The Oil in Your Organization's Engine (part 2)
The first part of this story (click HERE to read it) described a situation involving Fred and Donna at Anycompany, Inc. The relational and emotional health of the organization – the oil in Anycompany’s engine – needed to be checked and restored.
Fortunately, Anycompany’s vice president of human resources – Sheila – had heard of Remedium Solutions from Vince, an HR colleague she had met at a networking event. Vince explained that Remedium had conducted a comprehensive assessment designed to gain insight into the relational and emotional health of his company’s employees. The assessment had exposed some areas he had not realized needed to be addressed.
Sheila had pushed back on Vince saying that Anycompany already had in-house tools in place to measure employee engagement, employee satisfaction, teamwork and other employee metrics. But Vince had responded that his company used those in-house tools also. One day, he overheard some employees talking about the tools. One employee scoffed, “I wouldn’t dare say what I really think because I’m sure that Big Brother is watching.”
Vince suddenly had the uneasy feeling that these in-house tools might not be giving him accurate information. He at least wanted to validate the data, so he asked Remedium Solutions to administer its comprehensive, anonymous assessment process. Vince reasoned that his employees would be more likely to be honest with a process that originated outside of the company.
The results showed that the in-house tool was revealing accurate data in some areas, but it was missing a few infections that needed to be addressed. Remedium was able to address those areas before they became major problems, so Vince had become a believer in the Remedium approach. He told Sheila she should check them out.
Sheila gave Remedium Solutions’s president, Scott Maurer, a call to find out more. Scott suggested they start with the comprehensive, anonymous assessment and see what they find out. Sheila agreed and presented the idea to Thomas, Anycompany’s CEO. Thomas reminded Sheila that they had an in-house tool. Sheila relayed Vince’s experience and suggested that this would validate their in-house tool’s accuracy. The assessment wasn’t very expensive, so Thomas agreed. “What the heck,” he said, “let’s see what it tells us.”
The Remedium Solutions assessment revealed that there were some significant infections festering within the Anycompany Inc. organization. When Sheila and Thomas saw the report, they were surprised but also determined to fix the problem. They understood that the relational and emotional health of their people was critical to the success of their company. They asked Scott from Remedium what he recommended they do next.
Based upon the assessment results, Scott recommended that he conduct brief interviews with the people in one of the business units to get a little more insight into the data. This would be followed by the Remedium “Priming and Exploring Seminar,” which would provide a common foundation for everyone in the company to improve their ability to work together. It would also help employees identify areas for growth.
Additionally, Scott recommended a leadership seminar for new managers, a few direct mediations to address some inter-team tensions, and an executive coaching session to help the executive team better convey their desire to be more approachable to lower levels of the company. Scott also recommended one-on-one sessions with a few individuals he identified as potentially having some more serious complications.
Getting back to Fred and Donna, the Remedium Solutions process helped both of them to be healthier and more productive.
In the Priming and Exploring seminar, Fred gained a deeper understanding of how his conflict avoidance can negatively impact his productivity. He learned a few simple, practical skills that have given him the confidence to work through uncomfortable interpersonal issues, rather than wasting time avoiding them. This included knowing when and how to get his leadership involved.
Meanwhile, the Priming and Exploring Seminar also helped Fred’s supervisor Kim realize that there were several things about leadership that she needed to develop as a new leader. So, she signed up for the leadership seminar. She found the seminar to be very practical and helpful. Since that time, those on her team have complimented her on how she has grown as a leader – especially Fred.
The Priming and Exploring Seminar also helped Fred identify how his work situation was affecting his marriage and what resources the company had that might help him. He called his wife right after the seminar, apologized, and acknowledged that he had been taking his work out on her. He suggested they take advantage of the company’s mental health benefits and try a few marriage counseling sessions. They are doing much better.
Scott from Remedium invited Donna to a one-on-one session. He had conducted brief interviews with the members of several teams. During these interviews, Scott realized that many employees were having some challenges with Donna. Scott wanted to explore what was happening.
Donna welcomed the opportunity to talk to someone and explain her frustrations. Scott’s experience counseling others helped him identify some of the concerns Donna was having. Eventually, she even shared about the panic attacks, her avoidance of co-workers, and her desire to leave the company.
It was clear that Donna was a very competent employee. She had been with the company for almost 10 years and knew her job well. It would cost the company a lot of money to have to replace Donna, but she was not working well with those who depended on her expertise.
In Donna’s case, Scott recommended several things. First, he recommended that Donna use the company health plan and start seeing a counselor for the panic attacks. Donna trusted Scott and took his advice. To her surprise, the counseling began to help.
Scott also conducted a mediation between Donna and her boss, Stuart. Donna did not feel that Stuart supported her. When this was brought to Stuart’s attention, he was surprised. He hadn’t realized that Donna felt this way, but he was glad to know it. The mediation helped Stuart understand Donna’s frustration with the constant interruptions that distracted her from other work he expected her to complete.
Now that Stuart was aware of the issue, he called a meeting with Donna and several other managers whose teams relied on her. They worked out a system that automated some of the easy answers people needed. They created “office hours” that Donna would keep for people who needed to speak directly with her. This system made it much easier for her to welcome the occasional true emergency.
Donna was no longer checking the job boards, and many of her co-workers noticed how much easier she was to work with.
Finally, Scott from Remedium helped the executive team convey a message of approachability to their employees. Slowly, the employees began to trust that the executive team really cared about their concerns, their ideas, and their wellbeing – and really wanted to hear from them. The executives even found it more enjoyable to spend more time among the employees because the Remedium seminar had taught the employees how to be better followers and see the executives as teammates – not adversaries.
In fact, as trust grew between employees and executives, Anycompany’s people began to feel more confident about reporting honestly on the in-house tools that had initially concerned Sheila to call in Scott and Remedium Solutions.
The story of Fred and Donna is just one of several scenarios happening within Anycompany Inc. Though Anycompany is a fictional organization, it is representative of the realities of thousands of organizations. The relational and emotional health of an organization’s employees is the oil in the organizational engine. When it is running low, the engine slows down and gets damaged. This is costly.
It doesn’t have to be this way...
Remedium Solutions can re-oil the gears in your organization by diagnosing, repairing, and optimizing your people system. Give Scott a call to discuss whether an affordable initial assessment would be right for your organization.
Founder and President, Remedium Solutions LLC