Skanska UK is part of the Swedish owned business and global construction and development group, Skanska. Their approach is to make a real difference to the way construction is delivered, by combining their skills and expertise and by working closely with clients, partners and with the community. In the UK, Skanska has been responsible for the Gherkin in London, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the M1 widening, and replacing and renewing the gas, water, electricity and telephone lines. Skanska create sustainable solutions and aim to be leaders in quality, green construction, work safety and business ethics. Their approach of bringing together a wide range of experience means they aim to be the best at development and delivery of integrated projects. Skanska employ over 5,000 staff in the UK and undertake over £1.3 billion of work each year.
Skanska ID, a division in the UK, has 65 people split across seven teams. The Health, Education and Infrastructure teams bid and manage the various projects Skanska UK deliver and the Operations, Legal, Finance and HR teams provide the back-up and support to the bidding and delivery processes. In the competitive field of government tenders it is imperative that all seven teams work well together and maximise the strengths of each individual within each team. From an employee survey the HR team understood there were key issues to address across ID to develop stronger communication, share best practice and improve collaboration across the team.
Following a comprehensive consultation period where a number of members of staff in Skanska ID were interviewed, a team facilitation programme was designed and delivered by VBL for all 65 members of staff. The approach taken was 70, 20, 10, in which 70% of the development takes place in on-the-job stretch targets. This approach is in line with Skanska’s business ethics and offers a sustainable way to develop and support all members of staff, both current and future.
The objectives of the team facilitation programme were to:
Before the programme, all members of staff were invited to complete a VBL TeamPulse survey to measure team effectiveness. 72% of staff completed the survey which gave hard figures to compare against at the conclusion of the programme. The facilitation programme was made up of a one day workshop followed by a ½ day workshop three weeks later. The team of 65 were split into groups made up of a combination of people from different teams. Each member of Skanska ID had two coaching sessions set a month apart to help them embed their learning from the programme into everyday situations. Nine team members from across Skanska ID then volunteered to be Champions of the ID Individual Development programme to sustain and maintain learning day-to-day. Each of these Champions had additional training at the beginning of the programme and provided support to members of their team as groups of staff came through the workshop programme.
Splitting the workshops into groups of people from different teams resulted in people getting to know each other better and improving the communication across teams. Skanska ID have also developed a common language around issues such as effective communication and dealing with difficult people. This improvement in communication and understanding of each other has helped with effective feedback. Clients have noticed a difference in the listening and understanding that are offered by Skanska ID, resulting in more success with bids.