Client Case Study: Silver Chain
Building Leadership Capability Across Silver Chain Group
Silver Chain Group is a not-for-profit organisation, employing 4,500 people in the delivery of community health and aged care services across Australia.
Silver Chain Group has a proud history of serving Australians for over 110 years in Western Australia and more than 120 years as RDNS in South Australia. They currently deliver services in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Prior to 2014, leadership development in Silver Chain Group had been ad-hoc and managed locally within individual business units. When the Group then embarked on an ambitious strategy for inter-state growth, it was acknowledged that a more holistic and co-ordinated approach would be required to build the skills and capabilities for long-term success. Silver Chain Group chose to partner with Insight International/Centre for People and Culture, to leverage their considerable experience in this area.
A whole of organisation approach was required, to target the specific skills that would allow the business to maintain its industry leading position. A purpose-built model was designed to provide clear alignment to values, strategic direction and leadership signature. This provided a consistent and congruent approach for developing leaders across the Group. Solutions needed to address the complexity of multiple locations and roles, as well as the differing needs associated with experience and seniority. As a result, the leadership population was segmented into three levels, with the initial focus being on frontline and mid-level leaders.
Silver Chain was committed to equipping leaders at all levels with the necessary skills and mindsets required to lead their people, deliver the business outcomes required and make Silver Chain and even better place to work.
The LEAD, IMPACT and TRANSFORM programs were designed to target the three distinct levels of leadership.
The LEAD program was designed for team leaders and supervisors. It is Silver Chain’s entry-level program to understanding what it means to lead at Silver Chain.
The IMPACT program was designed for new and experienced middle level managers.
The TRANSFORM program was designed for senior leaders in the business and took a high-level strategic approach to the development.
Outcomes and Results
Within a few short weeks of implementing the first program, feedback from the business confirmed observable changes in participants’ skills and behaviours. Line managers reported a step change in the performance of their teams. As a result, demand immediately increased and additional programs were scheduled.
In particular, line managers reported that participants were stepping up to take greater personal accountability. They were making better decisions and referring less issues up the line. The last six years have seen significant changes in the external environment, which have created the constant need to change and evolve services and structures. The participants’ increased change management skills enabled them to better support their teams and allow the process to run smoothly.
The leadership programs provided practical models and tools, that supported an increase in leadership competency and confidence. They created greater understanding on the expectations of what it means to be a leader and enabled greater self-awareness.
The programs themselves established a strong, recognised brand that is now fully embedded in the organisational culture. They also helped to clarify the leader’s role in setting the culture for their teams, which has resulted in more strongly aligned teams and services. One of the most significant benefits has been the deeper, cross-organisation networks that formed as a result of bringing participants from different business units together.
Since commencement in 2014, 29 leadership programs have been run, training 457 leaders.
90%-100% of leaders in the programs responded favourably in the areas of; content relevancy, transference of learning (putting what they are learning into practice) and the quality of the relationships with facilitators.
Feedback gathered from participants and their managers demonstrated Silver Chain has far greater consistency in leadership skill and mindset as well as new, more productive ways of leading and engaging with teams and individuals.
An increase in internal promotions across the organisation.
Working with Insight / Centre for People and Culture
I have worked closely with Centre for People and Culture throughout our six-year relationship. From the very beginning I was highly impressed with their ability to quickly grasp the challenges we were facing and to offer a range of possible solutions. They have an impressive range of clients and experience, and the ability to synthesise learning for new applications.
All consultants, facilitators and administrators have all been of the highest calibre and we have established a relationship of frequent, open communication. I have always found Centre for People and Culture to be very closely aligned to our own organisational values (Care, Community, Integrity and Excellence. They are also highly flexible, as whenever we have faced a new business strategy or challenge, the programs have been rapidly adapted to address this need.
The quality of learning materials has always been of the highest standard. When our corporate branding standards changed, they were very happy to update their materials accordingly.
Working with Centre for People and Culture has been an absolute pleasure, and I would highly recommend them to anyone else seeking to build their organisation’s leadership capability.
Sue Millgate Organisational Development Advisor