Personnel Today Awards 2015 winners: AdviserPlus take HR Supplier Partnership award

The team from AdviserPlus collect the HR Supplier Partnership Award
The team from AdviserPlus collects the HR Supplier Partnership Award in 2015.

Now in its second year at the Personnel Today Awards, the HR Supplier Partnership category celebrates the work of suppliers to the HR profession. Here we profile this year’s winner – AdviserPlus – and the runners-up.

WINNER

AdviserPlus (nominated by BMI Healthcare)

About the organisation

AdviserPlus is a leading provider of managed HR advisory solutions in the UK. Since 2001, the company has been working with large organisations and FTSE 100 companies, enabling its clients to sustainably optimise line manager capability, people performance and business results.

The challenge

Faced with a changing landscape, BMI Healthcare needed to do things differently and reduce costs to remain competitive. Organisational leaders responded with “Reform”, a strategic initiative to transform the organisation. HR needed to find a way to support more than 700 line managers across a geographically-dispersed organisation, improve employee engagement and drive change.

What the organisation did

  • Worked with AdviserPlus to develop BmiManage, a fully managed HR advisory service to support line managers. This comprises two main elements of employee relations guidance and manager-centric tools such as an intranet.
  • Engaged with key managers before launch to create advocates for the service.
  • All 700 users received personal training on BMiManage within 14 days of launch.
  • Line managers now have access to expert HR advice when they need it.

Benefits and achievements

  • Reduced HR headcount from 16 HR advisors to two HR business partners.
  • Net savings in total HR expenditure of £400,000 in first year of using the service.
  • There is now a framework for coaching and upskilling more than 700 managers across multiple locations, improving line manager capability and enhancing employee engagement.
  • More than half of all absence cases concluded with employees returning to work; absence has decreased overall from 3.5% to 2.76% within six months of implementation.

Other customer successes

  • Savings of £2.15 million through reducing long-term sickness absence at United Utilities.
  • Created a “one stop shop” for HR/ER queries at the Post Office.

Customer testimonial

“Our partnership with AdviserPlus brings clear organisational and financial benefits and enables us to evolve HR delivery, drive change and achieve business transformation.” – Elaine Bartlett, head of operational HR, BMI Healthcare


RUNNERS-UP

Mercuri International (nominated by Savills)

Supplier partnership: the judges

Rob Moss, editor, Personnel Today
Jo Faragher, writer and commissioning editor, Personnel Today

About the organisation

Mercuri International is a learning and development consultancy with a focus on sales training. It can help companies attract and retain new customers, as well as benchmark areas for growth in their sales teams.

The challenge

As with many sales-driven companies, there was a resistance among employees to take time away from fee-earning activities for training. Mercuri needed to develop a learning approach that staff could apply to the challenges faced by Savills in its day-to-day work.

What the organisation did

  • Mercuri developed a bespoke training concept for fee earners that could be tailored to different and highly specialised parts of Savills’ business.
  • Introduced actors for authenticity: participants can practise improving their techniques in as realistic a situation as possible.
  • Ensured that facilitators are business people with first-hand experience of facing the same challenges as the participants.

Benefits and achievements

  • Since designing the “Raising the Bar” programme Mercuri has designed further courses for other parts of the Savills business.
  • Participant: “I can honestly say I learnt more (and have remembered more) from these two days than all of the other training days put together.”
  • Pitch conversion has increased from 50% to 68% since Mercuri started delivering the events.

Other customer successes

  • Achieved $213,000 increased sales per person in nine-month period after training.
  • Increased “wallet share” for one customer of EU 181.2 million.
  • Developed 243 new executive relationships.
  • One company increased order intake by EU126.2 million.
  • Developed 496 new opportunities for another customer.

Customer testimonial

“Raising the Bar has made a fundamental difference to our business. It has significantly increased our pitching effectiveness by helping all of our teams to understand how to genuinely understand our clients’ requirements.” –Richard Rees, managing director residential development, Savills.


TypeCoach (nominated by Virgin Care)

About the organisation

TypeCoach supports organisations to unlock potential through identifying how different types of employees work together. Through a blend of online pre-work, live programmes and online resources, clients can create high performing teams that communicate honestly, openly and effectively.

The challenge

As with many care suppliers, Virgin Care faced budget constraints and short timelines. There were communication issues and the client was understaffed, with existing staff dealing with high levels of stress.

What the organisation did

  • Set a target of April 2016 to deliver training and online resources to the entire workforce.
  • Set up two live sessions with 10 future leaders and one session with the executive team.
  • Delivered five live sessions to 650 participants, equivalent to the top 12% of the workforce.
  • Delivered a licence for resources for the whole organisation (5500 employees).
  • Fifteen internal trainers were certified to deliver core workshops.

Benefits and achievements

  • Participants have reported a 5% drop in stress and a 27% increase in self-awareness.
  • A 7% increase in diversity of ideas shared.
  • More than one-fifth plan to stay with the company for at least three years, and there has been a 13% increase in engagement with the employer.
  • Projected saving of £1 million on recruitment costs, and £160,000 saved to date.
  • Fewer absences means saving of around £80,000.

Other customer successes

  • Offers TypeCoach platform globally at P&G.
  • Certified 25 TypeCoach trainers at pharmaceutical company Lundbeck.
  • Trained top 5% of future leaders at Staples, and 3,000 individuals have accessed TypeCoach.
  • More than 2,000 have received a full day’s training in TypeCoach at TKMaxx and there are 12 certified trainers.

Customer testimonial

“TypeCoach are flexible, responsive and always open to collaboration and customisation, providing tools, materials and coaching tips that bring the information to life and make it easy to understand and apply.” – Victoria Suter, leadership development advisor, NHS Southwest Leadership Academy.


Impact International (nominated by Omnicom Media Group)

About the organisation

Impact International is a global leader in leadership development and sustainable business transformation. It was established in 1980 with the aim of bringing passion and inspiration to people development, and now has 18 offices worldwide.

The challenge

Omnicom Media Group wanted a programme that would develop talent beyond specialisms, would help with recruitment and retention, would assist succession planning and become a flagship course internally.

What the organisation did

  • Introduced its Springboard leadership programme – a blend of experiential learning opportunities, practical leadership opportunities, theory and personal reflection.
  • Brought in Community Action Learning, live community projects where participants work in cross-functional teams to deliver real projects.
  • Asked senior stakeholders to task participants with roles in business improvement projects – they must use their learning to deliver on strategic objectives to the business.

Benefits and achievements

  • Partnership approach meant participants could learn from each other and get deep understanding from key stakeholders in the business.
  • Learning complements participants’ day jobs so they can weave a series of intense experiences into working life.
  • Participants learn more about themselves, their team-mates, their colleagues and clients through the experience.
  • Participant: “Springboard is a good foundation to help you challenge yourself, learn more about who you are and what kind of leader you would like to be.”

Other customer successes

  • Lend Lease (Springboard programme) – won award for Best Results of a Learning Programme.
  • Google – finalist in Training Journal Awards 2014 for Best Leadership Programme for Google Squared programme.
  • Impact International has worked with 32 companies, delivering 394 programmes to more than 8,000 participants.

Customer testimonial

“We love partnering with Impact on the Squared programme because they have taken the time and the effort to really understand our requirements… they’re not afraid to be challenged and this demonstrates a high level of integrity in their approach.” – Sarah Logan, head of programmes, Google Digital Academy


Digital Balance (nominated by Santander)

About the organisation

Digital Balance is a web development and technology consultancy that produces learning management systems and bespoke e-learning tools. It aims to create bespoke elearning that stands out from the crowd. The company champions interactivity so that users retain more of their learning.

The challenge

Previously, Santander had manually inputted talent management data, opening up the process to flaws, for example in data protection and data integration across the company. The bank needed a more consistent means of identifying talent so it could create progression paths for these employees through the company.

What the organisation did

  • Came up with Develop Your Potential – a way of identifying talent, sharing resources and matching mentors to mentees.
  • Designed a responsive front-end framework that allows all Santander employees to access DYP from any device at a time that is convenient to them.
  • Functionality includes “talent talks” videos, live chat, blogs and news, a mentoring database and an early in career sub-site.
  • Reporting and management information means managers can make more enlightened decisions about progression and recruitment.
  • Employees can highlight areas where they’d like to progress.

Benefits and achievements

  • Employee engagement has risen 28% in 12 month period since implementation.
  • Identification of talent has increased by 800% within just 12 months.
  • Bank has retained around two-fifths of talent that might have left the business.
  • Greater retention equals recruitment savings of around £100,000 per annum, and this is set to grow.
  • Move away from paper-based processes has freed up double the amount of talent resource.

Other customer successes

  • Created a web app for Expedia as a means of accessing training content.
  • Produced a tool for EE to capture feedback in real time from those attending courses.

Customer testimonial

“They do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it, and it is always better than you could imagine.” – Di MacDonald, senior director, Expedia


MIX Diversity Developers (nominated by LeasePlan UK)

About the organisation

Mix is a niche consultancy with a passion for helping clients to develop a diverse workforce. It does this through creative storytelling projects and experiences that challenge perceptions.

The challenge

Vehicle management company LeasePlan UK operates within the traditionally male dominated automotive industry. The company wanted to stand out as challenging the thinking on gender stereotypes and diversity.

What the organisation did

  • Encouraged adventurer and motivational speaker Debra Searle MBE to become figurehead for the campaign.
  • Staged a live launch at head office and over video link, inviting female employees to take part in an expedition across Baffin Island in the Arctic Circle.
  • Ran a selection process for the 87 who applied, including a two-day selection procedure on Dartmoor, finally choosing 15 people.
  • Ran a six-month mental and physical training programme to prepare the squad, including training in an industrial deep freeze.
  • Managed and led the whole expedition for LeasePlan UK.
  • Created video profiles of each of the team and included their diversity stories, as well as a 10-minute film of the whole expedition.
  • Used these materials in social media campaign both within and beyond the company.
  • Worked with an education partner so primary schools could engage with the campaign.

Benefits and achievements

  • Around one-third of all female employees applied and those who did said it made them think differently about diversity.
  • Changing perceptions of typical gender roles led to the appointment of the company’s first ever male PA.
  • Ninety-two per cent of the Arctic team said they would be more likely to speak out after the experience; 62% said they would be more likely to put themselves forward for promotion.
  • Almost two-thirds of those following the social media campaign said it had led them to have a conversation about gender equality.
  • Participant: “I will certainly be pushing myself to do things that I would normally have made excuses not to.”

Other customer successes

  • Introduced an ambassador programme at HSBC to increase male engagement in gender equality.
  • Ran project with Tesco to address “leaky” pipeline for senior women at the supermarket chain.

Customer testimonial

“MIX are doing amazing work and are one of the few companies I have come across who really get it in terms of both the importance but also in terms of what we can do about it.” – Susan Jex, head of employee relations, Tesco.


Jane James Consultancy (nominated by PWC)

About the organisation

Jane James is a consultant who specialises in getting people into employment and workplace mental health. Her Growing Talent programme helps to deliver life-long employability skills and she can also support employees with issues such as personal fitness, finance and nutrition on a budget.

The challenge

Securing local talent for supplier roles within PwC’s Infrastructure and Procurement (I&P) division was difficult. Using traditional recruitment methods through agencies was expensive and not sustainable, while word of mouth referrals weren’t always effective. A strong business case had evolved to find a new, innovative way for both new employees and employers to get the right ‘fit’.

What the organisation did

  • Worked with suppliers to grow their own talent in situ over a period of time, by putting applicants through the Growing Talent programme. The suppliers had four roles available between them.
  • Negotiated with JobCentre Plus to enable participants to keep their benefits.
  • Carried out “Latimer Vibe”, the holistic element of Growing Talent which focuses on wellbeing, with four selected candidates.
  • Other sessions included money management, a first aid course, and influencing and presentation.
  • Jane James mentored all four candidates throughout the process and worked closely with their line managers to resolve any issues.
  • Introduced other businesses to the programme, raising PWC I&P’s profile and broadening the content for those taking part.

Benefits and achievements

  • All four secured their roles and are still employed over one year later.
  • Growing Talent has now been embedded into PWC I&P’s recruitment for supplier staff. It is now offered free of charge to other employers looking to recruit staff for the long-term.
  • Compared with traditional recruitment methods, retention has increased from a few weeks in some cases to over one year. Plus there are no agency fees to pay.
  • Employees recruited through Growing Talent know everything about the role and can add real value at the point the employer pays for them.
  • The cost of running Growing Talent is offset by the service they receive from a sustainable supply chain.

Other customer successes

  • Delivered Growing Talent at business relocation company Harrow Green, recruiting 13 people.
  • “Growing Talent is fantastic”: Simon Pratt, managing director, Portico
  • Helped support Mental Health First Aid England to develop a workplace mental health programme.

Customer testimonial:

“These guys are our future. I think companies are mad not to use Growing Talent”
– Sharon Sales, Harrow Green

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