Listening to the Voice of Your People:
Areas for Action in the Response to COVID-19

By Michael Schwendeman (Director, Research & Development) and Andrew Tenbrink (Research & Development Team)

During the pandemic, organizations have been forced to transform the way they do business. From the physical space where work is done to the way that team members communicate, many things have changed. Some organizations have stepped up while others have failed to answer the call. At Denison Consulting, our research indicates that organizational culture strongly influences an organization’s response to the pandemic. Organizations with positive cultures are able to understand where they are headed, adapt to change, get their employees involved, and live out a consistent set of values. We think that there is much to be learned from how organizations with positive cultures have responded to COVID-19.

In an effort to explore their responses, we asked their employees “During the COVID-19 crisis, what are some of the things that your organization has done well?” By analyzing nearly 3000 comments across 20 organizations using natural language processing, we identified these five major themes that were most frequently discussed. These areas for action can serve as an example for how other organizations can effectively respond to the pandemic.

Communicating Effectively

Under normal circumstances, employees feel confident about their jobs and the direction of their organizations. For many this is no longer the case. Now employees are subject to an enormous amount of uncertainty surrounding the future of their employment. This creates immense stress for employees while also making it increasingly difficult for them to do their jobs. One strategy to mitigate these feelings is to facilitate transparent and effective communication.

Increased communication from leadership has been extremely well received by employees and was the most frequently discussed theme in employee comments. Leaders have made increased efforts to provide weekly updates that include information on the COVID-19 crisis and plans for the continuation of business. CEOs have made it a priority to communicate directly to their employees through mediums like recorded videos, live videoconferences, and written newsletters. Transparency has been a point of emphasis and employees appreciate having honest conversations regarding the future of their organization. Additionally, allowing employees to provide feedback has been an important step to ensure employees feel included.

“Keeping up communication about how things are changing, what is being done, and how we are all adapting to these changes.”
“I was very happy to see the newsletters from our CEO each week with updates on how they are dealing with the crisis and how they are making the employees and their families a priority.”
“They have kept the lines of communication open. They have kept us aware of the ever-changing situation that we are going through. They understand that this is a tough time and have worked well to adapt to it.”

Providing Sanitizer & Personal Protective Equipment

Employees are now facing risks at work that they never thought they would have to deal with. For those whose jobs have been deemed essential, going to work poses a serious health threat for themselves, their coworkers, and their families. These employees must rely heavily on leaders in their organizations to ensure that precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many of these changes can be uncomfortable for employees, but they are necessary to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

Organizations have made an enormous impact by providing personal protective equipment for their essential employees. This includes giving employees masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to use while they are at work. There have also been major efforts undertaken to provide sanitation equipment and services to ensure that working environments are kept clean. In addition to taking caring of their own employees, some organizations have even been able to pivot their business to help combat COVID-19 by producing hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment.

“Doing everything we can to stop the spread such as temperature checks and wearing masks.”
“Our organization sending out all information regarding COVID-19 and providing safety sanitizer and protective supplies for employee to use in the COVID-19 crisis.”
“Ordered and received sanitizer, cleaning products and all items for individual employees.”

Transitioning to Work from Home

Some organizations have embraced policies surrounding telework while others remain wary of its effects on employee productivity and organizational culture. While being forced to quickly adopt telework policies, organizations and employees alike have learned a lot about their capabilities to get work done in new environments. Enabling work from home has allowed employees to continue to contribute to the organization while maintaining physical safety.

Quickly making the decision to allow employees to work from home was frequently mentioned in the survey comments. Not only did organizations simply begin to allow work from home, but they provided employees with the tools (e.g., laptops, monitors) and technical support needed to effectively adapt their work. This transition has also been supported by keeping employees informed regarding work expectations and changes to work policies. Allowing work from home has been greatly appreciated by employees and has empowered employees to better balance work with other aspects of their lives.

“Allowing employees to work from home has been wonderful especially for those who have children to take care of given the lack of childcare.”
“We invested early in remote technology and this made the transitions to WFH much easier.”
“Having the option to work from home and helped ease my anxiety about the COVID-19 crisis and I’m glad this company has given me the chance to do so.”

Prioritizing Health & Safety

Industries that operate predominately in typical office spaces do not face the same daily health and safety risks that other industries do. Now organizations across all industries are being called upon to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all of their employees, which for some presents a new and challenging expectation. Establishing that employees are taken care of can drastically reduce anxiety and help employees feel comfortable and engaged when continuing their work.

Organizations have worked to increase their focus on employee health and safety by quickly rolling out new policies and protocols for conducting business. Efforts to socially distance have been implemented by limiting in-office interactions and ensuring that necessary interactions are conducted in a safe manner. Specific actions have been taken like changing work schedules, reducing business hours, and restricting access to high-traffic work spaces. Mental health has also been prioritized by giving employees additional days off and sharing mental health resources. Taking these necessary steps has helped employees feel confident that the organization is operating with their best interest in mind

“Proactive in protecting the health of employees and quickly making decisions related to that.”
“We are careful to protect the health and well-being of each other and, by extension, our families.”
“Making the health and safety of the employees the top priority, and responding so quickly to the crisis.”

Maintaining Team Contact & Connection

With work transitioning from office spaces to virtual working environments, it can be increasingly difficult for team members to stay connected. Before the pandemic, it was easy to walk across the office to meet with your boss or ask for a team member’s opinion on a project. Now it takes more effort, intention, and coordination to keep these avenues of collaboration open. Encouraging and enabling teams to stay connected is an important step in maintaining effectiveness.

Employees appreciate that organizations have worked to ensure that teams can continue to function to the best of their abilities. Team leaders have taken action by encouraging the use of technologies like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to facilitate quality team interactions and coordination. Beyond technology, supervisors have set up specific times for team interaction by scheduling weekly team meetings while also working to preserve informal lines of communication. These actions have helped team members feel more empowered, engaged, and taken care of.

“The virtual team meetings have been consistent and actually helped our team get closer.”
“Individual sales managers have been proactive in organizing very effective team sales calls in order to maintain team contact and morale.”
“Daily team meetings keep everyone engaged and have opened up opportunities for us to engage more deeply with our clients.”

What Can Organizations Do Going Forward?

In summary, organizations have been asked to prioritize the needs of their employees. Our research indicates that many organizations have answered the call and their employees have taken notice. While this is certainly a victory, we acknowledge that the response to the pandemic is not over. Organizations must continue to take action and be proactive in their response. To do this, they should prioritize staying connected and keeping employees safe.

Staying Connected. Organizations can continue to support their employees by being intentional about connecting with them and keeping them informed. Specifically, leadership should provide frequent updates and access to new information regarding the response to COVID-19, managers should establish open lines of communication with their direct reports to monitor productivity, and employees should provide honest feedback to help improve internal processes. Organizations can achieve this by using a variety of communication channels such as emails, webinars, newsletter, and virtual meetings. Additionally, technology needs to continue to be leveraged to ensure that employees have the necessary resources to do their work. Taking these steps can help create a sense of stability when it is needed the most.

Keeping Employees Safe. Organizations can protect the health and safety of their workforce by continuing to provide resources. For remote workers, organizations should continue to support new work arrangements and invest in technology to better support telework. For essential workers, organizations should continue to provide PPE, sanitize work stations, and adapt existing work policies. When work transitions back to shared work spaces, organizations need to have a coordinated plan in place to make sure employees and customer feel safe. For example, Delta airlines has made extensive changes to their boarding process, flight schedules, and aircraft capacities in order mitigate safety risks. Further, organizations should empower employees by giving them the ability to speak up if they see something that might become a health risk. Continuing to make health and safety a priority will be essential for inspiring confidence in employees.

Overall, we hope that these insights can help organizations maintain effectiveness during these difficult times. Our goal is to continue conducting research that is focused on helping organizations navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and build #RESILIENCE through organizational culture and leadership.

If you would like support in this process, please be in contact with us. We can help you achieve transformation right to the bottom line.

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Empowers People
The individual helps to create an environment where individuals have authority, initiative, and ability to manage their own work. The individual has a sense of ownership and responsibility for the organization.

Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you with (or take the initiative to identify) a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles and strengthen your competencies.

• Include employees in the decision-making process, where possible, and discuss the reasoning behind certain decisions and actions as a team.

• Provide employees with a greater sense of autonomy or control in their job responsibilities and decisions.

• Create a supportive and safe environment where employees feel comfortable in having a voice and ask employees for their inputs and ideas.

• Encourage open communication with employees and listen to employee’s needs, desires, and career aspirations.

• Recognize and reward individuals and teams that take the initiative to solve a business challenge or obstacle.

• Empower employees by giving them the ability to “stop the line” if they see a quality or safety risk, and recognize and reward those who do.

• Give employees the opportunity to provide feedback and tailor their training curriculum to fit their interests and needs.

• Hold weekly “current affairs” meetings to provide regular updates and information to employees so that they can make more informed decisions.

• Ask employees to provide a list of responsibilities and decisions that they believe they should own and why. Afterward, engage employees in discussion to discuss the list, clarify what decisions they can make, those they can influence, and those that are beyond the scope of the employee’s responsibility.

• Provide employees with opportunities for additional responsibility and challenges at work to foster empowerment and development.

• Convey confidence in employees and voice your appreciation of employees.

Defines Strategic Direction & Intent
The individual communicates the organization’s overall strategies so that everyone can see the relationship between their work and the accomplishment of the work group or organization’s goals. S/he effectively implements short and long-term strategies to meet organizational goals.

Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Develop a 1-page document that includes the company mission, vision, and values, and the team’s goals – connecting them to the bigger picture. Share this document with your employees and discuss the connection between the mission, vision, and values, and the team’s goals.

• Adopt Denison’s Create-Communicate-Clarify-Reinforce model to ensure that vision and strategy move beyond the communication stage to enhanced ownership, with a clear demonstration of how they impact decisions.

• Develop a strategic roadmap for “winning” in the marketplace, highlighting growth, productivity and accountability, and for possible future situations, such as an acquisition or merger.

• Clarify and communicate five strategic priorities after conducting a needs assessment with external customers – priorities that help connect the internal actions to the customer wants and needs. This can also be done with internal customers.

• Hold “what-how-and-why” town hall, weekly, or one-on-one meetings with employees to build their understanding of the company direction. Encourage employees to ask questions, gain greater clarity about the priorities and direction, and how they affect their work. Ask for input and feedback from employees.

• Hold leadership-led strategy workshops, bringing all managers together to discuss and understand each division’s strategy and goals, and how they align to support the company vision and strategy.

• Create “strategic thinking” teams to engage staff in dialog about institutional priorities and future opportunities.

• Create transparency and discuss leadership long-range strategic planning process. Invite employees to voice their input regarding the planning process.

Creates Shared Vision
The leader helps create a shared view of a desired future state for his/her organizational unit. S/he inspires others with this vision, translates it into everyday activities, and engages others to ensure buy-in and commitment.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Place posters of the company mission and vision in highly trafficked areas to remind employees of the organization’s mission and vision.

• Make the mission and vision key components of your employee onboarding process.

• Start important meetings with a reminder of the vision of the company, why it is important, and how the meeting relates to the vision.

• Ask employees to identify what the vision means to him/her and what he/she could do to make the vision come to life.

• Link discussions about the strategy, goals, and daily tasks directly back to the vision, to create line-of-sight between the near- and long-term priorities.

• Check-in with employees on the progress of the goal to reach or maintain the mission and vision. Ask for input from employees in what can be done to accelerate progress.

• As a leader, elude more clarity and excitement about the vision, including your stories of success and progress.

• As a leader, demonstrate your own passion about the work of the company and share stories of how your passion has translated into your work.

• Use social media, case studies, and internal communication vehicles to highlight examples of the company, demonstrating the mission and vision.

Promotes Organizational Learning
The individual leader encourages innovation, risk taking, and continuous improvement. Sees mistakes as opportunities for gaining knowledge and developing capabilities.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Hire talent that brings a unique set of experiences that are new to the organization and allow them to promote a different way of thinking.

• Send employees into the field/customer site to observe their designs and products in use, and bring that knowledge back for process design or improvement.

• Create a “knowledge channel” to facilitate employees sharing information, stories and best practices. This could be monthly learning circles, profession-specific meetings, internal social media, internal shared drives, emails etc.

• Promote AAR’s (After Action Reviews) or “Lessons Learned” events to deconstruct an activity and share what was learned – capturing the positive and negative in an effort to inform future actions.

• Utilize Action Learning methodologies to not only broaden the team participating in problem-solving, but also to discuss what the team is learning about the way they solve problems.

• Implement “Fu Pan” (replaying the chess board), a process that promotes revisiting a set of actions for evaluating and improvement of work quality and speed.

• Allocate time for learning and innovation, making them an expected component of an employee’s job.

Emphasizes Customer Focus
The individual is driven to clearly understand the present and future needs of the customer, seeks ongoing input from the customer, continuously strives to improve customer service, and ensures that all employees are driven by a concern to satisfy the customer.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Create customer personas to help the team better understand customer (internal or external) wants and needs.

• Create a program or workshop to “walk a mile in the customer’s shoes” and collect customer stories that are then shared within the organization.

• Have a recognition program that is based on exceptional customer service.

• Start every meeting with a customer story or update to reinforce the importance of the customer.

• Conduct customer satisfaction surveys and require corrective actions for any teams that fall below a targeted percent satisfaction.

• Use stories and examples to encourage team to challenge customers when it is in their (and/or the organization’s) best interests to do things differently from their expectations

• Share/cascade examples of customer expectations to the team.

• Interview customers to get a clear picture of their expectations and feedback on the current service/deliverables.

• Do periodic check-ins with the customer and show visible course-correction, when needed.

Builds Team Orientation
The individual manager places value on employees working cooperatively toward common goals and often relies on team effort to get work done. S/he helps establish a sense of mutual accountability for the accomplishment of goals.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Embrace the differences between team members and play to each team member’s individual strengths.

• Encourage trust, communication, cooperation, transparency, and information sharing among team members.

• Create a supportive and safe environment where team members can discuss issues within the team, including differences in personality styles, decision-making approaches, conflict resolution preferences, and so on.

• Ask for information and formal feedback, and allow team to offer innovative solutions to critical business needs.

• Recognize and reward “winning” solutions, but remember to convey appreciation for all solutions.

• Clearly define the roles and responsibilities as well as the values and goals for each team. Have each team provide input regarding the values and goals for their team.

• Use an “open-office” working environment and instant messaging applications (for remote employees) in order to encourage more collaboration and communication.

• Promote social activities that allow for the building of stronger working relationships and fostering team spirit (volunteer work, sporting events, team competitions, etc.).

• Select a team-building framework (for example, the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team) and use that framework for a team assessment and improvement.

Defines Goals & Objectives
The individual encourages high employee accountability in setting and accomplishing organizational goals. S/he communicates a clear set of goals and objectives that can be linked to the mission, vision, and strategy of the work group or organization.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Utilize a specific framework for goal setting (SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

• Set clear, high but attainable goals for individuals and teams. Develop these goals with the individual or team.

• Split large or “big picture” goals into smaller attainable goals. Communicate how these small goals will eventually help accomplish the larger goal.

• Adopt a performance management process that includes feedback and dialogue about progress towards individual and team goals. Feedback should not be limited to meetings but should be given at every opportunity.

• Recognize and reward employees and teams when goals are reached and work together to set additional high but attainable goals.

• Give a quarterly award for employees and teams based on measurable contributions to goals. Also, highlight contributions employees and teams made that contributed towards a goal, even if that goal was not met.

• Develop a set of clear behavioral objectives that reinforces how work needs to get done in order to support shifts in the strategy. Ask for input and feedback from employees regarding this.

• Implement the use of scorecards to increase transparency and accountability regarding critical KPIs. Be sure to communicate whether scorecards will be taken into account during performance appraisals.

• Adopt several “big picture” goals that promote cross-functional coordination in order to achieve those goals.

• Open meetings with progress updates on team goals to keep them top-of-mind and relevant to leaders from across the organization.

Creates Change
The individual knows the organizational environment, quickly reacts to current trends, and anticipates future changes. S/he continuously creates adaptive and innovative ways to meet changing needs.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Identify key stakeholders when implementing changes to proactively engage those stakeholders throughout the change process.

• Use communication with the team at various points in time to create excitement, openness and readiness to change.

• Volunteer to be a change agent for organizational or cross-team initiatives to design and/or deploy new initiatives.

• Create sub-teams to assess and support change readiness for new organizational initiatives rollout – using sub-teams who can later support their colleagues in adopting the changes.

• Develop or cascade clear messages regarding organizational changes that reinforce why the change is important and how it will move the organization forward.

• Implement lean principles and processes to involve employees in redesigning efficient work processes.

• Create communication plan for change to cascade message effectively starting from direct reports to the broader team.

• For organizational changes, demonstrate support for the change through communication and actions.

• Use the opportunity to coach employees through the change.

• Engage with and provide support to the project team managing the change.

• Identify and manage resistance and create a plan to address it.

• Re-allocate resources and accountabilities, if needed, to better meet customer needs.

Develops Organizational Capability
The individual manager continually focuses on the development of skills and knowledge to meet ongoing business needs. S/he knows how to effectively utilize the diversity in the work force.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Conduct developmental and professional training for employees that includes 360-degree feedback.

• Provide coaching and mentorship for employees’ personal and professional development.

• Create a learning center (e.g., folder) with relevant resources to allow for employee self-directed learning and development. Encourage employees to share and add resources to the folder.

• Develop individual development plans with employees.

• Schedule weekly and/or monthly one-on-one meetings with employees or teams to discuss progress towards organizational and professional goals.

• Create an explicit map of career paths and the competencies needed to move along those paths.

• Discuss with employees their current career path standing and what needs to be done to move their career forward. Identify any high potential employees.

• Review the talent strategy on a regular basis to support the evolving needs of the business.

• Provide employees the opportunity to work on “stretch-assignments” in an effort to build additional skills while working on interesting projects.

• Cross-train employees to broaden skill set, increase department collaboration, and enhance organizational efficiency.

• Require all leaders to dedicate at least 10% of their time to professional development for themselves and those who report to them.

Manages Coordination & Integration
The individual ensures that different functions or units of the work group or organization are able to work together well to achieve common goals. S/he establishes necessary contacts and coordinates resources in other groups to prevent organizational boundaries from interfering with getting work done.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Conduct facilitated cross-functional “give-get” sessions to clarify interdependencies and expectations for working across teams and functions.

• Identify the strategies and goals that require cross-organizational execution to deliver, and clarify the expectations for how different groups need to work together to meet those goals.

• Create job shadowing or rotation programs to pair up functional counterparts across divisions.

• Hold routine coordination meetings with critical external vendors and suppliers to ensure that they understand your company’s needs and expectations.

• Map out your key stakeholders across groups and rate the overall effectiveness of those working relationships.

• Create stand-up cross-functional teams to study complex issues and problems that require a “big picture” perspective, then recommend integrated solutions.

• Hold “brown bag” sessions where employees can hear what others in the group are working on, learn about problems they are trying to solve, and hear success stories. This increases awareness of the broader group activities and provides a platform for sharing what is going on outside of one’s own immediate team.

• Conduct an organization network analysis (using survey or current digital data) to understand patterns around communication and information sharing. Take actions to address issues emerging from the analysis.

• Conduct a team workshop to identify areas for improvement in the coordination and integration competency - Link.

• Reward behaviors that exemplify good coordination efforts.

• Communicate examples of collaboration and how it impacts better business results.

Works to Reach Agreement
The individual helps to reconcile differences when they occur by actively promoting constructive discussion of conflicting ideas, incorporating diverse points of view into decisions, and working toward win-win solutions.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Train employees on skills for having honest, crucial conversations.

• Institute “direct with respect” as an expectation for managers to engage in candid feedback and performance discussions.

• Adopt a decision-making model that utilizes prioritization and risk tools to promote more thoughtful, yet expedited, decisions.

• Create a clear approach for escalation of issues – with specific directions regarding whom to engage with and when.

• Adopt a RACI approach (Responsible-Accountable-Consulted-Informed) to determine ownership and influence over decisions.

• Set the tone on how diversity in thoughts and ideas can help to make better decisions. Introspect on own biases and make effort to overcome those.

• Be an ‘active’ listener (by giving undivided attention and acknowledging the message).

• Manage conflict at work thoughtfully and respectfully by ensuring privacy of employees, learning about the complete picture, and enabling objective decision-making.

• Promote and leverage ‘healthy’ conflict related to work related tasks through structured discussions (facilitated group meetings, brainstorming, etc.).

Defines Core Values
The individual communicates and lives by a set of nonnegotiable core values. S/he helps to define the work group or organization’s culture, values, and ethics; and helps employees learn to apply the organization’s values when dealing with customers, stakeholders, and other employees.
Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Establish core values and engage team in an exercise to discuss the behaviors that would be “in-bounds” or “out-of-bounds” in an effort to surface what the values look like “in action.”

• Incorporate the core values into the performance review process – indicating that how work gets done is as important as what gets done.

• Teammates agree to “donate to the bucket” for any behaviors that violate their values – allowing for a fun, yet practical, way to hold each other accountable.

• Recognize behaviors and actions that reflect a core value in-practice.

• Refer to the values as key decisions are made and describe how the values informed those decisions.

• Include an opportunity for employees to describe the ways in which the organization is “living the values” and where the organization is “falling short" as part of the annual culture assessment.

• Add a cultural component to the onboarding process to accelerate a new employee’s cultural awareness, including emphasis on the core values and the reason those values are important to the organization.

Demographic Analysis

Determine where and why significant differences in the perceptions of your employees exist.

Denison’s Performance Analytics allows you to tailor actions to meet the needs of diverse employee populations (e.g., location, tenure, age, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.)

Example (Click To Enlarge)
Driver Analysis

Understand how culture relates to outcomes and where action can be focused to impact change in outcomes of interest.

Denison’s Performance Analytics connects the dots between culture and outcomes, like employee engagement. With the Driver Analysis, you will be able to pinpoint the areas of your culture that will have the greatest impact on the outcomes you care most about. This knowledge will allow you to make targeted interventions to maximize impact.

Example (Click To Enlarge)
Performance Linkage Analysis

Understand how your culture, leadership behavior, or any “people data” are impacting your KPIs.

Denison’s Performance Analytics connect the dots between culture and business performance metrics. With the Linkage Analysis, you will be able to pinpoint the areas of your culture that will have the greatest impact on the KPIs you care most about. This knowledge will allow you to make targeted interventions to maximize impact.

Example (Click to Enlarge)
Archival Data Analysis

Understand your culture without administering a survey.

Denison’s Performance Analytics allows you to gather insights about your culture without administering a survey. We partner with you to analyze and map your policies, procedures, and existing data to the Denison Model. From there, we help you determine where to drive change.

Example (Click To Enlarge)
Leader-Culture Fit

Visualize how leadership and culture interact, and how one can be used to support the other.

Denison’s Performance Analytics can compare your leadership and culture against a proven framework. These findings will help you identify where your culture and leadership competencies work together and where they are working against each other. This knowledge will help you hire and develop the leaders that can shape the culture you want and need.

Example (Click To Enlarge)
Custom Benchmark Solutions

Every organization is unique, working in a niche market that differs from a typical organization. Understand how your culture scores compare to organizations just like yours.

Denison’s Performance Analytics helps you understand how your unique organization compares to similar organizations (e.g., industry, size). Using data from thousands of organizations, Denison’s database provides you with the exciting opportunity to create the right benchmark to meet your needs.

Interested in this Service?
Example (Click to Enlarge)
Custom Content Development & Review

Create a unique survey measurement to capture data on a concept or area outside Denison’s survey library.

Denison’s Performance Analytics provides expert support to create custom survey content to measure the concept and areas most important to you. Our Ph.D. - level team gives you the assurance that any custom item, scale, or open-ended question will gather the highest quality and most actionable data. If you have already drafted custom survey content, let our expert team review them to ensure your survey collects the best and most actionable data.

Example (Click to Enlarge)
Concept Mapping

View your past surveys, tools, and models through the lens of our research-backed and intuitive Denison Model.

Denison’s Performance Analytics scientifically compares your past survey's tools and models to our research-backed and intuitive Denison Model. This knowledge will allow you to design a custom Denison Culture Survey that takes advantage of our valid, reliable, and benchmarked assessments while ensuring we continue to measure the concepts and areas you care about most.

Example (Click to Enlarge)
Change Over Time

Understand how your culture, engagement, or leadership behavior has changed over time.

Denison’s Performance Analytics gives you the ability to view assessment scores across multiple years. With this capability, your organization can determine significant and meaningful improvements and remaining opportunities. This knowledge will help you reinforce your new strengths and pivot to address arising needs.
Interested in this Service?
Example (Click To Enlarge)
Overview

Brief Explanation of what types of collateral can be found in the Overview section

ACCESS OVERVIEW MATERIAL
This is a Test
The individual communicates the organization’s overall strategies so that everyone can see the relationship between their work and the accomplishment of the work group or organization’s goals. S/he effectively implements short and long-term strategies to meet organizational goals.

Self-Directed Learning:
Learning On-The-Job:
Social Learning:

1:1 Mentoring
Identify or ask your manager to match you with an executive mentor or a peer mentor based on your action plan focus area.

Group Mentoring
Join or create a group of 4-6 peer leaders who engage a senior mentor and meet as a group once or twice a month to discuss various topics and do structured group activities. Group mentoring combines senior and peer mentoring, as mentees learn from both the mentor and each other.

Training-Based Mentoring
Join a training program that matches you (or take the initiative to identify a mentor) with a mentor based on the specific skills taught in the training program.

Community of Learning: In-Person
Community or learning (often called “learning circles” is a great way to network and learn from peers and leaders for a common area of interest (management excellence). Join or start a group of employees who are interested in strengthening a particular competency. Identify specific topics, format (talk, panel, discussion, etc.) and meet periodically.

Community of Learning: Virtual
Similar in concept to “In Person” community of learning, except that where in person interaction is impractical or impossible due to different geographic locations. Instead, members use electronic methods such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Join or start a community of learning that is virtual and build your global network and expertise.

Coaching
Identify a professional coach to help you improve, grow, and develop skills to overcome obstacles strengthen your competencies.

• Develop a 1-page document that includes the company mission, vision, and values, and the team’s goals – connecting them to the bigger picture. Share this document with your employees and discuss the connection between the mission, vision, and values, and the team’s goals.

• Adopt Denison’s Create-Communicate-Clarify-Reinforce model to ensure that vision and strategy move beyond the communication stage to enhanced ownership, with a clear demonstration of how they impact decisions.

• Develop a strategic roadmap for “winning” in the marketplace, highlighting growth, productivity and accountability, and for possible future situations, such as an acquisition or merger.

• Clarify and communicate five strategic priorities after conducting a needs assessment with external customers – priorities that help connect the internal actions to the customer wants and needs. This can also be done with internal customers.

• Hold “what-how-and-why” town hall, weekly, or one-on-one meetings with employees to build their understanding of the company direction. Encourage employees to ask questions, gain greater clarity about the priorities and direction, and how they affect their work. Ask for input and feedback from employees.

• Hold leadership-led strategy workshops, bringing all managers together to discuss and understand each division’s strategy and goals, and how they align to support the company vision and strategy.

• Create “strategic thinking” teams to engage staff in dialog about institutional priorities and future opportunities.

• Create transparency and discuss leadership long-range strategic planning process. Invite employees to voice their input regarding the planning process.