Congratulations to our Gold Brandon Hall Group award winners!
Leadership Development and Employee Engagement are topics about which BlessingWhite, a division of GP Strategies, has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. And when we connect with clients who match our energy and enthusiasm, the results are outstanding! We are proud to spotlight the work done in partnership with two of our clients – work that resulted in two recent Brandon Hall Awards 2016 Winners:
- Best Unique or Innovative Leadership Development Program (a leading entertainment studio)
- Best Advance in Employee Engagement (a large financial institution)
Best Unique or Innovative Leadership Development Program
Between movie studios, cable channels, traditional networks and online entities like Netflix, change is rampant and competition is fierce in the entertainment industry. A leading entertainment studio recognized that they needed to rethink a number of business imperatives, including the traditional way they bring their products to market. Critical to their long term success was the development of leaders who could encourage innovation. They wanted to develop leaders who were:
- Strategic thinkers
- Strong communicators
Yet they wanted to do this in a way that captured the attention of their leaders and the spirit of the entertainment industry. Together, with BlessingWhite they developed the “Leaders Studio”, a fully customized program built upon our proven leadership framework and content.
The program’s design included a focus on self-awareness and emotional intelligence – both critical to working with others. Leaders were equipped with the tools and skills necessary to interact with peers across all functional areas and levels of the company. Real world challenges were discussed and solved making the learning come to life – much like actors on a stage ! The goal for these leaders was not to solve everything themselves, but to empower others to use their strengths and expertise. The result? Collaboration, innovation, team effectiveness and business results.
The design of the “Leaders Studio” Program included:
- 6-month cohort experience
- Three different levels of leaders
- 10 “learning bursts” of varied content
- 4 to 6-week breaks in between sessions to put skills into practice
- Peer coaching to tackle challenges, celebrate results, and build on their newfound knowledge
The feedback on the program has been tremendous and proof of its effectiveness is seen throughout the organization, especially in the ways professionals lead and the increase in cross-organizational communication. As the successes of the program grows, so does the interest. By the end of 2016, 14 cohorts (280 leaders) will have experienced the “Leaders Studio” through an additional 6 cohorts (120 leaders) at the parent company. By rethinking the approach to leadership develop and structuring the program flexibly and sustainably, this organization was able to ensure learning was not a trailer, but a “main feature.”
Best Advance in Employee Engagement
Our second spotlight revolves around the story of a leading financial institution that is driven by purpose and a personal touch. They focus on helping clients and communities achieve financial confidence. Nowhere is this more evident than in the organization’s purpose of “Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being.”
This concept of “well-being” extends to employees and reflects the company’s guiding principles and culture. Yet the organization grappled with precisely how to determine what “well-being” meant to its employees. After years of conducting surveys to assess the cultural health, this organization decided that the process needed to change. What’s more, the organization needed to support the process changes with complimentary efforts that reflected a unique, purpose-driven culture – one that supported a focus on engagement year-round.
The effort was called “Great Days at Work,” which describes the ultimate goal of stronger engagement as well as the employees’ desire for work that energizes and fulfills. To support the program, BlessingWhite leveraged:
- An engagement portal
- Engagement related communications
- Senior Leader meetings and workshops
- A “Great Days at Work” online assessment tool for employees to use to monitor their engagement levels
The program yielded meaningful results. The new survey process cut the costs of measuring engagement in half, allowing the organization to re-direct resources toward other efforts aimed at improving engagement. Results from the new surveys led to plans that have tackled specific employee concerns. The net result? Improved engagement levels and an increasingly positive work culture.
Finally, the program demonstrated the correlation between engagement and performance underscoring the business case for investing in engagement. Engaged teammates in branches scored 32% more value points than disengaged employees. And engaged and nearly engaged Business Banking Relationship Managers have an annual growth rate that is 31% higher than those with lower engagement levels.
It is gratifying that both of these clients and the work we have done together have garnered industry recognition by being awarded the Brandon Hall Group awards. We take pride in the work we do with each and every client. While we measure our success by the employees we impact and the organizational results we help drive, the ability to do both in ways that are unique and creative simply adds to-the-fun!
*You can view the definitions of BlessingWhite’s levels of engagement here.