What problem did Alice help you with?
After our annual performance review process last August, we identified certain skill and experience gaps in our middle management team. We had a significant number of first-time managers who all showed an interest in professional development especially around management skills. I had my training manager reach out to her network to see who we could bring in to deliver management training.
We interviewed a number of consultants who provide management training and selected Alice to help us for two reasons:
- Her references spoke very highly about her experience and expertise in working with managers. I confirmed that management skills training is her passion when I interviewed her myself.
- I felt that Alice would have good credibility with my management team. She gave me numerous examples of teams that she has worked with successfully. It was important for me that this training would be successful since my managers expressed such an interest in it.
What were the solutions Alice offered?
Alice started by conducting a needs assessment with our three organizational levels. She conducted one-on-one interviews with our senior leadership team then held focus groups with managers and junior staff. The interviews and focus groups were really open conversations about what it means to be an effective manager in our organization. Participants were told that their responses would be kept anonymous to encourage openness and involvement. Nearly everyone who was invited to talk with Alice participated, showing me that there was real interest in seeing this program take off. Another benefit of Alice talking with all three levels of our organization is that it showed that we were all seeing our management issues the same way. There was real continuity of thought on what was working and what was getting in the way.
Based on the needs assessment, Alice developed a series of 6 workshops. The workshops were 4 hours long and we chose to hold them offsite so that everyone would be focused and not distracted by work. The workshops were very interactive and engaging. Along with the workshops, Alice also offered individual coaching sessions to augment the training and to offer a confidential format for manager’s to get feedback and coaching.
What were the results of your working with Alice?
The Management Development Program not only provided skills training, it also allowed bonds to form within the group. After the workshops, managers started supporting each other and seeing themselves more as a team. They felt more empowered to manage up in the organization, to respectfully challenge senior leaders. The junior staff commented to me that managers were showing much more leadership.
I also saw real skill enhancement for those of us who had foundation management skills. I myself became more aware of my communication style and how to adapt my communication with others who may not share my style or approach.
Basically we became a more thoughtful group of leaders for our organization. We learned models and tools to better manage. We also acquire a good set of desk references: models, assessment, articles and handouts that we can use over time.
The management team is now a more solid group. The Management Development Program really worked for us. I’d be happy to use Alice’s help again and would recommend her work to my colleagues in HR.