The intranet went live at the beginning of the month to provide Nationwide’s network of 220 workshops with instant information concerning different areas of the business, such as training, human resources and company policy. Previously, its head office relied on faxes and paper memos.
“It’s a real godsend to us,” says Ian Baillie, Nationwide’s human resources manager. “We were looking for a method of making access to learning and development simpler for our people. It is more cost effective too: they’ll no longer have to travel to the academy in Birmingham for basic training.”
Baillie believes the intranet will be ideal for low-level technical courses, such as basic electronics and braking systems. Advanced courses, such as fault-finding, will still be taught at the academy, and all branches will continue to receive technical support from head office.
Tom Dunn, chief executive, says the investment in the bespoke system has been “significant”. He adds: “We’ve done it partly in response to staff demand. I wanted people to tell me what they wanted to use it for. We’re calling it our panacea – everybody sees it as providing the answer for their problems.”
Nationwide has been a strong supporter of the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) programme launched earlier this year, and Dunn expects all his technicians to pass eventually.
The intranet enables staff to complete training modules and undertake one element of the ATA test online.
Baillie says ATA is helping boost staff morale by giving technicians an industry-backed recognition of their skills.
“We’ve set a target to get 120-130 accredited by the end of the year and we’re well on track. Next year we’ll get 1,000+ through, so it’s a big investment,” Baillie adds.