Tag: business mentoring

You may have heard about the closure of Coca-Cola Amatil’s manufacturing plant at Thebarton. However, you may not have heard about the company’s best practice approach to handling the closure.

With the permission of Coca-Cola Amatil (thank you to their HR team), today I want to share more about Kiikstart’s engagement with their staff in the lead-up to the closure. In this case study, I’ll cover how our recently created Transform program helped to achieve staff buy-in and reflected Coca-Cola Amatil’s ‘proud to the end’ philosophy as the plant transitioned to closure.

Kiikstart’s Engagement
Kiikstart was engaged to work with CCA employees whose roles were being made redundant due to the plant closure. The company sought to give their employees training that would help them to gain new skills and perspectives for a successful career post-CCA.

Initially we worked with 10 of CCA’s senior leaders, before working with a broader group of 26 shop floor employees.


The Transform Program – How It Worked
Our coaching and mentoring work with CCA was focused on building personal value and cultural fit in a modern, competitive world. Each employee worked one-on-one with Kiikstart to develop a personal action plan.

This work included:

  • A personalised career risk assessment to identify career roadblocks and risks;
  • Support with updating CVs and other documents ready for market;
  • Defining strengths and points of difference in their approach;
  • Defining individuals’ values and ethics;
  • Developing personal brands and defining an action plan for success;
  • Detailed, co-created actions for each participant to complete prior to the next session.

What makes it unique?

  • Individualised: The program is tailored to each participant. Working one-on-one with each employee, Kiikstart assisted participants to create their own individual action plan.
  • Contemporary: The program is designed to generate new opportunities for employees in an increasingly competitive and changing market. We also consider the Fourth Industrial Revolution, how roles are changing and relevant industries of the future.
  • Action-focused: Actions are co-created by employees together with Kiikstart to ensure measurability and progress.
  • Open door policy: Participants are able to chat with their coach Ali outside of scheduled sessions. This assists with the development of open and trusting relationships between employee and coach. Kiikstart is able to support employees through the process of applying for roles, the interview process and considering job offers.

 

The Results

Of the Senior Leaders who commenced the program, seven are employed in alternative leadership positions, one is looking for employment, one is mapping out a life of retirement, and one leader is actively engaged in the program and remains at CCA.

Of the shop floor production employees who took part, four are still actively involved in the program as they are contracted until next month at CCA. A further 15 have found new employment, while two are self-employed, one is semi-retired and six have exited the Kiikstart program with a clear action plan.

 

What Employees Say About the Program

In an anonymous survey, CCA employees rated Kiikstart’s program as the most valuable transition service they were offered in 2018.

“Kiikstart was recommended to me as a support service during the site’s transition to closure. Ali created an open and honest environment allowing each of us to share and learn from each other as we explored our options for the future. By changing the way we viewed our work and life experiences, Ali helped us to understand the true value we could bring to a new workplace. Importantly Ali also helped us create the marketing materials and networking techniques to allow us to showcase the benefits we could offer a new employer. I quickly realised the value of Kiikstart and extended Ali’s scope to include all employees on site. The service proved incredibly effective across the entire site, from operator to Operations Manager and everyone in between.” – Robert Menadue – Former SA Operations Manager, Coca-Cola Amatil

“I have been with the same company for over 11 years and had not looked or thought about my CV until my position was made redundant. With the company’s support program, I was introduced to Ali and the Kiikstart program. The program helped me ensure my personal / business profile was where it needed to be, portraying the best reflection of myself to potential employers. It challenged me to look outside the normal avenues for gaining employment and provided a pathway to success. I have not experienced a program like this before and I’m so glad I did. I would certainly recommend Ali and the Kiikstart program to others seeking new opportunities in their careers!” – Brendan Wuttke – Production Planner SA, Coca-Cola Amatil

Ali provided our employees with creative, modern and proven approaches to generate new opportunities in an increasingly competitive and changing market. Since commencing the program, our employees are more confident and can tell their career story highlighting individual achievements and transferrable skills. I would highly recommend the Kiikstart program to businesses and individuals who are going through transitions or wanting to take a new career path.” – Alice Thompson-Seagrave – People and Culture Advisor, Coca-Cola Amatil

Interested in the program?
We’re excited to be rolling out our Transform program more widely in 2019. If your company is going through a period of major change – whether it be redundancies, a rebrand, a company partnership, or something in between – get in touch to find out how Kiikstart’s program can have a positive and lasting impact for your team. Get in touch with me at enquiries@kiikstart.com or on +61 428 593 400.

Christian Van Niekerk is passionate about business innovation. The Grant Thornton director – who commenced with the company in 2003 and quickly worked his way up the ranks – has recently been recognised as a Performance Inspiring Awards finalist by the company for his work on a reporting model he created.

Christian says his work with Kiikstart led to the development of reporting templates that are changing the way the company presents to its private advisory clients across Australia. We asked him to share more about his journey to a Grant Thornton directorship, and his views on leadership.

Kiikstart: Congratulations on your award nomination for creating a new approach to reporting at Grant Thornton. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt about leadership during your career?
Christian: Thank you. Probably that true leaders need to stand up and make tough decisions. You don’t get into a leadership position because you’re friends with everybody. Sometimes difficult things need to be done and said. I’ve had to make a few tough decisions along the way. If you don’t make them, you can’t truly be a leader.

And the other lesson is around the importance of looking after yourself. Leaders tend to just go on and on and not stop and look after themselves – and we should. You need to have your own time and preserve your own mental and physical wellbeing in order to be an effective leader. I have three children under five at home, so balancing it all is important.

Did you always aspire to a leadership role or end up here by chance?
I like to think I’m your traditional introvert who doesn’t go looking for attention. At school I was the kid who’d rather get an F than stand up and do an oral presentation. Having said that, I ended up being school captain in year 12 and chose accounting because I thought I could be in the corner and do numbers and not interact with people. I didn’t go looking for a leadership role, but as I got more responsibility and started training the junior guys, I kind of fell into leadership.

What do you love most about your role?
I enjoy the responsibility that it brings; and feeling like you’re making a difference to people’s lives – whether it’s the client you’re looking after, or your staff. I’ve trained and mentored so many staff through the CA program. You become a go-to person to give them advice about where their careers end up going. I enjoy the challenge of helping them through that.

Who do you look up to in business?
Leaders who inspire me include Richard Branson. I’m inspired by where he came from, how he built his empire, and the way he views life. His philosophy around caring for your employees because they look after your customers is so true. I really align myself with that thinking.

How important is it to be passionate about what you do? And how do you maintain that enthusiasm for your work?
If you’re not passionate about what you do, then you shouldn’t be doing it. I think people can see through you if you don’t believe in what you’re delivering.  At times it can be difficult to maintain your enthusiasm. I’ve often found my enthusiasm rejuvenated by the younger people coming through; their passion tends to rub off on you. It’s fantastic sitting down with them to discuss their own career trajectory, and how I can support them in that journey.

In the last five years I’ve been given more free reign in terms of what I want to do, and how I want to do it – including interacting with clients at a different level, and presenting to them differently. I’m extremely passionate about innovation.

How has Kiikstart supported your work at Grant Thornton?
I engaged Ali personally one year ago in an informal mentoring role. We went through a 10-week one-on-one training program, which pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’m so glad I went through it.

From there, we developed a program called GT Grow in Adelaide to help our staff understand what it is to have a career and grow it. Ali has been a key part of that. Her sessions around owning your career and what that means are designed to stop people from expecting their employer to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to their training and development. The underlying premise is that your learning journey belongs to you.

What are some of the key takeaways from your work with Kiikstart?
The work I’ve done with Ali has been amazing, and resulted in some great changes. One of the key takeaways for me is around doing things differently for clients. Working with Ali challenged me to consider how tax results delivery should change for the client. The reporting model we’ve moved to as a result ensures that we don’t get bogged down in technical language. We used to deliver results to our clients by going through financials page by page, and pulling up detailed excel spreadsheets. Now, we explain the outcomes, and don’t get so caught up looking at the financials. It’s very visually driven. We started by rolling this out in the Adelaide office, and it’s since been rolled out nationally.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I think I’ll still be a partner in an accounting firm, continuing to focus on self-improvement, and looking at the ways we develop and deliver results to our clients, ensuring we’re continuing to innovate. For me, a focus on work/life balance and family is key. At the start of my career it was all about the corporate tree, and I never really appreciated having a family, and that’s certainly changed in the last few years. I want to make sure that balance is maintained.

“A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained” – Shawn Hitchcock.

Mentoring is powerful. Some of the most successful people in the world, from Mark Zuckerberg to Sir Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey, say their mentors had a hand in their success stories.

Over the past 12 years I’ve personally mentored more than 2000 people across Australia, including people in our cities, regions and the Outback. Many of these people are business leaders and influencers, or people looking to step up in their career.

As someone who’s seen firsthand the transformative power of mentoring, here are five tips for getting the most out of your mentoring journey.

Acknowledge the benefits
The first step is to recognise that you’re never too old, too young, or too experienced to have a mentor. I recently wrote about how ego can impact your business, but it can also impact your personal career trajectory. A 2017 Deloitte report found that people who are mentored experience greater job satisfaction, progress further in their careers, and are better paid. Writing about his mentor, Sir Freddie Laker, Sir Richard Branson addressed the benefits of mentoring: “Understandably there’s a lot of ego, nervous energy and parental pride involved … Going it alone is an admirable, but foolhardy and highly flawed approach to taking on the world.”

Look beyond your industry & network
When seeking a mentor, don’t assume that you need a clone of yourself, or even someone from within your industry. A mentor outside your industry will help you to expand your network, and expose you to new ideas. People who don’t work alongside you each day are also more likely to be honest and ask questions that will challenge you to truly self-reflect. Founder and CEO of BIG Labs, Jyoti Bansal, says entrepreneurs “..should always select a mentor that fills the gaps in his/ her experience and skill set” so they can supplement the strengths that you bring to the table.

Find the right fit
Someone might look good on paper, but this doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for you as a mentor. Just like matchmaking, the mentor/mentee relationship doesn’t always yield a great fit. Even mentoring software app Mentorloop admits matching mentors and mentees isn’t an exact science: “Humans are infinitely complicated creatures… Using a spreadsheet simply doesn’t give you the scope or flexibility required to make matches across experience, skills, personality, preferences, and relationship goals.” Sometimes it’s only once you’ve formalised your arrangement that you’ll work out whether it’s a good fit. So how do you know whether it’s right?

A great mentor is like a colonic irrigation. They’ll help you find new ways to respond to your current frustrations, and move forward. The right mentor will respectfully question how you think and act, while providing guidance on how to find solutions to roadblocks and self-limiting behaviour. They’ll keep you accountable, but also provide a safe, supportive environment to have an open and engaged conversation.

Ensure it’s outcome driven
There’s more to this relationship than sitting with someone who dishes out advice or acts as your sounding board, although this advice is important. Ensure you’re both assessing and reviewing your progress. Set a co-created agenda and adhere to co-created milestones to track your relationship and keep you both focused during sessions.

Illumio CEO Andrew Rubin says when it comes to mentors “you get out.. what you put in”. The best models are based on measurable action. Remember that this is an equally accountable relationship, where you both need to do some of the heavy lifting and work in between sessions. On my part, for my mentees this has meant extra follow up and idea sharing between sessions, as well as introductions to industry networks that lead to new, undiscovered opportunities.

Pay for the pleasure
Remember that mentoring is an investment in yourself and your career. While you may be lucky enough to find a mentor who will help you for free, paying for the service ensures you’re working with someone who has the time and energy to invest in you. They’ll also be more inclined to establish an outcome-focused program, which will yield much more value for your efforts. Remember that your time is valuable, so invest it wisely when selecting the right mentor for you.

Are you looking for a professional mentor? Get in touch with Ali to find out more about Kiikstart’s tailored, one-on-one mentoring offering. Email enquiries@kiikstart.com or visit www.kiikstart.com to find out more.