Calling on talent: Interview with Jo Macbeth, talent manager UK and European Regional Centre, Telefo

Written by
Changeboard Team

04 Oct 2014

04 Oct 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Developing new and existing talent

We aim to double the number of young people in the next four years. This will help produce a more sustainable workforce that is fit for the future.

We are creating new external talent pools – including MBA postgraduates, digital ‘natives’ and senior influencers – as well as making the most of the rich internal talent pool we have as a global business.

We are developing our high-potential employees so they are able to take on bigger, more complex or more senior roles in the future.

Our European Talent Development programme is a 10-month journey comprising insights, learning, reflection and development. It is creating a cadre of European leaders who embody our behaviours and develop the skills and confidence to lead us into the future.

As part of our commitment to diverse teams, we recognise the benefit of a broad range of characteristics, experience and mindset. To support this, we deliver a Women in Leadership programme aimed at developing leaders to take a wider role in our international business. We also run in-country talent development programmes too. Our Emerging Leaders scheme in the UK identifies people who have shown leadership potential and provides them with opportunities to develop their skills, grow their network and establish themselves as a community. Participants gain the capabilities and know-how to help them move forward in their careers and deliver a step change in the organisation’s performance. Recently we ran a development day for the group, focusing on how they can create greater impact and influence as leaders.

The programme is high status and aspirational. It is aimed at people who have shown potential to progress to broader, more complex or more senior roles. We tell people it exists and everyone understands its purpose in supporting our wider talent story. People are invited to join for one year while being fully supported by their line manager. 

We base the course content on the behaviours and capabilities that future Telefónica leaders will need and try to create great learning environments. For example, at our next session – ‘Becoming a Digital Leader’ – we will use digital learning methods, digital speakers and a suitably digital venue to really inspire ‘new world’ thinking. The programme acts as a springboard to other opportunities such as our European Rotation Scheme, as well as mentoring and new roles within the business.

Telefonica programmes

1. Early career: ‘Talentum’

  • Intern opportunities available in the UK and our other European operating businesses
  • Apprenticeship opportunities for structured learning in specific areas of the business, eg: technology, operations
  • European graduate programme with opportunities to gain experience in the UK business and internationally.

2. Mid-career: Emerging Leaders programme

  • Aspirational annual development programme for managers who show leadership potential.
  • Includes opportunities for growth, networking and creating a community.

3. Six-month: European programme

  • European networking, mentoring & development modules and Accelerated Development Planning (ADP)
  • One-to-one ‘Insight and Development’ planning for senior leaders and executives
  • Includes a personal profile report and options to accelerate personal development.

4. European Talent: Development programme

  • For mid-senior leaders who have been identified as European leaders of the future
  • 18-month European programme for middle to senior-level managers
  • Includes a number of development modules, project work, mentoring and European networking opportunities.

5. Executive leaders: Accelerated Development

  • Full learning and development portfolio focusing on leadership
  • Uses academies within business areas eg business and marketing.

Developing talent: top tips

  • Plan talent and succession well, to prevent this becoming a business risk. Don’t feel you need to be shy about shouting about it, either
  • Be transparent. Tell people what you are doing and why. All too often people worry about the impact on those who aren’t high potential but it’s crucial to future business success
  • Make sure managers can articulate what it means to be high potential and work with the employee to shape what happens next
  • After telling someone they have high potential, help them think through how and when to ‘go for it’
  • Think about how to future-proof the organisation – who are the people who will truly transform your business in the digital, collaborative world?