Developing graduates is a key part of Fujitsu’s commitment to building its leadership at an early stage. In this video Case Study, I chat with Nick White,Head of Junior Talent at Fujitsu EMEIA . We talk about Nick’s role (“the best job in the company!”), the drivers for the Junior Talent programme, and developing talent with 360 Feedback.
Nick White is Head of Junior Talent at Fujitsu EMIEA. He’s responsible for everything to do with all of the graduates and apprentices across Europe. So he has a real vested interest in how Fujitsu attracts, recruits and on-boards graduates and apprentices. He’s also responsible for how Fujitsu are developing their graduates with 360 Feedback. Here he talks about the program in detail.
Changes in business needs: technical excellence & customer skills
Over the past four or five years, demand from the Fujitsu business has changed. It isn’t just about some high potential people to fulfill their leadership pipeline. It’s also about needing really excellent technical people. These people need to have the skills for:
-Communicating with their customers (gone are the days where technical people would sit in the basement and do coding and analyze data and never talk with the customer).
-Migrating their customers onto the cloud
-Better understanding customer data
But they also need to develop broader communication and stakeholder management skills, as well as the technical knowledge. This has been the driver for the Fujitsu Junior Talent Program in its current form.
The Fujitsu Junior Talent Program is a two-year development program for all of their graduates and apprentices. It has 4 stages:
The first stage is about getting helping them to understand the organization that they have found themselves in. Fujitsu is a big complex organization. It’s helping them to understand the organization that they’re with and the industry in which they’re working, as well as the wider context in which they work.
Then they help them to understand themselves, so ‘what drives my behaviour?’. Also, ‘what impact am I having on other people and how can I start to adapt my style that has made me successful so far in the world of education?
They then ask them to lead small project teams and packets of customer work. This helps to build a different set of skills.
Junior Talent Ambassadors
Every year they have junior talent ambassadors who represent the views of the whole community. They’ve introduced a well-being call every two months where they’ll get their mental health first aiders on. It’s a very open space for people to talk.
The Junior Talent Ambassadors have written a new starters welcome guide. They also introduced a buddy system for to support people who need it.
There are two highlights to their program: one happens in year one, the other in year two.
Leadership in Action
In year one there is Leadership in Action, where graduates and apprentices are working in small teams. They have to solve a number of problems and within a fixed amount of time. From this, each person gets feedback on how they lead that team. They also get feedback on how they involved others, and as a team member how they contributed to success.
This all fun and light-hearted – the challenges are fun challenges and people love it.
How the Graduate 360 feedback works
The final element of the programme happens at the end of the graduates’ & apprentices’ two years is helping the them to understand what:
-‘Has been my career so far?’
-‘Have I really enjoyed?’
-‘Was there anything I have not enjoyed?’
-‘Do I have any strengths that I can develop further?’
-‘What does the next two three four years look like in Fujitsu when I might not have a program around me?’
– ‘How do I sustain some of that development and be a bit more independent with it?’
The Junior Talent 360 Feedback is a key element of this part of the programme, using 360 degree feedback developed and delivered through Track 360. People get responses from managers, peers and colleagues. They also self-rate themselves. The activity is much more reflective so it’s not high energy like Leadership in Action. But it’s much more around what’s your journey’s been for the past two years what have you really enjoyed who’s your role model, what are some of your gaps what has the 360 degree feedback given you, some of your strengths.
Nick says “I would have always said people would have really preferred the high energy fun leadership in action and they do they get some fantastic advice but 90% of delegates said I got so much from that launchpad module, the 360 feedback and the opportunity for reflection, know it’s really really opened my eyes and it’s been the best thing on the program so far”. Developing Graduates with 360 Feedback is a key part of the company’s strategy for future expertise and skills.