Introducing A New Performance Programme By Designing A Development Intervention

Ensuring managers are suitably equipped and confident to conduct successful performance conversations.

UKAR is the holding company established to bring together the UK government-owned businesses of Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) and NRAM plc.  This combined financial services organisation supports around 467,000 customers with £61.2 billion of loans, with some 2,150 geographically dispersed employees.Having substantially improved their performance management process as part of the move toward a fully integrated HR approach, UKAR wanted to support the introduction of the process by designing a development intervention for around 300 managers. The resulting development centres delivered by Primeast allowed UKAR to understand the strengths and development needs of their entire management population, in a way that was engaging and challenging.

The Brief

In May 2013 UKAR decided to substantially improve their performance management process as part of the move toward a fully integrated HR approach. This decision reflected a desire to develop a more “continuous improvement” ethos in the business, as well as reflecting feedback from the business that the existing performance management approach could be improved. In introducing the new performance management approach, it became clear that our client needed to improve the quality of conversations between managers and colleagues, ensure that the colleague was at the centre of the discussion (as opposed to the manager or the process itself), and engender an ethos of colleagues taking responsibility for their own development and embracing their role in continuous improvement. At the beginning of 2014 they accordingly asked Primeast to support the introduction of the new performance programme by designing a development intervention for around 300 managers.

Our Solution

Having worked with UKAR since 2012 in supporting manager development and engendering greater value-add from its employees, it was agreed that the most appropriate approach would be in the form of a development centre – a one-day, experiential learning intervention to be facilitated by client personnel. The focus in the development centres was to be on behavioural capability and on the connection between corporate values and performance. Importantly, it was agreed that a method for evaluating both the quality of the development centres and the participants was required. To this end, Primeast designed and piloted an action-packed, interactive and scalable learning experience based on a number of desired outcomes agreed in advance with the client.

The Result

Over the course of 10 weeks, the client delivered all of the required development centres and received very positive feedback from attendees and facilitators. On a five point assessment scale the responses to the learning experience from attendees averaged between 4.5 and 5. As a further sign that the development centres had ‘landed’ successfully, under 1% of target attendees challenged the feedback provided by observers (and those that did held very satisfactory follow-up discussions with their line manager). Carrying out the development centres also allowed UKAR to compile rich data about the learning areas they needed to focus on in future interventions. These interventions are likely to take a more tailored approach, involving coaching and mentoring solutions, as well as technical inputs.

Jen Usher, Academy Manager, UKAR

Primeast was able to rapidly mobilise to support the design of an event which not only helped us to understand the strengths and development needs of our entire management population, but to do so in a way that was engaging and challenging. They were able to use their existing understanding of our business alongside injecting their range of experience with other companies to ensure we got an effective, fit for purpose solution.