Our people are the key to Amec Foster Wheeler’s future success…
says Will Serle, Group Human Resources Director
It’s been a busy, challenging and exciting 11 months leading up to the creation just over a week ago of our new company, Amec Foster Wheeler. It’s a powerhouse in global engineering, project delivery, asset support, power equipment and consultancy formed by combining two major forces. Or, as Ian King, the former business editor of The Times newspaper and now at Sky TV News called the two firms, ‘historic engineering giants’. I agree with him.
In my role as Group Human Resources Director, I’ve been closely involved in a vitally important part of the equation: our people. In our type of business, which doesn’t have products in the way Apple or Samsung might, it is our highly talented people who deliver the services to our customers that really matter.
That’s why we have to get it absolutely right in bringing together two workforces totalling 40,000 people. We want our people to feel valued and engaged, operating in an environment where they can excel.
Success is not simply adding ‘one-plus-one equals two’ and cost synergies, we’re looking for something to come out of this that neither company could achieve on its own.
The work we’ve been doing in both companies to get to this point in the integration has looked at approaches, policies, procedures and infrastructure, which is entirely right and necessary because of the technical nature of the deal. We have agreed an Operating Model which provides for ‘High Value Execution Centres’ in key locations to serve customers across the world and strengthened our Business Development capability to win more work. We’ve undertaken extensive employee and customer engagement to define who we are, what we stand for and why we are different. It has required leadership, collaboration, methodical planning and organisation meticulously delivered through coordinated work streams.
But all that thought, planning and hard work will mean little if the culture and behaviours of our people aren’t right. Now all of our people can get involved, not just those who were in the integration teams. We are only part of the way through this exciting journey and we will depend on the teamwork, goodwill and determination of every single colleague in all of the 50 countries where we operate to carry it through and deliver our full potential. We will continue to invest in our people to achieve that.
Our colleagues’ response has been tremendous and to succeed, as I know we will, we must all continue to share in the vision and play our part. It’s what our customers, shareholders, communities and proud heritages deserve.
Meet the blogger
Will was appointed Group Human Resources Director on 1 May 2011, having previously held the position of Human Resources Operations Director since 2009. Will is also responsible for sustainability at Amec Foster Wheeler. He joined the Company in 2000 as Human Resources Director for the Oil & Gas business, moving to the Natural Resources role in 2006.
Will holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources from The Robert Gordon University and is a Fellow of CIPD.