First-line managers working in 17 countries for Edgewell Personal Care, parent company of Wilkinson Sword, Banana Boat and other leading international brands, have enhanced their leadership skills thanks to an effective new virtual academy developed with WELL Training.
The Edgewell Foundation Academy replaced face-to-face learning with an intensive online six-module programme delivered in four different languages, including Mandarin, Japanese, English, and Spanish, to more than 130 leaders.
The virtual programme was designed with WELL to be delivered to Edgewell colleagues in China, Japan, Europe, Central America, and South America. There are now plans to roll out the training further globally.
Forward-thinking Edgewell recognises the value and role talent development plays in creating and building success and in bringing its values to life across a global organisation.
During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, instead of pausing learning and development, Edgewell decided to move to delivering the programme virtually. They also wanted to improve the learning to be more effective at equipping first line managers with the changing skills needed to lead the future growth and success of Edgewell.
Led by Creative Director Lianne Russell, WELL worked alongside a core team at Edgewell to create a transformational programme aligned to Edgewell’s Purpose, Values & Behaviours, including building virtual teaching sessions on leadership, communicating with impact, high performing teams and building resilience.
To ensure the programme was transformational, additional elements were added such as a session before each cohort licked-off to ensure line managers better support their participants with skill development and the introduction of personal one-to-one coaching sessions.
These innovations have enabled Edgewell leaders to reflect on their learning and plan the implementation of their new knowledge in their roles, developing their skills and confidence to effectively lead their teams and areas.
So far WELL has worked with eight cohorts, delivering 46 teaching sessions and 224 personal coaching sessions. Edgewell is a company that brings its values to life at every opportunity, so the Foundation Academy was built and developed around its four core values: people first; move forward; listen up, speak up; and own it together.
The Edgewell leaders who have taken part have valued the Foundation Academy programme and the investment in them as leaders by Edgewell. In feedback, one learner wrote: “The Academy has given me new ideas of how I can make a difference each day.”
Another learner said: “All of the sessions will strengthen us as leaders, translating to the effectiveness of our teams, smoother co-operation with other departments, building trust and motivation across the teams, to make Edgewell a better place to work.”
Steven Filby, Global Director, Talent for Edgewell Personal Care, said the WELL programme had enhanced the leadership skills of a diverse group of leaders across three continents.
Steven said: “The programme from WELL has enabled Edgewell to grow our people leaders to empower every team member and create the positive and flexible working environment we are building worldwide. WELL’s dynamic delivery style has engaged colleagues to achieve new standards across the board.
“Covid restrictions on travel and groups prompted the decision to move to virtual delivery, but we now have a programme that our leaders find even more joyful and impactful, as demonstrated by the evaluation results.
“The original program included a four-day in-person workshop. Our leaders now benefit from a weekly-session, which enables them to try out their new skills and discuss any learnings or challenges at the next session. In addition they are able to network and learn from other leaders from all over the world, and not just their own region
“We chose to work with WELL because of their strong track record in delivering impactful people development programmes via digital channels, and laser-focus on evaluation at every level. The success of the programme is reflected in the 99 per cent attendance level, as well as the 97 per cent positive participant rating and the 86 per cent positive rating by their line managers on behaviour change.”
CEO Lindsey Flynn said the WELL team had created a bespoke virtual programme to meet the needs of all the Edgewell cohorts across the world. Lindsey said: “WELL were absolutely delighted at the opportunity to work with such a fantastic global leader. The true partnership we have created with the team at Edgewell has been the key to enabling us to build a successful programme to a high standard that is really valued by leaders and delivers great impact to a prestigious global organisation.
“Moving to virtual training allowed Edgewell to move outside of the confines of face-to-face learning to scale up to reach more people than before while harnessing the capabilities of international group digital development. With local integration to each region working so well and generating positive learner feedback, we are looking to develop more customised programmes with our Edgewell partners.”
In recent months WELL has expanded further globally to work with clients worldwide, including Cherry Hill Programs, a leader in photography at more than 900 venues across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.