The Workplace - Feb 2018

The Workplace - Guy Hayward

I often hear that people are joining a new business because in their old world they found a lack of interest and support in how they could reach their ambitions.

No career road mapping, no direction given in what they needed to do to progress, no real knowledge and assessment of their strengths, and little investment – or even interest – from management to show they cared about their destination and career.

Onboarding is a huge subject, worthy of discussion in its own right, and plays an important role in setting someone up for success. Business-to-business hosting company UKFast takes onboarding to a whole new exciting extreme, with every new starter climbing Mount Snowdon.

But knowing from the day you join a company you will be working in an environment where you can become the best version of yourself and fulfil your ambitions is invaluable in someone connecting with your business.

How often do we sit down and map out someone’s career? From what I hear not nearly enough… so how then can we possibly improve people’s strengths, an approach that is often overlooked in favour of closing people’s skill gaps – an outdated way of developing talent, an enemy of the modern workplace.

I love the approach from Boston Consulting Group, which provides every possible tool for its people to be the best professional they can be. The assessment programme provides detailed understanding of its people’s strengths and why they have them. With this knowledge it then offers every tool imaginable so the company can realise their potential – career planning workshops, mentoring programmes and career ambition discussions – from a junior new starter right through to senior management.

Our people want this: 87% of millennials want constant development and a clear understanding as to where their career can go and how to get there, according to a recent Harvard survey.

We have a way to go, but I like the trend of seeing businesses building Emerging Leaders programmes. Recruiter Spencer Ogden does that very well. Any young manager needs to develop leadership skills early in their careers by understanding different personality types and different types of management style. This helps with knowing the art of managing managers. We have just started using Strengthscope, a tool that assesses personality and core strengths so we can design personalised development plans. I would recommend it. Recognising the need to invest in career planning, Harrods annually dedicates a whole week for a conference on personnel development and understanding the steps needed to progress your career. An impressive commitment.

It’s a strange thing to say but at some point everyone at Goodman Masson is going to leave me. However, I would like to think they will look back and think their time with us has been a chapter of their career where they have evolved professionally.

More and more of our people need to understand where their future is and how to get there. Road mapping people’s careers is the modern approach to L&D (learning & development) – essential management and recruitment skills, yes, but managing our people’s careers is more important than ever.

If we don’t offer this, our people will seek it elsewhere.

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