An independent manufacturer with a presence in 30 countries and over 1,500 employees, our client has been established for more than 100 years with a turnover in excess of £1 billion.
With significant investment in updating facilities underway, and a need to increase performance to match, the Site Director had to drive a fast-paced change agenda. Lack of engagement across the site showed up in unsatisfactory employee engagement scores and culture needed a shake-up.
Leaders engaged positively but didn’t deliver. Decisions were pushed up the chain to the Director’s door, creating an impossible burden of work and keeping his focus on operational rather than strategic matters.
His challenge: How to get leaders across the site to share accountability for delivering results and lead culture change?
We began by understanding what was driving leaders’ lack of accountability. They were busy, experienced people, keen to do a good job. What was missing?
Part of the problem was the Site Director himself. As a popular, high-energy individual, leaders wanted to engage with him but didn’t always understand what he required.
“One of the difficulties which emerged was that I was speaking too quickly,” said the Director. “Particular feedback was that I talked as as fast as I think!”
To work on this challenge, we held three sessions for the Director and his senior leadership team to better convey his message.
These focused on:
● Leading change
● Ensuring open, timely and constructive communication at all levels
● Actively managing performance with roles and responsibilities clear
Between sessions, we provided support to the leadership team through regular interactive and static virtual coaching. In some instances, we asked the Site Director to leave the discussion, empowering leaders at other levels to take responsibility which resulted in restoring the Director’s strategic focus.
The company rated the programme such a success, they requested an immediate rollout across all levels of the site. However, in order to ensure long-term success – a foundational key benefit to our services – we emphasise investment from the top leadership down. When leaders change, they create an environment that allows others to change too. Therefore, upon our recommendation, the client requested that the programme be delivered to the next tier of leadership. This took place over a 12-month period that developed the site’s entire leadership team.
Following implementation of the programme, feedback was collected in a number of ways:
● Review sessions with a selection of leaders
● Company’s employee engagement survey
● Specific survey with participants
● Discussion with HR
Results came quickly. Leaders were clearly more confident to collaborate and share, and direct reports willing to challenge upwards.
“I find now that I often have to keep up,” said the Director. “My leadership team is so much more driven.”
The impact in terms of managing performance was clear. As a result of more honest conversations at all levels, concerns were brought out into the open. Leaders identified and diffused challenges earlier lessening reliance on HR considerably.
And, employee engagement scores increased across all measures.
“Accountability, performance and team-member involvement have all increased beyond my expectations and I’m delighted with the results,” said the Director. “So much so that, now that I’ve been promoted to a global role, I continue to work with CommsMasters to build accountability across all our sites.”
If building accountability is important to you or other senior leaders in your organisation, get in touch to learn more about our programmes and results.