Developing Leaders for a Stronger Talent Strategy

The Challenge

A large Ontario-based organization was struggling with low employee engagement that was beginning to affect its KPIs. Leaders at the supervisor, manager, and director level lacked key leadership skills and were unable to impact engagement. The executive team did not provide the necessary support because leadership skill development and talent planning were viewed as low priority.

The organization’s HR and Talent leaders reached out to Verity to develop a solution that would enhance the skillset of leaders and bring the executive team to the table. They were looking to get executives invested in leadership education and in building a comprehensive talent plan that would ensure a longer term leadership strategy.

The Solution

We started leadership development at the supervisor, manager, and director level as a pathway towards building buy-in at the executive level. We focused on building momentum and creating a sense of leadership team commitment by branding the approach internally and delivering all communication through the Executive leadership team.

As part of the program rollout, we knew it would be critical to hook the executive team early. We delivered a compressed version of the first module to the executive team, so that they understood what was being delivered to their people and could support the effort through coaching and overall positioning of the program. The executive team got so much out of this first session, that they were eager to move on to the second module, despite being adamant at the outset that they did not need leadership skills training.

To engage executives in talent strategy, we shifted the focus of this second module for executives to talent planning, and positioned subsequent modules as talent calibration sessions. This brought the executive team to a completely different level in terms of thinking strategically about leadership development.

The Result

Working through the modules helped the executive team deepen their discussion and create the strongest succession plan and talent strategy that the organization has had to date. The organization was also able to manage subsequent significant shifts at the executive table (50% turnover in a 6 month period) by filling every position internally with well qualified candidates. Since our engagement, the organization has continued to advance its strategy to drive leadership effectiveness. They have shifted from a relatively simple leadership training strategy to incorporating differentiated development for key talent that integrates one-on-one coaching, group coaching circles, and a mobile feedback platform to drive a culture of coaching and ongoing development.

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Organization Size

2,000 employees
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Broader public sector
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Multiple locations across Ontario
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Employees Impacted