MTD Training wins HR Supplier Partnership Award

MTD Training won last week’s HR Supplier Partnership prize at the Personnel Today Awards after being nominated by Great Western Railway. We look at their winning entry and those of the other finalists. This category is only open to suppliers nominated by other shortlisted companies.

Judges: HR supplier partnership award

Richard Andrews, group director, Personnel Today

Jo Faragher, commissioning editor, Personnel Today


MTD Training (nominated by Great Western Railway)

With a new franchise and a £7.5 billion transformation plan afoot, Great Western Railway needed to ensure its people, in particular leaders, were well prepared to steer this change. GWR asked MTD Training to design a leadership programme that was aligned to this overall business plan.

The programme MTD developed included workshops, assessments, online learning academies, action learning, virtual online training and coaching. The aim was to improve every leadership competency in GWR’s framework and this was achieved. MTD also trained internal trainers to deliver the programme to lower level managers, saving around £250,000 in the process.

GWR’s talent management and learning and development teams said that MTD designed a training programme that had “the best possible chance of transferring learning to the workplace”. There have been tangible results directly linked to the programme: a cost saving of £497,400; revenue increase of £750,200; a 33% increase in team performance; a 30% reduction in accidents and incidents and a 22% increase in near miss reports, linked to better safety behaviours. GWR has also retained its Investors in People Gold status and colleague satisfaction scores have gone up by 17% in terms of feedback received.


BrightLemon & Nudge Digital (nominated by Civil Service Jobshare)

The Civil Service discovered it was not retaining enough senior female talent, and it was clear that many women in high-level jobs were struggling to return to full-time work after a career break. With the public sector facing spending cuts, it was important to fill these experienced positions and maintain productivity.

Working with web strategy companies BrightLemon and Nudge Digital, the service came up with Civil Service Job Share Finder, which provides government departments with a pool of candidates for suitable job share partnerships. The site includes a group messaging function and personal messaging system so staff can communicate about potential roles.

More than 1,800 colleagues have signed up to the service to date, and 18 out of 25 of those who have found job shares are women in the highest grades. There are, on average, 150 new registrations each month, and the benefits of the service have been extended to those looking to ease into retirement, those with caring responsibilities and people with disabilities.

The Civil Service has calculated it has saved £75,000 in recruitment costs in its first year, estimating that two people doing a job can increase work efficiency by 30%. Mobile access to the site has increased by 87% and 80% believe it is easy to use.

My Staff Shop (nominated by Barratt)

Barratt has around 6,000 employees based in 30 separate divisions across 400 construction sites, and while the HR function is centralised, these divisions run fairly autonomously. Before My Staff Shop were approached, employees accessed their benefits programmes through two separate websites – take-up was poor and there was a lack of awareness, with benefits promoted very differently in each division.

My Staff Shop worked with Barratt to create a new, fully mobile-enabled benefit platform, marketing collateral, IT support and communications. Now benefits are hosted on just one branded platform where employees can access all options via a single sign-on. This includes benefits to buy (holiday trading, salary sacrifice), core benefits, and voluntary discounts.

Awareness and take-up of benefits at the company has increased, and total benefit spend by employees has gone up from £502,987 between 2010 and 2014 to almost £2.4 million between 2014 and 2014.

Impact (nominated by BAE Systems)

Impact has developed a form of leadership development that releases leadership capacity in organisations. The company was selected by engineering company BAE Systems to redesign, deliver and project manage a new graduate development scheme to build a future pipeline of talented employees.

The programme, known as Graduate Developing You (GDY), works on the 70:20:10 learning methodology, which focuses on learning through experience. Impact customised its programme for BAE against its global behavioural competencies and business objectives. Impact ensured the two were a good cultural fit, that expectations were clear and documented, and that its consultants worked with key stakeholders to really immerse themselves in BAE’s culture.

There have been multiple benefits of GDY for BAE Systems: there is a pipeline of future talent with leadership skills, employer brand has been enhanced, and there is increased awareness of BAE Systems in primary schools thanks to Impact’s Community Action programme.

New Tricks (nominated by Connect Health)

In 2016, New Tricks met with Connect Health about upskilling its leadership population. The company wanted to reduce its staff turnover, introduce more consistent models of working and provide leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to perform effectively in their roles. At the same time, Connect was growing quickly, winning new contracts across the UK, and updating policies and processes.

New Tricks came up with a two-day people manager induction course and a nine-day leadership development programme that would fall in line with these new policies and processes. These included case study materials and simulated practice scenarios, and sessions were scheduled in three regions as staff are so dispersed geographically.

Forty-eight leaders have attended the people manager induction programme, and 36 have attended the leadership development course. Feedback shows managers have been able to implement their learnings quickly and attrition has reduced by 10%. Leadership credibility has risen by 5%, according to staff surveys. New Tricks is now working on follow-up activities and continues to support leaders with practical one-to-one mentoring and coaching.

Personal Group (nominated by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust)

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust’s aim was to become “renowned as the best integrated organisation in the NHS”, and Personal Group was called in to bring this mission to life through a new benefits offer and employee engagement programme called Hapi.

In April 2016, SWBH introduced a new online platform and app called SWBH Benefits, with a bespoke version of Hapi and salary sacrifice technology supplied by Personal Group. More than 2,000 staff now use the platform and 233 have taken up the salary sacrifice scheme, which enables them to buy home technology products and pay in monthly deductions against their salary. This offers staff access to technology they might previously not have been able to afford, as well as the opportunity to save money on other salary sacrifice products such as Cycle to Work.

Personal Group has also worked with SWBH to introduce a new health and wellbeing package that offers access to fitness classes, immunisation, and information on financial wellbeing. Almost nine in 10 (86%) of staff feel the new benefits package is a positive improvement and the Trust’s chief executive says it has been “superbly executed”, creating “a level of enthusiasm and participation that is taking our organisation to new heights”.

Pacific Institute (nominated by the Royal Berkshire Hospital)

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest in the UK. After the Francis Report in 2013, the Trust prioritised a number of key areas of improvement, including culture and behaviour.

It already had a relationship with the Pacific Institute, but decided to extend this to help it achieve these Francis-inspired goals. Initially, a group of 20 experienced the company’s four-day Investment in Excellence programme, which offered them practical strategies they could apply to their differing roles. The Trust then ran a “train the trainer” process, which led to the creation of a group of 10 who could deliver the excellence programme on a wider basis.

There is already evidence of culture change at the Trust: the Marsh ward, for example, now defines its staff as “Martians” to denote the way they do things differently now, and this wave of positivity is growing throughout the Trust. Sickness absences have reduced by 72% compared with the previous year, and turnover has gone down by 50%. Staff engagement with the appraisal system has gone up from 87% to 100%.

TMP Worldwide UK (nominated by The AA)

The recruitment function at the AA was historically fragmented. There was a “post and pray” approach to advertising roles and application numbers were low. TMP Worldwide worked with the company to come up with a more impactful and consistent employer brand, encapsulated by the words Ready for ANYTHING.

This new brand now underpins all recruitment communications, and TMP Worldwide has transformed the team structure at the AA and helped it to build a more focused and proactive approach to attracting candidates. There is now a strong direct sourcing strategy focused on long-term employee value rather than short-term reactive hiring. Employees feature in recruitment materials and careers site content.

The revised strategy has resulted in 100% direct sourcing of 140 hires for a business change project; £480,000 in savings on recruitment advertising; a 60% increase in career site traffic and an increase in candidate applications from 8,000 in 2016 to an anticipated 36,000 by the end of this year. TMP Worldwide has also supported the AA to deliver a new apprenticeship scheme and launch a candidate management partnership for contact centre and road operations recruitment.

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