McCain Foods is using PDA’s influencing skills programme to support the work it is doing internally with the ‘It’s all good’ campaign. The campaign covers both the way McCain produces food and the way it does its business. “We want to ensure that everyone who comes into contact with McCain, both internally and externally, has an ‘It’s all good’ experience,” says Helen Hudson, head of learning and development at McCain Foods (GB).
Like many businesses, the family-owned food manufacturer with 1650 employees in Britain has a much flatter business structure than in the past. This means that instead of looking up to hierarchies and authority for direction, employees increasingly have to take responsibilities and influence others themselves.
Helen Hudson says: “We want to get people influencing to build and maintain relationships as many people now work across the business with colleagues in other areas who they don’t have authority over. We want to give people the skills to influence without authority.”
“What we want is to give people skills to be accountable and responsible for all their activities: to have positive influence,” Helen explains.
Helen says its PDA’s emphasis on positive influence that ties in with McCain’s It’s all good ethos. “The environment PDA create helps raise people’s self awareness about how they impact others. People may think that they are influencing in a polite way, but it may in fact be in a negative way. Feedback is encouraged throughout the 2 days from all participants.”
Interactive and relevant
McCain is using PDA’s two-day workshops followed up by PDA’s one-to-one coaching sessions for its staff. Attendees also take part in a 360 degree feedback programme before the programme and six months later so that they can see what results they’ve achieved.
“We’ve had really, really positive feedback,” says Helen about the experience of McCain people who have taken PDA’s influencing programme. “The workshops are very interactive and the tools that people learn can be applied immediately in work.
“Helen also adds that the positive results are seen in the way people change how they approach issues at work. “People are saying that they are doing things differently since they’ve been on the PDA workshop which is helping them get better results.”
Some feedback from the delegates
‘I wouldn’t have made the changes if it hadn’t been for the course’
'It has gone well, I have been Direct and it worked – she was fine with it'
‘I have put the idea from the last group exercise into action and things are going to change as a result’
'It's been working quicker than I thought it would'
‘The metaphor has really helped’
‘I got the most out of [this course]’
'My manager said I am getting better at speaking up in team meetings'
‘[someone who was on the course with me] heard me on the phone and said I was using making requests and it sounded good’
‘I think this coaching session has been useful’
I am amazed how much it helped, instead of it being left on the desk it was dealt with straight away
‘I do think this is the only course I have been on where I have thought yes I can do this’