Wishing our HR Change Agents luck at People Management Awards

Last updated 9th November 2009

We are proud to wish our colleagues Sue Wait, Glen Knott, Nadiya Janjooa and their team the BEST of luck at this years People Management Awards.

Their "Change Agents" project has been selected as a finalist under the prestigious Talent Management category, alongside the DWP, McDonalds and Pizza Express.

The Change Agent Project

Birmingham City Council Change Agents

Launched in April 2008, Change Agents is Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) flagship talent pool initiative. Designed and delivered internally by BCC’s business-partnering HR function, the initiative responds to a massive business transformation programme that will ultimately see 5,000 of the 57,000 employees redeployed over three years. A different type of leadership and culture – one that supports and values change – was needed.

Change Agents (CAs) are highly talented individuals who are assigned to specific projects to provide support or expertise. To maintain the kudos of the position, only 12 CAs were originally assigned from across the council, following a rigorous internal selection process. The skill of CAs is in supporting teams to find their own solutions – CAs help to diagnose and confront issues and problems, then empower and facilitate others to tackle them.

The overall aim of the initiative was to build a flexible workforce, identify future leaders and develop a culture that supports and values change. Specific goals included retaining high-flyers and developing them into future leaders, reducing spend on consultancy fees, reducing the need to hire new staff for specific projects and sharing expertise and knowledge across the business.

The initiative has been a great success. All 12 CAs remain with BCC, which Andy Albon, director of equalities and human resources, says is a major achievement. “These employees would be coveted by all the major management consultancies,” he says.

The CAs have personally highlighted enhanced levels of commitment to the organisation, and valuable opportunities for experiential learning and engagement. The council has estimated that in the first year CAs have helped save over £1 million in consultancy fees (based on a daily rate of £600 for an external consultant versus the average annual salary for a CA of £42,698), as well as a further estimated £200k-£300k in direct hire and interim management costs. As a result, a further round of recruitment is about to commence to increase the number of CAs.

Good Luck at the Awards!

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