When Ferranti Technologies created their values, as part of the Sharing in Growth programme, they decided they would be “more than words on a wall”.
After training sessions with Sharing in Growth delivery experts Global Integration and Inspire, the senior management signed off the company values, having involved their teams in developing them. Their aim was to create a culture that supported continuous improvement. The values agreed were:
- Drive (goal-oriented)
The next step, led by marketing communications manager Gillian Bardsley and supported by Sharing in Growth business transformation coach Brett Blake, was to develop and run a series of workshops to involve everyone in embedding the values, attitudes and behaviours.
To involve every one of the 114-strong team, a 90-minute workshop is being run every Wednesday for a month on each value so that there are plenty of opportunities to contribute. The first four were covered between September and December 2018. The remainder have been scheduled for early 2019.
Known as ‘Workshop Wednesday” 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 for Gillian and Brett is to ensure that the workshop activities are novel enough to engage everyone in learning. For example, to help people understand how to use the most appropriate form of communication, the 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.
For the accountability value, the exercise involved teams building a tower out of dried spaghetti and, in the process, learning more about roles and responsibilities, while the excellence exercise asked people to “bring yourself to work” which meant outlining their out of work passions to understand how these interests could be applied in work. People could then use well-honed skills that they enjoyed in a win-win situation.
To analyse, interpret and action the feedback from “Workshop Wednesday”, Ferranti has formed a ‘Manager Forum’ to ensure that staff can see that their input is making a difference. Furthermore, everyone at Ferranti is being kept informed of progress and reminded of the values focus through ‘Next is Now’, a newsletter launched as part of Engage, a campaign to inspire, empower and engage the whole team in continual improvement and growing the business.
As well as completing workshops on the remaining values, the next step will be an engagement survey to measure the results of engagement activity and to utilise the improved cross-functional communication to support the development of policy deployment (utilising hoshin kanri) for 2019.
Said Brett Blake: “The values workshops are proving effective. We can already see that people feel valued and want to contribute to Ferranti’s growth. This means the management team can be confident that the team can deliver when more work is won. There is a lot of positive change. For example, teams are talking and getting together to solve problems to the root cause. Everyone is showing signs of making gratuitous effort which means they understand the needs to employ continuous improvement to go the extra mile to satisfy customers.”
Find out more about Ferranti Technologies here.