Building meaningful engagement with construction workers.
The back story
A major retirement home builder had been building award winning retirement apartments for over 30 years and more than 45,000 buyers have chosen their way of life... because it simply is the best.
With almost 1000 employees across 6 regions in the UK responsible for building, selling and managing their retirement developments as well as a Head Office team based on the South Coast, this is a big business. Initially, Ixia were appointed in 2010 to enable the company to evaluate the levels of engagement across the organisation and provide qualitative insights which would explain The results. They understood that engagement happens at an emotional level and wanted us to help them move away from a typical satisfaction survey to something more meaningful.
Our approach was firstly to undertake focus groups to inform the design of their survey. As a result, we included 11 questions specifically based on the feedback from the employees in addition to our engagement measures. A further 8 questions were designed to identify the extent to which the employees throughout different tiers in the organisation were demonstrating the behaviours behind the organisational values.
The design of the questions was critical in ensuring people would answer honestly and identify the underlying behaviours that would mean they were living the values.
The quantitative survey came next, ensuring that the survey was accessible, either online or via a paper survey to everyone across the organisation.
As a result of the qualitative and quantitative results, 5 key areas of focus were identified at the organisational level, whilst managers were empowered locally to impact their team’s priorities.
Ixia undertook a series of detailed sessions with employees to understand what was currently driving the low scores in these 5 key areas and what needed to change for individuals to feel more positive in these areas in the future.
The Senior Team really engaged with the feedback and created a corporate action plan which ensured changes were made as a result.
Following the surveys in 2010 and 2011, Ixia were also asked to support a few specific teams which had less than average results and particularly sensitive issues to address. This involved working with the team and the manager to address the areas which were preventing them from working together and create a climate where they could have open & honest dialogue.
Within the next 12 months the organisation made a great impact across the business. They achieved a 10% increase on ‘individuals feeling that they trust the organisation to meet their expectations’ and 23% increase on ‘individuals feeling that the Senior Team listen to people’s ideas and are open to new ways of doing things.’
They now have Employee Insight Teams in each region, who meet regularly to discuss what’s impacting their engagement positively & negatively and feed this back up to management which has improved their two-way communication channels.
The company have also introduced an online site where employees can put forward their ideas and suggestions, and the CEO has worked hard on his open communication, taking the time to explain why decisions have been made and that he and his team understand the implications of these for some.
The individual teams which were supported saw a huge improvement on their year on year scores, with the manager of one team commenting:
“Our results have materially improved and your direction and advice was certainly an important ingredient. There are obviously areas that myself and my team can continually look to improve but it is much easier to do that knowing that the department is in a much better place/frame of mind than it was twelve months ago.”
Overall, because of the focus and drive on engaging with their employees, the organisation is winning back the family feeling which many hold so dear and are striving to continue to create a culture where their employees feel valued.