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HR Excellence Awards 2012 – Best Learning and Development Strategy: Lloyds Banking Group

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In a company of 104,000 employees, the challenge for the HR department is to give the right learning to the right people – all within budget. Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has done just that through the launch of its academies strategy.

Two years ago, LBG admits its L&D was 'confusing' for staff. There was large-scale duplication of training and colleague experience was poor, so last year LBG devised and launched its academies scheme, which means individual academies are assigned to every role or division in the company to bolster learning and development, career progression and self-assessment (pictured above).

The company took the risky approach of de-centralising learning and development and moving the strategy from HR into each function, allowing it responsibility for its own training budget - and this can't have been easy to plan, with the company offering 2,000 separate learning opportunities.

Following the merger of Lloyds and Halifax Bank of Scotland less than five years ago and the company's ethos of providing an integrated offering, the threat loomed that this could counter this agenda and damage employee engagement levels.

But to the contrary, with staff now having a single point of contact for training in their own department, employees have greater ease and autonomy in making sure they have the right skills to meet the needs of the business.

There are 14 academies with 26 faculties across the group and 91% of employees have access to their curriculum - and 68% of employees say LBG provides them with the opportunity for learning and development, a score 11% higher than the national average.

From a business perspective, capabilities among staff have improved by 54%, following regular assessments. The company has saved £3 million in training since the launch of the scheme.

The judges felt this was a brilliant example of an upper quartile HR team completing a great project. They loved how LBG was not afraid of smashing the silos by involving departments across the group to achieve its objectives. And while they thought this was still a work in progress, the judges looked forward to find out what the next year would bring for the company's training provision.

Highly commended

City of Edinburgh Council

City of Edinburgh Council has been on an extensive people-management journey to transform its workforce through innovative, comprehensive and value-adding L&D plans.

Its 'leadership matters' strategy was set up to deliver: a consistent, council-wide approach to learning, leadership and development; a blended approach to learning; and the promotion of key skills and behaviours needed to attain the council's wider objectives.

The strategy has exceeded its goals, giving the council Investors in People Gold status (the first Scottish local authority to do so), generating efficiency savings of £1.8 million through e-learning and improving customer satisfaction (95% think staff are friendly; 93% think staff are polite).

The awards judges felt the L&D strategy gave a very positive impression of an upper quartile HR team. One said: "The council really got its act together. I would be proud if I worked there."

Finalists

• Accenture UK

• McDonald's

• Tube Lines

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