NorthLink Ferries Ltd: Transport

NorthLink Ferries is a private sector company, predominantly funded by the Scottish Government, and providing a lifeline ferry service to the Orkney and Shetland islands from the Scottish mainland (Aberdeen and Scrabster). The company operates five ships and has a turnover of about £70m.

northlink-ferriesNorthLink Ferries initially contacted Ashworth Black to discuss the implementation of a formal pay structure as part of its HR strategy which included the objective of attracting and retaining motivated staff to deliver these crucial lifeline services.

Recognising the importance of these support staff roles, Ashworth Black worked closely with the NorthLink Ferries management team to create:

A formal pay structure for staff in Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland to increase retention as well as showcase the organisation as a fair employer, which in turn helped attract new staff.

To ensure that resolving these HR related issues were considered in the context of the organisation’s overall customer focused strategy.

Ashworth Black undertook a range of activities including job evaluation, salary benchmarking to ensure competitive pay for all employees, design of a new pay structure and importantly a performance management system centred on an individual’s contribution to the achievement of the business goals. As a result, potential differentiation issues, recruitment and retention are no longer issues.

Recognising the success of this pay and reward review, Ashworth Black was asked to assist with the roll-out of a similar strategy to Sea Going Crew, which included the development of a behaviour framework and performance management training for managers to further enhance customer service.

Ashworth Black continues to provide consultancy support to NorthLink.

Bill Davidson, Managing Director of NorthLink said:

“I have found working with Ashworth Black first class and I have no hesitation in recommending them to others. In my experience too often HR advice and support can be lacking in substance and targeted benefits for the business. With Ashworth Black this is definitely not the case. I am particularly impressed by the contribution management framework for performance and development review which I believe has encouraged the majority of our staff to develop and consequently, the business to benefit from their efforts in ways that links individuals’ efforts and rewards in a fair and equitable manner.”

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