Posted on 12th July 2022
Suzuki’s Motorcycles, Marine and ATV (Quads) teams had undergone a re-organisation. A newly appointed leader for the three divisions, bikes, boats and quads, quickly recognised the division was problem focused, not professional and people didn’t feel like they mattered, despite Suzuki GB having a core value that says ‘We care for each other and everyone matters’. business.
The Head of HR agreed “The team were fragmented, the annual engagement survey results were very poor, there was constant friction in the team, staff turnover was high, no clear leadership and HR concerns were being raised by multiple employees almost daily”, a message other stakeholders shared. The area sales manager said “team members left, an unhealthy atmosphere with no trust or respect prevailed. It was unpleasant, dysfunctional, not fun and unrewarding”.
The annual employee engagement quantified the low engagement: 17% of employees were actively engaged and over 22% actively disengaged; a staggeringly low 8% absolutely agreed that they trusted the information they were given, a whopping 56% were unsure or disagreed. There was a lack of clarity, distrust, conflict, mis-communication and a lack of team ethos. Reports from other stakeholders confirmed the teams were fragmented, lacked leadership, were disorganised and office politics and conflict was rife. They were only hitting 3 in 12 sales targets, overspending against budget and were seen as the ‘poor relation’ within the wider Suzuki GB
People, professionalism and productivity mattered and within a year the division wanted to be aligned with Suzuki’s vision and values, to develop an inspirational workplace and a team of employees who felt valued and were clear and excited about the vision, worked collaboratively and were highly engaged. The teams leaders wanted the division to “be seen as professional and work as a team, be passionate about what we do.”; “be a more positive team, communicate and engage with our employees regularly”; “work together to find solutions” and “be focussed with a clear direction”. They also wanted evidence based results to measure the impact.
Working in partnership with The Red-Thread Partnership, the division embarked on the RTP High Performing Teams programme, starting with a two-day off-site workshop. In the workshop the leadership team co -created the programme objectives and over the year the leaders, their teams and stakeholders worked with a range of tools and techniques led and coached by The Red-Thread Partnership in group and individual sessions, initially face to face moving online when the pandemic hit. Tools included; Future Backwards, visioning sessions, SWOT analysis and MBTI, stakeholder mapping, action planning, employee engagement ‘officevibe’, wellbeing strategy and developing a new identity ‘BBQ’
The process of agreeing their ways of working allowed the team to bond and develop the trust they were going to need to succeed in becoming solution focussed.
The impact of the initiative on the people, productivity and professionalism are clear in the evidence collated from annual surveys, Officevibe data, sales targets and testimonials. In Suzuki’s annual employee engagement survey within 12 months, active employee engagement rose to a phenomenal 62%; actively disengaged reduced to zero; trust in information given rose to 96% and confidence in being heard rose to an incredible 96%. All this success accomplished when 50% of the initiative took place through a pandemic!
Suzuki now see BBQ as ‘the most engaged team in Suzuki’ and within a year BBQ exceeded all their annual sales targets – a phenomenal achievement. Suzuki’s Director of After Sales sums up the impact; “People who saw the division as it was 18 months ago wouldn’t have believed they could do it. I give them 10 out of 10.”
The Managing Director of Suzuki UK, recognised BBQ as the most engaged team in Suzuki, for making significant progress engaging its employees, inspiring the team and changing the culture.
Head of HR “A year on and the team are commercial, focussed, they have a respect culture, they understand blocks and find solutions. The introduction of Officevibe was pivotal for instant input, quick celebration and solutions. The team deserve to win a medal for championing better working lives and proving that people matter.”
Area Sales Manager “the change from how it was two years ago is so impressive, we are now seen as part of a vibrant division where everyone wants to succeed, do their best, to convey their pride in the company to our customers.”
Tagged as: Building Highly Successful Teams
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