Learning specialist Hemsley Fraser has designed and delivered a seven-month development programme to help contract managers at Imtech Inviron, the technical facilities management provider, work with customers more effectively and become exemplary team leaders.
Imtech Inviron maintains, installs and manages a wide variety of environments by providing planned and reactive maintenance services and is part of the technical services group, Imtech.
The new programme has been designed in line with the 70:20:10 learning model. It features six one-day modules covering aspects such as developing customer relationships, managing expectations, presentation skills, business finance, self management, interpersonal and communications skills as well as how to manage, motivate and coach others.
“Customer service is a real differentiator in our industry,” said Katherine Parkes, Learning & Development Manager at Imtech Inviron. “Our contract managers play a critical role because they’re the frontline interface with our customers. We wanted to create a bespoke programme that would support them in their role and give them the skills they need to be effective business partners.”
After undertaking a training need analysis, which identified specific learning outcomes, Imtech Inviron shortlisted three training providers.
“We chose Hemsley Fraser not only because of their experience and their passion for continuous improvement but also because they were keen to understand our business and develop a bespoke programme that would exactly meet our needs,” said Katherine Parkes. “They worked closely with us to design a modular structure for the programme, which included a wide range of ‘wrap around’ activities to support and embed the learning.”
Hemsley Fraser began by running a two-day coaching workshop for 12 line managers, to help them provide the right support to the contract mangers before and after each module.
“Getting line manager support is essential in any development programme, if the delegates are to successfully apply the learning,” said Katherine Parkes. “We introduced our line managers to the programme content and gave them the skills and templates they need to coach their staff effectively. Hemsley Fraser have been very good at supporting our line managers and keeping them up-to-date about the programme.”
Since 2012, the Contract Manager Development Programme has been delivered for eight cohorts of 12 contract managers and support managers. The six face-to-face modules are supplemented by specific Hemsley Fraser e-learning resources and the programme has an endorsement by the Institute of Leadership & Management.
“The programme has helped us to forge stronger working relationships across the business,” said Katherine Parkes. “On the night before each module, the delegates meet with sponsors from our senior leadership team or business managers. This gives them a chance to understand more about the strategic aspects of our business. It also provides an opportunity for them to network and share experiences with each other.”
The delegates receive 360-degree feedback and they complete a range of post-module assessments including written assignments and observations in real work situations as well as presentations to line managers.
“The assessments, which Hemsley Fraser incorporated, are highly practical and job-related, and they help to tie everything together,” said Katherine Parkes. “Using different methods of assessment brings the learning to life for delegates and it helps our line managers and HR team to judge people’s progress and see the value of the programme.”
The final module consolidates the learning from the programme. Using individual feedback from their 360 reports and other tools, each delegate creates a personal development plan, outlining their goals and aspirations.
“The delegates present to our regional directors and they’re interviewed individually about what they’ve learned, what they’re doing differently as a result of the programme and what impact this has had on their customers and their teams,” said Katherine Parkes. “A side benefit of this is that it has given us greater visibility of our people and their skills, which has helped with talent management and succession planning. People have been promoted and seconded to new roles as a direct result of the programme.”
With guidance from Hemsley Fraser, Imtech Inviron has adopted the learning principles of 70:20:10. This model states that 70% of learning comes from on-the-job experience, 20% comes from coaching and interactions with others, and only 10% occurs through formal training.
“The structure of this programme has been a big factor in its success,” said Katherine Parkes. “With 70:20:10, many training companies resign themselves to the 10 but Hemsley Fraser have helped us to drive the 70 and the 20 too. Their modular approach to this programme gives delegates a chance to put their learning into practice and then come back and discuss their experiences.”
Feedback shows that Imtech Inviron’s contract managers have developed more productive relationships with customers as a result of the programme.
“This programme has really made a difference at all levels of our business,” said Katherine Parkes. “We’re giving people the skills to build better relationships and provide a great service to customers. Our delegates have gained more confidence, a greater appreciation of themselves and a better understanding of how they can work with customers more effectively. They’re also managing their teams better, sharing best practice and working more collaboratively.”
Lindsey Byrne, Senior Consultant at Hemsley Fraser, said: “We were keen to deliver a tangible return on investment for Imtech Inviron. This programme has helped their individual contract managers to be more successful and it has benefitted the business. The programme shows the value of involving senior managers, ensuring line manager support, networking, sharing best practice and continuously evaluating and improving the content, in line with 70:20:10 principles. These are important lessons for other companies that are looking to develop their key contributors.”
For further information, please call Hemsley Fraser on +44 (0) 845 071 2801. www.hemsleyfraser.co.uk