DHL Express Supervisory Programme 

 The challenge 

 “Great supervisors can take you to incredible heights. They can help you to learn to fly, providing the wind beneath your feet and providing a net for when you fall” 

 With the phenomenal success of the Certified International Manager programme embedded into the organisation, there was an overwhelming view that the development of the DHL Express Supervisory group had to be No. 1 priority for the business to be prepared for future business challenges. They understood their Supervisors were the ‘power-house’ of the organisation;  the choices they make everyday about how they lead their teams, significantly impacts the reputation and bottom-line. 

 They also saw an urgent need to ‘professionalise’ this all important team. That meant the whole 8000 strong team of DHL Express Supervisors – not just those newly appointed. It was time for a transformation and that meant gaining or refreshing core team management skills, understanding and reconnecting with the key  processes that drive industry leading results and add some practical tools to their toolbox, enabling them to deliver to the highest levels of performance at their local levels.This exciting and immersive journey needed to connect them with the essential skills, mindset and knowledge they need to deliver the DHL Express FOCUS strategy through their people and to reinforce all that is great about the DHL Express culture.

 The solution 

 To achieve this transformation, we knew we had to design something different and something special for this critical group of people. It had to be contemporary and it had to be of genuine value to them. The CIM Supervisory Excellence Academy delivers on all those points. It is a highly engaging, externally accredited, fully blended, modular developmental programme for around 8000 Supervisors and Team Leaders. It mixes high-impact workshops for the ‘human’ subjects that need them with self-directed app based modules and eLearning for topics that can be completed as individuals. And this formal learning is applied and embed at work through  work based assignments, Peer Learning Networks and Sponsoring Manager coaching sessions. It has a perfect mix of being both challenging and extremely practical at the same time – appealing to both new and existing Supervisors.

 Making it Work for DHL Express: 

 Designing the CIM Supervisory Excellence Academy meant factoring in the needs of the business, particularly a Logistics operation – whilst creating something inspirational and unique for this population who may in the past have felt neglected but would now feel valued and motivated. We needed to ensure that the modules ‘worked with’ the rostering and shift requirements of the operational areas ensuring minimal disruption of the operation and time away from the workplace whilst maintaining a feeling of being involved in something worthwhile and valuable. 

 The programme has two distinct parts: 

 CIM Supervisory Fundamentals:  

Designed to be achieved within 12-18 months and with a purpose to provide Supervisors /Team Leaders with the competency and confidence in core aspects of their role as quickly as possible to gain maximum payback to the business. 

We looked at the four Essentials of Supervisory Excellence at DHL Express: 

Personal Excellence“It’s all about You” 

People Excellence“It’s all about our People”

Service Excellence“It’s all about our Service Quality” 

Operational Excellence“It’s all about Delivery” 

The resulting learning content provided a broad curriculum of topics all aimed at developing their potential and driving a more successful business. 

 CIM Leadership Excellence:

These advanced modules focus on specific to skills and knowledge application are available to be completed within 6-12 months of graduating the Academy. They are highly practical and ‘application’ focused to ensure the business reaps the benefits as quickly as possible.

All of this is supported by the all important on-going coaching and feedback from the Sponsoring Manager who feel a real sense of joint ownership for their Supervisors success.

 The result 

 The success of the CIM Supervisory programme is evident by the overwhelming response from the Supervisors/Team Leaders themselves. 

The Graduation Ceremonies were a celebration of this success, grown adults, many of whom had never had the chance to further their education wearing their caps and gowns overcome with emotion at their achievement. 

Amazing comments, “I feel so valued and thankful for this huge investment in me and I will be eternally grateful”. Even more inspiring were comments from direct reports such as “My Supervisor is like a different person; I feel motivated to come to work now” 

This is a testament to the focus and commitment of all those who graduated from this programme and it is no surprise that recently DHL Express was voted 2nd Best Place to Work globally! 

The main team behind this project

  • Sandy Willoughby Sandy Willoughby
  • Sue Stoneman Sue Stoneman
  • Alice Johnson Alice Johnson
  • Sam Thomas Sam Thomas