We work with mid to large corporations across private, public and third sector. Learn more about how we have partnered with these organisations to develop outstanding leaders, transform cultures and deliver a commercial ROI.

1:1 COACHING
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Coaching outcomes transformed by contracting with single supplier

E.ON is one of the country's leading power and gas companies and employs 12,000 people in the UK. Coaching had been offered for many years, but by the end of 2011 E.ON had identified 54 different coaching providers and conceded it couldn't get clear sight of what value coaching was adding to the business.

E.ON took the decision to contract with a single supplier for all its UK coaching. "Our aim was clear," says Stephen King, Head of Global Learning, Central & Southern Europe. "We wanted to make our coaching offer much simpler, easier to access and with a degree of rigour around the whole end to end process. We also wanted the costs to be more transparent and manageable." E.ON chose TLC to be its coaching provider as it had a proven track record as one of those 54 suppliers. "I was confident TLC would meet all our expectations, particularly the stronger guarantee about the quality, diversity and rigour of the coaches" says Stephen. "TLC coaches have the right qualities, the right experiences, strong qualifications and regular supervision." 

TLC worked with E.ON to develop a robust, bespoke process, from the initial request for coaching right through to the end of coaching evaluation. "My preference was to give more involvement, more control, and more decision making to the coachees and line managers in a more informed way with HR supervising the process" states Stephen.

The impact of awarding TLC the contract has been significant. "TLC is delivering exactly what I wanted. As well as getting a good, transparent process and arrangements we're also getting some flexibility where we need it and it isn't compromising the service on either side. I have absolute trust in what we're doing with TLC.

"There's been a dramatic improvement from where we were two years ago on a number of levels like cost, transparency, rigour, process and employee engagement – all those things are tracking well. Coaching is definitely valued, you can absolutely see it, " remarks Stephen. Feedback from coachees has been positive as roles and responsibilities are clearer and everyone knows what is expected of them. Also, there has been a complete shift in belief that coaching not only develops the soft skills but generates tangible benefits too.

Thanks to the comprehensive evaluation and OI (Organisational Intelligence) reports produced as part of the contract, the value of coaching to the business is clear. Coachees report very high levels of achievement of their coaching objectives, with an average rating of 9 out of 10 and say it has made a positive difference to their work performance (average rating of 8). Coaching has improved efficiencies, increased productivity, improved customer service and led to improved relationships with key stakeholders, peers and direct reports.

"The coaching helped me to build better relationships and deliver improved team communications in difficult circumstances, building trust with my team and other key people" says one coachee. "I have saved E.ON in excess of £250K through scrutinising supply contracts, 30% of which I can confidently attribute to the coaching." Another coachee saved E.ON £20,000 in recruitment costs by being promoted as a result his coaching.

To date, the contract has generated an ROI (Return on Investment) of 1,286%. "What this means is that for every £1,000 spent on coaching E.ON has got £12,860 back. This sort of data is really important for us to know, and is only possible as a result of this contract" concludes Stephen.

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
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O2 Revives Leadership and Management skills with TLC Workshops

O2 takes the individual and collaborative development of its staff exceptionally seriously. To achieve this, the global telecommunications company has engaged The Learning Curve (TLC) to design and deliver a series of leadership and management development workshops to employees at UK sites in Slough, Preston Brook and Leeds.

Core capabilities covered are: effective communications, influencing and team building. Employees ‘self select’ their attendance through O2’s intranet system, with the workshops then arranged on a needs basis. Feedback collated from workshop attendees reveals that 93% of employees claim the leadership and management programmes will improve their performance – a figure that exceeds O2’s benchmark.

Charlotte Drake, Senior Talent Development Business Partner at Telefonica O2, says: “We have very high expectations when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of our leadership and development programmes, so are pleased to see the TLC workshops generate such consistently high feedback.

“Employees have stated that the intervention has changed their business relationships and working lives. We put this down to TLC coming up with a winning formula through blending their expertise in psychology, facilitation with their business acumen. It’s a unique offering that sets them apart from the competition, and is one from which we have benefitted enormously.”

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
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TLC Builds Confidence to Improve Performance

The Chartered Institute for Management Accountants (CIMA) is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants. They approached TLC to help them up-skill forty of their managers, many of whom had received no formal management training to date. “TLC’s mix of organisational development expertise and psychology training was very attractive; we felt they could offer us something bespoke and practical which focused on developing individuals’ emotional intelligence,” says  Angela Nolan, HR Business Partner. 

The programme, made up of 360 degree feedback, four workshops and four one to one telephone coaching sessions, has been very successful.  Most significantly for CIMA, it has equipped managers with the skills and tools to have constructive conversations in an adult way, and to be able to resolve issues in a timely and proactive manner.  

“Like most organisations, there were pockets of performance and attendance issues, but it wasn’t long before we noticed changes in behaviour, in particular an increased level of collaboration, and a greater confidence and willingness to resolve differences of opinion using the positive behaviours of Transactional Analysis. This has certainly had an impact on organisational performance.” As a result, everyone is working more efficiently, absences are down* the underperformance issues have been managed professionally and CIMA has increased its student and member targets.  

The feedback from managers has been very positive. “Morale has definitely increased. They felt they’d been selected for something special and they recognise it has made a difference in the way they work and engage with colleagues. Even I thought, wow, we’re getting such great feedback from the managers!” Informal, supportive relationships have been formed, helping communication and facilitating a better understanding of each other. There is an increased willingness to take risks and try out new ways of working and people are more responsive to challenge and feedback. Many managers have also used the coaching model successfully in their own teams.  

CIMA place great value on the relationship that developed with TLC, and are keen to work with them again.“We felt we were really working with them,” says Angela. “They listened to our issues and offered workable solutions. The small details, such as asking the CEO to launch the programme, had a really positive impact, and resulted in the objectives not only being achieved, but embedded and sustained beyond its year long roll out.”

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MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT
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South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Councils feel the benefits of partnership working with TLC

In 2010 South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse Councils identified a need to up-skill their service managers to meet the challenges of their new shared management and staffing structure. “We’d just begun to pull services together, and people who previously had one or two members of staff found themselves managing teams. We really needed to equip all the service managers with the knowledge and skills to manage well” says Matt Prosser, Strategic Director, South and Vale Councils.

The buy-in of all the 33 service managers was so important, they even had a say in appointing TLC Ltd. The two shortlisted organisations were invited to run a taster session and overwhelmingly the service managers wanted TLC. “In addition to their unique blend of psychological understanding and organisational development expertise, TLC showed creativity and innovation in their approach – they were a good ‘fit’ for our organisation, plus they have a great track record of delivery” says Matt. “Our relationship with TLC has been fantastic. We have been looked after extremely well; they are responsive and flexible and the programme has really benefitted from having honest conversations about its content.”

The benefits of the programme have been significant. “As a result of Mastering Management we have empowered service managers working collaboratively and learning from each other for the benefit of South and Vale,” states Matt. TLC’s unique blend of transactional analysis with emotional intelligence has led to increased efficiency and creativity, a more supportive culture, and the relationship between the organisation’s senior team and the service managers has improved. As one of the service managers says, “I have grown enormously as a manager. I’m now much more confident in my ability to manage a team, my budgets, deliver quality services that are fit for purpose, and think strategically. This is largely down to the Mastering Management programme.”

Absenteeism rates have gone down from an average of 8.5 days per year in 2009 to 6.5 in 2012, and Matt attributes some of this to Mastering Management. “Our service managers are now equipped to have difficult conversations if they need to, and there’s been a definite reduction in conflicts. We have motivated staff who are engaged, committed and want to be at work.

“Everyone has certainly ‘upped’ their game. The service managers feel capable to take on extra responsibility across a range of service departments and as a result we are saving £250,000 per annum thanks to the TLC programme.”

Delighted with the impact of Mastering Management on the performance of the organisation to date, TLC is currently rolling out the programme to South and Vale Councils’ team leaders as well as running taster sessions for all employees. “The tools and techniques are so relevant, we want everyone to understand them and speak the same language. We sincerely believe it is a worthwhile investment for the organisation” concludes Matt.

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360 DEGREE FEEDBACK
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TLC Online feedback tools provide all round benefits for Diageo

Leading global drinks company Diageo is resolute about the fact that all employees should ‘work for a great people manager’. Successfully growing people management capability and performance comes from a feedback process that enables managers to identify employee strengths and development areas. This also helps Diageo ensure that training and development interventions are targeted to real needs, and allows an accurate return on investment (ROI) assessment.

Diageo began a partnership with TLC Online to develop three bespoke feedback systems as part of the ‘Diageo Academy’ – the company’s global learning system dedicated to nurturing employees’ growth and development. These systems have now been translated into 13 different languages, and are used by Diageo’s 22,000 strong global workforce.

Nurturing staff, saving costs

The People Manager Feedback (PMFT) tool is the latest of the three products to be implemented, and provides individual and management reports based on anonymous feedback from Diageo line managers. Before employing the in-house system the company had used a third party agency to provide the reports, which could cost £100 a time. Over the course of twelve months Diageo expects that replacing these with the TLC online feedback system will save the company up to £180,000.

TLC Online also worked alongside Diageo to develop its ‘Capabilities 360’ system, which is used to collate and evaluate stakeholders’ feedback on an employee’s performance. Additionally, the ‘Leadership Colleague Feedback 360’ product is used to provide insight into the progress of those within the company who are participating on the twelve-month blended learning Diageo Leadership Performance Programme.

Joan Hodgins, People Manager and Talent Director at Diageo, says, “TLC Online has developed the systems to be incredibly easy to use, which means response rates are maximised. We have received lots of feedback that says the design of the sites and the style of questions are just right. This ensures employees are able to provide accurate feedback as simply as possible, and gives us valuable insights for development planning.”

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1:1 COACHING
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TLC’s Coaching Improves Trust at UK-based Charity

Shaw Trust is a national organisation that helps disabled and disadvantaged people prepare for work, find jobs and live more independently. Through its coaching intervention, The Learning Curve (TLC) has contributed to Shaw Trust increasing its efficiency by 65% in one year alone – having a dramatic effect on the lives of the thousands of individuals that the organisation aims to help.

TLC’s coaching enabled senior management to explore the habits, attitudes, beliefs, values and expectations that were undermining team collaboration. It also co-created practical solutions to the work-related challenges they faced on a daily basis. The coaching, and the increased efficiency it created, has led to 20,000 disadvantaged individuals achieving work placements compared to 13,000 the year before.

Operational Director Stuart Knowles says that this surge in productivity is thanks to the expertise of the TLC team. “TLC helped me to understand the underlying psychological factors that were standing in the way of establishing a progressive business relationship with another senior member of the organisation,” he explains. “The TLC coach then worked with us both to set out practical, objective-driven business goals that addressed the issues at stake, with long-lasting effect.”

The insight resulting from TLC’s coaching has since led to Shaw Trust creating a new reporting system to benchmark achievement. This helps increase employee trust and allows the directors to allocate work more effectively. Output has dramatically improved, leading to the marked increase in work placements.

“In my opinion the number of people we’ve been able to help as a result of TLC’s intervention is simply the best ROI we could ever wish for,” says Stuart Knowles. “The coaching was so effective I could tell from the first session that my work life would change dramatically, and that the impact would filter out through the rest of the department. Better understanding and more effective communication has allowed us as a team to thrive, meaning we are more dynamic and focused than ever before.”

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CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION
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Increased Trust Brings Collaboration Across Just Retirement

Just Retirement Group are an award winning financial services company providing financial products designed to help people who are at or approaching retirement. The company employs 850 people in the UK, all working to achieve its vision to be the leading retirement brand, known and trusted for enriching its customers’ lives.

Keen to invest in the people that can make the difference over the next 5 to 10 years and make this vision a reality, Just Retirement partnered with TLC to design and deliver its ‘Living Leadership’ Programme, equipping potential leaders with tools, practical knowledge and experience to adopt and model strong leadership skills and behaviours, creating a culture of accountability, trust and empowerment. “TLC came highly recommended and were just the fit were sought” says Kris Andrew, HR Business Partner at Just Retirement. “ The whole TLC team is brilliant. We have a very collaborative and truly partnering relationship.”

The programme, encompassing 360 degree feedback, workshops and Train-the-Trainer sessions upskilling Just Retirement’s L&D specialists to embed the learning through Action Learning Sets and coaching, has been extremely well received. Participants are more emotionally intelligent and have developed greater personal and leadership awareness. “ They are managing their staff far more effectively and are far more effective at engaging with their staff” states Kris.

Though too early to formally evaluate the impact of the programme - the final coaching sessions are still to take place - Just Retirement are delighted with the feedback to date. “A key objective was to break down silos across the organisation and the cross functional collaboration is so apparent now. Strong relationships have been established as well as a growing awareness that as a group they can influence, making them a constructive force within the business.” continues Kris.

“I’ve got things done quicker by knowing who to call. I am much more efficient and focus my communications on what’s important to my audience. I can see how this translates into real money for JR.” comments one participant.

Many participants talk of the high levels of trust, with the programme providing a safe place to challenge and gain insight. “ We have developed together and built real trust in the group. It’s been great. I am hopeful what we put back into the organisation will pay back in multitude the investment made” states another participant.

Another manager reflects “I was very sceptical to begin with but I have never enjoyed a training programme as much as this. The ‘real plays’ were innovative, challenging and enjoyable. As a result of the programme my self-awareness has massively improved as well as how I impact on others. I’ve also passed on some of the learning to my managers, so others are benefitting too.”
“It has been almost life-changing,” concludes another participant. “ I feel I have so much to offer which has been brought out on this programme…My whole approach to situations has changed and it is liberating. I have more time to do things.” Feedback from the participants’ repeat 360s demonstrate a benefit to the organisation. “ There is a clear movement in the right direction with all the participants. Whether from bosses, peers or direct reports their observations of those people have changed for the better which is hugely pleasing to see” adds Mary McCrea, Just Retirement’s Director of Talent.

Another benefit is the expertise that has built up within L&D. “ TLC have helped us become more self sufficient too, supporting us with the Action Learning Sets and coaching. They’ve transferred the skills into the organisation, into the HR function, as well as working with the participants. It’s not a transactional relationship, it’s a transformational relationship.”

“TLC have far exceeded our expectations” concludes Mary. “ We wanted a behavioural shift. In fact, it’s not just changed the participants, its impacted the senior level too so much so that they want to replicate it in some way. They see the value in using a similar intervention to in the current merger. They’ve seen the power of it and they want more.”

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CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION
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The Case for a Supportive Culture at Linklaters

Linklaters is a global law firm, advising the world’s leading companies, financial institutions and governments. So when a culture survey clearly identified the need for a more collaborative culture, they acted fast, and they acted globally.


“Before, there was no real understanding of being on the same team, wearing the same shirt. It was like the defence not being interested in the midfield. That was symptomatic of how we were working together,” reflects David Jack, Associate Director for Linklaters Information and Strategic Services.


TLC, specialists in talent assessment and development, were brought in to deliver the culture change programme. They recommended a blended learning approach encompassing 360 degree feedback for all Senior Management Team managers, with Personal Development Plans and follow up coaching sessions, plus Action Learning Sets, experiential Leadership and Emotional Intelligence workshops and a Performance Management system and development workshops.

The TLC facilitators and coaches provided the right amount of stretch and challenge for Linklaters. “If you’re going to change the culture, you have to understand how you’re going to change it – and they did. In the nicest way – they wouldn’t let you get away with anything if it was going to get in the way of the changes we all wanted to see” says David.
The impact of the programme was measurable. The repeat cultural survey recorded an overall improvement of 33%, including a 43% improvement in Leadership and 42% in Communication. David sums up the programme’s benefits: “They helped people to become aware of how their behaviour impacts others and how to work more collaboratively. This has had a direct impact on how well we work together on projects and what we deliver to the business in ISS.”

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
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Origin Housing enjoys internal and external benefits from 'Lead to Succeed' programme

Origin Housing provides affordable housing and care & support services in London and Hertfordshire, owning and managing over 6000 homes and customers with a turnover of over £50 million. In addition to their 2012 IIP review - which raised some concerns about the cohesiveness of one part of the business - Origin’s staff survey in the same year identified a need to build leadership capability to move to a different phase of the organisation's lifecycle, and to successfully lead in a new environment of significant regulatory and policy changes.

“We wanted an external partner who would give us something that would really make a difference.” says Tara Healy, Head of Human Resources. “One of our Directors had had a very good experience of working with TLC previously and TLC's response to our Invitation to Tender was very strong indeed.”

TLC’s ‘fact find’ – meetings with the Exec team, SMT and staff from across the business - revealed where the organisation was currently, where it wanted to be, and cultural readiness for the journey. Individual and aggregated 360 feedback results were used to design the ‘Lead to Succeed’ programme: two mandatory workshops, four optional workshops, plus development days for the Exec and the SMT. “Our relationship with TLC is very strong,” states Tara. “The facilitators are

amazing, so knowledgeable and intuitive to our needs. I love how they continually challenge us in our thinking and feedback. It’s so beneficial to the organisation.”

Reaction to the programme was instant. “24 hours after the first ‘Having Powerful Conversations’ workshop one of the participants came into my office and told me it was the best development event that he’d ever had. Another said he’d had a powerful conversation that he’d been putting off for a while, that he’d been a manager for years, and that this workshop had made him sit up and learn something. To get such impromptu feedback so quickly was fantastic.” says Tara.

The programme’s impact has been significant. “Thanks to ‘Lead to Succeed’ we have more cohesive working, especially at the top. As a result of being more joined up, we’ve structured our business planning differently, with improved results. There’s more openness, people are more receptive to feedback, there’s more challenge, and more work is being done. The SMT has been able to find their role within the organisation now and take on a major change project, 'Customer First', for the Exec." says Tara.

"There’s been a shift in behaviour: managers are prepared to have powerful conversations earlier on, saving time and resources in the long run. Staff turnover has gone up slightly but part of this is due to managers exiting staff where the appointment wasn’t right. Previously, people stayed in post because the manager was too nice to challenge them.”

Attendance has improved from 9.19 days average sickness days in Dec 12 to just 4.4 days in Jan 15. One area of the business in particular had been managing sickness inconsistently and there has been a real culture shift in how sickness is managed which has improved attendance in that area. Tara firmly believes that the TLC workshops have contributed to these improvements.

Origin’s latest staff survey results show strong improvements: the response rate in 2014 was up by 54% on 2012, and up 26% in comparison to other housing associations. Origin's Engagement Index stands at 82% (an 8% increase on 2012).

Line and senior management scores have improved. “People are highly engaged, and we’re clearly seeing the effects of 'Lead to Succeed’ in our senior managers’ behaviour,” states Tara.

“The value we’ve got from our investment is incredible. There is such a change in how we are, and how we manage: there’s a different atmosphere, and we’re much more open. The 'One Team' workshop brought us to a different understanding on how to achieve business results. It’s a massive shift from where we were and it feels different” she reflects. “What’s more, we’ve just been awarded IIP Silver – it’s great to have our improvements recognised externally too.”

In light of its success, Origin is now working with TLC on its ‘Rising Stars’ talent programme, as well as identifying Champions to deliver the messages across the business. The programme is also rolling out to more managers. “We understand that we still have work to do further down the organisation. The learnings from the programme to date have been so significant, we want as many people as possible to benefit,” concludes Tara.

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
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Catalyst Housing Limited and TLC build business through structural reform

From creating special needs and residential accommodation for vulnerable individuals to regenerating thriving communities, Catalyst Housing Limited (CHL) works with local authorities to provide 16,000 affordable homes in the South East.

Due to rising property prices and a recession, the need for affordable housing in the UK has never been greater. CHL has therefore embarked upon an ambitious growth plan that aims to increase its housing stock by a further 4,000 homes in just three years. It has engaged organisational talent development company The Learning Curve (TLC) to help it achieve those aims.

Integrated components improve leadership and collaboration

CHL identified the need to move away from operating as a hierarchically structured organisation where leadership rested only with the top team. It recognised that, to deliver a tough business agenda, the capacity and capability for leadership had to be extended to middle managers. This would improve teamwork and collaboration and lead to greater efficiency and responsibility within the organisation.

TLC designed a specific leadership programme with a number of critical and integrated components. An online ‘360’ feedback tool provided the direction necessary to set personal objectives. Leadership workshops then addressed the collective needs emerging from the 360 process. Following this, TLC facilitated conferences for the 60 leaders involved to initiate and drive change at the organisational level – drawing on learning from the other elements of the programme.

CHL is now performing far more successfully as a company. Judith Foss, Human Resources Director at CHL, says “TLC’s unique mix of organisational development expertise and psychological understanding has brought us better teamwork, greater efficiency and increased production. Employees are also willing and better able to take on more responsibility.”

Following this initial success CHL plans to extend the same programme to 30% more managers in the coming months. This will bolster efficiency even further at the company so that its affordable housing schemes can be brought to even more communities across the UK in the future.

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1:1 COACHING
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Coaching to Secure Well-Being and Prosperity

Challenging relationships and heavy workloads create stressful working lives for many individuals. This can result in poor work performance, which can impact negatively on a company’s success. To enhance business prosperity, one-to-one coaching supplied by Organisational Talent Development specialists The Learning Curve (TLC) focuses on exploring the deep psychological reasons that can cause stress in senior management and impact productivity. This insight is then used to establish personal and professional objectives that support the broader goals of the business.

Transactional Analysis for working relationships

For Telefonica O2, progressive relationships between staff members are seen as a key element in providing better service. TLC applies the theory of Transactional Analysis (TA) blended with Emotional Intelligence (EI) to unearth the psychological reasons that may affect these relationships in senior management. Esther Flatley, previously with Learning & Development at O2, says: “Feedback from O2 managers tells us that they have a greater sense of self awareness and a better understanding of why people behave the way they do. It helps them achieve favourable ‘win-win’ outcomes when working with peers or facing challenging situations.”

Restructuring kept on track

For Matt Watson, Head of HR at Southern Rail, TLC coaching supported him through a particularly challenging restructuring programme at the organisation. He engaged with TLC for four x three-hour sessions.

He says, “TLC’s coaching helped me get to the route of the reasons behind my self-doubt, which I felt was impacting my organisational skills. One year on and my department is thriving. TLC showed me how to put the issues I faced into perspective; and we discovered emotional and practical ways of overcoming them. I’m now better equipped to keep on top of challenges as they arise in a calm, organised and methodical way.”

Through using a psychological approach, TLC’s coaching has had a profound effect on both Telefonica O2 and Southern Rail, despite the very different sectors in which they operate. It’s proving that this progressive approach can provide long term, sustained change that benefits employees individually, and ultimately the organisations they represent.

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COACHING CULTURE
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Improved productivity and customer service thanks to transformational coaching conversations

Despite being voted number 1 for overall customer satisfaction in the uSwitch Energy Awards in 2012 E.ON, one of the UK’s‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, didn’t want to get complacent. “We are driven to provide the best possible quality of service for our customers,” says David Bird, Customer Operations Director, E.ON UK.

E.ON appointed organisational talent development specialists TLC to design and deliver ‘Coaching for Performance’workshops to over 500 managers and team leaders in its Customer Operations division. TLC facilitators used TA (Transactional Analysis) to equip delegates with tools and techniques to have effective coaching conversations that led toimprovements in service quality for colleagues and customers.
Reaction to the learning was instant: “People left the workshop, tried something new and got a positive result straight away. The effect on performance was immediate” says David.
Nine months on from the workshop TLC evaluated its impact with an online survey and telephone interviews. Feedback from participants was extremely positive, including:
improved teamwork, improved relationships with direct reports and better management of underperforming staff.

  • 97% felt the workshop impacted positively theirability to challenge difficult behaviours
  • 95% reported improved customer service
  • 93% have improved the quality of coaching styleconversations
  • 93% reported improved job satisfaction
  • 92% reported improved efficiencies
  • 90% reported improved productivity
  • 92% felt the development was a worthwhileinvestment for E.ON.

“We called the programme ‘Poweringup your People’ and it did just that, equipping managers to have really effective coaching conversations that have led to improvements in service quality,” says David.

As one manager in Residential says, “The learning has influenced getting better service quality scores and higher NPS scores; my team is more efficient and the overall handling times of calls have reduced.” Another manager from Field Ops says “Prior to the workshop our phone stats showed we were abandoning over 20%of calls but we discussed itas a team, made some changes and since then the figure has dropped to less than 5%.”

Communications have improved too. “The workshop enabled me to resolve queries more quickly; I have improved how I communicate certain messages to customers” notes a manager in Credit. Likewise a manager in Prepayment says:
“I have always been extremely focused on performance and efficiencies. However, the workshop has enabled me to use this focus in the right way which allows my people to want to come with me.”
“This programme has had such a great impact in SME. Since the workshop began you can see, hear and feel a massive culture change. The way we hold our coaching conversations has been transformed. Managers are having more conversations with colleagues regarding their performance and are holding people to account who don’t step up to the mark” remarks a manager in SME. “Call quality has improved generally across the team but more specifically for a small number of people who were not achieving the benchmark... I’ve spent more time planning difficult conversations which has helped meto get the right impact when I speak to individuals” says another.

“TLC’s evaluation was impressive” says David. “They achieved a response rate of over 50% from the online survey and shared with us the impact to date as well as further steps we need to take to maintain momentum. Our line managers and team leaders have shown they can positively influence the attitude and performance of others and create a high performance culture. Since the workshop we have retained the uSwitch Energy Award for best overall customer satisfaction in2013and are confident that we have put ourselves in a strong position to further improve the service our customers receive.”

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TEAM DEVELOPMENT
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TeamQ helping to improve performance at Your Healthcare

Your Healthcare is a social enterprise employing over 750 people to deliver NHS community healthcare and social care services including Health Visiting, District Nursing, Physiotherapy, residential dementia care and day care in the London Borough of Kingston.

Following restructures to the District Nursing teams, the organisation began looking for a tool to facilitate improved team working. "I spent a long time searching for the right tool and when I found that TLC's TeamQ was based on Lencioni's work I knew I'd found the perfect product," says Liz Ogilvie, Learning and Development Consultant. "Even if teams are functioning very well there's always more that can be done for them to be a high performing team and TeamQ provides the framework to do this to achieve results.

"It's a fantastic diagnostic tool to build awareness in teams... the different levels of the high performing team model are sometimes difficult for teams to understand - the importance of open communications, transparency and open debate - that's really quite difficult in some teams and when you present them with the TeamQ feedback they get it."

To date TeamQ has been used by teams in District Nursing, the Leg Ulcer Clinic, and Speech and Language Therapy as well as the internal Information Team, and the outputs generated have been extremely useful. "It has been hugely, hugely beneficial to Your Healthcare," Liz continues. "The organisation is going through a lot of change and this helps to begin to think about the teams and how they're working and present them with real, clear feedback – there's no arguing with it: it is what it is.

"It has made a lot of difference to the teams afterwards. It has helped the teams perform better because there's a greater awareness of the issues and the importance of addressing them. There's been a much better atmosphere in teams, therefore people perform well, people are more motivated and the managers perform better ultimately. The delight that some of the managers have had from seeing that they've worked hard and have brought their teams together is fantastic. We've had tears from both sides!"

Claire Marr, Your Healthcare's Education and Training Manager, agrees. "TeamQ is very useful in binding teams together and helping managers understand how people are feeling as well as getting them to think about team values and what's important in a team. It has enabled people to action plan and it has brought issues to the surface. It gives you a tremendous insight into how teams are working, how teams are truly functioning."

Heather Cummins is a District Nurse Locality Team Manager and two of her teams have used TeamQ to great effect. "The tool is thought provoking; it gives us the opportunity to express opinions and explore issues which previously hadn't been raised because it is safe...We have learnt things and identified where the challenge is, and have sorted problems out" Heather says.

Feedback from individuals has been very positive too. "Just from word of mouth people are asking for it to

happen with their teams too" comments Claire. Your Healthcare have already identified three more teams that will be using TeamQ in the next month. "It is a real ongoing process and great support for our business" Claire concludes. There are also plans to run repeat TeamQ surveys one year on, in order to measure change.

Liz is looking forward to working with TLC on a regular basis. "TeamQ has given me access to information that I would never have got normally, and TLC are brilliant to work with. They are flexible, professional and their response times are excellent. It's a fantastic tool supported by service to match."

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TEAM DEVELOPMENT
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TLC Helps Southern Rail Get Back On Track

When Matt Watson joined Southern Rail as Head of HR he was concerned to find a fragmented, unaligned team that was in need of reform. After twelve months of restructuring, the department of eight employees began to show signs of gradual improvement on a practical level. It was, however, evident that the group would further benefit from a deeper level of intervention to help synergise and align the individual team members. Matt Watson turned to The Learning Curve (TLC) for support.

TLC worked with Southern Rail to diagnose the issues that were affecting team success. The company used its expertise in psychology and team working to deliver a series of Team Performance workshops.

These workshops focused on addressing the issues and challenges standing in the way of business progress. They also provided team members with practical ways of overcoming communication barriers and improving team dynamics. The aim was to unify the team so that it worked effectively to the same business objectives.

Matt Watson says: “Through working with TLC, we have managed to create a dynamic, cooperative and motivated HR team. It’s no coincidence that we are closer now than we have ever been to reaching the ‘Passenger Focus’ target for delivering performance and customer service. TLC has fulfilled a vital role in aligning and focusing our HR department so that it is now highly effective in supporting the 4,000 Southern Rail employees who are dedicated to making every journey better.”

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TEAM DEVELOPMENT
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Kent County Council Employs TLC to Reduce Waste

Cut backs, restructuring and increased demands at Kent County Council’s Environment, Highways & Waste department had left its workforce feeling unmotivated, and under stress from increased workloads.

Executive Director for the department, Mike Austerberry, was concerned that without change, the directorate team under him ran the risk of making poor decisions that could end up wasting the department’s budget, and ultimately cost Kent’s 1.6 million constituents.

TLC was therefore commissioned to carry out Team Development workshops. The aim of the programme was to work in a group environment to identify a clear set of collective objectives for the department, and align the team to them so that these objectives would be delivered.

Mike Austerberry says: “As well as shouldering big cuts, changes in Governmental policy with regards to recycling and landfill meant the team was understandably under pressure. This has ultimately had a negative impact on the department’s output.”

TLC worked with the team to re-establish its objectives and purpose against the business agenda so that all team members could work in unity to them. TLC also set goals for high performance working, so individuals are able to deliver greater value when operating together.

“It has been a very beneficial experience,” concludes Mike. “Better alignment and personal accountability means the department is focused and efficient. We’re making tax payers’ money go much further even as we reach government targets for recycling and waste, and TLC has played a real part in helping us achieve that.”

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COMMUNICATION SKILLS
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O2 Connect with TLC

Progressive relationships are a key ingredient to a motivated and collaborative workforce: a fact that is endorsed by mobile telecoms giant O2. The company continually looks for effective ways of investing in its workforce that will produce a visible return on investment. With this aim, it works with The Learning Curve (TLC) to provide employees with a series of workshops and follow-up coaching that set out to improve communication and understanding between individuals.

The two-day workshops apply the theory of Transactional Analysis (TA) to real work situations and provide an insight into the reasons why people behave the way they do. The theory is then applied into real work situations so that employees acquire the skills and emotional intelligence required to arrive at favourable ‘win-win’ outcomes. The learning is then further embedded and applied in follow-up coaching sessions.

Charlotte Drake, Senior Talent Development Business Partner at Telefonica O2 says: “Employees who attend the workshops find TLC’s intervention extremely beneficial. They come away from the programme with a higher level of emotional intelligence and literacy; and have the ability to conduct clearer conversations that result in greater efficiency. This is because issues become less protracted and are dealt with promptly and effectively, which leads to greater productivity further down the line.”

“89% of employees have reported the TLC workshops as being a ‘good return on investment’: a figure that exceeds the 02 benchmark. There’s no doubt that TLC’s work has helped our staff to enrich business relationships, identify personal strengths and ultimately improve their work performance.”

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EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
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InSITE checks the pulse across Ingeus UK

Ingeus UK is a leading provider of people-centred services. From a network of more than 80 offices and over 1,600 employees, Ingeus supports people through employability programmes such as the government’s Work Programme, helping long-term unemployed people to find lasting jobs; skills and training, including traineeships, apprenticeships and pre-employment training; and health-related services delivered by a team of in-house health professionals.


The company understands the value of listening to their staff and have been listed in The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ six years in a row. Working with The Learning Curve (TLC) over the last three years has helped them in this achievement.

Ingeus’ HR Director Kalbir Heer explained the reasons for commissioning TLC: “We wanted to do a mid-year pulse check in addition to The Sunday Times survey, to see whether the initiatives we were undertaking were having a positive impact on staff engagement. We approached TLC as we were impressed by their level of occupational psychology expertise and experience, and their research capability.”

“The TLC project team took time to understand how we wanted to use the data. The survey was built around our business drivers and the results were presented in a format that was meaningful and easy to understand and disseminate throughout the organisation,” says Kalbir.
TLC provided Ingeus with advice around design, a simple electronic platform for data capture (inSITE) and a detailed analysis of the survey findings. These were presented in a comprehensive report, including regional analyses. The findings identified were very useful to Ingeus, identifying what the company was doing well and where it could increase focus. “The survey gave us a detailed insight into staff engagement levels and has contributed to our culture of being open and transparent,” says Kalbir. “Staff have really appreciated the openness.”

“Furthermore, the survey has contributed to our ability to identify any specific areas to focus on, so we get a sense of where people are and how they are feeling”, Kalbir states.
To date TLC have delivered three annual inSITE surveys for Ingeus. “Each year we review our objectives and refine the process following suggestions from TLC. This year we increased the number of questions because we wanted to delve deeper into our eight drivers, as well as increasing the number of staff in scope.

“TLC staff have always been very flexible and responsive to any changes,” Kalbir says. “They are very keen to ensure that we get most value from the project. Their management of the whole process is very professional and effective. This year’s survey achieved a 76% response rate, which was brilliant. Also, we have very tight timeframes but TLC have always been able to achieve them for us.”
Together, Ingeus and TLC have developed a strong, long term relationship. “We are looking forward to working with TLC on next year’s engagement survey” concludes Kalbir.

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360 DEGREE FEEDBACK
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Bespoke 360 tool faciliatates behavioural change at Natural England

Natural England is the government’s advisor for England’s nature and landscapes – protecting the natural environment and helping people to enjoy it. Its remit, delivered by its 2200 employees, is to provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone.

Following a competitive tendering process, Natural England appointed TLC to design a robust 360° Feedback tool tailored to its own skills framework. TLC also designed and delivered specialised webinar training for ‘super users’ and trained internal coaches how to run feedback coaching sessions to support colleagues through the process.

Why TLC? “Partly it was their technology – having the opportunity to grade people over a 100-point scale was great, plus the simultaneous rating facility,” states Geof Sheppard, part of the Organisational Development team. “But we also liked the fact that they’re human and talk to us. TLC have looked after us so well, we have always had our needs met. We genuinely feel we’re more than customers, and TLC cares about getting the best out of the project.”

Several groups of Specialists and future Team Leaders have been though the programme, including a repeat 360, and the results are very positive. “Significantly, it’s not looking at the technical stuff that is often the focus here; it has opened participants’ eyes to lots more of the soft skills and behaviours” says Geof. “It’s given them the opportunity to get their heads around what it is they need to do differently. They are improving themselves.”

Participants themselves describe the 360 as “insightful”, “thought provoking” and “frank”. “It has been reassuring to see my peer group value me” cites one Specialist, whilst another Specialist reflects “It gave me a real confidence boost, as my colleagues rated me much higher than I did myself.”

“The coaching sessions were invaluable” she continues. “My coach was very good at identifying the key things I needed to work on and improve and as a result of the coaching I’ve developed relationships beyond my normal network of colleagues and I have since been promoted. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been successful without the 360 as I would still have been thinking of myself negatively.”

Another participant, a future team leader, reflects, “360 has been a really useful experience…It has clarified some things I had been thinking about myself [although] I really wasn’t aware of the impact I was having on other people to that extent. I am more self-aware and have changed my behaviour in meetings as a result, with positive feedback from colleagues in my repeat 360.”

One Senior Specialist concludes “The biggest benefit of the 360 has been its enabling power…It has been the catalyst for development. I’ve done more this year than I have for years and I just don’t think it would have happened without the 360. Some of our internal relationships have grown as a consequence.”

Natural England will continue to encourage more Specialists and future Team Leaders to use the tool. “We wanted colleagues to be more self-aware and to understand their own strengths and challenges so they could design and implement their own development programme and the 360 is making this happen” says Geof. "People are more accepting of feedback and are happier to give it.”

Having seen other colleagues benefit, Advisors are asking for the same and Natural England are considering using the 360 amongst the Advisor population. “One unexpected outcome is that the 360 has helped us have a conversation in the business about our expectations of people across our People Leaders, Specialist and Advisor populations. Our intention is that everyone gets one clear message and creating the 360 has driven that.” concludes Geof.

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EXEC TEAM DEVELOPMENT
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HR Executive Team benefits from ‘groundbreaking’ learning

Facing significant changes within HR to reduce headcount, serve customers better and a shift in the strategic direction of E.ON, the HR Executive Team approached TLC to support them to deliver their ambitious change programme, become role model leaders and deliver a challenging HR strategic agenda. "TLC are specialists in this area," says Stephen King, Head of Global Learning, Central and Southern Europe. "Their psychology backgrounds combined with operational OD experience brings another layer to the conversation which helps us better understand what we're about, the ways in which we're behaving and the potential impact we have on each other and on other people of course. Also, they are good coaches and well experienced at working at Board and Senior Exec level."

The coach works with the team in a number of ways, designing and facilitating their quarterly away days and undertaking diagnostic calls with each member in advance of each away day. Sometimes the coach acts as an observer at meetings and offers real time feedback to the team on their behaviours and how they are living their ground rules. In addition they facilitate workshops on topics including resilience, multicultural working, emotional intelligence (EI) and impact and influence, bringing in other TLC experts as appropriate. "We're really impressed by TLC's willingness to go with different ideas and help us find solutions; rigour and quality are part of TLC's DNA," says Stephen.

The impact of TLC on the HR Executive Team has been significant. "Our colleagues say we understand and are getting closer to the business and the business closer to HR. We've been on a challenging journey and as a consequence we're much better valued by the business than two years ago. We are more unified, and substantially more aligned, despite our different global roles and remits. Accountability is much clearer," says Stephen.

Relationships amongst the team have improved exponentially. "We are much more confident in the business and have a stronger voice at Board level" continues Stephen. "Our ability to spot and nurture talent has improved. We have recently won the 2013 ENEI (Employers Networks for Equality & Inclusion) Award for Inclusive Recruitment as well as receiving very good feedback from the E.ON Board on the quality of this year's graduate intake.

"We have received excellent feedback on the quality of strategic partnering of HR team members on strategic issues: our expertise is highly prized."

Dave Newborough, HR Director, agrees. "It has been groundbreaking for us. It helped us bring focus to the work and the team has been able to deliver some really challenging and important projects, such as completely reshaping the 90 day plan in just one day. And the feedback from our CEO was brilliant. We have also managed to get the refreshed People Strategy onto two pages. We are much more agreed now and really feel like a team. We'd have never got there without TLC's input."

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The Learning Curve (TLC) Ltd

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+44 (0)845 313 3357

 info@thelearningcurve.co.uk