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Turning Managers into Coaches for Increased Employee Engagement


The Client

Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to solving critical water and infrastructure challenges with innovation. With more than 17,000 diverse employees and revenue of $5.5 billion in 2022, Xylem enables customers to optimize water and resource management, and helping communities in more than 150 countries become water-secure.


The Issue

In the midst of significant organizational changes, Xylem realized it needed to improve the communication and leadership capabilities of to its managers, not only to help communicate the changes, but also to support leaders in driving the new company strategy.  The goal was to heighten employee engagement, foster collaboration, and improve the overall work environment.


The Solution

Given a long partnership with Xylem in talent management, we were well-positioned to design, design and roll-out a coaching program to Xylem’s major sites around the globe. Each program consists of a 2-day experience for a group of people managers by professional coach-facilitators. The goal of the program is to give managers a practical, hands-on coaching method and to develop leadership and management skills, based on a coaching model that emphasizes employee engagement, emotional intelligence (e.g. active listening, appreciative inquiry, process skills, guiding vs. telling) and influence skills. Unlike a well-known coaching model that is basically a problem-solving method, this model addresses the acceleration of leadership skills. Highly experiential and interactive, the program emphasizes practice with extensive amounts of facilitator and peer feedback. So far, the program has been delivered in 9 languages around the world on-site and remote.


Managers also receive the book, Leading for Learning -- How Leaders Can Get Business Results and Build Deep Employee Commitment, which accompanies the program. 


The Outcome

Still being delivered since 2011 in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, the coaching program has become a key part of the development of Xylem's people managers around the world.  Participants especially appreciate the substantial practice of the Developmental Coaching Model and ability to use it with real and current cases.  Many hundreds of positive reviews later, we're still delivering!  

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