Engaging RNLI employees in HR change

When RNLI employees started to suggest that their annual appraisal and competency framework wasn’t working as well as they had hoped, the organisation sat up and took notice. Feedback suggested that the process wasn’t considered wholly effective, and in some cases it was not driving the desired behaviours or measuring performance in the right way.

The RNLI were keen to take action to respond to this feedback, and in doing so wanted to involve as many employees as possible so that they could really understand the issues and therefore redesign the system that met the needs of their people. They also recognised that including staff in this way would ensure that they felt involved and motivated by the new process and of course, it needed to meet their needs of the business as well.


In May and June 2013, we worked with the RNLI to design and facilitate 14 World Cafe events across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Over 300 employees as well as members of the Executive team participated at venues as diverse as St Asaph, Saltash, Ipswich, London, Lymington, Cowes, Perth, Teeside, Dublin and Poole.

Energy levels and ideas from employees were unparalleled. Employees were deeply committed to the organisation and were therefore very passionate about suggesting ways to improve the system.

The rich outputs of all of the Cafes were fed into a week-long Rapid Improvement Event which was part of their recently introduced business improvement process.

“Excellent format, open and honest. Great opportunity to input. Format needs to be applied to every project to get the voice of the people.”
World Cafe participant.

“Thanks again for all of your hard work. Your enthusiasm and professionalism taught us much about how we engage with our people and in a few short weeks we have taken some very important steps forward.”
HR Manager


Speak to Jos on - 07415 504 705


Unit 218, Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol. BS4 3AQ

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