Since 2010/2011 the London Borough of Newham has faced annual funding cuts amounting to over £97m. It is facing further reductions in funding which will result in a total reduction in funding of £42.6m by 2020. Against this background, the Borough appointed a transformation team to improve efficiency and develop a new operating model whilst maintaining resident satisfaction.
The new operating model introduced a flatter organisational structure and a split between the commissioning and delivery areas. There was a move to a more agile and responsive mind set with increased cross-functional working.
The team agreed a process for assessing the suitability of existing staff for new roles. This involved psychometric evaluations and interviews with a one-day assessment centre featuring a business simulation game. As an example, for a tier 3 commissioning leader both methods assessed strategic thinking, commercial awareness, people leadership, innovation and adaptability.
Elgood worked with the Newham transformation team to design and deliver the assessment day, which was structured around a business simulation game. Participants had to work in teams to run a business operating in a commercial context. This involved assessing the current marketplace, creating and implementing a strategy for the business, then reviewing and assessing the changing market conditions. The simulation game was adapted to enable participants to demonstrate knowledge of pressures within their roles, the procurement process and the need to find the most economically advantageous outcome, whilst managing ongoing contracts where there were performance issues.
Business simulation games allow participants to express themselves. There’s nowhere to hide, so you see the real person. It ensures what candidates say in an interview is supported by evidence. Behaviour, as well as intellect, can be assessed, which is particularly relevant when looking for leaders who will set an example and where the culture needs to change.
The process allowed internal assessors to see candidates applying their skills as well as an independent assessment from Elgood. It allowed the senior team to make decisions with input from their own staff.
Elgood is a small, independent consultancy, which can act quickly to support clients and is easy to engage with. With extensive experience in our field, we are able to bring our commercial and business expertise into areas where these skills are not common. We are an agile business with minimal overheads.
Elgood strives to add value and help our clients to improve performance, productivity and to make long-term savings. Our unique experience allows candidates to get a feel for their new role and the skills needed. Making sure that organisations get the right people in the right roles, first time, reduces staff turnover, lost training costs and ensures staff satisfaction.