Senior executives share: How companies can improve productivity through leadership and management

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We asked top executives of manufacturing companies to share their views and insights on what part leadership and management plays in driving productivity in their company and workforce.

 

MPM-Bradford-logo-290x217What is the perception of leadership and management skills at your company? What are their impact on the business?

I think the perception is very good and the team realise we invest a lot of time, money and resource in ensuring leaders get the training required to ensure we work to our values and the ultimate success and happiness of the team.

The leaders see the team as a reflection of themselves and are required to ensure continuous improvement in themselves before they can expect the same of others.  

Has the company invested in the development of these skills? If so how and what are the goals?

Yes, we invest in training and development and no leader has been put in a position without coaching prior to or during their promotion.  The goal is always to ensure we have a sustainable business, the team are treated with respect and we have a happy team with shared values.  This is not always easy but the SLT, along with section leaders, are focused on improving themselves and the team.  A leader’s role – To help and support others to succeed. 

I still see many companies getting it very wrong; promoting their best person in an area and expecting him to be the best leader, but giving them no training or coaching.  Thus meaning they are not prepared for the communication challenges and other challenges of leadership and they are set up to fail.  You just wouldn’t put someone on producing something they never have before without any training, for fear of them getting it wrong, yet with leadership, many are left high and dry.

Ben-Wilson---MPM-Bradford-290x217Ben Wilson
Director 
MPM Bradford







 

 

Carl-Zeiss-logo-290x217What is the perception of leadership and management skills at your company? What are their impact on the business?

Leadership and management skills are highly valuable in a business and can be a distinct competitive advantage.  The effective leader will express and share an engaging vision for the company, which takes the business into new areas. 

The skill of effective management is to engage with the individuals within the business to maintain the momentum of change against the many barriers that will inevitably come up as the business develops into the new strategic directions.  In our business, a leader also needs to be a manager, but not necessarily the other way around.

The perception of leadership and management skills will inevitably depend on whose opinion is sought, so I don’t think there is a single answer to that.  We have a flat organisational structure so there is regular and open communication flow between managers and teams and most managers have regular 1-to-1s with their team members so that there is regular dialogue to maintain trust and to ensure issues are discussed openly in a timely manner.

Has the company invested in the development of these skills? If so how and what are the goals?

Yes, we invest significantly in leadership and management skills.  We are in-planning for a third cohort to participate in a Management & Leadership training course and this will start in February 2019.  We also invest in ad-hoc training for new managers and specific topics.  The goals of the facilitated Management & Leadership training are that participants:

  • have self-awareness that enables them to analyse and quickly adjust their actions and communication with others to best suit any situation
  • demonstrate sound management practices
  • develop others by using a combination of approaches (e.g. work challenges and 1:1 coaching) to motivate and drive higher levels of performance
  • are able to self-manage through the consistent challenges of work pressure and change
  • deepen the collective pool of knowledge about the business by listening to managers share about their challenges and by also sharing their own
  • have a solid grasp of their strengths and development opportunities and have a comprehensive plan for their own development
  • demonstrate improved performance across a variety KPI’s as confirmed by regular reviews by their LM, 360° feedback and reported business results

Daniel-Aldridge---Carl-Zeiss-290x217Daniel Aldridge
Managing Director
Microscopy Business Group, Carl Zeiss Microscopy Limited 


 





  

Centurion-logo-290x217What is the perception of leadership and management skills at your company? What are their impact on the business?

Leadership and management skills are a key priority in our business.  It was previously not the case and an SME is always particularly faced with the investment “choice” in making this a priority.  What an SME prioritises must be “all in”.  It is so important that we have started a journey with ILM level 2 and 3 that has touched over 10% of our staff over the last 24 months and our key team leaders covering the office and production environments. 

In order to take our next phase of growth, it is all about empowerment and we need to ready the organisation for this.  We crystallised our company values a few years ago and one of the four is “By People, For People” and we try and live this value. 

Has the company invested in the development of these skills? If so how and what are the goals?

As above, we have increased our annual learning and development budget for our people by five fold this year, versus our annual average records from 2010 – 2015.  I guess we have two goals in this increased investment: 

  1. Stay consistent - that we will stay with ILM (for the leadership piece as a framework) as we like having consistency in our facilitator and content. It helps develop a common language and sense of importance in the company.  
  2. See the benefit as we benchmark our culture (as a great place to work or net promoter score) against similar businesses.  

Here at Centurion, as an independent company for 138 years, we believe our great people will safeguard the company for another century.  We are an SME against massive multi-nationals.  Our people are the most important aspect in helping us punch above our weight. 

Jeff-Ward---Centurion-290x217Jeff Ward
Chief Executive Officer
Centurion Safety Ltd.








 

Brown-and-Holmes-logo-290x217 What is the perception of leadership and management skills at your company? What are their impact on the business?

We feel that the development of our management team at all levels is critical moving forward as myself and Kevin (Brown & Holmes' Joint Director) begin to slowly step back from the ‘front line’ during the coming years.

Has the company invested in the development of these skills? If so how and what are the goals?

Just a little less than three years ago we invested in an ILM course ‘Professional Development Programme in Leadership and Management’ for our complete management team of eight guys (Quality Manager, Design Managers, Planning, Shop Floor Manager etc.)

We have also just had two of these complete an honours degree in Business Management. Regarding impact on business, I can say some of the guys who completed and passed the ILM course seem to have benefited from it more than others. One thing that is clear is that the two who finished the degree have developed greatly for the better. They are both more confident and self-assured.  They are sure of their ‘footing and background’ in their approach to everything they do which makes them more efficient to solve problems and also look at things from a different perspective when required.

It was awkward at times, losing them for even half a day a week for three years but I do believe now that it was worthwhile.

Carl-Baker---Brown-and-Holmes-290x217Carl Baker
Engineering Director
Brown & Holmes








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