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HR advice puts development back on leadership

New York City, 15 Aug 2016

Sometimes you can get asked to deliver a particular project outcome but, in the process, more value can be found elsewhere. 

This was Laura Campbell’s take-away from her recent pro bono experience assisting community group Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) on succession planning for its leadership team. 

“OATS were keen to look at their current talent pipeline,” says Campbell, a Macquarie New York employee. “But we ended up giving them more of a foundation to have conversations about their own development programs, as well as with direct reports. It was less about coming up with solutions and more about empowering people to learn common techniques in talking about training and development more generally.” 

Campbell was one member of the four-person HR team that assisted OATS in NYC, as part of a wider initiative to assist Macquarie’s community partners where there are specific HR challenges but not the resources to tackle them. 

The new professional development framework created for OATS is expected to improve staff satisfaction and retention as well as develop the succession pipeline at the 40-strong organisation. 

A second team also worked with local charity Children’s Village to redesign its recruiting and hiring process, aiming to reduce the time to hire, improve the quality of hires and save money through reduced overtime and need for temporary agency staff.

Participating staff volunteered up to five hours per week over twelve weeks over both projects. 

Laura Campbell also derived great benefit from the assignment. “I put my hand up because I thought it would be a great opportunity to have that consulting experience and get out of my wheelhouse,” she says.

“And I think OATS got a lot out of it too, with practical tools they can incorporate into their work on an ongoing basis and a greater understanding of development platforms.”

Image caption: From left: Macquarie’s Laura Campbell and Kelly Shannon, Fred Fields from OATS, and Nicole Baldi from Macquarie.