DriveSpeed Group provide tailored vehicle solutions to clients across a range of industries from a base in North Yorkshire. The business has grown significantly since its incorporation in 2011, and has doubled in size in the last three years, with over 20 staff at their office on Fishergate in York.
Chairman Roger Bodill and Finance Director Michelle Wallis knew that their growth plans would bring some challenges and, in 2013, brought in Pro-Development to help make sure their plans supported their staff in every possible way.
The senior team wanted to understand what was working for their people and how they could build on it; identify any barriers preventing people giving their best; share a vision that inspired their teams; develop core values that made it clear what it meant to work at DriveSpeed; put excellent customer service at the heart of everything they do; upskill their teams to bring out their very best; find ways to encourage more cross-team working and create a culture of accountability and responsibility within the business.
How we worked with DriveSpeed
We implemented an employee engagement project in June 2013, using a mixture of our staff survey tool to measure engagement alongside staff interviews to really understand what was at the heart of the business. What became clear very quickly was just how engaged people were.
Engagement levels in the UK are quite low in general, with an average business sitting at around just 57%. DriveSpeed were very pleased to see a result of 75% engagement across their teams, but acknowledged that there was still room for improvement to ensure continued success. This included staff growth and development – among line managers in particular, who had been promoted into their roles and were lacking confidence – as well as and improving communication across the teams to support improved team working.
We helped to shape and implement a plan to build on those strengths and support focus areas for development. The plan included a range of activities to help improve communication across the business including:
• More regular team meetings, huddles and quarterly company events
• Development of core values to provide clarity of what was expected of people working at DriveSpeed
• Customer service and honest conversations workshops
• Reviewing structures and job descriptions
• Introducing a specialist recruitment consultant, One to One Recruitment, to improve recruitment and selection
• Putting two key managers through the Pro-Development six-month Management Development Programme
“Prior to this work, we were not as focussed as we could have been on customer service; teamwork; employee retention; customer, supplier and employee satisfaction. Since working with Pro-Development we have seen an increase in productivity, improved customer retention and overall customer satisfaction. This is due to our employees being engaged and working to the same core values. The impact this has had on the business has been immense, so much so that we believe profits have increased as a result.” Michelle Wallis, Finance Director, DriveSpeed Group, April 2014
Delivering lasting, long-term benefits
In July 2014, DriveSpeed revisited their employee engagement survey to measure the difference that the changes they implemented had made, and discovered that engagement levels had risen to 87% engagement, a 12% increase from the previous year.
The business has also seen improved customer retention and satisfaction scores; individual behaviour that is more aligned to business and values; the management team working together to support their leadership team; and people taking more accountability and responsibility, which in turn is enabling the leadership team to be more effective.
Michelle Wallis says: “Pro-Development have been a fantastic asset to our company. Without their help, we may have lost key staff members. With their advice and continuous improvement planning, we feel we will have the most engaged and proactive staff in the industry. We are so grateful to Pro-Development for all their help and continued support.”
Chairman Roger Bodill adds: “Having been a sceptic of using external business advisers, I have had to re-think my views. With Pro-Development our business has seen and experienced a totally different approach and a very positive level of results, both financially and in the progress of the business. Without doubt, any business wanting to grow and develop should have no reservation in working with Pro-Development, and I would strongly encourage them to at least have a look at how they can help.”