Undoubtedly one of the main IT providers in the North West of England, LIMA Networks specialise in the design, implementation and management of IT infrastructure solutions, providing a fully-managed service to some of the UK’s largest public and private sector organisations.
Established in 1997, the Salford Quays-based company has experienced a period of rapid growth and has developed an increased presence both nationally and internationally as a service provider and network reseller.
LIMA’s director Lisa Thornton, started the business from scratch with her business partner and has always taken a hands-on role in driving the business forward. She instinctively understood that as well as being considered successful from a growth perspective, it was of equal importance to recruit, retain and develop their most important asset – their people.
As Lisa explains: “We’d always been a product-focused brand, which was something we’d been extremely good at doing, however at the end of the day, ‘success is sustained by people’.
From the employees who radiate the essence of your brand, to the customers who talk about your product when you’re not even in the room, I felt the time had come to focus on Lima becoming a more people-led business.”
To support this evolution of culture, Lisa and the senior management team, decided that the business’s structure needed a complete overhaul, including roles and responsibilities and made the decision to look at the whole People Development agenda.
As well as recruiting key personnel with proven track records, they knew that they needed to upskill existing employees and explore new ways to maintain staff motivation and engagement. The implementation of a robust Learning and Development programme would also be a crucial part of their overall growth strategy.
Having worked with Total Excellence Centre in the past, Lisa was wholly confident that they would be more than capable of tailoring a series of ‘bespoke’ Learning and Development solutions to address their needs.
Michelle Mercer, director of Total Excellence Centre explained: “When Lisa approached us, she came with a firm vision of what it was she was looking to achieve with the company. She completely understood that they would have a number of challenges to face that were inherently associated with rapid growth and expansion. These included the re-crafting of organisational structures, development of leadership roles and a review of staff responsibilities, to support this evolution of culture change. Some of the members of her team had been with her from day one, so it was important to roll out the changes with an element of sensitivity, while still getting the job done.”
“Getting complete buy-in from Lima’s directors and senior management team was a fundamental part of the plan and it was important that they were given the right skills to ensure a seamless transition.”
“Three years ago, the Directors and members of LIMA’s senior management team were the first to benefit from a tailored ‘Leadership Development Programme’. The programme comprised of a series of; 1:1 Coaching, in-house workshops, psychometric and behavioural assessments, around leadership styles, a close look at the company’s vision and strategy and a review of communication and performance management.”
“We also considered Lima’s recruitment and induction process, to establish how this could be enhanced, to support new employees more effectively.”
“Since then we have gone on to design and deliver a range of supplementary development programmes for other members of staff in a variety of disciplines, including an ILM Level 4 qualification for aspiring Senior Managers.
Lisa said, “The support we’ve received from Total Excellence Centre has been fantastic. The focus on our People Development strategy has paid many dividends and led to a 20% increase in sales, which in turn, has created 20 new positions in the business, within the last six months. Michelle and her team have provided us with a sounding board for our ideas and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have progressed”.
Other changes have seen the company move to larger premises close to Media City, where they can now deliver specialist training on site and Lisa has taken on a more strategic role in the business, stepping back from her day to day hands-on position.
"We have improved the skills of our whole Management community, developed our sales team, introduced a new sales strategy and cycle and we are now looking at our Clients and target market in much greater detail, focusing on projects we feel will be more profitable."