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Natural Direction’s ‘High Performing Teams’ workshops helped Heathrow’s engineers to see the big picture, working towards the goals of the wider organisation with pride.

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Challenge

As the second busiest airport in the world, Heathrow’s workforce needs to operate at peak performance. Their engineering team was a highly successful part of the Heathrow operation, but senior managers felt optimal performance was not being reached and the opportunity for improvement could have further positive impact on the efficiency of the airport and the productivity of the engineering team.

The engineering team often had great ideas that had the potential to increase efficiency across the airport, but they were not always effective at communicating their ideas to the wider business to gain buy in. They worked well in small teams or as individuals but were not working that effectively as a wider team. There was scope to make big improvements.

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Solution

Natural Direction created a series of workshops with the intention of helping Heathrow’s engineers to work more closely and collaboratively with the rest of the organisation and raise their profile within the wider team. Key to this was effectively communicating the ‘why’ of their work; helping the team see themselves as more than just individual engineers, but as vital components to the larger goals and direction of the organisation. They wanted the engineers to take ownership, be proud and adopt a leadership mindset - even if they didn’t have leadership responsibilities.


Results

Heathrow’s ‘High Performing Teams’ programme surpassed all expectations. The engineering team have driven a 14% reduction in energy consumption at the airport and substantial cost savings. This saving is even more impressive as it includes the opening of a brand new terminal and growth in passenger numbers of around 2 million per year.

The team are now operating as a stronger, more agile and more cohesive unit and are seen as the benchmark for performance in the wider organisation. A number of the engineers who participated in the workshops went on to leadership roles within the organisation.

Since then, the Natural Direction have been invited to collaborate on a wider piece of work with the broader team within Engineering and Asset Management.

The 500+ community of engineers play a vital role in supporting the ambitions of Heathrow and in the delivery of a world-class airport. We are working with teams at all levels to harness their commitment, energy and involvement to maximise performance and efficiency across the business.




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