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ELP program teaches leadership beyond the technical professions

Four support services KINNECTers share insights and lessons learned from the first four months of the 2023 Emerging Leaders Program.

KINNECT’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a 12-month comprehensive course offering employees from all areas of the business the opportunity to advance their careers and develop valuable leadership skills.

Regardless of professional background or current role, anyone at KINNECT is welcome to apply, and this year’s program saw a number of support services staff enter the cohort eager to learn how to become successful leaders.

Newly appointed Finance Manager, Mikaelah Paynter said, “I heard about the program shortly after I joined KINNECT in 2022 and instantly knew I would love to be involved. I hadn’t been in the business very long when applications opened and I thought it would be a great way to get some insider knowledge on how things are run and KINNECT’s approach to leadership.”

Chloe Moncrieff, Medical Support Team Leader said, “I applied for the Emerging Leaders Program with the aim of improving my leadership skills, specifically around people management because I transitioned to this role around one and a half years ago but haven’t worked in management before. So far it has already helped me improve my confidence when it comes to having difficult conversations.”

“I’ve also had the opportunity to engage with a variety of people across other teams and locations that I wouldn’t normally interact with. The broad range of perspectives is so beneficial,” said Chloe.

Sandra Robinson, Affiliate Relationship Team Leader said, “Shortly after I joined KINNECT, I was offered a leadership role and while I had managerial experience, it wasn’t in occupational health, so the ELP Program is a chance for me to expand my knowledge and find areas to improve and grow in my role.”

“So far, I’ve appreciated seeing that there are multiple ways to be a great leader, and you can pick and choose methods that work best for you and your team.”

Over the first few months of 2023, the program has seen participants read, review and unpack a series of books from successful, global business leaders who’ve documented their perspectives on effective hiring practices, improving team focus and inspiring employees.

Mikaelah said, “I’m currently working on a program to streamline the Finance Department’s processes, and one of the books we’ve read gave me a lot of great insights and practical tips and tricks for implementing changes within my team.”

Chloe said, “One of the biggest take-aways I’ve found so far is the importance of interviewing to find the right people for the right role, and the context around the way our interview questions are phrased to help us achieve this.”

“As a leader looking to expand your team, it’s essential to put the right person in the right seat. They might have a great set of skills, but they just don’t fit the role – and the key to bringing them on successfully is finding the right place for them.”

As part of each book review, program participants also have to identify and share key points they’ve learned and how they intend to implement them in their current roles.

Health Surveillance Team Leader Emma Golledge said, “It’s interesting to discuss the key take-homes each of us have from the books and what actions we’re planning to implement in our day-to-day roles. Because there are people in the program from all areas of the business, those take-homes and action items can be quite different.”

Sandra said, “The most recent book we read was all about the hiring process, and how to find A-players for your team. It really taught me to consider candidates in a new way to ensure I’m getting the best person for the job. I can definitely see myself implementing some of the techniques from that book in the future.”

Another important aspect of the ELP Program involves reviewing and addressing the results of KINNECT’s monthly, organisation-wide culture surveys. Participants come together to discuss the feedback, propose appropriate actions to address issues and explore ways to replicate positive outcomes.

“Collaboratively reviewing the culture surveys from a leadership perspective has been really helpful. It gives us an opportunity to discuss trends in responses, consider why people across the business might be feeling a certain way – whether positive or negative – and determine what steps can be made to address challenges,” said Emma.

“I like having the opportunity to learn what might be working well and what could be done better, then taking the time to consider how I can improve processes for my team – and in turn, our clients.”

The ELP program empowers aspiring leaders from all over KINNECT with the skills they need to be successful both now and into the future, regardless of their current role or department.

“What I love about KINNECT is that they can look at your skills and find the right role for you that might not have been what you applied for or might not even exist yet. With a rapidly growing business, they’re willing and able to adapt for people based on what they want to achieve,” said Emma.

When asked about their plans for the future, participants say the ELP program has already helped to expand their perceptions of what is possible.

“My long-term goal is to increase my skillset and move up within KINNECT. While I don’t know what my ideal leadership position looks like just yet, but the ELP program is helping me explore all the options available,” said Sandra.

“I’ve always said that I would love to be a COO or CFO one day – working closely with our current COO and participating in the ELP Program has given me some real insight into the requirements of a high-level operations role and inspired me to work towards that,” said Mikaelah.

The ELP Program runs through to the end of 2023 and also features guest speakers, lectures and workshops on developing workplace culture, finance, operations, time management, discipline and execution.

Interested in fulfilling your leadership aspirations at KINNECT? Check out our current vacancies.