In response to the need to improve leadership capability, in 2019, housing association RHP developed ‘Luminous’ – a leadership programme that judges said “truly lights the way for others to follow”.
Developed entirely in-house by the non-profit’s own L&D team, the innovative programme was split at three different levels to enable all 250 employees, from aspiring managers to senior leaders, to access learning at the right level for them.
Vibrant, instagrammable branding drummed up interest and engagement from the outset. The name ‘Luminous: light the way for others’ lent itself well to a memorable design and logo and during the business’s first launch session all attendees were given a lightbox which many promptly shared pictures of and displayed on their desks.
Grounded in a community feel and accessibility for all, the programme blended a creative range of media and approaches, with ‘Luminous Lunches’ a prime example of a memorable and informal format where participants could lunch and learn. Book clubs, speaker events and an escape room to explore problem solving all added to the exciting bounty of options presented to employees.
Even the elements of classroom-based learning were delivered in bitesize sessions with a significant emphasis on activities to follow up and embed learning. A different theme each quarter, such as coaching, decision-making and problem-solving, ensured the programme remained fresh and engaging.
The team sought and acquired the ‘Assured’ training quality mark from City and Guilds and ILM after the programme was assessed against best practice standards.
In order to gain assurance, employees had to meet a certain set of criteria, including providing evidence on how they had embedded learning at each stage. This ensured learning wasn’t lost and that people made a conscious effort to use and embed what they’d learnt to improve their performance.
These rigorous guidelines helped L&D evaluate the programme as people provided tangible examples of how what they learnt not only improved their leadership capability but also impacted business results.
In its first year, 162 employees across all levels of the organisation attended at least one Luminous session and people participated 634 times across all sessions. The satisfaction level for the programme was 95.5 per cent – a buzz was generated on the intranet and word-of-mouth approval helped to give the programme real momentum.
The external assurance contributed not only to employees’ work performance but supported their wider ongoing career advancement.
Employee engagement increased from 85 per cent in April 2019, when the programme launched, to 94 per cent in April 2020 and across the same period customer satisfaction jumped from 78 to 83 per cent and four employees progressed to higher-level roles as a result of the programme. Answers to the survey question ‘my manager has regular coaching conversations with me that help me improve my performance’ have increased by an average of 10 per cent, and in some teams 17 per cent.
The judges said: “Luminous was not just developing people for organisation gain but also to improve their work and worth outside of the organisation, truly exemplifying what it means to support better work and working lives.”