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Case studies, Customer stories

Enhancing leadership development

Develop future leaders

About the client: Global investment firm | 500+ employees

Core challenges: Leadership development | Retention | Succession planning

Joining the business as CHRO to support the firm’s growth ambitions, our client rapidly identified a need to enhance the existing leadership development program. 

High growth is always a threat to culture. They wanted to ensure positive integration of their new lateral hires, while enabling the incumbents to be inclusive and embrace change.

Learning and development in the investment world is largely based on an apprenticeship model, making it harder for managers and leaders to mentor through the changing realities of the industry and specific circumstances. 

The main goals for leadership development support:

  • Retain the best talent
  • Maintain a positive culture
  • Give the tools to managers to coach their teams 

A better approach to leadership

The CHRO had extensive experience rolling out leadership development programs in other businesses, and knew there were often huge issues in the efficacy of these programs: “I knew we didn’t want a point in time training program where people forget what they learned. This needed to be meaningful, and deeply embed leadership skills in our people.”

Sama coaches worked with a cohort of mid-level and senior professionals to develop their leadership skills, including:

  • Communication
  • Effective feedback
  • Delegation and people planning
  • Self-awareness
  • Stakeholder management

Communication and feedback were critical for the firm: “We’re emphasizing becoming a culture of feedback; we haven’t been great training managers how to have tough conversations.” Coaching normalized feedback culture, and also gave managers toolkits for delivering – and receiving – feedback.

New responsibilities

Being an outstanding individual contributor doesn’t necessarily make you a leader. The firm was noticing higher employee turnover in teams where those in leadership roles had minimal management experience. Exit interviews highlighted a lack of support and guidance, poor communication, and not enough useful feedback. Giving coaching to less experienced managers hones critical leadership skills, playing a vital role in developing the company’s teams and supporting their growth. 

“The team likes having Sama coaches as a sounding board before having performance management conversations. The manager role is becoming more and more complex over time; Sama solves some real challenges for us.”

Measurable success

Since working with Sama, the coached cohort and their reports have all scored higher in engagement surveys, communication has elevated, and turnover in those departments has decreased.

Key metrics

27% reduction in employee turnover in where coaching is rolled out

+12 eNPS in teams with coaching

92% of coached employees report better working relationships

50% of employees coached were female of which 94% reported a greater sense of belonging