,481 people.
  • Almost 27,000 people now in revenue generating roles.
  • On target to reduce staff in post to 52,00 by 2015/16.
  • Additional revenue amounted to £23.9 billion collected in 2013/14.

Judges’ comments

“This was business focused and clearly recognised the challenge in terms of hard business reality and targets that had to be met.”


Informa

About the organisation

Informa Business Information is a division of Informa PLC. Known internally as IBI, the division is a collection of brands who deliver in-depth proprietary market intelligence, real-time news content and analysis, bespoke consulting services and industry events. It has 1200 people worldwide and is headquartered in London.

The challenge

In June 2013, IBI decided to move its London headquarters, at the same time driving cost-efficiencies and encouraging greater cross-team collaboration. It discovered that only around two-thirds of staff were in on a given day, so wanted to explore the possibility of flexible working from a smaller office.

What the organisation did

  • Announced formal roll-out of flexible working for all employees.
  • Everyone (with a few exceptions) would have option of becoming permanent homeworker or work flexibly.
  • Office organised into “neighbourhoods” and employees can choose to sit anywhere.
  • Implemented a standard IT set up so staff can work just as easily from home as in the office – core set of software tools.
  • Introduced informal collaboration areas with wi-fi available throughout the office and café.
  • HR and L&D provided training in dealing with the change for those who wanted it, plus weekly drop-in surgeries and updates on intranet.

Benefits and achievements

  • Since August 2013, converted 100 employees to permanent homeworkers.
  • Fewer formal flexible working arrangements (and administration) needed because so many people work this way.
  • Savings on real estate equate to £500,000 per year.
  • Greater collaboration between colleagues.
  • Board more visible because they sit out on the open floor.

Judges’ comments

“It seems clear that there are both financial and less tangible benefits.”


London Overground Rail Operations (LOROL)

About the organisation

LOROL is the train operating company responsible for running the London Overground network, under a concession agreement with Transport for London (TfL). Together, their vision is to “develop our railway together, proudly connecting communities around London”.

The challenge

In 2013, LOROL was awarded a two-year extension of its contract to run London Overground to 2016, However, this would be done through Driver Only Operation (DOO), where the train doors are operated by the driver, meaning the removal of conductor grades from the business. LOROL needed to achieve this with minimum disruption to services and retaining the engagement of employees.

What the organisation did

  • Appointed a change manager to ensure proper planning and controls were there from the outset.
  • Established strong project team from across the business, with weekly meetings attended by executive management and directors.
  • Managed negotiations with RMT Union (previous attempts at DOO had resulted in significant strike action).
  • MD, customer service director, HR director held 15 group sessions for affected employees with an almost 100% attendance rate.
  • Held 1-2-1 meetings with conductors.
  • Identified vacancies as part of redeployment programme, creating new role of Customer Service Ambassador.

Benefits and achievements

  • DOO became effective two weeks ahead of schedule on some routes.
  • Successful implementation will save £5m a year for TfL.
  • More than 70% of conductors redeployed into the business and make up 7.5% of the employee populations.
  • No compulsory redundancies; 26% took voluntary redundancy package.
  • Maintained high satisfaction levels among staff (91%) despite the changes.
  • Maintained high levels of overall passenger satisfaction – scored 89% in latest National Passenger Survey.

Judges’ comments

“A difficult challenge that was on a large and public scale and that was executed well.”


Virgin Money

About the organisation

Virgin Money is a UK-based bank and financial services company founded by Sir Richard Branson in March 1995. At the beginning of 2012, it acquired Northern Rock in a deal worth up to £1 billion. Its ambition is to make “everyone better off” (EBO).

The challenge

Following the financial crash, the mortgage regulator made a series of recommendations to make the market more sustainable, known as the Mortgage Market Review. The L&D team at Virgin Money needed to implement the mortgage market review (MMR) principles within the bank, while doing so in a way that meets its corporate aim of being safe, and driving profitability.

What the organisation did

  • Restructured the target operating model (TOM) and whole new approach to selling mortgages.
  • Moved sales of mortgages from high street stores to contact centres, making the service more controlled.
  • HR worked with sales and marketing to create new roles for those affected; no roles were made redundant.
  • Created training programmes around themes, with ethical behaviours at the heart, rather than sales skills.
  • Delivered training in three tranches: publicising and cascading changes; e-learning plus exam; ensuring everyone knew the new rules.
  • Designed and embedded bespoke assessment regime for sales.

Benefits and achievements

  • A total of 70 advisers/supervisors completed 252 assessments over 15 weeks.
  • Fifty colleagues completed a compulsory qualification in under six months.
  • Bank was ready for MMR day and took an extra 0.6% of the market.
  • HR/L&D workstream came in 20% under budget and delivered on time.
  • Improved reputation externally and achievements recognised at board level.

Judges’ comments

“The challenge was clearly articulated and the solution well executed with clear business benefits.”


Savills

About the organisation

Savills is a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has an international network of more than 600 offices and associates throughout the Americas, the UK, continental Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, offering a broad range of specialist advisory, management and transactional services to clients all over the world.

The challenge

For over 20 years the UK arm of Savills was made up of two businesses: one for commercial, and one for residential and rural property. As the property market evolved the two were increasingly competing for business, there was client confusion and a lack of cross-selling. When CEO Jeremy Helsby took over, his vision was to create “One Savills” through a formal merger.

What the organisation did

  • Undertook internal research to see if top-line vision was shared by senior managers and directors; plus organised 1-to-1 interviews with employees.
  • Appointed director of change management to run the change project.
  • In 2012, began formal consultation process, with roadshows presenting the new vision to employees.
  • Change management director and two CEOs toured the UK.
  • Set up “lunch and learn” sessions.
  • Employee information packs issued to all, plus dedicated merger information available on intranet.
  • Carried out TUPE process, with full merger and move completed by June 2013.

Benefits and achievements

  • Clients now have a one-stop-shop for services.
  • Reduced confusion and improved coverage..
  • Employees feel more supported at work: 93.75% agreed the mission and purpose of Savills makes them feel their work is important.
  • Improvement of 28.5% in “collaborating on focused work” compared work before the move.
  • Staff turnover levels did not deteriorate despite change: remainined consistent at 16%.
  • UK turnover increased by 16% over the combined entities post-merger.

Judges’ comments

“A big job for a relatively small business.”

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