Maintenance Company Builds Leadership Bench Strength
A 3000 employee building maintenance company was experiencing unusually high supervisor turnover. There was no formal way to identify qualified supervisor candidates, provide training and fill supervisory vacancies. As a key position in achieving operational results and assuring customer satisfaction, the problem was impacting the bottom line.
Working with HR, Field Operations, and Training staff, I developed a plan to build leadership bench strength. Key actions taken included:
1) Adding a question to the interview process about supervisory experience,
2) Holding 1:1 meetings with supervisor candidates,
3) Tracking attendance and performance of new employees with supervisory experience,
4) Developing an 8-week training program for new supervisors, and
5) Assigning operations managers to mentor new supervisors.
The strategy enabled the organization to identify, train and promote over two dozen new supervisors in a 24 month period. It also contributed to saving time and money by reducing time to fill vacant positions, employee turnover, supply costs, customer complaints, and overtime.
Recycler Visually Eliminates Accidents
A domestic recycling company was experiencing too many reportable injuries. Multiple languages and cultures among employees made it difficult to verbally communicate and reinforce the importance of safety.
Working with the Plant Manager, we implemented a visual safety communication program. I customized plant communications to include pictures of his employees’ engaging in safe work practices. We also used visual communication to recognize his team’s improved performance.
In 12 months, reportable accidents were reduced to zero, teamwork and morale improved and the Plant Manager was promoted.
Retailer Aligns Employee Engagement to Operational Strategy
A national retailer found their current employee engagement tool was not aligned to measure operational initiatives that drove sales and customer satisfaction. It also did not gauge employees understanding of and commitment to executing company strategy.
Working with Senior Executives, Brand Managers, and Store Leaders, I conducted interviews and field assessments to understand the gap between engagement and execution. I designed an organizational engagement survey that was piloted in two regions. I facilitated post-survey strategy meetings that identified best practices of top-performing stores.
Strong correlations were found between employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and store sales. Stores who focused on key drivers of customer satisfaction saw increased scores for overall satisfaction, improved category management, and reduced checkout wait times. The successful pilot led to a system-wide survey rollout.
VP of Sales & Service, Charlie Moore
"Tom introduced an Employee Satisfaction measurement tool that our company piloted. Tom led the project and provided great service, direction, and valuable information to guide us in developing the right tool to improve our business and link satisfaction to overall performance".
Publicly Utility Undergoes Culture Shift
Mid-Atlantic public utility company was bracing for deregulation. The aging, union employee population was adapting to changes in culture, strategy & thinking. From monopoly status to competition, the way business was done would soon be changing, yet many were stuck in “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Lead by Senior VP’s a strategy was developed to first raise awareness of the need for change and shake up the thinking. A strong, charismatic professional speaker was identified that taught Thinking Outside the Box and ultimately trained over 3000 employees in six months. The leadership team followed up the training with 1 on 1 and team meetings led by line supervisors to look at how they could perform differently in a rapidly changing business environment.
Throughout the organization, a heightened awareness of the need for change was realized. There was a shift in vocabulary that recognized the new business playing field - “ratepayers” became known as ”customers”. Using teammate feedback, performance reviews and on the job evaluations, the talent pool quickly sifted out those resistant to change. The remaining population was engaged and prepared to tackle new challenges.
Concrete Company Removes Decision Making Obstacles
The new senior leader of multinational concrete business found managers in his office too often asking for permission on decisions they had authority to make. This was impacting the leader's effectiveness and some decisions were taking too long to be made or not being made at all.
I interviewed and job shadowed managers and conducted site surveys to assess the problems they faced and the decisions they made. Based on my needs assessment I designed and facilitated an interactive, two-day decision-making workshop for 50 managers and senior leaders.
Working together, they agreed on four types of decisions in their business.
1) Decisions requiring permission.
2) Decisions requiring input.
3) Decisions requiring approval.
4) Decisions they could make on their own.
The senior leader and his team received fewer requests for permission. Managers reported a greater sense of autonomy and clarity regarding decision making in the division.
Energy Company Purchases New LMS
A four-thousand-employee Fortune 1000 energy company operating throughout the U.S. was struggling with an LMS that didn’t communicate well with HRIS systems. It was estimated this cost approximately 80 labor hours a month valued at nearly $3000.00.
Working with the LMS administrator, Training, IT, HRIS staff, and Operations Leaders, I led the evaluation and purchase of a new LMS. We determined our critical needs, wrote an RFP, assessed vendor qualifications, and interviewed a short list of vendors. I negotiated an agreement that started with a pilot requiring proof of concept.
The project came in $20K under budget, reduced the company’s upfront expense, and mitigated the risk of vendor-promised capabilities. This pilot eliminated the initial 80 hours of labor expenses and captured another 20 hours monthly in productivity increase.
VP of IT, Bill Evans
"I had the opportunity to work with Tom during an evaluation/selection process for a new LMS. I found that Tom’s approach was systematic and thorough. It was a pleasure to work with a functional sponsor who had a firm grasp on the requirements. He took ownership of the process. He also included the IT department by soliciting our input on the technology requirements around security, performance, and interoperability with our infrastructure. He led the process from start to finish, incorporating requirements from others and then helping ensure that the only candidates that met all minimum requirements made it to the final round of evaluation/selection. He then engaged IT to evaluate the candidates on the IT requirements we provided. The process concluded with the selection of an LMS that meets our training needs and fits well into our infrastructure. It was a pleasure working with Tom on this process and on other activities."