Strengthen a Best Place to WorkA top-ranked employer in a major metro area wanted to know what it could do to enhance its already strong corporate culture.
Conduct Employee Focus Group to Identify Areas for ImprovementTo determine how best to fine-tune an already strong culture, The Chatfield Group conducted a series of employee focus groups to pinpoint areas of opportunity. Feedback from these focus groups suggested the need to strengthen communications. In particular, employees said organizational silos were stifling communication across business lines, hampering the ability of employees to build cross-functional product knowledge, and interfering with career advancement.
Focus group participants cited the need for a performance management process so employees could get the feedback they need to improve. And they highlighted their interest in formalized training and development opportunities, adding that managers, in particular, should improve their listening skills to do a better job eliciting ideas and feedback from employees.
Key Focus Group Recommendations
After an analysis of focus group feedback, The Chatfield Group presented specific recommendations to the company, including the following:
- Strengthen Branding & Marketing: Update marketing materials to reflect a shared vision and consistent messages … Build deeper awareness of products and services at all levels…
- Break Down Organizational Barriers: Build cross-functional alliances and teamwork to combat organizational silos that stifle communication across business lines … Expand personal relationships across functions…
- Strengthen Communications: Increase straight-talking business updates from key executives … Create opportunities for employees to connect face-to-face across departments and levels and to offer suggestions…
- Give Employees First Crack at Open Positions: Update the job-posting process to give employees first consideration for open positions … Require that jobs be posted before recruiting externally…
- Provide Focused Training and Development Opportunities: Target leadership development … Provide 360-feedback to high-potential managers … Train executives and managers on listening skills, on providing feedback to employees, and on facilitating employee suggestions … Provide work-flow training to help employees in process-oriented jobs identify process improvements…
- Require Goal-Setting and Performance Reviews Firm-Wide: Hold top executives accountable for reducing organizational silos and for improving communications … Ensure that managers take responsibility for cascading business goals across their departments and for conducting annual reviews with their direct reports…
- Communicate About Pay Practices: Provide employees with clear communications about the company’s pay policies and how pay is linked to performance…
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.
Improve Retention and Strengthen BrandA top-tier accounting & consulting firm needed to gather data on a wide range of employee perceptions as part of an organization-wide effort to change the firm’s culture.
Design Surveys for Employee & Alumni GroupsTo facilitate culture change, The Chatfield Group designed an all-employee survey to gather data on a wide range of employee perceptions. The project included survey design, administration, feedback reporting and focus groups. The attitudinal data gathered provided the basis for cultural change.
In addition, The Chatfield Group developed a customized alumni survey to gather exit information from former employees to strengthen management awareness of the need for culture change.