Developing emerging leaders at Bilfinger Tebodin
Bilfinger Tebodin is a multidisciplinary consulting and engineering company that offers clients worldwide the knowledge and experience of a team of 3,200 highly skilled and dedicated professionals – experts in industry, health & nutrition, oil and gas, chemicals, infrastructure, property, energy and environment – based across 50 global offices.
With a need for a programme designed to develop young professionals within the business to learn about the basics of leadership and improve their management potential, Roffey Park partnered with Bilfinger Tebodin to design the Advanced Manager Programme which has now been running for more than seven years.
An aspirational programme
The participants on this programme will generally have been with the business for less than three years and represent all regions around the globe. The programme has been run in various locations including Kuala Lumpur, UAE, Prague and Oman. Participants are nominated by their line managers, with the programme limited to one cohort of 16 each year so places are at a premium.
“Selection for the Advanced Manager Programme is always based on a discussion between the manager and HR Business Partner. For example, if one region selects a number of candidates for the programme, we can help to prioritise the nominees because it’s just not possible for every employee that is put forward to attend the programme.” Explained Bo Den Exter, Associate HR Business Partner.
Phase 1 – an intensive five-day programme
Once the programme participants have been selected, they are each asked to complete a Team Management Profile which provides the individual and the programme facilitation team with information about their work preferences and is the starting point for a discussion of how their approach their work and their interactions with others in the workplace.
Alongside this, participants are asked to undertake a 360-degree appraisal and will discuss the programme aims and objectives with their line manager, considering how they relate to them personally and to define their learning objectives.
“It is great to see how motivated participants are to give something back to the organisation through their projects and how the dialogue between participants and members of the board opens up as the programme goes on”
The discussion focuses on their reasons for attending the programme to give participants some time and support to define their learning objectives. At the same time, managers are asked to consider the employee’s strengths in their current role and identify areas of development for the future,” explained Bo Den Exter.
Advanced Manager Programme participants are also asked to do further preparation, including reading specific articles, to stimulate their thinking about leadership and management.
The focus of the first five-day phase of the Advanced Manager Programme is on management style, leadership, core communication, teamwork, influencing and motivation, creativity, delegation and learning how to have courageous conversations. And during this phase, participants are required to work as two teams on an ‘improvement proposition’ project that will benefit the company.
The participants choose the topics, with the only guidance being that they should challenge how the business operates and that participants should think creatively about how things might be done differently and better across the organisation.
“The topics covered in the projects have included improving cross-silo working, spreading good practice within the organisation, improving access to company knowledge and exploring new markets. They are all strategically focused and designed to have a direct benefit for the company,” commented Chris Williams, Associate Consultant at Roffey Park.
The Advanced Manager Programme cohort that commenced in October 2017, for example, is working together to create a proposition to improve the performance management cycle across the Bilfinger Tebodin organisation.
“This project has been very successful to date and in April 2018 the participants began a pilot to test their recommendations and to see if the proposed changes to the review cycle can benefit the business and its employees. Throughout this project the team has remained in contact with the board, keeping them updated on activity and progress and seeking their advice.
It is great to see how motivated participants are to give something back to the organisation through their projects and how the dialogue between participants and members of the board opens up as the programme goes on,” said Bo Den Exter.
Following the first five-day phase of the programme, participants benefit from a number of calls with members of the Bilfinger Tebodin board, discussing their improvement proposition project with them and updating senior managers on their progress.
“Following his attendance on the programme, one participant changed his negotiation style to a more assertive approach. In his first negotiation after the programme, he saved the company enough money to more than cover the cost of the programme for one year for all participants!”
Phase 2 – ‘Revitalise’
Six months following the initial five-day phase, participants take part in the ‘Revitalise’ programme. This element of the programme builds on the leadership focus of Phase 1, encouraging participants to develop a wider understanding of the strategic process and exploring models of managing change with a focus on their own work situation as well as identifying the emotional impact of change and supporting others through change.
An important part of this phase is for participants to understand systems thinking and to experience effective ways of working across boundaries. Participants also explore the impact of employee engagement on motivation and what that means for them as leaders as well as developing practical coaching skills.
Evaluation of the Advanced Manager Programme is focused on the participant’s completion of a post-event form and a discussion with their manager about their learning and the benefits of the programme, as well as changes and developments that the manager has noted which helps both parties to create an action plan for the future.
“Participants are also asked to complete feedback surveys about the Advanced Manager Programme, as well as the Revitalise programme. These enable us to check that the training will help them to improve their work performances, what they have learned and the lessons they can apply in their daily work. Participants’ opinions are very important because we want to improve future programmes and we evaluate the feedback alongside the Roffey Park team.
The Business Impact
The business impact of the various projects that participants work on clearly also has a direct and positive return on investment for the business and should not be underestimated,” said Bo Den Exter.
Chris Williams from Roffey Park agrees: “Following his attendance on the programme, one participant changed his negotiation style to a more assertive approach. In his first negotiation after the programme, he saved the company enough money to more than cover the cost of the programme for one year for all participants! With direct and positive impact like this for the company, it’s clear why they are keen to invest in their people.”
“Roffey Park has always been a true and active partner in the development of our leaders and managers; they are committed to getting the best out of every programme for Bilfinger Tebodin and our people, which is really important for an organisation like ours that is constantly changing.
Their facilitators are high quality professionals who give a great deal of positive energy to our programme and we value their dedication, together with their practical and informal learning style. In addition, we recognise that their programmes are truly tailor-made to our organisation, which gives us the opportunity to share the programme content to our specific needs and challenges,” said Bo Den Exter.
“Roffey Park has always been a true and active partner in the development of our leaders and managers; they are committed to getting the best out of every programme for Bilfinger Tebodin and our people, which is really important for an organisation like ours that is constantly changing.”
Passionate about people, serious about performance
Based in the UK and Singapore, Roffey Park Institute delivers high impact training and development programmes, organisational development, qualifications and research customised to the needs of our clients.
We improve leadership, management and organisational development performance and capability. We equip learners with the skills, resilience and agility they need to navigate the change and uncertainty of today’s organisations.
We want to make the world of work a better place. So we are unapologetically and passionately people-focused, as we believe this is key to sustainable organisational performance.
Recent examples of client work:
- Developing leadership and management capability to work collaboratively and create a high-performance culture
- Developing facilitation skills to enable managers to improve their ability and confidence in running meetings, delivering presentations and have coaching conversations
- Develop L&D team’s skills and awareness in designing programmes with greater impact and improved business outcomes
- Equipping leaders to lead people effectively through change
- Creating a community of clinical champions who are inspirational leaders of change
- Providing external consultancy support for HR strategy development through designing and facilitating the engagement process
- Building management capability in coaching, critical and strategic thinking, personal impact and influence and leading organisational change
- Creating a partner leadership development programme to drive growth and profitability
- Build OD capability within HR population to grow confidence and capability in initiating proactive, strategic support
- Designing and delivering leadership masterclasses to strengthen leadership capability