SUCCESS STORIES

Employee conversation reverses growth direction

Industry: Business consumables/distribution

Use case: Employee MirrorWave

 


 

A conversation of common purpose to grow revenue

A new CEO joined the firm with the mandate to grow revenue in order to reverse past patterns of low or negative growth. The CEO believed strongly that he needed the support of all his people to achieve a positive growth outcome and that he alone could not do it. 

Together with MirrorWave the leadership team launched a ‘conversation of common purpose’ around his growth targets with all 750 employees with a view to bring full focus of the firm on this issue.

The MirrorWave program pulsed all employees three times over a period of 18 months with just 3 simple questions:

  • How optimistic do you feel that the target growth rate can be achieved (rating scale of 0-10 used)
  • What are the good things going on that will enable the growth target to be met?
  • What are the barriers to meeting the growth target?

MirrorWave's signature longitudinal method

Using the signature MirrorWave longitudinal method, the same questions were asked at each pulse in order to ‘follow’ changes over time in each individual’s sentiment. It was an attributed approach where employees had a choice to participate or not, but if they did, their comments were personally attributed to them. Following individuals has the great advantage of telling individual stories about where sentiment is heading over time. This encourages and enables positive conversations about what people think. The questions also sought the ‘voice’ of employees, so that they got a chance to say what they think in their own words as they see it.

90% participation rate

After a strong campaign to initially explain the purpose of the program and to invite people in, participation was very willing- reaching almost 90%. The feedback from each person was read personally by the CEO and considered by the executive leadership team. They found outstanding insights and ideas came from a wide range of employees, but some from positions in the company where it was least expected.

After each pulse there was a concerted program to feed back the results to all employees and to propose growth strategies based on what employees had said. While the average results showed strong improvement in optimism before flattening off, the individual stories revealed much greater diversity with the full range of optimism and pessimism displayed, and tracking differently individual to individual. The leadership team and the growth task team took the opportunity to have personal conversations with employees to talk over important points they had made- optimistic or pessimistic.

The outcomes?

The outcomes were outstanding. Growth was achieved, reversing previous trends. The leadership team attributed it to the renewed focus on the need to grow, and how this influenced day-to-day behaviours.