National Australia Group's Graduate Development Programme goes online
The National Australia Group's European division consists of the Clydesdale, Yorkshire, Northern and National Irish banks. The Group has experienced exceptional growth in the past decade. As part of its ongoing growth strategy a new graduate development programme, has been launched. The ultimate aim of the new graduate programme is to accelerate graduate development and progression within the company, thus increasing overall retention rates. An integral part of this aim is to enable bright and motivated graduates to know that their development and morale is highly significant to National Australia Group and its continued prosperity.
The Keil Centre assisted in the design of the Graduate Induction Guide and their innovative on- line Development Log. The organisational aim of the Graduate Guide was, as part of a raft of measures, to improve graduate retention rates in a highly competitive market.
The Graduate Guide
Research into graduate attrition rates indicates that one of the biggest dissatisfaction factors amongst graduates is a mis-match between their expectations and the organisations' expectations.
The Guide provides graduates with all the critical company information required to orientate and welcome them into the company. It also provides them with a clear insight into the framework behind their carefully-designed development plan. Perhaps more importantly, it also provides a very clear insight into what is expected of graduates if they are to succeed and excel within the company.
The Guide also addresses the issue of "passivity" amongst graduates by clearly explaining their role and responsibilities in their development and highlights a wide range of means of developing methods.
On Line Learning Log
The on-line learning log is designed to provide graduates with a systematic plan for, and record of, their learning activities. The record of progress can be accessed by the graduate, their line manger, their development manager, and the HR department. This provides all parties with instant access to each graduate's rate of progress, recorded "stumbling blocks" and the "remedial" actions planned and taken.
The basis for the design was classic learning theory, using the learning cycle process to plan, do, reflect and replan their day- to- day learning activities but also to extend. This approach was extended into managing longer term career plans, in conjunction with National Australia Group's "Career Navigation Guide".
Sarah Osborne the National Australia Group European Graduate Recruitment and Development Manager said
"The Graduate Guide will enable us to provide a flexible framework for each graduate's learning whilst providing a feedback mechanism to and from their managers and a communication facility within the graduate population."
Tackling Stress at BP
The ability to nip potential stress problems in the bud is an important people management skill. That's why bp's Grangemouth site, in partnership with The Keil Centre's Chartered Psychologists, have rolled out an innovative programme of one-day workshops for all 160 managers, team leaders and safety representatives - everyone with responsibility for other people.
The course was developed and is jointly delivered by members of the bp occupational health and human resources team working with Ronny Lardner, Chartered Occupational Psychologist. Topics covered include signs and symptoms of stress, causes, legal aspects, how to offer assistance to a colleague showing symptoms, and clarification of the role of occupational health and HR.
Quote from Dean O'Donoghue, Occupational Health Adviser
"It is important to tackle stress at source and to raise the awareness generally, and in particular of those members of staff whose position brings them into daily contact with their colleagues. This course has reached wide group and we have had very positive feedback. We feel that the psychological knowledge of Ronny Lardner, and the local knowledge of the Human Resources and Occupational Health Departments has worked well and given both a broad and specific understanding of the subject of stress."
Management Development in Partnership - developing links between organisations
The Keil Centre has worked for a number of years developing successful in-house and open programmes, which all share the following characteristics:
- Self-directed learning to meet individual needs
- Clearly-defined personal and business objectives
- Increase self awareness and insight into others
- Build capacity to adapt
- Promote sustained behavioural change
- Broaden participants' experience and perspective
- Encourage a strategic, longer-term focus
- Use action-based learning
In response to client requests, we are currently researching the feasibility of running such a programme on a consortium basis. Participants from several local organisations would join together on a common management development programme, and develop cross-sector insight and relationships.
Although the design would be tailored to meet the needs of participating organisations, it would include:
- A diagnostic phase, including 360 degree feedback
- Development contract to ensure clarity and focus
- Action based learning, using real work situations
- Techniques to overcome obstacles, sustain change
- Thorough evaluation throughout
We have had strong expressions of interest from both public and private sector organisations for such a programme. If you would like to discuss the potential for your organisation further, please contact Louise Clarkson at our Edinburgh Office.
Influencing safe behaviour offshore
The UK offshore oil & gas cross-industry's Step-Change in Safety initiative set itself the challenging target of reducing accident rates by 50% in three years. A very important element of the initiative was influencing the behavioural factors that cause and prevent accidents. Such factors encompass the behaviour of all of the workforce, managers and front-line staff alike. Ronny Lardner has been working in partnership with the Step-Change in Safety's Behavioural Issues Task Group and Health and Safety Executive human factors experts, providing human factors research and input to the production of the Task Group's final report. The report should be of interest to anyone working in high-hazard industries who is interested in addressing human and organisational aspects of safety. The report will be available from Steve Williams, STEP support team (01224 205604) in late October 2000 or contact at our Edinburgh Office.
Management standard to tackle work-related stressors
The UK Health and Safety Commission (HSC) recently completed a public consultation exercise to stimulate a debate on whether stress should be subject to further regulation. Based on the consultation responses, and the results of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) ongoing research programme HSC concluded that work-related stress is a serious health and safety issue, which can be tackled in part through the application of existing health and safety legislation. HSC identified an absence of clear, agreed standards of management practice against which an employer's performance in managing a range of stressors, such as the way work is structured, could be measured. Such standards of good practice could form an important part of a preventative strategy.
HSE is currently developing a partnership with The Keil Centre, Birkbeck College and a range of employers to develop and test internal management standards. The partnership is interested in recruiting a range of other employers to participate in this two-year project. Please contact Ronny Lardner at our Edinburgh office for further information.
Quote from Bob Miles, Team Leader - Organisation and Human Factors Engineering, Health and Safety Executive:
"We think it is most important for workers and managers to know clearly what their role and behaviour should be to prevent work place stress. We don't see stress as problem that can easily be addressed by sending an Inspector, it has to dealt with locally by the managers and workers involved. We do not believe these standards will be difficult or costly to apply, on the contrary we think that they would describe the types of things that you would do in a well run business with concern for employee's welfare"