HR Roundtable Breakfast

Fri, 02 Dec 2016
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“Continual Engagement of Emerging Talent”

Nestled in the Rooftop Restaurant at Shoreditch House on a beautifully crisp November morning, Impact-ees Fliss Carr and Lisa Rider were delighted to host Impacts’ quarterly HR Roundtable Breakfast.  Focusing on a theme of ‘Continual Engagement of Emerging Talent’, we were joined by talented HR professionals to brainstorm solutions and share ideas to address this increasingly prevalent challenge.

Millennials/Generation Y/High potentials: a generation of hugely bright and talented individuals who live life on fast forward with a FOMO.  Cause-driven and conscious of well-being and the environment, along with the expectation of ‘personal happiness’, mean HR are facing the challenge of futureproofing our businesses to ensure our future leaders are fully engaged.

From initial employee experience and the on-boarding process, establishing a ‘buddy’ or a mentor has been successful in providing support and integration.  In agencies with flatter structures, success has been seen with lateral rather than vertical career pathways.  HR are actively implementing web-based tools and using technology to give clarity and visibility around employees’ career ladder, objectives and goals.  Using company intranet and mobile applications to engage incorporates viewable development opportunities, with staff surveys integrating accessible ‘pulse’ questions resulting in easily trackable results.  In a stolen 30 minutes while on a lunchbreak or on the tube, web-based and mobile applications, which move with the pace of agency life, have been found to be successful; blended with traditional classroom-based programmes, this provides a holistic programme for continual development.

Having clear and open conversations is fundamental.  Coaching leadership will ultimately provide motivating and influential characters from whom millennials will gain knowledge and rewarding inspiration.  Educating and encouraging line managers to manage expectations and promote openness has been key, especially in such a competitive market.  The expectations of millennials are ever-increasing (both experience and academics), therefore the expectation for promotion, more responsibility and financial recognition is inherent.  Overhauling the appraisals process, identifying how to hit objectives, and educating on the repercussions of quick promotions have proven invaluable.

Mobility is a key solution by offering short-term opportunities and secondments internationally and interdepartmentally, with cross-mobilising talent laterally in agencies proving to be successful, for example Client Services; Account Executives are given rotations to broaden out their exposure to different specialisms. Creating sub-jobs to run parallel to day to day responsibilities and encouraging job shares has also proven to be a great tool for engaging talent, with one agency developing a ‘Board Lite’ from a cross section of high potential/non-managers to both empower emerging talent and give this important population a voice on agency issues.

In our fluid, 24-hour society where global communication and accessibility is expected, demonstrating the value in employee wellbeing is vital and we’ve seen no-email (outside office hours) policies being really well received to encourage personal happiness.  Flexible working, while being looked at on case by case basis, has shown to be hugely valuable, and the concept reiterates business trust.  CSR activity, providing the opportunity to do something rewarding and be a part of something larger, is popular whilst having a clear community effect for the entire business.  Futureproofing the business through diversity and talent are huge discussion points, and something very close to Impacts’ heart, through our work with ‘Reach Out’.

It is fantastic to see so many initiatives in place already, and a collective recognition that businesses need to evolve in order to retain and continually engage their emerging talent.   The importance comes from seeing the value in initiatives for both employee and employer, and our network is undoubtedly at the forefront for the creative and media industries!

With a huge thanks to all of our fantastic guests for their thoughts and insight – Liz Nottingham (R/GA), Clare Sandford (Futurebrand), Mapara Fernandez (Talon), Abby Marcus (Farfetch), Fiona Anderson (The Future Lab) and Maritsa Inglessis (MRM Meteorite).