Like most of my generation, I grew up with and cherished Ladybird books. One of last year’s great re-inventions was the Ladybird book for adults – a hilarious modern take on the pictures, that today look very dated! Having found out this afternoon from the BBC that Prince Charles has co-authored a version of the Ladybird books, how could I refrain from sharing the recent British military version looking at the New Employment Model (NEM). While the military readers of the blog will be very aware of the NEM, I will explain to my ‘civie’ readers what it is.
The 2010 Strategic Defence Review recommended that a comprehensive analysis of military Terms and Conditions of Service occurred; this review became the New Employment Model Programme (NEM). It covers covers 4 broad policy areas: pay and allowances; accommodation; training and education; and terms of service (career structures and career management). It is intended to provide attractiveness, agility and affordability:
• Attractiveness: Improved recruitment and retention.
• Agility: greater responsiveness to change in the manpower requirement; and improved internal agility, enabling the services to respond more quickly to changing requirements.
• Affordability: improved value for money.
I would suggest that all three are incompatible:
• To be attractive in the traditional human resource market place tends to be expensive and not affordable. While the Forces do offer a portfolio career and outstanding training and education that most closely resembles what we are told Millennials are attracted to, it remains to be seen whether this is actually the case.
• While agility is less problematic, the ability to change manpower may prove to be less attractive if individuals are posted at short notice to respond to changing requirements and would also incur costs.
• Finally, affordability is the nirvana for every human resources manager! However, for the military, the increasing expenditure on fixed major equipment programmes such as the new Carriers and planes to fly from them means that the most flexible budget is raided – the Personnel budget. The resulting cuts in remuneration or manpower is far from attractive.
‘a revised model for regular and reserve personnel which supports operational capability by providing an offer that meets the needs of the service and the aspirations of the individual by encouraging domestic stability and lifestyle choice whilst supporting mobility.’
In any case, the Ladybird version of the NEM went viral last week and brought a wry smile to everyone – ‘Bravo Zulu’ to the anonymous originator!