July 23, 2020
BUUK Infrastructure is the leading independent owner and operator of last‐mile utility assets in the UK. BUUK businesses design, construct, adopt and operate utility infrastructure networks throughout England, Wales and Scotland. These networks are almost exclusively installed on new‐build housing, mixed‐use and commercial developments. BUUK have achieved Best Workplaces™ ‐ Super Large Organisations – Great Place to Work accreditation.
At the beginning of 2018 14 aspiring leaders were chosen from across the business to enrol on a leadership course held at the Cardiff office, with the purpose being to:
• Provide knowledge and awareness to enhance leadership skills
• Gain a nationally accredited qualification to recognise their leadership and management abilities
• Provide a safe space to practise new skills
• Practise the key leadership skill of self‐reflection to recognise opportunities for self‐improvement
• Discover what it means to be an effective leader in supporting BUUK’s vision and values
10Eighty designed and delivered a bespoke and immersive ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) Level 3 Certificate in Leadership & Management to BUUK Infrastructure, partnering with USW (University of South Wales) Commercial Services for the assessment and issuing of the qualification certificates.
ILM qualifications are nationally recognised. They are vocational, with the aim to deliver knowledge and experience that you need to a job in the real world. The structure of the qualification enables the flexibility to choose unit topics that suit your organisational needs. The course consisted of ten face to face workshops with time to complete assignments in between each session, with support from their tutor. A range of topics were delivered including: Organising and delegating in the workplace; Understanding good practice in workplace coaching and Understanding how to motivate to improve performance.
All learning styles were accommodated during the design and delivery of the sessions. With opportunities for: listening to theory; engaging in discussions; watching informative videos; reflecting and journaling; seeking feedback for improvements; completing self‐assessments; goal setting and getting stuck into group activities.
After many months of learning and developing together, the group formed a strong support network. This organic new leadership team took on the responsibility of sharing constructive feedback, as well as celebrating each other’s achievements in successfully putting their new skills into practise. The practical nature of the training enabled each individual to immediately start to implement changes to improve their team’s working practises after each session. It provided an opportunity for reflection and feedback on what worked well, as well as being able to identify areas for improvement to aid in their ongoing professional development. Common strategies were implemented across the business around: SMART communications; techniques to minimise conflict in the workplace; embracing new ideas for innovation; being a coaching leader and eating frogs for effective time management!
This group graduated in 2019 and confidently presented to their peers and managers about their leadership journey experiences and the impact it had for them, their teams and BUUK as an organisation.
Half of the cohort members were promoted, either during or following the course.
On the success of the first programme, BUUK further demonstrated their commitment to engaging with and investing in their employees through training and development by enrolling a second cohort of 11 budding new leaders on the same course in the Autumn of 2019 – a great opportunity to further share knowledge across the business and create a common leadership language and set of effective behaviours.
ADAPTING TO A COVID‐19 WORLD
Then in March 2020 the world changed for us all. With no option to continue delivering face to face training, we all paused and took stock. In May 2020 we were all hungry to re‐engage and so the course moved online. We quickly adapted our delivery by using interactive workbooks for learners to capture notes live, delivery through zoom and using virtual breakout rooms for smaller discussions and AYOA Brainstorming tool to capture live discussions. The group have demonstrated their commitment to their learning, and the course has become just as rich as the face to face classroom based learning. We now look forward to this second group graduating early 2021 and celebrating their hard work and achievements.
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