It’s all about the people.
I was talking to someone this week about “the people” in transformational change. Its always about the people, and often in ways you might not expect.
I’ve worked with Lisa and her Madabout team for years (we’ve known each other about 20 years now…) and I remember vividly one of our first collaborative conversations - about a new piece of work she’d won to help train hotel receptionists.
The receptionists were getting lower than expected scores on their NPS. So some ‘happy’ training planned.
I was obviously delighted with her win.
Then I asked some questions.
- Why are the receptionists unhappy?
- Surely the HR Director didn’t recruit unhappy receptionists?
- What has happened to make them unhappy?
It certainly turned the assignment on it’s head.
And using some basic root-cause analysis soon highlighted the real issues - management had tasked the receptionists with jobs to do at vital times - such as cashing up the till at 8am as the guests were trying to check out…
And the root cause of that was because the central Finance Director needed cash reports at a fixed time in the afternoon, and the message had been relayed down the chain - whilst everyone forgot about the customer, and about purpose…
So, yes, people did need training. But not the happy people that had been employed, and who’d then got upset…
This happened many moons ago - and yet it’s a common issue that I continue to see.
At a seminar this morning hosted by Michael Page and Change Associates, the guest speaker - Matthew Taylor from the RSA - talked about the challenges of employment in the modern age (not just IR35 issues) having been tasked by the PM in 2017 - and produced the paper : Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. He also talked about how business should be focussed on “Creating Community with a Cause” - and I couldn’t agree more.
Having been undertaking system change programmes for years, I’ve left my clients with all sort of ‘nice problems to have’:
- The Council Chief Executive who was surprised at the smiles on his teams’ faces, and ‘thank you’ cards from citizens,
- Contact centre managers where staff weren’t leaving because they were enjoying their jobs because they were allowed time to investigate issues and resolve to conclusion,
- The Managing Director who is driving his business, taking control of sales, and is successfully expanding, and
- Working with a couple of bright-young-things in a council Highways department who very quickly picked-up the baton and ran with some tremendous service improvements.
You can’t beat it.