Tas Gas (Network and Retail)
Issues/Pain or Opportunities: Upon completion of the state-wide gas network construction, the company revised its business strategy to focus on the connection of industrial, business and residential customers. A flat management structure created 20 leaders at different levels within the organisation; an employee engagement survey indicated opportunities to improve people management and work culture to support the new strategy.
Reasons: Staff engagement and empowerment under the new strategy required a cultural change which needed to be driven by the company’s leaders. Retention of staff talent as roles were redefined and objectives modified became an increasing priority. High communication and collaboration was needed to manage organisational and customer changes.
Capabilities needed: Formal people management development across the leadership team needed to create a common language. Learning and development needed to be highly interactive with a facilitator rather than a presenter of information and activities, and projects needed to demonstrate improved people management capabilities. Monthly workshops over the year needed to be organised to fit operational opportunities and small make-up sessions needed to be capable of keeping 20 leaders in two groups together.
We provided: Eight monthly workshops in two different groups that were mixed and changed over the year of delivery; one-to-one and small group sessions to provide make-up opportunities during the year for leaders on leave or unavailable on specific days; pre-reading, facilitation, activities and a project at the completion for those desirous of gaining a qualification through a partner RTO, and upon completion, a feedback survey which lead to a follow-up ‘implementation workshop’ that supported the leaders’ consistent practice of people management and team development principles.
Result: Feedback identified that the conversations within these monthly sessions allowed the leaders to discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities for adjusting the culture of their people management required to drive a revised culture and improve employee engagement. Senior management recognised the need to support leaders in these practices along with Human Resources staff. The majority of participants in the manager development program applied and completed a company project to be assessed for a Diploma of Management with the Australian Institute of Management.
Cooper Automotive (Tasmania statewide)
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: Multi-location auto repair company operated by owner, Mark Cooper. Initial issue of customer service consistency developed into a store management development opportunity. Managers were not taking responsibility for the store as if it was their own thereby bringing head office into day to day operational issues. No HR support also provided a challenge in people management and effective recruitment.
Reasons: Business has grown over the years and is at a crossroads of opportunities. To allow the owner to develop a strategic plan and commit time and resources moving forward, the store managers need the training, skills and support systems to successfully run each outlet.
Capabilities needed: First, to establish a revised operational manual for the store managers including both work practices and people management responsibilities including customer service and reporting. Second, to assess and to develop the management skills (people, process, procedures) for consistent successful store operations. Third, to provide strategic support to business owner to take advantage of growth opportunities and to remain focused on strategic actions (not operational issues).
We provided: Consulting services to understand and redevelop operating manuals for all store managers. Working with the owner and Operations Manager, assess current store managers for capacity in the role, develop tailored store manager training programs to be delivered at their ‘level’. Support for improved recruitment techniques for new store managers and assistant managers. Coaching for owner of the business to support his success.
Result: Cost effective program which delivered a consistent message to store managers about their responsibilities as well as providing them the tools, training and practice to implement in the business. Short and sharp workshops gained very positive feedback from the store managers and clarified their roles. Focus of the business owner on establishing the best business strategy going forward to expand the business in a sustainable fashion.
Lady Gowrie Tasmania
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: The statewide organisation continually develops the skills of its centre managers and with the continual demands and changes in the early childhood development sector, the CEO needs to provide leadership and change management skills to her managers. Effective people management is crucial to staff retention and engagement.
Reasons: Changes in legislation; in class ratios; rostering of part-time staff; limited time to focus on manager skills all place demands on over-stretched centre managers. Staff engagement survey indicates opportunities to improve communication with staff.
Capabilities needed: Tailored workshops to childhood education with significant facilitation rather than training to engage the managers who already have significant workloads. Positively demonstrate how their people management approaches can improve staff communication and responsibility without adding dramatically more effort.
We provided: We provided a debrief of employee survey results to capture opportunities to engage and empower staff while addressing continual industry changes. Then, we developed a series of management and leadership workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions for specific managers.
Result: Continual improvement in the employee engagement results in the following year. Managers of centres empowered to address people management issues and development opportunities with their improved skill sets. Change management, while challenging, has occurred with the far majority of staff aware and excited about the opportunities. CEO and senior managers see problem-solving occur at the centre level rather than escalate to head office; this allows for more of a strategic focus of the senior team.