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THB Case Study

THB Turns Back on Annual Appraisals to Retain and Grow Talent

With Rosalino Walsh, Group L&D Manager at THB Group.

Company info

THB is a specialist international (re)insurance broking and risk management group. Established in 1968 THB is headquartered in London, where it operates one of the largest and most successful Lloyd’s broking operation in the specialty market sector.

  • Industry


  • Headquarters

    London, United Kingdom

  • Company Size


Rosalino Walsh

Group L&D Manager at THB Group

We talked to Ros­ali­no Walsh, Group Learn­ing and Devel­op­ment Man­ag­er at THB Group, about how the Lon­don based re-insur­ance bro­ker is refin­ing its learn­ing and devel­op­ment strat­e­gy to break down siloes and build a one-team’ cul­ture of col­lab­o­ra­tion, sup­port­ing diver­si­ty and inclu­sion across the business. 

Like many sec­tors, the insur­ance indus­try is fac­ing a huge trans­for­ma­tion. Jobs are being chal­lenged by tech­nol­o­gy, but at the same time, peo­ple and tal­ent are becom­ing more impor­tant than ever so a shake-up of cul­tur­al norms is in process. THB need­ed to make a cul­tur­al shift using learn­ing and devel­op­ment to empow­er employ­ees’ per­son­al devel­op­ment, while also address­ing gaps in man­age­ment skills, suc­ces­sion plan­ning, and qual­i­ty of stat­ed per­son­al objectives. 

Most impor­tant­ly, the com­pa­ny want­ed to move away from tra­di­tion­al tick box’ manda­to­ry train­ing required by reg­u­la­tors and its score card per­for­mance reviews, that weren’t that use­ful for the major­i­ty of the business.

We need­ed to make a cul­tur­al shift at THB and our learn­ing and devel­op­ment strat­e­gy was one of the ways we could help ensure our employ­ees were not just tech­ni­cal­ly com­pe­tent but also devel­oped the so-called soft skills need­ed to make that change.”
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THB aspired to move away from tra­di­tion­al appraisals to 90-day coach­ing ses­sions”, but knew that most per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware only offered a tra­di­tion­al online annu­al appraisal approach. Clear Review’s tech­nol­o­gy was specif­i­cal­ly built to enable ongo­ing dia­logue and feed­back – deliv­ered with and extreme­ly sim­ple and clean’ user experience.

Accord­ing to Ros­ali­no, Clear Review was a great fit due to the sim­ple user expe­ri­ence and also because the sys­tem pro­vides clar­i­ty around both busi­ness and per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives. It’s help­ing THB to iden­ti­fy what its peo­ple are actu­al­ly doing in terms of per­son­al devel­op­ment, where they are going, and what their aspi­ra­tions are.

THB brand­ed the Clear Review per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem THB Talk Time.’ Talk Time has quick­ly become their cen­tral peo­ple man­age­ment plat­form used to sup­port every­thing from employ­ee onboard­ing and pro­ba­tion peri­od man­age­ment, learn­ing and devel­op­ment, employ­ee reviews and objec­tive set­ting. Suc­ces­sion plan­ning is cur­rent­ly being intro­duced via Clear Reviews Tal­ent Snap­shots func­tion­al­i­ty, this is now con­sid­er­ing entire teams ver­sus tra­di­tion­al key peo­ple approaches.

With grow­ing use of Talk-Time, THB is begin­ning to see real ben­e­fits, and it’s been ful­ly embraced with 1,200 devel­op­men­tal con­ver­sa­tions logged in the sys­tem. Buy in from senior peo­ple — includ­ing the Chief Exec­u­tive — has been pos­i­tive, and met­rics from the sys­tem are shared with the board every month. Sta­tis­tics are also pub­lished via the company’s HR News online mag­a­zine, where Ros­ali­no can use sys­tem gen­er­at­ed num­bers to con­grat­u­late depart­ments on var­i­ous achievements.

Ros­ali­no says:

Vis­i­bil­i­ty and data feel dif­fer­ent. The sys­tem has become an inte­gral part in cre­at­ing greater open­ness, trans­paren­cy and clar­i­ty around what peo­ple need to do. Indi­vid­u­als are being more demand­ing of their man­agers in a pos­i­tive way. Most peo­ple are now sit­ting down with their man­agers every three months and talk­ing about their devel­op­ment. We’re using it to recruit and retain tal­ent too. I had a senior per­son in our busi­ness who had been approached by anoth­er com­pa­ny ask­ing her to come and work for them. She said, I told them no because of the learn­ing and devel­op­ment I’m get­ting at THB. I’m not ready to go yet.’ That’s the holy grail.”
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