ILM-endorsed management programme aimed at 1st line and also senior managers
Recent research by the CMI confirms the link between organisational performance and management abilities. The research shows that in low performing businesses line managers are deemed to be effective by only 39% of managers, compared to 80% in high performing organisations. Importantly, it also provides new evidence showing how management and leadership development activities can lead to increases of almost a third in people performance and 23% overall in organisational performance.
The Taylor Wimpey Context
The turmoil in the UK housing market over the last few years has been extremely challenging. However, despite a drop in the both the volume and value of building activity it was important that we invested in the skills our managers. In Taylor Wimpey we felt that in such challenging times it remained more important than ever to invest in our employees. I’m proud of the fact that whilst lots of companies were reducing the investment in learning and development, our leadership were looking ahead and putting in place a strategy that would set us up for the future and keep us ahead of the competition.
We needed to provide our people managers with a set of management tools that focused on behaviours rather than processes. These behaviours would need to capture the culture and essence of our business, and the training had to be pragmatic rather than conceptual.
The challenge the HR team was set, was to do this in the most cost effective way. We wanted to make sure the time and money we spent directly benefited our managers and our training spend didn’t get diluted.
When we met 3gHR, a leading provider of management and leadership development programmes, they were able to demonstrate how they could provide high impact, long lasting development without having to spend a lot of money on the usual expenses. Their innovative “Circle” approach seemed an ideal solution for us; actively developing managers whilst minimising costs – the perfect fit for our circumstances.
Like most good ideas, the Circle model is simple. Instead of sending managers away for 2-3 days of residential training the Circle is a series of one-day training workshops. Run over a number of months, each module covers a key aspect of management with a number of modules to choose from.
This format means we have a lot of flexibility and customisation without a lot of costs. We worked closely with 3gHR to agree the content and format. In the end we came up with seven Circle 1-day modules each with their own learning objectives: Managing Me, Building Powerful Relationships, High Performance Leadership, Managing Change, Influencing & Negotiating, Effective Teamwork and Coaching for Results.
One of the “hidden” benefits has been that whilst the participants are only out of the office for seven days, they are developing themselves for 7 months. During this time they work with one of 3gHR’s senior consultants on their personal development needs; ensuring they are supported in getting the most from their personal experience. This Programme Manager is responsible for guiding the overall programme and working as a partner to both the delegates and the HR function in ensuring success.
This learning partnership is kicked off by a tailored 360 feedback process. Once we had come up with the specific structure and content of our programme, 3gHR produced a 360 that mapped directly onto the key competencies that we wanted to address. This meant that each participant had their own insights into their personal strengths and weaknesses in the areas addressed and enabled them to decide before attending the modules where they wanted to focus.
To ensure that delegates can “deep dive” in the topic areas we cover each of the modules of the Circle is facilitated by an expert in that area. Whilst there is an obvious advantage in this there is also a risk that this might interrupt the continuity of the process. To safeguard against this the 3gHR Programme Manager is working behind the scenes to de-brief and brief the facilitators prior to their sessions. They also connect back to HR on emergent themes and any issues or opportunities that might arise.
These have now been running for 3 years. The feedback has been positive and the impact significant.
Working closely with an external partner like 3gHR over such an extended period has allowed a true partnership to emerge, with the programme constantly evolving to meet our changing needs and both parties challenging each other to continually improve.
The result is reaping huge dividends in terms of developing our managers to be able to take on the opportunities and challenges facing Taylor Wimpey in the future.