Improve Pool of General Manager CandidatesA large manufacturing company was struggling to fill its GM ranks because it lacked clear insights about the key competencies needed to succeed in the position as well as a talent management approach to increase the number of qualified internal candidates.
Launch Targeted Effort to Identify and Develop Internal GM CandidatesTo help the company expand its pool of qualified GM candidates, the Chatfield Group made three key recommendations: first, conduct “need-and-gap” analyses of internal talent; second, expand the use of employee self-assessments; and third, identify the key core competencies necessary for success as a general manager at the company.
After gaining company buy-in for these recommendations, Chatfield consultants worked with the company’s senior leaders, department heads, and current General Managers to identify the skills, knowledge, and key competencies required to succeed in the GM role. Then the Chatfield Group compared the company’s GM needs against the skill sets of internal GM candidates as identified through employee self-assessments and observations from senior leaders.
After identifying the key competencies needed for general managers, and assessing the relative strengths of its internal candidates, the Chatfield Group designed a series of integrated training workshops and hands-on work assignments to strengthen the abilities of its GM prospects. In addition, Chatfield consultants developed a system of on-going curriculum support to ensure sustained training success.
Filed in: Organizational Change
Create Process to Integrate Diverse Cultures of Acquired BusinessesA $200-million holding company needed a performance management process to integrate the divergent cultures and business strategies of three recently acquired businesses.
Establish Common Platform for Goal-Setting & Performance ManagementWorking closely with senior management of the corporation and its acquired businesses, The Chatfield Group developed a customized goal-setting and performance appraisal system for the holding company that included management training as well as coaching in performance management.
To help build a common culture, The Chatfield Group facilitated a shared values discussion across all levels of the three acquired businesses.
Eliminate High Employee TurnoverA mid-sized technology company experiencing high turnover among its employees needed to address its turnover issues.
Use Focus Groups to Identify Reasons for High Turnover and Generate Ideas for ImprovementTo determine the root causes for the company’s high turnover, The Chatfield Group conducted a series of focus groups at the firm’s primary operating facilities. The lack of a clear chain of command and poor communications were identified as key concerns. So, too, were the needs to improve employee orientation and to provide training and development opportunities for both managers and employees. After analyzing staff feedback, The Chatfield Group teamed with company management to implement the following six-step plan to correct organizational deficiencies:
- Step 1: Expand Management Ranks – To clarify reporting relationships and improve functional management, the company created a layer of departmental management. Under the company’s revised organizational structure, Department Managers take the lead in communicating with employees on a day-to-day basis, in coaching employees on performance, and developing employee capabilities.
- Step 2: Launch Onboarding Program for New Hires – To increase retention of new employees, the company developed an onboarding program designed to make New Hires feel comfortable and productive in their new work environments from Day One. Hiring Managers developed an Onboarding Plan for each New Hire to address practical concerns of both the new employee and the Hiring Manager. Topics included 1) key people for the New Hire to know; 2) tools of the trade, such as computer log-ins and directory structures, file-naming conventions and reference materials; 3) a review of job basics, including the New Hire’s job description; 4) a “starter” assignment in which the new employee works independently to quickly add value with minimal supervision. To check on New Hire progress, Hiring Managers and HR schedule formal reviews with New Hires after they have been with the company for 90 days.
- Step 3: Strengthen Corporate Communications – A number of focus-group participants expressed the need for more frequent communications from the company. To address this issue, the company launched a company intranet designed to share lessons learned, project updates, job descriptions, job titles and contact information. It developed additional forums for discussion. And it began conducting exit interviews with departing employees to continue gathering feedback about the factors underlying its employee turnover challenges.
- Step 4: Improve Benefit Communications – In response to focus-group feedback about the need for a better understanding of employee benefits, the company benchmarked its current benefit plans with industry standards. During benefit-enrollment periods, it met with employees in small groups to provide them with an overview of company benefits and announce benefit changes. In addition to strengthening some benefit options, the company also began providing vacation accrual information on employee paychecks.
- Step 5: Introduce Performance Appraisal System – To provide greater clarity with regard to performance expectations, the company introduced a performance appraisal system that includes goal-setting, ongoing performance feedback, employee development and coaching. Training managers on setting goals and providing feedback was given high priority.
- Step 6: Provide Training & Development Opportunities – Many employee suggestions focused on the need for better management training. In response, the company developed a multifaceted T&D program that included Quarterly Workshops for Managers covering topics such as Maintaining a Strong Customer Focus, Interviewing Skills for Managers, and Coaching for High Performance. To build its management pipeline, the company introduced a Leadership Development Program. And to respond to employees’ thirst for learning opportunities, the company launched a series of “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” seminars for all employees.
Attain Aggressive Performance GoalsA global commercial finance company with more than $20 billion in assets needed help attaining aggressive performance goals.
The client sought to attain top quartile ROE for each of its five core businesses as well as A/A+ bond ratings and a 15% overall ROE.