No company, no matter the industry, can afford to ignore employee competency in soft skills, such as time management or customer relations. The more savvy companies also realise that they need to develop those skills in existing staff to continue to grow their businesses.
Mowlem, a £2 billion-a-year construction company with 25,000 employees worldwide, already had a training programme in place, but realised it needed to focus the spending in this area to meet more closely its new strategic goals. The company had recently gone through a radical change, evolving from a pure construction contractor into a market-leading construction and support services group.
To design a new core skills training programme, Mowlem turned to GFB, an innovator in human capital management and organisational development.
Employees gain greater confidence
First, GFB assessed training needs through a series of in-depth interviews, performance reviews and employee-feedback surveys. This research formed the basis of 15-related programmes in areas such as presentation skills, negotiation skills, time management and commercial awareness training.
Mowlem uses the core skills programme as an integrated package that provides leadership development as well as management training. The intent is to provide Mowlem employees with a greater ability and confidence in their day-to-day dealings with customers and with each other.
“Our business is constantly changing,” said Julie Finn, Group HR Manager at Mowlem. “It's difficult to keep abreast of what's happening in different divisions, let alone incorporate best practices and lessons learned in a timely fashion. That's what's so exciting about this new training programme, because it encourages wider knowledge sharing across the business.”
GFB also developed a comprehensive training evaluation strategy, so that the programme could be continuously improved.
“We have some of the most sophisticated employee development strategies available in the market today, with results that can be measured in the long term,” said Alison Gill, CEO, GFB. “With our tools, HR professionals can respond to change as fast as their markets demand.”
A long-term commitment
Mowlem considers the relationship with GFB as a long-term commitment, and has engaged the company as its main supplier for common core skills development.
“Not only has GFB presented innovative solutions to the challenges we have given, but they have also demonstrated a clear ability to work in close partnership with us for the long term. That gave us the confidence that they will be able to respond as we continue to evolve,”, said Finn.