Ember Real Results delivered a 14% uplift in performance conversations, which equates to 140+ people now having conversations they didn’t have before.

The Requirement

Ember Real Results worked with Bupa Customer Services to do a thorough Training Needs Analysis and develop the management population in their Salford, Coventry and Staines operations. The 80 staff in these offices led and managed the servicing of private health insurance policies of millions of UK customers.
Ember Real Results submitted a successful proposal to design and deliver a 12-month Leadership Development solution that would reach approximately 80 managers (across 3 levels, between Executive and front-line management) working in an FCA-regulated environment.
The Service Team Managers (STM) support the Member Service Advisors that speak directly to Bupa Members in a contact centre environment. These managers report to the Customer Service Managers (CSM) who in turn report to the Executive and Senior Management Team.
The main driver for the project was to support managers and ‘positively impact employee engagement’ which would in turn positively impact customer experience.

The Solution

360 degree feedback

The project included working with middle and senior management to undertake 360 degree feedback. Ember Real Results worked with the HRD team to design the questions, structuring the competencies into 3 categories, Results Focus, People Skills and Operational Excellence. Ember Real Results hosted the surveys securely online, and 30 top-level managers were provided confidential reports and individual coaching. In an evaluation survey participants were asked:
Do you feel that you have reflected and behaved differently as a result of seeing your report and having a coaching session? 100% said Yes.
360 feedback reports & coaching
In order to create the 360 feedback reports, Ember Real Results worked with the Training Manager to establish the leadership competencies linked to organizational strategy. Three sections of performance were identified:

  • Results focus
  • People engagement
  • Operational excellence

The result was 47 questions were designed that could apply to all leadership levels. Each delegate received a customized report and a 90-minute 1:1 feedback and coaching session.
To support the categories in the 360 feedback report, a suite of 18 leadership and development modules were designed and delivered. There were 6 titles in each block and each course lasted between 1-3 days. These courses were for either front-line Service Team Managers (50 people) or middle-level Customer Service Managers (30 people). In some cases, the peer groups attended the courses separately, and in some cases together. The sessions were designed to be interactive and contain activities that stimulated thinking on the topic and/or provided practice for real-life situations. An action plan for implementation was produced and the transfer of learning was supported by Bupa’s internal L&D team.
The delegates could choose which sessions to attend based on the feedback from their 360 feedback reports and/or previous performance appraisals, objectives and career goals, and through conversations with their managers.
Bupa’s own internal training team were very much involved in the design of the sessions, helping to bring best practice to life with Bupa examples, scenarios and cultural references. This was key to the success of the project, as delegates could relate the content to their own real-life situations.
After Ember Real Results had delivered all the sessions once or twice with the internal training team observing and videoing the session, they took over running the courses thereafter, thus providing a cost-effective on-going approach to management development.
The Ember Real Results team worked with the client to research training needs through focus groups and analysis of business performance and previous employee opinion survey results. Carolyn Blunt led the research and design phases before she and her team of consultants rolled out delivery across two Bupa UK sites in Salford and Staines.

The Result

In addition to the positive data and anecdotal evaluation of modules, there were many successful changes in individual manager performance. The cumulative impact of this was best evidenced in the 2015 employee opinion survey.
A 14% uplift in the employee opinion survey was achieved from 2014 to 2015 on the question: My manager regularly talks to me about my performance
The success and stickability of the project is due to several factors, including: Handover to the internal L&D team, whom we worked closely with throughout. We provided comprehensive facilitator guides for each of the 18 interventions and videoed our team delivering. We invited the L&D team to observe and co-facilitate as they wished. They now run all 18 Leadership modules themselves internally.
Here’s some of the feedback we received:
“As a result of this work we got a 14% uplift in performance conversations, which equates to 140 + people now having conversations they didn’t have before. Our customers are really going to benefit from this.”
Director of Customer Services, Bupa

Director of Customer Services, Bupa

“These training interventions absolutely hit the nail on the head. We have no hesitation in recommending Carolyn and her team at Ember Real Results. We are already planning to work with them again”

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