Working with Pearn Kandola, AXA UK has introduced a talent management strategy aimed squarely at driving future competitiveness and performance. As a result, the company has a clear idea of its current leadership strengths and any action needed to plug gaps. Potential leaders are also more self-aware, motivated and better equipped to develop themselves.
A world leader in financial protection and wealth management, AXA knows that its people make the real difference to its success. Throughout the UK organisation there’s a strong focus on helping employees to achieve their potential.
At top level, however, AXA realised that it needed a more coherent approach to identifying and developing talent. After researching best practice, the company consulted with us on the best way forward. It wanted to measure emerging and potential leaders against its leadership criteria, while making it a positive and highly personalised experience for them.
Our solution was to create a rigorous assessment for development process as the gateway to AXA’s Future Leader programme. The first part of the event involves various exercises that stretch individuals by mirroring the tough challenges they will face at the next level. Because of the programme’s demands, people were asked at the outset to consider honestly their own capability and commitment by filling in a contract of intention. This meant fewer drop outs down the line and minimal wasted effort and expense.
Based on data collected through the business simulation exercises, each participant then spends a day thinking and talking about their development in workshops and feedback sessions with our psychologists. Afterwards they get practical advice from line and HR managers on fast-track options. These include coaching and mentoring, action learning and work-related opportunities. Via Pearn Kandola’s Dashboard they also have online access to all the data gathered about them, to prepare and update their development plan and share with colleagues and coaches.
Lesley Brooks, Talent & Leadership Partner at AXA says, “Only Pearn Kandola understood where we were coming from, and gave us confidence that they could deliver a truly different approach. In practice, participants find the process professional and realistic and feel motivated to realise the investment in them.”
“As an organisation we now know our leadership strengths and development needs so can plan more effectively. The assessment information confirms what we’re doing fits in strategically or highlights issues that we’re not aware of, as well as showing us how we compare with other organisations. Also by targeting development resources more effectively the talent team delivers better value for AXA.”