Founded in 1974, the Client provides homes and delivers services to over 2,700 households across North Wales and employs nearly 180 employees. A regional market leader in vital areas such as Supported Housing, providing housing and services for vulnerable people including the homeless, people with drug and alcohol and mental health problems.
The Client had a requirement to upskill their leadership team as part of a culture change. They wanted to give their leadership team the skills and knowledge needed to be able to work at a strategic level. They also wanted the business to work more collaboratively (and not in silos).
The programme was designed before COVID-19 and was ready to start as a series of face-to-face modules, but the pandemic prompted a re-design to a virtual delivery platform in bite-sized sessions with pre-work to be completed before each session (watching videos or reading articles to introduce the next topic). This enabled us to keep the facilitated sessions highly experiential with much of the knowledge covered on our dedicated Learning Management System.
With the transition to remote learning, we brought our Virtual Learning specialist into the project to ensure the content remained engaging and impactful for the Client’s senior leaders.
The pre-work became key, so that all theories could be covered before the virtual sessions – leaving the sessions to be as impactful as possible with time for practice and discussion.
Our facilitator supported the participants on our dedicated online learning platform to ensure each learner gained the most from the programme and could navigate the online materials seamlessly. Our dedicated internal team remained on hand throughout the programme to assist with any technical issues.
The sessions were designed to cover a range of key leadership attributes the Client had identified as being most important to them:
- Leading Self
- the role of a leader within the organisation
- leadership purpose and values
- emotional intelligence
- Leading Others
- motivation and performance
- high performing teams
- Leading Strategically
- leading change and managing resistance
- strategic leadership in a VUCA world
To enhance the learning gained, we used Action Learning Sets (ALSs) to work on projects across the business to solve a real business issue and demonstrate how they have applied their learning. This added real ‘instant’ value back to the workplace as the projects were solving real issues. This also encouraged collaboration and team-working across the senior leaders.
Each participant then received follow-up coaching and customised support to assist with Learning Transfer and applying their newly learned skills and behaviours back into the workplace.
Evaluation and Results
The key areas the Client wanted to be addressed were:
- Having an understanding of a VUCA world
- Leadership Vision
- Understanding your Leadership ‘Why’
- Leading transition and resistance
- How change affects performance
- Strategic Leadership
We measured the participants’ knowledge and understanding in all areas both before and after the programme. For the key topics we saw an increase in knowledge ranging from 52% to 113%. All topics saw a reported increase in knowledge with an average programme improvement score of 41%.
“The project was really beneficial in breaking down the silo working, working with colleagues from other areas of the business appreciating the challenges they face – realising we are all very different the dynamics were an interesting challenge; some members were risk averse, some were worriers others creative, others needed tasks to be well defined, time was a challenge for us all but by the end all of us fully contributed to the debates no one member of the team tried to dominate proceedings we had mutual respect for each other very much working better together”
“[the programme] has helped me understand the theory around lots of leadership techniques. It has also made me question my own motivators and I’ve also been able to explore my own personal “why” and how this has helped shape my career at NWH. The SCARF model helped me to understand some of the factors that invoke responses in others – that was really useful in my role as a manager”
“I updated my teams throughout the training on what kind of things we were doing in the training so keeping them informed has been easy enough. I’ve made agenda items in future team meetings to discuss various elements of the training and to keep them updated with the project”