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How Shawmut focused on talent to triumph over adversity

The world seems to be getting more uncertain. Brexit, increased political turmoil and modern technology can all impact a company’s future. What do you do when pressures outside of your control threaten your success? Shawmut Design and Construction have an idea.

The construction industry was in trouble. The 2008 crash hit it hard, causing a loss of talent as employees left for more ‘secure’ industries. Shawmut was no exception. They needed to do something. Looking at their business strategy, they realised that whatever they decided to do, success would rely on their people and so that’s where they turned their focus. To get the biggest bang for their buck, they homed in on the group who have the greatest impact on the rest of the team – the managers.

Working with A-list clients, Shawmut needed A-list employees and an A-list supplier who could help them achieve that. Delighted to embark on the journey together, we rolled out Mind Gym’s 7 manager talents. These are key skill areas that research from Psychology and related fields have shown to be most effective in creating great managers. Without giving away too many secrets, here’s a taster of what Shawmut’s managers are now well-versed in:

  • RELATE: Effective managers maintain appropriate working relationships, balancing team well-being with team goals. They maintain boundaries with employees and are neither too close nor too distant.
  • COACH: Coaching is about enabling, challenging, observing, and guiding employees through the learning cycle. One study by PwC estimated that commercial coaching delivered a staggering 700% ROI (1).
  • ENERGISE: Emotional energy is infectious – for better or worse (2). Whether high-octane or quietly passionate, great leaders know how to spread zest and energize their teams.
  • INNOVATE: Even if you don’t think of yourself as an innovator, innovators demonstrate key discovery behaviors that nourish innovation instead of stifling it (and are teachable) (3).
  • THRIVE: Nobody can thrive all the time, but we can all change unhelpful recurrent patterns that make us less productive, less satisfied, and put us at greater risk of burnout.
  • DIRECT: Managers who are skilled at setting direction start with the high-level perspective and shift their vantage point as needed, without micromanaging or getting into the weeds too often.
  • EXECUTE: The key to effective execution is focus and accountability – putting effort where it can have the greatest impact and making clear who is responsible for decisions and actions.

By investing in the heart and soul of the company, Shawmut not only boosted employee morale, but 92% of employees say they are willing to give extra to get the job done.

To learn more about how Shawmut triumphed whilst others fell, and took home several Best Workplaces Awards in the process, register here for the January 17th webinar with Marianne Monte, Chief People Officer at Shawmut.

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