October/November 2018

Managing Excellence

GM Business Connect recently caught up with Gemma Rolstone, founder and Managing Director of Delphinium Business Coaching, who gave us an insight into the company’s rapid successful growth, and also recent appointment as an approved centre for ILM:

Gemma – please tell us about yourself and Delphinium’s story – how and why you started the business?
“I became increasingly frustrated at seeing articles with headlines such as ‘Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers’, and hearing people berate lower level and middle managers for not excelling in their role or making mistakes when they haven’t been given adequate, or in most cases, any formal training in relation to people management/leadership. Managers are often placed in an extremely difficult position of having to motivate, inspire and improve the performance of their teams without the adequate training and skills to do so, being pushed and pulled between their teams and senior management. I wanted Delphinium to provide a leadership programme that would not only provide high quality training but it would also provide a qualification at the end.”

Tell us more about your recent appointment as an ILM approved centre.
“Working with ILM (previously the Institute of Leadership and Management) was the obvious choice. As well as ILM qualifications being internationally recognised, ILM is the UK’s leading specialist provider in leadership, coaching and management qualifications. They have over 50 years’ experience in leadership development and have helped over a million people to develop essential workplace skills that build them to be stronger leaders. Through accredited centres, ILM set the highest benchmarks for leadership and management performance. The Level 3 qualifications provide for over 80 topics and the Level 5 qualifications provide for nearly 60 topics.

“After engaging with ILM we went through a rigorous accreditation process to become an approved centre, and ILM will regularly monitor the quality of Delphinium’s creation and delivery of the qualifications. Furthermore, we ensure all of Delphinium’s training is written to the same standard, giving clients peace of mind that whether their staff are pursuing a qualification, or are attending non-accredited training, the training has been created and delivered to the same high standard.”

How does Delphinium support businesses?
“By enrolling staff on an ILM qualification it shows that the company is willing to invest in their people. The distinction is that staff feel valued (i.e. employees gain a qualification that can be used for career progression – Like Richard Branson says ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.’). This increases the company’s Employee Value Proposition and Employer Brand, which in turn improves staff engagement, reduces staff turnover and increases the company’s prospects of attracting higher quality candidates when recruiting.”

What other services are available from Delphinium?
“In addition to the ILM qualifications, we deliver non-accredited training from half day workshops through to full training programmes. We also deliver a series of 60 minute workshops which provide an introduction to topics – often used for ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions.

“We offer a range of leadership coaching packages, plus ‘onboarding coaching’ – to support those entering a new role, whether this is a new starter or someone who is promoted internally.

“Personal Performance Coaching is also available in relation to specific job performance, where someone is not performing at the level required. The benefit of this is that it is usually less expensive and has less of a negative effect than immediately taking a disciplinary route. The use of an external coach often results in the individual opening up more, enabling the root cause of the performance issue to be identified sooner
and an effective action plan put in place. We also provide this type of coaching for staff who have been
identified as having much greater potential and can be prepared for a higher management position.

“Our coaching packages can also sit alongside existing training to further increase the return on investment of any training – ensuring that learners are continually applying what they have learnt, reflecting and evaluating that application and making appropriate adjustments to ensure they are continuing to develop a long time after the training has been received. All of our solutions are bespoke to our clients. We work with them to determine their staff’s development needs and provide the most suitable solution.”

What plans have you for the future?
“In the short term we will be providing ILM Level 3 and 5 qualifications in Coaching and Mentoring, and looking ahead we have plans to franchise the business in a few years.”