Rebus HR Award for Best HR Strategy in Line with Business

This award recognises HR teams who can demonstrate they have achieved
genuine business partner status within their organisations. The judge looked at
the HR team’s own strategy, how this was devised and implemented, the
involvement of senior staff and what results have so far been achieved.
Entrants needed to explain how HR has measured the benefits and how the team
identified priorities

Category judge

Bruce Warman joined General Motors in
1972. He moved to Detroit in 1979 and took the position as an organisational
development consultant based in corporate headquarters. On his return to the
UK, he held a number of positions, including managing director of a components
manufacturing company, before becoming director of personnel at Vauxhall in
1988. He retired from that post in March 2003, and currently holds a number of
positions, including member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, director of the
Security Industry Authority and non-executive adviser to an HR consultancy.


The team

No. in HR team 13
Staff responsible for 1,600

Fionuala Barrie, HR director SPS UK
Caroline Stewart, HR associate
Gerry Travers, HRoperations manager
Claire McCormick, HR programs manager
Nicola Daubney & Jennifer Wojtyna, HR operations managers
Chris Keane & Ann Brannan HR managers
Mark McCafferty HR consultant
Alison MacDonald, Senior HR associate
Moyra Withycombe, HR manager
Maureen Crawford, HR associate

Motorola SPS IBHR

About the company

Motorola provides communications solutions and is a global
manufacturer of two-way radios, mobile phones and other communication systems

The challenge

Motorola’s silicon chip manufacturing facility in East
Kilbride, Scotland, faced a high probability of closure in 1999 and as a
result, a major comprehensive improvement strategy was needed

What the company did

– Launched an HR-driven change programme

– Made HR alignment to, and partnering of, the business more

– Developed and employed two main strategies: first,
implemented global HR initiatives creatively to compliment the local culture,
and, second created local initiatives that developed and accelerated this
change strategy

Benefits and achievements

– HR gained respect and commitment from their business partners
by fully committing to the business goals

– Developed creative, innovative and resourceful solutions,
while returning significant gains for the business

– Encouraged managers to deal directly with staff and
transferred HR keys to the management team

– Cost reductions

Bruce Warman says: "The
HR team was closely involved with the senior management team and other key
stakeholders, including the unions. The strategy developed covered many areas
and addressed some difficult issues. There was a clear definition of results
needed and rigorous follow-up on performance. It worked – major improvements
happened in key performance measures, the plant stayed open and several new
products were moved into it from other parts of the world."

Scottish Water

The team

No. in HR team 93
Staff responsible for 4,758

Paul Pagliari, HR director
Morag Holding, HR customer service
Andrew Walker, General HR manager
Julia Stevenson, Head of organisational development
Susan Campbell, HR relationship manager
Lorraine Miller, Head of health & safety

Scottish Water HR Team

About the company

Scottish Water was created in April 2002 – replacing East of
Scotland Water, North of Scotland Water and West of Scotland Water. It provides
household and business water and waste water services to customers across one-third
of the land area of Britain

The challenge

The firm had to consolidate three businesses and reduce costs,
and wanted a company-wide approach to set critical HR objectives

What the company did

– Set up comprehensive communication processes and communicated
to the whole organisation effectively and consistently

– Set up specific strategy initiatives with very
clear metrics

– Set clear, measurable goals, through to 2005/06

Benefits and achievements

– Significant achievements have already been made, including a
£30m cut in costs in thefirst year

– Greatly improved productivity

– Developed a set of values that will help shape the company’s
emerging culture

– Reduced year-on-year costs by 45 per cent

– Increased training while cutting budget by more than 50 per

Bruce Warman says: "Scottish
Water has set a number of specific strategy initiatives with very clear metrics
linked directly to business results. It has pursued them quickly and
relentlessly to get some ‘quick wins’. Costs have been cut dramatically (£30m
in the first year), and the organisation is on course to achieve its goals."


The team

No. in HR retail team 39
Staff responsible for 10,400

Jill Youds, Head of retail HR
Emma Webster, Resourcing adviser
Mel Park, Employee relations adviser
Carole Calisgil, HR assistant
Bobbie House, Reward analyst

Retail HR Team

About the company

Clarks is the number one shoe retailer in the UK and is one of
the largest makers of casual shoes in the world

The challenge

The company operates across the UK, and faced severe market
pressures and increased competition. It realised retail employees are key to
the success of the business

What the company did

– Restructured and repositioned the HR team to work in
partnership with retail operations

– Focused on people, customers and profit

– Developed an HR strategy to maximise the contributions
employees could make to the retail strategy

– Implemented extra training for the senior HR team to promote
strategic thinking

– Improved field training

Benefits and achievements

– Internal customer survey now shows 95 per cent believe the
retail HR team makes an effective contribution to the retail business

– Productivity of workers completing the Shine selling
programme is £17.40 per hour higher than the store average

– Increased profit in the retail business

Bruce Warman says: "Clear, ‘hard nosed’ HR
strategies and initiatives were developed. Implementation of these strategies
was carried right across the business with an extremely comprehensive set of
business metrics that were communicated to the whole business on a
regular basis. There have been significant improvements in productivity and
customer satisfaction."

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