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 saved over $200K annually 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 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 roll out.
Here's VP of Sales & Service, Charlie Moore's comments about our work on this project.
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
A Mid-Atlantic Public Utility Company was bracing for deregulation. The aging, union employee population was struggling to adapt to changes in culture, strategy & thinking. From monopoly status to competition, the way business was done would soon changing, yet many were stuck in “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Working with Senior VP’s and Line Managers, a strategy was developed to raise awareness of the need for change and shake up outdated thinking. I led the project to provide training for over 3000 employees in six months. The leadership team followed up with team meetings and 1:1 conversations with line supervisors to discuss how to adapt to 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”. Through on the job evaluations and team meetings, leaders saw a re-engaged workforce prepared to tackle new challenges.
Concrete Company Removes Decision Making Obstacles
The new division 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 employee morale because 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 their leaders.
Together, the leaders agreed on four types of decisions in their business.
1) Decisions requiring permission.
2) Decisions requiring input.
3) Decisions requiring regulatory, financial or senior management approval.
4) Decisions they could make on their own.
Acting on this new decision making agreement, supervisor and managers reported a greater sense of autonomy and clarity about decision making in the division. The division leader and his direct reports saw fewer requests for permission. Managers who had chronic decision-making challenges were identified, coached and/or replaced.
Energy Company Purchases New LMS
A Fortune 1000 energy company employing over 4000 people throughout the U.S. was struggling with an LMS that didn’t meet their training and testing needs. It did not communicate well with HRIS systems and cost approximately 15-20 hours a week in added labor expense.
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 a first of its kind agreement that started with a pilot requiring proof of concept before payment was made and defined subscription fees based on active users.
The negotiated agreement came in $20K under budget, reduced the company’s upfront expense, mitigated the risk of vendor promised technology capabilities and provided a solution that significantly reduced labor expense.
Here's VP of IT, Bill Evans' comments about our work on this project.
"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."