Last week I needed to be in London at a short notice. While I was there, I caught up with a previous client Craig Nugent, we worked together on a very successful training project over 20 years ago, we have kept an eye on each other via LinkedIn over the years, and when I contacted with him, it ended up that we’re both staying in the same hotel on the same night, independently of each other – there is never any coincidence, right!
It was lovely to catch up, share our lives since then and reminisce about the project and the many experiences we had together but for myself personally, it was a fabulous reminder of why the program worked as well as what it did, why it succeeded, and succeeded in such a way that it exceeded all projected financial outcomes. The short answer is that the change came from the top down.
Even the President of the company was involved in our training program. He came into the course and then came instore, got behind the counter and served the customers. He backed the program 100%. He was clear on the value of the program and the value of being seen to participate in the program both in sessions and instore.
The change started at the top with the President, rolled out down the management levels and then the frontline employees, until the training was implemented across 900 stores.
We trained the senior leaders, and then the regional managers and then the area managers, and then the store managers, and then the frontline.
As you can see from the model below, coaching was critical and it was the responsibility of each part e.g. Senior leaders needed to coach and measure the Regional Leaders, Regional needed to coach and measure the Area and so on. N>B it was impossible for Regional Leader to coach all of the store managers, just too many people.
The key is that the ultimate group that benefits from all of this is the customer, hence being at the top.
Collaboration is Key
I am often asked how I was able to implement a program of this size? Leaders As Coaches is all about collaboration. My training team trained and coached the companies training team to help deliver the Leaders As Coaches program.
My team were the main facilitators, and we ran the courses jointly, whilst maintaining my ideal trainer to participant ratio of 1 to 6.
Why is 1-6 ideal? It’s about keeping participants engaged. Participants are either training and receiving feedback and repeating the practice or observing for a short time and implementing the feedback they have just observed. Momentum is crucial when training.
Instead of me having to provide the participants with feedback, I constantly provided feedback to the trainers in how to coach each participant.
Just filling a room with people and talking to them, doesn’t work. It’s the repetitive practice, that really makes the difference. All participants whether they were the company President or a frontline employee did a session with practice, the leaders did 2 days and the staff 1 day,
Working as a team is the most effective and efficient way to train and coach a program not only in the training phase but also my clients teams are left with the skills to continue to train and coach back on the job, once the initial program is complete.
What Gets Measured Gets Done
The program included key measurements/goals (people and financial) specifically designed to measure the training results on the company’s bottom line and ensure all employees received the same level of training across the board.
We could clearly see every week the national, country, regional, area, store, and employee results.
This enabled us to identify senior leaders who were fully engaged and driving the program down through their teams and also where the gaps were, those who required more training and on job coaching to increase results. People achieved results we didn’t think were possible.
Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows
In every management office and within each store there was a scoreboard on the wall. The whole company knew the measurements and the end goal. I have found that when employees are included in designing the scoreboards and tracking store, team, and individual results they take ownership and drive the results for which they are accountable.
It is important to note, the implementation of the scoreboards is all about setting our teams up to win. This practice must be introduced in a way that promotes participation, is engaging and prompts the commitment of each employee to continually practice on the job. After all it’s a game.
I think our training philosophies were really clear:
You learn best when you have fun.
You learn best when you do it.
You learn best when you’re able to apply your own knowledge.
Learning hasn’t taken place until behaviors change back on the job.
We have proven over the years; this structure is what gets these massive results.
It was a huge commitment for an organisation. The whole training program costs were 250,000 pounds per year, and it was rolled out over two years.
A total spend of 500,000 pounds, resulted in a 52 Million pound increase in the UK alone. But most companies wouldn’t spend that much money to train their people.
How? We were focused on increasing individual sales and the average dollar spend per transaction and improving the quality of customer service, customer loyalty and repeat business.
At the time of the programs implementation stores were averaging between 60 sales per week, two years later those same stores were averaging 200 – 500 sales per week and at an increased average dollar transaction.
Leaders As Coaches (LAC)
Through our award-winning two-day ‘Leaders as Coaches‘ program, your leaders will to learn the techniques, behaviours and skills required to help their teams succeed in delivering the Service Standards, ensuring your customers return and spend more.
Download a copy a copy of my brochure here.
If you would like to have a chat with me about ‘Leaders As Coaches Program’ contact me I look forward to hearing from you.