Client story: High Growth
Delivering a leadership development programme, bringing in the right HR resource and launching compelling employer branding
My client was a rapidly expanding retail company who over the period of ten years, had achieved huge success selling luxury household furniture, both in store and online. Operating out of purpose-built offices in the Cotswolds, the company had further plans for expansion into the North of England.
However, with no HR presence in the business, other than the administration of staff pay and benefits, it fell to the Regional Managers. They were tasked with managing recruitment, development and talent management but this was not their main responsibility and with a lack of specialist knowledge, HR was sporadic and inconsistent.
The company had a very positive working environment, competitive benefits and a positive flexible working model. Turnover was low but recruitment was difficult. The lack of an employer brand, voicing the strong employer value proposition that the company offered was a priority to ensure they managed to gain the new recruits needed to continue the planned growth strategy.
Development and training for the store manager was focused around the technical aspects of the role. Although performance management wasn’t a issue generally, some stores clearly needed to improve their results through stronger performance and absence management.
How I helped
It was clear that investment in a permanent dedicated resource was needed but to provide the best platform to recruit that person into, I supported the company through the development of a set of company values and behaviours. These provided the basis for the leadership development programme for all store managers. Together, we identified the key competencies that the company needed to see from its management team. This was then turned into a rolling programme of development workshops, delivered to more than 75 managers and deputy store managers.
The employer branding project involved working with the senior team and developing a compelling message that really spoke to potential employees about the company values, positive working environment, autonomy and career progression that was on offer. Our work included the development of the company website pages, a heightened awareness of the use of social media to drive ongoing interest and engagement with potential candidates, branded advertising and targeted recruitment campaigns.
Finally, I helped recruit a Talent and Development Manager to progress the foundations we put in place and provide ongoing development and support.
The leadership programme was for many of the managers, the first formal and developmental training they had had. Key takeaways that managers took from the training were: developed self awareness on how to lead and motivate teams and the individuals within them; significant confidence in managing performance issues; and a real sense of what a high performing team looked like. All of this began filtering through to the bottom line, with store takings increasing on average by 3%.
The new employer branding was the key to bringing in higher quality candidates, with a real passion for retail. It has also provided the company with a high-quality pipeline of talent to develop in the months and years to come.
Having supported the appointment of the new Talent and Development Manager, there was a smooth transition for them into their new role, picking up what we had put in place, meaning the company very quickly had a new team member up to speed and delivering in their role.
I remain retained as coach and mentor to support my client’s development and the company’s broader strategic people plans.
2ThePoint brought a solid understanding of the retail environment to our company. We weren’t sure what exactly we needed and Karen very quickly grasped the issues, some of which we didn’t even recognise at the time including the importance of our employer brand. The manager development programme has brought some real improvements across many of the stores and I can see there is more to come. Karen continues to work with us on strategy and resourcing – she’s great value!
Supporting a High Growth Strategy: Shaping the vision for a new operating model plus targeted team development
Client: High Growth SME
This rapidly growing business had expanded its staff by over 100% in a 15 month period. The owner was however feeling as if he was losing control. Working seven days a week just to manage the operational side of the business meant that the business development, strategic vision, networking and relationship building were being neglected. Staff, who had once been very collaborative were now struggling with workload, morale had dropped and processes were often long-winded, leaving customers impatient.
How I helped
Brought in to look at how to improve team working, it was soon clear that the structure within the business was not optimal for the volume or complexity of the service being delivered. Teams that had grown, had evolved into silos and had lost touch with each other. The company, once held together by a strong culture, had become fragmented, with lack of understanding on direction and how to make the best decisions. The overall effect was a loss of focus on the customer and a slow decline in repeat business. Staff were also losing engagement with the business.
I helped the owner to see that dedicated operational resource was needed to grow and support the business, in addition to the current resource set-up that was focused purely on delivering the service to the customer.
From there, I worked with the owner and senior team to shape their thinking on their vision and purpose for moving forward. This included developing and articulating cultural aspirations, their values both as a business and as an employer. This work provided the foundation for a new operating model to deliver an improved service to customers.
The structure of the teams was shaped to provide a clear client journey, with teams starting to work alongside each other with common aims. Through workshops to introduce team working concepts using Belbin and then individual coaching to support working style preferences using MBTI, employees became far more aware of their own approaches to work and importantly, how this impacted on colleagues.
Clients began receiving consistent and appropriate advice and complaints dropped by more than 60%.
This is a result of the teams having developed a fresh enthusiasm for their work, through the new positive and collaborative working environment and agile processes. Employees are now also far more self-managing, seeking out problems that they can resolve themselves and are being creative in solving these problems.
The business is now in far better shape to face its growth challenges and competition for the future. Most importantly, the owner now has the space to focus on the role of business development, having now got an operating model in place that works, as well as a regained confidence in his teams.
Bristol based with national reach