Hockaday, who has been HR director of London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL) for five years, has played a key role in creating the fastest growing railway company in Europe and the most punctual in the UK, with a strong upward trend in customer satisfaction.
Over the past year, he has delivered a direct impact on results through productivity increases and efficiencies totalling £1 million. He has a commercial and pragmatic approach to driving business change and employee engagement in the 1,200-strong organisation through an HR department numbering 11 people.
During his HR directorship, Hockaday has achieved a complete turnaround in industrial relations. Operating in the volatile climate of London public transport, his approach has resulted in a long-term pay deal and LOROL was one of the first organisations to reach an Olympic flexibility agreement. All this against a backdrop of a number of high-profile disputes that have affected rail operators sharing the same RMT organiser.
Hockaday has also led rostering efficiencies (£100,000 saved in 2011) and completed the restructuring of 1,000 front line employees' Ts&Cs from traditional British Rail ones. This has enabled a 30% rise in customer satisfaction and the highest ever train performance. resulting in above-forecast passenger revenue.
In agreement with the unions, he has led a reduction in pension contribution rates, maintaining affordability for front line staff but at a level above what was recommended by the actuaries. In doing so he has maintained a buffer to increase the likelihood of a surplus position and sustainability of the pension in future.
He has also introduced an annual employee engagement survey across the organisation, sharing good practice as well as achieving 15% savings.
"Hockaday has developed London Overground into a forward-looking organisation with excellent people engagement in a traditional industrial relations environment," said one HRD while another commended his patience and vision. Extremely focused and with the respect of his team, Hockaday is a worthy recipient of this year's HR director of the Year award.
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