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Case Study: Gloucestershire County Council uses ESPO’s Strategic HR Services framework to meet ambitious savings plan

The requirement

In 2012 Gloucester County Council launched a new initiative, Meeting the Challenge, an ambitious plan to save £114 million. In order to achieve this, the Council needed to increase the readiness of the Leadership Team to respond, flexibly, to the future changes and challenges.

The solution

Penna was appointed, via the ESPO 3S Framework, to help the Council achieve their challenge by designing, implementing and feeding back on 360 assessments to identify strengths and development areas within the top teams, in order that they would be best placed to drive forward the initiative.

Firstly, Penna supported the Council, in identifying a set of nine desired Leadership Skills and Behaviours (LSBs). Then Penna created a bespoke 360 feedback questionnaire based on the nine LSBs.

During the Summer of 2014, each member of the 12-strong Corporate Management Team, including the CEO, undertook the 360 assessment and received feedback facilitated by a Penna coach. It was then rolled out, in 2015, to the 54 members of the Senior Leadership Team as preparation for Meeting the Challenge Phase 2.  

The results

Development action plans were recorded following a 3-way development planning discussion with Line Managers to identify the success criteria each participant was aiming to achieve, and the actions they would take to achieve them. The Leadership Teams benefited from increased self-awareness and identification of specific areas they needed to develop, with a clear focus on defined development objectives and actions. The Council also saw increased productivity, engagement and contribution within their roles due to the motivational aspects of the positive and constructive feedback many leaders were given.

The development objectives were also collated to identify shared priorities for group based leadership development activities.

“The 360 process helped senior leaders gain valuable insight into their behaviours and identify the value added when those behaviours are enhanced.“ Madeleine Coton, HR Business Partner

Next steps

  • Read this case study on ESPO’s website here or find more case studies here.
  • View the Strategic HR Services framework (3S) here.
  • In order to view User Guides for ESPO frameworks, simply register for a website account.


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