"An empowered organisation is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organisational success" - Stephen R. Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The key to success for any business lies with its people - particularly those that cultivate the skills needed to take on challenges and seek solutions while working together to achieve business goals. At Dart, we invest in our employees to develop better leaders, sharpen expertise and promote teamwork. Dart’s Learning and Development team offer a variety of training and development opportunities to help cultivate these skills.
The team’s most recent area of focus is the highly acclaimed workshop: Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In the second half of 2018, Dart offered the workshop across five departments to 80 participants -from vice presidents to coordinators. An additional 160 employees are expected to participate throughout 2019.
The workshop is conducted in-house by Learning and Development Manager Lorna Murphy, who has 13 years’ experience in the area of professional development and is certified to deliver the course. Murphy related to the coaching culture at Dart when she first joined in 2017 and saw the 7 Habits workshop as an opportunity to strengthen it even more. “Investment in people is one of the core things employees reference in interviews and surveys, and that’s exactly what this workshop is – Dart investing in our people”, says Murphy.
Based on the research of American author and businessman Stephen R. Covey, the workshop introduces the lessons from the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The 7 Habits outline the basic steps of personal change that ultimately create effectiveness in all aspects of life. The workshop’s main goal is to impart these guiding principles to inspire employees to unlock the best version of themselves.
Murphy was first introduced to 7 Habits in 2008 while completing her Diploma in Personal and Business Coaching at the Irish Lifecoach Institute. “Since learning about these habits, it’s been impossible to forget and I’ve applied it to every aspect of my daily life”, she says. These insights along with Murphy’s personal experience with the habits convinced her to recommend the workshop.
Covey teaches that “accountability breeds response-ability” and that an organisation’s performance is linked to the actions of its leaders and how they engage with employees. At Dart, employees are encouraged to complete an Employee Engagement Survey to help leadership better understand areas of success, and those that need improvement. One prominent theme that emerged is the opportunity for professional growth.
“There is an exceptional amount of talent within our organisation,” says Juliet Du Feu, Senior Vice President Human Resources, “and as our company evolves we see the need to empower our employees and inspire them to continue to produce their best work.”
Du Feu believes that the 7 Habits workshop is an excellent resource to help employees focus on empowering the organisation, improve accountability and cultivate leadership skills. “Employees look toward us as leaders to understand their purpose here,” says Du Feu. “To achieve our business objectives we have to ensure there is alignment throughout the organisation so that everyone understands how they contribute to our success.”
Employees from across different departments participate in the workshop together so they can absorb and apply the same material – a technique that promotes better alignment and accountability within teams. “It’s good to merge departments because you get people interacting with colleagues they may not normally work with. We’ve received this feedback from a lot of our participants who’ve enjoyed the mix,” says Murphy.
Improving relations in the office through these interactions is an added benefit. As a company grows and evolves, cohesion across teams and departments is crucial for continued success. The interactions in these workshops promote lasting connections among employees and lay the foundation for synergy – one of Covey’s 7 Habits.
Beyond a professional setting, the 7 Habits workshop also promotes personal growth. Murphy sees employees as “holistic beings” and though employment takes place in a professional capacity, it’s important to also account for their personal lives. “The 7 Habits material leaves no area untouched,” says Murphy. “It has practical applications for everyday life and the results for the individual are ultimately better management of themselves and of their time”.
Feedback from the workshop has been positive, as participants speak of a renewed sense of purpose. “I am very happy this workshop was offered,” says Administrative Assistant Sharelle Escalante. “I am sure there were a few people like myself who thought, “Oh man just another training session to sit through”. However, after going through this training and really participating, it opened my eyes to how I can have a better way of life not just professionally, but personally as well.