Case Study: Veolia’s Emerging Leaders Training Blueprint

Some of Veolia's emerging leaders in Australia getting skills to step into leadreship with Forysthes Training

Forysthes Training has helped leading Australian resource management company, Veolia, to skill up emerging leaders to help it to navigate the economic challenges brought about by COVID-19.

The organisational development issue

The Covid-19 pandemic and it’s wider economic impacts were felt by Veolia and its employees with changing service demand impacting some jobs and working hours.

As the business adjusted workloads to minimise risk, it identified a need to upskill some employees for leading-hand roles to lead the way in identifying and managing issues and pivoting the business.

The training solution

Veolia selected Forsythes Training to develop and deliver its emerging leaders training program. Between October 2020 and February 2021, 14 leading hands and senior operators from four different industrial sites in the NSW Hunter region completed customised training, modelled on Forsythes Training’s Step Up Leadership program.

The employees work in skill shortage areas such as bricklaying, industrial cleaning, and boilermaking.

Veolia’s workforce planning showed key emerging leaders had sound technical ability but needed skills enhancement across:

  • leadership styles
  • performance management
  • self awareness and emotional intelligence
  • communication and workplace relations
  • teamwork and delivering organisational goals.

Why Forsythes Training?

Veolia’s Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Sandra Fernandes, says Veolia felt Forsythes Training was the best fit, due to their flexibility and professionalism.

“I was really impressed by the commitment of Forsythes Training to the project,’ Sandra says.

“They were available at any time and guided us the whole way through the program development and its delivery.”

“They also helped us access NSW Government training subsidies.”

“We will definitely be coming back to Forsythes Training for leadership and other training.”

Keys to training success

Sandra says feedback from the participants has been positive. Senior managers noted the participants’ improved performance and engagement, post training. They saw clear improvement in leadership skills at work, noting that one participant has since been promoted, and another is really stepping up during toolbox meetings and task management. A third participant demonstrated an understanding of the procedures and policies he has reviewed during the course to educate his peers. The participants have all demonstrated higher levels of engagement at work.

Vince Angelozzi, Site Contract Manager at Tomago, said that the training was a ‘real eye opener’. Another participant commented that had ‘completely changed their leadership style [for the better]’.

The program will be one of Veolia’s Australian nominations for the Group’s global HR Initiative Campaign award and has already been flagged for potential implementation in other parts of Veolia’s business.

Customised and contextualised training

The training program designed by Forsythes Training, in conjunction with Veolia, delivered nationally accredited, competency-based training and skills in alignment with Veolia’s vision, values, behaviour framework, policies and procedures. Veolia values are Responsibility, Solidarity, Respect, Innovation and Customer Focus.

Sandra says using Veolia’s material and ‘words’ ensured the learning was effective from an organisational viewpoint, as well as practical, and ensured Veolia’s policies and procedures were reviewed and applied as part of the course. The gap between sessions was deliberate and effective in allowing staff time to take learnings back to the workplace and have time to complete assessments.

“But the trainer followed up with participants between sessions – which was another critical and valuable aspect of Forsythes Training effective approach.”

Management involvement in training

Veolia’s senior management team was actively involved in the success of the course. James Dale, State Manager NSW Industrial and Vince delivered speeches and presentations as part of the training. This again made the training practical and relevant, but also gave participants the opportunity to hear from role models.

Smart and Skilled funding subsidies

Forsythes Training helped Veolia gain  training subsidies under the Smart and Skilled Training Program. This funding made the training possible, whilst also enabling an increase of people included in the program; across four sites instead of one.

Cross site training

Sandra says the cross site training had the added benefit of participants meeting others in similar roles that they normally don’t meet.

The network that has been created has meant participants can call on each other for support, as well as information and resource sharing as they carry out their current and future roles.

Quality trainer and emerging leaders training tools

In Sandra’s experience, people can be passive in training.

“In these sessions the participants were talking all the time. You could see they were really invested because the content was so engaging.”

She says the use of role play worked very well – the staff got a lot out of them.

“The trainer knew the material but was also very good at giving both positive and constructive feedback.”

About Veolia

Veolia is a world leader in optimised resource management, with more than 4,600 employees working in water, waste and energy management in Australia and New Zealand.

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