invested in training and welfare (2012: £57.8m)

We offer a huge range of quality training opportunities to develop our people’s skills, and to help our business grow in areas such as digital marketing. We put significant resources into training our people, developing many of our own bespoke training programs. Our spend on training and welfare programs amounted to £64.4 million in 2013, an increase of 11% on the previous year. This includes training at both Group and agency levels.

Our Group-wide training programs encourage collaboration across companies, disciplines and regions. They include:

  • Maestro: Orchestrating Client Value – a week-long program for senior client leaders, held in 26 countries, with more than 3,100 participants from 108 WPP companies since its launch in 2003.
  • The WPP ‘Mini MBA’ – an online and classroom course to build business skills. 1,875 participants have benefited from the program.
  • WPP Spectrum – a program that connects and develops multidisciplinary global client leaders.
  • First Chair – aimed at rising talent.
  • Digital Way Forward – covers what’s new in digital marketing.

Staff training and welfare
£m invested

Staff training and Welfare - £m invested

Individual WPP companies also have their own schemes to develop business and creative skills. These are delivered online or face-to-face, with some programs delivered by external training partners. Companies evaluate the effectiveness of training programs using follow-up surveys with employees and managers, and by monitoring career progression and talent retention.

Training opportunities at our companies focus on areas such as:

Industry-specific skills and technical qualifications, including digital and new media, branding, creative writing, design, media relations ■ Business skills such as presenting, time management, sales and negotiation, software, client relationships ■ Functional skills such as financial, legal and compliance ■ Privacy and data security and protection ■ Leadership, strategy and business development ■ Diversity and inclusion training ■ English language training.

Profile: Training at Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill Knowlton

Training and development is a priority at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a WPP PR agency with 2,300 employees across 49 countries. Its programs focus on helping teams to provide the best possible service to the agency's many global and local clients.

One of its leading programs is Octave: Learning to Listen, focused on building deeper relationships with clients and colleagues through active listening and asking the right questions. Since it was launched in early 2013, 1,230 employees globally have gone through the two-day Octave training.

Also available to employees is H+K Strategies Great Start training program. The Great Start approach enables client and account teams to make decisions and set a clear direction for the H+K Strategies team on deliverables, communications and client expectations.

Alongside classroom learning, H+K Strategies gives employees access to new experiences and perspectives to support their development. The agency’s newly launched Dave Robinson International Scholarship program gives four promising colleagues the opportunity to experience H+K Strategies’ global network first-hand through a three-month international assignment. It has also launched a Global Virtual Mentoring Program that enables employees to get advice and career support from senior colleagues in offices around the world.

of employees involved in regular appraisal process
(2012: 95%)

Employee appraisals

Performance appraisals enable us to assess the development and contribution of our employees, and help them to build a career at WPP. Employees at all levels receive regular performance appraisals. In 2013, 81% of employees were involved in a regular appraisal process, with an appraisal at least once every two years. Many companies have more frequent appraisals, often up to three times a year. Some employees, particularly at senior levels, take part in 360 degree appraisals. In 2013, 73% of companies undertook these appraisals.

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