Developing talent and identifying future leaders with new coaching programme

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National Windscreens has embarked on a training mission with professional coaching providers Exbow, to develop their talent and identify and prepare the future leaders of the company.

Exbow, formed in 2019 by company directors and training session leaders Andrew Exon and Mark Bowles, have extensive experience in the automotive industry having worked with companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and PSA Group, and teamed up with National Windscreens in March 2020 to provide a program of coaching to grow the confidence and expertise of their managers across the country.

The training was done with three key objectives in mind, firstly to improve customer satisfaction (NPS), improve staff retention, and increase financial performance.

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Mark Payne, regional managing director at National Windscreens, said: “All participants in the training have warmed to it and it’s been a breath of fresh air for all of us, including me. The ideas presented by Exbow are things we’ve discussed over the years but because someone from outside our organisation has come in, it’s been received differently and taken in properly.

“It was the personal development reviews that I took away from it that will be very beneficial – we’re implementing half-yearly appraisals for staff and coaching them on setting objectives for their own and the company’s development, so the program has instigated changes in the company that allows us to look more carefully at employees’ continual professional development.”

The appraisal process was redesigned to become fully online and standardised across the areas reporting into this regional headquarters.

The leadership program started with 25 members of the senior management team, directors and senior staff, before being rolled out to the branch managers.

“The leadership program consists of a psychometric evaluation, three face to face coaching sessions, and three remote sessions per person. Everything is bespoke, as everyone’s needs are slightly different,” said Mark Bowles.

Personality type tests such as the Myers-Briggs personality indicator are used which indicate differing psychological preferences in how people make decisions to gain an understanding of somebody prior to their coaching starting.

“Through various tests, before we start with someone, we have a degree of understanding about how that person is seen, how they see themselves, and how they think to a certain extent,” said Bowles.

“We use the GROW (grow, reality, options, will) model and smart action planning, and help staff find answers and solutions to common issues at work like handling and preventing complaints and driving new business,” he adds.

“The challenges and pressures that people have faced in light of the pandemic and working from home are extreme. We adapted the coaching programme to deal with the increased lockdowns and blended face-to-face sessions with remote workshops to maintain the course’s momentum which we also found supported people’s wellbeing,” said Andrew Exon.

“There’s a number of people in the organisation that are seen as potential leaders and National Windscreens wants to start supporting them now and we feel privileged to be part of their career development,” he added.

The results of the training have meant that the NPS score for the region covered so far by the training has improved month on month since September 2020 when the course began, and that leadership within the company have “grown in confidence and expertise”, says Exon.