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Case Study

An Investment Firm Invests in Leadership

Client

National Pension Investment Firm

The firm was looking to measure employee engagement from the results of its biannual company survey.

Situation

Leadership and Recognition / Performance Management Skills Gaps

In an effort to measure employee engagement, a national pension investment firm launched a biannual company-wide survey in 2007. Analysis of the results identified that improvement was required in two pillars of employee engagement that relate to management: leadership and recognition/performance management. The findings from this survey were reinforced by a series of employee and manager focus groups that were conducted across the organization. One notable finding from the focus groups was that there was a perception that management activities (coaching, feedback, etc.) were not valued enough. Furthermore, employees felt that they were not receiving enough feedback from their manager on an ongoing basis.

Solution

Creation of a Comprehensive Leadership Training Certification and Program

Global Knowledge was chosen to design and deliver a leadership development program, which is offered to all new managers. The program is well aligned with the organization's vision, mission, values and business process, including performance reviews and employee satisfaction surveys.

The leadership development program combines instructor-led training activities with just-in-time individual coaching sessions. The program has been designed in modules, enabling participants to attend classroom training, apply what they learn on the job and then attend the next course in the program. Participants complete three mandatory courses and chose two electives courses over one calendar year to earn a certification. Topics of the courses include delegating, feedback, leader mindset, alignment, change, conflict resolution, influence and motivation. Participants complete a self-assessment before the program and again after having completed the core curriculum. Sustainment of the learning includes just-in-time coaching led by a performance coach and spending time with the organization's senior leaders to share perspectives on important leadership moments.

A condensed version of the program has been developed and delivered for senior-level executives.

Results

Certification Program Equips Leaders and Improves Employee Engagement

Approximately 25 managers complete the program each year and receive a certification of completion. The Level 1 surveys for the courses are strong (89 percent average), and even better are the feedback scores for the just-in-time coaching (98 percent!).

The investment firm considers this program to be a continued success. In the annual Engagement Survey (which initially triggered the program), leadership-related scores have continued to improve, year over year. The real indication of the value that the firm places on the program is that they continue to measure and realign it to match their goals. The leadership development program has become an integral component of how the organization equips their people managers with the skills necessary to excel.

Global Knowledge and the investment firm won the Silver Award for Training Excellence in the category of Facilitated Learning from the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD). CSTD is the largest association dedicated to training and HR development, and its highly coveted awards are judged on criteria that includes needs analysis, learning objectives and evaluation, design, quality of material, impact, and originality.