Michele Owens, head of HR and OD at the Olympic Delivery Authority talked through the ‘people journey’ in her keynote at TrainingZone live 2012.

Clearly, the Olympic Games is a huge project with an enormous audience – as can be seen in he numbers. The project also works within specific parameters that have big implications for the way the organisation works:

Owens outlined the HR challenges for the organisation:


The London 2012 vision informed all their HR and L&D activities. All stakeholdersĀ  also had to sign up to the vision.

The London 2012 vision is:
To use the power of the games to inspire change
To achieve our vision we must be inspirational
To do this we must be open and respectful
Only by working as a team
Can we deliver something truly distinctive

Respect was the number one value for the construction site workers.

Owens talked through the people strategy for the ODA – see image – which was a way to articulate what the organisation meant when it came to its people. The HR team team brought the values to life through senior buy-in, effective communications, events and were supported with employee surveys.

The L&D strategy took two years to get up and running and working effectively. Key to this was senior team buy-in using coaching. The success of coaching then filtered out into the organisation and was adopted across the business.

The focus was on self-managed learning so all staff were provided with a range of options, from e-learning and learning ‘nuggets’ to coaching. It is up to the individual to attend relevant training when required.

The organisation measures the impact of its HR and L&D interventions on a quarterly basis. It was interesting to note that by changing the wording around staff surveys from performance to development more people got involved.

HR and L&D activities were also supported by a range of health and well being services too.

Owens said that employee engagement was at 92% and sickness absence was at 1.4%.