One of the critical drivers of organizational transformation is the involvement of executive leaders in the transformation process. We recently surveyed with an international company and the results indicated a significant distrust in senior leadership were at the root of disengagement.
Rather than rely upon external resources or Human Resources to uncover the source of distrust, Newmeasures encouraged the executive team to personally conduct post survey employee meetings to better understand the distrust and how it impacted the customer and ultimately the business results.
Each executive team member asked two other non-managerial employees from his/her function to attend a session Newmeasures conducted on leading and facilitating post-survey action planning. The facilitation teams then went out across the US and Canada to facilitate and record the meetings with employees to better understand the survey results and drivers.
What they discovered in the course of the meetings was truly transformational to how they do business and the customer experience. The CEO was encouraged to learn the distrust was not about ethical concerns or leader characteristics, but directly proportionate to the amount of distrust employees felt from the executive team. Employees do not feel trusted; therefore, they do not trust the executive team. The reason for the feelings of distrust resulted more from tactical and operation policies.
Employees did not feel empowered to make decisions impacting the customer and they were not given enough control throughout the hiring process to make collaborative hiring decisions. The lack of empowerment translated into a lack of trust and the survey results confirmed their feelings.
The direct involvement of the executive team in the action planning sent an immediate message back to employees that they were serious about listening and taking action. The executives were quickly able to act upon the information and introduce new policies and practices that improved communication and decision making in the field. The result: Better business outcomes and more engaged employees.
Written by Steve Grant, President & CEO, Newmeasures