Manufacturing company, United Kingdom

This successful, family-run business wanted to expand significantly, but recognised that its management team didn’t have the skills to support the required level of growth.

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Even a great business can find that the team that’s served it well so far, isn’t always able to automatically drive it forward to even greater things. Skills Shift was approached by a family-run business at the point where it saw clear potential for major growth, but also realised that it had to address several limiters within the organisation.

These not only included the business’s branding, marketing and company values, but also the skills of its senior managers to lead larger teams. As with many businesses, the senior managers were excellent, experienced practitioners but had not received formal management training – in other words, they managed others by experience and instinct, rather than via proven techniques.

Skills Shift was engaged to:

  • build the team’s capabilities, to enable it to support the company’s growth plans.  
  • establish a baseline for professional management practice that was aligned to the company’s culture, vision, values and strategy.
  • help managers lead their teams through change.
  • help managers achieve greater growth and improved performance.

A key part of the company’s plans was to increase sales without proportionately raising fixed costs: it needed to get the very best from the people it already employed, so that any new recruits were driven by a genuine need for additional resource.

Knowing that often the best ideas come from those ‘on the ground’, the company also wanted to engender a culture of innovation and improvement, so that new ideas could be suggested with the confidence that they would be heard and taken forward when of value.

Skills Shift created a bespoke training programme to meet the client’s needs, focusing on its specific issues and using real challenges within the workplace as teaching points and workshop examples. The programme trained managers from across the company – who managed employed teams, virtual teams and even self-employed contractor teams – and lasted around five months, providing them with the skills to lead and motivate their teams, achieve great performance and deliver change.  

Around three months after the end of the programme, the senior managers got together to both celebrate their achievements and to assess how the training was helping them. The company also asked Skills Shift to deliver a one-day workshop for those moving (or about to move) into a management position, ensuring that new managers weren’t left to fend for themselves, plus a new programme for first line managers and a range of personal skills workshops on topics such as Personal Effectiveness and Presentation Skills.

For the company, the training investment has been returned manifold, as it’s been able to beat the growth target – driving a level of expansion and change, whilst retaining key employees and protecting its unique culture, that would otherwise have been impossible.