Every year we win many new contracts, with the people who provide those services often transferring from our customers to us. Acquiring businesses can also bring large numbers of people into the Group. We therefore need a clear framework for managing and developing our people.
Our people strategy
Our people strategy has three components. We want to:
- Develop leaders who are fit for the future and who will thrive as Serco grows
- Employ people who bring service to life, who are fully integrated and engaged with Serco and who we can develop to achieve their full potential, and
- Make it easier to manage our people by continually enhancing our systems and processes.
Developing leaders who are fit for the future
Serco needs leaders who can grow with us. They manage our operations, secure our growth and create the environment in which our people can best serve our customers.
Evaluating our leaders
During the year, we evaluated in detail the leaders who joined us when we bought Intelenet, an international BPO operator based in India. This used our leadership evaluation tool, which considers the size and complexity of a leader’s role. The exercise allowed us to position people appropriately in our leadership structure and means the composition of our top 500 leaders now properly reflects our international business.
Our leadership evaluation tool is also important as we enter new geographical markets. It gives us a tried and tested method for analysing leadership roles in each market and creating reward packages that will attract and retain the right people.
Developing our leaders
Serco’s leadership model is called H³ – Heart, Head and Hands. These components describe how great Serco leaders behave, with an emphasis on our Governing Principles and our customers:
- Heart covers our leaders’ motives and demonstration of our Governing Principles
- Head relates to intellectual and personal capacity
- Hands covers skills, knowledge and experience
We have assessment tools based on H3 and use them to create development plans for hundreds of our leaders.
In 2012, we also used those tools, along with our leadership evaluation tool, to ensure we had the right leaders in place as we reorganised our UK and European businesses from three divisions into one.
Supporting our leaders
Transferring knowledge from one market to another is a key part of our business model. We therefore need to effectively support our leaders as they move around the world.
During 2012, we employed Ernst & Young to help us improve our global mobility processes, so we can offer first-class support to our people when they relocate.
Employing people who bring service to life
Serco depends on skilled and enthusiastic people. By delivering great service to our customers, they contribute to our reputation and ability to grow.
Engaging our people
Employee engagement was a major focus in 2012. Engagement is fundamental to employee wellbeing, the quality of our services and our ability to deliver organic growth.
We worked with Aon Hewitt to better understand the link between customer advocacy and employee engagement. This showed a strong correlation, with more engaged employees leading directly to higher customer satisfaction, which in turn helps us to retain contracts and grow organically. We are now using case studies setting out key lessons from contracts with the highest levels of engagement, helping us spread best practices around the business.
We also undertook Viewpoint, our annual global employee survey. This gives us important insights into improving the working experience at Serco. The survey results show trends and areas on which to focus, and an online tool enables managers to prepare action plans and cascade materials to their team.
Supporting the UK government’s engagement taskforce
Serco continued to support the UK government’s Engage for Success taskforce. This is an independent and voluntary group of leaders, managers, trade unionists, engagement practitioners and experts, who all want to highlight the importance of employee engagement.
In November 2012, the taskforce launched evidence that showed the UK was missing out on £26bn of GDP because workers were not actively engaged. The group also launched a website (www.engageforsuccess.org) containing case studies, tools and techniques for engaging employees.
Recognising our people’s achievement
Our global Pulse Awards celebrate the very best achievements of our people, customers and partners.
The awards are closely linked to our Governing Principles. They recognise people who excel at innovation, inspire through their leadership, demonstrate outstanding commitment and make an exceptional impact on communities, the environment or in areas such as safety and ethics.
Making it easier to manage our people
Our aim is to have easy-to-use tools, processes and systems that make it easier to manage our growing workforce and deliver even higher levels of productivity and service.
We have therefore developed a target operating model for HR, which gives us common HR processes around the world. It allows us to centralise important aspects of our HR support, while decentralising the tools that our managers need to effectively run their teams.
As part of this, we have created a shared service centre in Birmingham, UK. This includes a centralised recruitment and redevelopment service, which is already delivering savings. One particular achievement has been our use of LinkedIn to identify candidates. By building Serco’s presence on the site, we now have access to around 1m people.
We have also created a transaction management centre in Delhi, India. Our team there ensures that our HR transactions are processed smoothly, for example by ensuring that new joiners have access to our systems, the right computers or other equipment, and an identity card. The Delhi centre consistently achieves high accuracy rates, making an important contribution to our HR efficiency.
During 2012, we also completed Serco’s first ever global software implementation. MyHR is now live across the business and provides a range of self-service tools for both managers and employees. MyHR gives managers better visibility and control of their team information, the ability to carry out people management activities online, and access to reports to support planning and decision making.
The system also makes HR processes easier for employees, for example by allowing them to maintain their personal information or book annual leave online.
Over the next few years, we will build on this work to further enhance our HR tools. This could include adding learning management systems and performance management, as well as allowing employees to monitor their compensation and how it has changed over time.