The Issue:

Retaining a consistent brand image and reputation, while driving effective and efficient sales and marketing, across a complex and highly competitive global marketplace, is a real and significant challenge for many global organisations. For global brands this is even more crucial due to differences in cultural and geographical interpretations.

The Key Objective:

BP needed an assessment programme for its 1,000 strong sales and marketing employees around the world to help them better understand BP’s brand and their own role and responsibility in retaining in it. The assessment results would feed into the company’s competency framework and help mangers at BP get clear understanding of the competency levels of sales staff globally.

The Challenge:

BP’s senior decision makers and team leaders also wanted to identify areas that may pose a risk to its brand or areas of weakness where specific interventions were needed to improve performance.

They also wanted to identify potential People Risks, such as individuals who demonstrate high confidence and low understanding of their roles. Such knowledge would enable them to deliver targeted learning and development interventions to improve the competence and performance of sales and marketing employees.

What Cognisco Provided:

Cognisco worked with BP’s Global Competency Manager from Learning and Development and HR on a three year programme to roll out the initiative globally.

The programme involved more than 1,000 employees at all levels in sales and marketing, from Key Account Managers through to Senior Leaders in BP’s own distribution and sales channels.

The programme enabled the organisation to accurately measure an individual’s level of expertise in each of the areas of competence required for their specific role and devise and offer appropriate development, training and interventions to meet their needs.

First, Cognisco’s expert occupational psychologists and consultants working with BP to devise a situational judgement assessment that examined the specific competencies required for each role. By presenting a series of realistic, role-based scenarios and asking participants to indicate their view of each possible response and their level of confidence in their answers, managers were able to determine each individual’s level of competency.

The online assessment questions and weightings were mapped directly back to BP’s existing competency framework. Management reports were also produced that provided a rapid diagnostic of potential areas of risk, weakness or those requiring further exploration.

BP then invested in Cognisco’s MyKnow competency management system to broaden the scope of the assessment and development process, to more rapidly implement new programmes and deepen the leaning, development and support tools given to each individual.

The Outcome:

The online assessment provided succinct and accurate management reporting, enabling team leaders and senior decision makers to plan and implement actions to improve individual performance. These included training and interventions needed for each individual.

BP now has a means of ensuring each individual understands the BP brand and their own role and responsibility in retaining it.

Senior decision makers and team leaders can “see” the entire global operation and rapidly identify any areas that may pose a risk or require specific interventions. Areas of weakness, risk or concern are now flagged immediately.

With the core skills and competency processes in place, launching new programmes based on specific business imperatives and regional or local requirements, is done more easily and consistently.

BP is able to more consistently and accurately drive the behaviours requisite to maintaining the brand reputation, whilst driving profitability and growth.

The next steps/conclusion:

Maintaining momentum in sales and marketing across a complex and global operation while protecting the brand reputation requires the ability to be sure how your people will behave in any given scenario.

Using MyKnow, BP has been able to gain unique insight of skills and knowledge, and most importantly likely behaviour, across multiple geographies and a complex supply chain – in order to pin point potential People Risk. This has enabled rapid intervention and helped to ensure BP’s sales and marketing teams uphold the company’s brand image and reputation around the world.

Talk to us about your competency management and risk avoidance challenges

We're confident that our assessments can transform the way your organisation uses competency management to identify opportunities for change and improvement. Tell us about your current challenges so we can help you to minimise risk and drive iterative improvement.