Whether for interns, returners or those in senior leadership, these bespoke events are essential components of talent development programmes.

Each project starts with an intense consultation period to identify the challenges, clarify the intervention objectives and agree ways to consolidate the learning.

Here’s an example of a Talent Development Event for a global organisation that is part of their programme for junior high potential new managers. Enthusiasm generated by this training and the successful application of new skills makes this an annual event with ever increasing attendance.

The Challenge

The institution recognised that its potential new managers had technical and professional expertise but were unprepared for the transition from contributor to first time leader. They had no formal interpersonal skills training, they were widely dispersed across regions and were largely unknown to each other. In addition, their availability to attend training sessions was limited.

Internal research revealed that the potentials were mostly Millennial or Generation Z and would benefit from experiential learning. Furthermore, these junior new managers felt disconnected from the senior leadership teams and craved ongoing coaching and mentoring. If the organisation was to retain and motivate this population, it needed to develop an innovative, time-effective and impactful programme without delay.

The Solution

Working Voices was commissioned to design and deliver a two day residential learning programme that focussed on and achieved, three key objectives:

  1. To work with internal mentors to provide a blended learning experience, a personal development plan and an on-the-job application of newly acquired skills.
  2. To equip potential new managers with the necessary interpersonal and leadership skills to transition smoothly into their new roles.
  3. To enhance motivation and retention with fast-paced, interactive and high energy modules, each with a specific focus.

The design process took 3 months of consultation and distillation resulting in a pilot for 30 people. Following its successful execution, the programme was refined and delivered six months later to 180 participants, increasing to 250 in the following year. The format is a combination of interactive talks to the entire population, break-out workshops in groups of 20, formal and informal networking activities as well as individual facilitator feedback.

The resulting programme comprises pre-event self-assessment, two days immersive facilitator led training followed by ongoing manager and mentor support. Facilitator fostered networking creates a solid commitment to peer-to-peer coaching and each participant completes the course with new professional connections and a leadership manifesto.

The Outcome

This programme is now a pivotal part of the junior leadership transition policy for this organisation. Working Voices currently deliver it each year to universal appreciation. Here are some of the benefits participants and their managers have reported, after attending this dynamic introduction to leadership skills:

  1. Becoming confident and self-aware, with new managers understanding their personal motivation and being able to maintain their resilience and wellbeing.
  2. Getting the best out of others and influencing people positively by using empathy, listening skills and positive language.
  3. Giving feedback with assurance, delegating astutely and having the confidence to address potentially challenging situations by using proven coaching models.
  4. Clearly communicating their vision and character through the use of anecdote, outcome thinking and a vigorous, assertive voice.
  5. Benefiting from new relationships in a secure peer-to-peer network working closely with the leadership team.

Working Voice’s uniquely enthusiastic facilitators have had the pleasure of training hundreds of the organisation’s most promising new managers. It has been a mutually rewarding experience; the organisation now has confident, skilled junior managers and Working Voices is gratified to share their enthusiasm, candour and growth.

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