People Development and Talent Retention 2022


NHS Property Services

Sponsored by: Hays

People Development and Talent Retention 2022

NHSPS helps the NHS get the most from its estate to deliver excellent patient care. But to do this, NHSPS needs excellent people on its team, so the organisation focuses on hiring for attitude and training for skills. It has provided training to more than 5,500 colleagues in corporate functions and operational frontline roles.

Built into this recruitment and development focus, NHSPS is undergoing a culture change to become a learning organisation. This entails among other components:

  • leadership moving from command/control to engage/enable
  • shifting focus from task to people to boost performance
  • a new ‘people pillar’ to the company strategy to get, grow and keep great people
  • refreshed values and a leadership behaviours framework
  • investment in infrastructure to make virtual learning accessible to all
  • growth of the L&D function (3-15 people)
  • a blended leadership development programme for more than 1,100 managers.

Results gleaned

In addition to maintaining mandatory compliance training, NHSPS has launched internal transformational initiatives that include:

  1. a four-module leadership programme for 1000+ leaders
  2. a five-module management skills development programme for 500+ managers
  3. practical sessions on trainer skills, communication, and customer engagement training for a holistic approach
  4. a range of apprenticeships with diverse colleague representation, including a collaborative apprenticeship delivered in partnership with the training provider
  5. virtual Learning Weeks and the People Development Directory, moving from a push to pull approach to self-development
  6. a new LMS with training for 5500+ colleagues, with 400+ high quality learning experiences available and a record of 938 courses completed in a day
  7. practical sessions on trainer skills, communication, and customer engagement training for a holistic approach
  8. 19 colleagues enrolled on various IWFM short courses and qualifications
  9. physical, mental, and financial wellbeing training, including mental health first aid
  10. smarter working practices, supporting colleagues to adapt to our new hybrid working model
  11. achieved the 2022/23 target of 70% of new appointments coming from internal applicants.

Best practice learning

Real culture change takes time, is unique to each organisation and requires a joined-up approach from all stakeholders. It also takes time, collaboration and agreeing to a shared language to communicate. The benefits of work done to refresh values, introduce behaviours and investing in infrastructure speak volumes. NHSPS is more inclusive, able to tailor content, can see colleagues adopting growth mindsets, and can see many positive changes across the organisation.

Key quote

‘This programme has encouraged me to be positive about the organisation and more optimistic about its leadership and future, enabling me to genuinely promote its values and culture to others.’ — NHSPS Training Delegate