Laura Boyd, Director of Human Resources at Burlington City Hall, says DeGroote Executive Education has had a big impact on workplace culture at her bustling downtown office. Below, Boyd talks about her colleagues’ ongoing participation in the City of Burlington Leadership Development Program.
The City of Burlington has partnered with DeGroote Executive Education for the past three years to offer a unique program to City employees. What does the program entail?
Participants in the City of Burlington Leadership Development Program receive training on topics such as Leadership, Change Management, Coaching, Critical Thinking and Strategic Problem Solving, and Emotional Intelligence. Our first cohort was open to 200 people, and each session has been run with 50 participants. Every department has actively and enthusiastically participated.
Why DeGroote? What can you say about the School’s reputation?
We chose DeGroote for two specific reasons – their reputation in Executive Education, as well as their relationship with the City of Burlington. DeGroote is known for offering high-quality Executive Education programs that combine advanced theory with real-life learning. The instructors are fantastic, too, and the School is also open to customizing programming to meet our needs.
How has Executive Education been able to tailor the program to meet the City’s needs?
We had many topics and ideas in mind when we first started planning. Andrea Mior from DeGroote Executive Education joined our planning team, and she was able to guide us through the process and identify which topics were priorities. Andrea then secured excellent facilitators to deliver each program. Overall, DeGroote provided great advice and really helped us clarify our needs.
What sort of changes have you noticed in participating employees? Have their leadership skills improved?
Yes! We have always said that if employees can take at least one “ah ha” moment away from each session, it was worth it. Networking has increased, valuable connections are being made, and we’ve noticed a general shift towards a very positive workplace environment. All of that started with this program.
How has the greater Burlington community benefited from this partnership?
It’s just simply good governance. If we can support and make our leaders even better than they are, they will in turn serve the community better. Our Leadership Development Program is a key piece of our attraction and retention strategy. We want to attract top talent, and it’s important for them to see how much we are willing to invest in their development.
Why should other organizations consider DeGroote Executive Education for their internal leadership development needs?
That’s easy – DeGroote Executive Education offers high-quality educational experiences and facilitators, and staff possess a genuine willingness to meet individual needs. They always maintain a professional approach and are quick to offer support.
A version of this article was included in Biz Magazine’s Q2 issue.