Career Connections Celebrating 20 Years of Success

Career-Connection-20years-logoWhen Bob and Joyce Hogan set out to develop better solutions to improve the global workforce, they knew they would need people and organizations from all over the world to help them sell these solutions. This resulted in the formation of a robust international distributor network spanning 56 countries. However, there was one key value each Hogan distributor was required to uphold: A commitment to excellence.

Excellence is defined as “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”. For Career Connections, a Hogan distributor located in Nairobi, Kenya, excellence isn’t just found in the quality of the organization’s work, but also in the organization’s longevity.

Celebrating 20 years in business, Career Connections has evolved into one of Africa’s most prominent talent consulting firms. Under the leadership of Founding Director and Managing Director, Madeleine Dunford, the company continues to thrive in an area that is overflowing with potential. In our latest Distributor Spotlight, Madeleine gives us an overview how they increase ROI for their clients using the Hogan Assessment Suite.

Career Connections  is the largest specialized talent consulting firm in East Africa and recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2017. Although the firm is headquartered in Nairobi, we service clients across Africa, excluding South Africa, in 3 broad areas: Executive Search; Executive Coaching and Accredited Coach training (in partnership with the Academy of Executive Coaching); and Assessments for selection or development. We have been a Hogan distributor for 12 years and in 2017 generated over 7,000 Hogan reports.

We often get asked to demonstrate ROI by our clients. One example was for East Africa Breweries (EABL), which has majority shareholding from Diageo. Africa is an important market for Diageo and in 2014 they were concerned that survey feedback showed that annual scores on the line manager’s ability to give feedback, inspire, and work on their team’s personal development were falling substantially. Leadership engagement scores demonstrated a culture of being directive, whereas employees desired more participative leadership.

UnknownThis sentiment was confirmed during a ‘test trial’ of a small group of 15 managers who completed the Hogan LEAD and the Leadership Versatility Index 360 tool (LVI) which showed that leaders were not empowering. We designed a programme called the ‘Amazing Line Manager Programme’ for EABL which was rolled out to 440 leaders across the wider East African region in 2015-2016. The programme premise was simple: firstly, raise the leader’s self- awareness of the impact they were having, through feedback on their Hogan LEAD and LVI reports. Secondly, supporting that feedback with the use of accredited coaches to challenge the line managers to take responsibility for change.

One of the ways we tracked the impact of the programme was through the annual Diageo Net Promoter Score (NPS) that simply asks team members to rate their line manager. Within Diageo the NPS is considered before promoting a leader. In 2014 the EABL overall score was 2%. After the programme, the score rose to 40% in 2015 and 44% in 2016- the highest increase globally within Diageo. Uganda’s score moved from 9% in 2014 to 71% in 2015- the highest rated country worldwide. East Africa was placed into the ‘green spot’ on employee engagement and performance enablement as a region for the first time.

When correlating the individual’s assessment data to degree of change, it was evident that leaders who were rated as enabling, with low need for public recognition and moderate amounts of ambition were most likely to show the highest shift in NPS. They tended to also be moderately cautious and bold; extreme Hogan or LVI scores were unlikely to drive positive NPS change.

Key learning from the programme was to start with the end in mind – what did we aim to change? Executive buy-in and participation made a big difference, as did briefings and programme launch events. We maintained momentum through video testimonials, and branding the programme. The programme showed you can deliver tremendous change with no classroom learning. The ALM format was adopted globally within Diageo, using their in-house tools.