Houghton International win SME Excellence award at 2013 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development North East Awards

Jacqueline Mason, HR Manager, Houghton International (left) with Catherine Attwell, Chair, CIPD North East England (right).

Jacqueline Mason, HR Manager, Houghton International (left) with Catherine Attwell, Chair, CIPD North East England (right)

Electro-mechanical engineering specialist Houghton International have won the SME Excellence award at 2013 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) North East of England branch Human Resources and Development Awards, held at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel on 18th April 2013.

The company appointed a full time HR Manager in 2011 with the primary objective to develop staff through initiating new policies, procedures and training programmes whilst attracting new talent to the company. Initiatives include daily team briefings, the appointment of Steve Black, a renowned leadership coach and mentor to devise a personalised Team Leader and Supervisor Development Programme and Continuous Professional Development plans for each individual.

In addition, the Company has developed its own Apprenticeship Programme in conjunction with local schools, colleges and training providers to stage an annual Recruitment Open Day which involves all staff including senior management. Currently 14% of employees are apprentices undergoing a four year structured programme with the opportunity for continued professional development through studying HNC in Engineering.

Its people development initiatives have been branded under ‘everyone matters’ with a distinctive logo to provide a clear visual statement and identity for the HR activity programme.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this award as it recognises our on-going investment in and commitment to our people which included increasing our expenditure on training by 43% last year.

The results have been extremely positive across a broad range of measures including 96% of respondents responding positively to our latest customer survey and a reduction of 39% in sickness absence.”