Success Story in Brief
A case study of how the Integ built a culture of engagement by keeping thinking top of mind.
“Awareness of a colleague’s thinking preferences and having a newfound respect for them has eased the communication difficulty that existed between varying teams. There is now more of an appreciation and awareness of how different individuals think.”
To increase employee engagement and strengthen customer loyalty.
Each year the company revisits its annual business plan and company focus, defining the strategy, objectives and themes for the year and then presenting them to the employees. As it began this process in 2009, the company recognized that, with the market somewhat stagnant, there was a huge emphasis on “the return to customer focus,” says Integ’s CEO Ian Poole. Strengthening customer loyalty would be key to the business’s success, particularly with the market in a low-growth phase.
Additionally, while employee satisfaction was high and the vast majority of employees said they were proud to work at Integ, many said they were dissatisfied with the rewards and recognition programs in place. Cross-functional communication and collaboration issues were another area needing improvement.
As a result, Integ’s key objectives for the year were defined to include “customer focus” and “engaged culture,” with Poole noting that the engaged employee is something the company recognized it clearly needed to place stronger emphasis on.
To create a more engaged, interpersonally focused culture among a staff of highly analytical engineers and IT professionals.
Integ has a large staff of engineers and highly skilled IT professionals who tend to be very logical and analytical in their approach to the job. While these qualities served them well in their technical roles, they could also create communication barriers when customer and cross-functional interactions were required. “Putting themselves in the customer’s shoes” wasn’t necessarily something that came naturally to these team members, but it would be essential for building a stronger customer focus and creating deeper customer ties.
“In our marketplace, we have to be able to align ourselves to our customers’ needs. We spend a lot of time understanding what their business requirements are and making sure our solutions are a best fit for them,” says Poole.
Integ had also completed an employee survey prior to setting the business plan. The results showed satisfaction among employees was high—around 87% were proud to work for the company—but employees were dissatisfied in the areas of reward and recognition and the level of communication between teams.
Making Whole Brain® Thinking integral to the culture to bridge communication divides and keep internal and external customers top of mind.
To facilitate the process of developing a more engaged culture with a strong customer focus, Integ decided to partner with Herrmann International Asia to strengthen the communication skills of its employees.
Having used the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) assessment in the past, Kerrie Blanch, Integ’s Human Resources Director, recommended implementing it with Integ’s employees to help them understand their thinking preferences and how their preferences affect their approach to the job, customers and interpersonal interactions.
The HBDI® and Whole Brain® Model provided the company with an “organizing principle” that allowed each individual to look at others through the lens of thinking and understand their thinking and its impact on how they behave. Staff were given the tools to leverage their natural preferences and then learned how to apply the skill of Whole Brain® Thinking to adapt their thinking and operate outside their preferences when necessary.
The implementation followed a series of steps, with the final goal being selftaught cultural change for the organization. The program began with individual awareness through the HBDI®, followed by application tied to the organization’s goals of increased employee engagement and customer focus
Many employees have mounted their HBDI® Profiles on their desks to help build understanding of how they prefer to think and to forge stronger connection and collaboration between those with different thinking preferences. It’s a proactive approach that is paying off internally, by breaking down communication barriers and fostering greater engagement, as well as externally, in the way people think about and approach their customers.
Russell Jones, Channel Manager at Alcatel-Lucent’s Enterprise Division, has already seen improvements in Alcatel’s interaction with Integ. “I have seen an increase in our communication and recognition of Integ’s employees from our team. It’s so good to have a formal avenue to recognize outstanding work, applaud great results and cement our teams further.”
It’s clear that Integ isn’t just “getting red;” it’s keeping thinking top of mind—and that’s keeping people engaged with their work, with their customers and with each other.