Estes Express Lines Delivered Leadership Training In the Flow of Work with LEADx

Estes Express Lines Delivered Leadership Training In the Flow of Work with LEADx

  • 8x: avg times managers used LEADx per month
  • 94% of managers want to continue to use the tool
ESTES Express Lines

Estes Express Lines is the largest, privately-owned freight transportation carrier.

Employees: 20,000

Established: 1931


avg times managers used LEADx per month


of managers want to continue to use the tool

How LEADx Helped Estes Express Lines Deliver the Leadership Training Their Employees and Terminal Managers Were Asking For


The Challenge: Employees and Terminal Managers Desire Training But Have Little Time For It During the Work Day

As the nation’s largest, privately-owned freight transportation carrier, Estes Express Lines is a go-to provider of end-to-end transportation and custom logistics services.

Despite a nationwide team of over 18,000+ employees, management training had historically been an adhoc process. Employee engagement survey results demonstrated a clear desire for a more structured training approach with ongoing development support.

Sarah Graf, Director, Employee Engagement and Communications, explained, “We did our first-ever employee engagement survey in 2018. One of the biggest takeaways from that was hearing from leaders that they wanted to have training around leadership, and also hearing from employees wanting their leaders to get more training, especially in soft skills related people management.”

Despite the obvious need and desire for more training, the reality is that terminal managers have very little time for training on any given day. Tom Zahler, Director of Corporate Training and Development: “Sitting down for an hour-long training just doesn’t fit into a terminal manager’s day-to-day reality. Training is one of those absolute must-dos that gets delegated to the bottom of a hundred other important must do-things.”

As Estes began the multi-year process of implementing various talent management solutions, HR leaders sought an immediate solution to bring leadership development directly to managers.

The Solution: AI-powered leadership coach scales on-demand leadership development

Estes partnered with LEADx for an on-demand leadership development solution, launching the AI-powered, app-based Coach Amanda. The LEADx platform includes:

  • Behavioral nudge engine
  • Action plans mapped to leadership competencies
  • Over a thousand micro-learning assets including videos and book summaries

Coach Amanda allowed managers to learn skills in short bursts, taking advantage of five- or ten-minute time windows. App content can be customized to integrate Estes’ existing training materials and reinforce lessons from the learning management system, once it formally launches.

The Results: LEADx helps managers improve performance, boosts employee engagement, and wins over senior leadership

Just months after introducing LEADx, Zahler says the app scores high points with managers for its ease and minimal time commitment. Zahler explained, “Previously, we’d get calls from managers requesting training support, and we didn’t have a quick solution. Now it’s as simple as telling someone to pick up their phone and click on the LEADx app.”

The leadership book summaries earned high marks as well. “They’re an easy way for busy managers to fill the well,” said Graf. “New managers, in particular, tell me they want to get better but don’t know where to start. I point them to the book summaries. They’re very valuable.”

The LEADx solution was most effective with middle managers who gave LEADx a Net Promoter Score of 33 overall, and 100% of these managers wanted to continue using the app themselves. One common adoption hurdle companies face with any new technology is integrating it into an employee’s day-to-day life. Effective behavioral change requires a coordinated change management effort that starts at the top. At Estes, senior leadership was on board with LEADx from the beginning.

“Having the CEO, the COO, and VP of HR all talking about the importance of doing this, that’s huge for ongoing usage,” said Zahler. “Managers can see the impact of their training on their team’s employee engagement surveys. It reinforces why this is so important and beneficial.”