Personnel Today Awards 2014 winners: Fujitsu take top prize for talent management

Fujitsu collect their 2014 award for talent management
Fujitsu collect their 2014 award for talent management

A&DCFujitsu took home the Personnel Today Award for Talent Management after beating of the competition in a strong shortlist. Here we present their winning entry and look at the runners-up in the category, sponsored by a&dc. 


WINNER: Fujitsu

About the organisation

Fujitsu provides information technology solutions for businesses including application services, IT consulting, infrastructure services and products. The company employs more than 11,000 people in the UK and Ireland, in a wide variety of roles and locations.

The challenge

The last three years have seen significant change for Fujitsu, with a change in CEO and organisational restructures. It needed to build a strong talent pipeline across all levels of the organisation and ensure that talent management was aligned to business strategy.

What the organisation did

  • Introduced idea of “Pay it forward”, where talented employees actively develop others.
  • Set up a talent board that meets quarterly, consisting of the executive team led by the head of talent and chaired by the CEO.
  • Candidates for talent management programmes can self-nominate and selection is undertaken with support from HR business partners.
  • “Buddying across borders” programme helps to expose talent to stretching opportunities and solve real business challenges.
  • Delivered workshops across the business on networking and creating social capital.
  • Hosted speed networking events where talent from graduate-level upwards could connect with each other.
  • Held a cross-business talent forum where employees could share experiences with talent from non-competing organisations.

Benefits and achievements

  • Half of all senior roles in a recent reorganisation have been filled by people who had been identified as “talented employees”.
  • Majority (80%) of mid-level employees in the talent pool have been promoted in last two years.
  • Regional CEO was appointed from the talent pool and three executive directors are graduate programme alumni.
  • Internal versus external hire ratio is 80:20, surpassing original target of 70:30, creating cost savings of around £40,000 per senior hire.
  • New business: one graduate won a £600,000 piece of the business with support from the “Buddying without borders” programme.
  • Retention in those recognised as “talented” is 10% higher than that for the general workforce population.

Judges’ comments

“A well thought-out programme with impressive business benefits.”


RUNNERS-UP

RPA

About the organisation

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is the government agency that makes payments to farmers and food producers under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Talent Management – the judges

Alan Warner, director, Albany OD
Steven Toft, director, Crucible Consulting
Michael Jenkins, chief executive, Roffey Park Institute

It pays out more than £2 billion each year, and also manages more than 40 other schemes designed to support a healthy rural economy. It employs around 2,300 staff.

The challenge

The RPA is in the middle of a five-year change programme aimed at transforming its performance and preparing staff for major changes to CAP, which will take place in January 2015. It needed to attract and retain talent and grow leaders to help sustain its performance, so it launched a talent management scheme in January 2013.

What the organisation did

  • Made the scheme open to all employees with a particular focus on emerging talent in more junior grades.
  • Developed a learning journey framework – with key elements for all scheme members, but flexibility for individual development.
  • Provided a support structure for each person on the scheme, including a senior mentor and executive team sponsor.
  • Ran assessment centres and devised challenging development activities for middle managers.
  • Showcased the scheme at “Civil Service Live” series of shows and will repeat that this year.

Benefits and achievements

  • All deadlines and performance targets were met by the first cohort of scheme members.
  • Six of this cohort have been promoted to more senior roles in design and business analysis.
  • Other government agencies and departments have approached the RPA about replicating the programme for themselves.
  • Ran the programme with only one full-time member of staff and support from two external consultants.
  • Turnover among scheme participants has been zero since the programme launched.
  • Longer term, there is a pipeline of leaders and improved retention of exceptional talent.

Judges’ comments

“The scheme clearly developed a group of strong and well-motivated managers.”


Compass Group UK & Ireland

About the organisation

Compass Group UK & Ireland is part of Compass Group, a world-leading food and support services provider with annual revenues of £17.6 billion and £1.8 billion of revenue in the UK and Ireland. Its operations span multiple sectors over approximately 10,000 sites, and it employs more than 60,000 staff.

The challenge

The financial downturn created a challenging economic climate for Compass, with increased competition. The company had retained market share and made efficiency savings, but it needed to address its talent management processes (especially at leadership level), with a view to better succession planning and filling more vacancies internally.

What the organisation did

  • Introduced a talent and performance cycle, with clear timelines and points such as end-of-year and mid-term reviews.
  • Introduced new “people-mapping” sessions, assisted by HR partners through discussions with different business areas.
  • Provided HR partners with a toolkit to support people mapping sessions.
  • Created simple spreadsheets to record, track and analyse talent and performance data.
  • Refreshed talent development programmes around six key areas: profile; network; coach; move; inspire; and project.
  • Developed a “Buy” strategy around external resourcing needs, creating a talent pool of around 400 suitable candidates.
  • Created a new careers website, designed to be more interactive and more appealing in terms of employer brand.

Benefits and achievements

  • Senior level “bench strength” has more than doubled.
  • Internal placements increased by 12% since new applicant tracking system (ATS) was introduced.
  • Time to hire reduced by 11 days compared with last year.
  • Return on investment for talent development programme for middle managers estimated to be £185,000.
  • Eighty per cent of managers agreed that the people mapping process has helped them to develop succession plans.
  • Development of online systems has reduced time in manual processes and further modules are being introduced into the ATS system as a result.

Judges’ comments

“Well-researched and well-designed programme with some clear business benefits.”


Village Urban Resorts & De Vere Hotels

About the organisation

Village Urban Resorts and De Vere Hotels operates across 33 locations, with 25 Village Urban Resorts and eight De Vere Hotels. The group has an annual turnover of £220 million, converting to £60 million profit. It employs 5,000 staff.

The challenge

In 2012, a management team was tasked with improving business performance and producing enhanced sales value for shareholders by 2014/15. The company wanted to open up new hotels and grow the brand from within by attracting and developing top talent.

What the organisation did

  • Identified five behaviours that underpinned high performance: commercial; inspirational; driven; detailed; and resilient.
  • Mapped behaviours into a bespoke online appraisal system and trained up managers in using it.
  • Ran development and assessment days to identify the best talent, including presentations and group activities.
  • Those identified as rising stars go through comprehensive development programme including: MBTI psychometric profiling; mentoring; financial management; speed networking; and image and impact training.
  • Ran career days in every hotel promoting “how to become a rising star”.

Benefits and achievements

  • Recruitment costs down 80% year on year, saving more than £400,000.
  • Fourteen per cent of department managers (52 people) have been promoted this year.
  • Eight of the 24 rising stars identified in the last 12 months are now general managers.
  • Service measure improved by 20%.
  • Nine out of 10 management appointments in the last 12 months were internal.
  • Employee engagement across the business increased by 15%, to 86%.
  • Higher retention: 89% of top performers retained through early identification of risk of leaving.
  • One of the rising star’s projects achieved a cost saving of £500,000 per year through reduction in beer wastage.

Judges’ comments

“An honest approach and some good metrics to backup outcomes.”


Ceridian

About the organisation

Ceridian is a specialist in technology for human capital management, offering products that include payroll, workforce planning and employee assistance programmes. It has more than 7,000 employees globally.

The challenge

Customers say that the reason they choose Ceridian above its competitors is the quality of its people. Ceridian wanted to get a fuller picture of what it was about its talent that was having a positive impact on customer service and employee engagement, and improve its approaches for identifying top talent.

What the organisation did

  • Developed “Ceridian character” framework to define desired character traits, and captured this in the performance management system.
  • Held manager workshops to share talent management approach, get feedback and finesse the framework.
  • Managers use a 25-box grid to record character and performance scores, which helps to identify performance levels across the company.
  • Introduced analytics tools to look at correlations between different factors and easily identify high performers.
  • Greater emphasis on L&D, with masterclasses to share areas of expertise with colleagues in other areas, such as mentoring and coaching, and job shadowing.
  • Shared talent management approach externally.

Benefits and achievements

  • Filled 76% of vacancies through internal promotions (versus target of 55%).
  • Staff retention stands at 90%; customer retention at 96%.
  • Net promoter score for 2013 was +36 compared with average of +9.6 for business to business companies.
  • In colleague engagement survey, 81% understood the values, and 79% understood the goals.
  • Won external awards including Payroll Professional of the Year and Payroll Provider of the Year.

Lyreco

About the organisation

Lyreco is a privately-owned family-run company, specialising in helping organisations consolidate their supplier base, reducing costs and giving them ongoing cost controls. It operates in 27 countries and employs 1,400 people across the UK.

The challenge

The senior management team had all worked for Lyreco for a number of years, and there was a culture of “dead man’s shoes”. An historic lack of talent management meant there was not a talent pipeline at senior level and there was an increasing risk of those who were showing potential leaving the business due to lack of development.

What the organisation did

  • Developed a six-month programme that would focus on hand-picked group of individuals and prepare them for senior roles.
  • Programme included five-day residential course, followed by specific projects and engagement with different areas of the business.
  • Business project involved delegates carrying out research and analysis, creating a business case and presenting to the board of directors.
  • Tested and proved the value of an “At-risk process” to identify those in the customer base who might leave.

Benefits and achievements

  • At-risk customers have dropped from 30% to 20% over four months, with a further drop of 5% expected.
  • Delegates have a better understanding of themselves and impact on each other.
  • Four out of 10 delegates successful when applying for senior management positions.
  • Delegate feedback: “Great fun and real-life business situations that make you think about the bigger picture.”

Judges’ comments

“Big issues to tackle, good outcomes.”


NATS

About the organisation

NATS is a world leader in the provision of air traffic control services. This year it will handle more than two million flights, carrying in excess of 220 million passengers. It has more than 4,500 employees worldwide.

The challenge

Sustaining competitive advantage is contingent on NATS attracting, retaining and developing talented people across the business. In 2011, the executive team ratified a new approach to talent management designed to identify and develop competencies and behaviours that would help NATS deliver its business strategy.

What the organisation did

  • Identified nine competencies that would differentiate NATS.
  • Carried out assessment of “bench strength” of top 350 leaders and managers against those competencies.
  • Used this information to help development of training programme, PATH, which covers everything from advanced leadership to new managers and development for all employees.
  • Deploy programme via NATS’ integrated talent management system, which includes self-paced study, case reviews, webinars and face-to-face events.
  • Used action learning sets to provide peer support and encourage collaboration between colleagues.

Benefits and achievements

  • Analysis of initial PATH programmes shows an 8% return (for levels 2 and 3).
  • Thirty-six people enrolled on coaching for leaders programme, meaning NATS will have a team of qualified and accredited in-house coaches.
  • Forty-seven new managers enrolled on their dedicated PATH course, sponsored by divisional directors and supported by mentors.
  • Approach has transformed how the organisation manages talent.

Judges’ comments

“A well-designed programme with some clear business benefits.”

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