In this video, Bob Parks, Susan Hall, Tim Deuitch, and Joane Ramsey discuss how they have been able to help leadership teams improve company culture, team collaboration, and employee engagement to drive business results.
Bob Parks: 00:01 At Strategic Enhancement group, we focus on improving human performance to drive business results. We're very fortunate today to have the three of you here in one place at the same time to share a little bit about the work you've done with your clients. I know Tim, you do a lot of culture work. Could you share an experience with us?
Tim Deuitch: 00:31 I have a particular client where their leadership for many years has been committed to a culture that's focused on productivity and positivity. Part of that is to keep conflict as low as possible and managed well. We've been really privileged and I've enjoyed tremendously, the chance to partner with them to bring them a unique set of understanding and skills to all of their employees. Their approach is pretty straightforward. Every new employee is introduced to an understanding of interpersonal relations. That starts with learning and understanding who they are, what's their personal communication style, and what is that of others?
At it's most basic level, what they're able to do is help people, many of them for the very first time, understand why are some people so darn quiet? You ask them a question, then they give it pensive thought, and the opposite of that is, why are others always so talkative and they think out loud, and it takes him a long time to get to the point. Just that level of understanding of interpersonal relations helps people not jump to conclusions, just to really understand each other a little bit better. The result has been so positive. Retention is high, productivity is tremendous. They have tremendous growth year after year from that very simple base of understanding each other better.
Bob Parks: 02:02 Great.
Susan Hall: 02:04 It's interesting. I have a client in the tech industry who has made a pretty significant transformation from being very product focused and product based, to wanting to be more customer focused and responding, and staying ahead of the curve when it comes to their customers. We've been privileged to work with them for the past two years to help them lay out a process for, "How do we go about doing that?" The CEO very wisely decided that leaders were going to be critical and not just the managers of people, but all employees in the organization needed to demonstrate some leadership. The courage and the curiosity to step up, to push the status quo, to understand not only what their customers wanted from them, but how they as internal customers impacted each other.
The process that we put in place with them built some of those collaboration and trust skills as well. Also, we did so in a way, where we kind of cross pollinated during any session that we did, so that each team had an opportunity to talk about what they did, how things impacted them. Then there was always a forum for being very creative around how they could take things to the next step. What's been really cool about the whole process is, they've gone through a lot of change, but their customers are responding in a really positive way. They're getting invited to some pretty significant key industry meetings to speak at, and even though they've had some cost cutting at the end of the last year, their engagement scores have just soared. So, it's really been exciting to be part of that.
Joane Ramsey: 03:47 That is wonderful Susan. In the same lines of collaboration and engagement, I have a client in the fleet management industry that came to us about five years ago, and one of their key problems at the time was high turnover and lack of collaboration among the cross teams. It was incredible to work with the team and see how the leaders were committed to making this really a priority on reducing the turnover and increasing productivity, but mostly making sure that the cross teams we're communicating well and working collaboratively. The result has been really incredible to see. Their turnover is almost down to nothing, employees are staying, the productivity has increased significantly. Cross collaboration teams are working better than they ever have before and as a result of that, their business has seen an increase in how they even work with their customers. Customers are more satisfied. There has been this trickle effect of the work we did to improve collaboration and communication skills that crossed over in improving their business results at the end of the day. So, it's been really an amazing experience to work with them on that.
Susan Hall: 05:02 I think it's interesting that we're talking about really big important complex issues here. We're talking about changing culture and creating leadership to support that kind of strategy, change, growth, and productivity. It's important to point out that it obviously doesn't happen overnight, but it takes a very well thought out process that engages people, that helps develop the skills, but also really reinforces rewards, coaches, and measures of success. It has to fit within the culture of the organization. I know that all of us work really hard to make sure that we're supporting our clients with that.
I have an interesting client that's based in the state of Maryland and for a very long time they were the only game in town. They had a very niche market and within two years seven competitors came in. They were a highly regulated industry, a very specialized work force, and they were anticipating about 50% turnover because they knew that their competitors were going to be recruiting them, coming after them. The CEO was very supportive of leadership and we've been working with them to assess the current level of leadership, but then consult with them to develop the specific skill gaps that we need to. They found out that instead of 50% turnover, their turnover was around 24%, which is pretty compelling.
Joane Ramsey: 06:40 Isn't that amazing that it takes a leader, with all the accounts we work with, it's the leadership getting involved in the process that really at the end of the day, makes a difference.
Tim Deuitch: 06:51 Reaching these objectives is an intentional act, and one of vigilance and commitment, and employees respond to that commitment.
Susan Hall: 07:02 And passion too. All of the leadership in the organizations we're talking about, regardless of what their communication style is, very strongly believe in what they're doing and believe in their organizations, and that comes across.
Bob Parks: 07:18 Well, it's obvious that all of you love what you do. Thanks for sharing.