Scope, scale and reach: HR in the driver’s seat at Spotless

by 01 Feb 2012

HR at Spotless

In his current role, Godfrey is charged with leading and driving a number of initiatives with and for the global head of HR. HR at Spotless is multi-layered inclusive of group, country (New Zealand, Hong Kong and the UK for example), division (business partners), and state. There are also HR resources embedded in various parts of the business and in specific commercial contracts.  

“Spotless, although a completely different business, is very much like Australia Post, in that it is a great story of success via a large scale diversified and important business offering, and where much of its success is directly attributable to a critical mass of great frontline people – circa 40,000 of them globally. Organisations with this scope, scale and reach require a sound people management framework that can evolve and flex with the business,” he says.

Although he has only been with Spotless for less than six months, Godfrey is well aware of the HR challenges on the agenda: resourcing, safety and sustainability, workplace relations, talent, succession and learning, EVP and engagement.

To address these challenges there is a robust strategy in place, a strong HR leadership team forming, and a plan to deliver. In addition there’s a large scale technology replacement and integration project underway which upon deployment will progress employee and manager ‘self serve’. “I think the ‘HR at Spotless’ story will be an important one to watch over the next 12-24 months,” he says.

The future of HR

Indeed, looking to the future of his profession, Godfrey comments that HR will continue to grow in its sophistication, and its contribution. He also sees it further aligning to and influencing broader organisational strategy.

“The keys to enhancing HR’s reputation and influence through my lens are, developing and delivering effective programs, designing efficient processes, and stepping forward to take accountability for the people agenda. Plus, HR has to be ‘easy to do business with’ intra-organisationally.”

There are naturally skillsets that Godfrey believes HR professionals will need to develop: understanding of metrics and analytics, and measuring the effectiveness of HR’s overall contribution. “It’s a challenge but one well worth pursuing,” he says. He also believes there’s a constant quest to innovate, “but simultaneously avoid the latest fad”.

Godfrey’s final thought, that increasingly people want to see visible and tangible connection between their organisation and the community in which it operates – which subsequently has major implications for EVP and related programs – is confirmed by respected management consultant Christopher Tipler. If Tipler’s claim that the prevailing paradigm and a “huge frontier” for business at the moment is sustainability and CSR, Godfrey and the organisations for which he works are well placed to succeed.

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