The Growens Leadership Model
An intense growth path in the last few years has led the Group to face an ambitious challenge: transitioning from an entrepreneurial to a managerial mindset.
To maintain a competitive edge on the market, leaders must be aware of their professional and personal purpose, work together for a common goal and build a solid, sustainable business in the long term. This scenario gave life to the Leadership Model Project – an aspirational model composed of values, behaviors and skills required of people who have a leading role within the organization.
As the model itself says, our corporate culture promotes the concept of leadership which involves a mindset and a gradual growth of soft skills, considered equally important than technical knowledge – hard skills can make a manager, but they are not enough to make a leader. This is the reason why Growens has been offering specific training courses for its leaders since 2021.
The key points of the Leadership Model
The Leadership Model is a tool designed to outline the main characteristics that every People Manager must have in order to express their true potential as a manager in line with Growens’ core values.
According with the leadership model created, each People Manager must:
- Respect and embody the corporate values of Caring, Open mindedness, Passion and Trust, both internally and externally to the company, acting as a role model for other employees
- Enact some specific behaviors deriving from the company’s core values. The daily compliance with these guidelines is assessed by the members of each manager’s team
- Evaluate the work of his/her own team members, helping them to improve their skills and grow professionally
During the design phase of the Leadership Model, the People & Culture team held a number of workshops to define in detail the main behaviors that each People Manager must enact. In this way they can be the daily spokespeople for the Group’s values.
Such behaviors – which constitute the practical and observable application of the theoretical guidelines – are described below.
At the base of the Leadership Model there is a feedback culture
A feedback culture is constantly encouraged within the Group because it allows clear and transparent relationships among colleagues.
Feedback constitutes an important part of the qualitative evaluation system, and is included in the managerial performance model. It helps in identifying any critical issues in time and in monitoring the professional growth of each employee.
In order to promote this exchange, the People & Culture team requests four feedbacks per quarter, addressed to both the People Managers and the members of the Group he/she manages, to evaluate both the work performance and the respect for values.
Growens heavily invests in the training of its employees as it considers training fundamental for the professional development and expansion of the skills present in the company.
In 2021, the Company organized management training sessions and group coaching on “Evolutionary Leadership“, with the aim of strengthening a feedback culture and spreading the values & best practices identified by the Company’s Leadership Model.
During this program, training and group coaching sessions were carried out in both Italian and English – in partnership with Bloom – for all 53 People Managers of the Group, with the aim of helping the internalization of the new Leadership Model and facilitating the evolution in the role of People Managers.
How we got to the Leadership Model
In 2020 the People & Culture team kicked off the ambitious Leadership Model project, using an innovative methodology based on the concept of purpose driven leadership, as a means to spread corporate culture at all organizational levels through the roles of People Managers and through their motivation, as the main drivers towards achieving shared objectives.
The project had three levels:
- Investigation into the methods of actions, through interviews with the Top Management (top down action)
- Investigation into the purpose of actions, through dedicated workshops with all People Managers (at level action)
- Investigation into the expectations of actions, through a survey to the entire corporate population (bottom up action)
During the first phase of the project, which ended in mid-April 2020, the People & Culture team identified what the Top Management expects from their People Managers, defining some fundamental characteristics and behaviors that each of them must possess.
During the second phase, which took place from April to June 2021, we organized a range of webinars and workshops for managers, with the aim of understanding which personal goals could coincide with corporate interests.
Finally, the third phase involved the rest of the company population, who were asked to list the characteristics that cannot be missing in their People Managers. The research led to the definition of the current Leadership Model.
Thanks to this project, we were able to understand what characteristics our managers must embody. However, the work is not finished yet.
In order to provide support, inspiration and guidance, the Leadership Model needs constant updating, so as to constantly hone our People Managers’ managerial skills. We will continue to monitor and train all our present and future People Managers.
Article by Elisa Battigelli
Junior Corporate Communications Specialist, Growens