LetMeShip develops leadership training concept for middle management – Part 1

In the first part of this 3-part blog series, we will give you insights into the development and implementation of the values and guidelines at LetMeShip and why a unified leadership approach within the organisation is of fundamental importance.

Shared values and leadership guidelines at all management levels are the basis for successful business growth and the transformation of LetMeShip. During the needs analysis, it became apparent right at the beginning that middle management leaders in particular are especially challenged and need support in this change process. Below we have outlined the process of how these values and guidelines were developed within our organisation and how they serve as the basis for our leadership training modules.

The need for leadership trainings for middle management at LetMeShip

LetMeShip, provides a multi-carrier shipping platform for B2B companies with a wide range of services. Founded in 2000, our team has grown to around 150 LetMeShippers and is well on its way to evolving from a small to a medium-sized company. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, LetMeShip has an international presence with additional locations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Austria. Accordingly, middle managers from all these countries were involved in the development of a leadership training concept.

The need for leadership trainings at LetMeShip arose from the organisation’s ongoing agile transformation, which aims to digitise the company’s business processes. In the course of this transformation it became clear that a unified leadership culture was needed to ensure that all employees were aligned with the organisation’s goals and values. In particular, the organisation recognised that its middle management team needed to be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively lead their teams through the changes brought about by the transformation. With this in mind, LetMeShip decided to invest in leadership trainings for its middle managers.

LetMeShip as a company and its leadership structure

LetMeShip has a well-defined management structure that includes both senior and middle management. The senior management team consists of C-level and director-level staff who are responsible for the strategic direction of the company. They provide guidance to the middle management team, which in turn manages the day-to-day business processes of the organisation. The middle management team consists of staff at the team leader and department head level. These individuals are responsible for developing and managing the staff who carry out the various functions of the organisation.

The importance of developing a unified approach to leadership within the organisation

Developing a unified leadership approach within the organisation is critical to achieving LetMeShip’s corporate goals and agile transformation objectives. With a standardised leadership style, the middle management team should better prepare themselves and their teams for the challenges of the future. In addition, a consistent leadership approach should help build trust and alignment among team members, which can lead to better collaboration and higher productivity. Further, a consistent leadership approach also creates a common language and understanding of leadership practices, which can contribute to a stronger sense of organisational culture and values. Therefore, we see the implementation of a comprehensive leadership training programme for the middle management as a powerful tool to promote the success of LetMeShip’s agile transformation.

Needs assessment: Methods for assessing the needs of middle managers

In order to identify the needs of the middle management regarding leadership training, a comprehensive needs assessment was conducted. This included asking middle management about their biggest pain points, where they saw a lack of leadership tools and what situations they found challenging. Senior management was also consulted on their expectations of middle management and where they saw the greatest need for improvement. In addition, results from individual interviews were taken into account. All data collected was analysed and issues prioritised based on their relevance and importance. This process helped to identify specific topics for the training modules, the objectives of the trainings, as well as success criteria. By using this method, the training programme became goal oriented and was tailored to both the specific needs of LetMeShip’s middle management to ensure an effective and valuable experience and the company strategy and vision.

Results of the needs analysis and topics for training modules

According to the results of the needs analysis, “leadership values” and “leadership guidelines” were the most requested topics by the middle management. In individual interviews, people repeatedly emphasised that these topics are essential as a basis for future training programmes. In addition, they stressed that leadership principles and policies should be adopted and implemented by the whole organisation. “Employee dialogues” and “providing and receiving feedback” were also highly valued topics. It was clear that the middle management team recognised the importance of effective communication and the need to establish a culture of constructive feedback within the organisation.