Investment in Human Capital as a Contribution in the Future
Among the factors increasing competitiveness is the availability of professional staff. This simple formula is applicable both to the entire country and operation of a single enterprise. Because, even with the most advanced equipment, modern technologies and most successful innovations, the state or company cannot develop efficiently without having a sufficient number of people who are able to adequately operate them. This is a fact well known by the government and business circles. Today there are a number of operating government programs in Kazakhstan aimed to improve the quality of education to make it meet the challenges of the future innovation economy of the country. In parallel, almost every Kazakhstani company is implementing its own personnel policy to increase knowledge, productivity and loyalty of their employees. Because it is one thing to develop staff, and another thing to hold then in place.
The main value is the man
An example of a well-balanced personnel policy can be found in the operation of the largest oil transportation company in the country – KazTransOil JSC (KTO). The personnel are the main capital of the company. Everyone in the company realizes clearly that competitiveness of business depends primarily on the people and teamwork to consistently reach the common goal. Therefore, the personnel policy pursued by the said leader of the Kazakhstani oil transportation industry is many-sided and not limited to a standard set of HR-technologies. KTO treats the development and encouragement of their employees, and their career growth as a major component of the "social responsibility of business" concept. Therefore, the efforts of the company in this area are focused on actual needs and concerns of the staff, continuity of knowledge and experience, and development and training of the employees. These activities form jointly the corporate responsibility for the general rezult.
The personnel policy at KTO is constantly being improved. In March of the last year, the KTO Board of Directors approved the relevant program for 2010–2014. The goal of the program is the strengthening and development of human resources and increasing the company’s value through obtaining a competitive advantage as human capital. It is worth noting that the new personnel-related document is aimed to attract, develop, and retain highly skilled employees and to introduce advanced management practices. To reach the set goal, more than five and a half thousand employees have been trained in the past year alone. In particular, 1,994 staffers were retrained at the KTO Western Branch’s training center; of them, 1,532 people are workers. In addition, under the educational program of Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP), probation was arranged for a few employees of KazTransOil. The successful operation of the MBA Program is in progress. In general, there is an upward trend in the number of employees who get training in professional disciplines at special courses of IT-technologies; the number of applications for organization of training in order to obtain domestic or international level certificates confirming the qualification of the employee in information technology of the appropriate level (ACCA, DipIFR, CAP, CIA, etc.) has increased. As a result, the ratio of the trained employees in 2010 amounted to 126%, compared to 2009, and 137%, compared to 2008.
HR as an art
Today KazTransOil is a dynamically developing company. Here, as in any other company aiming to increase the value of its assets, one of the important aspects of the personnel policy is the search and careful selection of potential employees for vacant positions. To effectively implement this direction, KTO applies in practice the latest advances in human resource management. In particular, the selection of candidates, after realizing the needs of the company’s structural subdivisions in certain skilled professionals, is carried out with the help of special online tests aimed to check the perception of numerical and verbal information by the person. Also, the well-known 15FQ+ test is applied in the HR practice.
Inner work of the HR departments in all structural subdivisions of the company is constantly being improved, too. Currently, all the HR-departments are transferred to operation under "Administration and Management of the Personnel" of the SAP R\3 automated system. Also, a system of integrated personnel accountability was introduced in the company that allows making an analysis of the effectiveness of staff recruitment and placement, analysis of employees turnover, monitoring of qualitative and quantitative composition of the staff and performance of the relevant budget items by the HR services. A fact worthy of noting is that KazTransOil is the only company in Kazakhstan, which has a fully automated system of payroll of the workers working on rotation and in shifts. Along with that, taking into account the increased scope of work of the HR departments, the company is planning to soon introduce new components of the HR modules – Business Trip Management and Personnel Development – that will eliminate duplication of operations with the personnel, increase labor productivity and, as a result, optimize business processes of the company in the area of HR.
In general, to create favorable atmosphere among the staffers, the company developed and adopted the Code of Conduct which promotes corporate values and social norms. It contains the rules for corporate communication and conduct and rules for conducting events contributing to teambuilding. The conduct of the company in management of human capital can be traced in the introduced Code of Social Responsibility as well. It regulates social guarantees to the employees, physically challenged and retired at KTO, issues of providing charity by the company, and social participation of the company in society’s life.
Along with the development and retaining of the highly skilled employees, also introduction of advanced management practices, high attention is paid to the continuity of knowledge and expertise. It is expected that this year a new program of interaction between KTO and leading technical universities in Kazakhstan will be introduced. It will provide for not only the search and selection of the best students and alumni and organization of work practice and internship for them, and also probation in the company, but for active participation of the KazTransOil specialists in development of guides and conducting by KTO experts of master classes for students of specialized universities.
This year, over 60 candidates took part in the contests for vacant positions in the KazTransOil headquarters. Almost all people that were successfully recruited at that time are demonstrating today professionalism and career advancement.
A year earlier, KazTransOil set up a talent pool of 51 employees, most of whom are specialists of the production branches. For every talent pool member, KTO developed an individual career development plan, under which a dozen training programs to develop their personal qualities and skills were created. Later on, to summarize the first year results of training of the talent pool members, the KTO service made assessment of their competence growth level through using the modern technique called "360 degrees". It turned out that absolutely all of them significantly rose both in professional and personal terms during the year. It is not by chance that by now 18 talent pool members have been promoted for higher posts.
All the principles of the new personnel policy pursued would have no sense if they did not find support among the employees. The management of KazTransOil recognizes that only well-established feedback at all levels of production allows quickly responding to the needs and requirements of each branch and clearly evaluating the reforms in general. To do this, the company has been conducting events to assess the satisfaction of staff since 2009. These results allow determining the extent of awareness and understanding by the employees of the corporate goals and objectives of KazTransOil, the extent of confidence in the top management by the staffers, identifying the material and psychological incentives, which to a greater extent affect that satisfaction, as well as getting a lot of other important information. For example, the analysis of the key performance indicators of the company showed a steady decline in personnel turnover from 4.98 % in 2005 to 2.10 % in 2010 and increased satisfaction of the staffers from 73 % in 2008 to 77 % in 2010. This means that the personnel policy of the flagman of the Kazakhstani oil transportation industry meets the interests of development of both the company and almost its every single employee. The achievement of all the set ambitious plans and goals is possible only when the unity of the goals is provided.