BNFL fast-tracks talent to bridge succession gap

British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) is fast-tracking talented young managers in a
bid to minimise the threat of any potential succession difficulties.

BNFL recruits about 100 graduates each year, and usually has little problem
retaining staff. However, the company realises it faces significant changes
over the next few years, and many of its current senior managers are due to
retire within the next 15 years.

The new Catalyst programme, designed in conjunction with HR consultancy DDI,
aims to bridge the succession gap by providing 10 years’ development in just
three years.

Sue Stockton, head of leadership development at BNFL, said the company’s HR
team has worked closely with representatives of its business groups to secure
their buy-in, ensuring they understand how the process works and know how to
nominate candidates.

The company launched a communication programme so that all staff can
understand how it will affect their development opportunities.

Stockton said: "We are confident that we now have a robust process that
will help us to quickly identify and develop those who will play a crucial role
in securing the company’s future."

Selection for Catalyst is based on an interview to assess candidates’
potential for senior management roles. This is followed by a one-day
assessment, where candidates are measured against a set of leadership

Each candidate receives personal feedback on their performance and works
with a DDI coach to draw up a development plan to help them acquire the skills
and experience they need for a senior management role.

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