The UK aerospace industry has kickstarted another phase of its plan to improve business performance by pressuring companies to develop people management strategies.

The initiative, launched by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC), follows an industry survey of people management.

The survey concludes that companies that integrate human resource policies with business goals will continue to outperform those companies that do not. With over half of the companies surveyed having little or no human resource (HR) strategy, the concern is that the UK aerospace sector as a whole is underperforming despite its annual £13 billion ($21.6 billion) turnover.

The study, commissioned by the SBAC and the Department of Trade and Industry and carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies, was based on responses from 350 aerospace companies employing a total of 85,000.

It shows that only 46% integrated their personnel policies with product market strategy, with only one in four companies having a personnel or HR specialist on the board. Performance is stronger in businesses that manage their staff strategically, the report states. The average value added per employee was £60,000 across all companies with HR directors on the board, compared with an average of just over £40,000 for those with no board level director.

Performance was also higher in companies using a range of so-called "innovative working practices" such as team working, problem solving groups, formal training, broad job grade structures and performance-related pay. With over 30% believing the skills level of their employees is "medium to low", with engineering shortages the most critical, the survey voices concern over the limited skills training in the sector.

SBAC director-general David Marshall says the survey will be used to help companies "mainstream" people management into the business plan.

Source: Flight International