The challenge:

Developing visible, authentic leaders and a culture that’s “Putting People First”

Arco are the UK’s leading supplier of safety clothing and equipment. Established in 1884 Arco has a long history of keeping people safe at work. Arco is still a family business, fourth generation, committed to delivering its mission of keeping people safe at work through living its core values. As industrial and manufacturing processes change to keep pace with the ever-evolving demands of an increasingly sophisticated consumer, Arco has stayed at the forefront of the safety and maintenance supplies business.

Arco had set themselves two BHAGs* – an aggressive sales and profit target, and the desire to be a great place to work as measured by Best Companies.

They recognised that attaining these goals would require great leadership at all levels; managers with the skills to inspire their teams to even higher levels of performance and an engaged workforce committed to the company, its objectives and its values.

What we delivered:

How has the Excellence in Leadership programme impacted you as an individual and as a leader?

“I thought I had a fairly good understanding of myself as a leader but the programme challenged this by creating an environment which enables you to get much closer to your inner self. This self learning coupled with the ambitious targets of the organisation really forces you to identify what steps you need to take in order to grow and ultimately transform yourself and your area of the business.”

What have you seen your team doing now that they wouldn’t have done 6 months ago prior to the programme?

“The team have had a light bulb moment in terms of the impact they have on their own teams and also a greater understanding of where they are tracking at as a first line management team. They are hungry for feedback and much more open to change.”

If someone was thinking of partnering with Leading Edge what would you tell them us?

“If you are looking to invest in a development programme that is different (in a good way) and will really chip away and unearth some of those hidden cultural drawbacks in order to provide leaders with more sustainable methods to achieve then Leading Edge can certainly deliver.”

The results achieved:

We created defined programmes for three distinct populations of the leadership and management team – the board, the senior management team, and the people managers. To date, over 300 leaders and managers have participated in the programme.

To link the programmes together, we focused on the BHAGs and underpinned each of the programmes with three common shared perspectives:

• Understanding the Business – its objectives and core values

• Understanding Self – recognising how to get the best out of myself and my leadership style preferences

• Understanding my Contribution – exploring what the leadership role looks like for ARCO

Enabling each programme to focus on the right skills for the right people was vital, so we utilized Insights Discovery to create a common language, to ensure ‘recognition’ of the development and change being undertaken by the three different populations.

"Caroline's done a fantastic job of designing the programme...she's so proactive, it's like she's a part of our team.

Graham has been transformational in working with the board in this business - right person, right approach, right time" ”

- Arco HR Director

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