GKN decided to downsize one of its UK manufacturing operations

When GKN decided to downsize one of its UK manufacturing operations owing to the transfer of some product lines to China, there was an immediate need for an HR Director with strong experience in the heavily unionised engineering sector. The task was to reduce employee numbers from 600 to 300 in a way that was wholly compliant with current employment legislation and in full consultation with the unions and the workforce.

It was crucial that the project would be carried out in a professional manner that minimised the impact on the morale of remaining staff. It was also important that those affected were treated fairly and given the best opportunities for alternative employment. Russam GMS, a leading Interim provider for the manufacturing sector supplied the services of Geoff North.

Steve Spencer, Director – Group Organisational Capability at GKN commented: “Geoff was the right man for the job. He had precisely the mix of experience, negotiating expertise and communication skills that we needed, and Russam GMS was able to supply his services in a matter of days. He fitted in well from day one and the Plant Manager was able to delegate all the people management issues to him with confidence. This ability to take charge and get on with the job enabled us to maintain good customer service through the transition period when supply switched from the UK to China. Geoff completed the exercise to our full satisfaction.”

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