CASE STUDY: International biotech company Novozymes has adopted the Peopleway Impact Management solution: ease®. Why? To optimize investment in their ambitious leadership development initiative: People Development Powerhouse. The overall goal is to strengthen people development practices throughout the organization. Although the use of ease® is still in its honeymoon phase, Head of People Development at Novozymes, Flemming Karstens Søeborg, can already present important results such as significant geographical trends; identification of improvement areas; a refined learning process and an enriched dialogue with managers.
Grow people. These two words represent one of four focus areas in Novozymes’ overall business strategy. A strategy dedicated to creating impact.
Why the focus on people you may ask? Novozymes believes their success to be closely linked to innovation and development. Therefore people development is seen as a fundamental driver for business growth and innovation.
People Development Powerhouse is a leadership development initiative which is one of many initiatives to strengthen people development at Novozymes. The initiative aims at mobilizing and strengthening managers’ people development competencies.
Maximizing the Impact of Leadership Development
The People Development Powerhouse initiative was launched in the fall of 2013. From the very beginning, the People Development and Performance team was determined to know the actual impact and optimize investment in the ambitious leadership programme.
The Impact Management Solution, ease®, allows Novozymes to measure, document and secure the impact and return on investment of People Development Powerhouse. It measures the learning impact of participants with a pre-, post- and a job-test.
Analysing business-critical knowledge, attitude and behaviour, ease® provides learning developers and vendors with insight about learning outcome, satisfaction, the quality of training and transfer of newly acquired skills into competencies on the job. Moreover, Novozymes uses this insight to identify important behavioural drivers and improvement areas.
Role of the Manager in Strengthening People Development
“Managers are the key to strengthening learning culture and people development practices. The ambitious Powerhouse initiative is all about mobilizing and enabling our managers by strengthening their people development competencies.” Head of People Development at Novozymes, Flemming Karstens Søeborg explains.
Targeting managers is a downright strategic choice. A reinforcement of the Novozymes learning culture and people development framework requires managers to serve as both role models and mediators. Moreover, it is a prerequisite that managers have the right attitude.
“We want to enable our Zymers to develop and to take responsibility for own development. For this to happen, it is essential that managers are ready to invest both time, money and energy. ease® helps us to assess managers’ people Development competencies on an individual level. It gives us a clear understanding of their knowledge, attitude and to what extent they execute and support their employees’ development” – Flemming Karstens Søeborg, Head of People Development, Novozymes.
Refined Learning Process
ease® has strengthened Novozymes’ learning processes with insightful data from impact measurements. Moreover, ease® has refined the process structure thanks to 1) the Impact Map and 2) the pre-, post- and job-test framework.
- The ease® Impact Map – a goal breakdown structure that secures strategic alignment of overall business strategy and programme-specific learning objectives – helps the learning developers to design impactful programmes targeting strategically crucial competencies.
- The time in-between the different tests creates ‘learning loops’. Novozymes’ learning developers uses these learning loops to make the most of the data generated through the ease® impact measurements. So far, the result is an enriched dialogue with managers.
An essential part of the Novozymes HR model is a partnership approach. To HR’s People Development and Performance team, this means partnering up with vice presidents from each of the management teams that are in the Powerhouse initiative. The idea is to become an integrated part of the management team; start an ongoing dialogue and make people development a priority on the agenda.
The partnership approach is a way to ensure motivation, commitment and continuous reinforcement of desired behavior within the management teams. According to Flemming Karstens Søeborg, the partnership approach has proven to enable sustainable behavioral changes.
Real Value of Data: From Learning to Execution
“ease® helps ensuring that the outcome of learning activities is designed to support business-critical needs – that is what makes ease® an amazing solution for us learning developers. However, ease® [Impact Management] is so much more than a tool for learning developers. The real value is the dialogues and transfer of new knowledge into desirable behaviour that the impact measurements inspire when presented to the managers themselves.” Flemming Karstens Søeborg explains.
At Novozymes, the truly inspiring result has been the enriched dialog between managers and learning developers. The data generated by the impact measurements has been a means to engage managers more actively and to increase their learning outcome.
In addition, ease® has allowed learning developers to identify significant trends, behavioral drivers and improvement areas. All in all, Impact Management has sharpened both managers’ and HR’s understanding of how to strengthen people development practices through leadership development.