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5th July 2017 @ ITV

Agenda items

* Appraisals

* Apprenticeships

* awaiting notes for remaining topics

Appraisals and reviews:

Discussion topics - A recent trend has emerged around scrapping the annual/6 month review – has anyone experienced this, and how does it work in practice?

UK Media company - removed annual appraisals.

In the past - found review cycle too process/ratings heavy. Not well received, ineffective.

Now - replaced reviews with regular ‘strength based discussions’ that focus on giving and receiving feedback.

Managers work w employees to set goals, which are always linked to overall strategy. Managers are trusted to be accountable for the process. HR ran training to develop managers – attendance not compulsory but strongly recommended. Also run annual employment engagement survey to keep in touch with what drives/motivates employees and how they can improve. So far - very well received, no dip in performance

UK Retailer – pioneering.

Eliminated the review process about 6 months ago – introduced regular conversations and structured succession planning. Maintain a ‘Development Plan’ to keep the focus on learning and development. Generally positively received across the firm, the most nervous about the change were the HR team. Still have an annual pay review (due in March) – slight question around how this will work?

Global drinks producer – continue with annual reviews.

Feel it would be too disruptive to remove the appraisal process. The current review and scoring system is tied in too closely with how pay rises and promotions are decided. Hesitant about whether employees would have frequent open discussions to set goals and give feedback. ‘Reviews are like eating broccoli – no one wants to do it, but they know it’s good for them’.

Common themes:

* Those who have opted out seem to be generally positive about doing so.

* For this to be successful, an open and immediate feedback culture is critical.

* There is a need for trust in employees (both managers and managees) to communicate well, give feedback, meet as often/little as required.

* Managers need to take accountability and adapt to what works best for managees (informal conversations vs structured meetings)

Apprenticeship Levy

Problem statement: UK charity, like other organisations with a wage bill over £3mil, is subject to the new government imposed Apprenticeship Levy tax. They are looking for the most appropriate way to provision precious donor- received funding. Initially it has offered apprenticeships to incumbent staff, who in a resource-stretched environment have not had as much opportunity to professionally develop. New roles will also been screened and scoped as appropriate for apprenticeship roles (phase 2). In phase 3, the Apprenticeship Team would like to introduce a graduate-style management apprenticeship as a way of breaking down siloes and building vital management succession internally which has been a challenge. Its leadership team has reservations about this – mainly that money may be better directed to skills / resources shortages in other more tactical areas and that a generalist management and rotational scheme wouldn’t be able to do the day to day and time critical work. The requested advice from the group about 1 – advice on getting management over the line, 2 – success factors for this for this sort of advice.


Tailor: Can you tailor the management programme to be more relevant to third sector? Can you partner with other organisations to create the necessary scale required by training providers to tailor a management course that is more bespoke to the third sector?

Response: They are like any other large organisation. Creating cohorts with other charities doesn’t help us learn about the commerciality / efficiencies we need to operate / spend our scarce resources well. We can do this

Suggestion: Partner with organisations who have capabilities you know are critical to them now and in the future – e.g. logistics / project management / funding / digital? Rotation to other organisations will create necessary scale and greater exposure / learning for those participating

Get in touch with the higher level management apprentice trailblazer group – be a part of creating the standard / benchmark and make sure its fit for purpose for them. The fire and rescue service are already a part of this.

Business case to leadership: Ensure you show:

  • What % of management hires that have been external recruits

  • Amount of external consultancy spend

  • Where the roles will sit whilst studying

  • What roles they will fulfil after they finish the qualification and rotations

Career Path / Pipeline:

  • Create attractive cross- disciplinary career paths to help people visualise the journey. E.g. How can a vet nurse get to management role?

  • Look after those who have volunteer to do an apprenticeship in phase 1. Look for talent in this group

Support Networks: How can you maintain and sustain interest to mitigate apprentices in phase 1 / 2 dropping out? Ensure you look for talent in the phase 1 – the 150 volunteers - and look after them. Network them to mitigate drop off to mitigate them losing interest mid way. Will be seen as a waste of funds

Selecting apprentices:

  • Look at internal talent first or in the absence of talent data, look at those who are performing well already in phase 1 or 2 (as described above) for candidates who demonstrate the right capability and drive – creating career journeys for staff – fuel your talent pipeline

  • Designing a selection / assessment approach will be key so that you can be transparent about how places for this high value offer are won and also to ensure you have the right candidates who are in it for the long term

  • Ensure you offer and select individuals who really need to / really want to learn and progress – and who have the support to do it. Shouldn’t be given the opportunity otherwise risk wasting donor funds.

  • Develop incumbent staff where possible as bandwidth for new roles is low

  • Align offers to skills gaps and the skills that are critical for the future. Suggestion – run a Future Search workshop with a multi-disciplinary / mixed group to understand what this might look like and playback this as a more unbiased diagnostic (mitigates against the loudest voice in the room).

  • Engagement / Campaign: Education for leadership and the organisation about what the levy is, and this new type of management apprenticeship is vital. Bust the apprenticeship myth – it’s about a mindset / culture shift. Its no longer just vocational / for school leavers

  • Readiness is everything:

  • Culturally this is a mindset shift and a much more hands on way of developing people. The Levy is just a trigger – and a helpful one – to solve for a bigger issue around talent / learning and development culture.

  • Mentoring and coaching capability is critical

  • Other tips:

  • Consider not referring to it as a Graduate programmes – may carry pre-conceptions or negative connotations as an ‘exclusive’ group. Graduate creates potential divide from other non-grad apprentices.

  • Don’t refer to a need for culture change. This feels critical and / or too big a problem to tackle. Rather just position it as a problem / opportunity that needs solving

  • Pharma talent programme – bring a multi-disciplinary team together to work on strategic projects that they wouldn’t normally based no their day jobs. Each get a performance coach to support them.