BravoSolution: Leadership Skills Training Increases Employee Satisfaction
Key facts and figures
Upskill managers and build people leadership capacity
BravoSolution, now Jaggaer, is the world’s largest independent company that is vertically focussed spend management solutions. The HR Director asked for our help. There were great growth opportunities for the organisation. And that meant a need to upskill their managers and build their people leadership capacity. They faced three key challenges – leadership capacity, leadership capability and leadership culture:
- They needed to:
Build the leadership capacity of the wider management team. This would allow the senior leadership team to focus upwards and outwards rather than into the day to day operation.
- Develop the leadership capability of the managers so they had the skills and confidence to get the best out of their people
- Create a leadership culture that encouraged growth and developed talented employees.
The LEADER System
We followed the six steps of our method, The LEADER System. This ensured we designed and delivered a leadership development programme that met the needs of their business.
Level. The HR Director did an excellent job in developing a clear business case for leadership development. She got all key stakeholders on board so everyone was committed to investing the time and money required. We worked with her to develop a benchmark of key metrics that we would use to evaluate the impact of the programme. Those measures included Employee Satisfaction, Career Progression and Staff. We also held one to one discussions with each of the managers who would take part in the Programme. We wanted to understand where they were starting from and what they wanted to gain from the Programme.
Envisage. We ran a one day Co-Design Workshop with the senior leadership team and the managers. We started with envisaging what successful leadership would look like in the organisation. The senior leadership team shared their views on what would be different and what they would notice if the programme was successful. The participating managers did the same through a creative activity where they developed a Cover Story Vision. They titled the imagined magazine feature “Bravo – Voted Best Place to Work 2017!” The Vision told a story of a company where employees were happy, felt they were progressing in their careers and felt trusted. Training and Mentoring Programmes in place to empower, up skill and develop employees. The culture was a positive one where people worked hard and supported each other. The business was growing, customers loved them and they were winning awards for customer service.
Assess. With an inspirational vision in place, we assessed what development the managers needed to turn this vision into a reality. We agreed that participants needed to develop the skills and confidence to:
- Develop strong trust-based relationships with their people even when managing remotely
- Adapt their communication and management style to the needs of the situation
- Drive performance through delegation, goal setting and feedback
- Coach team members to develop and grow their potential
- Have courageous conversations around performance, behaviour and people issues
- Have career conversations that engage, motivate and keep your best people
Develop. We designed a series of workshops that addressed the themes we had identified. The participants had specified that they did not want “death by PowerPoint”. Instead, they wanted interactive sessions. They wanted to discuss things and learn from others’ ideas and experience as well as ‘best practice’. So, we followed our Accelerated Leadership Development Model. The model puts the leaders’ experience in the workplace at the heart of the development activity.
Embed. We built the following five stages into each development activity. These help embed new behaviours into working practice.
Each workshop was a working boardroom session. Participants brought specific challenges associated with the theme. This inspired the desire to try something new. During the workshop, we informed and re-formed their thinking. We introduced them to new tools and techniques and managers shared their experiences and ideas. In the safe environment of the workshop they were able to try out new approaches to show they know how to put them into practice. They went away with specific actions to try and apply to the challenge they had brought. In subsequent peer coaching sessions, they were able to review and re-do. In other words, review their progress and identify what worked that they should re-do in future or what they should try instead.
Reinforce. The final workshop in the Programme gave us an opportunity to review progress. We also wanted to identify what organisational systems and processes might be needed to sustain and reinforce it. Without exception, all managers said they had gained confidence as a result of the Programme. And this had resulted in actions and behaviours that had delivered positive results. The examples were rich and varied. The senior leadership team had noticed that managers were having a lot more one to one conversations with employees. They were more willing to manage difficult situations and there seemed to be a lot more trust and respect for the managers. To sustain and reinforce that, the managers felt they needed more insight into the long-term strategy for the organisation. They agreed a quarterly strategy meeting of the managers and senior leadership team. This would allow greater communication, openness and transparency.
Review of Progress
The Programme received great feedback from the senior leadership team and the participants. At the end of the twelve months, we revisited the agreed outcomes and measures to determine progress and achievements. They included among others:
- The business had grown by 10% with a combination of new clients and renewals
- Customer satisfaction was at a record high and they were named as a Leader by Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
- Staff retention had increased by 18%
- Employee satisfaction ratings had improved by an average of 15% in the areas of people management and career development
The material provided on the programme is really useful and practical and helps the learning back into the business.
Andrew Heywood, Manager