For the Freedom Fibre HR and Development team, 2023 has been a year to focus on growth.
Driven by a steadfast commitment to enhance the skill set of Freedom Fibre's workforce, the team embarked on a collaborative journey with Quantum Connections - a local consultancy group – to create an immersive eight-month Management Training Programme (MDP), tailored to empower 24 of Freedom Fibre's line managers.
With the company’s workforce now exceeding 200 employees, the importance of equipping people managers with the tools and techniques to effectively manage their expanding teams and ensuring they feel supported in their management roles has grown significantly. To address this, the training programme encompassed a comprehensive range of topics, including;
Creating conditions for success
Becoming accountable for performance
Communication and feedback skills
Wellbeing, diversity and inclusion
Developing high-performing teams
Lesley Segelit, Freedom Fibre’s Human Resources and Development Manager, highlighted the importance of providing this type of high-level training to managers, saying,
“Investing in learning and development has always been high on Freedom Fibre’s people strategy. The Management Development Programme aimed to strengthen the management team's bond, enhance their understanding of challenges, instil company values at a behavioural level, and improve their ability to lead and develop their rapidly expanding teams. Ultimately, we believe the MDP equipped our people managers to adapt and successfully lead their teams towards our overall vision.”
Notably, each manager was invited to an individual in-depth diagnostic and coaching session at the start of the training to increase their self-awareness and understand their strengths and areas for improvement. These diagnostics provided Freedom Fibre with an understanding of each manager's individual needs, as well as a more holistic view of the overall management team.
This is what some of our managers had to say after completing the training.
Viv Beck, our GIS Engineering manager, shared his experience:
“Before the start of the programme, I didn’t have any expectations and thought that it would be more of a refresh rather than learning new skills. However, we were provided with some helpful and practical guides and a lot of new skills, which has made me more confident about leading my team forward. My team have started to propose process improvements which is a testament to them feeling empowered and included, all as an indirect result of the excellent MDP training.”
George Newton, our Public Relations and Communications Manager, highlighted the sense of community the training fostered:
“Before the training, I never would have thought to seek managerial advice and support from my peers, however, the MDP training created a safe space for us to share experiences and learn from one another.”
Maria Williams, our Fleet Manager, discussed the broad perspectives she gained:
“Whilst I do not currently have any direct reports, the course provided new skills and presented topics in ways that provided different perspectives. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to share opinions and concerns in a safe environment which has helped me forge internal relationships and realise that I engage with many different teams within the business, which the new skills learned will allow me to do more effectively.
In summary, 2023 has been a resounding success in terms of employee development. In addition to the MDP, Freedom Fibre provides regular e-learning tailored to continuing professional development, as well as graduate and apprenticeship programmes, the latter of which has shown significant success with Freedom Fibre’s Enterprise IT apprentice, Mia Foxcroft, having recently been named the Crissi Williams SME Apprentice of the Year at the National ITP Awards.
We look forward to continuing our journey of growth with more training programmes on the horizon, as Freedom Fibre keeps on expanding and striving for excellence. Your growth is our commitment, and we're excited to invest in our staff members as we move forward together.