We celebrate another successful ‘Leading With Purpose’ programme with Skanska

A 9-month journey

On February 6th 2019, Arrival Education & Skanska celebrated the completion of the ninth cohort of our Leading with Purpose Coaching Programme.

Back in May 2018, students aged 18-24 from Arrival Education’s Arrival Network and high potential leaders from Skanska set out as coaching pairs on our 9 months Leading with Purpose coaching programme. Since 2016 9 cohorts of Skanska coaches and students have completed the programme.

Dedicated investment in top talent

Skanska coaches were selected for the Leading with Purpose programme, which is comprised of several different phases, including a 360 Emotional Intelligence Survey, sessions on topics such as Unconscious Bias, how to create and lead High Performing Teams, and then our 9-month Inclusive Coaching Skills programme. All of these are designed to help them transition from highly effective individuals into Skanska’s future leaders.

Skanska has a global commitment to becoming more diverse and inclusive. Working with our talent over 9 months;

  • significantly improves coaching skills, including listening, asking probing questions, helping others take ownership and accountability and helping others become more self-aware,
  • helps participants become more effective at managing socially and ethnically diverse talent
  • helps the organisation spot candidates for early years’ roles

Arrival Education’s coachees, university students and recent graduates from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, applied for the programme to help them on their path to career and life success.

Leading with Purpose gave them the opportunity to work with senior businessmen and women who they would normally never encounter, who could help them through challenging transition and decision-making periods.

All our coachees arrive at the programmes during critical decision junctions in their lives, and the support Skanska coaches provide them is invaluable. Over 9 months the aim was for the pairs to meet or speak at least 6 times, with the whole group reconvening in September – halfway through.

The power of reflection and living our leadership values

The event gave everyone an opportunity to discuss their development journeys and acknowledge each other. As well as providing the opportunity for everyone to reconnect and make plans for the continuation of their relationships, coachees gave short presentations on what they have gained from the programme. Some participants who couldn’t be there due to illness or academic commitments provided video testimonials which were shared with the room.

The diverse cohort of young people spoke confidently about their achievements, acknowledging their coaches’ roles in helping them develop. Coaches had the opportunity to acknowledge their coachees, as well as speak openly about their own successes during the 9-month period, and how they have been able to transfer skills they have developed into the workplace.

After the presentations Harvey Francis, HR EVP added his reflections on the presentations and spoke about the key leadership values Skanska live by, before facilitating a short Q&A. All coaches and their coachees were then presented with completion certificates to bring the programme to its close.

The programme impact: an appreciation of the importance of listening

The programme had helped the young talent, as well as the Skanska coaches, grow their leadership skills. University student Guddon Omar has realised the value of being coached, reflecting how her coach is a “good listener [who] tried not to influence my choices and always let me think about what I want to do and why I want to do it.”

Graham Beach, one of the coaches, reflected how “the programme has helped me in my coaching of others. It has helped me to think about what I am doing and to listen and not be judgemental. I feel I have the ability to be more open at work.”

With many of the pairs keen to continue working together, we look forward to seeing how the partnerships develop over time.

What’s next?

We are currently reviewing Leading with Purpose with the Skanska team and hope to continue the partnership with a similar programme again this year.

If you are interested in hearing more about Leading with Purpose, or how your organisation could run a similar coaching programme in partnership with Arrival Education, please contact our Director, Emily on emily.shenton@arrivaleducation.com.

Aged 18-26 and would like to get access to our programmes and opportunities? Join the Arrival Network to get involved or message us on Whatsapp on 07508839915.