Hitachi Rail Europe has enlisted the help of a Newton Aycliffe emotional intelligence company to help develop and coach some of its key leaders.
High Impact Development, based at Evans Business Centre on Aycliffe Business Park, has been working with the Japanese firm since March this year in two key areas of employee and leadership development.
It has involved using emotional intelligence alongside team-development workshops and 1:1 coaching sessions for 11 of the firm’s leadership team, including plant manager Darren Cumner and HR manager Julia Potts.
High Impact Development has also helped the train manufacturer select key section leaders by using the scientifically validated measure Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi), ensuring their behaviour – as well as their skills – match up to Hitachi’s exacting standards and core values.
It’s all part of the firm’s build-up to full production after moving into its new £82m rail vehicle manufacturing facility in September.
Julia, who has already been in position for over two years, got to know High Impact founder Gary Hosey at the regular Aycliffe Business Park Community meetings.
Gary explains: “It started with an initial briefing to get an understanding of what is important for the team and to enhance how they work together. It was very much a ‘getting to know each other’ exercise as the team was fairly newly-formed at the time.
“We then had stakeholder meetings, and a number of one-to-one coaching sessions to begin their individual leadership enhancement journey, before bringing the individuals together for what we call an alignment workshop.
“The workshop was geared towards developing how that team gets to know each other and works together.”
Julia added: “It’s exactly what the name suggests – aligning everyone so that we’re all thinking along the same lines and have the same goals.
“It’s about enhancing self-awareness, trying to think about how and why you do what you do, in order to enhance individual leadership capability and putting the learning from the workshop into practice with scenarios and team exercises.
“How do we get the result that we need and what do we need to do to get there? Using review questions afterwards, taking time to understand what we did and how we reached our goals and solved our problems.
“The session covers a whole range of areas as well as being very memorable, it’s also fun – but it’s mainly all about trust and communication, two crucial elements of their practical workplace.
“One key outcome on their two-day workshop was to bring together the individual leaders development journeys and form it into some understanding of how the team is operating, what’s important for them, and how they want to work going forward.”
As well as developing their leadership team, High Impact has since been working with Hitachi supporting the process for recruiting section leaders, using the EQi tool.
Julia said: “Hitachi Rail Europe has a core list of values and behaviours that we look for in potential employees. So it’s not just about their skills, but about how they behave and treat each other in the workplace.
“The interviewees completed the EQi tool and we then gave them a tailored interview experience based on the results of their EQi assessment.
“It enabled us to align their abilities as people to Hitachi’s key values of honesty, integrity and pioneering spirit, while treating each other with respect.
“It was also about targeting some of their strengths and weaknesses to find out how they would cope with workplace situations and making sure they’re right for our environment.
“It was a brilliant exercise, very important to us. These will end up being key roles – section leaders who will have the most number of people reporting into them, so their development is crucial in the company’s culture and ethos going forward.”
Gary Hosey has a personal passion for serving people in their pursuit of learning and development.
Working with leaders, managers and people across all levels within organisations he has delivered 1:1 coaching, workshops and development events to organisation nationally and internationally.
He has worked with over 25% of the Times top 200 organisations in a wide range of business sectors, with clients ranging from public sector organisations and FTSE 100 firms through to ambitious start-ups.
Having over 25 years experience in training and management development, 15 of those specialising in 1:1 coaching and emotional intelligence, Gary has successfully used the EQi, EQ360 and EQ Leadership tools with around 6,500 clients since 2002 and is considered a leader in the field of enhancing behaviour and effectiveness using emotional intelligence.