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NBA - Part of a Winning Team at the 2013 CIPD People Management Awards!!

NBA Solutions Business Psychology are proud to be associated with this year's 'Employee Engagement' and 'Overall Winners' titles at the CIPD People Management Awards - Alcoa Howmet.

Damian Gregory, Director of NBA Solutions, was invited as a special guest of the Alcoa team and shared in a spectacular evening of glitz, glamour, excitement - and ultimately jubilation! - at the London Hilton, Park Lane - as they scooped the two most coveted prizes of the night.

The Overall Winners Award!

From left to right: CIPD CEO Peter Cheese, The Alcoa Team – Lisa Ives, Cindy Penney, Stephen Woods, Steve Braddick, NBA’s Damian Gregory and Giles Brandreth (not of NBA!)

Damian has worked closely with Alcoa for over 3 years and was asked to join the team in recognition for his contributions to the company's progress in the sphere of Leadership Development and Executive Coaching - with the company citing Damian's work in these areas as central to the tremendous progress that has been made in relation to employee engagement.

Of the night’s events, Damian stated - "It was an exhilarating occasion, the organisations in attendance had done some amazing work and delivered some phenomenal outcomes. For Alcoa to win the overall prize is a superb achievement. To be part of the experience and join their celebrations was fantastic. All credit is due to the Alcoa team for putting together such a brilliant bid - it told a compelling story, which deservedly won the judges over!

And it is quite an amazing story..........Aircraft and gas turbine components manufacturer Alcoa Howmet has a long history of supplying high profile clients like Rolls Royce, General Electric and Siemens. But when the global economic crash struck, like many other companies, it felt the full force of the downturn in the high-tech market in which it operates.

Consistent growth in turnover and a healthy pipeline of new business gave way to an order book carrying arrears of £20 million. Such was the severity of its problems that, over a four-year period, headcount was halved to 500. Pay freezes were an inevitable consequence and employee engagement hit a new low at a disappointing 23 percent. This was accompanied by high labour turnover, accident rates and sickness absence.

But that was very much then, and through the intervention of HR and its supportive leadership, today the company has a different story to tell. In only two years, nothing short of an engagement transformation has taken place. Alcoa Howmet has successfully turned around the way employees feel about the business through a series of initiatives the CIPD judges described as "beyond the normal parameters of what would be expected." From building leadership capability (via focused training and Executive Coaching delivered by NBA Solutions), through to better employee development, an online learning portal and a focus on reward, recognition and resilience, Alcoa has done it all. Introducing face to face meetings, regular staff emails, strategy cards, competency based appraisals and well-being initiatives have all contributed. As has greater openness in communication and transparency about company performance - as well as charity fun days and volunteering activities. The culmination of this work has delivered some dramatic results - Engagement levels have shot up to 76 percent, with the number of staff saying they feel valued, up from 34 percent in 2010, to 68 percent last year.

The judging panel particularly praised the role of Alcoa's HR team in presenting a compelling case for the engagement work and encouraging site leaders to take responsibility (supported by NBA's coaching of key Exec's) for pushing on with this work into 2012. Absence is now less than 3 percent, while staff turnover is down from 22 percent to 5.6 percent. In addition there has been more than a 50 percent improvement in the injury rate over the past two years and a 50 percent increase in sales revenue - showing the difference employee performance and well-being initiatives make to the bottom line.

"This was an outstanding example of how HR programmes have made a huge difference to a business operating in a very challenging sector", said the CIPD judges. "There was clear evidence of taking a strategic view of the business context, whilst also taking a pragmatic, thoughtful and holistic approach to effecting major cultural and behavioural change."

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves – A huge ‘well done’ to Alcoa. We look forward to supporting you on the next phase of the journey!

NBA Solutions - Business Psychology – September 2013