Water company taps into managers’ skills potential

Severn Trent Water is putting all its first line managers through a people
management skills development programme in a bid to achieve a step change in
business performance.

The programme, Effective People Management, has already been delivered to
140 managers and a further 126 will go through the training before the end of
the year.

The course, which is delivered in three separate modules by Roffey Park,
covers personal communication, personal power, performance management and
motivating others. Other elements include motivating others, delegation,
managing conflict, coaching, leadership and managing through change.

Jan Whitaker, HR adviser at Severn Trent Water, believes the programme has
already contributed to a change in work culture. "In our business, we have
to comply with many rules and regulations and in the past we’ve been very
task-focused, " she said.

"To achieve a step change in business performance we know we have to
change that culture. It is essential that our first line managers build
relationships with individuals and create effective teams.

"In its first year, this programme has provided them with the tools
they need to do this."

The company ensures lessons learned are sustained by running a series of
eight half-day events where managers who have been through the programme make
presentations to the company’s senior managers and line managers who have yet
to complete the course, on what they have gained personally and how they think
the organisation has gained.

"We have seen evidence that new ideas, techniques and tools learned on
the programme have already been put into practice with very positive
results," said Whitaker.

Severn Trent Water employs 4,800 employees, and provides water and
environmental services to more than three million residential, commercial, and
industrial customers across the heart of the UK.

By Ross Wigham


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