RS Group: Amazing Leaders 360
Updated: Oct 13, 2022
BACKGROUND RS Group are a global omni-channel solutions partner for industrial customers and suppliers. They support customers with a broad range of industrial and electronic products and solutions essential for the successful operation of their businesses. With over 6600 employees worldwide, RS Group offer an exciting and challenging working environment where everyone has the opportunity to deliver their best and reach their full potential.
In May 2020, with the COVID 19 pandemic and resultant global uncertainty and complexity placing unprecedented demands on its leaders, RS Group embarked on a journey to define and embed an RS Group approach to leadership.
Keen to develop a powerful framework tailored to their individual organisation, Rowan Fyfe, Group Head of Leadership and Talent at RS Group started off by talking to a range of senior managers from across the business to ask them what was most critical about how they were leading their people. Consistent insights emerged from these initial conversations, demonstrating a clear opportunity to unite the leaders by providing them with the focus and clarity of a common behavioural framework. Working with the Senior Management Team and their leadership teams these initial themes were developed into the Amazing Leaders framework, which the senior management team gave their commitment to embed as a means of driving real cultural change to meet their Destination 2025 strategy.
Amazing Leaders was launched to the wider business in January 2021, with two Leadership Live events hosted by the CEO and CFO. This was followed by business facilitators leading “How do I Become an Amazing Leader” conversations throughout Spring 2021. With over 150 small group conversations in 10 different languages, the conversations were designed to create a safe space for leaders to really start exploring how they would become an Amazing Leader.
Amazing Leaders 360-degree feedback Following the development of the Amazing Leaders framework, the organisation was keen to explore where their leaders were against the new framework and the type of targeted leadership development that would be most valuable to them. In order to do this, the Leadership and Talent team decided to trial a range of pilot development interventions to determine the most effective development activities for their leaders, including action learning sets and individual coaching programmes.
Rowan Fyfe clarifies, “It is my belief that development is most valuable when people have a level of self-insight so to me, creating that self-insight had to be the first stage of each of the pilot development activities. We decided to use a 360-degree feedback tool to kick start the process to gain this self-insight, to find out where people were against the new framework, their perception of themselves, their line manager and their colleagues and ultimately the development needs most important for them to focus on”.
RS Group have worked with GFB since 2007; with an already established relationship, Rowan Fyfe turned to us to create a bespoke 360 based on the new Amazing Leaders framework. Rowan comments “The turnaround time for GFB to develop the bespoke 360 was extremely quick – approximately 3 weeks from start to finish. Katherine Reid, GFB Consultant, developed a draft of the questionnaire using our statements and we then finalised this together. It was a very straightforward and flexible process”.
GFB created a branded 360 questionnaire, together with a customised report, to accurately reflect RS Group look and feel, using their own language. Elise Cope, Partner Director at GFB explains “Having a bespoke 360 feedback survey designed for your organisation, using your framework, questions and language really helps to engage your people in the process, giving the best possible outcome for their development.” The 360 was launched to 30-strong pilot population in January 2021, using GFB’s fully managed 360-degree feedback service. “The GFB fully managed 360-administration service was seamless. GFB provided us with regular status updates and chased for feedback completion according to the pre-agreed schedule” states Rowan. “The GFB speed of response, together with the flexibility of customisation and the managed service option was ideal for us. Yes, the 360 was outsourced – but it felt like our own and that was exactly what we needed. We have received excellent feedback on the 360 with a lot of participants commenting that it has given them a whole new level of insight in its own right”.
Leadership Skills Coaching Insights gained during the 360-degree feedback process were shared with Rowan Fyfe to help her prioritise development needs across the pilot group. This allowed Rowan to align development activities to people with a similar need and facilitate targeted development. GFB Lead Consultant, Miriam Luke, worked with one of the pilot groups by providing a 90-minute 360-degree feedback session for each participant, followed by 90-minute leadership skills coaching session 3-6 weeks later to embed the skills. Feedback confirms that the participants found the 360 feedback and follow up leadership skills coaching session extremely valuable, giving them time to digest and really make sense of their 360 feedback before coming back a few weeks later for an action planning coaching session. Miriam Luke also provided RS Group with a summary report of the common themes across the pilot group – strengths and development areas – as well as details of the leadership models that were shared during the coaching sessions.
OUTCOME Results RS Group are currently collating feedback around the various pilot development initiatives to determine which of the activities were most valuable to their leaders. They are also gaining further insight into where, when and for whom 360-degree feedback adds most value, as they are keen to be really clear about how to best to use the tool going forwards.
What was the value of having 360-degree feedback at the start of the process? Rowan Fyfe is clear, “There is no doubt that the 360-degree feedback made the learning interventions more impactful. The participants were more informed about their needs, clearer about what they needed to focus on and had already started self-reflecting on where they were at against the Amazing Leaders framework. They were primed and in the right frame of mind to be learning and challenging themselves –it provided a really powerful kick start to their learning journey”. Further information If you think 360-degree feedback could help kick start your organisation’s learning journey, please contact Elise Cope, Partnership Manager, GFB Group at email@example.com or call: 07899 895154.