Global leadership development program for first line managers




Etex is a global industrial group where strong brands and an entrepreneurial spirit drive growth. Together, we have been working on their Global Leadership Development Program for First Line Managers. Based on a co-created design, pilots are being rolled out in Belgium, Italy, Chile, and Colombia.

Acknowledging the importance and value of its front-line workforce, Etex came to us seeking improved ways to develop and grow its employees to more senior roles. As part of its people-focussed engagement strategy, the training design needed a systems-thinking approach, supporting cultural change initiatives and ensuring transference of skills to the job.


Employees often leave when under the supervision of a poor manager. Since most of the time it’s skilled and motivated operators within the organization that become shift leaders, Etex wanted to ensure they provided these First Line Managers with the skills and tools they needed to succeed in their newly appointed management role. Empowering them to step up and take full ownership of their leadership role.

With a blended approach of individual self-paced learning and virtual group sessions, the learning journey runs independently of time and place. By involving the entire system, including the management team, the Leadership Development Program is supported from the inside out.


Together with a global L&D Design Team, we created seven modules on seven topics we want to empower the First Line Managers in:

  1. stepping up
  2. managing performance
  3. clear expectations
  4. smart collaboration
  5. communication
  6. feedback
  7. conflict management.

Each module is translated into a string of workshops and comes with supporting training materials such as Leadership Journals in Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and English.

After the initial design phase, we had a first roll out in the Belgian plants to evaluate the content and method of each module.

In the next phase, we have set up multiple Train the Trainer sessions with local HR business partners and external training providers from Columbia, Chile, and Italy, preparing them for local roll out. In these sessions, we create a virtual classroom to share insights and model desired interaction patterns.

Our ingredients for success: 7 clear & distinctive modules co-designed with internal stakeholders, 4 pilot countries to test & evaluate, and multiple Train the Trainer sessions to ensure an impactful global roll out.


By co-designing the method and modules together with internal stakeholders and testing them with a selection of pilot countries, we are creating a sustainable and impactful Leadership Development Program that can easily be rolled out globally. In this way, local stakeholders have the insights and materials to empower their First Line Managers to step up… one step at a time.

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