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Graduate development at Aon

Blue Scales


Aon Corporation is a leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting. Through its 36,000 professionals worldwide, Aon provide their clients with innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions.

Impact worked with Aon to build trust and enhance career development with young talent at the corporation.

As sustainability is key to Aon’s business strategy, Impact were tasked with ensuring that this theme was central to their graduate development programme. The result was an innovative and sustainable programme that would attract, develop and retain their graduates.

The programme focused on:

  • Aligning graduates to core business strategy and minimising silo mentality
  • Developing leadership capability against newly introduced leadership competencies
  • Raising awareness of CSR and modelling sustainable business practice and thinking – both are key strategic drivers and a source of competitive advantage for Aon
  • Building trust and enhancing career development – two important areas identified in Aon’s employee survey.

In order to ensure the long-term success of the programme, Impact worked with line and senior managers, engaging them with the business need and improving their coaching and facilitation skills in order to provide high-level support to the graduates both during and after the programme.

To generate real business projects closely aligned to the business needs, board members were invited to submit ‘sustainability themed’ ideas which aimed to increase revenue and/or reduce costs.

Launch event

For the Aon graduates, their learning journey began in London with a high-impact launch event. The event included a day of interactive and thought-provoking team building projects that explored sustainability and how this topic relates to Aon as an insurance broker.

The graduates also met with board members, who presented an overview of the business projects and hosted a Q&A session. Then it was over to the graduates to choose which projects they wanted to work on and to form project teams.

Residential event

Three months later, Impact invited the graduates and the senior managers to the Lake District for a three-day experiential offsite.

The programme included classic outdoor management development exercises, focusing on team skills. The graduates were also challenged with delivering a local community project, developing personal awareness in self-disclosure sessions, and practising giving and receiving feedback, all whilst reviewing and refocusing the work of their project teams to date.

The programme resulted in a noticeable change in mindset with Aon graduates taking a more proactive approach to their work, constructively challenging and asking questions within the business, and displaying a key interest in other functions and departments. Networking opportunities have also been maximised, both amongst peers and senior business leaders.

Aon facilitators have been at the heart of the process, evaluating not only the graduates learning progress, but also their own development experience.

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Ruth Robertson
Head of Learning and Development
"I cannot thank you enough for your efforts, both individually and collectively over the last year. It has been exciting to re-energise the graduate programme and take it to a completely different level - and we could not have achieved any of this without you - the Impact team."