Building a winning culture


I have recently had the opportunity to work on an internal employee engagement project focussed on embedding company values.


Not enough to simply use written forms of communication, we really needed to get infront of people and deliver the message in a way that was not time consuming but really impactful.


I designed a series of value based workshops intent on embedding values, attitudes and behaviours.


The project was to involve over 100 employee's and I had an hour to work with. I really wanted to hold forums or workshops that encouraged people to think for themselves and generate 'light bulb moments' or moments where they would say 'aha' and really get the point.


Every employee was to undertake a session per value, an hour a month for 8 months which meant I was delivering workshops once a week to cover everyone.


Each session asks attendees to discuss the current state of that month’s value in the business, to take part in an activity that helps everyone understand the value, to reflect on what they had learned from the activity and then to commit to actions supporting the value in the next month. At the next session the attendees start by looking at what they have done to support the value and the resulting outcomes, before then moving onto a similar agenda on the next value.


The continuing challenge was to ensure that the workshop activities were novel enough to engage everyone in learning. I researched lots of team building initiatives and tried to focus on those that were designed to reinforce a particular value, for example, for communication, groups were split into pairs who sat back to back. One of the pair had to verbally describe a picture they had been given to enable their partner to draw it. The results were extremely funny and left everyone with the message not to rely on a channel like email where tone, body language and visuals were left to the imagination of the recipient.


Each workshop followed a similar pattern but with differing content which was as stimulating as the last but the attendees felt they got better and better.


I measured success via the net promoter score question that was given by employees at the end of each session.


What was evident was that as time went on, I started to see a real change in people, the mood was greatly improved and customers started to commend us on performance improvements. There is no way of saying whether this was a direct link to the workshops as there were many other business improvements made over the course of the sessions, but it was definitely a contributing factor.


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gillian@thedesigngrove.com

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