GKN has changed the conversation

High-performance conversations

GKN wanted to create a high-performance and engaging culture to amplify its track record of innovation and world-class technology. HR took on the challenge of stirring up the change.

The first order of business was to downplay the process and turn up the dial on inspiring and frequent conversations. The company took the view that managers need more than one-off training sessions to change behaviours, so 150 HR people were equipped to upskill 6,000 managers around the world and provide them with ongoing support. GKN’s new approach to performance management is based around six modules:

  1. The art of setting goals
  2. 10-minute coaching
  3. Growing your people
  4. Powerful feedback
  5. Building engagement through trust
  6. Engaging in the moment

In November 2018, GKN’s engagement scores increased meaningfully for the first time in three years. Over the past six months, productivity and margins have also improved.


What people are saying

“Performance management and engagement are two sides of the same coin. Having worked on performance management has helped us achieve positive results on our EngageMe survey. Being able to show that everything we do is driving productivity makes us a key business partner.”

Ursula Obermair, Bruneck
HR Director Talent Management and Engagement
GKN ePowertrain




“We have an excellent toolkit in place now to take out to our businesses and to enable managers to improve performance and engagement – we have seen the results in our recent EngageMe survey. Our managers now see how their current behaviour can influence the performance and engagement of their teams, and this has been a great catalyst for change.”

Rachel Blyth, Bristol
Learning & Development Director
GKN Aerospace



Further reading


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