Developing new leaders

CLIENT NEED: Eco Baltia wanted to develop employees with a potential to hold a higher position in the company

WIN PARTNERS SOLUTION: WIN partners, in cooperation with the client, developed a Talent Academy project. Each module of the training was devoted to topics that need to be covered in order to become a confident and effective leader.

RESULT: 20 Eco Baltia employees finished 9 thematic modules on personal efficiency, process and project management, team development, company performance indicators and other topics. During the training, each participant implemented a real project within the job responsibilities. At the end of the program, five participants had already been promoted as heads of department, and a few others changed their field of interest and continued working in another unit.

Which business problem Eco Baltia wanted to solve?

Eco Baltia Group  is the largest environment management group in the Baltics in terms of net sales, the company provides a full cycle of waste management starting with collection and sorting up to logistics, wholesale, and processing of recycled materials. The Group services more than 46,000 clients in Latvia and abroad and has more than 800 employees.

HR Manager Jolanta Jansone: “Looking for solutions to ensure substitutability for important business positions in Eco Baltia Group companies and to facilitate the selection process for new positions, we have concluded that there are many talented colleagues among our own employees who could become managers in the future. This is how we came up with the idea that we want to create a learning platform that will give our most talented colleagues knowledge and practical leadership skills, develop leadership logic and improve participants’ leadership competencies – provide methods to more effectively lead, communicate and develop our team.”

What was a solution WIN partners offered and implemented?

 Step 1. First, Eco Baltia formulated a vision for the training project and defined five tasks:

  • Ensure substitutability in positions strategically important for business (board members, directors, management of business arteries departments)
  • Develop leaders who achieve great business results
  • Improve the company’s business performance – efficiency, profitability, service quality
  • Provide a  platform for talent growth
  • Promote employee engagement in the development of existing and new business

Step 2. WIN partners in cooperation with the client developed the concept and implementation plan of the Talent Academy. Existing WIN partners programs were used as a basis, the content of which was adapted to the specifics of Eco Baltia’s business. It was assessed whether a particular method could be used in the daily work of the client’s employees, so WIN partners added relevant practical examples and tasks to the training curriculum. The training was based on the principle of 30/70, ie 30% theoretical knowledge and 70% practical methods and techniques.

Step 3. The project was implemented in 2019-2020. 20 Eco Baltia employees met quarterly with coaches in person or remotely to learn 9 thematic modules.

  • Development plan and OKR
  • Daily time planning and team management
  • DISC methodology
  • Process management
  • Change management
  • Project management
  • Stress management and presentation skills
  • Financial performance (KPI)
  • Self-development

During the training, each participant implemented a development project within the framework of their work responsibilities, applying the knowledge and skills acquired in the program. Participants developed a project plan and regularly presented the results achieved. Each participant had a mentor from among the company’s employees, with whom there were regular meetings and discussions about the progress of the project. As a result, the members of the Talent Academy implemented the JIRA system, data digitization, and process automation projects.

How did Eco Baltia evaluate the training result?

HR Manager Jolanta Jansone: “The Talent Academy is our common success story! Before the end of the program, five participants had been already promoted as heads of departments, some other colleagues realized they wanted to develop in another field during the project, and now they are working in other Eco Baltia units. In addition to these results, we have received a lot of positive feedback from participants who felt evaluated and motivated to learn to achieve more. Now they have a much greater understanding of how to optimize processes, how to manage projects for a company to work efficiently. Their knowledge helps our company grow. For example, the IT project manager continues to implement data digitization and automation projects, the LEAN coordinator helps department managers optimize their processes and develop work standards, and the marketing project manager organizes the participation of our processing companies at the exhibition in China, where our stand gained excellent publicity. ”

What are WIN partners’ conclusions after finishing this project?

  • A valuable advantage of the Talent Academy is an individual project every participant implemented during the training. It is an opportunity for the participant to integrate the methods he/she has learned at the Talent Academy in the work environment, and for the company – to get real solutions to business needs.
  • When implementing such a project for the first time, you should consider that the interest of potential participants may be low, and employees will have to be addressed personally. On the other hand, as the experience of Eco Baltia shows, the next time participants will compete for the opportunity to join the Academy.
  • We liked the structure of the modules, as we were able to react and rearrange the program due to epidemiological restrictions without losing its content and intensity.