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Employee Development
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Employee Development
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Example Cases

  Example cases

Frimley Park Hospital NHS Trust, UK


Learning centre with easy access

After carrying out an extensive training needs analysis it was decided to set up a learning centre at Frimley Park which aimed at providing:

  • Low cost access for all staff to on-line training and a library containing learning resources
  • Easy access for staff at times which suited them
  • An opportunity to supplement classroom-based training
  • The opportunity to address basic skills needs
  • Increased management development and personal skills through self-study.

The centre had 5 PCs plus TV, video and DVD equipment. Learners reportedly appreciated the flexible access and comfortable non-threatening learning environment. Frimley Park promoted the learning centre through poster campaigns, e-mail messages, presentations to staff and managers, leaflets and an Internet site. Also regular competitions were held which offered prizes which helped to raise the profile of the centre. [19] 

Tetra Pak, UK


Employee development programme helps apprentices

Tetra Pak used specifically tailored training courses, including a progressive outdoor development programme, for its new employees. Apprenticed employees during their first year worked on gaining engineering qualifications despite the fact that not all of them would end up with an engineering role, and this helped them to develop a well rounded understanding of Tetra Pak operations and to become more effective employees. At the end of their first year the apprentices took part in a 7 day personal development programme which was designed to stretch them, and to instil confidence, self-belief, and self-discipline before they started work at Tetra Pak At the end of year two the apprentices were sent on another seven-day course which emphasised working as a team. This programme brought noticeable changes to the apprentices and enabled them to fit in at the factory more easily. [20]  

Mattel Inc, International


Employee development improves market performance

Radical performance improvements were needed at Mattel hence a workforce development strategy was introduced throughout the organisation. Performance tracking, succession planning and leadership development processes were implemented. A corporate strategy and vision was developed along with a unifying internal brand. Learning maps depicting critical functions within the organisation were developed to help employees visualise their roles within the organisation. To foster teamwork special training courses were provided and a single performance management system was implemented across the organisation which focused on targeted results, assessment, and coaching. A formal talent management system was also put in place to help facilitate sound succession planning practices and to encourage better communication among divisions, breaking down cultural silos that had developed within the organisation. Both Mattel's employees and the organisation benefited through, (a) 75% of the open positions being filled internally, (b) attrition rates falling to 8% annually, and (c)  by improved share market results. [21]

Bridgehouse Hotel Operations UK Ltd

Coaching – experience gained from the bottom up

Developing new administrative management talent was seen as a requirement of a manager's role at Bridgehouse Hotel Operations UK Ltd. A formal management training scheme was used to maximise the potential of talented trainees. The two-year schedule included experience in every department of the hotel, from sales to services. The trainees started from the bottom in each role, working up within the department until they reached supervisory levels, at which stage they moved to another department.The training scheme aimed to keep the best people within the Bridgehouse family through training them to the highest standard and making them into champions of the organisation's brand. [22]

US Liberty Bank
Mentoring reduces new employee turnover rates

Liberty Bank ran two mentoring programmes:

  1. New employees were assigned one or two "buddies" who had an understanding of the position. The buddies helped the new employees learn the ropes and to navigate through the organisation. The aim was to help employees to become acclimatised faster and to ease frustration. The buddy programme had reduced turnover rates for new employees and improved skill development while providing emotional support that previously had been non-existent.
  2. Minority personnel and employees having the potential for higher level positions were also offered mentoring assistance. In this programme mentors and protégés met as required. In addition a general meeting was held quarterly to give the protégés an appreciation of the wider operations of the bank. The programme was part of Liberty's strategy to produce minority senior managers from within its own employee pool. [23]

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), USA
Mentoring helps attract new talent

PWC operated three mentoring programmes:

  1. A connectivity programme aimed at all staff in which each partner was responsible for 12 to 15 staff. In this was the partner learned of the staff's personal goals and daily work performance. It was found that this programme engendered a better connection with the firm and an ability to get to know staff in greater depth.
  2. A minority transition programme which connected new minority employees with a peer mentor. This helped the new person to become acclimatised to the firm, connect with higher level employees, gain assistance with professional progress, and to work on high-profile projects/clients.
  3. A mentoring partnership programme which focussed on the development of potential partners. It was found that the PWC mentorship programmes were a useful tool for attracting new talent to the firm. [24]

US ShoreBank
Coaching by giving timely encouragement

ShoreBank employees were believed to function at their best when given clear expectations, and when managers took a meaningful interest in how employees performed. Hence ShoreBank implemented on-the-job training and its managers served as coaches giving timely encouragement and reinforcement to employees. ShoreBank's approach had the following key characteristics:

  1. All new employees were immediately linked to a service-quality coach/mentor who demonstrated competence in service-related skills and held employees to high standards.
  2. Coaches supported employees undergoing service quality training which included individual self-study, personalised one-on-one practice, and frequent on-the-job feedback regarding the use of skills with customers.
  3. Coaches acted as positive role models.
  4. Coaches provided performance feedback to employees to reinforce their achievements and to support continued improvement.
  5. Employees were recognized bank-wide for service-quality proficiency.[25 ]

Crealy Adventure Park Enterprise Ltd, UK
Employee Internship produces impressive results

An internship project at Crealy Adventure Park was used to reduce costs whilst increasing perceived value through the introduction of more efficient, operational procedures within the park. The intern carried out the following work:

  • Undertook a thorough investigation the organisation's operating processes
  • Liaised with staff members to gain an understanding of their roles
  • Produced value stream maps detailing departmental duties
  • Analysed the efficiency of operational processes
  • Developed practical ideas for improvement

This work resulted in a value stream mapping system being established which helped to clarify business processes. Paperwork was dramatically reduced, safer more time efficient work methods were introduced, and overall operations procedures were streamlined. The management at Crealy's were very impressed with the internship results. [26]

Brunel University, UK
Employee Internships and valuable collaboration

As part of Brunel's Master's degree programme in Design, Strategy, and Innovation, students completed four months of academic theory before embarking on a four week design management audit. The audit consisted of a close examination of a selected company to investigate its management of design and innovation. Students worked in teams of 5 to 7 and in close collaboration with company personnel. Audits were followed immediately by a 12-week internship. The aims of the internship were to continue the investigative process established during the design management audit and to give students first-hand experience of the day-to-day organisational dilemmas that occur in the workplace. Both the companies and the students gained a great deal from their collaboration. A survey of graduates revealed that 40 percent were offered full-time positions of employment at the end of their internships. [27]  

Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust
Career Planning impacts positively on retention statistics
A 2002 research project reported staff turnover had fallen from 26% to 13% at Southampton University Hospital's NHS Trust in London. To retain staff the hospital:

  1. Flattened its leadership structure to better share responsibilities and provide professional development opportunities for its staff;
  2. Identified and capitalised on nurses desire for professional development;
  3. Promoted staff development through contractual arrangements;
  4. Introduced an educational plan that allowed for equitable staff development; and
  5. Provided protected time for staff to take part in continuing education. [28]

Measure and Evaluate Compensation Schemes

In order to fully evaluate the impact of Employee Development initiatives it is necessary to undertake, where possible, a quantitative assessment of their impact and assign calculable values. The following provide some simple ideas on how Employee Development can be assessed:

Employee satisfaction – Pride e.g.

Employee pride in the organisation as measured by survey. This is a measure of the employees' perception of the overall experience and benefits of working for, and values demonstrated by, the organisation.

Employee - Development plans e.g.,

% of employees that have individual development plans. This forms a measure of the deployment of development plans among employees.  Development plans should be designed to satisfy both the needs and aspirations of employees and the organisation.

Employee empowerment authority e.g.

% of non-management staff authorised to act on an initiative. This measure indicates the degree to which employee empowerment has been adopted by an organisation. A key contributor to employee satisfaction, the practice of authorising employee action on a personal initiative is usually a tangible result of a solid program of employee training and development.

Employee empowerment - Level of e.g.

The financial or other limits up to which an individual is empowered to use (on their own initiative) in order to pacify a customer or,the complexity or reach / implication of an action up to which an individual is empowered to change a process.

Employee - Development plan review frequency e.g.

The number of reviews undertaken in a given period. This forms a measure of the effectiveness of the human resources management process.  Reviews of development plans reflect the organisation’s awareness of changes in the capabilities required from its employees and of the needs of employees themselves.

Employee - Commitment and motivation e.g.

% of employees that are committed to the organisational goals and objectives or,
% of employees that are considered to be 'highly motivated’. 

Employee motivation and commitment is one of the major contributions that employees can make to the organisation as it ensures that they are employing maximum effort to their activities and working to the benefit of the organisation. This measure is also an indicator of employee satisfaction levels. The measurement of employee commitment and motivation is qualitative in nature and is therefore usually based upon employee satisfaction questionnaires and personal appraisal processes.

Employee alignment e.g.

% of employees that are given personal objectives (task and or development) that align with organisational goals. This is a measure which provides an indication of the level of alignment of the workforce for achieving organisational goals.

Employee capability e.g.

The number of roles the employee is capable of filling. One of the keys to achieving organisational agility is to develop a workforce that is flexible enough so that new roles can be taken up speedily and with the minimum of re-training.

Employee involvement - Organisational performance e.g.

The frequency of consultation among non-managerial employees for organisational performance review or analysis purposes. This measure can be used as an input in the calculation of employee satisfaction or engagement, and the assessment of stakeholder focus and leadership effectiveness.

Employee - Skill appraisal involvement e.g.

% employees involved in a review of their future skill requirements. This measure assesses whether employees are involved in reviewing their future skill development requirements. Employee involvement can be important in not only correctly identifying their future skill requirement but also in terms of gaining their commitment to future training and development.

Employee - Recommendation of organisation as an employer e.g.,

% of employees who are willing to recommend the organisation as an employer to a friend or,
average number of applications or enquiries received regarding employment following recommendation or,
% of applicants or appointees that have received recommendations from current employees or,
% of vacancies, or skills gaps, filled by recommendations.

This is a measure of the willingness of employees to recommend the organisation to others as an employer.

Employee ownership - Company direction e.g., 

the perceived level of ownership of company directions by employees. This measure needs a carefully considered scale and collection method, but offers vital insights as to the effectiveness of leadership and of the completeness of alignment within the workforce.


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