Leadership Development Programme for Cadence

Feedback and career development programme

Partnering with our client to help develop a pan-European culture of manager feedback and career development

The challenge

Cadence wanted to create a feedback culture across EMEA, where managers are more mindful of development plans and have the confidence to give feedback on an ongoing and regular basis.

Feedback shouldn’t just be limited to formal reviews linked to specific annual objectives – Cadence want feedback to be given in the moment when something is seen that warrants constructive input or is worthy of praise.

What we did for Cadence

Diagnosis and design

We listened carefully to Cadence’s needs and worked closely together with their HR Director to understand their existing performance management strategy and tailor the programme so that it dovetailed as much as possible with their current processes and policies. This was important to ensure that the training was delivered in a language and style that suited their managers and felt absolutely relevant to them.

It was also important to have both insight from and the buy-in of the managers who were to go through the development and we therefore gained their input to the programme content through conducting a confidence pulse survey at the outset.

In addition, we recognised the importance of understanding the existing perceptions of Cadence’s junior and mid-level employees so that insight could also feed into the programme content and give a ‘starting-from’ benchmark point, so we also created an additional pulse survey, specific to this audience.

The programme delivery

  • 3 x half-day workshops
  • 3 x post-workshop 90-minute embedding sessions
  • Delivered across 6 cohorts

Project logistics and finance

To ensure a smooth programme delivery, we nominated a project team who liaised regularly with Cadence and we created a secure online space to easily share key information in real-time with Cadence. We also ensured that we were sensitive to our Cadence’s project budget in our creation of the programme.

The results

The desired outcomes from the programme were:

  • Increase the frequency of feedback given both formally and informally
  • Increase the skills in developing people through giving feedback and having career development conversations and plans

The quantitative feedback:

  • Rating that the programme objectives were met: 4.7 out of 5
  • Felt the right amount of information was presented: 95%
  • Very or extremely clear on the takeaways from the programme: 91%
  • Confidence in praising team members: Before: 85.72% After: 95.45%  (9.73% increase)
  • Confidence in giving constructive feedback: Before: 61.76% After: 100% (38.24% increase)
  • Confidence in creating and monitoring team members’ Before: 50% development plans: After: 90.91% confident (40.91% increase)

Qualitative Feedback

When asked, “what have you managed to achieve as a result of the programme?”

“Planning for performance reviews, differences to teaching, mentoring and coaching, knowing how to give feedback and words to avoid. Understanding your employees career desires and potential.”

“I’ve adopted many of the concepts in my day-to-day work. It motivated me to explore more and learn how to be a better leader to my team.”

“I need to keep practicing, but I have used several of the feedback strategies to positively encourage my team. I’ve also tried to be more direct and clearer when giving negative feedback rather than skirting around the issue as I might have done in the past!”

“I started regular coaching sessions and instigated structured development plans for my team.”


What the client said

Many of our people managers are highly technical and / or sales-focused. In addition, they have player/manager roles which means big pressure on their time and prioritising development time for their teams was suffering.

We wanted to help our managers recognise the benefits of making time for their team’s development and give them tools and techniques to make the giving of feedback an easier task.

Connor listened carefully to our development needs and clearly understood our goals for creating a feedback culture across Cadence EMEA. One of the differentiators was their approach of gaining key insight from all the relevant stakeholders at the outset, which helped them to develop a comprehensive development programme tailored for Cadence. I’m delighted with the development that Connor has delivered to our managers; their project and delivery teams were highly professional and effective throughout and the programme’s results have demonstrated a fantastic return on investment from the programme.

In addition to the documented results, we’ve also heard from our managers how they really appreciated the time that the programme gave them to think about their teams and how much they enjoyed the opportunity to build a manager community with their peers. The people development that Connor delivered was both tailored to Cadence’s requirements and sensitive to commercial constraints, and I would be happy to recommend Connor to anyone who wants expert support to develop their people.

Tom de Vries Cadence HR Director, EMEA

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