Toyota rethinks staff development with an online portal

Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) recognised that it needed to rethink its approach to staff development and put employees in the driving seat of their own progression. With the rough outline of an online portal in mind, TMUK approached us for help.

Their brief

A staff consultation exercise revealed that the company needed to improve progression and development opportunities. Existing approaches left some people feeling that development was something ‘done to them’ infrequently and in short bursts, rather than being a continuous process which they were fully involved in as part of their long-term career development.

In addition, a paper-based appraisal system and complicated processes for identifying development opportunities were making important tasks time-consuming.

TMUK felt a staff development portal would give employees the information and facilities they needed to drive their own development, as well as making performance, progression and skills gaps more visible to individual managers and HR.

Our solution

This is a long-term project, which is still in progress.

Phase 1 is now live and included building the portal structure as well as a single online appraisal system, which replaced the numerous paper-based systems in use across the business.

The online appraisal system has brought many benefits already, such as enabling HR to check the quality and progress of appraisals throughout the year and allowing them to capture and use a range of data.

Phase 2 will be completed by the end of 2013. This phase includes three strands: 

With the same anticipated completion date as phase 2, Phase 3 will see:

Although only partially complete, TMUK’s response to the portal has been very positive so far. Other Toyota plants in Europe are already expressing an interest in the portal.

“We chose to work with UDC because of several factors, including its experience of delivering similar systems to well-known brands, its competitive price and its positive response and willingness to engage.”

Andrew Parsons, Section Manager, Management & Technical Skills Development, Toyota Manufacturing UK


“We’re very happy with what UDC has delivered so far and we look forward to working with it long-term on this project. Our appraisal system has already become faster and more efficient and the portal has been well-received by staff who are eager to see more.

We’re confident that it will bring significant benefits to the business, helping us work smarter, revolutionising our approach to staff development, and fostering a culture of continuous self-improvement.”

Paul Fitzpatrick, Senior Manager, Organisational Development