Home: April - May 2007 › Osborne Rail Unit bucks industry trend for staff retention
Osborne Rail Unit bucks industry trend for staff retention
22/05/2007 | Channel:
Business Improvement, Infrastructure
At a time of unprecedented high demand for skilled rail
resources the Osborne Rail Unit enjoys an industry-busting staff retention record
When people join the company, the likelihood is that they will stay, develop and integrate quickly with current Osborne staff into highly motivated and efficient teams. The benefits are selfgenerating: with the Osborne team stability comes more effective and safer delivery; with more effective delivery comes highly satisfied clients. In turn, satisfied clients lead to more work and new opportunities for the Osborne staff to further grow and develop. Osborne’s aim is to make their business a great place to work – get that bit right and all the other challenges become so much easier.
Osborne delivers its rail services, in the main, through their Civil Engineering and
Property Services teams, two of their four operating divisions. Skills are also readily
transferred from the Construction Division and from the Homes Division where Osborne has pioneered fast and efficient pre-fabrication and modular construction
techniques that are directly transferable to the rail sector. A rail board takes overall
responsibility for ensuring Osborne is best positioned to deliver the rail services
required in the future. The board also co-ordinates rail client engagements and ensures a consistent approach to safety, quality and processes across the delivery
teams. Operational best practice and efficiencies are also reviewed and targeted to make the Osborne business leaner, essential to support their clients’ own objectives and hence Osborne’s long-term and sustainable future.
The company has introduced a specially designed competency framework that is
streamed into five hierarchy management levels and three competency sets: Managing Performance, Working With Others and Achieving Results. Each staff role has a specific job description linked to the competency framework and individual project related requirements. Competency scores are assessed and agreed on a regular basis to more accurately define training needs and suitability for future roles and increased responsibility. Psychometric testing is also applied to assist with the recruitment process and help current staff and their line managers align key skills and personal opportunities.
Osborne believes that, to be successful, its service delivery and approach must be consistent, regardless of which of its specialist teams is delivering it. This ‘Osborne Way’ is engendered by its culture and supported by bespoke site management and
project management training modules, a three-week programme culminating in written review and assessment.
There is also great rivalry amongst the Osborne staff to be selected for the Osborne Group Development Team (GDT) – a twelve-month accelerated management development programme now in its seventh year. This forum also provides Osborne with a ‘Think Tank’ of creative minds where issues and challenges are tipped in and the GDT takes some responsibility to review options for business improvements and make appropriate recommendations to the Board.
Safety of the public, rail passengers, client’s staff and workforce are always at the fore at Osborne. This is clearly demonstrated through initiatives such as their railway safety continuous improvement plan led personally by rail director Mike Cocks and reinforced through a company-wide safety behavioural training programme for all site managers. The results are impressive: Osborne’s Construction Partnership with Network Rail has now amassed over one million working hours without a reportable accident. Key rail clients are acknowledging that new safety initiatives are being implemented by Osborne and earning them respect at the leading edge in promoting and achieving a safe work place.
With efficient service delivery, Osborne’s current frameworks and partnerships are
being progressively extended – some original two-year contracts are now into their seventh successive year.
Repeat business accounts for a significant proportion of Osborne’s work including
discrete projects many of which are negotiated on an Early Contractor Involvement basis. It is, therefore, not surprising that Osborne’s clients now expect to see familiar tried and tested Osborne faces delivering their projects.
As an Osborne employee this stability and consistency brings significant personal benefits to their working life. A noticeably better working environment is created and more rewarding and mutually respectful relationships with clients and their professional teams as people jointly progress from project to project.
Good clients, great training and talented colleagues working in collaborative and effective teams are what make Osborne a great place to work and a great team to work with.
For more information on Osborne rail services or career opportunities with Osborne please contact Richard King at: