Kenexa, a global provider of business solutions for human resources, has created a tailored, one-day development centre to help the HR team at E.ON UK, the energy company, to embed David Ulrich’s business partner model and to assess the development needs of its staff.
Based on the core competencies of the HR business partner role, Kenexa’s development centre provides a simulation of a working day for an HR business partner. So far, the development centre has run twice, with eight participants each time, with more to come.
“The advantage of a development centre is that the participants can be observed actually undertaking the role, so they can then be given very clear and pertinent feedback which can be enormously helpful to them,” said Kirsten Steer. “The participants have to deal with data-rich and information-heavy scenarios and pull out themes and ideas. They have to influence others on a one-to-one basis and conduct exercises, which have inherent conflict, for example dealing with a line manager who rates all of his team as superb. These are great exercises, totally relevant for the HR role, and they give the whole event believability.”
The participants receive detailed feedback, practical career advice and development recommendations. They also receive a full assessment report.
“The development centre gives people a fantastic chance to benchmark themselves against their colleagues,” said Kirsten Steer. “They gain a high level of targeted feedback which helps them to understand their strengths and their specific development priorities. Having HR people who are better equipped at partnering the business takes us one-step nearer to achieving our goal of becoming the world’s leading energy company. The more capable our HR business partners are the more effective the organization will be.”
Dave Millner, Director of Consulting at Kenexa, said: “The HR business partner role is more important than ever as organisations increasingly want added value from their HR teams. HR is no longer about what you ‘do’, it’s about what you ‘know’ and how you use that knowledge. E.ON should be applauded for pioneering the use of development centres to support this transition.”
Kenexa has also run development centres at E.ON to help 72 middle managers prepare for senior management roles and it has run assessment centres to help the company select candidates for its annual graduate intake.