Richter: Hello, everyone. And thank you for joining us for today’s webinar about “The seven drivers of career well-being and creating a culture of self-development.” My name is David Richter, I’m the head of marketing at CIPHR and we’re joined today by David Heard, Director of Abintegro. For those of you who don’t know CIPHR, we develop SAS, HR and recruitment systems that help organisations to attract, engage, retain and manage their workforce across the whole employee lifecycle. Earlier this year, we launched new integrations with a number of trusted specialist supplies, including Abintegro, who, by integrating their solutions into CIPHR’s HR system, makes CIPHR even more powerful. Some of our customers already use Abintegro to empower their employees to take charge of their careers. By integrating Abintegro with CIPHR’s HR system, Abintegro is automatically updated when employees join or leave your organisation, thereby reducing the amount of administration that HR departments have to deal with while improving the accuracy of the data. It also means that employees have one less password to remember as they’re able to access their career development portal from CIPHR’s central HR system that they use to update their own details like holidays, etc. And so that’s it for me. David, over to you.
David: Yeah. Thanks very much and good morning to everyone on this…what looks like to be quite a very nice bright Wednesday morning. So thank you very much for joining. So just to recap a little bit on what David said. So I’m David Heard, Director and Co-founder at the career development platform Abintegro. And so we’ve been a partner of CIPHR for this time now, which is working very, very well and we’ll talk a little bit about that later on. But for now, I’m delighted to be invited to talk, I am quite straight talking and I hope that’s okay. And I really don’t want to support [inaudible 00:01:44] too much so I’ll keep this session as focused as I can. I know there’s an hour that’s been allotted for this session, but I’m hoping to achieve what I would like to achieve and cover some interesting points for you to have some sort of takeaway actions within 20 minutes or so with some time afterwards for some questions.
And this is actually one of a number of different webinars that we run for our clients and organisations, it’s one of what we call our lightning series of webinars where we cover topics in as brief a time slots as possible. So I’ll try to be punchy, that’s my commitment. So what’s this all about? It’s certainly not a sales pitch. This is about my thoughts from my experience, our research and what we found from working with learning development partners and solutions for over 20 years now. This is something I’m extremely passionate about and something that we increasingly been seen as the missing link to our learning development strategy, proper attention being paid to career well-being or career development or career health, whatever your preference is for that, it’s an interchangeable term.
So what we call as the missing link for creating a culture self-development, career well-being, career development, career health, and that notion. So simply put, poor career well-being and we know this from all of the research we’ve been conducting, directly impacts performance and productivity. And this is a key reason, as I’m sure you all know, for employees ultimately move into an external role at a huge cost to employers. It’s also a key reason for under productivity, lack of motivation, and all of the other factors that you want to avoid inside your organisation. So this is why it’s worth talking about. And what we’re trying to do is take the notion of career development, career health, career well-being, that interchangeable term and show how we can talk about it in a sense of delivering a higher return on investment to the business, to your businesses, your organisations, through better performance, improved engagement, impacts and things like attrition and creating that culture of self development ownership. So people aren’t permanently asking, “Hey, I need help in this area. I haven’t been supported in this area. What can you do for me?” We want to shift that and create the culture of self-development.
So we all know, for example, that, you know, if you’ve run an employee EOS, employee opinion survey before, there have been quite often a poor score on career development or career development comes out. It’s usually near the top of the list in terms of negative responses from employees. But what do they actually mean when they say, when employees say they need to improve career support? You know, it’s really difficult to kind of get under the skin of that and device an effective support package if you don’t know the specifics.
So that’s what this is all about, is about trying to get beneath the skin of the sort of generic term of career development, career health, career well-being, something that’s been spoken about a huge amount these days. And if we can get under the skin, then we can strive to start, to suggest a structure for helping you to address career well-being, career development and weave that into your learning plans and strategy and look at a way of creating that culture of ownership. So that said, the objectives this session quite clearly and I’ll refer back to these objectives as we go, is we want to talk about why career well-being is that missing link and what we mean by it in itself, what is career well-being or career management?
We want to look at a structure for supporting career well being and I’ll reveal what we know is the seven drivers and I’ll talk about the research around that as well. And then we’ll focus on how you can create the culture of ownership among your employees. And we’ll talk a little bit about the sort of tracking and monitoring of that as well and the benefits to you as an organisation and how to use it and when to use it and when not to use that. Just by way of introduction to me for a second and just to give you a sense of why I have a viewpoint on this and hopefully, this will sort of help give you the context.
So as a founder of Abintegro, I’ve been doing this for 20 years or so, now. I’ve been involved personally into learning development solutions for 20 or so years. Abintegro is a career development platform and is a portal where we digitize the professional career coaching process that focuses on tackling career obstacles, management skills, leadership, coping with change, other critical soft and business skills as well. And we’re a London-based, small, fast-moving company. So that’s just the context, and we have two different platforms. There’s a reason why I’m explaining this. One is our career development platform for staff, helping them tackle the obstacles and develop in role. And we also have a career transition platform with separate features and tools of people who leave an organisation.
But the point is that through our time, we’ve supported over 404 [SP]… in 2017, we’ve supported 450,000 people on the platform who completed 5 million career development activities inside our online environment. And so what this session is based on, coupled with our research from the likes of CIPD reports, they released a really interesting report if you get a chance to look at it on career well-being, reports from the Chartered Management Institute. Working with people in what touches Gallup and Healthways, their well-being index, and other authoritative voices. Coupled with our data, we’ve been able to crunch and cast and dice data to get a sense of what employees really want when it comes to their career development and get under the skin of what we term as the seven drivers for career development. Okay, that’s enough for context. Forgive me that the short focus on Abintegro for a moment, that was not the intention of this session but I thought it was important to mention so you have the context and understanding of, sort of, where I’m coming from when I talk about the points that we’re gonna go and uncover. Okay. So let’s get on with it.
And what I want to do, to begin with, is just take a step back and think about a broad, what is a typical broad learning and development offer. So when it comes to learning and development and the support you provide to your employees as a whole. Perhaps you look like this in terms of the offer line district you have in place. So perhaps you’re doing all of these facets that are on your screen, or perhaps you’re just doing some of the elements, that’s probably more likely. Usually, what we find is most organisations cover, you know, two or three of these, perhaps quite well, but they’re disparate, they’re not connected.
And so that’s why we have this notion of the missing link and why we think career well-being or career development, career health, it cuts across all of this on-screen kind of components to learning development and knit it together from an employee perspective. It gives you that connection. And now if everyone had the luxury of having a personal career coach, or personal coach rather, which I’m a massive advocate of, then that’s great. But clearly, that’s not possible. You know, the coach will help to knit that together and talk about all people through the program. But it’s not possible, it’s not scalable clearly. So we have this notion of how do we knit it together without that capability of having that coach.
So what we do know is that employees are struggling to understand this notion of career well-being and therefore struggling to address it. And just think about it for a minute, if we take one of the points that are on screen, such as an annual employee opinion survey or a regular survey, sporadic survey, whenever it might be. You might find out something about employee wants and needs, but then you’ve got a lag time to react to it, and it’s usually fairly slow. And that just kind of adds to the employee spiral of decline if you like, and it can be too little too late. Elsewhere, perhaps you run assessments for a talent scheme, perhaps, but it’s not for all. And perhaps you have coaching for managers but from a new startup perspective, perhaps the coaching that’s available to them is entirely dependent on the managers that they have and they’re waiting to be coached and developed and supported. So that ownership approach is not encouraged outside of kind of mandated activities if you like. And as we know, some managers you know, are excellent at coaching and developing their teams and others are not so.
And for skill development, you know, providing courses and resources to help address specific kind of skill interventions that you may need. That’s great, but is that really what each employee needs? And is that gonna help them address any productivity, motivation or kind of positioning issues that they may have? So what we know from our experience is that inside our platform, we’ve got thousands of courses and resources, for example, and through tracking a popularity of everything that’s consumed and what employees choose to use within the platform, when they’re seeking out courses and resources and tools, etc. in terms of popularity across those 5 million activities I was talking about earlier on, it is nearly always management skills, communication skills, and career mobility/promotion oriented related resources that get to the top of the pile in terms of popularity. That’s what employees gravitate to when they’re given the choice. That’s when they’re not being mandated or asked to do anything, that’s when they’re given the choice. And that’s irrespective of role, whether they’re a manager or not, for example.
So perhaps everyone sees themselves as a manager and needs kind of the fundamental basics of management for their role and, you know, whether it’s dealing with external stakeholders, clients or running projects, everyone needs a certain degree of management skills. And that makes sense. And it’s fine as a one-off intervention but if you want a holistic approach, then it needs to be joined up. And so if we just take that case, for example, of you know, kind of average Joe, if you like in one of your teams gravitating towards management skill development. Then what if their strengths and values and styles of that individual means a role with kind of management skills or communication skills, for example? You know, where communication skill is central to the role, which is the second most popular topic that we know that employees gravitate towards.
And that’s what they’re choosing to develop, but actually, that doesn’t reflect what their best, the best use of their skills and strengths and their actual desired career path is, then that’s not the correct development for that individual. So this is why the career well-being, career development, career management kind of theme needs to be consistent throughout the learning development journey to make sure that development is happening in the right areas, the response is happening fast enough, is adapted to each individual’s motivations, values, strengths, beliefs, and aspirations in order to make people productive in a way that your top performers would be. Certain individuals have this at the core of them and actually, you know, it’s almost instinctive, it’s got an unconscious competence, and that’s a characteristic of top performers, but most don’t so they need help to be able to do that. And if everyone had a coach, it’d be great but clearly, that’s not possible.
So what I want to do now is having introduced the concept of kind of career well-being, career management and how it needs to sort of run through your development is just look at how we can start to put a structure in place to actually do something about it. So just dwelling for a second on what career well-being is. So career well-being is recognized as central to your overall well-being, you read a lot in the media about this these days. So based on the Gallup and Healthways index and for those of you that don’t know, Gallup is a US, but internationally leading, performance management consultancy and they’re renowned for their mass opinion polls, crunching the data from their polls and developing you know, world renowned tools such as their Strengths Finder.
But coming back to the point, when it comes to general well-being, people overlook it and that’s what Gallup and others say, yet they also state that it’s absolutely central to your well-being. So we take the question that Gallup and Healthways kind of say is central to your career well-being, do I like what I do? And this is the key question that they’re posing as the cornerstone for understanding your individual, your personal career well-being. At a surface level, it makes sense and in that it’s an important thing to understand.
Certainly, poor career well-being directly impacts performance and productivity and is a key reason for employees moving into an external role at a huge cost. So we know people are acting. So a recent CIPD and Simplyhealth study into well-being showed that two-fifths of employees now have a standalone employee well-being program. And lots of people are jumping on the bandwagon to talk about specific components of well-being such as mental health of course, which is, you know, a very, very important aspect. But our viewpoint is you need to take a holistic view to career health, well-being development, whatever you want to call it. And as a result by tying everything together, you can start to develop a higher return on investment through the things that we’re talking about better performance, improved engagement and preventing people from leaving your organisations. So this question of do I like what I do? Is a great question but it’s very broad. You know, if you’re stuck to your employees in an employee opinion survey, what can you actually do with the answer? So this is what the seven drivers are all about, which is what I want to talk about now.
So what are the drivers? So as a reminder, this is based on the secondary research of likes of Gallup and Healthways, CIPD, other authoritative voices and at the core of that, the 5 million activities completed on our platform and the surveys that we’ve run as a result of those and through working with our network of 30 professional qualified coaches. And remember, the purpose of understanding the drivers, the purpose of putting this on screen, I’m about to put on screen, is to help you formulate a plan to tackle career development or career well-being within your organisation. And its structure that we’ve seen, implemented in many, many cases and leads to, you know, some exceptional results. So the drivers are work and life, personal resilience, self-awareness, career advancement, career conversations, relationships and day to day performance. I’m not going to read through all of the points on screen because I’m sure you can read while I’m talking. But if we just take personal resilience, for example. So this is about knowing how to adapt positively to pressure, setbacks, challenges, and change. So if an individual has the awareness and ability to diagnose whether they have any issues or where they sit in relation to their personal resilience, that can help them move on and adopt the learning and development resources, tools, etc, that are right for their scenario to help them overcome their career obstacles, whatever they may be.
And this will then go on to impact their productivity, their output, their motivations, their happiness in your workplace, and that’s where you get the return on investment. And our whole point is with a huge number of learning development initiatives, that at first diagnostic piece where you’re allowing people to…Or where you’re trying to get people to understand their level of resilience in this case, and giving them tools and resources and coaching tools to be able to understand that, that’s the missing piece in most learning development strategies. Usually, it goes straight to the development piece, which is, “Okay. You’re in this team, we think you need some communication skill help, let’s put you through this program of communication skills.” But we’re missing that self-diagnostic piece to understand actually where the strengths, values, motivations, etc, of that individual lie because it might be a different program of activity required for that person, that is impacting their performance. It might not be their lack of communication skills in the example I’m describing.
So these seven drivers have been based on the activities inside our platform and knowing also what users gravitate toward. So each of the seven drivers is based around kind of the buckets of activities, if you like, that people choose to gravitate towards when they’re in certain situations and ranking their kind of popularity across different kind of content resources. And that’s backed up by the studies and research that are referenced earlier on. And what we’re trying to do is have a holistic view to career development or career health if you like, or career well being. Now, you may have your own spin or your own adaptation and that’s absolutely fine. We’re trying to provide a holistic view and everyone has their own variation if you like, but I think what’s running core through this will hopefully resonate with you.
So the challenge of course, is once you’ve identified these seven drivers and you’ve thought about how to apply those to your organisation, it’s how to create that culture of ownership and knit together your learning or your development offer that you’re providing to your employees to achieve the outcomes that you want to achieve, which I’m sure are all similar. You know, more productive people, better skilled, happier, supported, etc. And people undoubtedly, you know, kind of want to get there. But we just think it’s very, very important to have that diagnostic piece, first of all. So that’s what the seven drivers are all about. And then it gives us a starting point.
So let’s think about this in the context of performance for a minute, just coming off of the drivers for a minute then we’ll focus in on one of the drivers in particular. So based on a study, it was a while back now but I often refer to it. I think the study was actually in 2012, there was a McKinsey study on the ‘Predictors Of Success’ I beg your pardon, I think it was further back than that and there was a famous McKinsey study into the ‘Predictors Of Success’ in role and it talked about the equal weighting of experience skills, experience or skills when compared against behaviors, motivations, values, or intellect, that all is important. So behaviors or motivations is as important as your experience or skills.
So the question is, and the question to you all is how much of your learning development offer, and that’s all of the components I put on screen at the beginning, is focused on skills? I think it’s an important question for everyone and I’m not talking about the fortunate few or a senior or an important enough to qualify for sort of coaching and they have a personal coach, that’s great. I’m talking about the majority. So new starters to your organisation, graduate entries, new managers, people considering moving into management, people who haven’t moved for 10 years and are suffering from under productivity perhaps or lack of motivation. So how are you addressing their behavior and their values and their motivations etc, in order to get them to buy in to any learning development offer that you might have and also to engineer that offer around their situation? It’s a very, very important point.
So if we just take one of the points, self-awareness. Or to start with when it comes to supporting people. You can’t address points properly until people or individual can’t address their own development needs until they know exactly where they are. And any good performance coach, if you were to have a coach would start with a “Where am I?” session in terms of your personal diagnostics to sort of raise your personal self-awareness. So this is where we believe that learning development offer into employees should begin, raising self-awareness. That’s the start, that’s before you get on with kind of your activities to move forward if you like. And this isn’t exactly a new idea, it’s been researched and documented for well, by Gallup and Healthways for a decade in their case, but has been running through history as ‘Know Thyself’ as a classic theme through history and is a preeminent precept in life. So it’s not new, but it is a crucial development breakthrough for accelerating personal leadership growth and authenticity. That’s what you need, or is a characteristic rather, of leaders and high performers inside organisations. Self-awareness is a characteristic of high performers in all sorts of organisations across the world and it’s one of the key drivers to success for individuals. So the point is, what are we doing to unlock that?
And there was a fantastic article for those of you that are interested published by Forbes about a year ago. We focused on self-awareness as the most crucial development breakthrough for accelerating personal growth. And very simply, I mean, just…somehow we probably all know this and as learning development professionals, you’re probably aware of all of the points that are on screen. But the key point is those who are self-aware are able to know their own strengths and able to assert, live in the appropriate circumstances. Know your own vulnerabilities and weaknesses, things like your distressing emotions, etc. So you can keep them in check and prevent asserting them, I don’t know, inappropriately for example, in a team scenario.
And additionally, when you’re not self-aware people have a better set…people around you will have a better sense of your strengths and weaknesses and that can impact your credibility. Now, but when you are self-aware you’re more in touch with reality and people will start to trust and respect you more. And you’re also aware of the dynamics in teams, for example, maybe you’re not the extrovert in a team and that’s absolutely okay and you don’t need to learn to be the extrovert in the team. If your self-awareness to know…if you’re self-aware enough to know your role, then that’s really, really important and your teamwork development training should be focused on how you maximize your contributions to the team based on your starting position and the acknowledgment that others have different starting positions. And so that’s what the sort of tying it together theme is all about.
So the question is…Posing a few questions is how much effort are you putting into ensuring your employees are self-aware? As a characteristic of top performers, we all know that. So, kind of, why wouldn’t you do it? Now, it’s not always easy to do these things but I think it’s an important question to pose when thinking about the learning development you can provide to your employees rather than just immediately gravitating towards, “Okay, my managers need to go on some basic management skills training courses.” What we’re suggesting is, you need to start with a step back before that. Okay. So that was just one of the drivers of career well-being or career health if you like, self-awareness, ‘Knowing Oneself’ and some of the kind of thinking around that and why it’s important. And I can’t under-emphasize the link between self-awareness and performance but that’s only one of the drivers, of course. So I asked a question, how much of your support is focused on that self-awareness piece? If we broaden that question out and say how much of your support is focused around the other drivers as well? It becomes an even tougher question. And I would imagine the answer is, you know, some of you are doing some things reasonably well whereas some of the other areas are not touched at all. And I understand there are many reasons why you might not be able to do that but we’re just trying to suggest a holistic structure.
Okay. So our approach at Abintegro, and again, this isn’t a sales pitch, you can take our approach and try and implement it without using our tools and resources. It’s the concepts that I think is important for this webinar. Is that once you recognize the drivers or your values or your strengths and your motivations, etc. you need to do something about that, you know, just recognizing them again. That’s great. It’s kind of, you know, it’s a starting point but it’s kind of what happens next is the important point. And the same thing for us all as employers, once employees tell us something, the important point is we need to react.
So one of the bugbears with employee opinion surveys, for example, is that people might tell you something, but then there’s the time lag to actually doing something about it. And it can actually be quite negative if there’s a big time lag or even worse if nothing happens as a result, especially when it comes to the point about career development and people saying that they feel like they have a lack of career development inside an organisation and that’s, you know, one of the reasons that they’re at risk of leaving perhaps, so it can be a negative thing.
So what we do at Abintegro and like I said, it’s the concepts that I want to explain and we say I’m using our capabilities as an example of that concept. Is we ask people when they log into the platform and this is an optional thing but we asked them to instantly respond to a simple set of 16 questions based around their career drivers, looking at each of the career drivers. This is a very, very simple diagnostic that takes maximum, you know, we’ve timed this with hundreds and hundreds of test users. It takes a maximum of four minutes to complete and it can be done on your mobile device or desktop or tablet and mobile response in this piece is essential. And what it does, having been asked those 16 questions based around the drivers is it gives them a personal score and prioritizes the activities tools, learning support resources to help them progress.
So what that’s doing is that’s giving you that instant reaction to an individual who feels like they have a lack of career advancement options, for example. It’s giving you that instant action where someone who feels like they don’t have any support for career advancement or coping with stress or improving their self-awareness or work-life balance or whatever it may be. So they’ve expressed that opinion and then this is giving you the ability to immediately put a plan of action in front of them using interactive tools, assessments resources, e-learning courses, etc, tailored around their need.
So that’s really important. And that’s one of the cornerstones to creating the culture of career ownership if you like. So I can’t underemphasize that point enough if someone answers a survey type question, the ability to be able to instantly provide that set of resources and tools to help that individual. And then, of course, the individual can track their progress before and after. So they’ve answered a set of questions in that 16 question diagnostic when they’re first posed with those questions about the career drivers. They’re then provided with a prioritized structured program of actions if you like. And then over time, they’re asked the same set of questions again, and they can start to track and monitor and review how they’ve progressed on each of their career drivers. So they’re taking control of their development. It’s in their interest to do that. And it’s about individuals taking responsibility, not waiting for you to do something or mandate a course for them and then chase them up to achieve it. It’s about being motivated and having that you know, inner motivation to go and do something because you understand your starting position and you understand your obstacles and you understand where you want to go, therefore, the development activities that you prescribed for yourself, there’s a real reason for doing it because, you know, you’ve discovered that yourself. I mean that’s what this thread is all about if you like.
So employees can see their development over time and how they progress on their different drivers. And the drivers, like I said, your drivers that, yeah, you may look at our drivers that we’ve produced based from our viewpoint, and you might have a slight variation and that’s fine. You know, you can input your own drivers and I just want to you know, the purpose of this webinar is talking to you about the concept if you like. And so, you know, maybe day to day performance isn’t the right driver for you, maybe it’s actually you know, confidence or skills that should be there instead, in which case you know, a driver can be swapped in and out. But the point is, you could use this model irrespective of whether you are using Abintegro or not, the point is, I just wanted to bring attention to the idea of people taking that ownership of their own career development, through giving them the ability to understand their career drivers across the seven drivers of career health that we’ve identified, and using that to create a programme of activity across various intervention types, whether they’re online or actually offline as well.
I’m conscious of time so I’m starting to move towards a close but before I do that, I want to touch on monitoring and reporting and kind of how that can work for you and just a word of advice, really. And so our viewpoint, and this is from working with all of our clients, is that once the analytics that you can get from asking these sorts of questions and then monitoring people’s results and responses is really fascinating and sometimes quite revealing, the positioning usually for most of the clients who we work with is that this isn’t a tool for monitoring individual performance, if you understand what I mean. So for example, if you’re an employee and you come in and you answer your 16 question diagnostic and then you’re presented with a program of activity that starts with self-awareness. And you’re asked to take a motivation assessment, a strengths assessment, and emotional intelligence assessment, etc. If that’s all being monitored, will you answer it honestly? If you’re in the shoes of the employee being asked to do so or not being asked to do so, you’re choosing to do that. Well, the answer is no, you wouldn’t if you knew your manager or someone else was going to look at that, you wouldn’t answer it honestly. And the whole purpose of this webinar is about trying to create a culture of ownership. And to create a culture of ownership, people have to be honest with themselves to understand their position and whatever their position is, is okay. The point is, we want to give them the ability to make things better, move forward, cope with stresses and issues and start to address some of the skill gaps that they’ve identified and but I have to have that honest position.
So some of your monitoring is that while some of the data is massively…While it’s fascinating, taking trend data and using trend data to understand where you sit as an organisation across the drivers and how your employees feel about each of those drivers over time is you know, is an obvious and really helpful thing to understand. We don’t think in general the best application is to actually look at individual users and track and monitor their results on assessments and the soft skill and e-learning courses and coaching resources that look we provide inside our platform. Now, I’m not saying look, we’ve mandated activities you shouldn’t be tracking and monitoring and checking. Of course, you should. If it’s something that you need someone to absolutely take, that’s absolutely fine enough, separate to what I’m talking about. But I’m talking about trying to create that culture of ownership and how you do that. And to do that, it’s gotta come from the individual. So they’ve gotta identify their problems and their development areas, their strengths, weaknesses, and values, etc. So hopefully that makes sense.
Okay. So coming back to the original objectives. Hopefully, you agree that we’ve covered off why career well-being or career management, career development, career health, whatever term you choose to use is the missing link. And there’s a kind of business case that you can get to that links directly to performance and trying to copy what your top performers have as personal characteristics by being able to allow employees to self-diagnose, explore possibilities at the start of their learning and development journey. So there’s this concept of wiring that throughout your learning development plan or offer for your employees. And we feel that’s a real missing link. Now, usually, out of you…employees are encouraged to jump straight into, “Take this course.” You know, so this first step is a missing link if you like.
Secondly, we’ve revealed the seven drivers of career well-being or career health, career development, whatever you choose to call them. And so we provided a structure for supporting and we talked about the importance of breaking it down. If you stay on top level, that notion of Gallup and Healthways, “Do you like what you do?” question is really interesting and really important but you’ve got to break it down. That’s what the drivers are about. It’s an attempt to break it down and get down to a level that actually we can do something about. It’s quite hard to answer that question, do I like what I do? It’s much easier to get specific into what we’ve determined as the drivers and ask questions about each of those drivers. And then you can understand truly whether you like what you do and what the issues are and you can start to impact that.
And that’s all been based on research with our 500,000 or so users and 5 million activities across our platform and the work we do with coaches and the secondary research that we conduct. So that’s what that’s all based on. And then finally, we’ve touched on how this all leads to creating that culture of ownership and getting individual employees to buy into their development journey and the notion of self-scoring and organizing that development plan for themselves rather than employees coming kind of cap in hand to you saying, “Well, I need some support for this thing or that thing. I haven’t had the support, okay? With my appraisal last year, I said I had an objective to help with my communication skills and nothing’s been put in front of me. You know, why didn’t you do something about it?” and putting the onus on the employer.
We’re trying to tackle that problem and give people the motivation to own their career development. And we sort of talked about that and the impact of using reporting statistics to make that happen as well in a fair and correct way, both for the employee, seeing their kind of development progress and for you as an employer, choosing what to look at effectively. So there’s a huge amount more to say, but I’m aware of time. I did say I would try to finish up in 20 minutes or so, I think I’ve gone beyond that. So okay. It may not have quite been the lightning presentation that I said at the start but…
Richter: Twenty minutes is ambitious.
David: Yeah. It was a bit ambitious so hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought and I’ll be delighted if there are any questions at all.
Richter: We have had a few questions come through already. So, David, the first question then is about measuring the impact and in particular the return on investment.
David: Okay. Good question. Straight to the guts of it and kind of putting me on the spot, if you like. And it’s actually quite a difficult question in terms of the actual measuring it. Because I think we’d all appreciate and instinctively know that if employees understand their strengths, weaknesses, motivations, values, working style, position in a team, etc. then they can start to understand their impact on others, how they’re perceived by others, what type of tasks they should focus on where they’re most likely to succeed, and all that type of stuff that ultimately delivers better productivity and better performance. So I think instinctively kind of we all understand that and that’s what the kind of return on investment is linked to without giving you a half metric.
The whole metric of does what we’re suggesting impact attrition or promotion rates, or how people vote in an employee opinion survey and those types of things, is we can’t get, we can’t provide an exact model or proxy for it but what we can talk about is examples of people who have had an impact by introducing the model. So for just a couple of examples, so one employer who we work closely with actually had a core HR objective of improving their glass door rating. So I think their rating was at…It was 2.1 I believe. It was very, very low. And so that for a year, their strategy was geared around how do we impact that? Because it was really an essential point for the large amount of recruitment that they do every year.
And so they introduced a range of initiatives and at the core to that was put in ownership of career development into individuals’ hands. And this is why I can’t give a very, very precise twice answer because once their glass door score went up significantly, obviously, there’s a range of other factors that impact that of which the model that we’re suggesting was an important part but there are other factors as well. And so I think that’s how you look at sort of return on investment.
There are other organisations that have had specific objectives around increasing the number of applicants for internal vacancies, for example, and making sure when people actually go for an internal vacancy, they’ve thought hard. They’ve understood whether the vacancy is the right career route for them and when they actually go for it, their best prepare, they’ve research properly, they’re prepared for the interview, I understand how to manage potential conflict with colleagues, etc and navigate the whole process because as you know, it’s a minefield of a process. And so we’ve had, people have had measures around that and we’ve seen some really good results. And you can’t really do that if you’ve got out of the right resources in place.
Richter: Great. Thank you.
David: [inaudible 00:43:17].
Richter: Yeah. [inaudible 00:43:20]. Thank you very much. We’ve had a couple of questions about the style or types of media that’s used in developing an employee’s skills or attributes. Someone said they’ve recently changed to using short videos, but they’ve got no idea if this works or not.
David: Yeah. And I guess a lot it comes down to actually what you can track and a video, you know, a lot of tracking in videos, you see people have played it, but how far through it did they get? And the intent…
Richter: It wasn’t on the tablet but in their browser.
David: Right. Exactly, right. Exactly, right. My press played and had it on mute so it’s kind of difficult to tell. But look, it’s a short answer really. Short is definitely good kind of you see it bounded around everywhere, snackable content, learning bites, short kind of specific intervention type resources, definitely, trumps longer, more traditional courses. I’m not talking about mandated courses like perhaps health and safety or a GDPR course that you might have to take that has to be really comprehensive. I’m talking about more, you know, the seven drivers, the areas that we’ve been focusing on. So short definitely wins. And the other observation is some degree of interaction definitely wins as well. No matter what that interaction is, it might be click a couple of buttons to reaffirm your learning, but you can’t underestimate the importance of it. Or having some kind of reflection instantly after where people are kind of almost forced, if you like, to reflect no matter how short the piece of learning. It makes a huge difference.
Richter: Thank you. I had a question come through about what would you recommend if somebody’s strengths, weaknesses are perhaps misaligned with their career aspirations?
David: Well, I think that’s a great question. And I think the reality is that if you’re giving people the tools and resources to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and values, and then you’re giving them the understanding of what different roles entail, then the gap should be evident as to how they’re aligned with that opportunity. So the key is in the positioning of that advice and that discussion. You know, whether that’s a career conversation with your manager and being able to have that career conversation about, “Okay. Well, I hear that my strengths are in area X. I want to become a manager where I know the skills and behaviors required are area Y and they’re very different to where I am at the moment.” Then if you know how to structure an approach and prepare for a sensible career conversation with your manager, then you can start to tackle that issue and you can start to understand if that’s not the right route for you in a positive way, what are the alternatives. And you’ve then got a choice obviously, as an individual, whether to try and address that skill gap or get excited about the alternatives where you actually realize where you can utilize and harness those strengths.
So what we’re suggesting is if you give people the right learning resources and tools to whatever strengths that they have, are recognized so they can be used in a variety of different roles or pause going forward, then, yeah, you’re putting it into the individual hands and giving them the preparation resources to be able to tackle it in a constructive way. And it’s a great question because there’s so many people and we see it all the time, actually, particularly in organisations that recruit a lot of graduates. So some of the larger companies, for example, every graduate wants to be a manager as fast as possible. And obviously, I’m generalizing and it’s just not the right route for so many people as we know.
So rather than putting people into management roles and train them up on the management skills, the key here is to get people aware of strengths as their strengths, weaknesses and aspirations first, and then at the same time if you like, make them aware of whether actually management is the right route for them by providing them learning and development tools and resources to understand what management is all about and they can then make that diagnosis themselves.
Richter: And just to expand on that a bit, I suppose it doesn’t always have to be an all-or-nothing switch, does it? So you might have somebody who at the moment lacks some of the skills to move into a management role entirely but it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t just as a bit of a taster be put in charge of leading some steering committee, for example, or some smaller project where actually it helps them to realize through their own self-awareness what their strengths and weaknesses are and how that has affected the project?
David: That’s right. Yeah, it makes absolute sense.
Richter: Thank you. And final question that’s come through is about your service and anonymity.
David: Okay. Yeah, anonymity. Yes. So I guess the question is, is the service anonymous? Would that be right though?
Richter: That’s right. Yeah.
David: Okay. So the short answer is it depends on what you want to do with it. What I was describing in terms of our recommendation is that if you only track usage data at kind of group level, if you like, to understand what your employees in general, are using, how often they’re engaging and what resources they utilize the most, etc then it allows your employees to be completely honest and free to focus on whatever they choose to or need to focus on. Because answering you know, the assessments and then choosing to, I don’t know, take a number of courses on coping with stress, if you know your manager is looking at that or someone else is looking at it, you know it would raise flags. So that’s why the anonymity really helps. So that’s what we often encourage. So that’s down to how you set our service up. And some organisations make it completely private as a private kind of almost employee benefits if you like, “Here’s your Career Development Portal. It’s just for you. It’s not…And I’ll be very explicit about the non-kind of personal tracking point.” Others take a different view and they really do want to see what’s going on at an individual level. So it’s down to what you think is right.
Richter: Good stuff. Thank you very much. Okay. So that’s all the questions for now. Thank you to everyone for attending and a big thank you to David for his excellent presentation. Thank you, everyone.
David: Thank you.
David Heard from Abintegro, one of CIPHR’s integration partners, will guide you through the seven drivers of career health, how to encourage employees to take ownership of their careers, and how to measure success of your HR project.