Whilst a restructure was believed to be the cause of growing unhappiness, widespread inability to adapt to change was the real culprit driving this division’s disengagement.
Employee survey results were plummeting; frustration and stress were alarmingly high and the 50 strong team was spinning its wheels. The increasingly bad vibe was toxic and infecting those who otherwise would have taken the change in their stride.
A new strategic direction for the department meant this division’s work was increasingly important, placing them under greater scrutiny and pressure to deliver results.
Recognising the growing disconnect between executive management and staff, I was brought in to help the team define and solve the problem.
Let’s Make This Work → Taking Action → Making Progress → Achieving Results
A series of 6 confidential focus groups highlighted a disconnect in behaviours and expectations. Staff felt they hadn’t been consulted about the restructure while management believed they couldn’t have consulted more.
However, mutual commitment was high and people cared deeply enough to do whatever it took to turn things around.
The division identified Honesty, Trust and Respect as the values that mattered most and decided what behaviours they’d all need to do and see to improve communication, understanding and performance.
Guiding principles, desirable and undesirable behaviours were identified to create an agreed way to be and define the culture the division wanted to create. Each of the values was given a score out of 10 and realistic improvement goals were set by each individual and the branch, to be achieved within 3 months.
Tangible, achievable actions were identified including a commitment to speak up (rather than let things fester); pragmatic transition planning; visual management boards to provide greater transparency of work; regular social activities to improve connection; acknowledging effort and success and targeted professional development to fill skill gaps.
Regular team coaching sessions provided the opportunity for members to rate how the division was tracking on the 3 values, reflect on progress and maintain high awareness of their own responses.
Together with individual coaching, team members took greater accountability for their own behaviours lifting empowerment and resilience.
Within 2 months the division had reset its path. Staff are happier and more engaged, executive managers are more connected and aware and the team is well positioned to deliver what their stakeholders expect.
- Employee Engagement Satisfaction Results – within 6 weeks the division achieved a significant improvement across all criteria:
- Clarity of work tasks: ↑ 32%
- Impact/contribution of work: ↑ 41%
- Capacity to influence how work tasks are completed: ↑ 31%
- Having interesting/challenging work: ↑ 14%
- Amount and usefulness of feedback on performance: ↑ 16%
- Opportunities for professional growth and learning: ↑ 15%
- Within 3 months, each team within the division made significant and steady progress to achieve the goals they set demonstrating increased Honesty, Trust and Respect