Cultural work and communication skills for a technical department
The City of Ryde is an emerging suburban centre, with strong business growth, located North West of the city with the fourth largest business hub of Sydney. 2,600 new jobs were added to the local economy over the past five years and the population growth averages 2% each year.
To support the critical economics and community activities of the area, the Council manages and maintains a substantial number of assets. To effectively meet the current and future demand for services, the Assets Systems Department increased its number of highly qualified professionals to support the management of its infrastructure.
The leader of the department was clear that in order to fulfil the community’s expectations and work towards the vision of the department he would need a united and collaborative leadership team and a department with strong communication skills. As a consequence, People for Success were engaged to assist with essential culture development.
The initiative designed to support the Council consisted of two different phases. The first phase involved consolidating the identity of the department, building a clear purpose and vision, developing a framework and providing a space to have honest conversations about the challenges the leaders were facing.
Our Top Team Alignment Program was tailored to the specific requirements of the Assets Leadership Team. They were taken through the following stages in the journey:
First Stage – Measurement: The Human Synergistics’ 360 LSI 1&2 feedback assessment tools were used to help leaders more clearly understand how their style of thinking and behavior both at times supports and hinders their effectiveness as a leader.
Second Stage – Top Team Alignment program: The leadership team attended a two-day off-site workshop where they were presented with the feedback from their peers, higher-level manager and direct reports. Each leader was given the space to open-up and give an honest account of how the leadership team was functioning, how their own leadership style impacted the delivery of the Council’s objectives and how to move forward together towards an inspiring vision and strategy.
Third Stage – 360 Debriefing Sessions: Each leader was supported with a one-on-one executive coaching session to debrief the 360 feedback report and to guide the leadership team members towards constructive leadership behaviours.
Fourth Stage – Six Month Check-In Workshop: Similar to the second stage above, each leader was given the space to discuss what the team could do more of, less of or continue doing to perform as a high functioning leadership team. The vision, purpose and goals were revisited to ensure accountability for previous commitments and to develop a new set of commitments.
After a series of meetings with many stakeholders, it was decided that the entire department would go through an Emotional Intelligence skill-building program. This program would be focused in building strong self-management, listening and interpersonal skills. The program consisted of three stages:
First Stage – Self-Assessment: Every employee in the department conducted a self assessment utilising the E.Q.i 2.0, the most comprehensive, practical, and widely-administered tool in the field of emotional intelligence.
Second Stage – Results Debriefing and Data Collection: A one-hour debriefing session was held to debrief the results and to gather data to tailor the emotional intelligence workshop to the specific requirements of the Assets team.
Third Stage – Emotional Intelligence Workshop: A series of Emotional Intelligence Workshops were held for the entire team to learn how to manage their emotions in times of stress with each other and with the public, to learn how to take more responsibility for their behaviour and to raise issues with each other in a constructive way.
The program had a significantly positive impact on the entire department. Six months after the program was launched, the leadership team attended a one-day follow up where outcomes of the programs were examined and discussed. Based on the results of a survey completed by the employees from the department, all 6 leaders indicated that their communication had dramatically improved, 85% of the department indicated that the teamwork had enhanced after the program and 90% recognised that their leaders were more constructive in the way they communicated with them, leading to an increase in morale.
One of the key measurements of the success of the program occurred two months after the conclusion of the program. Another senior leader within City of Ryde requested a meeting with People for Success after her and her leadership team noticed a significant improvement in communication within the Assets department. People for success conducted a similar program with the new team and helped them consolidate their identity and develop a strong, united team that strives towards achieving their vision.
"Using the six hats methodology we were able to uncover all of the issues that contributed to us not delivering on time. The issues were around material supply, communication, teamwork, business model, leadership. Every person contributed and those people who would normally dominate discussions with only a negative contribution were silenced with the six hats metholodology allowing every person to contribute. Using the collective intelligence of the group we were also able to brainstorm solutions to the issues and set long and short term action plans going forward. We covered a lot of ground in 2 days. Using other methodologies it could of taken longer or worse still we may not have identified all of the root causes."
Bruce Hansen, General Manager Operations, Security Solutions and Services
"Kristyn facilitated a series of Leadership Team Alignment workshops for our executive group. Our senior leaders gained insights into how they see themselves, how others see them and how those insights can be used to improve our team’s performance. Following the investment in the program we not only saw immediate improvements in our leadership culture here at carsales, but longer term positive impacts to the way we lead and communicate."
Cameron McIntyre, COO
"The course was excellent, I came into the training thinking it's just another course where the trainer will tell us right from wrong and how it should be. I came away inspired to be a better customer service professional."
Silka - Customer Service Professional
“Kristyn’s approach to our team building event and complete understanding of what we wanted to achieve ensured an extremely effective outcome. It was obvious from the start that we were in good hands as Kristyn assisted both companies, define business goals and a strategy, then went on to create an amazing event with a complexity of team challenges including games and events which involved all of the team selecting what they wanted ‘more of’ and ‘less of’ within the Alliance which formed a list of ‘Shared Goals’ for the team. The valuable tools and processes utilised throughout the day left a lasting impression on attendees, with only positive feedback received. Kristyn’s ability to embrace and capture all types of personalities and styles is a tribute to her which left the team with a highly memorable and extremely beneficial experience.
Peter Munro - V1 Alliance Manager
“As a team we were able to achieve amazing results. Kristyn was persistent, challenging, sensitive and emapthic. I can truly say that we have never engaged with a company that has delivered us with so many improvements in the way we manage ourselves and our people.”
Wendy Cooper - Commercial Director
“I want to thank Kristyn, in addition to highly recommending her for her commitment to exceed expectations. I was fortunate enough to attend People for Success Authentic Leadership Program over a period of 12 months which involved sometimes confronting and challenging learnings. The impact on my leadership and facilitation skills is seen day in and day out. Not only has my team gained the rewards of this program I approach every situation differently today as a result of Kristyn’s guidance. This program has greatly assisted in my journey to be the best leader I can be and without this program I wouldn’t be doing and making the decisions I am making today. "