What It Is
How do you support your people as they progress through different life events? While the concept of a job for life is no longer prevalent, organisations must still prepare to care for and nurture their people at whatever part of their life journey they are on. The usual approach is to create separate initiatives per life event – for example, you may have flexible working options for working parents or carers, graduate schemes, apprenticeship schemes, or returner programmes for those looking to return to work later in life. All of these contribute greatly to people feeling valued, but a better approach would be acknowledge that work and life are not so easily separated and that it is better to manage individuals in such a way that their life stage does not influence the amount of support they feel they have. By giving line managers a range of options to offer to their teams, you are empowering those line managers with the flexibility they need in order to ensure everyone feels recognised and acknowledged. Line managers need to be given the ability and authority to make key decisions on how to work with their team to encourage the work to be done. If everyone is clear on objectives and what needs to be delivered, by when and to what standard, it is possible for line managers to be more flexible with how it is done.
This is also about empowering the individual, to be an active participant in the conversation. Asking your people what solutions they could suggest to making it work both for the organisation and them is empowering, makes them feels respected and they may just come up with a solution that you hadn’t thought of.
Another key aspect we focus on is the use of your experienced team members in the development of the newer ones. It is recognised that bringing a new member into a team – particularly one who needs to be trained in certain aspects – lowers the overall efficiency of the team for a short while, as the existing team members get them up to speed. This can create a sense of resentment in the team, as there is usually no acknowledgement of this, and the team can be penalised for helping each other out. By formalising the mentoring expected of your experienced people, they get recognition for helping support the development of others, and they can get a sense of valuable contribution and of ‘paying it forward’ to the next generation. As the organisation you lose less corporate knowledge and are seen as celebrating their time with the company, instead of them getting lost.
Ways I Can Help
- I can consult on alternative solutions for the life stages of the people in your organisation, both separately and combined, that help demonstrate the commitment to a people-focused strategy no matter their age or personal circumstance. Once agreed, I can define the implications for the rest of your talent management processes and discuss with relevant stakeholders the key features to ensure full acceptance of the change in strategy.
- I can run a pilot (starting from individual hires to teams/hires of up to 20 people) which runs through the new solutions and provides proof of concepts for the solution agreed upon.
- After a successful pilot, I am able to drive the implementation of the new solutions across the organisation, using our established consultancy partners whilst retaining oversight and quality assurance to ensure the implementation matches the agreed model.
- If the changes are to be made using internal teams, full training can be provided, along with coaching for relevant people and any operational teams. Workshops (of up to 20 people at a time) can be designed to take them through the new processes and reconfirm the commitment to a new cultural approach towards talent management for the organisation.