Volvo Car UK is celebrating the success of the first graduates of the new Volvo Accredited Leadership Programme, a scheme designed to offer long-term professional training and development for management-level employees.
Launched in April 2012, the Institute of Leadership Management-recognised award is designed to improve skills, motivate managers within the organisation and help to create a consistent Volvo management language.
The first graduates collected their awards from Volvo Car UK's managing director, Nick Connor,at the Henley School of Management (see picture).
Around 350 people from across the UK dealer network will complete the course by 2015.
John Pitts, training manager at Volvo Car UK, said: "While it's great news that these employees have successfully achieved VALP status, we really regard this as the first stage of a much longer journey of continuous professional development.
"All of these people now become Volvo Professional Leader Association members and will be expected to do a certain amount of further work each year to refresh their skills. We expect technicians, sales people and aftersales staff to keep up to date but we don't always have the same expectations of managers, who are a key part of the business."
VALP training takes place over a year, with participants completing a total of six one-day modules, including four mandatory modules on business management, leadership, performance management and marketing. Trainees then complete an elective module on an area of interest to them (e.g. recruitment, legal), before a final module summarises and concludes the course.
Initial feedback has proved positive, with managers reporting improved communication, motivation, management skills and relationships with other line managers, as well as enhanced personal and team performance, says Volvo.