Management training key to engineering company’s award

Posted on by karen.smith

Sarah Clark (centre), Pullman Rail's HR director, with Fix Training's directors Helen Jones (left) and Jacqui Niven.

A tailor-made leadership and management training programme, developed and delivered by Fix Training, has helped a Cardiff engineering company to win a prestigious award.

Pullman Rail Limited has won the EEF South West Region Skills and Training Award and now goes through to the national final in January where the company will be up against four other regional winners.

The annual awards are hosted by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and recognise excellence in enterprise, innovation, environmental performance and skills development among UK manufacturers.

The award caps a hugely successful year for Pullman Rail, which will see turnover grow by 50 per cent from £10 million to £15m and its workforce increase by 13 to 134 during 2011.

The company, which specialises in the overhaul of rolling stock and associated components to the UK Rail Industry, attributes its success to investment in leadership and management skills, updating its management style and expanding production capacity by 50 per cent at its eight-acre site in Cardiff.

New customers have been secured and existing customers have committed more work with Pullman Rail due to a confidence-building reorganisation of the business, which was established in 1993 by managing director Colin Robinson.

Mr Robinson’s daughter, Sarah Clark, the HR director, has led the modernisation of how the company is run by empowering the management team and workforce, which has paid rich dividends.

EEF judges said of Pullman Rail: “This is an excellent example of changing senior management behaviours and working practices to improve business performance. A bold step, by recognising the necessity to upskill staff, this company is now seeing a reduction in the lead times, a more unified workforce and empowered leaders.”

The company is now awaiting assessment for the Investors in People standard, which will mark another milestone on its development journey.

A key to the transformation has been leadership and management training developed and delivered by Cardiff-based Fix Training. Six members of the senior management team achieved the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 7 Award in Executive Management and two progressed to the ILM Level Certificate in Executive Management.

The 10-month programme was funded through EEF by the Welsh Government’s Skills Growth Wales scheme.

Mrs Clark said the management team was now working together effectively as a team and information, achievements and performance-related objectives were shared with all employees.

As a result of the leadership and management training, there is a hunger within the company to continue the momentum and Fix Training is working on a follow up coaching programme for Pullman Rail.

“We still have a long way to go, but we have come so far in challenging the culture of the organisation and our management style,” added Mrs Clark. ”I am really chuffed with what has been achieved to date.

“We are no longer following the lead of our competitors; we are now setting our own path.”

Paying tribute to Fix Training, she said: “The magic of the training was that they tailored the ILM programme to fit our objectives. The training was innovative and flexible, relevant to our business and industry and they understood the problems that we had and what we wanted to achieve.”

Helen Jones, a director of Fix Training, said: “We are very proud of Pullman Rail for winning the award and delighted with the positive outcomes of the leadership and management training.

“Every organisation is unique and we ensure that the programmes that we deliver benefit both the individual and the organisation. A one size fits all approach just does not work.”

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