Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
EDF Energy sparks better performance through management development
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 40, Issue 3.
When EDF Energy, one of the UK’s largest energy companies, was created from the London Electricity and Seeboard group of companies in 2003, it became clear that its managers needed leadership skills to meet future business challenges and that their technical excellence had to be complemented by people excellence. Their comfort zones and mindsets needed to be challenged and their lack of clear vision was not helping the company to progress.
The company created its 4i leadership framework the “i”s referring to leadership behaviors around inspiration, involvement, integrity and impact aimed at the top 1,600 managers from five areas. From that, EDF Energy worked with Forum Europe to develop a comprehensive four-part leadership-development program.
Sue Chew, director of organizational development, said: “We have increasing anecdotal evidence to illustrate improvements to learner performance and are getting a good flavor of behavioral change and how the tools and techniques are being used”.
More than 800 managers have gone through the program. Sue Chew continued: “We think that the program is an example of exceptionally effective learning […] The format is a comprehensive multi-stage program, designed to model the inspiration, involvement, impact and integrity we want to see in our leaders. We are seeing a positive impact of behavior changes and related increases in performance even before people have completed the full program”.
At £1,000 per person, she believes that the training is good value for money. “Both the development and roll-out of the program are bringing us together as one company, part of the sustainable culture change we aim to achieve”, she said.
A 360-degree review process, anecdotal evidence and employee-survey responses measure the progress made by managers. Results of employee surveys show that 82 per cent of staff now believe their manager/supervisor is accessible; a growing number, 75 per cent, believe them to be “open and honest with me”. Also, 81 per cent say their manager/supervisor treats them with respect, and 73 per cent that they listen to ideas and suggestions.
The program was highly commended in the UK National Training Awards.