Employee Benefits Live 2015: Career development support needs to be at the heart of total reward strategies of the future, according to Jane Marsh, group people director at drinks manufacturer Innocent Drinks.
Speaking at Employee Benefits Live as part of the opening keynote speech, Marsh said that her staff, a large number of whom are aged between 20 and 30, are increasingly demanding support for their career development in addition to pay and benefits.
She said: “How we look at reward is much more than about pay and benefits. Staff want to see a career path, but it is not always obvious how to provide that, so we have spent a lot of time talking to them about how to do this and have completely redefined our learning and development offering with an emphasis on emotional intelligence.”
The development strand of Innocent Drinks’ total reward package offers staff support for their career growth and core development, as well as access to a study fund and coaching.
Marsh explained: “We have shifted from focusing on teaching staff how to do things to explaining what is involved in doing things, such as Power Point presentations and how to read a profit and loss account, and we are developing their life skills in the process.”
The development proposition is part of Innocent Drinks’ wider employee engagement strategy, which Marsh says is crucial because of the short shelf life of its products.
The speed with which the organisation’s drinks need to be turned around for sale to help minimise the amount of food wastage involved in the manufacturing process requires an exceptionally high level of staff loyalty.
Marsh finished her presentation with a call for fellow employers to consider their own approach to reward, particularly in terms of training.
She said: “The level of demand for development is the strongest I’ve ever seen. Staff are really looking at, and focused on, development and want their employers to play a strong part in supporting them through career opportunities and training.”
“Organisations need to be constantly aware of what staff are looking for.”