Helping Sky’s People Partners build impact through client-centricity

Sky is operating within an ever-changing, extremely fast-paced marketplace. Constant developments in the worlds of TV, content creation, mobile and broadband mean their leaders are navigating continual challenges.

And that’s where Sky’s People Partner team comes in. Part of Sky’s HR function, People Partners work as internal consultants, connecting leaders across the business with the suite of tools available to help them solve problems. 

This team wanted to better serve their internal customers. The Treehouse team identified True & North’s Client-centred Thinking methodology – which uses design thinking, neuroscience and behavioural economics – as a great fit for this challenge, so we delivered the programme together.

What we did

We ran an all-day in-person session for 35 people from Sky, all of whom work at different levels of the business, with different internal clients.

Together we explored: How can Sky’s People Partner team take a more client-centred approach to their roles, create greater consistency, and make use of the tools available?

The success and effectiveness of Sky’s People Partner team depends on establishing trust amongst Sky’s leaders in the support they offer, so it was vital that this issue was addressed. Without that, colleagues may end up seeking external support for challenges which could be dealt with in-house. 

We took the group through True & North’s three step process, which they can apply at Sky – Care, Co-create and Consensus.

Care is all about building real, informed empathy with customers. We showed the group how to use research and observation to build an understanding of individuals, and then put yourselves in their shoes, and consider how they might feel in certain situations, and what pressures they might be facing. 

We then taught the group how to use anchor questions in their conversations with leaders – i.e. questions which build in the insights they’ve developed, to create a more fruitful discussion. Taking a more human-centred approach demonstrates to the person that you value them, their role, and their time, and helps drive the conversation forward.

Co-create is all about using this new approach to conversations to explore possible solutions together. We showed the Sky team how they can use the understanding they develop about individuals to start to table different solutions, and discuss the potential benefits they might bring. This client-centred approach allows teams to start to discuss specifics – such as cost, scale, and timing – in the conversation, and test possible solutions there and then. 

And the last step – Consensus – is all about planning for what could potentially go wrong with the chosen solution. We showed teams the value of conducting a premortem, using empathy to explore with their internal clients all the things that could go wrong, and how they can support them if those challenges arise. 

We had a great response from Sky’s People Partner teams to this session. The group left excited to start putting everything they learnt into practice.

“I wanted to just drop you a line to say we have been getting some really positive feedback today and a few people have said they have started to really think about the anchoring questions in particular that they are using with their clients. One of the directors went out of her way to tell me they found the session really useful and really helped them to reframe some of the team’s  approach with tricky stakeholders” – Workshop attendee

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