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Strategy Change in TalkTalk November 22, 2010

Posted by alancwu in News.
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This week’s announcement of a change in business strategy by the TalkTalk Group CEO, Dido Harding, has been well received by the city with a jump in share value for the company (see: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23897977-talktalk-surge-as-new-chief-ditches-dunstones-strategy.do). So, what does the announcement mean for the company’s employees, with a move away from rapid expansion of the customer base and a focus on consolidation – “efficiency savings” and the elimination of duplication are specifically mentioned, as is the figure of £55 million in relation to those savings – and alarm bells always tend to ring in employees head when savings are mentioned.

Following a presentation to staff by Dido Harding and Charles Dunstone, one of our members in TalkTalk Group, Warrington, has the following thoughts:

“On the face of it the presentation of the TalkTalk results by CEO Dido Harding and Chairman Charles Dunstone was good news. Things that needed to go up did, and things that we could do with keeping down are being looked at by management.
Well, that’s alright then, isn’t it?

Or is it? There is no doubt that a lot of hard work and a huge amount of investment has resulted in the success of the “new kid on the block” – TalkTalk. It’s nothing short of spectacular. From new starter to the largest New Generation Network in the UK in less than six years is a truly great achievement. Everyone who has worked through the many trials and tribulations can take a bow and be very proud.

There is, however an ever so slight cloud that members of the CWU should perhaps keep an eye on. The CEO has indicated that the company needs to become “leaner” and that “duplication” has to be addressed to “reduce costs to improve the customer experience”. We agree. To a point.

The concern is how and when these measures are implemented. The question was asked about reductions in the seven thousand employees working presently for the TalkTalk Group in the UK. The answer was honest. Stating that all companies need to keep a watchful eye on costs and this will mean constant analysis of staffing levels. Again no beef with this sentiment as no company can employ people in areas that have been automated or are no longer relevant due to changes in products or technology. Our concern is that knee jerk reactions elsewhere in the industry in laying off valuable staff or managing people out of the business should be resisted by TTG.

CWU members in TalkTalk Group ask the company to plan well ahead and consider all options of retraining and upskilling well in advance of any talk of “rationalisation”.

The rationale should be – stay loyal to the employees and they will stay loyal to the company.”

Get in touch – what does the strategy change mean for you in your part of the company?

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