CASE STUDY

New programme leads the way

Watercare’s staff leadership programme represents a number of firsts for the company.

As one of the signature projects of the company’s reorganisation, this programme aims to provide practical support to all people leaders within the business.

Organisation change manager Mirjam Oord says, “This is the first time we have put into words what we expect of our people leaders in a formal and transparent way. Our people now know their responsibilities when it comes to team leadership, which means their team members will have a clearer understanding of what they can expect from their managers.

"We decided that leaders and our development across the organisation are not something we can outsource. Building our leadership capability is something we need to take responsibility for and that’s what this programme is all about."

“It also means that when these principles are not being adhered to, it will be easier to have that conversation and work towards a positive outcome.”

The programme, comprising five one-day workshops held about a month apart, runs at every level of the company.

For participants, it starts with a 360-degree survey – feedback from each participant, their managers and some direct reports – to give them an understanding of their strengths and what they may need to work on. In designing the course, extensive research was carried out to identify what core competencies would make the biggest difference at Watercare. These competencies are Coach, Connect, Adapt and Take Action.

Says Mirjam: “Previously, leadership training was carried out on an ad hoc basis, with managers being sent on various workshops that lacked context for our workplace and were not necessarily in line with our vision.

“We decided that leaders and our development across the organisation are not something we can outsource. Building our leadership capability is something we need to take responsibility for and that’s what this programme is all about.”

As at June 2018, 120 people leaders had completed the leadership programme.

VALUE BEING CREATED:

  • Safe, happy and empowered team
  • Health and well-being