Case Study: Effective Leadership at Enterprise Rent-A-Car
This project involved identifying what great leadership looks like in Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and then creating the tools and support to enable everyone in the organisation to be a great leader — whether they are leading themselves, leading others or leading through others. Our work with Enterprise is a great example of how ‘great leadership’ behaviours, more consistently demonstrated across the business, can create the desired culture change necessary to enable even better business performance.
The goal of this project was to improve leadership skills from entry level upwards. Its focus:
- To create a consistent approach to promoting managers
- To understand and be able to articulate what ‘great’ looks like in roles, and be able to select people on this basis
- To give employees a clear view on what they need to do to achieve these manager levels and provide support to help them get there
- To provide more of a focus on developing people and, in particular, improve self-awareness and big-picture awareness
- To create a cadre of leaders prepared in advance of promotion and ready to step into their next role
What we did
Our approach to projects of this nature is to invest time at the beginning to engage the people who will ultimately make the project a success, and to ensure we have the right people involved. We worked with a steering group that represented all business groups within Enterprise, as well as with HR and the talent development team. The process was extremely consultative to ensure that the language and culture were correctly reflected and that the business totally ‘bought-in’ to the resulting outputs.
We used a blended approach of well proven behaviourial models and our own knowledge of strengths, to identify what makes a great Enterprise performer, in a way that was qualitative (i.e. we know what it looks like in practice) and quantitative (i.e. we see it repeated, and there’s a tangible link to improved performance).
To create the role profiles and leadership framework:
- We focused on the strategic objectives of the organisation and looked at how existing great performers contribute to achieving strategic goals. We translated this into role profiles and a leadership framework
- We looked at where gaps existed in both performance and process, and worked closely with the steering group and HR team to create development interventions and process improvement
- The senior leadership team experienced a development centre and 360 feedback, so that they themselves understood the benefits the programme delivered. This ensured that they supported managers to participate in the programme and could start to create a coaching culture from the top down
- We created a coaching video to help train those involved in delivering the development centres and to enhance career conversations more widely
Key project outputs
A holistic leadership programme which was 100% linked to other relevant Enterprise processes such as employee reviews. These include:
Leadership role profiles
To articulate what ‘great performers’ look like for the three roles
A competency framework
To create granularity on what is expected at each level of leadership, and examples of what that looks like in practice
Two development centres for junior and mid-level roles
These take into account Enterprise’s competency framework and all the training and development that has gone into it. The assessment activities mirror the type of challenges that will be encountered on a day-to-day basis, and test the exceptional qualities that are required to be a top performer at the various levels.
This is not a process to identify high potentials. It is an all-encompassing process designed to:
- Identify great performers who are ready for promotion
- Identify those that need further development before they are promoted
- Build self-awareness and understanding of what they like doing to feed into their career management process
- Create development plans on an individual basis
The focus was to develop a coaching culture as an output of the leadership programme and its interventions. Knowing when to be directive and when to coach an individual to help them derive the answer is a key leadership skill. Built into the delivery of this programme is on-going training on how to coach, supported by a great video which is available to all at any time to help them refresh their technique.
The tools developed to support on-going development and training needs identified through the development centres include a 360 feedback tool, a development guide and an online portal full of suggestions of further reading.
The difference we made
At an organisational level
- Improved engagement scores. People report that they feel more valued as a result of positive development and coaching support, and have better awareness of what is required of them and how to achieve it
- An improved number of people promoted at their first attempt, which has reduced the number of open roles going unfilled
- Improved diversity with an increased number of female candidates applying for promotion, post development centre, and being successful
- A successful, gradual but definite, shift to a coaching culture that complements existing strong sales and customer service skills. Senior managers are really seeing and understanding the benefit of the coaching, rather than just ‘telling’ employees what to do
- A targeted, consistent and fair promotion process
At an individual level
- Clearer career options have helped people make bolder career moves – armed with a better understanding of what’s next. Some participants have made important decisions to change job roles
- Confidence building – individuals can see a clearer career path and have felt more supported to get to the next level
- Networking – some outputs from the project, such as development centres, have helped individuals improve their personal networks, best-practice sharing and peer learning
If you found this Great Leadership case study of interest and would like to know more about our work in Enterprise Rent-A-Car or discuss how a similar project might work for your organisation, call Justine James on +44 (0)7710 778961 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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