Achieving a step-change in operational leadership by upskilling senior and mid-level leaders.
As a leading communications infrastructure and media services company, Arqiva provide much of the infrastructure behind television, radio, satellite and wireless communications in the UK. Major UK-based broadcasters and independent radio groups depend on Arqiva to keep them connected to their customers. They also have a presence in Ireland, mainland Europe, USA and further afield. To achieve their strategic goals, all Arqiva management needed to “up their game” in terms of having a consistent approach to performance management, communication, team development, and managing tasks. The programme allowed all managers to see leadership as part of their daily work, and ensured that learning was transferred to the workplace in practical and sustainable ways. The Return On Investment (ROI) was measured by 43 team work-based projects generating important applications implemented at a corporate level.
Whilst management development for both new managers and managers moving to more senior positions was provided, only a very small percentage of the management population accessed these opportunities. Coupled with an employee survey indicating lower than expected employee engagement, Arqiva decided to make the Active Management Development Programme compulsory for all people with management responsibility (even if this only meant responsibility for one person). The programme was rolled out to over 400 managers, many of whom were engineers promoted into managerial positions, but who were now required to lead the business in the achievement of extremely challenging goals. It was important that participants were able to see leadership as part of their daily work, and that learning was transferred to the workplace in practical and sustainable ways. It was also important that all managers were trained in as short a space of time as possible, so that real change could happen quickly and enable swift progress towards Arqiva’s strategic goals.
The programme content was structured simply around 3 main areas of management – Managing Yourself, Managing Others, and Managing the Task. The material was designed to be flexible, suiting all levels of management and experience, whilst covering the same topic areas. To ensure full participant engagement the programme made full use of Primeast’s experiential approach, based around our learning cycle of practical activity, short theory inputs, practical exercise and reflection. A key element in the whole process was a close liaison with Arqiva’s project manager to guarantee a smooth programme roll out capturing all managers. The programme involved face-to-face training, telephone coaching to support implementation in the workplace, and the completion of Work-Based Assignments (WBA) – one for each management area – designed to be worked on both individually and as a team. The outcomes of these WBA were then reported to a senior management audience, not only to ensure application of the learning, but to also provide a stream of innovative and practical business projects that could be implemented profitably by Arqiva.
Successful implementation of the programme, including the running of two pilot programmes to test the course design and make necessary adjustments based on the feedback, meant that the entire management population of 421 managers benefited from the programme over a 9-month period. Evaluation scores were high (4.7 out of 5 on a Kirkpatrick level 1, 2 and 3 evaluation), with many managers quoting it as the best development programme they had ever attended. Both direct feedback and anecdotal evidence also indicated that the learning was having an immediate effect on the way people led and managed their immediate teams. 43 of the team work-based assignments generated several important and profitable applications that were taken forward at a corporate level by the business, thereby heightening the overall Return On Investment (ROI) for the programme.
Daniel Grimes, JFMG Business Manager, Arqiva
This has been the best course ever: it has only been a few weeks but the impact it has had on me and my team has been massive. We are all bought in to the new way of working, the team are empowered and taking on new work, and I have time in my diary to be able to coach, train and help new starters.