Co-op extends talent management scheme

Co-operative Financial Services is launching the second phase of its talent management programme, targeting middle managers and senior section heads at the firm.

The Strategic Leadership Programme has been designed to offer individuals tailored development opportunities and work-based placements to develop the leaders of the future.

The HR team will invite 700 people to take part in the programme, as well as advertising externally for candidates. The Co-op expects 70 employees to make it to the final selection event.

Pat Ashworth, head of resource management, said developing the right kind of leadership behaviour at the company was crucial to business performance.

“This will create a talent pipeline up and down the organisation and add to the company’s strong ethical stance,” she said.
For candidates to be successful they need to be a good performer at their current level and get sponsorship from their line manager, Ashworth explained.

The leadership programme is one element of a wider integrated talent management agenda at the organisation, which was launched in response to staff feedback.

Although she would not be drawn on exact costs, Ashworth said the firm had invested “significantly” in developing its people through these initiatives.

The first phase – with senior leaders and executives – is well under way, and towards the end of the year Co-op will roll out programmes for all staff levels.

Ashworth said the programme had board buy-in and several executives would be supporting the scheme by becoming mentors to successful candidates.

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