Over the past twelve months, APC Overnight has invested in its management, systems, processes and people to deliver strong year-on-year improvements across every key performance indicator. The final run-up to Christmas is when all of our hard work and preparations come to fruition as we aim to achieve another outstanding peak period performance. It is also a time for reflection on what has been achieved as well as planning for next year’s opportunities.
In 2017 our HR team will be focusing on three New Year resolutions; innovation, leadership and stakeholder engagement.
While there are many exciting technological developments changing the ways in which customers can order, send and receive parcels, we strongly believe that innovation must continually be reviewed to ensure that it is empowering our customers in a real and tangible way. A key resolution for our business is to step up the level of innovation throughout our people management practices. This means challenging established approaches to find new and creative ways of engaging with all of our existing and potential staff to ensure the best quality of service to our customers.
We know that throughout our sector there is heavy use of the gig economy. However, for our business, innovation is also about finding alternative solutions to competitive pressures and consumer demands, which do not compromise the aim of providing permanent and secure long-term employment. In 2017 we will foster a sense of belonging for our people, ensuring that they see themselves as APC’s heart. This investment in our team’s future will ultimately benefit our customers, whose interests are at the core of our business.
The new year will undoubtedly bring technological advances but there shouldn’t be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to innovation. Innovation should be sustainable, and that’s why it’s so important that our people remain firmly at the centre of our business proposition as they are the ones that ultimately deliver the personal approach upon which excellent customer service is delivered.
The past year has seen considerable change throughout APC Overnight’s business and network; there’s a definite sense of empowerment and the feeling that we can achieve anything if we continue to work strongly as a team. Underpinning this is a distinct culture and business ethos, which we believe sets us apart from competitors in our sector.
Our second resolution is to future proof this culture and ethos through nurturing the next generation of leaders within the business and network. To this end we shall be delivering our own leadership and talent programme, which has been opened up to potential high flyers from our network. We shall also be exploring all that the new apprenticeship schemes have to offer as a means of discovering the untapped leadership potential of existing staff and prospective new recruits to the business.
Our third key resolution for the new year is all about maximising stakeholder engagement. We’ve started this process already by thinking afresh about our relationships with different groups of stakeholders and identifying what they want from us. Moving forward, we will be working to build strong and mutually beneficial partnerships where there is consistent delivery upon commitments, and expectations are exceeded where possible.
We shall continue to be a great employer, neighbour, business partner and champion of SMEs. They are the backbone to the UK economy and, as a network of SMEs ourselves, we must ensure that we level the playing field so that they can compete in the same space as their larger competitors. There are a number of initiatives across all areas of the business that will dovetail to support this resolution over the next 12 months. However, all of this activity is founded on a fundamental principle; we do not succeed by operating in isolation, but only through developing strong synergies with all stakeholders.
Corina Forman is HR director at APC Overnight