PT Awards 2013 winners: Ellie Goddard is HR Newcomer of the Year

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The 2013 HR Newcomer of the Year award was presented to Ellie Goddard of East Sussex County Council at the Personnel Today Awards ceremony on Monday 18 November. Previously known as our HR Rising Star Award, the HR Newcomer of the Year Award, sponsored by Monster, recognises new HR professionals that are quickly making an impact in their organisation. Here we highlight Ellie Goddard’s entry, alongside the runners-up in this category.

Judges

Bruce Warman, proprietor at AutoXP, formerly HR Director, Vauxhall Motors.
Vance Kearney, vice president for HR in EMEA, Oracle.

 


Ellie Goddard, East Sussex County Council

About the organisation

East Sussex County Council is the local authority for the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex, which is divided into five local government districts: Lewes; Wealden; Rother; Eastbourne; and Hastings.

The challenge

As an HR adviser, Ellie was part of the project team for improving attendance across the council – the biggest change management programme the council has experienced. She has since been promoted twice and is now a senior HR adviser.

What Ellie did

  • Worked with council members, directors, trade unions and managers.
  • Championed an equalities agenda within the council and took personal responsibility for its Excellence Awards and annual managers’ conference.
  • Supports more than 190 schools and 7,000 employees through conversion to academy status, changes to terms and conditions and staff restructures.
  • Created a dedicated recruitment support team; revised council’s recruitment advertising strategy to complement introduction of e-recruitment.
  • Introduced an incentive scheme, training scheme and programme of customer service training.

Benefits and achievements

  • Won the Public Sector People Managers’ Association first Rising Star competition in 2013.
  • Created a new electronic absence management system that connects school management information with SAP.
  • Ensured that basic HR transactions are now automated via e-forms.
  • Encouraged greater team spirit through a range of fundraising events.
  • Involved in a case management system that exploits the latest technology.
HR Newcomer of the Year Ellie Goddard collects her trophy

HR Newcomer of the Year Ellie Goddard collects her trophy

Judge’s comments

“Ellie has had a broad impact in several different areas of the organisation. She is highly effective in energising people and making things happen in a way that gets people committed.” – Bruce Warman

The HR Newcomer of the Year runners-up for 2013 are as follows:


 

Emma Hartley, Barclays

About the organisation

With more than 300 years of history, Barclays operates in more than 50 countries and employs 140,000 people, 34,000 of which work in its retail banking operations in the UK.

The challenge

In April 2012, Barclays’ apprenticeship programme was born, with a specific focus on providing opportunities for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs) and those with disabilities. Emma Hartley, who herself faced homelessness in her teenage years, has been instrumental in spearheading the programme.

What Emma did

  • Created a best-in-class recruitment process for non-experienced candidates.
  • Worked with charities and community organisations to identify young candidates.
  • Worked with local MPs, Scope and Connexions to identify ways that Barclays could help candidates with neurological disabilities.
  • Built relationship with Positive Signs in bid to recruit deaf apprentices.
  • Helped to onboard the first partially blind apprentice and worked to ensure reasonable adjustments were made.
  • Created an assessment process in the south-west of England to recruit ex-military men and women.

Benefits and achievements

  • Filled 100% of all apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Partnered with internal departments and external organisations to ensure adjustments are made and roles are developed.
  • Coordinated multiple events to raise awareness of the programme and attended more than 100 engagement events.
  • Studying for her CIPD membership status after only 18 months at the bank.
  • Mike Thomson, head of early careers at Barclays, said: “Emma has worked tirelessly and with passion to develop apprenticeships suitable for young people with a range of disabilities.”

Judge’s comments

“Emma met all her targets and was very creative in dealing with the road blocks she encountered. This programme was not only of value to Barclays but also met some of the needs in the wide community, helping disadvantaged young people into employment.” – Bruce Warman

 


Jessica Parsons, Serco

About the organisation

Serco is an international services company that improves the quality and efficiency of essential services that matter to millions of people around the world. Its customers are national and local governments and leading companies.

The challenge

In April 2012, Serco launched a new HR operating model after an extensive transformation programme. This created a shared-services centre and centres of expertise, and was branded “My HR”. Jessica is people services case advisor in the shared services centre and has developed strong working relationships, helping to smooth the transition.

What Jessica did

  • As helpdesk adviser, she was first point of customer contact – resolving HR queries and redirecting them as appropriate.
  • She was promoted to her current role, where she provides specialist employment relations advice.
  • Advised on a number of high-profile cases and projects, including a significant disciplinary case.
  • Built strong relationships with relevant managers and has grown into a skilled influencer.
  • Offers clear and pragmatic solutions to customers and gives them a clear sense that their query has been resolved.
  • Supported a large-scale redundancy programme with sensitivity.

Benefits and achievements

  • Helped to raise the profile of and engagement with the My HR brand.
  • Became a role model for junior advisers on the helpdesk.
  • Achieved customer recognition, including comments such as: “I would like to commend Jess for the quality of the advice and support she has provided me with in connection to a recent hearing.”
  • Her behaviours reflect Serco values and her aim to make My HR a success.

Judge’s comments

“Jessica is obviously a hands-on HR person who delivers results and is business-aware and focused. She will go far.” – Vance Kearney

 


Sam Fraser, Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust

About the organisation

The Countess of Chester is the main NHS hospital for Chester and its surrounding area. It has around 600 beds, general medical departments and a 24-hour accident and emergency unit. The trust has almost 4,000 staff and provides a range of medical services to more than 445,000 patients per year.

The challenge

The Countess of Chester wanted to make staff engagement go from “good” to “great”. Sam was responsible for putting together a working party to look at different ways of engaging with staff.

What Sam did

  • Wrote papers and provided analysis on performance management and social networking communications, and designed intranet sites for shared services and HR.
  • Looked at applications such as Prezzi that could tell a story and help to foster a culture of feeling involved.
  • Created an intranet site for HR with a Twitter feed and interactive information, as well as aids for managers to access policy information from their mobile phones.
  • Presented at NHS Tech Expo on how technology can promote the NHS and benefit staff and patients.
  • Encouraged the senior team to use Twitter as an aid to learning.

Benefits and achievements

  • Achieved sickness absence savings of approximately £50,000 a month.
  • Started as an HR graduate and has been promoted from HR adviser, through to HR business partner and finally to medical staffing manager.
  • Integrated well into – and well respected by – operational departments and the wider hospital community.

Judge’s comments

“Clearly a very intelligent and creative force for HR.” – Vance Kearney

 


Kayleigh Aston, One Vision Housing

About the organisation

One Vision Housing is a social housing provider with more than 11,500 homes across Sefton, Merseyside. It was formed in October 2006 following a successful stock transfer from Sefton Council, and is part of the Sovini Group of social housing companies.

The challenge

Creating a healthy working culture is at the forefront of One Vision’s people strategy. In 2012, the organisation launched its “Feel Good” initiative with the aim of increasing employee engagement, improving retention, reducing absence and improving overall health and wellbeing.

What Kayleigh did

  • Led the Feel Good programme by gathering ideas from employees, suggesting new ideas, and promoting and organising initiatives.
  • Developed a programme of initiatives that address both physical and mental wellbeing; these include a counselling service, physiotherapy sessions, subsidised gym memberships and relaxation sessions
  • Introduced NHS cancer awareness i-van.
  • Organised activities such as dragon boat racing, spa days and a step challenge.
  • Researched and developed her knowledge of health and wellbeing issues.

Benefits and achievements

  • Absence levels reduced from 8% to 3% (2006 vs 2010/11), and are on track to be lower than 1%.
  • Reduced staff turnover from 21% to 12% in 2011/12.
  • Increased staff satisfaction to 95% in 2011/12 from 75% in 2008.
  • Achieved Investors in People Health and Wellbeing in 2012.
  • Increased number of employees with 100% attendance to 154.

Judge’s comments

“Putting some vitality and energy into health and wellbeing. Very impressive.” – Vance Kearney

 


Mary Miller, Certeco

About the organisation

Certeco is a UK-based business technology consultancy. It offers specialist consultancy services to banking, insurance and financial services companies, and was the fastest growing IT services company in the Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 in 2011.

The challenge

Many financial services companies had chosen to offshore business processes, but there were many disadvantages in doing so. Certeco wanted to provide customers with a viable local alternative to offshoring, while also tackling high youth unemployment. Mary has played a key role in setting up the company’s Academy – a consultancy apprenticeship for school and university leavers.

What Mary did

  • Worked with the recruitment team to devise a process to attract candidates and devised Sonru (video) interviews.
  • Runs an assessment centre, putting candidates through five exercises including team building and a presentation.
  • Worked with principal consultants to devise a training plan for apprentices.
  • Evolved induction process to prepare new recruits with specific consultancy skills.
  • Devised a buddy scheme, which is now run by junior consultants and overseen by HR.
  • Devised an academy training plan to include foundation-level qualifications and in-depth consultancy training, as well as on-site shadowing.

Benefits and achievements

  • Training plan is now an official programme that is used with each Academy intake.
  • The Academy fulfils Certeco’s objectives around CSR and youth unemployment.
  • Increased employee engagement internally.
  • The Academy now produces 37% of the total consultancy workforce.
  • Retention rates of apprentices stand at 95%.
  • Improved consultancy gender balance and reduced overall age profile.

Judge’s comments

“Her enthusiasm and organisational skills were critical in getting this project off the ground, and it is now a mainstream part of the company’s business.” – Bruce Warman

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