Sparking a LEAP forward in leadership training within NG Bailey
Becky West & Jennifer Clare, Lumina Learning Practitioners, NG Bailey
NG Bailey is the largest independent engineering, construction, and services company in the UK. Formed in 1921, NG Bailey has 15 offices across the UK and holds company values of passion, integrity, and excellence.
The construction industry traditionally promotes managers through technical skill and experience, rather than experience of managing and leading teams. As such, there were big gaps starting to appear across the business when it came to leadership skills. Employee feedback identified a need to help managers and supervisors develop the skills to engage and lead their teams effectively.
An audit showed people liked their managers and respected their work-based knowledge but didn’t have faith in their people skills. Statistics also showed that managers weren’t completing one-to-ones (75% completion rate). Focus groups across the business highlighted numerous incidents of managers ignoring or not progressing things because they didn’t feel comfortable having challenging conversations.
Lumina Learning Solution
We developed our Leadership, Engagement And Performance (LEAP) leadership training programme for existing and new line managers using Lumina Spark.
The LEAP programme comprises a two-day workshop and a suite of e-learning modules. These help managers understand their responsibilities, increase their self-awareness, and give them the confidence to have effective conversations about performance and behaviour.
The workshop involves role play with professional actors, who are all familiar with Lumina Spark, to help managers learn how to tackle a range of different scenarios. The online modules sit on our learning management system so, once completed, employees can access the information when needed.
To enhance the outcomes experienced by those involved, we centred the programme on our own behavioural competencies – set out in “Our DNA” – which are linked to the Lumina Spark model. By incorporating our company behavioural values, the workshops give participants a common language to use when talking about leadership styles and communication preferences. They also help participants understand and appreciate other people’s preferences and adapt their communication style accordingly.
Lumina Spark was new to the organisation; we had only used other psychometrics for assessment of specific groups. The Spark portraits allowed us to give managers a better self-awareness, along with a newly developed competency framework, to set expectations around behaviour and leadership.
Of our 3,000 employees, 600 line managers attended the leadership training programme in the first 12 months.
Effectiveness is assessed using the Kirkpatrick Model. We have seen improvement across the four levels of reaction, behaviour, learning, and results.
The average evaluation score is 3.7 out of 4. Managers have reported that they find having difficult conversations easier and they are building better relationships with their team members. We’ve seen a 15% increase in performance review completion, as 87% of staff have now had an annual performance review.
Participant feedback reports a 24% increase in their
- Confidence and ability in understanding their own communication style
- Confidence and ability in recognising the preferred styles of others
- Ability to adapt and engage with others, including giving challenging feedback
In one division in particular, we’d identified that managers had not been effectively tackling conduct and performance issues. This had been costing the business time and money. Following LEAP training, absence and sickness reporting has improved as a result of managers developing better relationships with teams.
We have also had a request to extend the leadership training programme further to project supervisors in our Engineering division.