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People Lead

Purpose

As a People Lead (PL), you provide support and coaching for several Infinity Works colleagues and represent them in certain forums to ensure the best decisions are made for them. You play an important role in their well being, enjoyment and career success at Infinity Works.

Who are People Leads?

People Leads are typically at Principal level (CL7) or higher, though the role is also open to those at Senior (CL8) level.

Everyone at Principal level is expected to be a People Lead as it is a critical part of running the company and supporting your colleagues. If you do not feel ready to take on the role immediately, your own People Lead will work with you to build your confidence and skills to the point where you can take on the role. If you have any specific circumstances which may make it difficult to take on this role, or require any adjustments to help you succeed in the role, discuss this with your own People Lead and they will support you with this.

Taking on the People Lead role is an essential part of progression to Principal level in most cases. Senior Consultants who are on their way to Principal will be supported in taking on the role as a core part of their personal development. The way you fulfil your responsibilities will contribute to your overall performance assessment. For those looking to progress, strong performance as a People Lead will be an important factor to focus on.

In all cases, People Leads must be at a higher level than the people they support.

No length of service is required. Those at Senior Level and above can become a People Lead when they and their own PL are both confident that they are ready.

Time

Time can be booked to Advocacy BYMQO001 or for one-to-one meetings you can expense lunch together. If you are struggling to balance your People Lead commitments and other responsibilities then seek guidance from your own People Lead.

Responsibilities of the role

Colleague engagement

You actively engage with the people you support from the point they formally accept a job at Infinity Works. You'll be assigned to the person and given the information you need to make contact.

You facilitate placement of new starters you support onto their first engagement by discussing their skills and aspirations and helping them identify potential roles and broker conversations. You use your knowledge of Infinity Works and your personal network to give them a helping hand in navigating the process and ensuring they are placed on a suitable engagement promptly.

You have regular catchups with each of the people you support. The frequency of the catchups should be agreed upon with each individual, but monthly is a good default. You and those you support have a joint responsibility to arrange these sessions and ensure they happen. Either party should approach the People Lead's own PL for support if they encounter issues with this see If things aren't working as you'd like.

You recognise and support issues as they arise, providing advice and a solution-focused outlook.

You support your people throughout all stages of their career at Infinity Works, adapting your style accordingly.

Safe space

You work with those you support to create a safe space where they can be themselves and a relationship where they can share what is on their mind. You must not share what you discuss with them unnecessarily, limiting this to relevant essential information that you share with your own People Lead and support group to ensure you can support them well. If someone shares information in confidence with you then you must keep it confidential, unless there is a safety concern, in which case you should discuss it one-to-one with your People Lead, making them aware that the information was shared in confidence.

If your relationship with someone you support isn't where you'd like it to be then raise it with them initially and seek support from your own People Lead if needed. If they raise concerns either directly or via your People Lead then work constructively to find the best way forward.

Onboarding

You will support your assigned colleagues especially closely through their first six months and play a primary role in the decision to pass or, if required, extend probation. It is your duty to identify any performance issues early and provide additional attention, such as:

  • More frequent check-ins with the colleague.
  • Seeking feedback more frequently from their Account/Team Lead.
  • Having frequent (suggest monthly) Meeting of Three Minds.

If you have any performance concerns, raise these immediately with your own People Lead so they can support you through the process.

Whole person

You make yourself aware of different moments in colleagues' lives, appreciate them and adjust your approach accordingly, for example:

  • Their Infiniversary.
  • When they pass probation (or it is extended).
  • When they go for promotion (whether successful or not).
  • When they have professional high or low points.
  • When they move accounts.
  • Personal events, if they wish to share those.

You take time to understand colleagues as their whole selves. This means being genuinely inquisitive about what matters to them and how they're feeling about their current situation and the future. It means accepting people for who they are and trying to see the world through their eyes.

Mental health

You are unlikely to be a trained mental health professional and you should not attempt to diagnose or treat mental health conditions unless properly trained. If you feel that it may benefit someone you support then tactfully make them aware of the mental health support available. Show empathy and consideration, and offer them an open door to discuss anything they want with you but leave it up to them what, if anything, they share.

Feedback

You recognise when feedback is most useful for a colleague's development and encourage them to pause, seek feedback, and reflect to aid their growth. You help them make the best use of the feedback they receive by discussing it with them and encouraging them to think about how to react to it constructively.

You seek regular feedback from colleagues' Account/Team Leads to ensure you are well informed about how they're getting on. If it seems like there are any disconnects in expectations or perception then use this as a trigger to bring parties together in a Meeting of Three Minds to reach alignment.

You ensure Meeting of Three Minds are happening at least every three months.

Perspective taking

You always think first of the colleague's viewpoint but are aware that the most beneficial thing for them may sometimes be to challenge their thinking and help them see things from other viewpoints.

Coaching and mentoring

You use coaching skills such as the GROW model to effectively help colleagues figure out the answers for themselves, whether that be in-the-moment problems or career-based decisions.

You use and share your experience and knowledge to support colleagues with their development needs and to help them follow their own path.

Development goals

You maintain a solid understanding of the career levels, core skills and company values and help the people you support to navigate them.

You ensure your colleagues focus on their goals, including creating and maintaining a career development plan and taking effective steps to enact it.

Getting support yourself

You regularly attend and play an active role in support group meetings.

Support group

As a People Lead, you will actively participate in regular People Lead support group meetings led by your People Lead, consisting of them and all the People Leads they support. The suggested default is to meet monthly.

In this group setting, People Leads summarise the current situation regarding each of the people they support and highlight any challenges, being mindful to only share what is necessary (see safe space). The emphasis is on peer support and learning, with the most senior PL acting as the leader of this group to ensure it runs well and that any issues are dealt with promptly and effectively. They may propose that tricky issues are taken away for them to work through in more detail one-to-one, and will escalate to their own People Lead or People Ops where required.

If some of the people you support as People Lead are themselves People Leads then you will organise a PL support group and lead it as above.

How do I become a People Lead?

If you are eligible (see Who are People Leads?) and interested in becoming a People Lead then discuss this with your own People Lead who will support and advise. If you both feel you are ready, they will guide you through the required training and put you forward to be assigned one or more colleagues to support.