As an organization interested in seeing its staff grow its skills-set, ADT recognized a need for the development of staff and the creation of a junior-management talent pool. It was this understanding which inspired their winds of change. ADT wave 2 supervisors commenced training in March 2015 and are due to complete the programme this month.

It had further become evident for ADT as an organization that developing supervisors was of vital importance. Historically, supervisors were promoted into positions that required management and leadership skills, but these skills were yet to be developed. ADT decided to enrol 300 back office and guarding supervisors on a national Generic Management programme to ensure that their leaders were equipped with the necessary skills to lead teams into excellence.

The programme essentially has four primary goals, which are to;

·         develop internal leaders by equipping them with effective management techniques

·         improve overall performance within ADT as an organization

·         allow the opportunity for Supervisors to attain a National Certificate Generic Management NQF 4 qualification

·         contribute to the BBBEE scorecard for ADT

The programme is aimed at supervisors on a national level. It is rolled out in five regions: Johannesburg, Northern Region, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and KwaZulu Natal. A total of 130 learners were enrolled onto the programme in phase 2. There are currently 115 active learners on the programme.

The success of any project is to measure it against the set objectives and targets. ADT Training Manager, Mosa Seloane says: “To measure our success, we use matrixes based on employee’s KPIs; evaluation forms and surveys”.

According to i-Fundi’s Project Manager, Donna Olivier, the first phase of the programme was a great feat. “Judging from the final presentations of the learners of the learners, Phase 1 was a great success. The programme culminated in a fantastic graduation ceremony, attended by the ADT CEO and i-Fundi management”, she says.

Panel of judges at the ADT presentations

Panel of judges at the ADT presentations. From left to right: Omentha Moodley, Mosa Seloane, Fariba Bowen and Trevor Dladla.

“We learnt many lessons during the roll out of Phase 1 and used them to improve Phase 2. Most notably, we merged the ADT and i-Fundi learning material and provided extra training for the facilitators to help them better understand the principles of outcome based education and the content of the programme”.

“This year’s final presentations provide testament to the project team about how the programme has added value to the participants. Presentations were attended by ADT’s HR, Training Divisional managers, as well as i-Fundi management. The affirmations of personal and professional growth over the last 12 months has been great to hear”, she continues.

Another measurement yardstick was to gauge the application of theory learnt by the participants. Managers reported that learners have applied the i-Fundi theory in the workplace well, and as a result there has been notably improved performance within their teams. Supervisors are now able to use effective problem solving techniques to deal with issues. Other noted improvements are with customer service, as well as understanding how to motivate and lead their respective teams.

Preshni Govendar during her presentation on Time Management at ADT.

Preshni Govendar during her presentation on Time Management at ADT.

Preshni Govendar summarized her experience of the programme as a necessary learning platform to improve her skills. “A lack of good time management has always been one of my weaker areas and it is the one subject I learnt the most from. I have grown in understanding how to better manage my time and focus on prioritising my daily tasks”, she says.

Hester Greyling was another participant who expressed in her presentation that, in the process of acquiring skills, one must be cognisant of the importance of transferring skills and knowledge. “The team I manage consists of eight members and each one assisted me in putting together my presentation. Therefore, we all in one way or the other, engaged with the learning material. My instructors were also very involved in this process, so in many ways, knowledge has been shared and exchanged”, she said.

“From our records, it has been highlighted that several individuals have been promoted over the last six months, due to the fact that they had dramatically improved their managerial capabilities as a direct result of the i-Fundi programme”, says Donna Olivier.

As with any project, it is expected that challenges will arise. In this particular project Seloane weighs in on the matter, saying, “there were indeed many challenges we faced, such as a poor calibre of learners in terms of English & Maths Literacy; insufficient time for the project; having to manage a heavy course workload; managing a work-life balance; some poor manager interaction in some areas; complications with securing training venues; amongst many”, she says. However, a true leader ensures that every set back is a launching pad for a better comeback, and in most instances, a better performance is informed by the lessons we derived from the challenges we faced.

“The changes I hope to see with the implementation of the information learnt through this project are increased work productivity; an engaged workforce; as well as an empowered management staff”, says Seloane.

“There are many lessons to be taken from managing this project; the one key is that – if given an opportunity an individual can become a great leader. In addition, the practical component of our programme adds value to an organisation”, Concludes Olivier.

In summary, the project evaluation showed an improvement in various management skills, namely; productivity, efficiency, management, team work, time management, customer service, HR, IR , process, problem solving and communication, planning, finance and budgets as well as personal effectiveness.

By Nyeleti Machovani