Allegis Group EMEA had recently put in place an ambitious growth plan and, in doing so, they identified a need to better support their leaders to achieve this. After a search of the market, they chose ETS as a leadership development partner.
Leaders at Allegis Group hadn’t had a targeted development programme for the last two years and previously it hadn’t addressed all levels. Their ambition was to increase business performance through impactful and inspiring true leadership and engagement.
As part of the organisational development strategy, Allegis Group EMEA had created a new set of core competencies and behaviours. Naturally they were keen for these to be embedded, starting with the leadership population.
From the outset, Allegis Group EMEA made clear their expectation was to work in a collaborative way with a partner in order to create the sustainable behaviour change that would achieve the business goals. The key measures of success would be the EMEA employee engagement scores for the leadership section in their 2017 engagement survey, and the participants’ feedback.
Sinéad O’Brien, HR Director at Allegis Group EMEA, explains why they chose to work with ETS:
“From the outset I liked the down to earth style of the ETS people I met and in particular, I valued their collaborative approach to building a programme that was truly Allegis Group EMEA specific and tailoring it to our needs and our culture. ETS showed a lot of flexibility in their approach and it gave me comfort that they were really committed to getting to know our organisation, our people and to building something that was unique, whilst using their experience and expertise to guide us.”
360 degree feedback
To start, we created a custom 360 degree feedback system. This contained a bespoke questionnaire based on the Allegis Group EMEA key competencies. All leaders – a total of 41 participants – below the President took part in the 360 process and this was followed up by an individual feedback session with one of our business psychologists. These sessions ensured that leaders fully understood and accepted the feedback, developed their own self-awareness, and also prompted them to start to consider how to apply the results to their development and personal aspirations.
Coaching for top team
Further to this, three Regional Vice Presidents went through an ETS executive coaching programme. The leaders met and chose a coach to work with before attending six two-hour sessions over a six-month period. The President joined in a session at the start and the mid-point to share their desired outcomes and give feedback on progress. The President then also joined in a session at the end of the programme to evaluate the programmes and understand where he needed to pick up.
The other 41 leaders (directors through to team leaders) participated in a three-module, four-day programme. This series of modules explored areas such as leading self, leading others and leading the business. The programme lasted for five-months and included pre-work to complete between sessions in the leaders’ ‘reflection journals’.
All module content was designed by our business psychologists and was based on several factors – feedback from the leaders about where they wanted to develop, alignment to the strategy, adult learning theory and current best practice. Taking into account the nature of their business and the profile of the participants, we designed the programme to be very active and hands-on, with lots of exercises and group discussions.
The principle success measure of the programme’s effectiveness was the 2017 engagement survey, where they compared the change in scores from the 2015 to the 2017 survey. The scores for leaders in the EMEA region increased by two percent, which was considered a great result. As with most companies in the recruitment sector, attrition can be a challenge and it is hoped that this improvement will be reflected in lower staff turnover moving forward.
Feedback from participants
Here’s just a few bits of feedback from leaders taking part:
“The session was great. I have learned a lot and I’ll be able to apply things instantly.”
“A good session, thought-provoking. Personal examples were helpful to bring to life…”
“Great session – the acting was surprisingly effective. Positive feedback all round!”
Measuring behaviour change
Allegis Group EMEA also plans to measure longer term behaviour change in its leaders. They’ll do this by re-running the 360 degree feedback questionnaire in 2018.
Overall business impact
Sinéad O’Brien comments on the value Allegis has had at a business level from the programme, and their experience of working with ETS:
“Working with ETS has been a true partnership. They have taken the time to understand our people and our culture and have showed great adaptability to position the training in a way that will impact our leaders. The trainers were very engaging and were always responsive. They taught our leaders so many new ways of thinking about their leadership style, challenging them on their thinking and listening to them. The leaders have given really positive feedback about the programme and we look forward to partnering with ETS again in the future, to support us with our leadership development needs.”