Welcome to the Kallidus blog

Nurse revalidation is fast approaching, and this shake-up of processes has certainly caused a stir across the nursing community. With poor morale, low pay and demanding workloads already impacting retention across the profession, there has inevitably been some apprehension around these new regulations and the additional input required from those who undoubtedly have some of the most demanding and critical jobs in the country.

However, when it comes down to looking at the new revalidation process, how much is really changing? Self-driven learning and informal feedback and coaching play a vital role in effective employee development.  So, arguably, revalidation is simply the introduction of a more formal process which sees nurses and midwives recording what they’re already doing: sharing best practice knowledge and experience with their peers in the workplace.

Whilst the new process may seem daunting, revalidation will see the introduction of an overall more proactive, reflective and continuous learning culture. Simply ignoring these new regulations won’t make them go away.  And encouraging staff to tackle this panic-inducing process head-on will help them get to grips quickly with this new way of working and make the entire process more effective and meaningful.

Across all sectors there has been a rise in self-driven development, with leaders driving independence in employee L&D from the top down. Revalidation will see nurses taking responsibility for their own learning, which will do wonders for driving engagement in the workplace. The process also requires more active involvement from employers, which will help to build better employee-manager relationships and encourage regular, more meaningful conversations around performance.

To develop your nursing staff effectively, you need to consider more than just the review process itself. In fact, peer-to-peer feedback and discussion around best practice should become an everyday part of workplace culture. Some nurses have reportedly expressed concerns around the impact subjective feedback could have on their career, however this new feedback process provides an ideal opportunity for employees to reflect on hidden strengths and areas for improvement which may have been hidden in the current appraisal process.

With ‘learning with others’ a vital part of the new CPD requirements, the new revalidation process will also promote and encourage collaborative learning in the workplace. This will help to ensure nurses and midwives are engaging in meaningful discussions with one another to improve the patient experience and promote an effective coaching culture: a trend which is becoming increasingly important in employee development.

So is it really all change? Maybe in terms of processes, but it’s important for leaders to see nurse revalidation as a vital opportunity for promoting self-driven development and introducing a more thought-provoking approach to employee performance.

Look out for a new Kallidus top tips guide, soon to be released, on building a more engaged healthcare workforce, with recommendations for motivating and engaging staff and securing buy-in for the new nurse revalidation process.

How can Kallidus help?

Kallidus LMS supports the requirements of the NMC and enables nurses to record all necessary evidence towards their revalidation.

  • The self-service, user-friendly system doesn’t require any training and the service is supported with bite-sized help videos
  • The system includes all NMC templates, making the entire process as streamlined as possible
  • All CPD progress is automatically synced to nurse revalidation portfolios
  • All revalidation evidence is securely stored and can be accessed quickly and easily at the point of need

Find out more at kallidus.com/LMS

More than 120 of our customers gathered at the Lancaster London hotel yesterday for Uncovered, our 10th annual user conference, which proved to be our biggest and best yet.

Stand-up comedian, screenwriter and author Deborah Frances-White delivered a really dynamic and inspiring keynote on the power of play. The session set everybody up for a productive day of learning and sharing ideas and, best of all, we got to experience first-hand what a difference ‘play’ and games can make to engagement, creativity, learning and collaboration in the workplace. Through simple drawing exercises, Deborah showed us how a change in process can unlock talent. And there was everything to play for in the finale – with everyone out of their seats joining in a game of rock, paper, scissors – which taught us how play can energise and transform the atmosphere.

Deborah was a hard act to follow, but Rob Caul continued to keep everybody engaged as he walked us through the benefits and key features of Kallidus Cloud, including its really powerful reporting engine and user-friendly interface. We heard how Kallidus is making a major investment in improving user experience with a 90% increase in product development spend in 2015/16 compared with 2013/14.

As part of our investment in delivering a great user experience, we recently appointed UX Designer, Dan Healy. Dan ran a session on engaging users and we learnt how important it is for learning to be accessible to everybody and not to make assumptions based on stereotypes.

Next up, and back by popular demand, was an open and informative customer panel session.  This year Emma Blake from Public Health England, Margaret Long from Berwin Leighton Paisner, Vicky James from Merlin Housing Group, Dan Megson from Sainsbury’s and James Hayward from Experian shared their views on the future of the LMS and e-learning and what they felt had been their best L&D decisions in the last 12 months.

After a break for lunch, we split into three streams: LMS and analytics; talent, performance and 360; and e-learning content. We were fortunate to hear from Mel Cooley and Jack Sumeray from Travis Perkins, Samantha Peterson and Danny Ward from NHS Business Services Authority and Ian Tatton from Transport for London – all talking about how the learning solutions they have developed in partnership with us are transforming their organisations. All three are finalists in this year’s E-Learning Awards, so the very best of luck to them at tonight’s awards ceremony.

Jennifer O’Hara from Eurostar ran a great session on how performance and 360 feedback are driving employee development at Eurostar. And the breakout sessions also included practical sessions on everything from reporting in the cloud to the new world of performance management and thinking like a games designer. George Walker from FutureProof, a Kallidus partner, gave us valuable insight into just how powerful analytics can be for informing future strategy.

The day finished with drinks which provided an excellent opportunity for everybody to network more and discuss key areas of interest with peers.

All the feedback we have received from the day has been really positive and will help us to shape next year’s event. Thank you to everybody who joined us and contributed to such a successful day.

Did you attend this year’s Uncovered? What was your highlight of the day? Comment below, Tweet us @Kallidus using the hashtag #KallidusUncovered or visit our LinkedIn page.

The UK’s leading employers will hire 8.1% more graduates this year, with PwC and Deloitte named as two of the top three recruiters of 2015, offering 1,570 and 1,100 vacancies respectively [1].

With thousands of fresh-faced students vying for the top graduate positions every year, new talent is hardly in short supply. But attracting and winning the very best candidates over your competitors is another matter entirely. For example, the number of accounting firms considering poaching executives from competitors rose from 8% to 22% last year [2].

It’s clear that the war for talent is most definitely here to stay.

Whether it be talented students or executives from competing firms, attracting the right people with the right knowledge and skills is vital for differentiating in an industry where knowledge, experience and reputation are everything. And when it comes down to it, attracting talent is all about being seen as an attractive employer to work for. So finding out what motivates high potentials and understanding what makes them tick will ensure you become a magnet for talented employees who will help strengthen your leadership pipeline.

Six out of ten millennials look for a “sense of purpose” in their role, and are put off by businesses that are too fixated on their own agendas [3]. From higher financial success and employee satisfaction to ethical behaviour and improving society, the expectations of this generation are at an all-time high. Today’s generation of workers consider growth and development opportunities a must-have in any role. And if the right opportunities aren’t on the horizon, they won’t hesitate to move on.

Organisations that invest in their people come out on top, and so keeping pace with new and innovative ways to engage and develop employees will help you draw in top talent and stay ahead of the game. A recent industry study reported that 50% of employees feel that their organisation doesn’t recognise their full potential [4], which begs the question: why aren’t organisations doing everything they can to optimise existing talent and developing internal capabilities?

And they should be shouting about it too. With the rise of social media and sites like Glassdoor, organisations can no longer be insular: transparency is everything. Employees now expect an open, honest relationship with their employers and want talent management to be the same. Shrouding succession planning strategies in secrecy can be damaging, and so communicating openly about employee development and leadership plans will ensure you become recognised for investing in your people and will help to build your organisation’s reputation as a desirable place to build a career.

Today’s highly connected, tach-savvy workforce has given rise to the virtual office. A sense of independence and mobility are now part of the modern workplace, and high-performing, open organisations are responding to this by embracing technology through innovation and collaboration. Flexible, mobile working is valuable to many, and being able to learn at the point of need plays an important role in engaging employees in their own learning and development. So making mobile initiatives part of your workplace strategy will help you attract those high-flyers and help them to thrive (see Knell, 2014. Innovation, Collaboration and the Open Organisation).

In today’s competitive dynamic marketplace, winning the best talent is just the beginning – it’s the battle to keep them onside which can prove to be the greater challenge. Look out for a new Kallidus top tips guide, soon to be released, on managing a new generation of talent, with recommendations for motivating and developing millennials and key advice for retaining top talent within your workforce.

How can Kallidus help? www.kallidus.com/Talent

References
1. Highfliers (2015). The Graduate Market In 2015
2. Universum Global (2015). Talent attraction in the professional services industry
3. Deloitte (2015). Mind the gaps: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial survey
4. Kallidus (2015). Talent Pools: Banishing the Secret Society

The end of performance management?

The effectiveness of performance management is firmly back in the spotlight. Management consulting services company – Accenture – hit the headlines recently when they announced they were getting rid of 90% of their current performance management processes, and PwC have shaken things up further, claiming that, in fact, one in 20 (5%) of organisations are considering stopping performance ratings completely.

And it’s clear to see why. The prospect of evaluating performance is often shrouded in negativity. Whilst the goal is to bring out the best in a workforce, people work, learn and develop in different ways. Some employees are more competitive, others more self-confident, and so low performance ratings and poorly conducted reviews can affect motivation levels and potentially dishearten some employees.

It’s also apparent that all too often, performance management is seen as nothing more than a tedious ‘tick-box’ exercise. Over a third of employees feel their end of year performance review is a waste of time, and in fact, only 8% of companies report that their performance management process is actually worth the time they put into it, and that it drives high levels of value.

On the flip side, leaders may argue that managing performance can help make more informed decisions around talent and the future of the business. But with the likes of Accenture claiming that annual reviews only encourage narcissism and self-promotion, is there a risk of doing more harm than good? And why have so many organisations still not got to grips with delivering a truly beneficial performance management process?

It’s how performance management is carried out that really counts, and for many, the quality and time dedicated to this process is lacking. PwC’s research also showed that two-thirds (67%) of respondents said that appraisals help them understand how they are doing, and nearly half (48%) said they help them to progress and think about their career, demonstrating just how valuable performance management can be when we get it right.

Above all, the key is to create a continuous, more dynamic and integrated process and provide more meaningful feedback which can drive performance, engagement and organisational success. So with this in mind, here are three ways to transform and improve performance reviews and ensure your performance strategy is a success:

1. Engage in regular communication
Its essential that managers regularly engage with employees to gain a deeper understanding of what motivates them to perform well, and what support and development opportunities they need to improve and reach their full potential. A year is a long time in today’s rapidly evolving business world; therefore, setting objectives and simply reviewing them 12 months later no longer delivers value, especially across a growing generation that needs and wants instant gratification and regular feedback.

2. Be clear about what ‘good’ performance looks like
It’s often the case that employees don’t know what’s expected of them. It’s vital to set regular goals which are specific, motivating, attainable and trackable as well as communicating what ‘good’ looks like in a role. Don’t just assume your employees know what is expected of them; it’s essential to ensure team members know what to do to contribute towards key business goals and how to progress to the next stage of their career.

3. Use technology to drive value
Don’t underestimate the power of performance software. Easy-to-use software with intelligent reporting not only streamlines performance tracking and administration, but can help managers easily identify areas for improvement and enable development resources to be flexibly directed to where they are needed most. Technology can provide a powerful tool for engaging employees in their own development, and by making it easier to identify talent for promotion, it can help create a more agile approach to talent management.

Developing and retaining employees, particularly your star performers, will not only help improve business performance, but can help you achieve and maintain a competitive edge. Whilst you may have a process in place for managing employee performance, if it’s not effective, it’s not worth doing. Culture is everything, and it’s vital that performance processes are underpinned by strong values which are demonstrated from the top down. If we get it right, managers and leaders can facilitate better conversations and drive long-term organisational success from within.

Is it time to reassess your current performance management strategy? Comment below, Tweet us @Kallidus or visit our LinkedIn page.

Find out how Kallidus can help at www.kallidus.com/Performance

References
Deloitte University Press (2014). http://www.dupress.com
PwC (2015). http://www.pwc.co.uk

 

Read the full report here: ‘Talent Pools: Banishing the Secret Society’ 

Brandon Hall Group recently released the findings of their latest survey on leadership skills, and I was interested to see an almost exact divide in the results, with the organisations surveyed scoring 35.7%, 33.7% and 30.7% respectively for poor, average and exceptional talent management practices.

Whilst there is a significant increase in organisations rating their talent management as exceptional or above average, up 21% from last year, it’s clear there are still growing concerns amongst today’s leaders around attracting, retaining and developing future leaders and combating organisation-wide skill shortages effectively.

Hays have recently reported that two-thirds of organisations have to look externally for key talent to meet changing skills needs in-house. But what does this mean in the long-term? Are we neglecting the development of internal staff? And is ‘buying’ new talent really sustainable?

Even after sourcing talent externally, organisations need to continue developing staff in order to combat future skill gaps, yield better business results, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Investing in learning and development opportunities will not only uncover hidden talent within your organisation, but can help build a skilled and flexible, change-ready workforce from within. So with this in mind, here are three top tips for creating a successful talent management strategy that really delivers value:

Define to align
Alignment is reported as the third greatest barrier to effective leadership development, behind limited budget and limited time to participate in development activities. A lack of clarity often stands in the way of aligning development practices to business strategy, and so it’s essential that organisations define the skills, experience and capabilities required of their future leaders in order to properly align talent management strategy to long-term business goals. Doing so will not only ensure you proactively manage skill gaps, but will help to future-proof your organisation.

Upskill your coaches
A recurring leadership development need, and one is which is becoming increasingly critical, is the upskilling of leaders as effective development coaches. 64% of organisations believe that developing leaders to be effective coaches is the single greatest opportunity for improving and sustaining excellence in employee performance. Building a high-performing, motivated workforce starts from within, so ensuring the right culture and effective development processes are in place for managers to filter down essential skills is vital for retaining talent and managing widespread change.

Look for potential
Growing numbers of organisations now consider recruiting candidates who may not necessarily have key experience, but are recognised as showing significant potential. Leadership development is a strategic and long-term business imperative; taking this approach and equipping inexperienced but capable leaders with the skills required by the organisation can help build a stronger leadership pipeline. However, skill gaps can be critical, so it’s essential that they are addressed quickly and effectively before they impact upon business success.

Whilst an increase in headcount will in many cases be unavoidable if businesses are to meet growing demand, it is important that the focus remains firmly on developing a skilled workforce in-house. Not only will you develop a workforce capable of managing periods of future business transformation, but by building a reputation as an employer who invests in the development of their workforce, you’ll see key talent come to you.

Is it time to reassess your current talent management strategy? Comment below, Tweet us @Kallidus or visit our LinkedIn page.

Find out how Kallidus can help at www.kallidus.com/Talent

References
Brandon Hall Group (2015). State of Leadership Development Study: Top Findings
CIPD/Hays (2015). Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey Report
Brandon Hall Group (2015). State of Performance Management Study

Time to align?

CIPD recently released the results of their seventeenth annual Learning and Development survey, and this year’s results were interesting to say the least. The survey, which examines current trends and practices in L&D, reported that a third of organisations feel their learning and development processes are not properly aligned with business strategy, with 6% having no alignment to business strategy at all.

Their findings also showed that 41% of organisations have experienced barriers to alignment, including lack of resources, lack of clarity regarding business strategy and a lack of interest or understanding of the purpose of L&D from business leaders.

Sound familiar? You’re clearly not alone. However it could be the time to start thinking about the impact of L&D on business performance and goals within your organisation. Doing so will not only help you create a culture of collaboration, but will enable you to clearly demonstrate the value of L&D in contributing to your organisation’s success.

Research shows that integrating and aligning L&D processes can help to better align employee learning and development with business strategy.

An integrated approach using the latest learning technologies will not only streamline L&D as a whole, but can help create more transparent goals and organisational targets, and ensure employee development initiatives are closely aligned with business strategy.

Learning practices go hand in hand with performance management and succession planning, and research shows that integrating these core HR processes can considerably improve user experience and enhance decision-making capability, helping to strengthen talent development and increase productivity and performance.

Above all, integrating L&D processes helps create a continuous, cyclical model of employee development, which can evolve alongside organisational strategy and the changing needs of the business.

So, if you’re concerned about whether your employee learning is in line with your business strategies, then aligning your processes is a great place to start.

To learn more about integrating learning and performance management processes within your organisation, download our full insight guide here or visit www.kallidus.com for more information.

References
Annual Survey Report: Learning and Development 2015, CIPD

infographic-gamification-final copy

For more information, visit www.kallidus.com/content

References
1. The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior. Google and IPSOS (2012)
2. Gaming Britain – Pull-out guide and infographic. Internet Advertising Bureau UK (2012)
3. When Screens Collide: Viewer Behavior in Multi-screen Environments. Yume.com (2015)
4. The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior. Google and IPSOS (2012)
5. Engaging the disengaged. Laura Overton (2014)
6. The Global Perspectives survey. ORC International (2014)
7. 30 Facts about gamification in e-learning. Elearninginfographics.com (2014)
8. Gaming Britain – Pull-out guide and infographic. Internet Advertising Bureau UK (2012)
9. Reality Is Broken: How Games Makes Us Better And Why They Can Change The World. Jane McGonigal (2011)

Motivating and engaging staff is essential to creating a happy and industrious workplace.  However today’s performance management processes seem to be hindering rather than helping managers bring out the best in their employees. Around one in three UK workers think their company’s performance management process is unfair (CIPD, 2014), a waste of time, and fails to contribute to their personal career development (Badendoch and Clark, 2012). So where are they going wrong?

Like it or not, 360 feedback tools are here to stay. Not only does an all-round evaluation tool help engage employees in their own development, but anonymous multi-source feedback enhances the entire performance management process, providing more meaningful feedback and helping employees see themselves in a new light. However like traditional appraisals, if done poorly, 360 feedback can become little more than a tick-box exercise, leaving your employees feeling deflated and in search of that big break elsewhere.

For 360 feedback to be successful, your employees need to know what’s expected of them. And the sooner staff are aware of 360 practices and objectives, the better. For employees to become fully engaged in their learning and development, 360 feedback needs to become part of everyday workplace culture. Remember, actions speak louder than words, so to create the right company culture, make sure those at the top of your organisation set an example by supporting and fully participating in all 360 processes.

What really matters is how people act on the feedback they’ve received. It’s important that participants focus on turning feedback into actionable results. After completing the 360 review, encourage your employees to create personal action plans. From this, not only will you see a more engaged workforce, you’ll identify cross-organisational trends more easily and be able to direct additional development resources to where they are needed most.

The more closely aligned your processes, the more effective they will be. And this also goes for your software. The 360 review shouldn’t be viewed as a standalone process and provides far greater value when integrated with learning, performance and talent management processes.  By closely aligning your systems, you’ll see more detailed career plans with targeted learning resources to improve employee performance. And when you align 360 feedback with the characteristics of today’s dynamic, tech-savvy workplace, you’ll unlock a collaborative solution for truly optimised performance management.

The great thing about today’s 360 feedback solutions is that they enable people to collaborate, wherever they are, at any time, on any device – perfect for the agile workplace. They also streamline and simplify employee performance across different functions and geographical regions.  Make the most of all that 360 has to offer, and you’ll improve engagement, easily identify areas for improvement and make unproductive, time-consuming appraisals a thing of the past.

The time has come to move away from traditional manager-led appraisals and messy paper-based solutions to an unbiased, multi-dimensional review process which helps create better learning plans and improves employee performance.

Is it time to reassess your performance management strategy? Comment below, Tweet us @Kallidus or visit our LinkedIn page.

Find out how Kallidus can help at www.kallidus.com/360

References
CIPD Employment Outlook Survey, Spring 2014
Badendoch and Clark Survey, November 2012

I was surprised to read today in a new report by Bersin that 66% of L&D professionals say that they are having trouble getting employees to engage with L&D offerings, and worryingly, less than 25% of line managers think that their L&D department is critical to achieving business goals. An organisation must rely on their staff’s ability to perform their roles effectively to achieve long-term business success, and L&D teams are at the heart of driving that success. So where are they going wrong? Are L&D departments really failing to keep up?

Developing employees isn’t a ‘nice to have’ – it’s essential for improving business performance and achieving lasting results. But does this mean that L&D teams necessarily need to reinvent themselves? Is it time for a great relaunch of L&D, or can HR be champions in the boardroom with a little strategic fine-tuning?

Stay one step ahead

Only 14% of L&D leaders indicate they are viewed as strategic business leaders. If this resonates with you, start by considering when your team last asked, ‘Where are we now?’ However watertight your plan, there is always room to analyse and adapt to change throughout the year to make sure your strategy continues to align with corporate goals.  Spend time with employees: what do they want to know and do current learning provisions support them successfully? How can you support and develop high performers through more innovative and engaging learning programmes? Also think about line management practicalities: how can development initiatives be simplified, yet have the most impact on performance improvements? Going back to basics is very often the answer, and thinking creatively about objectives, approaches and delivery can help to align L&D with corporate goals and inject much needed energy and enthusiasm back into employee development.

Keep it continuous

You can also refresh the L&D function by ensuring that you are driving continuous learning. Employee knowledge and skills need to be enhanced consistently and continuously, not just updated on a monthly or yearly basis. Everyone learns differently, so a blended programme involving environment, exposure, experience and education can help each individual find their ideal learning blend (see Johnson, D. (2015). Bersin). For example, job shadowing and one-to-one mentoring are particularly useful for optimising retention, and should form a regular part of workplace learning. Retaining employee engagement is also key, and immersing learners in real-world scenarios through multiplatform e-learning, multimedia and gamification can be really effective when it comes to engaging staff in personal development.

Demonstrate the power of learning

Support CPD by encouraging leaders to carry out regular performance reviews, incorporating 360 feedback and personal development planning.  Showing staff how they fit into the bigger picture and how they are contributing to the success of the organisation is one of the best ways to ‘sell’ the value of learning. I’ve found that once individuals understand their own contribution, they are far more likely to take an active role in their performance and progression, even to the point of ‘self-coaching’ and driving forward their own career development. Not only will this approach help improve organisational performance, but you’ll gain recognition as an attractive organisation to work for.

As long as the business environment continues to progress so rapidly, there is a need to constantly assess how employees learn most effectively in order to arm them with tools and knowledge they need to succeed. Staff learning and development will always remain a dynamic process, and so rather than embarking upon on a ‘great relaunch’ of L&D, I would suggest that it may be more accurate to label the next review of your L&D strategy as ‘where we are now,’ as you help your employees, and your business, progress to where they want to be.

Is it time to reassess your current L&D strategy?  Comment below, Tweet us @Kallidus or visit our LinkedIn page.

References
Johnson, D. (2015). Reimagining L&D Capabilities to Drive Continuous Learning. Bersin by Deloitte.

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