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talent management

Taking the lead at the Utilities Forum conference

We’re excited to be sponsoring and presenting tomorrow at the HR Week Utilities Forum in Birmingham. This tailored event is the only one of its kind and brings together a select group of HR/L&D managers from the Utilities sector.

Working alongside our client at National Grid we will explore the challenge of feeding the talent pipeline in a session entitled;

Increasing the flow of emerging talent – attracting, developing and retaining students and interns within the utilities sector.

As well as a client and supplier angle, we’re including a National Grid graduate in the session to provide an all-important first-hand account.



Women engineers: a force to be reckoned with

Interesting fact: women represent 47% of the UK workforce but only 13% of the STEM workforce.

Given such startling statistics, the conference for last week’s National Women in Engineering Day focused on the topical issue of women returning to work after a career break. A long line-up of speakers, including former Minister for Employment Relations Jo Swinson, talked about the steps that have been taken over many years to address the many issues that act as a barrier for women entering and remaining in the engineering field. A common thread was also the challenges still to be overcome.

Recent research by Prospect Union identified the main barriers to women returning to work after a career break included money, time, training and geography. What also came through as a thread for the day was the lack of skilled line-managers who were able and willing to support women on their return.

A striking example of progress in this respect are ‘returnship programmes’. A term first coined by Goldman Sachs in the USA, ‘returnships’ have proven to be a highly successful way of reintroducing women in to the workplace after a career break. These structured programmes involve a trial 3-6 month contract. Clearly defined projects and objectives combined with training and line-manager support have proven highly effective at attracting and retaining top female talent. In fact conversion rates have proven so high the these programmesare now being rolled out in the UK financial sector in companies like RBS, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse - and now also in other sectors including the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

It’s very refreshing to hear the focus and emphasis being placed on attracting and retaining women engineers. What’s also encouraging is that emphasis is being placed on equipping the women with the right tools and skills to pick their career back up, but also recognition that responsibility also lies with equipping line-managers with the right skills to offer the understanding and support to bring out the best in their reports.



Driving cultural, behavioural & organisational change

We’ve just booked to go to the inaugural Driving Change Conference on 29th September in London. There’s a great line up of speakers from John Lewis, PepsiCo, BBC, Barclays, Mattel and Thomson Reuters - to name but a few - covering a range of change management topics including:
- Effective talent management strategies
- Changing hearts, minds and behaviours
- Buiding an agile workforce
- Empowering line managers

Hope to see you there.


Tomorrow's leaders -building capability in today's world

On 14 May at the CIPD L&D show in London, we will be presenting a showcase session in the Learning Arena entitled; Tomorrow’s leaders - using behavioural science to build capability.

We’re going to explore the challenges facing the next generation of leaders and draw on the latest advances in behavioural science to examine what the priorities are - and how best to develop them.

We’ll also critically look at the ways in which an experiential approach to leadership and talent development delivers against the evolving needs of both today’s leaders, and clients. 

Look forward to seeing to seeing you there! You can also come along anytime on13-14 May to see us on stand number 453.

Who is your talent and how transparently are they managed?

At a recent CIPD event about talent management it was really interesting to hear the vastly different viewpoints and approaches from a relatively small cross-section of organisations.

For example, the extent to which organisations differed in terms of how they defined and approached talent management was striking. Some companies defined all their employees as talent, whereas others had a much narrower definition around people who displayed ‘exceptional potential’. This in itself is not necessarily a problem as long as both the definition, and development plans that sit alongside this, are clear and understood.

However CIPD Research Analyst Ruth Stuart(@RStuartCIPD) made an interesting point when she asked the extent to which this knowledge about talent and talent development is clear and understood across the business or whether this knowledge is known ‘by a few’. For example, is your organisation’s approach one of transparency, or secrecy? Is talent management owned by the business or by HR?

Admittedly there are no rights or wrongs, but obvious influences to which end of the spectrum organisations sit are the size, scale, structure and culture of an organisation. Perhaps the most interesting seam in what is an often widely debated topic, was the impact of different approaches on retention of talent.

One fascinating perspective came from Paragon who, as Investors in People‘Champions’, have a refreshingly open and progressive approach. They see talent management as a whole business initiative. For them effective talent management is championed at the top, advocated and supported by line-managers but  understood at all levels of their organisation. Perhaps no surprise that they can quote an impressive 100% completion rate for their CMI accredited team leader programme.