Investment firm trains senior team to manage in challenging times

ING Real Estate has introduced an innovative training programme to enable its directors and associates to give constructive feedback and support to their teams through challenging times.

Designed and delivered by training specialist Steps Drama and solicitors Synergy Employment Law, each three-hour session covered communication, performance management and motivation issues as well as the legal implications and management responsibilities that are particularly poignant within a bear market.

“We wanted to ensure that our directors and associates had the guidance and support to manage any stresses or anxieties in their teams and to communicate effectively in the current economic downturn,” said Vivienne Shall, Senior HR Manager at ING Real Estate Investment Management.

“Having previously worked with Steps and Synergy, we asked them to develop a programme that would engage our managers and help them provide the appropriate support to their teams.”

Introduced by ING Real Estate Investment Management’s Chief Executive, Robert Houston, the sessions featured three dramatic and interactive scenarios delivered by professional actor-facilitators from Steps.

The first highlighted the importance of good performance management conversations, the need to manage expectations, the impact of individual behaviour on the team and how to lead effectively whilst maintaining a good working relationship with team members.

The delegates were able to question the characters on the issues raised in the scenario and the impact of their behaviour.

The second scenario showed the value of having good performance management conversations. It highlighted the need for preparation, clear communication and the importance of establishing clear parameters.

The last scenario covered issues concerning motivation and open communication. It focused on the importance of encouraging initiative and the need for effective dialogue between a manager and his/her team.

A partner from Synergy Employment Law highlighted the legal obligations when addressing performance issues and gave an overview of diversity and discrimination legislation as well as the mechanics of disciplinary matters.

“Steps showed an excellent understanding of our culture and it was obvious they’d done their homework as they created believable scenarios using the terminology of the business and depicting characters in recognisable situations,” said Vivienne Shall.

“By bringing the issues to life, the dramatic scenarios helped to encourage discussions and debate about best practice.”

She added: “Synergy highlighted the legal context and framework that our directors and associates are required to manage within. The combination of drama and employment law training was very well received.”

The session also featured a facilitated discussion on key aspects of managing, supporting and motivating people, including managing expectations, dealing with different working styles and self management during challenging times.

“The feedback from the delegates was excellent,” said Vivienne Shall.

“The session provided our senior managers with a set of tools with which they could effectively support their teams. It also provided a forum for them to share best practice and helped them to realise that they’re not alone in having to face these issues.”

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