CLIENT: Professional services firm
SECTOR: Audit, Tax and Advisory
PROJECT: Talent Development Programme
THEMES: Talent Management
AUDIENCE: High Potentials
LOCATION: Eastern Europe, Russia
The firm’s role is to provide audit, tax and advisory consulting services to clients, across thirty countries in the Central and Eastern European region of a global ‘Big Four’ consulting firm, employing 160,000 people worldwide.
The Firm’s Talent Management Strategy was aimed at developing and promoting its most able staff to become Partners within 2-5 years. They decided that the previous Talent Development Programme was not delivering this strategy adequately and put out a tender for these services.
The aims of the programme were to:
- focus development of high potential Senior Managers, to equip them to meet the changing requirements of the Partner role in light of the new strategy
- present clearer messages to Senior Managers about required future behaviours and skills so that some of them could self-select out and ‘refresh’ the succession pool
- provide participants with the opportunity to engage their Sponsoring Partner in supporting their development
- implement learning into practice through participating in a ‘real time’ Strategic Project
- build and maintain a network of peers, both in the territory and internationally.
ASK was asked to partner with the Firm’s Talent and Leadership Development team to design and deliver a comprehensive development programme. The objectives of the programme were:
- placing more focus on enhancing the value of our people
- a better balance between ‘task’ and ‘people’ focus – “we share and collaborate better”
- more visible role modelling of the values
- development of the skills needed to be “Trusted Advisors” to clients
- leading a high performance culture that has impact for clients
The programme was designed for multiple Learning Sets of 5-7 people, the largest cohort totalling 42 participants in one year. Each set worked with a coach, who also provided each set member with individual telephone coaching between the workshops. In addition, a Lead Facilitator provided learning inputs during the workshops and liaised with local Partners and Clients, who were invited to support the programme.
Each participant finished the programme with a conference call with their coach and Sponsoring Partner to assess progress against the initial learning goals and desired outcomes. In the four year life of the programme, 23% of participants were promoted to Partner, with another 18% opting to leave the organisation as they decided the Partner route was not for them.
The most recent programme reported the following average responses from participants for the overall ROI (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being ‘excellent’):
- I will be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned on this programme to my job – 4.17
- This programme was a worthwhile investment for my employer – 4.33
- This programme was a worthwhile investment in my career development – 4.28