By Elisabeth Goodman, 28th May 2018
Our new partnership with The Innovation Practice to facilitate workshops on team strategy, behaviours and working practices
RiverRhee has been facilitating team building and development workshops on and off for several years now. We recently facilitated one of these for a team at Red Balloon. The result, as Karen Schmiady (Head of Fundraising and Communications) says, can be “a highly motivating and inspiring day [with] many useful actions that will really make a difference.”
Together, we are offering an enhanced package for senior management teams and members of their organisations. Ludo Chapman and I have been talking to CEOs, COOS and HR Directors in SMEs about how we can help them set up their companies for success. The result is that we are developing workshops that are tailored to the organisation and to its requirements. They typically include one or more of the following elements:
- Shaping and articulation of your strategy (purpose, values, key performance indicators etc.)
- Agreement on your core behaviours – how you will communicate and work with each other and with others outside your team. (This is supported by analysis of your individual and team strengths.)
- Diagnosis and enhancement of your current working practices – through observation, team questionnaires, and discussion.
Successful organisations combine well-articulated organisational strategies with good people practices
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) continues to provide valuable insights on the latest thinking for successful organisations. Ranjay Gulati combines a number of roles with that of Chair of the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. His article “Structure that’s not stifling” in the May-June issue of HBR (pages 69-79), reinforces what we are aiming to do in our new partnership with The Innovation Practice:
Ensure clarity of purpose and direction
practices that enable people to be at their best
Ranjay Gulati refers to the established phrase “Freedom within a framework” as one way to describe this approach. Essentially, if people understand their organisation’s vision, mission, purpose, goals, values, rules of working – whatever the relevant mix of these is for their organisation – then it provides them with a framework within which to operate.
The “freedom” component is about giving people the ability to make their own decisions about how they will operate within that framework. The decisions can be to do with customer service (as the author describes for Alaska Airlines), with employee terms and conditions or with product innovation (as he describes for Netflix).
Although Ranjay Gulati does not say too much about the actual practices that would enable people to be at their best, he does make a few passing references to the importance of education / training (aka learning and development), as well as role modelling by senior managers, and making time for “after action” discussions and reflection.
Learning and Development can have a very real impact on an organisation’s bottom line
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to participate as a judge for the category of Learning and Development in the finals of the UK Employee Excellence Awards. Entries came from a variety of sectors and from large corporate organisations as well as smaller ones.
What struck me was the passion of those presenting the entries for their awards – and these were CEOs and other C-suite managers, as well as HR professionals and individual team leaders.
The best entries were able to relate how their Learning and Development programmes were having a positive impact on their company’s bottom line and to the quality of the service they provided to their customers. This positive outcome was in addition to enhancing individual’s personal and professional development, and their perception of being valued by the company.
The programmes described included ones for management and leadership skills and for professional and ‘soft’ skills for the whole organisation. The participants also described varying approaches for performance management and review.
Employees were involved to a varying extent in the actual development of the programmes. Some award participants also used external support to develop and initiate their programmes before taking them over in-house.
Could we help you with shaping and implementing your learning and development strategies?
Many of the organisations that we work with have had a slow start to 2018 as senior managers’ and HR practitioners’ attention has been on securing the latest round of funding, or dealing with relocations, major organisational changes and/or recruitment challenges.
We have seen knock-on effects for learning and development, which frequently takes a lower priority. However, if you have a performance management / review process in place, your employees will be identifying requirements which may be going unmet. Addressing these requirements will have a positive impact on motivation and retention, on helping your employees be at their best and, ultimately, on your organisation’s success.
We have experience in designing and implementing performance management processes, in carrying out training needs analysis, and in helping organisations to identify appropriate learning and development programmes. These programmes could include any of our own in-house courses and workshops, but we would be equally happy to guide you towards alternative suppliers of face-to-face or online programmes.
Could we help you with this?
Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams.