Management Coaching Training to Improve Employee Engagement

KONE Corporation

Background: KONE is one of the world’s leading elevator and escalator companies, providing complete solutions for the installation, modernization, and maintenance of elevators and escalators. Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, KONE operates some 800 service centers in more than 40 countries. In 2007, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 4.1 billion, approximately 32,500 employees, and global market share of 12 percent.



Challenge: In 2008 KONE identified people leadership as one of their critical opportunities to improve company performance. In KONE’s business, the mechanics and technicians are on the front lines of profitability; if a project takes longer than expected, it becomes less profitable, or if a customer is dissatisfied with a technician’s performance, KONE may lose that customer. By increasing the effectiveness of its front-line supervisors, an initiative KONE calls People Leadership, KONE hopes to better manage their valuable technical resources. Attracting – and retaining – the best technicians and mechanics will result in higher productivity, increased quality, and improved performance for the company.

KONE’s supervisors are front and center in this battle for people leadership with the responsibility for leading and managing mechanics and technicians resting squarely on their shoulders. As a union environment, workers in the U.S. can easily choose to work for a KONE competitor, making retaining the best workers an even more crucial challenge for supervisors.

While KONE recognized the need for supervisor training, the training needed to be engaging and job-focused; and the skills, techniques, and tools practical, simple, and immediately applicable in a tough construction environment.

Solution: Working with KONE leadership and learning and development teams from the Americas and Corporate, Entelechy created KONE’s two-day Supervisor Development Program (SDP). The process of creating the SDP consisted of:

  • Interviewing KONE leadership for support and involvement from the top.
  • Piloting the training to a select cross-section of participants to ensure that the training was impactful and applicable.
  • Making changes based on pilot participant input.
  • Involving regional HR and management to lead the rollout of the SDP and ensure local buy-in and ongoing support.
  • Training delivered by professional instructors to ensure high impact and consistency.
  • Creating custom videos to show the models in action on actual job sites.
  • Using real scenarios in role plays and feedback sessions to build competence and confidence in the use of the models and techniques.
  • Requiring all participants to complete the Management Action Plan (MAP) to identify specific on-the-job application of the skills and techniques learned in the training.
  • Building in management reinforcement activities during and after the training to ensure that the attendees’ immediate supervisors reinforced key skills after the training.
  • Using a web-based coaching refresher so that participants could refocus and re-energize their coaching activities.

Results: Feedback on the application of the skills learned in SDP has been extremely positive from participants, their immediate managers, regional HR and operations managers, and L&D.

Speaking to the business impact of the Entelechy-customized and delivered SDP, Dave McFadden, Senior VP, states, “I am confident that our supervisors and managers now have the skills they need to attract, retain, and develop the top talent that will continue to propel KONE to new heights in the industry.

Participants found the skills and techniques useful and practical:

“I learned to analyze each individual employee. This will assist me in developing our employees to succeed.”

“This section showed me how to effectively communicate with several different types of people.”

“Using the tools provided, it made it easy to identify a situation and provide resolution.”

“I will use this on a daily basis.”

“I recommend this class to every person in a management role!”

Furthermore, as a result of KONE’s decision to use Entelechy’s professional management trainers, training feedback scores were extremely high with participants rating the class usefulness and presentation an average 7.2 on a scale of 1 to 8, with 8 being the highest rating.

KONE’s decision to improve performance through people leadership is delivering results: in 2008 KONE experienced continued market share gains and growing profitability. KONE President and CEO, Matti Alahuhta, stated in the 2008 financial statement: “I am very pleased with our overall progress in the United States and in China. In both of these important markets we were able to increase our market share. We are very committed to take the current challenging market situation as an opportunity. Our objective is to continue to increase our market share and simultaneously put our company to a great shape in quality, maintenance and installation productivity….”

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