The daily realities of managing BAU stand between good ideas (like how to improve customer experiences) and successful implementation.
However this is frequently overlooked when companies look to implement change and in the training and development programmes companies put in place designed to develop a management team capable of delivering continual change
Our Transformation Director, Stephen Grey has delivered change, transformed customer experiences and created high performance teams for leading blue-chip companies including Abbey National, GE, BT and Warburg’s, as well as for SMEs in both highly regulated and highly innovative environments. Read on for more detail about what he achieved.
Stephen’s experience showed him that building high-performing management teams in fast change environments and facing strong competition requires attention to process, people and technology. Achieving lasting change in the quality and consistency of customer experiences is no easy task but his successes provide evidence that his approach is transferable.
We have captured his proven approach in our Practical Management Coaching service.
His leadership and management expertise transformed Operations areas, improving performance, service quality and morale across the whole division.
Gary Hockey-Morley, Director, Abbey Mortgages and protection Services
He was very skilled in the development of highly motivate teams across a range of disciplines….that ensured sustained performance and loyalty.
David S Fielden, Director, SG Warburg
Liberate Your Managers
The ‘People & Performance’ model developed at the University of Bath, Business School, highlights the importance of line managers in creating discretionary effort, commitment, satisfaction and business profitability. Relationship with the manager is the single largest influencing factor; nearly three times more important than career opportunity and five times more important than work/life balance.
Some organisations have applied these findings retrospectively as part of the rationale for their existing management development activities but however good the programme, there is often a gap between learning and application.
In most cases, managers return to the workplace facing the same circumstances as before: the same challenges around people, process and technology perhaps exacerbated by a backlog built up whilst they have been absent! Worst of all, they face the daily challenge of balancing their personal workload with their accountability for team performance whilst hoping that their priorities and progress aren’t interrupted or derailed by incoming, unanticipated emergencies (we call them “Exocets”).
Management roles are more demanding today than ever before with higher expectations on all sides. Without help to translate management theory into practice, managers may lack the confidence or experience to convert what they have learned into meaningful action, with the result that they slip quietly back into their usual routine. A waste of money and a waste of talent!
Based upon substantial management and leadership experience, we have developed a proprietary model to provide coaching to managers and executives, helping them to navigate the pressures and sometimes shifting priorities of their day-to-day responsibilities. The coaching focuses on their world, their reality.
Our model is based upon principles in five modules.
The Practical Management 5-step framework
The steps provide reference points for future planning and action and are designed in collaboration with your team to ensure that they are aligned with your objectives and values. They provide a baseline that ensures that your managers apply tools, standards and behaviours that are consistent across your business but which also recognise any functional characteristics that are important to performance, achievement and progress. Above all, the model encompasses what we call ‘The Whole Job’.
The principle of ‘The Whole Job’ is simple. Unless we recognise the full range of tasks and responsibilities within the management role, we will not harness the skills and free the time required to perform well.
Many managers describe their role in terms of its primary function, for example, sales order processing, IT services or debt collection, but they forget to mention other important activities such as meetings, training, reporting, thinking, planning, problem solving, team relationships and so on. Usually, this is because these activities are squeezed in around the tasks that carry targets and therefore are more visible, but, in any event, time must be allocated and protected for all management activities if managers are to succeed.
Our 5 Practical Management modules recognise all management activities. We help managers to understand the relationship between them and how to align and prioritise them so that they increase their chance of success and job satisfaction.
The model was used very effectively in Abbey National to recover service, direction and morale in the operational delivery teams following the run-away success of a new free business banking proposition that had swamped the business.
The initial response to this high customer demand lacked focus. This produced a perfect storm:
- Cross-functional disagreements
- A confused organisational structure
- Increasing customer dissatisfaction
- And low employee engagement inhibiting efforts to improve matters
Using the Practical Management framework to support and guide the management team over a 9 month programme Stephen was able to build confidence, a sense of purpose and pride in success. The programme was applied across functions including Application Processing, Credit Underwriting, Customer Service, Call Centre and Account ‘Switcher’ Services. Cross-functional morale and relationships also improved, with greater collaboration in helping the business to succeed.
Many organisations invest in management training and development programmes but recent research by Gallup on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests that most leadership and management training is not delivering what it is designed to do. The research shows that only 17% of workers report that they are fully engaged by their employers and the CIPD estimates that this lack of engagement is costing the economy between £39bn and £48bn a year. At The Customer Journey Consultancy, we believe that one reason for this is the emphasis on management theory rather than management practice, and on a generic view of management rather than on the reality of day-to-day activity.
To ensure engagement, our team works with your HR and senior management sponsors to understand the context of delivery (strategy, objectives, immediate challenges, existing appraisal process etc.) and then to develop a flexible programme framework that will create confidence and improve performance amongst the candidates selected for coaching. The programme will be delivered via a mix of group and 1-2-1 sessions including follow-up reviews at one month and three month intervals after the initial coaching sessions.