Improving business performance through the
effectiveness and development of people


Airwave Solutions is a communications company that designs, builds and operates public safety radio communications networks for organisations that provide vital public services such as the police. Airwave wished to implement a series of development programmes to select individuals from within the business, with potential, to participate in Executive and Senior Management Development Programmes to ensure they were ready to take up executive and senior management roles in the next five years.

The Challenge

A process was required to identify and assess potential for the executive and senior management roles as defined by the company’s competency framework. Although performance management data was available on all staff there was recognition that there was no available data on who had the potential for development to a more senior role.The organisation wanted a process that both allowed individuals to put themselves forward for this opportunity but also used the input and assessments made by managers.

Our Response

The following solutions were developed and implemented:
  • A selection process was designed that gave individuals the opportunity to demonstrate their skills experience against the required competencies, regardless of their current position / level within the business – this included application form and development centre
  • An application process was designed that allowed individuals to demonstrate their experience and abilities against the Airwave Executive / Senior Management Competencies and clear guidelines were provided on how these applications should be assessed to ensure that individuals currently demonstrating the competencies and showing potential for development were shortlisted for a Development Centre
  • Successful applicants participated in a one or one and a half day development centre that comprised a variety of exercises designed to assess the Airwave Competencies.These included an Analysis Exercise, Group Exercise, Structured Interview, Role Play Exercise and Ability Tests.Participants had the opportunity to assess their own performance at points throughout the centre and also received detailed face to face feedback and a written report
  • Airwave Solutions’ Senior Managers and Executives were trained in assessing in preparation for the development centres and worked alongside a member of The Assessment Partnership team in carrying out the role of assessor on centres.This ensured that objectivity was maintained and any less experienced assessors or interviewers were appropriately supported

The Outcome

Appropriate individuals were identified to participate in the Executive and Senior Management Development Programmes from across the business. There was positive feedback upon the objective nature of these selections rather than based upon “who you knew” thus giving the programme greater validity.

Other individuals who participated in the Development Centres benefited from detailed feedback and the identification of clear development needs for them to focus upon in the workplace.

The use of the competency framework in making assessments and selection decisions as well as the basis of feedback has enabled a greater sharing of the vision and goals of the business across the organisation.

The objective assessment skills developed by executives and managers acting as assessors have been valuable in them carrying out recruitment and appraisal of staff on a day to day basis.

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