Hereward College News

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hereward College wins TES FE Outstanding HR Team Award 2011

Last Friday (11.11.2011) Hereward College’s HR team was awarded with the TES FE Outstanding HR Team Award 2011 at a ceremony at the Brewery, London. This award recognises outstanding work within human resources departments for 2010-11 and was open to all further education providers in the UK.

The award was provided by TSL Education, the largest teacher network in the world. The judges recognised that a great deal has been achieved by Hereward College over the last couple of years. They said “Hereward’s team has worked hard to embed HR best practice right across the college. This has delivered a major cost reduction and reduced absences. The team has achieved the Investors in People Gold Standard and its new approach to training has saved 40%. We also liked the use of key performance indicators.”

The vision of the Hereward HR Team was that it had to change the way the HR department was perceived. Rather than ‘being sent to HR when you did something wrong’ the HR Team understood that they had to collaborate with all other departments around the college to become as efficient as possible. This is why Ben Arnold, HR Manager, wanted to underline the fact that ‘this award doesn’t just go to Hereward's HR Team, it also goes to our managers, staff and senior leadership team’. This was also recognised by Investors in People who awarded Hereward with the Gold Standard this year, putting them in the top 1% of employers for the way in which we manage and develop their staff.

Moreover, the way they recruit people has changed dramatically. Only 10% of staff are appointed on interview alone, as opposed to 90% in 2009. They got rid of outdated processes and now fill vacancies 17 days quicker on average. The vacancy rate has more than halved, too. Sickness absence has also been halved from 6.6% in 2009 to 3.3% this year and it has now fallen below the AoC and CIPD average for the first time in over 4 years.

More people than ever have had appraisals and 100% of staff been trained in safeguarding and equality and diversity. The average Hereward employee gets over 10 days’ training per year. The number of staff at the centre of discipline, bullying or grievances cases has fallen by two thirds and the HR Team now resolve these cases almost three times quicker than before. Voluntary staff turnover fell from 9.6% (June 08-09) to 6.2% (June 10-11).

Another important issue recognised by the HR Team is that Hereward is both a residential college and a care home for people with disabilities. For this reason they made sure to set an example as the proportion of staff who have a declared disability jumped from 4.6% in June 2009 to 10.4% in June 2011.
And if this wasn’t enough, all the achievements were made with with 20% fewer HR staff, a 40% cut to the training budget and a 27% reduction to the total HR budget (pay & non-pay). Restructuring also saved the College over £2m and HR had a central role.

Ben Arnold, HR Manager, wanted to add that “There is of course still a vast amount to improve but it’s hugely encouraging to see the College recognised on a national scale. This year we're going to build on this success, focussing in particular on improving staff development, communication and better use of data”.

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  1. This is wonderful news - congratulations!!!
    Sarah (student 1989-93, employee 2002-04)