Employee engagement scores leapt up by nearly 20% after HR at Barclaycard started a programme to develop talent across the business.
Jennifer Morris, former head of organisational development for Barclaycard, said it was too easy for firms to focus on their top 10% of talent or call on the services of headhunters to try and track down leaders of the future.
She said a programme she kicked off while still at the financial services giant proved the value of nurturing the talents of employees across a range of levels in terms of increasing employee engagement.
Morris, who joined the world's largest diamond company De Beers Group as group organisation effectiveness and talent adviser three months ago, said that after getting Barclaycard's senior executives to explain what leadership meant for them to high-potential employees, staff surveys showed that employee engagement levels leapt up by 20%.
"Before then," she said, "employee opinion surveys kept on coming back saying there were lots of people with low levels of engagement. While we were an incredibly trusted brand we were not getting engagement.
"By involving the board and the chief executive right through the design process of the scheme we had people going to the programme feeling like this was something special."