PT Awards 2013 winners: Wolseley wins Award for Talent Management

Wolseley win the Talent Management 2013 award
Wolseley collects the 2013 Award for Talent Management

a&dcPlumbing distributor Wolseley won the 2013 Award for Talent Management, sponsored by a&dc, at the Personnel Today Awards on Monday. Here we present its winning entry, and those of the runners-up.


Wolseley


About the organisation

Judges
Steven Toft
, director, Crucible Consulting
Alan Warner, director, Alan Warner Associates
Michael Jenkins, chief executive, Roffey Park

Wolseley UK is the UK operating subsidiary of Wolseley plc. It provides construction products and materials through a nationwide branch network, including Plumb Centre, Parts Centre, Pipe Centre, Climate Centre, Drain Centre and William Wilson. The company employs around 6,000 people and has a network of 919 branches.

The challenge
In 2011, Wolseley UK restructured its business to focus on becoming number one or two in its chosen markets. The restructure meant the company’s staff pool was reduced by 40%, and the company needed to come up with a new people strategy and talent pipeline to meet its goals.

What the organisation did

  • Carried out an audit of where roles were needed around the business, creating a five-year projection of needs for roles – for example, 73% of branch managers had no identified successor.
  • Analysed internal promotion rates and turnover, identifying the need to promote more people internally.
  • At entry level, set up an apprenticeship programme, an accelerated development programme, team training and management-development schemes.
  • At mid to senior level, introduced a management training and graduate programme, a fast-track programme, advanced leadership programme and executive coaching.
  • Brought in twice-yearly talent reviews led by Wolseley’s leadership team, identified and supported high-potential employees.

Benefits and achievements

  • Employee engagement measures up to 58%, 8% higher than national average.
  • Quality of branch managers has improved, with 71% rated as “good”.
  • Seventeen high-potential employees have graduated from the accelerated development programme; six have become branch managers.
  • Twenty-five of the company’s most senior leaders attended the advanced leadership programme.
  • Training per person has doubled, now averaging at 14 hours per person per year.

Judge’s comments
“The dispersed workforce dimension makes the achievements even more impressive” – Alan Warner


Merlin Entertainments


About the organisation

Merlin Entertainments is one of the world’s largest leisure and entertainment companies, operating more than 90 attractions across 22 countries, including Sea Life Centres, Madame Tussauds and Legoland.

The challenge
Merlin’s ambitious growth strategy means it opens new attractions at a rate of at least seven per year. This means the company needed to ensure it had viable successors for senior leadership roles, and put in place suitable development programmes for its board and their successors.

What the organisation did

  • Developed a succession planning toolkit, including a map of the succession process, guides for managers on developing successors, workshop and webinar training, and templates for nine-box grid talent mapping.
  • Built a simple spreadsheet to record, track and communicate succession data.
  • During 2012, the executive board underwent an in-depth nine-to-12 month personal development programme.
  • Psychometric profiles of top 50 leaders, used to give insight into the strengths and capabilities required by their successors.
  • Fast-tracked graduates selected from the best universities around the world to senior positions.
  • Ran XCalibre, its flagship leadership programme aimed at future leaders, in partnership with Kingston University and London School of Economics.

Benefits and achievements

  • During 2012, the proportion of roles with identified successors increased from 35% to 77%.
  • Developed a single global view of where succession gaps are, so it can prioritise and address certain areas, such as finance and marketing.
  • Greater movement of talent between different business areas, and the ability to move people quickly between attractions.
  • Over 40% of delegates on XCalibre programme have been promoted after or while on the programme.
  • Solid examples of internal progression: chief development officer Mark Fisher started as a seasonal employee.

Judge’s comments
“A good international approach with positive outcomes makes this an interesting contender” – Alan Warner


LV=


About the organisation

LV= employs more than 5,700 people and has more than five million customers for its range of financial products. It is the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

The challenge
LV= has undergone significant change in the past five or six years, experiencing rapid growth to become an award-winning business with high brand awareness. However, it felt that a “command and control” culture had crept into the organisation, where people avoided making decisions and taking risks, so it wanted to develop forward thinkers and innovators.

What the organisation did

  • Within its Change Innovation and Operations (CIO) team, it launched the Programme of Development (PoD) programme, designed to identify high potential individuals and develop them.
  • PoD is an eight-month development programme that aims to help delegates challenge traditional thinking, build courage to make decisions and influence others, inside or outside the workplace.
  • Aimed PoD at entry-level to junior management roles, through a three-stage application process.
  • Assessed applicants for the scheme using Engagement Style Inventory (ESI) to see how they fit with the organisation’s values.
  • Used “vidcasts” to prepare delegates for the programme and encouraged them to use a designated online portal to share thoughts and learnings.

Benefits and achievements

  • Ninety per cent of participants feel PoD has improved their performance.
  • Improved talent attraction and retention has led to annual recruitment savings of £126,900 in the CIO department.
  • Increased number of internal moves and 3.3% reduction in turnover.
  • More than 20 new initiatives have been implemented as a result of PoD.
  • Participants scored an average of 9.18 out of 10 when asked whether or not the programme made them feel more valued by the company, and reported higher loyalty than those elsewhere in LV=.

Judge’s comments
“LV’s PoD programme came over as innovative” – Stephen Toft


EDF Energy


About the organisation

EDF Energy is a major UK energy supplier. Worldwide, it has almost 160,000 employees, with around 15,000 of those in the UK. It is owned by EDF group, one of the three largest energy companies in Europe.

The challenge
EDF needed to find a resourceful way to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of its talent pipeline for first-line leadership roles across its nuclear generation (NG) business. An ageing demographic, coupled with limited options to buy in talent, meant it needed to encourage leadership aspiration internally.

What the organisation did

  • Developed the emerging talent programme (ETP), a 12-month scheme, aimed at developing a higher volume and greater diversity of potential leaders.
  • Designed ETP to encourage participants to become more self-driven; they self-select into fast or slower talent streams and attract more investment the more committed they are.
  • Developed personality questionnaires and 360-degree feedback models, and invited participants to form an online leadership case study.
  • Participants were then encouraged to organise and log their own career development and discuss this with HR and their manager.
  • Leadership potentials tracked by a quarterly regional talent board.

Benefits and achievements

  • Nine per cent more female leaders coming through the pipeline compared to the current leader population.
  • Thirty per cent of participants listed as successors to leadership roles within 24 months; 35% taken on broader responsibilities.
  • Thirty per cent increase in quantity/quality of candidates for first leadership roles.
  • NG recognised by World Nuclear Regulator for the quality of its talent management and workforce planning.

Judge’s comments
“The limited pool of experienced nuclear staff makes this a very positive contender” – Alan Warner


Lyreco


About the organisation

Lyreco is a privately owned, family-run company supplying workplace products such as stationery, furniture and computer accessories. It operates in 27 countries and has 1,400 staff in the UK.

The challenge
Staff attrition had reached an all-time high of 40%, so training and recruitment costs were escalating in an economic climate where savings needed to be made. The stability of the business was being affected and it was losing revenue from customers. The company wanted to build a more visible internal talent pool and better understand the challenges facing managers.

What the organisation did

  • Asked newly appointed managers for feedback and where the business could support them, and where employees felt managers could improve.
  • Reviewed succession planning and developed “The Road to Success”, an initiative to cater for development needs at all levels through a blended learning approach.
  • Ran career development workshop so staff knew of opportunities within the business, with the potential of joining the aspiring leaders programme (ALP).
  • ALP designed to help delegates understand the role of a manager and develop leadership skills, with on-the-job tasks and coursework.

Benefits and achievements

  • Fifty per cent of delegates on ALP secured promotion within 12 months.
  • Positive feedback from those in management roles on the confidence the programme has built to tackle difficult team issues.
  • Positively received by senior management, having generated a buzz in the business.
  • Better candidates at interview stage for management roles.
  • Greater visibility of progression through the business, with less danger of losing talent.

Judge’s comments
“Good example of creating a clear development path for managers. Sound evidence of improved performance from participants” – Stephen Toft


Hertfordshire County Council


About the organisation

Hertfordshire County Council is the county’s largest employer, delivering a range of local services to over a million people.

The challenge
The council needed to save £200 million over four years, with an annual budget reduction of 25%, yet still improve customer outcomes and respond to increasing demands on its services. As part of its “Council for the Future” business transformation, it wanted to focus on building strong leadership.

What the organisation did

  • Identified five organisational values and corresponding behaviours for all employees and managers, which form the basis of the council’s development programmes.
  • Introduced LEAP, a 10-month management development programme, in conjunction with Reed Learning.
  • LEAP was offered to all junior and middle managers – a combination of face-to-face and online learning, as well as coaching.
  • Delegates undertake self-analysis through MBTI and 360-degree feedback questionnaires.
  • Embedded the training through post-programme coaching and a second 360-degree review after the workshops had ended.
  • Built a talent pool, with an annual review of employee potential and performance through a customized nine-box grid.
  • Continued and expanded apprenticeships and graduate training programmes.

Benefits and achievements

  • Employee engagement increased from 49% in 2011 to 60% in 2012.
  • Managers’ satisfaction with learning and development increased by 26% compared with the previous year.
  • Seventy per cent of employees feel their manager supports their development; 74% feel managers keep them informed.
  • Seventy-four per cent of LEAP programme delegates demonstrated positive behavioural change after six months.
  • Eighty per cent of those in the talent pool have been promoted or seconded to more senior roles.
  • All graduates have been fast-tracked into management roles within two or three years of joining.

Judge’s comments
“A business transformation programme not just to boost efficiency, but to ensure culture change too. A flexible approach designed to embed learning for the long haul” – Michael Jenkins

Comments are closed.