Coaching Impact fends off opponents to win 2016 HR Supplier Partnership Award

Now in its third year, the HR Supplier Partnership Award celebrates collaboration between HR teams and their suppliers. Suppliers can only be nominated by organisations that have already entered one of the awards categories. This year’s winner, Coaching Impact, was nominated by the organisation behind the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Here’s its winning entry and those of the other finalists.


Coaching Impact (nominated by England Rugby 2015)

About the organisation
Coaching Impact is a performance coaching consultancy focused on helping leaders and their teams improve their impact on the business. One of its selling points is that it works with high performers from sport, education, the performing arts and the military.

The challenge
The Rugby World Cup is the third-largest sporting event in the world, comprising 48 international matches in eight weeks. England Rugby 2015 (ER2015) grew over three years into a company employing more than 500 people with a turnover of £300 million. It needed people to perform and be engaged, despite the fact that all would be redundant within three months of the final whistle.

What the organisation did

  • Coaching Impact worked with the CEO and HR director of ER2015 to develop a vision of employees’ next steps after the competition.
  • Developed a “personal journey” approach and used inspirational performance coaches to deliver it.
  • Created a navigation team from both organisations and a team of internal ambassadors to develop and execute the plans.
  • Delivered workshops for more than 200 people and one-to-one coaching for more than 100 staff so they could perform at their best during the tournament.

Judges: HR Supplier Partnership Award

Rob Moss, editor, Personnel Today
Jo Faragher, commissioning editor, Personnel Today

Benefits and achievements

  • Met targets for the tournament ahead of plan.
  • Positive feedback on the support given for careers after the tournament and how the programme helped their performance during the competition.
  • Leaders reported renewed focus, energy and application during the tournament.
  • Many employees have now moved on to significantly better roles, such as head of operations at a Premier League football club, and head of ticketing for another prestigious rugby tournament.

Other customer successes

  • Delivered intensive leadership training to 26 headteachers working for the Girls’ Day School Trust, extending this to junior heads and directors of finance and operations.
  • Turned around period of underperformance at global biopharmaceutical company through performance coaching.
  • Helped deliver turnaround in global insurance assistance business after new board had been appointed – it delivered £20.8 million profit in 2015 compared with a £6.7 million loss the previous year.

Customer testimonial
“GDST has been on a six-year journey of huge change and Coaching Impact has been instrumental in driving that change. We feel like a different organisation today, culturally and in how we operate and communicate.” CEO, Girls’ Day School Trust

Coaching Impact collect the 2016 HR Supplier Partnership Award

Coaching Impact collect the 2016 HR Supplier Partnership Award


AIA Worldwide (nominated by Thales)

About the organisation
AIA Worldwide produces a recruitment marketing software tool called TalentBrew, which has revolutionised candidate attraction for many of its clients. It can also offer in-depth recruitment analytics and creative recruitment marketing, ensuring that the jobs clients advertise stand out and offer an intuitive candidate experience – right from first impressions to when they are hired.

The challenge
Thales needed to raise awareness of its employer brand among target groups, including graduates and apprentices, facing stiff competition from companies such as BAE Systems and Rolls Royce. Further, it needed to tackle the growing trend for STEM students to bypass engineering as a career and educate graduates and potential apprentices about the potential career opportunities at the company.

What the organisation did

  • Developed the “Together we” employer brand, which encapsulates the way Thales works as an organisation.
  • Ensured the website for the campaign showed how the company was innovating, giving users a rich, immersive and impressive experience – for example videos of Thales technology against a dub-step soundtrack.
  • Developed an interactive video with a series of skills-based games, showing potential candidates they possessed the skills to excel in certain roles, and more broadly, in engineering.
  • Launched Project Arduino, an initiative where teams of students were challenged to build something using Arduino (like Lego for electronics students). This helped build collaborative skills and also benefitted training.

Benefits and achievements

  • 100% improvement in hire ratio (hired one in two candidates, compared with one in four a year ago).
  • Increase in applications of 78%.
  • Project Arduino attracted more than 800 registrations.
  • More than one-third of candidates applied for the graduate scheme.
  • Thales won three industry awards for innovation and creativity.
  • The recruitment branding efforts attracted stakeholder engagement from the CEO down.

Other customer successes

  • #UnexpectedAccenture campaign for Accenture, designed to recruit for tough-to-fill digital roles and improve perceptions of the company as not being one of the major players in the digital space.
  • Overhaul of Greene King’s employer brand and individual pub chain brands within that – including a new careers site based on Talentbrew with intuitive job search function.

Customer testimonial
“AIA have supported the business in bringing the employer value proposition to life in the brands we have converted so far, providing the ideas and tools to communicate the message in the right way.” Francesca Hale, head of HR, Greene King

Cascade HR (nominated by Together Housing Group)

About the organisation
Established in 1992, Cascade is an award-winning developer and supplier of HR and payroll software. Its products are used by more than 300,000 people across a wide range of organisations in many different industry sectors. The company has 800 clients across the globe.

The challenge
When it was founded in 2011, Together Housing Group brought together six employers, each with its own HR team and technological infrastructure. It is now the 11th largest housing association in the UK with a £180 million turnover – but the merger brought with it a significant level of change. Terms and conditions were harmonised and an integrated housing management system was introduced, while engagement and morale needed to be addressed.

What the organisation did

  • Decided that one unified HR solution, rather than five disparate systems, would introduce more efficient ways of working and would be an enabler for employee engagement.
  • Came up with list of requirements for the solution including: a highly configurable solution across multiple locations; functioning payroll module to go live by April 2015; compliance with business’ regulatory framework; self-service functionality; automation of HR policies and processes; and robust management information.
  • Nominated “E-HRM” champions in the business to promote the project benefits to all employees.

Benefits and achievements

  • Streamlined processes, reduced unnecessary administration and shortened time to undertake tasks. HR team can now focus on value-add service such as providing support on strategic business issues.
  • Better data means better decision making and has encouraged the development of a performance-driven culture.
  • Employees can access the system from anywhere using its browser-based technology; they all access the same data and work in a unified way.
  • The system is configured so that Together/Cascade can add new screens or expand processes as the organisation continues to evolve.

Other customer successes

  • Implemented HR systems for clients including Everton Football Club, Meadowhall Shopping Centre and Liverpool Mutual Homes.
  • One client gained an annual saving of around 3,000 hours, or £45,000, through streamlining processes.
  • Music licensing organisation PPL achieved £10,000 cost reduction and created efficiencies across the HR team thanks to using Cascade.

Customer testimonial
“Now that line managers can view and manage their employee data, we can concentrate on our other projects and leave them to it. We are happy in the knowledge that the system will develop and grow.” John Lynch, Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

Growth Engineering (nominated by Steinhoff UK Retail)

About the organisation
Growth Engineering is a learning technologies provider, specialising in learner engagement. It aims to super-charge performance, deliver behavioural change and increase clients’ return on investment from their training spend. It has offices in the UK, the US and Asia Pacific.

The challenge
Steinhoff UK Retail is the parent company of brands such as Bensons for Beds and Harveys. When Growth Engineering first started working for Bensons for Beds in 2011, the company was making a double-digit million-pound loss. It needed a strong training programme to upskill and unite people across the business. When this was achieved (Bensons recorded a multimillion-pound profit in 2014), the decision was made to roll out the Growth Engineering programme across other areas of the business.

What the organisation did

  • Expanded the learning programme at Bensons for Beds to include Harveys and Cargo, doubling the number of learners to more than 2,000.
  • Rebranded Steinhoff’s learning management system, replacing Bensons imagery and terminology with company-wide messaging everyone could relate to.
  • Built a custom interactive log-in page and content library and advised on ways training could be restructured.
  • The company invested £1 million to build the Steinhoff Development Centre, which includes mock stores, warehouses and customer homes so employees can practice working with customers in a safe environment.

Benefits and achievements

  • Onboarding time for new starters has reduced from nine months to just four and staff turnover has fallen dramatically.
  • Starters who attend the onboarding programme are already performing 15% better than historically.
  • Existing store employees who attend the development centre have seen a 60% performance increase.

Other customer successes

  • Hewlett-Packard and Tech Data academy to deliver product training, resulting in 75% year-on-year sales growth.
  • Sales training at Aggregate Industries, one of the UK’s largest ever roll-outs of sales qualifications training.

Customer testimonial
“With Growth Engineering’s astounding learning management system I’ve realised my gamified learning goals and provided an experience for our learners that’s as rewarding as it is addictive.”
Craig Mills, learning manager, GAME Digital.

Impact Business Partners (nominated by Tile Giant)

About the organisation
IBP provides sales development programmes and tools based around the latest thinking in psychology, sociology, neuro-linguistics and neuroscience. The company believes that sales training needs to move away from selling product features to building customers’ trust, and focus on spotting and developing emotionally intelligent salespeople.

The challenge
Tile Giant needed to improve its approach to sales by considering the customer’s journey. It also aimed to define “what good looks like” in terms of sales capability, skills, behaviours and mindset.

What the organisation did

  • Mapped the customer journey and defined the sales process linked to specific points on that journey.
  • Built job descriptions and profiles, implementing a new selection and recruitment process against its definition of “what good looks like”.
  • Delivered a national sales training roll-out across 300 staff.
  • Created and implemented a certification track for managers to become coaches.
  • Introduced the IBP Learning Zone and new initiative called CX Factor (Customer eXperience).

Benefits and achievements

  • Sales up 22% and, in some stores, have increased by 95%
  • Increase in transactions and transaction value.
  • CX Factor has led to more consistency and measurement of the sales process.
  • Average earnings have increased for all staff: 95% achieved their bonus, and 13% got a super-bonus.
  • Voluntary labour turnover has dropped by around 5% in just six months.

Other customer successes

  • Sales induction programme for Wickes Kitchens and Bathrooms.
  • Developed a new way of selling at data service ICIS Chemicals.
  • Rolled out sales training across UK, Africa and Australasia for LexisNexis.

Customer testimonial
“The guys at IBP are geniuses, they truly understand what we need and what will make a difference, and above all they are fun to work with.” Andy Morrison, ex chief operating officer, Wickes.

Gong Communications (nominated by Lloyd’s of London)

About the organisation
Gong is an award-winning communications consultancy, delivering world-class PR, marketing and creative services internationally. It offers a fully-integrated approach to communications and has offices in the UK, US and Africa. Its specialisms include technology, professional and financial services, education, energy, real estate, infrastructure and agri-business, sustainability and diversity.

The challenge
Lloyd’s of London is part of the Corporation of London’s Vision 2025 strategy to gain global competitive advantage, and a key strand of this is diversity and inclusion. The steering group [email protected]’s decided to hold The Festival for Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance, and Gong was brought in to support Lloyd’s to generate interest and attention for the festival from a wide range of stakeholders.

What the organisation did

  • Created a strong, attention-grabbing brand with the name and brand concept of “Dive In”.
  • Developed brand collateral, ran logistics and communications for the four-day event.
  • Ran meetings for communications leaders, liaised with network groups, developed the website, programme, sponsorship offerings and web video.
  • Ran the press office for the Festival and organised street-facing branding on the iconic Lloyd’s building.
  • Set up a coffee cart complete with a barista well-versed in D&I issues.
  • Arranged flash mob of performers from the Brit School outside the Lloyd’s building.
  • Created integrated media campaign across internal, external and social networks with the hashtag #DiveInFest.
  • Filmed sessions and activities and produced video of the highlights of the festival.

Benefits and achievements

  • Post-festival survey found that: 99% felt D&I was good for business; 97.5% would attend the festival again next year; 90% said their understanding of D&I had changed; and 87% felt they knew what to do to improve diversity at work.
  • Gong was reappointed to run the festival again this year with a global brief and a bigger budget.
  • Created a bank of learning through extensive library of festival learning videos.
  • Dive In won “Diversity Champion” at the Marketing Week awards.

Other customer successes

  • Helped reposition search firm Heidrick & Struggles after a new leader joined the company.
  • Brand development for Elizabeth Marx Associates, a newly launched consulting firm.
  • Supported French and US search firms Segalen and ghSMART to relocate, with new website and communications.
  • Brand development for digital learning specialists Nomadic.

Customer testimonial

“Gong’s team delivered superb results last year and they were always on hand to help with a busy programme of activity. I’m grateful that we are able to continue our relationship.” Pauline Miller, head of diversity and inclusion, Lloyd’s of London

Jobsgopublic (nominated by Medway Council)

About the organisation
While there are plenty of job boards, advertising agencies, web developers and software companies, Jobsgopublic aims to bring all of these services ‘under one roof’. The company has a passion for helping public sector organisations maximise their recruitment, saving time and money in the process. It has a roster of over 1,000 employers.

The challenge
Like many other local authorities, Medway Council faced challenges in filling hard-to-recruit roles. One key issue was a shortage of teachers, while the council also had to deal with low brand awareness and ignorance about its location, which is just outside London.

What the organisation did

  • Undertook extensive research project to find out what recruits wanted, including survey of 1,500 teachers and their motivations and behaviours.
  • Discovered that 80% of applicants would prefer to apply for a role online, so moved schools onto the Jobsgopublic application tracking system (ATS).
  • Formulated a clear approach to attract more candidates, incorporating social media after two-thirds of respondents said they checked this before applying for a role.
  • Carried out a free-of-charge workshop to help potential users overcome their scepticism about new recruitment methods.

Benefits and achievements

  • Jobsgopublic was the first organisation to introduce a free online application form into the UK education sector, and Medway was the first to adopt it on such a scale.
  • Workshops quickly became fully booked and hosted a total of 120 people.
  • More than 50% of the schools in Medway have started using the ATS and a further workshop was arranged, with 500 attendees.
  • There were 6,000 applications across 498 vacancies in 2015, and 60% came through Jobsgopublic.
  • The council now has a talent pool of 498 social workers and 259 teachers – more than it needs.

Other customer successes

  • Supported new development programme for ambitious young people for Hackney Homes.
  • Improved levels of applications and recruitment for social worker vacancies at Birmingham City Council.
  • Tackled range of recruitment challenges with London Borough of Havering.

Customer testimonial
“Jobsgopublic has consistently had a positive impact on our recruitment. They go above and beyond to gain a clear idea of our needs and the nature of the market and the candidates within it.” Nicola Smith, recruitment and retention specialist consultant, Medway Council

Kallidus (nominated by Transport for London)

About the organisation
Kallidus works in partnership with customers to deliver innovative, cost-effective learning and talent solutions to meet their business needs. The company has over 15 years’ experience in making learning and talent a success for over 200 clients, supported by a dedicated customer excellence programme.

The challenge
Transport for London (TfL) has gone through one of the most ambitious business transformation projects in Europe, requiring 5,000 staff to learn a new ticketing system while the organisation was undergoing a major period of change. It needed to embed learning to make its new system effective as well as create a “just-in-time” resource for employees to use in customer-facing roles.

What the organisation did

  • Working with key stakeholders, Kallidus developed a suite of e-learning content including “learning by discovery” techniques, videos, real-life sounds and photography, scripted scenarios and gaming technology.
  • Split e-learning development into streams for simultaneous build and review, using storyboards to bring content to life.
  • Developed e-learning so that it would work across multiple devices and be available offline as well (due to low bandwidth availability underground).

Benefits and achievements

  • An immersive e-learning programme and interactive game drove self-development and instilled a lasting coaching culture in the organisation.
  • Delivered the courses on time, on budget and with full committee sign off, even with 60 stakeholders to impress and an ambitious deadline.

Other customer successes

  • Saved an estimated £1 million in training costs for patient-facing staff at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.
    Improved retention rates for key talent at Ultra Electronics to 97%.
  • Doubled the number of users accessing the learning management system at Travis Perkins.

Customer testimonial
“The results have been phenomenal: we have exceeded training targets and our strategy continues to drive key benefits for learners and the business as a whole.” Mel Cooley, learning solutions and services manager, Travis Perkins.

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