Intellect Award for Innovation in Career Development

award recognises organisations that have adopted a proactive approach to career
development for their employees. With career opportunities and development
heading the wish list for today’s employees, employers need to be creative in
order to attract and retain the best talent. The judge looked for imaginative
examples of career management by the HR team working in conjunction with others
in the business


Chiumento, chief executive, Chiumento.  Richard Chiumento is a leading figure in UK outplacement and
career management. He was a board director of two of Europe’s largest
outplacement consultancies before forming his company, a multi-disciplinary HR
consultancy, more than 10 years ago. He is a frequent media commentator and
speaker on these issues. He also mentors senior executives as they seek new
career directions in the UK and global employment markets.



in HR team 10 (7 of whom are in HR), total number in HR 270 (full-time) Staff
responsible for 15,974

Lassman Career development consultant, Paul Beesley Senior manger, training
& resourcing, Melanie Fyans career development manager, John Wrighthouse
Head of group training & development, Sarah Davies Personnel
consultant, Adele Lightowler Diversity consultant, Rose Lundie Development
consultant, Steve Coe Retail training consultant, Sarah Moss Personnel &
development analyst, Emma Rogers Senior customer adviser, Wellingborough
branch, Mike McQueen Group planner, Tina Hetherington Head of operations,
Nationwide Life, Paul Shopland Technology project manager, Michelle Stone
Intranet team manager, Ivan Walter Marketing controller, Ros Sweet Retail
support project manager

and Leadership Development

the company

origins lie in Northampton where it was formed in 1848. It has undergone over
100 mergers, most notably with Anglia Building Societies in 1987. It is now the
UK’s ninth-largest retail bank, saving and lending organisation, and is the
world’s biggest building society. With headquarters in Swindon, Nationwide has
mutual status, meaning that its members own it. Pre-tax profits to April 2003
were £353.3m.


help the company’s workforce take advantage of career opportunities, while
increasing staff commitment and providing better customer service

the company did

Set up a project team comprising a core group of 14 people, including employee
Emma Rogers, who first flagged the need for more career guidance in a staff
feedback exercise.

Defined the term ‘career’ in a way that everyone at Nationwide could identify

Provided career advice through an easy-to-use intranet site. Staff can pose a
specific question or request for help which HR can respond to via e-mail

Enabled people to search a database of job types and to register interest in
job vacancies

Designed a four-step process to guide career discussions

Provided exercises to develop thinking about career planning

and achievements

Nationwide’s employees now have access to career planning advice and job search
tools on the intranet that are easy to use, achieve stretch goals , and that
support the corporate goals of retaining more business, members and employees.

Chiumento says:
"Nationwide’s ‘Project Emma’ is an excellent example
of HR responding to an individual request and delivering a company-wide
solution with positive impact across the entire business. The final result is
an innovative, practical and effective career guidance process that
successfully engages employees at all levels."



in HR team 15 overall there are 45 in HR
Staff responsible for 17,000

Mee Director of organisation development, Kay Robertson Training
manager, Sue Nobbs Organisation development manager, Stephanie Evans Training
manager, Karen Croshaw Training and development assistant, Penny Le Besque
Management development manager, Diane Court and Karl Davies Training managers,
Lizzy Cappitt Training and development assistant, Tanya Corkett and Anita
Conchie Training managers, Sally England and Karl Cheek Learning and
development managers, Clare Murchison Retail, training &
development manager, Jayne Beirne Training managers

Career Pathway Project Team

the company

managed pub company with 1,000 outlets and more than 17,000 employees, the
Spirit Group (Punch Retail until 1999) has grown through venture capital-funded
acquisition. Its  goal is flotation in
the next two to three years.


develop a cohesive approach to career development, with programmes to provide
vision and ambition for all employees to reach their full potential. People
needed something to aspire to and the tools to help get them there. The company
needed to clearly spell out the development opportunities available for all.

the company did


Invested around £0.5m to produce quality materials so people would enjoy

Developed a clear, easy-to-understand and transparent career path

Displayed the pathway in every outlet and discussed it during every person’s

Introduced workshops, work placements, self-directed learning and action
learning sets

and achievements

Staff have the immediate feeling "there is something here for me"

The company clearly spells out available development opportunities for all

Staff aspirations have increased

Individual skills are drawn out

Staff have a career pathway

Retention of retail managers has improved by 9 per cent in one year

Internal manager appointments have risen by 11 per cent in one year

Chiumento says:
"Cultural change from ‘tell’ to one of more involving,
engaging and coaching; improved staff retention and a strong rise in internal
manager appointments all demonstrate the success of Spirit’s Retail Career



in team 8 (two drawn from HR, 6 from the service desk), 16 in HR overall

responsible for 1,500

Pearson Training & development consultant, Steve Murtagh Service desk
operations director, Nick Boak Service desk manager, Brian
Bailey HR director, Gavin Bacon Helpdesk manager, David
Payne Training & development manager, Oscar Griffiths Help desk manager,
Christine Frogbrook Help desk training coordinator, Gillian Forster Help desk
manager, Mark Walton Technical support manager, Andrew Davidson
Learning & development specialist, Jane Sacre & Craig
Darling Service desk manager, David Vincent Recruitment manager

Human Resources

the company

is an information and communication technology company with 23,000 employees in
more than 30 countries (1,500 based in the UK).


May last year Charlie Frederickson, director of managed services, highlighted
the need for a career development framework. This was initially intended to
target service desk operations – employing around 375 people – aiming to
improve staff retention, break down existing ‘stovepipes’ to development, and
create cross-functional development opportunities

the company did

and operational management worked to:

Profile roles, identify responsibilities, skills, experience, qualifications
and competencies

Define career paths to create movement

Define promotion criteria

Establish a career website

and achievements

An internal recruitment agency, entitled GetAhead was established

The workforce has a comprehensive career framework to follow

The management and HR team have added value to the business by creating a
common approach to career development

Business objectives are built into career progression requirements

There is increased ownership for self-development

Chiumento says:
"A well-defined but flexible framework enabled
Getronics to identify clear career paths and new opportunities for employee
development. The initiative was supported by a good use of communication,
senior management commitment and key business data that highlights the overall
achievements of the project for the business."     

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