How we develop our leaders at First Response
If you are interested in the development opportunities here at First Response you may have already read our internal development blog post, if not we recommend you give it a read after you've read this post. This blog will talk about some of the development opportunities that our leaders receive.
Our current leaders have all worked hard to achieve their goal of becoming a team leader or operations manager, however their development doesn't end with their new job title. Although much of their learning will continue during their day job there are additional courses, development and mechanisms we put in place to continue their learning.
Firstly, to become a leader you have to go through Leadership Academy, a structured internal course that provides potential leaders with essentials such as people management, systems thinking and coaching. The course takes 18 months and gives employees a chance to learn these essential theories as well as to build strong relationships with others throughout the business, which is arguably the most valuable thing. The graduates will know that these relationships will help if they feel they are struggling as there are others who are/have been in that position and have come out the other end. It is this network building alongside healthy debates that has made Leadership Academy the success it is today.
There are other less formal development opportunities offered to our future leaders if they don't automatically go into a leader role. These opportunities could be looking after a team for a period of time to allow them to have valuable exposure to the role and what it involves or leading group projects to allow them to put some leadership skills into practice. Once someone gains a leadership position they will be involved in shadowing more experienced leaders, observations of other roles and feedback sessions (where they deliver and receive constructive and positive feedback) to ensure continuous development.
Leaders across the business
We also hold our annual leadership day which involves every leader within the business coming together to network, attend workshops, team build and update each other on the work they have been doing for the last 12 months. Again, the aim of this day is to focus on interdepartmental relationships and strengthen our leadership team. This year's leadership day focused on "Building High Performing Teams", a training mechanism we teach the whole of the business in order to have all teams performing as best as possible. This focus day meant a consistent message was given regardless of department or office location on how to achieve a High Performing Team.
You might ask what the motives are behind our intensive investments in our people and the simple answer to that is we are very passionate about them. Our recruitment and selection process works hard to bring the right people on board to begin with and when we have them we want to keep them by investing in their development and helping them grow. All of this motivates others within the business to work hard to achieve their career aspirations as the opportunities are out there to be had. It also means we retain people who believe in our values and culture, ensuring the foundations First Response has been built on continues to aid us in our future success.
What is the last development opportunity you had?
Did you take it and if so where did it lead you?