When we began working with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the only leadership program in place was New Supervisor Training. BPA prioritized development needs and decided to focus on the 300 middle managers that were managing the organization’s 3,000 employees.
BPA has many career employees. It was common to see an employee promoted to manager when the existing manager changed roles or retired.
The solution: Leadership Essentials, a program that builds managerial and leadership skills through an understanding of the behaviors, tools, and resources needed to be a successful leader at BPA.
- Operational Excellence
- Building Collaborative Relationships
Participating managers experienced a noticeably higher employee engagement score (using the Gallup Q12 employee satisfaction survey) than those managers who had yet to go through Leadership Essentials.
There was also an increase in Performance Improvement Plans as employees improved their performance or moved to other positions that made better use of their strengths.
Two years following the launch of Leadership Essentials, we went back to work with BPA to revise their new supervisor program, which became Leadership Foundations. This increased alignment in the leadership development skills that BPA was advocating and created a seamless development path for new managers to progress through their career.
The Bonneville Power Administration is a nonprofit federal power marketing administration based in the Pacific Northwest. Although BPA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, it is self-funding and covers its costs by selling its products and services. BPA markets wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several small nonfederal power plants. The dams are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. The nonfederal nuclear plant, Columbia Generating Station, is owned and operated by Energy Northwest, a joint operating agency of the state of Washington. BPA provides about 28 percent of the electric power used in the Northwest and its resources — primarily hydroelectric — make BPA power nearly carbon free.