Head to head

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Head to headOn 6 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. This week Vernon Everitt, HR director at the Financial Services Authorityand Norman Mitchinson, director of group HR at Lloyds TSB, compare notes ontheir careers1 What are your main responsibilities? VE In short, leadership. The FSA takes a strategic view of its peopleissues, covering everything from recruitment and retention to organisationaldevelopment and reward. We work very closely with the FSA’s business units tounderstand their needs and ensure our services help them to deliver theirbusiness objectives. NM My main responsibility is getting business value from all ourpeople, and giving personal value back. To do that, I take responsibility forthe direction of the bank’s HR strategies, systems and the delivery of HRservices in most parts of the bank. 2 What’s the pay like? VE While it’s true we can never compete with the higher levels of payin the industry, we offer a powerful package comprising competitive pay, aflexible benefits package and a performance-related bonus scheme. NM Our policy is to aim at market rates at all levels. I’mcomfortable with my pay and benefits package, but I’m keeping it to myself,thank you. 3 How flexible are the hours? VE Generally quite flexible, though much depends on the workload we haveon. We can also be flexible with work patterns and we have a number of staff –male and female – work flexibly. We are really interested in people who getthings done, rather than people who simply spend hours in the office. NM I work for an organisation that is committed to work-life balanceand I strive for it myself. I’m an early starter but I try to get away in goodtime, and I can rearrange my time to suit my work or my private life. My workis split between two main cities, which complicates life. 4 What do you like most about the job? VE The sheer scale of the challenge. There is an enormous amount forthe FSA to do, and the HR division has a pivotal role in helping to ensure thatwe deliver successfully. NM I work for an organisation that I’m proud of – that’s partly whyI’ve stayed. But as someone who only came into HR a few years ago, I’m alsodelighted with the quality of the people I work with and the business impactthat HR can have. 5 What are the challenges? VE We need to develop our staff into experts in identifying andmitigating risk. There is also a big communications exercise to be done topromote what an interesting and exciting place this is to work and how valuablea spell at the FSA is for a CV. NM Matching business needs with human needs is critical, and noteasy. Managing change is also a challenge. So is giving better value for money– and developing and retaining talent. 6 What is your biggest headache? VE Keeping a semblance of control over two young daughters. NM I don’t really have a headache of my own. Most of the things thatconcern me are well known to HR practitioners, and well rehearsed in thesepages! 7 What size is your team? VE Around 60. The management team consists of me plus seven others. NM I have 10 direct reports, but there are some 900 people in the HRgroup. 8 Who do you report to? VE Paul Boyle, the FSA’s chief operating officer. NM I report to Mike Fairey, deputy group chief executive, but I alsohave regular contact with the chairman, the group chief executive and otherboard members. 9 What qualifications do you have? VE I left school at 16 to join the Bank of England. It had a verygood training scheme, including a summer school to gain qualifications ineconomics. NM I have two banking qualifications: an FCIB and the FinancialStudies Diploma. I also have an LLB degree, and an MBA. All were gained duringemployment – I’m a believer in life-long learning, and gained my MBA in my 50s.10 What are your career aspirations? VE To be a success in my role as HR director at the FSA. Inparticular, I want to use my experience in regulation to maximise thecontribution of our HR professionals. NM My retirement date is only two years away, but I won’t be rottingafter that. I’ll be starting my second career, but haven’t yet finalised myplans. 11 What training and development opportunities are there? VE There are excellent management and technical trainingopportunities, and we encourage people to undertake a relevant industryqualification. Every member of staff works with their line manager to determinea personal development plan. NM The bank has the biggest corporate university in the UK and iteven has an accredited CIPD centre. Training and development is an integral partof my role, so there is no shortage of opportunities. 12 What is your holiday entitlement? VE A core minimum of 20 days and the opportunity to purchase afurther 15 through our flexible benefits scheme. NM 30 days a year. And I take it all. 13 What’s your work environment like? VE Friendly and supportive. There is a very commercial andprofessional feel to the FSA, not unlike that you would find in anyprofessional services firm. But there is also a clear appreciation that what wedo has a central public policy element to it. NM My time is spent between London and Bristol. I have a good officein London, and borrow a room in Bristol near to a lot of our HR people. 14 What other benefits do you get? VE The core package comprises a non-contributory pension scheme, lifeassurance, private medical insurance, permanent health insurance, a restaurant,a gym, and an interest-free season ticket loan. NM As a senior executive I get a bonus opportunity and share options,plus a car and medical care. Like most staff with the bank, I’m entitled to ouremployee share saving scheme and pension arrangements. 15 What’s the best part? VE Current and prospective staff tell us that they find the flexiblebenefits package particularly attractive. But I’m ashamed to say that I don’teven know where the entrance to the gym is. NM You are working with the most valuable resource a company has (OK,it has become a cliché, but it’s more true than ever); and as the corporatechampion of people issues you have the chance to influence people’s livespositively as well as the organisation itself. 16 How does your firm treat work-life balance? VE Pretty good – feedback from our staff survey indicates a highlevel of satisfaction with the work-life balance available here. We offer afull range of leave packages, including career breaks, and there is a widerange of sports and social activities available. NM We introduced work-life balance policies and practices into LloydsTSB in 1999, and they have proved very popular. Our chief executive, PeterEllwood, is also the chair of Employers for Work-Life Balance, an alliance of22 like-minded organisations. 17 Who do you envy? VE I don’t envy anyone, but my hero is unquestionably Lemmy of Motorhead.NM I admire people who take on difficult tasks and pioneer valuableoutcomes – Senator George Mitchell, for example. Vernon EverittHR director, Financial Services AuthorityJob at a glanceSize of team: 60Qualifications: Internal Bank of England trainingLeave: 20 days and the opportunity to purchase a further 15Best part: The sheer scale of the challengeCurriculum Vitae2002 HR director, FSA2000 Head of Press Office and Events, FSA1998 Head of Communications Infrastructure, FSA1996 Project manager at the Bank of EnglandNorman MitchinsonDirector of group HR, Lloyds TSBJob at a glanceSize of team: 900Qualifications: FCIB, Financial Studies Diploma, an LLB degree and an MBALeave: 30 daysBest part: Being proud of where I workCurriculum Vitae1998 Director of group HR, Lloyds TSB1996 Retail financial services director, Lloyds TSB HR1993 General manager, systems and support, Lloyds Bank1990 General manager, support and development, Lloyds Bank1988 Assistant general manager, Lloyds Bank branch IT projectlast_img read more