Client: Royal Mail
Industry sector: Logistics
What was the issue? Two sets of issues were driving fear and uncertainty about the future for staff. The first was the well publicised substantial and significant changes to the structure and operational nature of the business. The second was a lack of clarity over how to manage one’s own career in the business. This was in addition to the need to equip people with the requisite skills to cope with the change. Thus there was an uncertain future and an uncertain mechanism to help mitigate the risk.
The research: We undertook conversations with key people in the business to determine how personal development was intended to operate and the reality of what actually happened. Our extensive experience in providing development programmes for the business meant we had a good insight into the culture and modus operandi.
What we did: The key issue was helping people feel in control over what was happening around them and to them. This was achieved by helping them own their own personal development and their career. This was done using a structured framework of activity and deploying a range of tools to help them think the issues through. Secondly, in their role as line managers we helped them think through how to help their direct reports manage their own development to the benefit of the individuals, the team and the business. Finally and most importantly, these development discussions were set in the context of delivering the business goals.
What we achieved: The success of this programme meant it was adopted as part of core senior management development curriculum.
Employees reported improved level of engagement with their manager and with others in the business. This was in part due to an increase in the frequency and quality of the conversations between manager and subordinate.
Key factors: There is no substitute for personal responsibility and accountability. In almost any facet of organisation development success comes down to the individual owning their own future supported by business. Too often in our experience there is a culture of ‘learned helplessness’ in businesses that results in people abdicating responsibility and then complaining about nothing happening.
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