Case Study 1: Leadership Development
A global healthcare organization had hundreds of people in leadership positions, in multiple locations, who were highly trained in their medical discipline, but were lacking in leadership acumen. Employee disengagement, operational inefficiencies, and communication roadblocks were rampant. These challenges had a resulting negative effect on the company’s client/patient experience and the company’s profitability.
Waits Consulting Group, Inc. was asked to develop a comprehensive leadership development program and to pilot the program in one of the company’s largest Business Units. Using company-wide leadership metrics, 30 of the lowest performing leaders were selected to participate in the pilot program.
We developed Excellence In Leadership, a custom designed program addressing the client’s leadership development needs. The initiative entailed strategy facilitation, group case studies, individual tailored coaching and application exercises for the participants to implement and execute with their direct reports.
The participants saw dynamic and immediate results in their respective departments as measured by employee engagement increases, operational efficiencies and conflict reduction. Teams functioned and flourished with innovative effectiveness and demonstrative patient/client satisfaction.
Since the completion of the successful pilot, more than 200 leaders in this location have participated in the Excellence In Leadership initiative. The company established the EIL initiative as the flagship Leadership Development program for their entire global operations.
Case Study 2: Strategic Congruence
A multinational company had high-level, highly trained directors over large departments whose time and energy was focused almost entirely on operational issues. The Directors regularly gave feedback to the Senior Leadership Team that they did not have the time, ability, incentive or desire to make decisions or set direction for their department strategically. This lack of strategic acumen created a schism at the highest leadership levels that was having a cascading negative effect on mid-level leaders and front-line personnel.
We met with the Senior Leadership Team to clarify and codify the strategic direction of the company. We held monthly sessions with the Directors, systematically equipping and developing their own strategic astuteness. Lively discussions, peer involvement and sharing of best practices became the centerpiece of these sessions. We connected the Senior Leaders to their Directors and facilitated dynamic conversations to unify the top-level leaders in their strategic direction and implementation.
By learning how to think and act strategically, the Directors determined that they shared many operational challenges that, beforehand, were thought to be unique to each Director’s department. They were able to obtain a new software system, at an incredibly modest cost, that streamlined operational functions across the board, in some cases as much as 80%. By implementing a strategic focus, they diminished operational waste of employee hours, curtailed “failure work”, reduced material acquisition cost, and developed happier and healthier teams in their respective departments.
Case Study 3: Critical Change
A new CEO was charged by the Board of Directors to reenergize a large company that had become bloated with multiple layers of decision makers, operational inefficiencies and lethargic market and customer response. This would require a series of disruptive innovations and an organizational overhaul. Waits Consulting Group, Inc. was engaged to help design and facilitate the integration of the new direction.
We interviewed the key leaders of five facilities to ascertain the unique threats and opportunities that were anticipated in their location.
We worked with the Senior Leaders to create a centralized messaging and development initiative so that leaders at each location would be adroit at establishing and maintaining dynamic client/employee focused environments that cultivated engaged team members throughout the transition.
We identified the commonalities and delineated the specific strengths and needs of each location.
We facilitated specific integration initiatives for each location, equipping leaders with the knowledge, skills, and ability to create a dynamic and productive culture while navigating the change implementation.
Although massive organizational leadership structural change occurred, instead of the expected angst from the front-line employees, very little, if any, was evidenced. Employee morale actually increased. The leadership shift was implemented smoothly. New reporting lines were developed. Decisions were made in half the time. Leaders felt trusted and empowered. Employee engagement rose.
Case Study 4: Employee Engagement
A company with multiple business lines was experiencing a large variance of employee engagement scores between various departments in one of their largest Business Units. Although the departments in this division shared similar functional operations and staffing levels, some departments were experiencing employee engagement scores 34% lower than their sister departments. The parent company had financial incentives in place for department leaders that were linked to the employee engagement scores. The parent company was committed to employee engagement. The company’s research demonstrated that engaged employees drew and maintained delighted customers.
We met with the department leadership of the seven lowest scoring departments. We established Employee Engagement teams for each department involving front-line employees. We customized unique initiatives for each department to solve departmental challenges, facilitate employee feedback, accentuate employee recognition, and develop team cohesiveness.
We held leaders accountable to the commitments they established to improve their departments. We provided on-going coaching.
We gleaned best practices from the departments with high employee engagement and created mentoring partnerships between leaders with high scores and the leaders who were struggling.
We created a company wide campaign encouraging employee participation and feedback on the company wide Employee Engagement annual survey.
This Business Unit achieved the highest overall Employee Engagement score of all thirty-two BU’s of the parent company. Employee Engagement scores went up an average of 22% in the targeted departments. Overall survey participation went up 26% in this BU. This BU received the Best Place to Work award from the nationally known newspaper in their large metropolitan area. This BU maintained high Employee Engagement scores after the initial year of implementation and was one of the top five BU’s in the company for five years in a row (maintaining the number one spot three of the five years).
Case Study 5: Reduced Attrition
A fast-paced company of 1400 college educated and advanced degreed employees competing in a high-pressure market was experiencing a first year turnover of over 30% of newly hired employees. However, turnover of employees who stayed with the company for one year was in the single digits. Waits Consulting Group, Inc. was brought in to reverse the attrition trend of first year employees and create a stabilized employee environment.
We began by interviewing successful departments and ascertaining the qualities of the ideal employee who thrived in this type of work environment.
We created and implemented a training initiative and equipped over 200 leaders with new skills, tools and approaches to screening, interviewing and choosing quality candidates.
We worked with the on-boarding team to streamline and adjust new employee orientation and integration and worked with departmental leaders to implement the on-boarding strategies.
New employee first year attrition dropped to 8% (far below industry average) and overall employee satisfaction measurements went up. The company comptroller calculated that the initiative saved the company over $1 million in annual bottom-line revenue. Three years after the initial intervention, first year attrition remained in single digits.
Case Study 6: Key Leader Selection
A large hospital was selecting a key leader to head an operationally critical department that was crucial to the overall success of the hospital. The prior two leaders in this position had not performed effectively resulting in employee morale that was critically low, operational cost overruns that were devastatingly high, and patient and doctor needs that were being dangerously neglected.
The team charged with choosing a candidate was in the final stages of their selection. However, they were not 100% comfortable with the finalists they were considering.
Waits Consulting Group, Inc. was engaged to advise in choosing between the final three candidates.
We suggested that the team take a step back and re-look at the selection criteria. We engaged focus groups to ascertain the qualities and characteristics of the ideal candidate and established a process for measuring the appropriate criterion.
A clear criterion was established, interview questions were created, and the search process was continued. We provided on-going coaching to the selection team.
Instead of hiring the front-running candidate from the three finalists, the selection team took a step back and re-opened the search process. Using the new criterion that was established in partnership with Waits Consulting Group, Inc., they made an offer to a different candidate who was not one the original finalists. The candidate accepted the position and facilitated a dynamic turn-around to the department. The selection team subsequently offered the initial leading finalist a lesser position, which she gladly accepted. Within three months, she left the hospital disgruntled, discovering she was not a good fit in this work environment.
Case Study 7: Executive Coaching
The Lead Director of a multi-billion dollar global business unit was appointed acting Managing Director and was asked to temporarily assume the responsibilities of the former Managing Director who had left to work for another company. The Lead Director performed these duties excellently for six months. However, the decision makers in the corporation’s home office voiced concerns and doubt about removing the “acting” title and offering him permanently the top position in this Business Unit.
We established a list of strengths, successes, and qualifications that the director possessed that equipped him to successfully fulfill the Managing Director position. We also partnered with him to determine areas that needed to be strengthened. We offered coaching and development in the areas of weakness.
We interviewed Senior Leaders, Directors, Managers and front-line associates of the organization and garnered feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the acting Managing Director. Although they consistently and strongly backed him for the position, he learned some very valuable insights about his leadership acumen.
We created messaging for the client to use as he interacted with the corporate decision makers. We coached him on creating sterling communications demonstrating definitive results to the corporate office.
The decision makers in the corporate office offered him the position of Managing Director permanently. He held the position for six years and grew the organization each year in all of the company’s key measurements. His Business Unit became the flagship business unit of the company. He was subsequently promoted to Senior Vice President and now has responsibility over one of the largest divisions in the company.