An independently owned laboratory that offers microbiological testing and chemical testing services to the food, drink and allied industries, MS Laboratories has been in business for nearly 30 years. Established by the Shah family, owners Sam and Manisha saw potential for growth.
As a family-run business, MS Labs’ leaders were accustomed to doing everything themselves. Founders and owners the Shah family saw the potential to expand the business, but they did not have the time or capacity to cope. And because the owners were focused on providing a personal service to every client and had so much business from clients, they started to notice they couldn’t do it all.
The Shahs knew they needed to find a better way of delivering and sustaining a great service. They also needed help for their great team, who were too busy and stretched in different directions.
A two-day leadership residential course kicked off a Power 2 Progress coaching programme for all leaders, including MS Lab’s owners. Manisha Shah said, “The programme transformed my thinking about leadership. I realised I wasn’t at the level I needed to be to grow and lead the wider business. It pointed me in the right direction.”
The coaching and training programme
Two day leadership residential
Managing difficult people
Leadership coaching (individual and group)
Team building sessions were then introduced to open up conversation, show different perspectives and reduce conflict in the team – ultimately for a more cohesive and rounded approach to collaborating. Coaching sessions, including individual and group sessions, were designed to develop management skills and encourage the flow of ideas and inspiration, as well as improve productivity and focus.
Other elements of the plan included how to deal with difficult people, as there was a tendency to avoid managing others and blockages had started to form as a result.
In addition to coaching and executive development, Power 2 Progress developed a business growth programme to help the owners focus on their potential, and move to new testing areas and markets. The programme was also designed to reorganise its approach to people, culture and structure in order to deliver their growth strategy.
The growth programme
Appraisal process and training
To develop an inspired growth structure, Power 2 Progress led a reorganisation that introduced a tier of leadership and opportunities for staff development. As part of this, appraisals and engagement temperature checks enabled a two-way communication process, positively driving morale and culture.
Now, staff at MS Labs are at a level where they are free to get on and do more. With well-trained leaders who have the tools and techniques to inspire and lead their teams and manage performance, the culture is open, honest and confident. Staff morale and engagement has increased: “Our latest engagement survey has shown that we are in a completely different place now. We have developed a sense of camaraderie within our organisation and people feel valued, are more committed and see opportunities for their career, hand in hand with our business growth.”
A strategic people structure has been implemented, with key staff in new roles. New and existing leaders now feel mentally and behaviourally equipped to manage people and operations in a more confident, structured and productive way. As Manisha said, “It’s helped us manage stress, get control back and reach even better outcomes than we were achieving before. We have the confidence to deal with anything and a clear vision of how to expand the business, knowing we can cope and make it happen.”