Information highway helps careers find road to success

About the organisation

Informa is an international provider of specialist information for the academic, professional and business communities. The FTSE-250 company was formed in May 2004 after the merger of Informa Group and Taylor & Francis Group. It has more than 50 offices in 18 different countries and employs almost 4,000 people, with major centres in the UK and the US.

The aim

The company has grown significantly through acquisition, giving employees plenty of opportunity to progress through the ranks, but many aren’t yet familiar with all of the different divisions.

“We needed to find a way to help employees effectively map out their own career paths,” says Keith Brownlie, group HR director. “Editorial employees have such different roles and responsibilities and they are not easily defined.”

To achieve this, Informa decided to build an interactive careers site.

System supplier

It was decided that the site would run on the company intranet. It was developed in-house, although Informa did engage HR, training, motivation and lifestyle management consultancy Nhance Consultants in an advisory capacity.

The approach

A careers working party was created to understand the challenges and build a solution that would also serve the rapidly-growing business.
“It is very important to us to retain and reward key staff, and we have also recently implemented a flexible benefits programme to underline this,” says Brownlie.

“We want to make the career progression process fair and equitable to all, as well as foster a culture of cross-fertilisation to communicate the different opportunities available.”

The solution

The site – Transformed Careers – has nine sections for employees and managers, detailing the best ways to achieve professional goals. Among them are areas on performance management, organisational charts, induction information, and vacancies and recruitment.

Employees can gain advice on how to map their career, review their own performance, set goals both informally and with their managers, and learn how best to handle interviews.

The site is also completely transparent. So, for example, an employee can see how to prepare for an appraisal, as well as view the manager’s guidelines on how to conduct one.

The bottom line

The site has been rolled out to 2,000 employees in the UK and will be made available to its bases in the US and Scandinavia next year.

Although it is still early days, Brownlie is optimistic that as well as providing a careers tool for its staff, Transformed Careers will realise other benefits for the business.

“We’re sending a clear message to our employees that they are very important to us, and we are raising awareness of the workings of the larger organisation and the employees’ roles within it,” he says. “Overall, the competency framework gives structure to career development and a solid basis for assessing and managing performance.”

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