Meaningful work & recognition

Written by
Changeboard Team

03 Feb 2014

03 Feb 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Training, mentoring & coaching

When you compare Deloitte and Siemens, they seem to share a common ethos – a vested interest in developing their talent through training, mentoring and coaching. Individuals and teams are then rewarded with positive messages for carrying out meaningful work.

Deloitte: career conversations = high performance

Deloitte have a ‘talent contract’ that sets out the firm’s expectations and what people can expect in return. Stevan Rolls, UK head of HR, says: “It’s a clear set of statements in which we broadly ask our people to commit to their development and go above and beyond for our clients. In return, we provide a share in the success of the firm, world class learning, backed up by mentoring and coaching, and our people get to work with fantastic clients,” he says. High performance is central to Deloitte’s culture.

“We’ve shifted our performance management system to be more aligned with strategy, focusing on behaviours, strengths and forward thinking so people feel good at what they can do and have a sense of mastery,” he adds. Employees are set realistic goals as well as stretch ones, people are encouraged to think about how work is delivered and the impact they can have on providing an outstanding, distinctive experience for their clients and colleagues. He explains: “We encourage career conversations between line managers and their teams to take place on a regular basis. These aren’t set piece events but rather we want people to be talking about development and the best ways to meet the needs of their people and clients as a natural part of the day to day working experience.”

This is backed up with an internal cadre of coaching and mentoring offerings. Last year the annual people survey revealed that 50% of 14,000 employees had an informal or formal coaching or mentoring relationship. "Mentoring is a transmission of knowledge and helps the mentee to develop their skills, move up the curve more quickly and support them when they have any issues, concerns or challenges. We’re saying it’s ok to ask someone for help on how to best navigate through the firm,” says Rolls.

Siemens: champion scheme

Siemens has a compelling vision. From powering cities through to providing healthcare, wind farms, solar and renewable energy, the company relies on its teams of engineers to create ‘grand designs’. “Engineers cannot achieve much alone – it’s all about teamwork,” says Toby Peyton-Jones, HR director for Siemens. “You can’t build a power station unless you have an exceptional team,” he adds.

He says that when it comes to long-term competitiveness – culture will sustain you rather than products. “You have to look after, maintain, guard and keep up-to-date your values, otherwise they can fall by the wayside,” advises Peyton-Jones.“We work on employee engagement on an emotional level.” Siemens, which has around 13,000 employees in the UK, has a ‘Champion’ scheme which is driven from the top down but with bottom up reward. Recognition is given to colleagues across the business (including the engineers who work out on the street) who are bringing the company values to life – the unsung heroes.

Peyton-Jones enthuses: “People are encouraged to share stories and nominate their colleagues who have gone well beyond their job description, who have helped others in inspirational ways or have moved mountains to meet a customer deadline. Some may have simply had the courage to stand up for what is right rather than take the easy path.”

For example, a couple of winters ago, the power went down in a village in Northern Ireland. A group of engineers worked in terrible conditions to fix the systems. While another engineer stopped his work on the street as someone was having a heart attack and gave first aid.

“These stories feed the fabric of our culture,” he says. As part of its champion employee recognition programme, which was created by P&MM Motivation, colleagues can be given instant rewards of £25, £50, £100, £200 and £2,000. Every year, the ‘Podium Awards’ recognise divisional, sector, and UK-wide ‘employee champions’ through tiered bronze, silver and gold awards.

“All the research exists to show the link is there between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. There is a big cost when people are not engaged,” argues Peyton-Jones. “We measure consistently and provide an environment where our employees believe in the company as well as enjoy working for one another. We also prepare people for their next move within the business when they have to take on more responsibility. By providing development and mentoring in this way, we train people so nothing goes wrong and everyone is happy,” he reveals. Testament to its success, the Siemens Champions programme was the 2012 Gold Winner of the Employee Recognition category at the IPM awards.

Stevan Rolls UK head of HR, Deloitte

Stevan RollsAs well as Deloitte’s UK head of HR, he’s also co-lead talent partner for the firm across EMEA.