Siemens works on HCI to keep it attractive for staff

Case study: Siemens

Home computing schemes are traditionally run over a period of three years. But what does an organisation do once that three years is up, and how does it then keep the benefit alive? Those were the questions faced by Siemens when the first group of employees to take up a discounted PC finished the scheme late last year.

Ben Debnath, head of HR policy and processes at Siemens, says: "Under the terms of the scheme, there’s no right of the employee to purchase the computer and that was one of the most difficult things to communicate. We have to sell it to them at a fair market value that comes out of their net pay. [That fee] was £60. It just so happened that if you wished to return the machine you had to pay an administration fee of £60 and interestingly, we have had no one from the first year’s scheme that decided they wanted to return the machine rather than take ownership. It is encouraging that we don’t employ any idiots that want to do that."

Siemens allowed all staff that signed up to the scheme three years ago to enter again this year. But they kept an eye on these employees, restricting them to machines and not peripherals. "People may want a new computer but they may already have a printer." Calculating take-up is also more challenging now as some employees may have two computers, but Debnath adds it’s encouraging that 11,801 computers were provided to its workforce of around 20,000.