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Why Retaining and Developing Core Skills is Key to Future Success

Why Retaining and Developing Core Skills is Key to Future Success

We have noticed that businesses are increasingly becoming concerned with the behaviours and leadership qualities of their leadership teams. At the same time pressure to reduce costs and restructure is fuelling a future skills crisis as core skills and behaviours are lost.

During lockdown, tough decisions had to be made and leaders needed to roll up their sleeves and take greater control of their organisations, but post-lockdown, leaders need to move from crisis management to adding value and stability to their organisations.

The challenge for leaders and managers is to guide employees and organisations through this period of uncertainty and provide focus, support, and empathy. The micromanagement and hyper diligence needed during a crisis phase are counterproductive when normal operations restart.

Key Skills for the New Normal

  1. Highly tuned interpersonal skills with greater levels of empathy and emotional intelligence. Whether leaders have these skills is a big area of concern for many organisations.
  2. Network leadership skills – an ability to lead beyond immediate reports and across organisations. How leaders contribute to organisational decision making is key to an organisation’s success
  3. A new focus on empowering others and getting colleagues to speak up. Cultures will need to change to reflect this.
  4. A greater level of change readiness whether it is through improved change management skills or, in many cases, motivation to change.

Case Studies

1. New Leadership Capabilities

We advised a FTSE 100 client on a major restructure but before they went ahead, they wanted to assess the capability of their leaders and management populations. The primary concern was whether each participant was ready for the change in terms of capability and motivation.

They recognised that past performance would not be an accurate predictor of future success given the need to implement a changed culture and new working practices.

We ran development centres which assessed the following:

  • Leadership style
  • Change readiness
  • Potential for leadership in the new organisation

The outcomes helped the client to put in place leadership development programmes including personal development planning and executive coaching (which we provided) for leaders responsible for moving the business forward. The exercise also provided data to support organisational development and restructuring.

2. Restructuring a Pharmaceutical Organisation

The OPG was contacted by a pharmaceutical manufacturing organisation who needed to restructure. They had gone through an organisational redesign and needed to resource for a new set of job roles whilst making redundancies from the old organisational structure. The OPG was approached to design a high stakes assessment process which would identify candidates with the highest potential for the organisation moving forward.

We provided a combination of psychometric assessment which included personality assessment, ability testing, and situational judgement tests as well as business simulation exercises.

This was then fed back by our consultants using depth feedback interviews and observations.

The data provided:

  • Robust development plans for each manager and leader
  • A valid ranking table using 9 box grids to understand capability and future-fit
  • Advice for restructuring and learning planning

3. High Stakes Assessment for a Global Industrial Business

We advised a manufacturing business which was going through considerable economic problems. They hired us to lead on a capability review to establish a new leadership team.

We used psychometric assessment, a business simulation exercise, and ability testing to gather data aimed at looking at future organisational and role fit.

The data provided:

  • A robust evaluation of each manager, which was needed to inform the hiring or redundancy process
  • Recommendations around future-fit and restructuring
  • Workshop advise around organisational structure and redesign

Recognising the Need for Change

Whether the need is driven by the need to cut costs or to change the culture of the business, successful change is reliant on having the right mix of leadership and strategic skills.

The OPG works with clients to address these concerns. Often leaders and managers are not best equipped or motivated to succeed post-change. At the same time, some employers are restructuring and losing core skills as a result.

Typical Outcomes

Now that we are gradually going back to a new normal it is business-critical that the leadership and management teams perform at the optimum and that they are capable and motivated to change as required.

Emphasis on behaviours
Traditional leadership development has not always focussed on leadership behaviours and going forward this is critical along with strategic skills and an ability to make change happen.

Return on Investment

The cost need not be substantial, but the return on investment is rapid as poor leadership is closely associated with poor organisational outcomes.

The advantages of using The OPG include the fact that we can provide:

1. Data Which Helps Keep and Grow Core Skills

Most employers need to retain core skills. The challenge is to identify potential as well as understanding attainment before the change is made. In past recessions many organisations have cut core skills at the expense of success a short while later.

2. Identifying Capability and Future Potential Using ‘High Stakes Assessment’.

This means that large scale change projects are more likely to be led by capable managers and leaders because our advice means that behavioural skills are identified, developed or in some cases poor leaders are identified and removed from the process.

3. Help to Support Leaders and Managers to Make Change Happen

The OPG provides counsel to leaders and managers by helping them to understand their capability and how to improve it as part of the feedback process

Can we help you?

If you’d like to discuss our approach to identifying high potentials call Phil Boyle on 02380 236944 or email him at pboyle@ramseyhall.com.

Phil Boyle is The OPG’s Managing Director and has advised extensively at board, senior and specialist levels for high profile charities and FTSE 100 companies.

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