Creating a culture that’s sky high.
The back story
A major UK airline had just gone through their biggest downsizing exercise when we first met with them. They wanted to run an engagement survey to see how people were feeling after the changes and to set a benchmark for moving forwards.
The results showed that they had a lot of challenges, predominantly in their manager behaviours where the old commander control style culture permeated everywhere. In order to turn the business around the CEO had launched a formal management process which set the ground rules on how they would deliver success as a business. The process was about commercial success, but just as importantly it was about ‘loving our customers and each other’. For managers within the company, this was a far cry from the way they had been managing people for years and many felt uneasy about all this talk of ‘love’!
The CEO wanted to give everyone the chance to embrace this new approach and learn how to manage through the style he had created and asked us if we could help…
We started by designing and running a development programme for their top 120 managers to embed their understanding of what the new style of management process required of them as well as enabling them to develop their awareness of the strengths of the process and their own development needs.
A key part of the programme was developing their Emotional Intelligence as well as equipping them to give and receive feedback on their approach within the new style by the end of the programme.
We knew that these managers had a high propensity to action, so we designed the programme to enable them to ‘learn through doing’ by creating learning labs and outdoor exercises as a metaphor. Over the 2-day residential programme we gave them lots of opportunities to explore and understand the benefits of the new style which culminated in them giving really insightful feedback to each other.
The participants understanding of the new management process increased by 60% after the programme and 100% of the managers said they would recommend the programme to their peers.
When we undertook a second survey 18 months on, their engagement index had increased by 8%, feeling valued and appreciated had risen by 11% and they saw positive improvements in all of their priority areas.
Finally, we undertook some further management development work for the airline including:
- Understanding how different people react to different pressures.
- How to manage stress for those people and drive awareness of the impact of negative spirals on organisation performance.
- Helping managers to flex their management style for people with different skills/motivation in different tasks.