Fishers Services Case Study

The Twin Track Approach at Fishers Services Ltd

How On Track’s Twin Track Approach created a culture of support and encouragement which led to an increase in productivity!

The Client

Fishers Services Limited started trading in 1900 and is today Scotland’s longest established textile services company providing a wide range of cleanroom and washroom services. 520 people are employed in 4 factories.

The Client’s Challenge

Senior management was keen to see an improvement in operational efficiency. The circumstances facing the company were:

• New management style following M.B.O.
• Growth in the business
• Growing competition from new entrants into the Scottish marketplace
• Restructuring on the 4 sites to achieve operational efficiencies

The key objective was to identify, train and develop team leaders in order to:

• Use the experience of production managers more strategically
• Release production managers from day to day operations

The Trainer’s Challenge

How to design a programme that supported the newly promoted team leaders in their new role? They were being asked to take over operational control of production areas.

• The majority of team leaders were lacking self-esteem and confidence, had no supervisory experience and were apprehensive about taking up their new positions.
• Line managers were uncertain of the importance of their role in the project.
• Management were sceptical since, following previous training, people had struggled to translate training benefits into the workplace.

The Trainer’s Solution

The principle aim of the programme was to support the team leaders in their new role in the company.

John Armstrong’s Twin Track Approach involved:

• The team leaders participating in the ILM Introductory Certificate in Team Leading
• Supporting the team leaders’ line managers with development in coaching.

The Twin Track Approach satisfied Fishers that the coaching interventions would help people transfer the learning back into the workplace.

The coaching workshops for first line managers were designed to build an understanding of the role of the coach in developing the confidence and belief of the team leaders.

Emphasis was placed on the line managers or coaches reassuring the team leaders with plenty of PRAISE and re-direction, thus influencing positively the team leaders? confidence and self belief.

The Results

There was not only a feel good factor emerging about the programme, the hard measures were also rewarding with the team leaders being encouraged to adopt the principles and learning points from the programme, operators in the factories were starting to meet and exceed targets:

• 20% improvement in productivity at Cupar
• 10% improvement in throughput at Cupar

At the Perth plant, the programme had an enormous impact on individuals, teams and the performance of the business. Although the plant experienced a 30% increase in throughput, the team leaders were instrumental in securing the following improvements:

• PPOH increased by 10%
• Staff turnover decreased by 5%
• Staff absence decreased by 3%
• Accident rates reduced by 3%

Key to the success of the development programme was the emphasis placed by the coach offering PRAISE appropriately. In turn this was cascaded through the team leaders to the operators at each of the production units.

The Twin Track Approach produced additional positive outcomes including:

• Development of relationships between team leaders and operators and between team leaders and coaches
• Development of team work between team leaders
• Development of a culture of support and encouragement
• Team leaders working with initiative and new responsibilities
• Succession planning
• Respect and trust
• Consistency of approach
• Challenging the “old way”
• Promoting learning within the organisation
• Improving communication
• Improving and developing confidence and self esteem

All 31 team leaders successfully completed the ILM ICTL knowledge assessment. More importantly, their performance at work in their new role had exceeded the expectations of the directors, managers and of the team leaders themselves!