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Case study

Enhancing collaboration and dynamism in a financial sector company

CLIENT

Anonymous

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Collective performance

PROJECT DURATION

2022
Table of Contents

ABOUT THE CLIENT

The client has played a major role in the Luxembourg financial sector for about 100 years and is represented all over the country.

The bank believes strongly in the importance of innovation and sustainability, and takes its social responsibility very seriously.

This explains why employee well-being constitutes one of its main priorities, thus making the HR department a vital part of its cullture.

Once again, thank you for the excellent facilitation of the workshop (…) The team was very satisfied and from my point of view, it was an excellent exercise to strengthen the links in the management team. We developed concrete ideas that we can deploy in our respective teams.” (Department director and project sponsor)

The effects were long-lasting, several weeks after the workshop, the department director still considered that “the guidelines drawn up at the workshop constitute a very good basis for discussion and will be used by the management and change team to consolidate the functioning of the departments

THE CONTEXT

  • The project was initiated by the Human Resources director for his department.
 
  • This department had undergone  several changes during the past 18 months: 
  1. On the one hand, the department had diversified and is now responsible for a wide range of tasks for example the HR teams which offer administrative and financial support, those which are responsible for the employee experience including well-being at work, talent & career management, personnel training, the teams in charge of internal and external communication and last but not least the team in charge of accompanying internal change.
  2. On the other hand, a certain level of fluctuation among staff in various departments has resulted in a lack of clarity concerning individual roles and responsibilities.
  • These changes have had a profound effect on departmental organisation and efficiency, often resulting in increased employee fatigue due to their increased workloads – both real and perceived, as well as shortfalls in communication resulting in misunderstandings.
 
  • In addition to these internal changes, the Covid crisis had a major impact on both ways of working and managerial roles, which resulted in  complications with on-boarding new arrivals to departments and also added the challenge of maintaining the departmental culture and personal relationships.
 
  • In consequence the department remains under a lot of pressure as it ensures the success of several strategic projects linked to the bank’s commitment to CSR policies. All of this in addition to daily tasks, which are no longer standardised because of the ongoing changes in the job market and the impact of increased digitalisation.

MINDFOREST'S MISSION

MindForest accompanied the client in the following aspects:

Providing an in-depth appraisal

of the current situation and employee (team) satisfaction,

Identifying key problem areas and their causes

as identified at departmental level with subsequent prioritisation

Improving collaboration

at management team level including a transition towards an approach of collective efficiency, based on the definition of guiding principles to enable all staff to reach their full potential in a rapid, efficient and long-term way.

Aligning the team

and creating bonds to strengthen and energise the management and change teams

TOOLS, METHODS & ACTIONS

The definition of a State of Play: after appraising the existing situation and defining an approach based on various change management tools and methods combined with observation work in the field and a series of semi-direct interviews.

Use of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method: a tailormade workshop was designed to measure the State of Play and help to identify current issues.

THE PROJECT OUTCOME

  • The State of Play made it possible to reveal unexpected and/or confirmed the feelings of the management team and senior management about the levers for collaboration and performance within the department
  • It also made it possible to identify any potential obstacles and the different resources at their disposition to achieve their objectives 
  • The next stage and that of the co-construction of conclusions made it gradually possible to advance in the design of solutions, which could then be implemented immediately by the departmental director and his team of managers.
  • Finally, the audit revealed and confirmed the scale of the challenges facing the derpartment and the importance of being able to rely on a united and efficient team of managers to support the change.

Collective efficiency is closely linked to interpersonal relationships, as well as close links between the teams; collaboration depends on everyone’s ability to listen and to express themselves.

  • The stage of State of Play, based partly on individual interviews and also on regular exchanges with management, made it possible to encourage free expression of speech reassuring employees that they could express their doubts to their managers without any fear of reprisals. From emotional catharsis follows the ability to overcome real or felt blockages and to re-mobilise to overcome them on a more objective basis.
  • This dialogue process initiated through the State of Play also laid the foundations for better communication between the teams and management. It has made it possible to (re)create links that had sometimes been impaired by increased workloads and teleworking. In addition, some disputes and conflicts were resolved by the managers, thanks to the dialogue process initiated through coaching.
  • On the one hand, this result is due to the insight provided by the State of Play: the information provided by this inventory made it possible to share a common “snapshot” of the department at a given moment, and to agree with the management and change management team on the issues on which they would focus in the coming months.
  • The result provided a shared awareness of the importance of the role of the management and change team and their effective collaboration in meeting the current challenges facing the department. From this, it was decided to devote a day to a team strategy activity using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method.
  • The intense one-day workshop using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method enabled the team to assess its current status and work on future operating modes. The team thus defined guiding principles, including a real “social contract” between its members, which were designed to facilitate their communication, guide their actions and decision-making. All of this laid the foundations for greater collaboration. This parenthesis also has the effect of strengthening the links between team members, with varied profiles, revealing their individual potential and, through their complementarity, their team potential.
    • The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop also provided an insight into the team’s and the department’s culture, and highlighted the significance of the great diversity of profiles and functions and different cultures. For example, between highly technical teams and those comprising what can be described as “new roles” linked to well-being at work and employee experience.
    This diversity and interdisciplinarity could have given the impression of incoherence, of a “catch-all” department. On the contrary, the workshop revealed the complementarity of the teams, based on a common raison d’être for the department, common objectives and values, and thus a team culture that already exists and continues to evolve.

THE MAIN SUCCESS FACTORS

A project rhythm suited to greater iteration

• A project rhythm combining flexibility and effective project management: a balance between the flexibility given to the project in order to allow the first effects of the support to emerge, the maturity of stakeholder reflection and the adaptation of the approach to operational requirements (Ripeness theory), and a project management adapted to guarantee the rhythm, the involvement of the people concerned and maximise the impact of the support • Iteration: based on regular exchanges between stakeholders in order to take into account the evolution of the situation and to adapt the diagnosis and the support together

An impact-orientated approach

• Using collective intelligence to identify (internal team and MindForest), the issues on which the project could have the greatest impact • Focusing efforts on these points of impact in a positive and constructive approach: identifying levers of change based on the group's strengths, rather than on its shortcomings

Availability of the people concerned

• The participation and involvement of the different people in planned activities • The reactivity of our communication

Openness and acceptance of the need to do things differently

• The stakeholders accepted that there are other ways of doing things • A willingness arose to explore the different options to improve the organization

A person-orientated approach

• Putting individuals at the heart of the reflection as a source of both complexity and creativity, and designing solutions based on collective intelligence • Taking cultural aspects into account when assessing how team operate • A focus on interpersonal communication and dispute resolution • A posture based on the concept of a Trusted Advisor and active listening: a high level of availability allowing for close and in-depth exchanges with the department manager in order to refine the methodology used, and to take into account the initial changes and improvements brought about by the start of the coaching process

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