LTT Roundtable Writeup: Liverpool Football Club

How the Premier League Champions have created a winning talent management formula

Our roundtable in June was an insightful, honest and energising conversation looking into some of the processes that LFC have gone through in the past 12-18 months.

A special thank you to our hosts April Tomlinson and Richard Flood from LFC who led the discussion about their preparations for, and learnings of talent management in a hybrid working world.

As usual we wanted to share some of the key takeaways from the event itself, as a source of inspiration for everyone in the LTT family to have access to.

Here are our key takeaways;

  • There is no one size fits all hybrid working solution.
    Each Company and Industry will have different challenges. Trial and error is vital as we navigate this new mindset. Businesses that are flexible and adaptable to what is best for their people will win.
  • Don’t assume anything.
    April shared a great story around assumptions she had made and how she had learnt from this and would now encourage you to challenge your assumptions. Involve teams, working parties and groups all the way along your hybrid working approach. Ask them what they want and don’t think for them. Again, don’t make assumptions.
  • Engage and manage your stakeholders early.
    Breaking down your hybrid working project/approach into smaller, more palatable steps and managing concerns were keys to her success.
  • It’s a candidates market!
    Many clients are seeing a market explosion around talent, so retention of key talent is becoming an issue.

    There is a potential talent gap and some talent is not ready for the large jumps they are making. A number of clients are focussing on succession planning and providing career support to show talent that they are being invested in and that there are opportunities in house.
  • We don’t like putting people into boxes
    Richard shared the 4 step talent and performance model they are using instead of the more traditional 9 box grid (which we really dislike too – download our Succession Planning whitepaper for our alternative model).
  • Virtual onboarding isn’t going away.
    Richard shared some great insights about how onboarding used to be a whole day session in the stadium, and how LFC have had to adapt to onboarding new starters by creating an experience virtually, in a much shorter timeframe.

    Richard also shared about how LFC org charts are populated using Sharepoint and fed via active directory (HR system) so it stays up to date meaning that even though people are remote, can always find the people they should be talking to.
  • Managing resistance and fear around coming back to the office.
    Encourage people to come in for short familiarisation periods, travelling outside of rush hour, making it social and sharing videos and blogs of colleagues’ experiences were just some of the ideas shared.
  • Avoiding a 2-tier workforce is at the front of minds.
    From those colleagues who physically have to be in, to those who fear they may be less noticed or recognised if they choose to work more virtually, to others who have financial implications connected with commuting again, it’s a tricky topic. No one had the answer but being aware of this and opening up the dialogue, running trials and pilots and rethinking reward and benefit packages were all on the table.
  • Office space and how we use it is changing.
    Many Companies have reduced the space they have and are altering it to be a more collaborative/innovation space. However, there are a number of teething problems being experienced including people going into the office to find they are spending their time on zoom calls and new starters and those who would traditionally learn on the job finding it difficult to get to grips quickly. Solutions such as recording and filming work calls and day to day activities to share, creating buddy and mentor schemes, developing networks and creating clear guidelines around ways of working were all suggested. Whatever we do around this it is certainly more deliberate than before the pandemic.
  • Management were fundamental in all aspects that we discussed.
    Training them and helping them into the right mindset to support and manage their people through this change was obviously a priority for all.
  • Career Development is important to retain key talent.
    As alluded to above, retaining key talent throughout this disruptive period is really important. Richard shared here, LFC’s Career Development Framework. The 5 focus areas containing development for colleagues at different stages of their careers:

For those of you that attended, we hope that you found the Roundtable useful and as enjoyable as we did. And for those that didn’t get the chance this time, we look forward to inviting you to our next Roundtable in September.

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