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Dr Mary Boyd, Acting Head of the Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing at Ulster University Business School presents the Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership Award to staff from Dowds Electrical

Dr Mary Boyd, Acting Head of the Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing at Ulster University Business School presents the Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership Award to staff from Dowds Electrical

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Dr Mary Boyd, Acting Head of the Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing at Ulster University Business School presents the Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership Award to staff from Dowds Electrical

Growth in turnover and employees led to a rethink among the management at Ballymoney-based Dowds Electrical. It was decided to invest heavily in developing talent.

Dowds, the winner of the Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership Award, carried out a management review five years ago as the company increased in size and geographical spread.

In this time , the company had added construction and facilities management to its portfolio of services as it grew to have a turnover of approximately £60m in 2021.

The review cemented the already held view that people are the key resource. The specific knowledge and understanding of completing complex works, and industry insight were our biggest strength, the company said.

Gemma O’Kane, head of people and communications at Dowds. said the company really wanted to invest in its employees and the future.

“We have put a real investment over the last five years into our leadership team and management at all levels throughout the company," Gemma said.

“So we have worked really hard at bringing the next generation through.

“We worked to build a bespoke programme in house and to date about 35 of our managers have been through the ‘building leaders’ programme to bring them through to hone their leadership skills.”

This has helped to retain staff.

“Off the back of it we have seen a lot of internal management promotions. We have restructured our whole management,” said Gemma.

There is no doubt, Gemma added, that it has helped to integrate new hires into the company.

“Within construction there is a such a skills shortage so we have to hone what we have in house. Without a doubt it is helping our bottom line.”

This is a long-term strategy with aims to pull together knowledge and pass it on to the next generation, retaining staff and attracting talent, the company said.


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