Organization # 1 – CEO # 1
I shared culture and engagement results from Organization #1 to the CEO and his executive team. This CEO also invited his executive coach to attend the meeting so the CEO had accountability after the culture and engagement meeting. The results were fairly positive, although there were some declines year over year based on some of the strategic decisions made within this organization regarding COVID-19 and vacinne mandates.
The leader listened as his team responded to the survey results and they all focused on continuous improvement and how to use the results to keep moving forward in creating a positive culture within their organization. It was a collaborative discussion and even the focus areas were accepted and understood as areas to help them learn and grow.
The group put together several action items to implement as a result of the survey data. Additionally, they decided on a communication strategy to deliver the results across the entire organization. I have met with this team several times since the initial call in terms of progress towards their culture and engagement goals.
The next step is working with each department individually to enlist their ideas on how to make this organization create an environment where people can do their best work.
Organization # 2 – CEO # 2
I shared culture and engagement results from Organization #2 to the CEO and her executive team. This organization is in healthcare and the shortage of nurses and COVID had hit them particularly hard on the day we met. The survey results were below average, and as you can imagine, the nurses were among the least engaged.
The entire team listened intently to the survey feedback and everyone ralleyed around the Chief Nursing Officer to provide support and commitment to assist this leader. I am in many meetings where executives have competing agendas; therefore, leaders are only interested in what helps them be successful and they typically lose sight of the team and organization. That did not happen in this meeting. The cooperation among the team and lack of competition regarding resources was moving.
This group also conducted action planning and became very focused on helping each other. They also continue to work with me and check-in regarding next steps and communication to their team members across the organization. I am presenting the results to their board next week because the CEO wants to ensure that the results are presented from a non-biased perspective. She cares about culture and wants to be sure she is creating an environment where people can do their best work.
Organization # 3 – CEO # 3
I shared culture and engagement results from Organization #3 to the CEO and a few members of his executive team. The CEO was at a standing desk and immediately demonstrated his nervousness about the results. He began pacing in his office and rubbing his head. The tension was palpable.
He kept saying, “These results can not be accurate. I can not share these with the employees; they will be demoralized.” We talked about ways to share and interpret the results to make sure that the low scores were used as a baseline, demonstrating where we are in our current culture and making a culture road map to where we want to be. He continued to rub his head and be visibly upset.
We finished the conversation and I immediately followed up with the CHRO on how to move forward since they had contracted with me to present the information to the entire leadership team. After our discussion, it was decided we would review the results from a totally different perspective and mostly share the encouraging and positive results.
The presentation was revised more than five times with revisions based on how the CEO needed the presentation to look. It was a difficult situation and he was very nervous about how I would communicate with his entire leadership team. I am glad to say that he felt I delivered on what he was hoping for in terms of the meeting with his team.
However, I am not thrilled that we only included the “positive results” and didn’t discuss potential focus areas. I am fearful that this CEO doesn’t want to face the reality that he has many locations within his organization that are disengaged. Facing the truth about the data we see/hear is sometimes difficult. And, it is also a learning opportunity.
If the leadership team doesn’t really know how employees are actually responding to the survey, then they won’t know how or what to change to move forward more positively. Good leadership does not mean running away from reality, it means sharing difficulties so you can inspire people to take action that may make the situation better. I agree that no one should be demoralized; however, without honesty, trust, and transparency an environment is created that is not founded on honesty, trust, and transparency.
“Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.” Henry Ford