Improving performance through better leadership at EDF Energy

Successful leadership is integral to organizational performance. In a highly competitive market, EDF Energy sought to differentiate themselves through an innovative and engaging development program.



Successful leadership is integral to organizational performance. In a highly competitive market, EDF Energy sought to differentiate themselves through an innovative and engaging development program.


Following the successful implementation of a leadership development program delivered by Hemsley Fraser for EDF Energy’s first-line managers in the UK, EDF wanted to extend the impact of learning and development within the organization. EDF partnered with Hemsley Fraser to produce a new program which would act as a broader intervention, to deliver practical tools, knowledge and skills for EDF’s leaders. The program must have a particular focus on emotional intelligence and provide value for all first-line and middle managers, project managers, senior analysts and anyone else with a leadership role within the organization.


Working closely with EDF, Hemsley Fraser developed the Fundamentals of Leadership Program (FLEP). This is an innovative development program which blends in-person delivery, virtual sessions, digital content, one-to-one coaching, line manager involvement, psychometric tools and peer support, as well as support via social media and apps. It embeds the fundamental tools, models and behaviors needed to successfully lead at EDF Energy.

The program begins with a pre-course webinar with each participant and their line manager to agree the learning objectives based upon an initial psychometric test which assesses the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. After 100 days, the participants are expected to have achieved a major breakthrough that will positively impact their area of the business. The learner builds upon this foundation throughout the program, learning core themes such as self-awareness, self-management and social awareness. Each participant writes an ongoing ‘learning journal’ which is shared with their peers via an internal social network, helping to reinforce learning and share knowledge and experiences.

To help embed their learning, participants spend a month applying their new skills and behaviors in the workplace. During this time they receive feedback from their manager and ongoing support, including a one-to-one virtual session with a facilitator and access to interactive eBooks, digital content, modules and resources. Further content explores subjects such as relationship management, communication skills, diversity and inclusion, and ‘quality conversations’.


FLEP fosters trust, transparency and teamwork, and helps individuals to lead with integrity, inspiration, inclusion and impact. It supports EDF Energy’s mission to be a responsible long-term energy business, while also helping to create a more inclusive culture in which all employees can perform at their best.

Phil Ball, EDF Energy’s Leadership Development Partner, said, “How people are led has a significant influence on how they’ll perform. This program equips our leaders to lead better, by using their emotional intelligence to understand themselves and those around them.”

“As they apply their learning, they share ideas and experiences, as well as the challenges they’ve faced, both with each other and with their line manager,” he added. “They soon start to see the world from a different perspective, as they pay more attention to their own behavior and the behavior of others.”

Phil continues, “FLEP has developed a very strong brand within EDF Energy. It’s known as a program that will help you to achieve peak performance, by regulating your own behavior and by managing others who may have a different perspective. This program enables our leaders to focus on issues they can influence, not on things that are outside of their control. We help them to make better choices and adapt their style to become more collaborative and more effective.”

“The program helps us to showcase the standards of leadership that we expect within EDF Energy and it has embedded a common leadership culture,” said Phil Ball. “The blended nature has logistical advantages as we don’t take leaders away from their office for long periods. The program also brings people together in cohorts, from across the organization, who wouldn’t otherwise meet. These are all positives. However, the real business benefit of this program is that it equips our leaders with the tools they need to improve the performance of the organization.”

“People say that FLEP is the best example of blended learning that they’ve ever experienced,” said Phil Ball. “We have strong Level One, Two and Three evaluations and we can demonstrate the impact of the program with specific ROI data in individual cases. We can state categorically that our leaders have changed their own behaviors and this has positively improved the performance of their teams. Perhaps the best measure of the success of this program is its longevity. Ours is a cost-conscious business in an intensely competitive sector. Within that context, the internal demand for this program has never wavered since 2014. The fact that this program has gone from strength to strength in that time is a real testament of its success.”

  • Leaders learn to work in a way that boosts organizational performance
  • Participants have improved individual performances
  • Blended program creates an agile and resource-effective solution
  • FLEP runs approximately 10 times each year, with programs comprising between 12 and 18 participants
  • Demand for the program has been consistent since 2014