Greater Anglia provides train services between London and East Anglia and across the region, running over 1300 trains a day serving 132 stations with a team of over 2800 people.

Greater Anglia identified a need to establish a pipeline of supervisor / junior management talent across the business, and embed a talent development process that would support professional development and growth.

This level within the business was the most frequently resourced externally. Colleague Opinion Survey data also indicated that only 51% of colleagues at this level were satisfied with available career development opportunities.

Greater Anglia engaged ChangingPoint to support in the development of the identified talent pool and consequent succession planning.
Our focus was to accelerate the management and leadership capability of the talent pool, ensuring they were ready for promotion when middle management roles became vacant.

  • The overall aims of the talent development initiative were to:
  • Deliver a positive impact on engagement
  • Increase employee retention (supervisor / junior management talent)
  • Increase internal promotions and demonstrate recruitment cost savings
  • Improve leadership competencies / succession readiness
  • Increase career development and growth opportunities

ChangingPoint worked closely with Greater Anglia and the third party supplier responsible for talent assessment and benchmarking to establish the talent pool. From the assessment data, we collaboratively identified two talent groups – the ‘high potentials’ and the ‘strong performers’. A third group of ‘performers’ was also identified for development via internal training channels.

ChangingPoint then analysed the assessment data to focus our initiatives on developing the competencies and behaviours that mattered most for individual growth and business performance.

Based on our analysis, we designed and delivered two highly tailored talent development programmes: GROW: Fast Track to Leadership for the high potentials, and GROW: Step Up to Leadership for the strong performers. Greater Anglia’s Managing Director and Human Resources Director sponsored both programmes.

Each programme was initially piloted with identified talent from across the business – supporting diversity and encouraging cross-company innovation. After these successful programme pilots, we launched a second year of programmes within the business.

At the heart of both programmes was ChangingPoint’s behavioural change methodology. Programmes encouraged development over time and the application of learning to real business challenges. They included:

  • Interactive & engaging one-day workshops
  • Regular 1:1 coaching to enhance the personal learning experience
  • 360° leadership feedback & Insights Discovery personality psychometric
  • Postcard engagement campaigns
  • Lunch & Learn Q&A sessions with Senior Leaders

Focus was also given to the engagement of participants’ line managers before, during and after the programme had completed, in order to ensure that on-going development support was available internally and programme objectives were aligned to personal development plans.

A Keeping on Track session – delivered six months after the programme end date – supported continued sustainment of the application of programme learning.

Participants on both programmes were also given the opportunity to engage a senior business mentor – with a networking event (a bit like speed dating!) used to introduce participants to the senior talent pool and support the building of mentoring relationships.


The GROW talent development programmes delivered a number of tangible business results.
Eleven promotions were achieved across the GROW Fast Track and Step Up talent pools 12 months after programme completion (out of a total of 35 participants over two years), and a number of individuals were also selected to complete special projects or secondments, resulting in a significant external recruitment cost saving.

Retention of supervisor and junior management talent was also high, with 100% of individuals who completed the Fast Track and Step Up to Leadership programmes remaining in the business after one year and 97% after two years.

A comparison of pre and post programme 360° feedback scores showed a positive increase in performance across all seven leadership competencies that the programme aimed to develop, with an overall increase in leadership competence of 4.1%

Leadership confidence was also shown to increase by an overall average of 59% for Fast Track to Leadership participants, and 41.5% for Step Up to Leadership participants.

A specific yet subtle measure was included to capture GROW engagement within Greater Anglia’s annual Colleague Opinion Survey, which found that on average GROW delegates were consistently over 10% more engaged than the broader population.

The Greater Anglia overall engagement score also increased by 9% in year one and another 4% in year two, which Greater Anglia believe that the introduction of GROW helped to endorse.
Colleague Opinion Survey data also showed an overall positive increase of 14% regarding opportunities for personal development and growth, and perceptions of promoting the most competent people internally also increased by 9%.

In the words of one Fast Track to Leadership participant:

“I found the GROW Fast Track programme to have many useful methods, concepts and tools, several of which I use on a daily basis to improve my output and thought process. It has helped me tailor how I present to my peers by adapting to their personal styles & preferences, allowing me to better communicate my ideas. It also helped me appreciate and think about successor planning which made me very reluctant when thinking of promotions in the past.

The way the programme is designed is very energetic and challenging, very different to your average PowerPoint slide show, with many exercises done in groups or pairs allowing people to understand other parts of the business better by working with other upcoming candidates. I found the ChangingPoint facilitator to be extremely good at coaching and bringing the best out of the group with several candidates being remarkably improved by the end of the course. The 1-to-1 coaching sessions in conjunction with the 360 feedback for me were the exceptional part, allowing candidates to go on a voyage of self-discovery and really opening people’s eyes to their strengths, areas for improvements and what could be holding them back in their career, I wish I could have one every month!”

More case studies

ChangingPoint shapes thinking and behaviours in organisations of all sizes across the private, public and third sectors.

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