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Summer 2008

• No. 9

People Talk News and views from Chiumento

Positively interim Tougher economic conditions mean that organisations are increasingly turning to more flexible resourcing solutions as a way of remaining competitive without having to rely on permanent staff. Our research indicates that half of organisations would struggle to survive if they didn’t use interim managers, proof that interim managers are an integral part of modern resourcing. Key findings from our recent research, which sought the views of over 800 Chiumento interim HR and Finance professionals, include: It is expected that there will be more interim assignments in 2008 as organisations reduce permanent staffing levels and seek more flexible ways to resource A significant proportion of those surveyed undertaking change management and implementation assignments, believe that organisations would struggle without


using interims on these critical programmes Organisations are keen to utilise the expertise of an interim but are not doing enough to harness the skills and knowledge left behind at the end of an assignment 8 out of 10 interim managers believe that organisations are failing to measure the return on their investment (ROI). Chiumento recommends measuring ROI by taking the following steps: Ensure there is a clear business case for using an interim manager



Discuss and agree objectives with the interim prior to the assignment starting which will allow clients to monitor performance against these objectives Have an end of assignment evaluation and allow time at the end of the assignment to ensure knowledge is transferred from the interim to the client. For a copy of our research ‘Positively interim’ or further information on interim provision, please contact or telephone 0845 070 6691



In this issue Positively interim Page 1

Chiumento acquires Aon’s UK talent management business Page 2

Coaching counts Page 2

Redundancy: a dust off of the relevant rules and recent cases Page 3

All change at ICE: Interim client case study Page 4


People Talk

• News and views from Chiumento • Summer 2008

Chiumento acquires Aon’s UK talent management business Chiumento has appointed Andrew Hill as the new Director of Talent Management and acquired Aon’s UK talent management business. Earlier this year you may have read in the press of our appointment of Andrew Hill as Director of Talent Management. This is a significant step forward for Chiumento’s talent management practice and this development led us to acquire Aon’s Talent Solutions business as a result of a decision by Aon to focus on their core business. For Chiumento, this builds upon our current talent service offering and demonstrates our investment in talent solutions. It also expands the

Chiumento sponsors Personnel Today Awards Chiumento is delighted to be sponsoring the Award for Talent Management again, at the Personnel Today Awards 2008. This award recognises organisations that have adopted a pro-active approach to talent management and succession planning. Details of the awards can be found at:

resources and capabilities of Chiumento. This acquisition underpins our growth aspirations for our talent practice and emphasises our commitment to bring fresh, innovative and new ideas to our clients. We will have an on-going partnership with Aon in delivering international work and supporting Aon’s recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) business in the UK. This has been a smooth transition due to the synergies between Aon and

Chiumento’s talent offerings, which are built upon our complementary activities. Andrew has a PhD in psychometrics from Keele University and is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. For further information on our talent management offering, please contact or telephone 0845 070 6691

Coaching counts Our research reveals that organisations in the UK are failing to get the most from coaching, despite a willingness to invest significantly in this leading people development tool. In particular, organisations’ reluctance to measure the bottom line impact of coaching is a key cause for concern rendering them unable to prove a clear return on their investment. With ‘Coaching counts’, conducted in conjunction with Personnel Today, we set out to explore the use of coaching in UK organisations. It is clear that organisations recognise coaching as a powerful tool to boost individual performance and leadership effectiveness. Organisations that view measurement of their investment in coaching and regulation of the industry as ‘just too difficult’, are potentially squandering their talent development budget. Individuals who believe that anecdotal measurement alone is sufficient may find their budget withdrawn, impacting on the value that can be derived from coaching interventions. Our research also reveals that many organisations expect managerial staff to coach. While this approach can be cost effective, managers need time set aside to coach their teams, and the skills to coach successfully and confidently. Poor coaching from inadequately trained managers can do more harm than good.

Other key findings include: The most popular reason for organisations to invest in coaching is to improve individual performance Most organisations are spending between £100k - £499k a year on external coaching. More than half are using more coaching than a year ago; and 55% anticipate levels of coaching increasing over next 12 months 70% of respondents say their organisation offers coaching. Of these, however, just 26% extend coaching to everyone, while 44% only offer coaching to their senior teams 55% of organisations admit their approach to coaching is ad-hoc. For a copy of our research ‘Coaching counts’ or further information on coaching provision, please contact or telephone 0845 070 6691

• News and views from Chiumento • Summer 2008

People Talk

Redundancy: a dust-off of the relevant rules and recent cases An employment law update provided by Henmans LLP, legal partner to Chiumento As the economic clouds continue to darken and belts tighten, companies are beginning to dust off their redundancy policies and review the packages on offer. Most employers are aware of the statutory requirements and entitlements. Employees with more than one year of service have the right not to be unfairly dismissed (there are some categories where no minimum period applies). Redundancy is a fair reason to dismiss and the legislation provides a definition of redundancy. There is also extensive case-law to fill in any gaps – eg in Home Office v Evans an employer avoided a ‘redundancy’ by invoking a contractual mobility clause to move an employee to a different location.

Consultation obligations If ‘redundancy’ is established, the employer must still follow fair procedure. Consultation is very important and an obligation to consult with unions or elected employee representatives (a collective consultation) arises where it is proposed to make 20 or more employees redundant at one ‘establishment’ within a 90 day period. An employer can argue for a narrow interpretation of ‘establishment’ – for example where 25 employees are redundant across several different geographical locations, it is feasible to argue that each branch is a separate ‘establishment’. There is little UK case law on the definition of ‘establishment’. Recent European cases such as Rockfon A/S & Athinaiki suggest a broad interpretation to limit the scope of the exception. However, in MSF v Refuge Assurance, a redundancy involving 700 field-based employees was not regarded as a collective redundancy because the employees were assigned to different branches and no one branch had more than 20 employees. This also affected the length of the consultation period because certain minimum periods apply depending on the numbers. See table: Consultation periods

It is important to note that the shown time periods are only minimums. The legislation talks about: consultation beginning ‘in good time’ before redundancies take effect; and having to last for as long as necessary to reach an agreement or exhaust the possibility of agreement – this could potentially be longer than the 30 or 90 day minimum periods. In a collective consultation the employer is also required to notify the Secretary of State via the HR1 form. Time limits apply for notification – these mirror the 30 and 90 day minimum periods that apply for consultation. The penalties for failing to comply with the collective consultation obligations – including a failure to appoint representatives – can be very severe. In addition to making the dismissal potentially unfair, employers can be penalised by a protective award of up to 90 days pay. Recent cases have suggested that the tribunals will make awards at the higher end of scale to ‘penalise’ employers.

Redundancy terms Employers often have clear policies on the amount of redundancy paid. These have to be carefully thought through because changes in law or economic circumstances can have a significant impact. The Age Discrimination legislation is an example because policies on selection criteria and how much redundancy is paid could fall foul of the regulations. To avoid this, enhanced redundancy payments must be calculated in a similar way to statutory payments. Employees could also insist on packages that arise by ‘custom or practice’ or that the employer did not regard as contractual – in Keeley v Fosroc International the Court of Appeal held that an employee was entitled to an enhanced package based on a brief statement in a staff handbook.

Redundancy is a complex topic so this information is for general purposes and guidance only. Information and opinions expressed are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. For more information on the enclosed or for legal advice around redundancy, please contact Henmans LLP on 01865 781000 or visit their website at:

Table: Consultation periods

No. employees redundant in a 90 day period*

Min. consultation period prior to first dismissal

< 20

No fixed period**

20 - 99

30 days


90 days

* Voluntary redundancies must be included when calculating the numbers. ** Employers will struggle to justify a period of less than 2 weeks.

People Talk

• News and views from Chiumento • Summer 2008

All change at ICE

The situation

In the initial stages he worked extremely closely with both the directors and department heads to define the business strategy and to ensure that change activities contributed toward the business goals. Reporting directly to the Director General, Brian outlined his findings and recommendations all of which were accepted by the Board.

A decision had been made to integrate the ICE, which had charitable status, with its commercial arm Thomas Telford Ltd, into one office, to increase efficiency and effectiveness. This integration would involve changes to business processes and interaction between departments. In addition, there were a number of projects running in parallel such as web development and organisation design.

Brian commented, “I feel all the objectives have been met, however additional benefits to ICE will not be realised until a later date... I had to be flexible in my approach as the resource issue and lack of internal project management skills meant I had to spread myself widely and address work issues at different levels.” By choosing an interim, the ICE gained more than just a programme/project manager. The added value Brian brought included instilling a sense of responsibility outside some directors’ comfort zones, this resulted in them challenging decisions as opposed to simply ‘going with the flow’. He also introduced the essential elements of a change environment, such as a Programme Board. He put together a reporting structure and format for each project and a library of key programme documentation and processes for managing projects.

The rapport and trust he built with key personnel also helped in the latter stages of the project which involved working closely with people and undertaking ‘negotiations’ with senior managers and directors to take activities to the required level. He implemented regular 1:1s with the Director General who on occasions had to resolve ‘blockages’.

The interim programme was to identify the relevant change components in the ICE’s strategy of integration. The scope included examining all existing and planned change activities and identifying duplication of effort or gaps in the approach. The project also required the design of a programme of change and the introduction of programme management controls and governance.

The results A lack of internal resources meant that progress was slower than anticipated, however the Director General was pleased with the high standard of Brian’s work and subsequently extended his contract by 3 months to ensure completion. Tom Foulkes, Director General commented at the end of the contract that, “Brian has made a major difference to the tempo and management of this complex project and has enabled us to ensure that progress will continue after his departure.”

The process Chiumento interim manager Brian Davies was appointed to the programme and started by implementing a number of fundamentals, such as documentation, guidelines, controls and governance, in order to take the programme forward on a solid foundation.

In addition he left a number of important learning points behind, such as the importance of detailed planning and the need for a business case to be discussed openly and fully before change can be undertaken. For further information on HR & Finance interim management services and/ or details on how Chiumento can help your organisation manage the effects of change, email or call 0845 070 6691

Did you know? Chiumento host regular Working Lunches on topical issues around Talent management, Career transition and Interim management. Our ‘Coaching skills training for managers’ Forum on 22nd May was fully booked, however, we do have other events planned later in the year around the following subjects (further details will be issued nearer the time):

10 July 2008 Managing energy not time 2 October 2008 The first 100 days: an effective retention strategy If you would like to provisionally reserve a place on either of the above dates, please email Louise Raeside at:

Contact details: London : 24 Park Square East, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LH. t: 0845 070 6691 e:







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Interim client case study: When The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) planned to undertake substantial change involving both strategic and operational focus, they contacted Chiumento to see whether an interim manager could help.

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