The #culturechange that Sandra Johnson engineered at a challenging City Government division is the most astounding cultural turn around that I have ever witnessed. An informal City leader who missed 50% of the meetings due to an illness came back and said, “I don’t know what happened but all I can say is everyone talks different.” It is a pleasure to post this amazing turn around #organizationalculture case study:
The Client: City Government
The client was a City Government Division with 25 union employees. Over 50% of the staff had been with the City for 10 years or more. The division manager had been with the division for over 25 years.
The division had some of the highest number of grievances in the City. The assistant manager had been hired into the position over other more senior staff and there was an active movement against her. The culture of the division included at times yelling, name calling and all around staff of unhappy campers.
The division scores on the #EmployeeEngagement survey were some of the lowest in the City.
I was brought in to help improve the organizational culture with the goal of improving overall employee engagement and reduce the number of grievances.
The #leadership agreed to a 9-month program meeting once a month for two hours with the entire staff. In between the monthly meetings, the manager and assistant manager agreed to bi-weekly coaching. Management also supported intermittent small group discussions with staff members who volunteered to work on issues, brainstorm and propose solutions.
During the program, one of the informal leaders did not attend the monthly meetings as they were held on her normal day-off. The second informal leader missed about 50% of the meetings due to a medical leave. The other two informal leaders ironically were both up for a promotion against each other and the assistant manager, who was a key champion in the initiative, interviewed and ultimately selected the one who agreed to and was willing to support the organizational change.
At the end of the 9-month program:
- Over 50% of the staff were actively involved in small group “think tanks” and volunteering to take on projects to promote the new culture
- The informal leader who was promoted transformed from a resistor who previously sat “outside the circle with her arms folded” to a champion of the change, taking on additional responsibilities
- The manager humbly announced to the team that he was “amazed at the amount of talented people and exceptional ideas he had on his team that he didn’t realize.”
- The assistant manager embraced the movement and took over the leadership role of ensuring the continued success of the program.
- Weekly staff meetings became led by staff members with everyone contributing to the agenda opening up two-way communication.
The feedback from this effort clearly suggests a true cultural transformation!
Facilitator: Sandra Johnson, MA RCC, Strategic Corporate Solutions
This blog does not express the views of my employer