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Case Studies - Organisational Development
Case Study 1: Competency Framework

Challenge:
The organisation wanted to make an impact upon the performance of their employees and saw the introduction of behavioural competencies as the best way forward. They were unclear at the outset exactly what type of framework would fully meet their needs, but knew they wanted to link the competencies to their performance appraisal scheme. Historically, the organisation had taken a 'soft' approach to appraisal and performance management and the leadership team were concerned that there would be some resistance to the introduction of a framework that incorporated 360 degree feedback. The consultants met with the leadership team to fully understand their needs with regard to their goals and aspirations for the organisation over the next three to five years. It was clear that the CEO had ambitious plans for the organisation and that there needed to be a much more robust approach to performance management at all levels of the organisation.

At first, I was a bit sceptical about the introduction of a competency framework and saw it just as another HR initiative. However, we were involved at every step of the way, and it was made really clear from the outset what was in it for us! The fact that the competencies were integrated into our induction, appraisal and service plans meant that we could really make an impact upon culture change.

HL, Divisional Director.
Solution:
Once it was clear that the leadership team were fully behind the development of a robust system and were prepared to enforce it, the consultants set about redesigning the existing appraisal scheme and began developing a new behavioural competency framework that would be applied to all employees. The starting point was to engage managers in the process, and demonstrate the benefits to their service areas, of having a framework in place. The benefits of utilising 360 degree feedback were also discussed and the positive impact that this would have upon customers and staff. Working closely with each of the departments, the consultants engaged staff at all levels in the design of the core competencies using a technique called 'Appreciative Enquiry' to ensure that individuals were able to focus on success rather than failure and build upon what the organisation was already doing well. Once the draft competencies were identified each of the departments' management teams were brought together to explore which were the most pressing for their business challenges. They also discussed how they would integrate the competencies within their service areas, and mapped out their communications strategies for rolling this out to their teams


Outcome:
Based on the needs of the business, a competency framework was created that was based on 'job families' rather than hierarchical levels. This enabled them to use the framework as part of their employee recruitment, induction, appraisal, career progression schemes and performance management framework. Managers took the lead in modelling the new behaviours, and agreed to undergo 360 degree feedback as part of the process.

Case Study 2: Organisational 'Core Values'

Challenge:
The organisation already had a competency framework in place and wanted to develop a set of 'core values' to underpin their existing framework. With a change in their leadership team, and a new direction for the organisation, they were also keen to promote a set of core values that could be used as a vehicle for cultural change throughout the organisation and be used as part of their employee branding.

"It has been really great fun developing our core values… it has given us the opportunity of developing a common language and also holding each other accountable! "

AG, Admin Officer.

Solution:
The consultants spent time with the CEO understanding his intention for developing a set of core values and how these would be used. He wanted a set of core values that were meaningful to people and that would also help the organisation move forward in a more business focused way. A series of workshops were organised to engage staff in the design of the core values. It was important that the design and content of the workshops reflected the CEO's intention to engage staff and draw out their creativity. A number of other input channels were also developed so that a greater number of staff could contribute to the process. The top values from each of the workshops were collated to form the core values for the organisation and these were then communicated throughout the organisation and to partners and customers.
Outcome:
In addition to underpinning the competency framework, the core values were also explicitly used in recruitment branding and learning and development programmes. They were posted in the reception areas of all buildings and were discussed regularly in team meetings, 121 sessions and employee appraisals. The staff newsletter regularly featured case studies on how specific teams or individuals had demonstrated excellence in a particular core value and the organisation also incorporated the values into their staff recognition scheme.

Case Study 3: Culture Change

Challenge:
As part of a massive restructure, and in response to customer demands, the organisation had decided to set up a Call Centre for all customer-facing enquiries. This posed a major shift for the organisation in how it conducted its business and the leadership team realised that the success of the project hinged on substantial culture change throughout the organisation.

"This has been a really long and challenging journey and at times, I wondered if we would ever get there…the work on culture change could have been viewed as another burden on an already pressured workforce - but actually it was good fun! "

VY, Call Centre Manager.

Solution:
A team was brought together from across the organisation to lead on 'culture change'. This consisted of both head office and operational managers. The consultant who chaired this group also sat on the board that had been set up to implement the new Call Centre. A range of OD techniques were used to analyse the existing culture, assess the organisation's readiness for change and map out what success would look like. Service based workshops were organised to elicit from service teams what they specifically needed to do to successfully support the new ways of working.

This was an eighteen-month programme that ran along side the development of the Call Centre and an in-depth communications strategy was designed to ensure that all departments were kept fully engaged. Once it was clear what values and competencies underpinned the desired culture change, these were embedded within Call Centre recruitment, induction and training. These were also incorporated within management and staff development programmes and other head office processes. Each department and service area was supported in integrating the new ways of working within their day-to-day work and this was monitored within 121 meetings and employee appraisal. Directors were encouraged to have a very visible presence at all development events, and to take an active role in modelling the new behaviours and ways of working

Outcome:
By the time the Call Centre opened, teams throughout the organisation were already operating a more customer-focused service. Staff were clear what was expected of them, and the mechanisms were in place to monitor their performance in the key areas. Whilst there was still work to be done in sorting out some of the 'back office' process issues, Call Centre staff were consistently modelling the values identified as being critical to success.

Copyright 2010 Rainbow Consultants
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