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Morrisons' HR director claims investment in people development has contributed to its strong performance

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People strategy, motivation, communication and training have helped Morrisons increase its half-year profits by 45%, according to its HR director, Norman Pickavance (pictured).

Last week the retailer reported its sales had increased by 50% over the past six months and, according to TNS Worldpanel, Morrisons' market share was 11.6% in the 12 weeks to 12 July, compared with 11.2% in 2008. In the same period, Tesco's market share dropped to 31% from 31.2% a year ago.

Over the past two years, through HR initiatives, Morrisons has reduced its labour turnover by 40% while employee satisfaction has increased by over 12%.

Speaking exclusively to HR magazine, Pickavance said: "We are very pleased with the strong figures released last week.
 
"These have been delivered through huge effort and the commitment of all our people, boosted by strong motivation, communication and training.
 
"In the past 12 months, we have trained over 500 people in craft food areas, including butchery, bakery and fishmongery, and have committed to train 100,000 people to NVQ2 level in key job skills areas."
 
Pickavance hopes the training will strengthen the company's position and support further growth over the next three years.
 
He added: "This front-line work is underpinned by the development of our managers and leaders in the business where we are working closely with Bradford Business School and the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence in creating the right environment and strong culture to support our business development moving forward.
 
"We think we have a unique culture at Morrisons and our investment in the development of people in our business from shop floor to top floor will ensure that culture remains strong for the future."