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“This programme helps people to enhance their skills with the aim of moving both themselves and the company up” Three employees tell us about the Leaders For Tomorrow programme

At BNP Paribas Personal Finance, our staff are at the very heart of the company. Junior or senior, new recruits or long-standing employees – at BNP Paribas Personal Finance we make it a point of honour to value and develop our staff through our various different programmes. The aim of the Leaders For Tomorrow programme is to highlight the company’s most promising potential.

Carole, Talent Manager for the BNP Paribas Personal Finance corporate HR division, is in charge of the programme. Here she tells us about the how the programme works and what its objectives are, along with Cathy and Ricardo, two of the company’s young talents.

Please can you introduce yourselves?

Carole: I’m Carole Parlant, I am a Talent Manager at Corporate Human Resources and I’m part of the "People Strategy & Corporate Development” team.
Cathy: My name is Cathy Tregaro and I’ve been working as a Consumer Analyst at the Echangeur by BNP Paribas Personal Finance for seven years now.
Ricardo: My name is Ricardo Mantovani, I’m Head of Finance at BNP Paribas Personal Finance in the UK.

When was the BNP Paribas Personal Finance talent identification programme first mooted and introduced?

Carole: The BNP Paribas Group’s Leaders For Tomorrow programme was launched in 2016. Naturally BNP Paribas Personal Finance adopted it, and even went on to extend it, with another programme aimed at identifying Key Resources for our business. These two populations both belong to the BNP Paribas Personal Finance "PF Key People” programme.

What are the main aims of these two initiatives?

Carole: If we take the Leaders for Tomorrow programme, which is run jointly by the BNP Paribas Group and BNP Paribas Personal Finance, our aim is to prepare the next generation of leaders, using the diverse range of profiles found throughout all the various different places where we operate. The idea is to identify them and then give them personal support and guidance as they grow and develop, strengthening their leadership skills and helping them to see themselves as filling key roles in the short, medium or long term, either with BNP Paribas Personal Finance or elsewhere within the Group.

Can you explain how the programme works?

Carole: The programme’s starting point is to build a personal development plan for each individual talent. The plan helps people to work in concert with their managers and with Human Resources, to set development targets that reflect feedback gathered from their teams and peers, strengths that would benefit from further development, points that need to be worked on, and issues relative to BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s current and future strategy.

How did you find out about this talent identification programme?

Cathy: I hadn’t really heard very much about it, personally, until my managers told me about it and said that I was part of it.
Ricardo: I heard about it from our Human Resources department and from information we were given by the group when the programme was introduced.

Do you have any predefined criteria in terms of talent identification?

Carole: Our criteria for identifying this population are shared by the whole group – and the talent pool is not set in stone, people can move in or out of it each time we conduct a talent identification exercise. Talents are high-performing, customer-oriented individuals who match the group’s ethics and values. For each level, we have established the type of profile we seek in terms of skills, motivation, experience and development potential, relative to our future transformation strategy. We use identification grids to help us select suitable employees objectively.

Can you explain the process of appointing someone to the programme?

Carole: The manager tells the person in question that they have been appointed. Then the onboarding process begins, with an international PF Talent Forward seminar, where we help them draft their development plan and determine areas that will strengthen their leadership qualities and skills. Participants also get an opportunity to talk to members of the Management Committee, as well as meeting members of the Leaders for Tomorrow programme from our 28 different countries.
Cathy: Exactly – my two managers applied for me to become a talent while I was on maternity leave, and, when I came back to work, they told me I was enrolled in the programme! It came as a really nice surprise on my return to work!
Ricardo: As for me, I was offered the opportunity of leaving South Africa and coming to the UK, so that I could get to know a new department. The transfer came up just when the programme was being introduced, and that’s when my managers came to talk to me about it. They were the people who made it all happen. 

Carole, what do you expect from these Leadership Talents in return?

Carole: Identifying someone as a Talent involves a commitment from both the company and the individual concerned. We expect them to take an active part in their development, to move out of their comfort zone, to take up new challenges, to take part in the initiatives that are put to them, and to take note of any feedback they are given…and thus adopt an active, agile, continuous learning approach.

What does this programme do for the employees themselves?

Carole: Leaders for Tomorrow are given personal development opportunities that match their professional development plans. It might be a role-related opportunity that will give them a good level of experience, or a digital technology learning expedition, a Hackathon on CSR, a leadership seminar (e.g.: EVE, Connect to lead)… If they are identified as possible successors to key posts, their careers may be fast tracked and they will be given greater visibility across the various BNP Paribas Group entities.

What feedback can you give us about this programme?

Cathy: I didn’t really know what to expect at first. Then, when they explained the selection process and what the programme was for, I had a better idea of what it was all about. It made me feel valued and recognised for the work I do. I really appreciate being given the opportunity to take part in events about strategic issues, and also the amount of exposure to top management.
Ricardo: It’s something I’m really proud of. BNP Paribas is such a big company that being recognised as one of its talents is really pretty huge. The opportunity to develop our soft skills and imagine our future role in the company have helped me to see my future career from a completely different angle.

What has this appointment meant to you in terms of career?

Cathy: I really appreciate meeting and talking to so many different people. The first phase of the programme involved a seminar that lasted several days. It was a great opportunity to meet other talents, and talk to company employees that I might never have spoken to otherwise. It was very rewarding. It made me take a good look at myself and move forward in terms of how I work and how I see my future career.
Ricardo: It’s a well-organised programme, from the selection process right through to the seminar in Paris, where we were given the opportunity to discuss what being a talent meant from both a professional and a personal point of view. We concentrate on our aspirations and motivations, so as to improve our personal and professional skills and hence our performance.

What word would you use to describe the programme?

Carole: Stimulating!
Cathy: I’d say, taking part in the company’s development in terms of how we work, talk about things and see the future.
Ricardo: It’s about enhancing skills with the aim of moving both ourselves and the company up.

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