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: Total Rewards
Restructure Compensation to Support Anticipated GrowthA fast-growing, privately held manufacturer of building materials needed to establish a formal compensation structure to better support its rapid growth and help it transition to a pay-for-performance company philosophy.
Design of Comprehensive Compensation StructureDuring this engagement, The Chatfield Group teamed with management to restructure roles and reporting relationships. We also wrote job descriptions for every position and market-priced all jobs so they would fall within the company’s new pay structure and salary ranges.
The Chatfield Group worked with management to introduce a formal, performance management program that aligns pay with performance. As part of this program, we designed performance-based incentive plans for both management and sales personnel. We also implemented a 12-month training & communications program to facilitate the company’s transition to a pay-for-performance philosophy.
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.
Provide Communications & Training to Ensure Success of New Performance Management SoftwareTo create a high-performance culture, a major utility was seeking to 1) improve its ability to prioritize and manage goals, 2) strengthen the alignment between individual, departmental, business-unit and corporate goals, and 3) enhance its performance management process. To address these objectives, the company was turning to integrated performance management software and needed communications support for the implementation.
Develop & Execute Communications Plan to Support Software ImplementationThe Chatfield Group designed and executed a broad-based communications plan to support the company-wide rollout of Success Factors, a robust performance management software. At a high level, the various communications deliverables reinforced the utility’s plans to 1) automate its paper-based performance management process; 2) streamline goal-setting and performance appraisal while improving the quality of reviews, feedback, and employee development; and 3) improve the ability of the company to check alignment between individual, department, business and organizational goals.
Key deliverables included a comprehensive User Guide to help managers and employees set goals, fill out forms, take part in performance reviews, and engage in the online performance management process; handy EZ Guides to walk managers through the performance management process; a training PowerPoint for facilitators to use in conveying key learning experiences to employees; a chart outlining how to create SMART Goals, i.e. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound; and a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with information about the planned adoption of the performance management software.
Improve Organizational Structure & PerformanceA $15-million national association needed to strengthen its performance management process in order to address external pressures more effectively.
Team with CEO & Directors on Broad-Based Performance Management ProgramWorking closely with the association’s CEO and directors, The Chatfield Group developed a comprehensive program to improve performance that included a new organizational structure and new position descriptions in addition to a new competency model for all levels of the organization.
The Chatfield Group also developed integrated performance management processes for the CEO and staff, training in goal-setting and performance management for directors and staff, and a 360-feedback process with development goals for key association leaders.
Strengthen Performance Management Across Business UnitsA Fortune 100 packaging company serving industrial and consumer markets needed to address performance management issues following the merger of several packaging units.
Training Workshops Focusing on Performance Review Process & Communications SkillsThe Chatfield Group developed and facilitated management training workshops at multiple U.S. locations of the packaging company, focusing on performance management basics and the core communications skills needed to manage performance.
With feedback from the sessions, The Chatfield Group teamed with the client’s HR staff to create an improved performance management system for the merged businesses.
Develop HR Tools for Local ManagersA national retailing organization needed to develop a set of HR tools to help local managers deal more effectively with performance-related people issues.
Performance-Based Total Rewards ToolkitThe Chatfield Group developed a performance management framework to enable local managers of the national retailer to assess their reward and recognition options and implement cash bonus or incentive programs. The toolkit discusses two key aspects of performance management: first, aligning activities to ensure that goals are consistently and efficiently being met, and second, helping people develop their skills and capabilities and satisfy their own work-related needs while they are, at the same time, contributing to the health and profitability of the business.
The toolkit covers a wide range of topics – from understanding your employees and the importance of employee feedback to the motivational aspects of performance management. It provides sample job descriptions, interviewing techniques, performance reviews and performance improvement plans. It includes tools to keep employees focused on meeting goals and job expectations. And it outlines how developing SMART goals – i.e. ones that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound – can motivate employees to achieve high performance. Click here to learn more about SMART Goals.
In terms of retail-specific content, the toolkit covers performance management and the retail experience, achieving a competitive edge through customer service, and creating the optimum shopping experience for retail customers.
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.
Strengthen Performance Management & Employee Retention“Tier Two” accounting firm facing strong competition from its larger competitors for top talent needed to address significant retention issues in order to achieve its growth objectives.
Customized Training Incorporating Core CompetenciesThe Chatfield Group developed and administered an all-employee survey and an exit interview process to gather data on the causes of turnover at the Tier Two accounting firm.
Based on our findings, we developed a competency model for development of employees at all levels, from new associate through partner, and a customized performance measurement process to provide direct performance feedback from managers, project leads, team members and clients.
Strengthen Executive DevelopmentA Fortune 500 financial institution was seeking new ways to improve its leadership capabilities.
The Chatfield Group suggested that the firm leverage its performance appraisal process as a means to enhance management development opportunities for its executive team.
Leverage 360-Feedback Process as Development Tool for Group ExecutivesPerformance appraisal for top executives included a progressive, competency-based 360-feedback process administered by The Chatfield Group as well as executive coaching.
The Chatfield Group worked with the firm’s Human Resources group to apply insights gained from the 360-feedback process to strengthen the firm’s executive development program.
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.
Leverage Training, Coaching & 360-Feedback ProgramsThe Chatfield Group developed and implemented a performance management training program that included goal-setting, coaching and feedback, and performance appraisal modules as well as a customized online 360-feedback review process.
Link Performance Management System to Business ObjectivesA privately held manufacturer of audio electronics for professional and commercial applications needed a competency-based performance management system that would connect strongly with the company’s business objectives.
Back-to-Basics Goal-Setting & Performance Management ProcessThe Chatfield Group teamed with the company’s HR staff to develop a “back-to-basics” goal-setting and performance management process that satisfied managers and employees alike with its simplicity and helped to modernize the business.
Support Business Ramp-Up with Just-in-Time Custom TrainingA global shipping leader with an expanding US presence needed help building a training curriculum to address the development needs of its employees, managers and new hires. The company was searching for a cost-effective means to help employees develop core leadership skills, starting with an introduction to its new performance management process.
After assessing its training & development options, the company elected to develop customized workshops incorporating the company’s philosophy and core competencies. Although the company’s expert training staff would facilitate the workshops, the company lacked the time to develop the workshops internally.
Customized Training Incorporating Core CompetenciesThe company selected the Chatfield Group to partner with its Director of Training to develop a comprehensive training curriculum designed to meet the development needs of the firm’s US employees over a three-year period.
Innovative, turn-key workshops are the primary delivery vehicle for the new training and development curriculum, which can be adapted, as needed, to address changing business requirements. The workshops – which were designed to reinforce core competencies and build essential leadership and management skills – incorporate design flexibility as well as customized branding and design.
Topics covered in the new training & development curriculum include Performance Management, Behavioral Interviewing, Basics of Management & Leadership, Career Development, Emotional Intelligence, Conflict Management, and Essential Communications Skills.