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Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Hill

eLearning Specialist with a background in HR/L&D and adult education, currently producing training materials for the insurance industry.

Location Birmingham, West Midlands



  • The phased return bit is really important - and it's key thuis bit is not rushed or glossed over. A common error is to apply the same time frame to full-time and part-time staff, when arguably part-time staff need longer to readjust, particularly in physically demanding jobs.

  • We're a happy and dedicated bunch in my department and don't suffer from non-authorised absence (to my knowledge). However, being a relatively small company working in quite close proximity to one another, if one of us catches a cold, we all get it! I think I'd rather my colleagues work from home, where this is possible, than pass on a cold and affect the...

  • In a very small team such as mine, frequent or prolonged absence could have very significant impacts on our service and productivity. We have a ckear Absence Management Policy, but this should perhaps be supported by greater capacity and succession planning to minimise 'Single Points Of Failure'.

  • We have access to a counselling and advice hotline as part of our company healthcare plan, can buy and sell up to 5 days holiday and work flexibly to accomodate personal commitments. We also support a different charity every year and hold lots of events and fundrasing activities to support this.

  • I think I'm pretty supportive in each of the five domains, but could perhaps do more in 'health' to encourage regular breaks, ensure my staff are taking a full lunch hour and using holiday and flexible working to encourage a better work/life balance.

  • I attended a very interesting presentation on this topic at this years CIPD Festival of Work. Looking forward to studying this in more detail.

    As a manager I only have so much latitude around this - for instance, we have clear policies on absence and sick pay - but I know from experience that my company is as supportive as they can be when an employee has...

  • This is really helpful - although for a small team like mine there is a lot of overlap between the first two steps.

  • Very thorough summary - I'm a strong believer in co-created objectives. They help to build engagement and foster commitment to the goals from the outset.

  • We're pretty good at this. We have monthly 1-2-1s and twice yearly appraisals that follow a formal structure and 'rating' process. These are pretty transparent and easy to follow, but the comments in the video above about unconcious bias interest me. Even with such a clear, seemingly objective process, can bias still creep in?

  • This was a more positive and constructive experience all round, for the customer and employee, with the manager acting quickly to resolve the situation without escalating tensions and turn it into a teachable moment.

  • I would have addressed the issue before the wrong order was sent out, but done so in a more discreet way, without embarassing the employee. I would then have found a quiet moment later in the shift to discuss what happened and coach the employee on how they could have handled the situation better. Key to this would be establishing whether the employee...

  • Wow! The manager handled that very badly. He embarrassed the employee, probably dented their confidence and undermined his own credibility as a leader. For the short-term 'gain' of saving face in front of the customer, he has likely damaged his relationship with the employee.

  • My best experiences of performance management have always been when the goals are mutually agreed from the outset, easily tracked and measured and regularly reviewed. The best managers take time out to celebrate hitting targets and reaching key milestones to encourage further development.

  • "On the same page, all of the time" resonated with me, as I feel that sums up what a high performing team looks like in my organisation. Communicating effectively and working efficiently to a common purpose

  • Very enjoyable week with lots to think about. Wish I'd learned some of this sooner.

  • The 'Alternative' and 'Change Plan' aspects of this model cannot be overstated. Having the bravery and self-awareness to recognise when you need to differently and committing to that change is often where coaching falls down.

  • Really useful overview and, like Karolina, I immediately noticed the parallels with the GROW model too.

  • This reads almost like a cross-section of my audience!

    Anika would definitely benefit from a clearly defined 'learning pathway', with support from her manager, coupled with access to online courses that allow her to build and test her knowledge and track her progress.

    I think Karim would respond well to job-shadowing and being assigned a short-term...

  • I'd like to delve more into Communties of Practice in our workplace, which I have a lot of experience in my own professional development. Using platforms like Yammer and Microsoft Teams to create spaces where peer-to-peer learning can take place.

  • I design eLearning for a living, but ackowledge that it's not always the most appropriate format for learning. One of my most memorable learning experiences was classroom-based, but utilised technology to conduct live polling and quizzes throughout the session. I'm a strong advocate of bringing tecnhology into the classroom in ways that 'gamify' the...

  • We quite deliberately provide a blend of learning delivery styles and formats, although my own preference is towards elearning and social/peer-to-peer as that is my job role.

    Using a variety of delivery styles and formats has clear benefits in terms of engagement and retention and also means in a small organisation we can respond to change quickly.

  • This is a really useful template - thanks! Me and my team have had a very successful 12 months, even winning an industry award. But that's all the more reason not to become complacent and focus too much on our strengths. Coincidentally, we're in the process of revising our appraisal criteria across the company, taking a much more rounded view - akin to a...

  • I think the last development conversation I had with my staff member hit all of these points, but I could probably been more structured in my approach to it and placed more emphasis on the individual's aspirations and needs.

  • What's that old chestnut? 'What if we train them and they leave? But what if we train them and they stay!'

    People are a resource like any other, requiring maintenance and investment to continue to get the best out of them.

  • Interesting week. As I've mentioned before, our recruitment tends to skew towards school leavers or younger professionals already working in the sector, so our Induction process tends to swing between being quite full on to relatively hands off. But both audiences still need certain types of support and being consistent in our approach to Inductions - while...

  • I think there is a great opportunity to use simple technology such as video messages to personalise the Onboarding / Induction process and make new starters feel part of the company from the moment they accept the job offer. A series of short messages welcoming the new starter, identifying key personnel, introducing their immediate manager and even showing...

  • I will always remember my induction at my second ever job - at a now defunct insurance company - which was terrible! On my first day I spent an hour with the Head of Department in his office being lectured about the importance of pensions, then I was sent to help the Admin team with the filing for the day, as my desk wasn't ready and I had no computer. This...

  • This is timely as I am hoping to expand our team. Any induction programme for my department would include:

    - Onboarding via our eLearning platform prior to walking through the door, providing basic Compliance and Health & Safety training, an overview of the company and - importantly - a first look at the platform they will be working with.

    - They would...

  • Again, another really instructive exercise and I don't feel I can share the results of this, as they're pretty damning in some ways. Small teams such as mine are particularly vulnerable and identifying who is a 'flight risk' and having succession plans in place is clearly very important. If I fell under a bus tomorrow I'd like to think I would be missed!

  • Coincidentally, this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently, as we consider whether we need to expand my small team. I would say one of the most important reasons someone would want to work for me on my team is I would give them the space and trust to make key decisions about 'what good looks like' based on their professional experience and...

  • This is a really instructive exercise. I imagined the first candidate to be be 'Late 20s, early 30s, female, degree educated, with ann open, friendly, nuturing personality'. I imagined the second candidate to be 'Mid 30s, male, with a technical qualification equiv to Level 5, with an organised, analytical and detail-minded personality.'

    And I did this...

  • Yes! I second this. I work in a sector where this is a danger - jargon can vary from company to company. 'BI' in commercial underwriting terms is the abbreviation for 'business interruption'. But in general insurance, it's more common for this abbreviation to be used for 'bodily injury'.

    Using 'BI' in a job specification for a ill-defined insurance role...

  • Yep! I suspected all five of the job descriptions were in some way troublesome, but it's amazing how often you see adverts that include phrases like these!

  • These are interesting examples and many here have already highlighted the issues with some of these candidate descriptions. The one that leaps out at me though is the potentially 'ageist' fashion retail sales assistant post.

  • When I was interviewed for my current role I was asked to talk more about my attitude and approach to my work and my hobbies and interests, than give specific examples of my work, as I had already provided a copy of my portfolio ahead of the interview.

    In creative fields such as my own (eLearning Design) I think it's a really good idea to do this, as the...

  • Broadly speaking, my organisation already does a good job of following these principles when recruiting new staff and has recently begun to make better use of tests and competency based questions to ensure candidates have the correct level of knowledge and experience, while also identifying individuals who have a willingness to learn and grow.

    Again, all...

  • Economic and Social factors have the biggest impact on recruitment for my organisation, with some quite specific local workforce issues shaping the quality of candidates and their salary expectations. As I mentioned in the last section, focussing on school leavers rather than graduates or already qualified professionals means the quality of candidates can vary...

  • The sector I work in, financial services/insurance, despite being regulated and overseen by professional bodies, does employ a high proportion of school leavers and 'grows its own workforce' with a learn by tote approach to training.

    The better organisations offer sponsorship of professional qualifications and career development, but it is fair to say...

  • I lean towards facilitating and coaching but have found I have to alter my style when dealing with key stakeholders who do not report directly to me, but need to be directed to achieve mutual goals.

    I feel that wider use of 'intent-based leadership' would be helpful to my organisation.

  • This rings very true to my current situation, moving from delegating to facilitating as I support a member of staff through her CIPD qualification. I am most comfortable working in these roles, alongside coaching, and less comfortable directing people.

    However, I acknowledge there will be occasions where I need to direct rather than facilitate, for a range...