A leading global engineering and technology services company using Thomas for recruitment and development
Siemens have long enjoyed the benefits of Thomas assessments when recruiting new talent at their Congleton office. The behavioural profiling delivered through the Thomas Behaviour assessment has reduced uncertainty around candidate selection, supporting the HR team to offer positions to the very best candidates for each team and the business as a whole.
In recent months however a review of the HR function was undertaken which resulted in a global re-organisation and a change to the remit of the HR team. Their new remit required the team to undertake a far more strategic role, rather than the HR operations they had managed previously. This meant the operational work they had managed before was soon to be transferred to a new centralised HR service where the focus was on line manager ownership of their people issues.
Julie Pegg, HR Business Partner, explained: “The change meant there was a fairly significant skills gap in HR matters among the seventy managers on site. Although the managers still benefitted from a central HR advisory service, we recognised as HR specialists that the managers needed support to help them manage the changes more effectively.”
Siemens in Congleton decided to launch a leadership programme to develop their managers with the skills and expertise required to ensure they could get the best from their direct reports.
The HR team organised a leadership workshop for all seventy of the managers to engage them in the new way of working. “On the launch day we outlined the business strategy and as part of that, the increased focus on our people and their needs” explains Julie. “It was important that we officially launched our new HR expectations of Managers, it was a new model so it was important that we got it right.”
Siemens decided to launch the Thomas International profiling at their leadership workshop and Team Thomas went along to present. “This helped to reinforce the benefits, build the managers’ knowledge and understanding of the assessment and how it would help each of them in their roles” explained Julie. “It also helped to secure buy-in for when it landed in their inboxes the following day.”
In addition to specific operational training such as disciplinary, grievance, managing positive and under performance etc, Siemens began by profiling everyone on the programme with the Thomas Behaviour assessment. “This gave each manager a better understanding of themselves including their strengths and their limitations” explained Julie Pegg. “By providing them with as much information about themselves as possible, it helped to increase their confidence, which was important as we needed them to undertake a step change in their management responsibilities”.
In addition to the behaviour profiling, the senior management team recognised the value the Thomas 360 could bring to each of the managers and their personal development, particularly building upon the profile information they had received from the Behaviour assessment; 360 was therefore the next part of this self development journey for managers. It was also an opportunity to reinforce consistent messaging from the top and so the 360 questions were built around Siemens’ global leadership competencies, maximising the flexibility available with the Thomas 360 assessment.
“Having launched the Behaviour assessment and 360 at the leadership workshop and prepared managers for these questionnaires, this resulted in an excellent take-up of the assessments” exuded Julie, “and the success continued when Team Thomas returned to provide individual feedback to every individual who had undertaken the Thomas 360. Each individual also received a full written report, but the face to face consultations with the Thomas team were invaluable as each manager was able to explore the feedback in depth and pull together a plan to support their development.”
Following the Behaviour assessment and 360, Siemens were then able to group the managers by department to quickly establish how each group performed against the global competencies. The departmental reports were then shared to help the department managers to identify individuals who needed additional development so to ensure they could support them effectively in undertaking their new HR responsibilities.
“By undertaking the Behaviour assessment followed by 360, it notably helped to remove the anxiety around the newfound responsibilities for many of the managers and helped them to realise that we were all in it together” explains Julie. After analysing the results, the senior management team were able to establish that all the teams were fully committed to the Siemens values. This was reassuring to the leadership team particularly when the results showed the most pertinent competency “drive for excellence”, was also the group’s top scoring competency. This was particularly significant as Siemens were striving for the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and thanks to the data from the Thomas assessments, they were able to strongly evidence their entry.
The results also identified that the competency “self-awareness” tended to be less evident across the departments. This helped the business to identify where their focus was needed and led the HR team to set-up and run self-awareness workshops. This was again delivered by Thomas International for all 70 of the managers. It was such a fun and interactive day” declared Julie, “the whole site was buzzing, the course evaluation forms were fantastic, the feedback couldn’t have been better.”
Importantly, the core objective of upskilling the managers to take up their new HR responsibilities and manage their teams with confidence was achieved and queries raised to the HR team reduced dramatically. “Ultimately the whole process changed the attitude, perception and behaviours of the senior management team. They are now bought into the understanding that people skills are just as important as technical skills. This is something that evolved naturally throughout the course of the leadership programme and has resulted in the wider management population now holding business as usual conversations about culture, behaviours and best fit - a definite step change from the technical and task-focussed conversations of the past” shared Julie.
Internally at Siemens, the changes have been hailed as best practice and “Thomas has been a key part of that” confirms Julie, “we are now looking ahead to the next five years and with the work already undertaken with Thomas it has provided us with a solid foundation to build upon for our 2020 vision.”