Dear HR Colleagues
I am delighted to be able to share some of my thoughts with you as a ‘guest blogger’ on the PPMA blog. My thanks to Dean Shoesmith and the PPMA for the opportunity.
You will know that I am Director of Equalities and HR at Birmingham City Council. Mine is one of the largest HR services in the public sector. We work with many PPMA members across the UK and benefit from learning from others and sharing our practices here in Birmingham.
Dean kindly wrote to all PPMA members to let them know of our recent Personnel Today Awards, where Birmingham City Council were awarded The Gold Award, being judged as ‘the overall winners’. We are delighted to receive the award for a number of reasons, and I would like to share those with you, if you’d allow me.
Many national professional awards are viewed as the domain for private sector organisations, our competitors at The Personnel Today Awards were BT, John Lewis, 3M, Boots, McDonalds, Santander and O2 amongst others. So how did a Council beat all of the other organisations to take the prize? Simply, in public sector HR we work doubly hard to be innovative and creative and deliver a great service. We have limited resources, we are under political and public scrutiny for the money we spend and we have our Trades Unions to make sure we are doing a good job every step of the way.
I am extremely proud of all of my HR service for working so hard in this context, for striving to come up with new solutions and to work around the barriers that are thrown in our way as a daily matter of course. The winning Change Agent project has delivered significant savings for BCC and is just one example of the excellent, award winning work we do here in Birmingham. We have won numerous awards for our employee engagement approach BEST, for our approach to workforce planning through our WIP team and for our internal recruitment programme and approach to advancing women and young people in the workplace.
I feel I have a lot to be proud of working in public sector HR and when there is negative press about redundancies, section 188’s and downsizing, about tribunals and equal pay claims, I feel doubly pleased that in spite of our challenges, our staff shine on the national stage for providing a quality service. An excellent HR offering will support all of our organisations over the coming years and we all have a role to play in that which we are already doing incredibly well. Councils, Police, NHS, Charities, The Fire Service and Third Sector are now all regular features of finalist lists, of best practice, of research reports and books on our Trade.
I hope I have used my first blog to say thank you and well done, not just to my own HR team but to all of us who work in human resources and strive every day to deliver a brilliant service in an increasingly difficult environment. If you want to know more about what we are up to here in Birmingham, please contact me on 0121 303 2265.
Andy Albon – Director of Equalities and HR, Birmingham City Council