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Building effective and responsive INGOs, the strategic role of HR: The IS Job Value Review 8 February 2008. Agenda. The project: why we are doing it and what we are doing Challenges and issues Learning points. Context. Need for change has been driven by:

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Building effective and responsive INGOs, the strategic role of HR:The IS Job Value Review8 February 2008


  • The project: why we are doing it and what we are doing

  • Challenges and issues

  • Learning points


  • Need for change has been driven by:

    • increased threats to human rights in the name of national security

    • more NGO entrants in the human rights arena

    • demand for greater accountability from members and funding agencies

    • increased competition in the labour market for staff with the required skills

    • significant increase in the number of failed recruitments


  • The Job Value Review (JVR) project was designed to maximise the impact that the IS has on the human rights agenda

  • In order to do this we need to be able to retain and recruit people with the required skills, experience and aptitude

  • And therefore, we need to create an employment experience that is inspiring and fulfilling for staff and which enables them to deliver to their potential

    • ‘tangible aspects’ such as salary and benefits

    • ‘intangible’ factors such as career progression, personal development, job design, flexible working arrangements, organisational culture and management capability, capacity and support

The journey - where we were, where we are now, where we need to get to

  • Phase 1: data collection

    • A consultation and review process to identify the scale of the challenge and the work streams required (of which a report on findings and recommendations was the main output)

      • Staff focus groups, 1:1 interviews and teleconferences involving approximately 75 staff

      • Analysis of historical recruitment and retention data

      • A staff survey which provided qualitative and quantitative data from 378 (80%) staff members

      • An external pay and benefits comparison involving 14 major INGOs and data from established sector specific surveys

The journey - where we were, where we are now, where we need to get to

  • Phase 2:

    • The development of options and frameworks for consideration and decision

      • Establishment of work streams on:

        • Job description design

        • Competency framework

        • Performance management (now called Contribution and Development)

        • Pay and grading

        • Benefits

      • Job evaluation and pay modelling

      • Outcomes of other work streams: negotiation and consultation

  • Phase 3:

    • Detailed design and implementation

Employee life cycle

  • Job Description

  • Pay

  • C & D

  • Grading

  • Pay

  • C&D

  • Competencies



  • Job Description

  • Competencies

  • Pay & Benefits







  • Job Description

  • C&D

  • Competencies

  • Job Description

  • C&D

  • Competencies


Learn &



  • Job Description

  • C&D

  • Competencies

  • Job Description

  • C&D

  • Competencies

Key challenges and presenting issues

  • Role of the International Executive Committee

  • Involvement of the Amnesty International movement

  • The union

  • ‘Baggage’ from previous pay and benefits review

  • Selling the management team the value of engaging with the HR function, rather than seeing the project being an HR project

  • Lack of effective and adequate communications infrastructure

  • Funding restrictions

  • Identifying our comparators and the complexities of international comparators (local sections etc.)

  • Recruitment and retention issues

  • Organisational culture

Key learning points

  • Consultation:

    • Can’t start soon enough

    • Can’t do it often enough

    • Can’t do it widely enough

    • Factual data obtained from staff survey and external benchmarking

  • Communication

    • Project set in motion paying too much attention to final end date and not communications

    • You cannot tell people often enough; people don’t really engage until they see the implication for themselves

    • Need to plan and use the available effective communications channels

    • Ensure that key players are aware of their responsibilities

    • Cultural change in emphasis and purpose of communication – from telling to dialogue

    • Building trust – proving that what we said made a difference (proof points) e.g. demonstrating that consultation inputs did make a difference

    • Not positioning as an HR project and locating within the bigger picture

      • creating links for individuals, identifying gaps in understanding

      • linking everything to the overall strategy and mission of the organisation

    • Approaching it in an holistic manner/helping people understand linkages and reaping benefits from integrated approach

Key learning points

  • Project Management

    • Initially confusing layers of involvement – good intentions though

    • Continuous assessment of barriers and how to address them as we progressed

    • The importance of engaging with staff reps throughout the process

    • Not sacrificing integrity of process for artificial timetable

    • Degree of pressure keeps the momentum

    • Reflections:

      • Need to keep meetings structured and relevant

      • Need to ensure keep finger on the pulse all the time

      • Need to keep the right people informed

    • Can be an expensive project because the experts come at a cost

  • Impact

    • Engagement tends to uncover a lot of hidden individual people issues and managers use the process to resolve issues that should have been dealt with

    • Prompts thoughts and conversations about other organisational issues, such as organisational design

    • Changing the culture to make people into corporate citizens

Questions ….

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