Thrivology training: Engaging managers with previous negative people management training to exceed all expectations

Background

Wave Utilities are a leading national water retailer helping businesses to drive down water use and lower their utility bills. Formed from two established regional entities, Anglian Water Business and NWG Business, Wave now work with over 300,000 business customers across the UK to help them benefit from the open water market in England.

Jane Austin, Wave’s HR Director has a range of strategic and operational experience from a variety of sectors including Utility, Education and Automotive.

Ahead of their first WeThrive survey, Jane wanted to introduce managers to WeThrive and ensure they had a full understanding of what WeThrive is all about, the science behind the survey and how the platform could help them get to the bottom of how their teams were feeling.

WeThrive co-founder Piers Bishop travelled to Wave Utilities’ two main sites to carry out two Thrivology sessions for line managers.

What challenges Wave wanted to address

Some managers had previous experience completing employee surveys and didn’t feel very positive about them. They felt the results were not shared quickly enough, they were left with a lot of unanswered questions and everything seemed to get lost in the aftermath. Through the Thrivology sessions, Jane wanted to overcome any negativity this group had towards engagement surveys.

Other managers had never taken part in employee surveys before. Thrivology was a chance to introduce them to WeThrive and explain how WeThrive is different to other engagement surveys, focusing on motivation and feeling rather than the typical questions. Jane comments:

“For Wave, it’s all about a cultural journey. We are doing a lot to address wellbeing and it all starts with culture and mental health. We wanted someone like Piers who could explain why we chose WeThrive, and how the survey questions which focus on feelings and emotions align with our cultural vision and values, not just asking employees if they feel they’re meeting their targets etc.”

Feedback from the sessions

Piers was popular among the managers who attended the Thrivology session. Their feedback was extremely positive and the managers found the session really useful. Jane comments:

“The overriding feeling was that the session was so much more than just a good introduction to a survey. The knowledge Piers shared around mental health and wellbeing really resonated with the managers. Those who had dealt with employee challenges (health or other topics) found Piers’ advice for addressing these, and how to have open conversations with employees, extremely valuable.”

The psychology behind the WeThrive survey questions were particularly interesting to the attendees and the session helped managers understand how the 4C model directly tied in with Wave’s company culture, goals and values.

“If you get all of the things right in the 4C model, then you can improve absence, sickness rates, wellbeing, productivity etc.”

Jane continues: “Thrivology was particularly successful in engaging managers who had previously not been too keen on people management training. One manager was so motivated that they sat down with their team to share their experience and inform them of the survey before internal communications for their first survey had even begun!”

Thrivology was an excellent way to get manager buy-in at Wave and helped them understand the importance of the WeThrive survey and why their team should complete it. The session set them up for a successful first survey as managers became engaged in the process and could act as great ambassadors for the survey, encouraging their team to take part. When managers receive their team’s results, they will already have an excellent understanding of what the reports are telling them and will be able to act quickly.

Wave’s Thrivology sessions mark the beginning of a longer term partnership between Wave Utilities and WeThrive as we will be working closely over the next two years to help line managers understand the challenges within their teams, provide the knowledge and support to help tackle these and in turn improve retention, productivity and absenteeism.

Wave Utilities will be launching their first WeThrive survey mid-August 2019. Check back here soon to find out how it went!

“The knowledge Piers shared around mental health and wellbeing really resonated with the managers. Thrivology was particularly successful in engaging managers who had previously not been too keen on people management training. One manager was so motivated that they sat down with their team to share their experience and inform them of the survey before internal communications for their first survey had even begun!”

Jane Austin
HR Director, Wave Utilities

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