Telent Management Development

Client: Telent

Telent specialise in the effective operation of critical national infrastructure and are at the heart of many of the UK’s and Ireland’s best-known brands.

They design, deliver and support solutions and services which enable organisations to create, improve and operate the ICT and communication networks that their businesses depend on. their industry expertise, technology partnerships, accreditations and committed teams make Telent the partner of choice for organisations at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Telent operate within various industry sectors including Transport, Emergency Services, Network Providers, Higher Education and Public Sector

Telent required a modular development programme for all mid-senior managers across the 4 divisions, tying into the themes and principles of the Leadership Programme that Raise the Bar had already delivered to senior teams. In involving both content and key advocates in the approach, we could further embed the learning and ensure all levels of buy in.

The Challenge

In 2014-2015, Telent acquired 3 major service providers to bolster expertise within their service offering. They recognised that they had 4 key areas that required significant upskilling if they were to continue to compete successfully for contracts within the competitive infrastructure and technology markets. After reviewing business needs and conducting employee surveys, they identified:

  • A need for growth within the business and people to take greater responsibility for developing their people proactively and empowering them.
  • Moving mindsets from one of a safe environment to big risk, being comfortable in ambiguity and embracing change as the norm.
  • Building long term relationships internally and externally to sustain growth.

After an internal review of requirements and the current development offering, they recognised that they had no focused, company-wide development offering to upskill and enable their wider leadership population to sustain growth.

The Solution

Telent wanted a programme to achieve specific aims:

  • Give managers a wider understanding of the business
  • Build personal networks across the business
  • Build manager confidence in communicating in a broad variety of circumstances
  • Enable managers to develop customer relationship skills to support the achievement of growth targets
  • Develop managers to play a significant role in driving change and helping others adjust to change
  • Encourage managers to think about things differently, challenging the ‘norm’
  • Enable managers to be ready to take more ownership and responsibility

Steering group of senior leaders from all business areas designed outcomes with Raise the Bar, alongside internal needs assessments and culture audits, a bespoke 15 month programme with blended methodologies was designed, incorporating:

  • A speaker led launch
  • 4 modules each supported with a high impac thought-leader led webinar
  • 1 full day workshop
  • 3 thought-leader led podcasts
  • Internal accreditation driven by Raise the Bar and 3 levels of core and optional internal modules across people and business skills
  • Support through the Raise the Bar app

The Result

We identified questions within the employee survey to measure over time, and 20 leadership criteria to measure confidence levels. From these we saw the following impact in our engagement survey:

  • Understanding of strategic aims – from 27% up to 73%
  • Improved levels of feedback and recognition – from 33% up to 74%
  • Increased levels of management support – from 56% up to 84%
  • Line managers supporting employee development – from 50% up to 77%
  • Greater awareness of development opportunities – from 40% up to 61%

Since the programme started, enhanced leadership capability enabled the company to win a series of large infrastructure contracts within existing areas of national infrastructure expertise, and new areas including nuclear fuel. Many previous delegates now hold key roles on these programmes having been promoted internally.

Telent has acquired 4 new businesses and transitioned over 1,000 employees from Carillion, National Highways and City Fibre contracts, and moved up the Sunday Times Top Track 250 from 30th in 2016 to 16th in 2020.

During the 6 years of management development, Telent has also increased their staff development offering in the following ways:

  • Continued to run senior leadership programmes with Raise the Bar, introducing 1-2-1 coaching, additional topics and aligning content across 3 levels of programme
  • Developed a first line manager development programme with Raise the Bar, now in its 4th year
  • Developed an alumni network of circa 195 leaders, who have access to continued bitesize learning via the Raise the Bar app and twice yearly development workshops
  • Feedback from the programme has helped shape Telent’s review of Performance Management Process, and their new values and behaviours which launched April 2022

The programme had the following impact on delegate performance and their capabilities:

  • 43.6% were promoted either during or after completion of the programme
  • 11.5% (22% of the promoted population) were promoted to a ‘head of’ function or service role within 1 of the 4 business divisions
  • When comparing attrition rates to the general business, the delegate population attrition rate is 18%, compared 30% in the wider company.
  • 14 previous delegates have become cohort mentors on this programme and the first line manager programme, and 12 support webinars enabling the programme to be led and role modelled by those who have attended it
  • 90% of current delegates now have line managers who have attended the programme, with applications for places doubling those available annually

We have partnered with Raise the Bar for many years on our management and leadership development programmes for first time managers through to strategic thought leaders. They understand our business and they have created 3 incredible programmes that not only give great content and skills to our managers, but challenge their thinking and get them to point the mirror at themselves.

There is definitely no sitting back on a Raise the Bar session and, through understanding our business, they are able to link models and ideas directly to our world. This really helps delegates to understand the messages and brings their learning to life. There is a real passion from the delivery team and strong relationships between the team who do a lot of the “behind the scenes” and the delegates. Every delegate knows that they won’t just turn up and listen – it will be a hands-on experience!

Jessica Farley
Head of Talent Development

The relationship we have with telent is a true collaborative partnership, and the programmes are embedded in a way that you wish every leadership programme could be.  Not only is it ran solely by the  steering group, which is made up of ex delegates of all 3 programmes, but the executive team fully support and sponsor it within their divisions.

It is truly transformative for the 400+ delegates who have graduated all the programmes, not only in their leadership approach, but in their careers and often personal lives too, and we see many returning for alumni sessions we run every 3-6 months, or as cohort mentors to support new delegates and keep the programme alive.

The team of 5 facilitators who signed up for this never imagined we’d be still delivering it 6 years later, but we love it and the team and the delegates are pleasure to work with!

Annabel Graham
Raise the Bar Consultant

I’ve managed to change my whole approach not just to my work life but also my personal life. This single-handedly has had the biggest impact to my development.

Programme Delegate

In terms of the quality of training MFS is without doubt the best management development programme I have been involved with.

Programme Delegate

Princess Royal Training Award

Telent were presented with a Princess Royal Training Award. The awards celebrate employers with outstanding training and skills development programmes which have been proven to have significant positive impact on their business or their staff and as such, Telent were recognised for their commitment to the training and development of colleagues across the business.

Telent’s success can be attributed to their work investing in managers and their career progression. The award recognises Telent most notably for its collaboration with Raise the Bar to introduce a management training programme to drive change and promote business growth.

Since launching in 2016, 172 managers have taken part in the programme, enhancing Telent’s manager capability and resulting in a series of large national infrastructure contracts being awarded.

The award further highlights the impact of Telent’s values and the behaviours that underpin them, which reflect its culture of continuous improvement, organisational strengths and long-term strategy.

This is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of the brilliant collaboration that exists within our Learning and Development team and Raise the Bar.
The programme continues to provide lasting impact on our manager population, and I’m thrilled that we have been recognised in this way.

Jemimah Parnell, Group HR Director