Management training helps Knorr-Bremse in ‘Leading for Success’

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As EEF’s Skills Report 2016 uncovered, one of the top skills gaps UK manufacturers are facing is in leadership and management. Knorr-Bremse, a well-known UK manufacturer in the rail industry, decided to face this challenge through developing a training programme for current and potential managers. We asked Knorr how their training programme ‘Leading for Success' created a significant culture change across the business and behavioural change in individual managers.

HR Director Hanna Hammond, Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK), explains, “We recognised the need for continuous, structured, and contemporary management training as essential to get the best out of our people and to develop them to their full potential. We wanted more than a PowerPoint presentation, so we identified the training partner we wanted to work with who could help us align the objectives of the training with our UK goals and culture.”

The programme, which will be underpinned by the recognised ILM standard, focuses on communication, how manage change, reflection (on your personal management style) and individual coaching. The 5-day training session is held off-site to encourage a more focused effort, away from day-to-day distractions. The sessions include managers and potential managers from across the UK, which has created networking opportunities across business units to help break down the 'silo mentality'.

Hannaquote

The programme lasts beyond just the initial training course, with managers bringing tools and specific goals back to their sites. The lessons and goals are followed up during a scheduled meeting three months afterwards.

Over the past two years, the programme has achieved a 98% total satisfaction grade from nearly 250 participants as well as delivering feedback from employees. Hanna says, “We’ve had staff come to us saying that ‘ever since my team leader took this course, he encourages me to challenge his ideas, where I felt like I couldn’t before.”

A big part of the programme’s success was getting buy-in for management training from the company’s leadership.

A big part of the programme’s success was getting buy-in for management training from the company’s leadership from the beginning of programme inception as well as surveying managers and staff through ‘café chats’ to understand what they wanted the training to achieve.

This year, Knorr-Bremse’s HR team has launched a follow-up to the initial training, which focuses on relationship management. The managers go through two sessions of one-on-one coaching to help develop and implement their objectives on a confidential basis.

Through working with a training consultant to deliver a combination of bespoke training (underpinned by a recognised international standard) and one-on-one coaching, Knorr-Bremse has been able to establish a culture of continuous improvement and strong management for the future.

Choosing the right training development consultant is key to ensuring your business can thrive and your people can be the best they can be. EEF works with manufacturers across the UK deliver training courses (including ILM management training), develop tailored training programmes and leadership coaching.

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