1. Organisational Challenge

The Assay Office Birmingham is a world leader in the identification and hallmarking of precious metals. The organisation has existed in Birmingham for 250 years and until recently had been based in the same location for 140 of those years. Management training had not been offered before, so many of the managers were highly technically skilled but had no formal understanding of effective management and leadership.

The new Chief Executive’s vision was to modernise the organisation using the move to new premises as a spur to a new way of thinking where managers recognised talent, helped to develop it, and drive improved working practices and efficiencies.

The company employs 120 people in the city of Birmingham and has a very high percentage of staff who hold degrees.

2. Choosing Impellus

The Assay Office got to know Impellus when two of its managers attended a Managing and Appraising Performance course and returned impressed, suggesting clear changes which could be made in the business.

This made it easy for subsequent training to be booked and made Impellus an automatic choice for the delivery of the full management development programme.

“We particularly liked the flexible delivery of the Award programmes – the fact that there are different levels and different management courses at each level and at different venues was very attractive,” declared Debbie Murphy, the organisation’s HR Manager who was charged with delivering the leadership and management training programme.

“We were also very clear about choosing a management training provider who could deliver ‘real world’ courses that actively challenged our managers rather than give them theories that were difficult to implement”.

3. Working with Impellus

“Impellus is a very commercially-focussed provider with a no-nonsense attitude. We’re very happy with the way the relationship works and many of us – our managers and the HR team – have got to know the core team at Impellus”.

“We were able to take advantage of a 50% funding budget introduced to us by Impellus and also made a large financial commitment up-front to achieve the best discounts on our training. We did discuss the commercial implications of paying a relatively large sum of money up-front but our due diligence on Impellus – from all perspectives – proved entirely satisfactory and they have delivered the promised service levels unquestionably”.

4. Results Achieved

“We see large changes in terms of culture and even language amongst the team but we see many individual changes more readily which make up those larger changes”.

Examples of how the training has made immediate differences to the company include;

  • One manager who used his newly-learned communication techniques on a difficult individual and managed to reduce personal issues in their department
  • A newly promoted team-leader who sees the value of dressing much smarter and spending more time engaging with their people by way of example
  • Another manager commented “I could have done with this 13 years ago!”, realising that time spent managing without direction had led for her and her department to under-achieve

To maximise the effects of the training on the business, the Assay Office is appointing senior managers who have completed training to act as mentors. This encourages junior managers to take responsibility for improved performance and feel happier about making change.

“Mentoring encourages all our managers to take up the Impellus management training and ensures they are challenged with continuous improvement when they come back to the business”

Debbie Murphy, HR Manager