Recruiting and selecting great talent is only the start of creating an industry-leading workforce. To ensure that every team member reaches his or her full potential, we have established a culture of continual learning, growth and development for our employees. Our approach is based on the knowledge that as our DIRECTV employees expand their capabilities and leadership skills, they will also help build a stronger future for our company.
We regularly leverage feedback received from employees to strengthen the effectiveness of our performance management program, called Forward Focus. These enhancements improve the ability of performance management to motivate and engage our employees and achieve accelerated business results.
Employees who participate in leadership development programs become more effective leaders and are better able to build talent. DIRECTV has several programs designed to encourage higher levels of engagement, cross-functional collaboration and innovation.
Coaching to Support Leaders
As an additional resource to the available programs, we offer senior leaders executive coaching opportunities and one-on-one coaching based on 360-degree performance feedback. More than 1,200 leaders at DIRECTV have received a 360-feedback survey as an instrumental development tool. To encourage a continuous improvement and feedback-rich culture, leaders have the opportunity to retake their 360-feedback survey every 24 months to track their progress and continue on their leadership development journey. In aggregate, leaders who retook their 360-feedback survey 24 months after the initial feedback recorded improvements in all Leadership Formula competencies.
Coaching and Leadership Essentials
Coaching and Leadership Essentials (CLE) is a program for managers that teaches leaders to build productive, meaningful relationships with employees, lead effectively and develop talent through coaching and performance management. The program combines advance online coursework; a multi-day, in-person course; and offline follow-up tools to create a consistent and effective coaching model to support talent development. In addition, an advanced version of the course positions “leaders of leaders” to leverage the skills learned by their direct reports in Coaching and Leadership Essentials. To date, we have had more than 2,200 managers across all business units attend the program.
The program has had a significant impact on employee engagement – the teams of managers who participated in the CLE program have higher engagement scores (by six points) than the teams of managers who have not participated in the program. In addition, those managers who participated in the program are seen as higher performers by leadership. The feedback we receive from our participants is also very strong, with more than 95 percent recommending the program to a colleague. CLE is helping to build a talent- and teamwork-oriented culture at DIRECTV.
We continue to build out our leadership development road map with a high-potential employee program for mid-level leaders to accelerate their leadership skills. In 2014, we launched a suite of courses grouped as Management Essentials that helps prepare new managers for their transition into leading people. Course modules include content on recruiting talent, creating engagement through team leadership and managing a multi-generational workforce. By year-end, more than 500 U.S. employees had participated in one or more of the Management Essential modules.
In 2014, we launched XLR8R, a six-month program designed to accelerate the professional development of a select group of DIRECTV leaders at the mid-manager and director levels. The agenda of this transformative program is designed to build self-awareness, deepen business understanding and broaden personal networks. Participants are exposed to senior leadership in a number of settings and have the opportunity to discuss business issues with a diverse group to develop perspective on today’s priorities and tomorrow’s strategy.
From 2010–2014, more than 230 senior leaders participated in the program, which equips participants to develop themselves and their teams to build organizational performance by taking skills to the next level. The impact of the LDP has been seen on an individual level with an accelerated personal performance and promotion rate for LDP participants, a self-reported increase in cross-functional collaboration by 85 percent and a reported positive financial impact of up to 35 percent in cost savings.
Leadership Foundations Program
In Latin America, the Leadership Foundations Program — a sister program to the U.S. Leadership Development Program — is structured to build leadership skills targeted to specific strategic imperatives for DIRECTV Latin America. The Latin American program completed its third year in 2014, and to date, 69 leaders from nine countries have taken part in this transformative experience. Both the LDP and LFP programs are intended to develop diverse leaders to help drive our business into the future.
Support for Career Paths
In 2014, we strengthened our career development program with our inaugural My Day events at our El Segundo and New York facilities. Developed in response to employee feedback and open to team members at all levels of the company, My Day is a venue to present multiple career development opportunities in one place. Attendees learned how to make their year-end “Forward Focus” assessment conversations with their manager more productive toward reaching their career objectives. Participants also accessed networking opportunities, received training to improve their presentation skills and developed new capabilities to maximize their impact and influence within the organization.
Several of our departments, including Human Resources, Finance and Information Technology, offer programs in which participants rotate assignments in order to gain perspective on different facets of the function and build critical skills to advance quickly.
The LEARN@DIRECTV site is a resource available to all employees at every stage of their career journey. This is a centralized starting point for online resources and courses on leadership competencies and critical technical skills, broken into five areas, called “Learn Centers.” Here, employees at all levels can access resources to build their Leadership Formula competencies, take career interest and strengths assessments and access our online learning management system, which features an extensive library of resources such as Harvard ManageMentor, plus desktop and project management training. Additionally, employees can register for in-person training events through LEARN@DIRECTV, including Coaching & Leadership and Management Essentials as well as Engineering Academy programs. We are continuing to enhance the user experience and employees will soon be able to view their learning history, making it easy to keep track of their progress within the system.
CORE, our company intranet and social collaboration platform, enables greater connectivity and communication across all departments. In 2014, we launched a major upgrade to CORE to make the user experience more intuitive and to enhance its features, which include blogs, discussions, polls and ideas for organizational improvement. Users can create an expanded profile with details about their skills and areas of expertise. Some of CORE’s most popular and frequently read content is found in the CEO’s and executives’ blogs, which also provide a forum for direct feedback and dialogue with senior leadership.