This session is from Zurich Life – James Sutherland (Interim Business Consultant) and Kirsty Knight (HR Business Consultant) – they’re going to be talking about embedding change through employee involvement and centrally organised initiatives. These two sound opposing positions so I’m intrigued to learn how they’ve made this work. I’m wondering if this is Polarity Thinking in play where it can’t be one or the other and success comes from balancing both.
Context – 2 parts – general and life insurance. 2012, major change structural programme that split Life into Retail, Corporate and …..sorry missed the last one! They play a role as responsibility for our futures and being financially OK through that has been increasingly shifted to the individual from the state. Since 2009 they’ve had a lot of change in the top team (especially CEOs and COOs). They’ve also had a lot of change in regulatory, pension legislation and industry overall.
They appointed PACE Champions to facilitate change (Passion, Agile, Collaboration, Externally focussed – they worked together on what their role needed of them. Brought to the role – purposefully – from different ages, genders, grades in the org. She was looking for people who would be bold enough to hold their own with influencing senior leaders and directors. Was tough at the start but they’re on it now!
They meet monthly to agree what their next focus needs to be. They link responses rom the employee survey back into the actions / initiatives being taken.
- One initiative – PACE Awards to recognise those whose behaviour matches the culture. Anyone can nominate themselves to be on the judging panel for the quarter. £75 of vouchers for an individual or £250 for a team. Used to be 4 individuals and 2 teams that would be recognised. Feedback was that people wanted more ‘winners’ and that was more important than retaining level of reward. It’s not the financial reward that’s the key driver – it’s the recognition in front of their friends and peers. At the end of the year there’s an awards dinner for all winners.
2. Another initiative – A whole week focused on change. Monday was called Disturbed Monday – anything to break the patterns and routines we follow. Put your watch on the other wrist. Walk a different way round the office. Prizes for people who found the most novel ways to break habits.
Tuesday was about identifying areas to change – what do they like, what don’t they. what would they change
Wednesday – recognise the triggers for change
Thursday – supporting them with info on change curve and supporting them through change
Friday – celebrating changes being made
3. Next one was That’s Life – with a challenge of silo working, each dept could go and showcase what they did using a stand or stall – ran at lunchtime and at the Start of Year event. e.g. Legal & Compliance talking about what a career in that area looks like.
4. Learning Week – plays into Passion and Collaboration. Involves all levels. One week we ran 60 sessions and encouraged everyone to take one hour to undertake some development. They had some interns delivering something on Prezzi. The COO delivering on Introverted Leadership.
5. Ride the Subway – big disconnect between regional and head office teams. Initiative to get office people out into the field to see the impact of what the office creates. People brought things back to the office that could be changed to improve things for the regional teams and customers. Loads of process improvements, ditched a lot of things, and most importantly build collaboration between field and office.
6. Strictly Come Dancing to encourage beliefs that trying new things and making mistakes is OK. Did a dance show for charity with outfits, makeup everything! Was a showcase to staff that it’s OK to be human and to make mistakes.
They’ve learnt – champions are very valuable, people need shoulder-tapping to avoid it always being the same people involved. they need the support of their manager to see this as a valuable part of their role.
Recognition has been great to help people hear how the values can be lived in real life. Diverse and transparent judging panel helps to get fair outcomes and help people value other’s perspectives.
Use the approach of ‘Tone from the Top’ and ‘Noise from the Bottom’ – the top sets the overall intent and direction – and they must listen to the people who are ‘on the ground’.
The majority of this has been done on little budget. Time and desire are much more important.
This post has been live-blogged from #CIPDOD15. I’ve done my best to represent the content accurately and fairly but some errors may exist. Most of it is the speakers’ content and I aim to show the bits that are my opinion.