Letting talent and passion lead the way

How do you increase employee self-initiative in driving for results, along with your company’s capacity to engage, develop, and retain talent?

This global technology company came to us to put in place an HR initiative that would create a more employee-driven culture. Our strategy, based on self-leadership skills, building robust feedback processes into their culture, and putting talent development at the core of work plans, succeeded in helping them close the gap between personal and business goals, and leverage everyone’s talent and passion in ways that have skyrocketed employee engagement and contribution across the organization. The result is a work place where everyone is having fun and thriving, while they successfully continue to stay ahead of their peers in a very competitive market.

Employee-led self-development is put front and center

We began our process by putting individual professional development at the center of the strategy, in a way that would focus on employee career development and also create greater alignment between individual and organizational goals to boost employee engagement and commitment across the organization.

With Cynthia’s guidance we put in place employee self-development in a way that showed everyone we were truly interested in and committed to more than the achievement of our organizational goals—that we were committed to each individual’s career development as well as a co-active partnership with each individual that would help them succeed at what mattered most to them as well as to us as an organization.

Managers set people up to win

We modified the process to include more frequent, quarterly conversations between each employee and their manager (not only HR), to help managers develop their servant leadership skills–setting their people up to win–and to boost companywide commitment to employee development.

The more regular and frequent conversations mean that important information now gets passed along in a more efficient and resourceful way. People are being supported to have the right conversation at the right time with the right person across the organization, which is building team cohesiveness and efficiency. This has been very helpful this last year in dealing with the challenges of our expansion on another continent with new offices in two new cities.

360 feedback puts the focus on leadership and builds trust

To raise the bar higher and drive home a culture of leadership based on wholly transparent feedback, we set up a process between managers and their teams to incorporate suggestions and shared accountability for concrete behavior change into each manager’s action plan.

The feedback process with my team was challenging. It was the first time I was expected to share this kind of information about myself with my direct reports.  I got some important and practical ways about how I can be a better listener and support them more.  This process has also taken us to a new level of openness and trust that’s helping us work together more effectively as a team.

My big takeaway from the team meeting with my manager is that leadership is a two-way street.  I need to be more pro-active and let him know what I need from him to get my job done better.  Not sit back and wait, or worse, complain.

1:1 meetings boost pro-activeness and team performance

We also helped them launch an employee-driven 1:1 meeting initiative between every employee and their manager, across the organization.

This is helping us maintain momentum with employee development and individual action plans. It also makes it easier for us to provide more specific support and resources for any individual challenges as they happen, more openly and quickly.  We know much better now to what degree everybody is engaged, motivated and progressing on KPIs, compared to this time last year when we were completely in the dark until performance appraisal time.