Turning Managers into Coaches for Increased Employee Engagement
Xylem Inc. is a leading provider of fluid technology and equipment solutions for the most challenging water issues across the globe, with a shared commitment to making a difference in the communities it works in. The company was spun off from ITT Corporation in 2011. With operations in more than 150 countries, Xylem sells industry-leading brands and water solution products.
In the midst of significant organizational changes in 2011, Xylem realized it needed to improve the communication and leadership capabilities of to its managers, not only to help communicate the new organizational changes, but also to support leaders in driving the new company strategy. The goal was to heighten employee engagement, foster collaboration, and improve the overall work environment in the midst of significant change.
Quotes from participants
Given ONTOS’ long partnership with ITT/Xylem in talent management as well as experience in leadership development across cultures, ONTOS was well-positioned to design, design and roll-out a coaching program to Xylem’s major sites around the globe. Each program consists of a 2-day experience for a group of people managers by professional coach-facilitators. The goal of the program is to give managers a practical, hands-on coaching method and to develop leadership and management skills, based on a coaching model that emphasizes employee engagement, emotional intelligence (e.g. active listening, appreciative inquiry, process skills, guiding vs. telling) and influence skills. Highly experiential and interactive, the program emphasizes practice with extensive amounts of facilitator and peer feedback. So far, the program has been delivered in 5 languages (English, German, Hungarian, Italian or Polish….Swedish and French coming soon).
Managers also receive a 35-page coaching guide, and a laminated coaching tool.
Currently being rolled out across the U.S., Europe and Asia, the coaching program has been very well-received in all locations thus far, with an average score of 4.8 / 5.0 overall effectiveness (based on post-program participant quantitative evaluation ratings). As of summer 2015, the program has been delivered to some members of the organizaiton’s senior leadership team, with a similar session planned for later this year. Post-evaluations reveal a particular appreciation of:
- Practice time for “real life” scenarios
- Feedback from facilitators and colleagues
- Coaching model
- Getting to know others (and the issues) across function and level
2012 Update: In the Fall, we begin Phase 2 of this program in the U.S. and Europe as a 2-day program. We are also starting a second level program “Manager as Coach II”, also 2 days.
2013 Update: We begin Phase 3 of this program, now delivering the program in India and China.
2014 Update: We add another round of programs around the globe.
2015 Update: Sessions continue. We are adding 2 more languages (Swedish and French) and have now had participation from members of the Senior Leadership Team. CEO Patrick Decker personally kicked off the session in Rye Brook in May 2015.