A global services company underwent a massive cultural transformation. A large Transformation Management Office (TMO) was established that was mainly run from headquarters. The main task of the TMO was to streamline all the different workstreams. When it is time to do what and with whom.
This cultural transformation was communicated from the top. This resulted in many questions from employees on what this would mean for their current way of working. The lack of clarity was creating resistance from the employees for “yet another change from the top”.
The team leader couldn’t wait for another initiative rolled out from the TMO. Their quarterly engagement survey was due to happen in 34 days, but from experience, it took too long to get the insights on the team level. When the team leader then finally got results, they were outdated and lacked practical actions. The team leader needed an alternative way to listen to their 100+ employees. She took matter into her own hands!
One of the driving forces behind the transformation was the shift to a hybrid workplace; therefore, the team leader wanted a network approach to employee listening.
She wanted to understand how the team was connected and combine this with the insights from the employee’s sentiment and commitment to the culture transformation.
The team leader selected the Team Experience Diagnostic – Innovisor’s approach to workplace well-being and connectivity— not only because the solution combined the informal networks, sentiments, and commitment, but because the solution was efficient.
In less than a week since the employees shared their input, the team’s scorecard on wellbeing and connectivity was shared with them: the team was currently experiencing ‘fatigue’.
There were two key insights the team leader needed to work on:
1. 70% didn’t feel they had the right work-life balance
The well-being of the team was hurt by the pressure of the responsibilities of life and work. The personal life was too blended with the professional life. This resulted in working at times that affected their personal life, such as in the evening, and receiving messages excessively. The employees needed to move away from the quantity of connectivity to the quality of the connectivity.
The team leader established norms to avoid burnout. A key focus area was the use of direct messaging. To maintain the efficiency of the relationship, it was agreed that direct messages were ignored during meetings and conversations, as well as during lunchtime or non-regular working hours to colleagues. The expectation of not always being “on” was also to be role-modeled by the managers.
2. Connectivity was sufficient…
There were no red flags regarding connectivity. The team was on par with what Innovisor has seen in other similar teams. To maintain the connectivity, the Team Experience Diagnostic was able to pinpoint what they needed to focus on.
The employees perceived their teammates as being helpful. However, the collaborative relationships inside the team showed two key challenges. There was limited connectivity across:
- hierarchical levels
The hierarchical barrier caused the location barrier. The managers were at the center of the team network. This ‘blocked’ the employees from connecting or collaborating with each other across locations.
Based on this insight, the team leader encouraged the managers to act as facilitators. This helped them to diffuse ownership of collaborative tasks to strengthen co-creation.
The transparency of sharing these results helped the team leader to create a movement in her own team. Everyone saw how their team scored and this helped them to challenge their own way of working to ensure people felt committed and connected. Being open with their current working environment and listening to the employees helped remove resistance to “yet another transformation from the top”.
The team leader also got a walkthrough of the insights and recommended actions. She knew exactly what she needed to focus on to build a purposeful and energized team.
She didn’t need to wait for the TMO to push for generic transformation activity. She was proactive and helped the team to transform step by step.