FPG Case Study: Bovis Lend Lease
Establishing a Customer Service Culture
Bovis Lend Lease is one of the worldâs leading companies in the project management and construction services industry. It has a large, loyal client base due to its reputation for quality, innovation and commitment. With over 7,500 employees and more than 50 offices across the world, landmark projects include the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, Bluewater in Kent and Disneyland Paris.
The challenge was to instil an even stronger customer service and engaging leadership culture.
Customer service and value creation have always been fundamental to Bovis Lend Leaseâs success, with customer relationships built on trust, integrity and respect.
Yet, despite its strong customer service heritage, it was felt there was room for improvement. In early 2001, Ross Gorbert, Head of Learning and Development at Lend Lease Europe, started to look at the ways in which he could create training programmes that delivered genuine self-sustaining behaviour change in the areas of customer service and leadership and went in search of partners he hoped could achieve this.
âDespite our perception that we offered customer service, in a competitive industry like ours, we knew we couldnât afford to become complacent. We wanted the key people in the business to think in terms of clients not projects and we also wanted them to examine how best they could further build profitable customer relationships and ensure that our thinking was focused with our customersâ.
When we first met Full Potential Group, we liked their approach. Rather than telling us what they could do and selling us something they already had, they asked what we wanted and they listened to our answers. Full Potential Groupâs question â âWhat do you want and how will you know you have achieved it?â has become a key part of our relationship over the last few years and is exactly the same approach we would expect of our employees when dealing with customers.â
Between 2001 and 2009 FPG has focused on helping Bovis Lend Lease improve relationships in three key areas:
- Creating a more customer focused âclient-centricâ organisation with a strong customer service ethos
- Developing engaging, authentic leadership skills and capability so people deliver more through others to maximise overall results
- Networking and building winning relationships
Four tailor-made programmes were implemented:
1. Becoming Client-Centric â Enhancing Customer Relationships Programme
FPG designed a series of âBecoming More Client-Centricâ workshops for senior management. The vision was to develop a client-centric organisation where people naturally focus and think about their customers and clients first. In order to achieve this, it was important that after the workshops, senior managers would then go on and cascade the customer service and âclient-centricâ skills, tools and philosophy within the company and coach their direct reports and project teams.
Workshops were held for 150 individuals from the companyâs international talent pool, in groups of 18 - 25 people at a time. Five courses for European Global managers took place in the UK, three courses in the United States and one in Australia. A longer-term, six-month coaching programme consisting of âclient centricâ workshops, telephone coaching and 360˚ open feedback was conducted for the companyâs Scottish region.
2. Advanced Leadership Programme
Targeted at senior business heads and European country managers, the goal of the programme was to link with the refreshed customer service âclient centricâ ethos, help build on existing leadership capability and develop strategic thinking to strengthen client relationships and role model customer service from the top down.
As part of the programme, FPG created and conducted an initial 360˚ leadership assessment, (which included feedback from client partners as well as line manager, peers and direct reports) and provided leadership workshops, one-to-one executive coaching with some of Bovis Lend Leaseâs most senior managers, including the heads of Spain, Russia and Germany as well as senior project managers involved in some of the largest and most high-profile construction projects in the world.
3. Leading Business Transformation Programme
The âLeading Business Transformationâ programme targeted the next level of leaders within the organisation and took place over a six-month period. As part of their involvement, FPG provided 360Ń leadership assessments, workshops which focused on enhancing personal leadership styles, relationships with clients and customers, delivering results through others and helping employees establish a vision, adopt values-based leadership and fulfil their leadership potential.
4. Networking and Building Winning Relationships
Offered to people at all levels throughout the organisation, this one and a half day programme was focused on self development, providing strategies for networking effectively and building winning relationships, both for business purposes and to strengthen peopleâs skills and confidence to develop their individual careers within the organisation. more >
With FPGâs help, Bovis Lend Lease has developed a tangibly more âclient-centricâ management approach, ensuring employees are fully aligned with customersâ strategic goals and that a consistent and cohesive service is delivered worldwide. The âclient-centricâ approach applies not just to the traditional client-facing parts of the business, but also to project managers who must always keep their customersâ needs closely in mind. Today, many of the UKâs best-known construction projects are being project-managed by people who have undergone FPGâs coaching programmes.
FPGâs programmes have helped Bovis Lend Lease to develop its leadership talent and have given leaders and managers the tools and techniques they need to develop, empower and coach their own teams.
- A change in approach and management style, putting the customer first, asking more than telling, developing others and role modelling authentic leadership
- Foundations for a more customer/client focused culture are now in place with greater customer focus and service resulting in stronger client relationships measured by improvements in client surveys, sales and repeat business
- Improvements in leadership capability, succession planning and development of ânew leadersâ measured by 360˚ feedback and staff engagement surveys
- Greater staff commitment and improvements in engagement levels â a consistent rise in requests from employees eager to attend the development programmes is evident.
Gorbett added, âThe construction industry has traditionally been known for having a âcommand and controlâ management culture. What we have started, in partnership with Full Potential Group, is a more empowering and creative culture where people donât need to wait to tell someone what to do or wait to be told themselves.â
The propagation of a customer focused culture is gathering pace at Bovis Lend Lease. With Full Potential Group providing managers with the skills and the mindset to 'coach' their own managers and staff, the result has been a proactive, highly-innovative, 'client centric' environment where people think more for themselves and where the customer remains at the forefront of the business.