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HR Activities Offer Numerous Marketing Opportunities

February 1, 1993
Related Topics: HR Services and Administration, The HR Profession, Featured Article
Because Anaheim, California-based CalComp's human resources department operates as a business unit, much emphasis has been placed on marketing the department's products to its customers-CalComp's employees. As Charles Furniss, CalComp's senior vice president of human resources/ administration, points out, this emphasis has provided the company with the foundation for long-term success. The many human resources programs that have been marketed to the company's employees since 1987 are proof of this. For example:

  • Using a well-designed, advance communication program, medical benefits programs were cost-shifted to partial employee-pay programs. Based on a survey sent with the material, fewer than 12 of 2,000 employees expressed dissatisfaction with the added individual cost. The changeover reduced actual medical benefit costs by more than $500,000 in 1991 and achieved a major strategic plan goal.

  • The HR-initiated Customer First All Ways cultural program has recognized 200 more individuals and their efforts to serve customers by presenting them with plaques during the past two years. A second all-hands meeting at CalComp's Anaheim headquarters was conducted in 1991, during which senior management handed out plaques and cash awards recognizing good customer service on the part of employees.

  • The long-range planning group used work teams to develop strategies in key areas of training, succession planning, employee-morale development and communication. Each functional group now has human resources strategies and initiatives firmly included in its own plan.

  • The employee-suggestion program was revamped to recognize the continuous improvement theme in the factory. All suggestions from daily work team meetings go into a lottery for a weekly drawing, with the winners' monetary prize growing in relation to the number of entries. This encourages participation and eliminates management judging to qualify for an award. Administrative costs are near zero.

  • Thrive and survive in the '90s, an informational and motivational seminar that was custom-designed by Joel Weldon Seminars, was provided for all the Anaheim managers. This was a follow-up to two previous programs that had been successful.

  • Training and development increased student days by 12% (from 1989 to 1990) and 22% (from 1990 to 1991). A new, graphics-rich course catalog was provided. This catalog added to the existing seven offerings three new programs that were connected to the long-range plan. Executive commitment was secured by first providing the new programs to top management, then enlisting their participation in the kick-off and the graduation following the classes. Suzanne Beauvais, manager of training and development, was singled out as one of only five employees in all the human resources groups at Lockheed Corp. to receive the Lockheed human resources Achievement Award for 1990 for her work in this area. (Lockheed is CalComp's parent company.) Presented at the Annual Lockheed HR Conference, the award was presented by Bill Conlin, CalComp's president, in a local ceremony.

  • A company store, operated and publicized by HR with a brochure and cafeteria display, has sold more than $30,000 in CalComp logo items in the past two years.

  • A stop-smoking campaign netted 192 class attendees, representing approximately 22% of employees of the Anaheim office and contributed to a full conversion to smoke-free facilities over the two-year period.

  • Beginning in 1990, the European and Asia-Pacific Groups are saving $75,000 per year by combining and simplifying benefit insurance carriers in a pool concept.

  • To continue to market the CalComp image to the community as a good place in which to work, more than 15 external presentations have been given by HR members during the past two years. Such organizations as Personnel and Industrial Relations Association, HR Executive Forum, American Society of Training and Development, and International Personnel Management Association have heard guest speakers carrying the CalComp message. Permission was granted to use CalComp's HR department as a case study in a widely used college text on personnel management.

Personnel Journal, February 1993, Vol. 72, No. 2, p. 38.

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