Posted by: Dr Reena Jamnadas
Today I spoke to a candidate (let’s call her Subo) to discuss feedback on the strengths that enabled her to be successful in an assessment centre for an apprenticeship scheme. Subo was excited to receive feedback and brainstormed all the ways she imagined growing and developing within her first few months – she almost had to hold herself back once reality hit that she hadn’t actually started the apprenticeship yet!
Set against the backdrop of politicians pledging to create opportunities for young people to get into work through apprenticeships, this paints a promising picture about how eager young talent are to apply their skills in the workplace.
On the flip side, last week, the CIPD published an article emphasising the need for learning and development in organisations to deliver outcomes that are more acutely aligned to business strategy. Developing apprentices, graduates and ‘emerging leaders’ to develop capabilities that will deliver future business requirements is a critical challenge; yet it’s this very population of talent that are a force for culture change.
For early talent like Subo, whilst making an impact from ‘day one’ matters, being equipped to develop a rich career is equally important. Doing both through developing the capabilities that the business needs is absolutely essential.
Often, this means building capabilities for future roles that negotiate unchartered territory. With many new roles, e.g., in digital and technology, evolving at pace, the key is to develop both core capabilities and an understanding of what a diverse range of career pathways would look like.
At Capp, we recognise the need to enable apprentices, graduates and emerging leaders to assess their own current and future capabilities so that they can strategise about their next leap. We do this by providing emerging talent and managers with assessment data about their current capability, future capacity and how these could map to potential career pathways.
The good news for young people is that organisations such as Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Chartered Bank are already using such assessments to develop ‘next level’ capabilities amongst apprentices and graduates. This means that young people like Subo can take responsibility for directing their own growth and careers – and managers have the data to support them in the right ways. We also support organisations to develop talent through action-focused interventions, workshop based learning, and high impact talent centres.
For more information about Capp’s approach to talent management, please contact the development solutions team on +44 (0) 2476 323363.
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Posted by Emma Trenier
It was great to attend this year’s AGR Graduate Development conference yesterday and meet with graduate development professionals from a wide range of businesses. Representatives from Transport for London, Thomson Reuters, Morrisons, John Lewis, Fujitsu, and the Bank of England were there, amongst over 200 others, and it was great to hear about both best practice and challenges from these experienced development professionals.
Francesca Campalani (Senior HR and Brand Manager at Lloyds Banking Group) and I ran a session called ‘Test the Strength of your graduate development’ where we shared the graduate development journey that we are currently delivering in partnership.
Following the morning’s challenge by Marcus Orlovsky for organisations to take the risk of allowing greater complexity and less support, we discussed how LBG have built gaming principles into their programme- allowing for high challenge and opportunity, lots of freedom and fun, and the potential to win prizes.
We also shared why LBG now both recruit for and develop strengths rather than competencies for their early talent. The top reasons include a desire to differentiate themselves as an employer of choice, reduce the recruitment of company clones (!), and provide recognition to every new recruit.
Finally, we discussed the role of managers in developing early talent potential. With strong research evidence suggesting that strengths focused conversations lead to increased performance, we shared how we have engaged with line managers- through graduate led conversations, good communication, and supporting information and tools. This engagement has led to 97% of managers having strengths conversations with their graduates and apprentices.
To view our presentation, please click here
To view a case study describing the Graduate and Apprentice Journey at Lloyds Banking Group, please click here
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Last month we spent the day with 280 Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) graduates at the spectacular launch of this year’s Responsible Business Challenge.
Sponsored by HR Director Stephen Smith, along with many other representatives from the emerging talent team and the business, this event prepared the graduates for their challenge of collectively raising at least £250k for Children in Need.
With last year’s graduates bringing in at least £200k more than that, the bar is set high. So, to start the teams off on the right foot, Capp brought the teams through the first five steps of building high performing teams, learning from last year’s winners at every stage.
Here is the essence of what we shared:
1. Rules of engagement
The first step to building a winning team is to be clear on your team rules of engagement. These are the rules that every team member must stick to at all costs, e.g., must attend all meetings, must be on time, must contribute the actions promised, must be respectful of other team members, must stay on topic.
It is always helpful to include a rule which outlines the reasons a non- contributor can be kicked out of the group. This way, you won’t fall into the trap of being hindered by some people’s poor performance.
2. Begin with the end in mind
Next we spoke about the ‘Duvet Shove’, the principle that every team needs to have a shared purpose and vision that will (hypothetically) drag them out of bed in the morning (shove the duvet off!), or help them focus on the challenge when everyday priorities get in the way.
The graduates’ next challenge was to define their vision- for some this was to promote what Children in Need do, for others it was to run an event or activity every single week of the challenge.
3. The right group
The third step to building a high performing team is to define the team roles that are necessary at each stage of the project, bearing in mind that these will change many times. Understanding the strengths and passions of each team member helps to give every person the opportunity to contribute their best.
The graduates considered their strengths and the roles they would most like to take- referring to the Lloyds Banking Group strengths definitions for ideas.
4. Set the pace and structure
Meetings! We discussed the pain that comes from meetings with no purpose or no outcomes. For all meetings we shared the importance of considering:
- TYPE- what is the meeting for?
- STRUCTURE- how much structure is needed?
- OBJECTIVES- what are they?
- AGENDA- what were our agreed actions from the last meeting and what do we need to decide today?
- ADVANCE- what should be done in advance?
- ON TIME- Start, stay, finish on time
- MOMENTUM- never cancel a meeting without rearranging
5. Generate ideas
Finally, we shared tools for idea generation that will help every team think of winning ideas. Through methods of divergent thinking (do this first), and then methods of convergent thinking (do this after a coffee), the teams were able to select their best ‘first burst’ ideas. The graduates also learnt that an IDEA is different from a THOUGHT. For a thought to become an idea it needs to be developed into an actionable suggestion that somebody who did not think of it could deliver.
For LBG, the principles of gamification are central to making the graduate journey impactful- learning socially, through fun, and winning prizes is all part of what makes their development approach stand out. The Responsible Business Challenge is the first of a series of competitive and stretching ‘games’ still to come this year!
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Posted By: Reena Jamnadas
As we are partnering with Lloyds Banking Group to deliver their Graduate and Apprentice Development Journeys, we recently ran a session with 40 incredible apprentices about how to create an amazing personal impact.
The apprentices enjoyed the four secrets to making an impact- here’s a snapshot of what we shared:
Creating a positive impression can be the difference between starting a relationship on the right foot or the wrong foot. This is never truer than in the workplace. Whether you’re the CEO or a new member of a team, it’s as the saying goes: ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’
What do you want to be known for? What impression do you want to leave on others? How can you create a lasting impression on the people that you work with?
Secret 1: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it
Have you ever met someone for the first time, and although they said ‘Great to meet you’, their body language didn’t quite match up? When you speak to others, it’s important that you are authentic and confident in the way that you come across. This might be in the way that you give a genuine smile, give a firm handshake, or have strong eye-contact.
Action: Think about what you would say if you had 60 seconds with a senior colleague in a lift who asked you what you most enjoy about your work.
Secret 2: Deliver quick wins
Quick wins allow you to show others what you can do – a small action that makes a big difference and helps you to stand out. Think about how you can make somebody else’s job easier. You can deliver a quick win by thinking about what you can improve, fix, or resolve quickly.
Action: What immediate opportunity do you have to volunteer for something? Think about who you will approach and how you can help.
Secret 3: Build your network
Knowing who you have in your network can help you identify people that can help you achieve your goals. Write down people you can go to for support, knowledge, to make connections in or outside of school – it may be colleagues, teachers, relatives, or friends. Remember, it’s important to practice giving as well as taking from people you know.
Action: Draw a map of people in your network. Write down how you can strengthen these connections through ways such as offering your help, connecting on LinkedIn, or sharing knowledge.
Secret 4: Excel at being a learner
Successful people never stop taking their growth seriously. This is a perfect time in your life to think about new talents or knowledge that you want to gain – think about what new things you need to learn to help reach your goals. Which sources of information will help you? Who can you approach?
Action: Brainstorm a ‘wish list’ of what you would like to learn over the next three months. Create an action plan of how you will make it happen: sources of information, people to approach, resources you need.
Which of these secrets will you apply today or share with an apprentice you work with?
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Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant
Talking to my Mum about strengths is often a little challenging. She is far from negative, but her motto in life is “You just have to get on with it.”
I was making strengths videos some time back, when I asked her to pick out her top strength and talk to me about what this looked like in action. She struggled and found it hard to resonate with many of the 60 strengths from Realise2 that I showed her, despite Dad and I easily being able to identify many in her.
I recall over the years her saying that others had real talents that you could see and that she felt somewhat inadequate to those around her.
Eventually, she chose Service and was fairly comfortable with it, but muttering nonetheless that it was just something she just did, she just got on with it and it didn’t feel like a strength. She has spent her 67 years supporting others in various careers and community work and she thrives on it.
She has always ‘simply’ attended to others who have bigger needs; from birth as a trained nursery nurse up to the very elderly as a companion for the blind.
Service, along with her Moral Compass and Mission, are Being strengths and refer to the way we are, our values. So, when something comes this naturally to us, we often don’t recognise the true value or impact we have on others, and even on the world around us.
So, Mum might not have created or won something evident ,but she will leave the hearts and places she touches better off with her time, patience, humour and devotion to making others’ lives easier.
Thank you, Mum, for showing me your strengths over the years. You are immensely proud of me, but I wonder if you can see so much of you in me, and stop to appreciate that some of my successes are down to you ‘just’ being you?
What are your Mum’s strengths? When was the last time you pointed them out to her and the impact they have had on you? Don’t forget to draw on the more subtle ones and also to be specific about events and naming the particular strengths you see in her.
If you want to say thank you to your Mum, and you’re an accredited Realise2 Practitioner, we are giving away one free Realise2 Strengths assessment for your Mum for Mother’s Day. Email firstname.lastname@example.org before 12.00 midday GMT on Friday 13 March, quoting ‘Mum’ and stating when you were accredited as a Realise2 Practitioner, to receive your special Mother’s Day Realise2 Gift Certificate.
Recognising your strengths can help you become more engaged, happier and productive. So, whatever life stage your Mum is at, this will be a truly rewarding Mother’s Day gift.
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Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant
International Women’s Day is celebrated again on the 8th March.
Are you a woman who is successful in her career and making it happen? Do you really enjoy your job? We would love to learn from the secrets of your success!
As a successful woman myself who runs Capp’s female leadership development programmes, it never ceases to amaze me how the same stories are told worldwide. I can share many of them through my own learning – the hard way!
One of these stories is about saying yes. We ask for role models who come onto the programme to share their journey with the emerging female leaders: what has worked well, their journey, their strengths and also their top tips for the future growth of these remarkable women.
One of the most common tips shared by these global leaders is “Take a risk and say yes”. Even so, I have a slight problem with this.
We are probably all familiar with the research that women, unlike men, are not likely to ask for pay rises, and will only seek promotions when they can do everything that’s required. Unlike men, who will go for promotion if there is even a small part of the job that they can do!
Often, women have become successful through their relentless hard work, and eventually being recognised by managers who put them forward for promotion or recommend their next post.
One of the core aspects of our female leaders training is teaching women to recognise their strengths. It may sound obvious, but we can be so busy running a successful career and home that we haven’t stopped to appreciate what we love to do and do well – our strengths.
Of our latest 10 programmes, 97% thought Realise2, our strengths identification tool, was an insightful beginning to the programme, and 95% said it helped them maximise their strengths, thereby enabling high performance.
So back to this ‘saying yes’. I am all for taking risks and challenging ourselves in a big way, as this can be when you can really grow, take ownership of something big and expand your reputation.
But, next time you are asked to take on extra responsibility, a new role or lead a project, go back to your strengths. Where do you get real energy from? What would you love to do more of? Where do you get your best feedback? If you could carve out your dream job, what would it be?
Take risks by all means, but your confidence and performance comes from your strengths. Success will come if you take a step back and work with your best assets. Sometimes it might be worth a side step to play to your strengths, since you will quickly be able to show off your capabilities.
I wouldn’t be here today without stepping into a colleague’s shoes a few years ago when they had broken their foot! I had no idea how to do it, but knew I had the passion and motivation to find out and make it happen!
Find out more about our female leadership programmes at capp.co
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Early Talent Development Survey- Take part now!
We are pleased to inform you that the Capp Early Talent Development Survey is now live, ready for you and your organisation to take part in!
Existing research reveals that 98% of young employees* believe they are responsible for driving their own development. The fact that young employees- our apprentices, interns and graduates- believe in ‘driving their own development’ is phenomenal. It suggests a generation crammed full of initiative, personal responsibility and growth orientation- strengths that we see in bucket loads amongst the apprentices and graduates we recruit and develop.
The question, however, is which direction are they driving their development?
We have created the Early Talent survey to provide direction for organisations that employ apprentices, interns and graduates. We want to reveal which development activities are most important for developing core capabilities and how early talent, their managers and the business can prioritise the activities that matter most.
We want to reveal how development priorities differ for apprentices, interns and graduates and identify the areas where expectations differ most from common experience.
Why? To help early talent drive their own development in the right direction- knowing where to focus their energies.
Take part now!
By inviting your apprentices, graduates, graduate alumni and early talent managers to take part, you will receive the following benefits:
- Early access to our survey findings, describing trends in early talent development behaviour across industries and sectors (all organisations will be anonymous within our published results)
- Survey results for your own organisation- sharing both high level themes and full survey data and crucially what to do next
- Analysis of the impact of your development approach on your early talent’s engagement, loyalty, and perception of you as an employer
- Your data benchmarked against other organisations- giving you a rating of how well your organisation is meeting the needs and preferences of your early talent.
To encourage completion of the survey, every person who takes part will enter into a draw to win a £150 cash prize.
What to do next?
If you think your organisation might like to take part, drop Emma Trenier or Gurpal Minhas a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org – we can tell you more and discuss the best way of sharing the survey with your employees and collating your business results.
Alternatively, if you would like to personally take part:
- Follow this link if you are an apprentice, intern, graduate or ex- graduate
- Follow this link you directly or indirectly manage early talent employees
We look forward to sharing our results with you in the coming months.
*aged 16- 22