Whole Care Network → 02 Podcast: Owning The Process of Transformation

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Chris MacLellan, CEO of Whole Care Network interviews Judy Ryan in podcast 02: Owning the Process of Transformation

Creating a healthy workplace culture just does not happen overnight. The key is for everyone to understand and support the process, starting at the top. When organizations own the process of transformation, they empty the box and start putting together the puzzle pieces to start creating a healthy workplace culture. In this episode of Culture Change In A Box, Judy Ryan and Chris MacLellan discuss the important leaders in the workplace owning the process of transformation.


Interview Transcript

are you suffering from staff turnover too many lost business opportunities is your reputation at risk if so you know your workplace culture needs Improvement but determining how to do so and where to start is about as fun and effective as trying to assemble a puzzle with no picture to guide you culture change in a box is a show that takes you on a compelling Deep dive into an effective real-time culture change process so you can begin to feel hopeful and re-energized about your business and now here are your hosts for culture change in a box Chris mclen and Judy Ryan well greetings everyone it’s Chris mclen the bow tie guy for another episode of culture change in a box and I’m here with Judy Ryan from Life work systems it’s great to be back Judy for another episode of of our show goodness today’s topic is creating a healthy workplace culture goodness that’s a that’s a real broad broad topic yes but I’m pretty sure you can break this down for us yeah that’s what I like doing best because culture change you could have 10 people in this in the room and they’d all have a different idea of what it is and so I liken it to if you have a bunch of puzzle pieces and you don’t have a box so you don’t even know how to put it together oh what a what a great analogy and it’s important to feel that there’s sort of an end to end process to this so that you can see where you’re starting from and where you’re headed to and all of that kind of thing so we have it broken down into seven steps and the Seven step process is very important to us because the first step of that process is to make sure that whoever is at the helm the the CEO or the person that’s bringing this in or maybe it’s an owner right that they and the team that they have to take it forward all understand and support the transformation process so we go through an education with them on understanding what the process is what kind of time commitments what kind of behaviors we’re going to be expecting from them and and from their employees so that that they can really own the entire process of transformation that’s so important ownership not the company ownership but the but people buying into absolutely and and my job is to hold their feet to the fire right so when they start to slip like I had an owner the other day who had created this beautiful purpose statement because we always lead with purpose our model is a partially is Purpose Driven right and he had defined his purpose and we were working in a month where we were helping his entire employee team uh Define their purpose and values so because each person has to have a star to look up to when times get tough right I love this star purpose goodness that’s so important yes it is it’s it’s what you you want to be have as your go-to so he had created this incredible purpose and when we got to the point of uh defining it for everybody he said well gosh I want to redo the company one because it’s just mine and it shouldn’t be just mine and I said no no no no no no for those of your folks who have watched Moana or any of those Disney shows about being the fearless leader I said you are the Moana of your company right and you don’t get to back down from that because a a Leader’s ability to be decisive about bringing in the culture change is the decisive factor and so when a leader um wants to start playing small because he’s afraid he’s taking uh something away from other people I say no the best thing you can do for your people is to be decisive in um your leadership ability and in your leadership decisions so that they can then model that after you as opposed to playing small for them does that make sense it makes sense of it when you say decisive yes decisive means that they understand what they’re getting into and they’re saying okay we’re not turning back so what most employees um employers say to me when we’re working through this first step making sure that they support this process their biggest fear is well what if I lose people because of it and I say to them if you’re creating a responsibility based workplace your question should be what what are you going to do if they stay and they don’t want to be in a respons because don’t you want to get rid of of the people who who does that who says I don’t want to be responsible in fact there are people that do but if they get to that point you want to say well let me help you off the bus I don’t want you off the bus let me make that perfectly clear but if you’re refusing to choose responsibility I I want to help you off the bus in a graceful peaceful supportive way now that’s the um that’s the demon that the the leader needs to wrestle with and get to the point that he sees the bigger picture that says if I’m ever going to have a sustainable successful business I have to be willing to put my stake in the ground in in an unwavering kind of way very much right and that’s scary it is scary and I think you know as I’m as I’m listening to our conversation I’m thinking about the just coming back to the word decisive and I would relate some people relate that word relate autocratic but it’s it’s different it’s so different autocratic autocratic has a negative connotation just decisive I think is you know it’s positive it’s right well it really is as clear as I’m going to the left or I’m going to the right and and the kind of model we prescribe is a very specific type of model and it’s absolutely the opposite of autocratic it’s shared power shared governance collaboration there’s a whole lot I can talk about the model but really when a company chooses it because it’s so unconventional and because it’s so distributed to everybody they have to really be able to say I’m the one that you can count on to not waver and so that’s why that is the most um number one step is helping them to build because what they’re going to need to do is build capacity in people to change oh goodness and if they can’t model that then they have to be they have to be able to model that we’re going to change and it’s going to be uncomfortable at times and we’re going to feel like newbies and all of that kind of stuff so you really want to make sure you have the support of the top people and then the next thing that we do is we measure things that we want to continue to measure throughout the entire time that we work with a company and when we work with a company to really change the entire culture of a company it’s usually a two to threee process it can’t some people maybe it’ll stop at one year and they maybe they run out of budget or whatever but most of the time it’s two to threee project um process and so we measure several different kinds of things we measure things that are tied to an actual return on investment in dollars so we might have a company find out exactly what their retention rates are and the cost of like we have a a company right now that has nurses and nursing assistants and we know how expensive it is for them and they know how expensive it is for them to uh recruit hire orientate train all of those pieces and how to uh factor in those costs or you know replacement people in the interim that are more costly or having to pay overtime for people to take up the you know slack and all of that and so we take actual hard data and say okay if this is your retention cost and this is your retention percentage what if we were to turn it into instead of 35% retention it’s 10% you know that of loss right goodness um we can actually say this is the amount of money you’re going to save when we get there so we help them to identify and track performance targets that are very much tied to a financial unfortunately that’s what people require because they’re spending out they want to be able to prove some investment return right we also measure some intangibles so we measure things like engagement levels what’s the perception of everybody’s engagement levels what what amount of clarity and understanding do people have around purpose values and vision goals procedures and roles right not only do your people understand those but do they approve of them do they accept them are they bought into them sometimes when we do that they discover people don’t like certain procedures or they don’t like certain goals they have or they have no concept of what your purpose and values are you know so it’s a really eye openening kind of experience and then we measure What’s called the levels of trust so we have values behaviors that we expect people to engage in in order to build trust MH and we measure those as um a whole organization and we often measure subset divisions or departments because sometimes you might have a department where there’s all these problems going on you need to understand their specific trust Dynamics where they’re weak their trust behaviors and be able to directly like hone in on those and work through those for that particular team or group so it depends on the size of the organization but we measure that and that doesn’t have necessarily a direct connection with their financial picture however there have been um proven uh connections between a trust Gap being very big which is bad to narrowing a trust Gap and the improvements in retention productivity revenues Etc so in a sense there is a general rule of thumb that says when you reduce the trust Gap you improve your profitability by x amount it’s almost uh and I don’t think this is a blindsided question but it’s almost like learning how to put a dollar sign to positive employee morale totally that’s I never thought of it that but yeah you’re you’re actually proving the profitability of taking time to invest in people right taking time to make sure that they’re their best version of themselves yeah and and I think we lose sight of that that that you know there there is a value yes in we don’t Benchmark on those things typically you know so what we’ll do what most companies do is they’ll go in and Benchmark on are you happy with your compensation do you like your benefit program are you uh having any um challenges but they’re not really benchmarking what are our behaviors and what are those behaviors actually indicating it’s like saying um you know when you go to the doctor they’re going to check your weight they’re going to check your Vital Signs right but we don’t check the right vital signs on these things what a great what a great analogy of that yeah so um so not only do we we track with them trust all kinds of things around trust we also track the alignment that I was mentioning where you understand and approve but we also measure the perception of Engagement so if you’re in a company and you have 20 people and I ask the question what percentage of your 20 people are fully engaged you’re going to have people popping in your head like oh yeah Sam is and Maryanne is um but that’s about it okay so that’s whatever 2 out of 20 is% or whatever it is right so you want to be able to see people put a number to things and then we ask them the really hard questions which is what would you what do you consider your employee your direct supervisor to be and what do you um perceive your owner or whatever the levels are in the company so so that that’s a really important sometimes wakeup call what the engagement level is so we take those kinds of benchmarking tools and along with the performance Target and we track those throughout the engagement and we actually use the project to achieve the performance targets so if we go into an organization where there’s 200% turnover which we’re working with a company right now that has that MH we originally collect all the data on what is that costing them now and then we say if we’re going to um approach retention as your performance Target then we’re going to hit it headon we’re going to go to your people going to say you are going to also say this that um hey we’re bringing in this new model because we have a retention model which tells us that you all aren’t happy when you’re working here and we want to hit that head on and we need your help and we’re asking you to stay for a year and work with us on that and that way everybody’s aware of why you’re doing it what you’re doing it’s very transparent everybody’s on the same page they’re on the same page and those that know that there’s a problem that we’re maybe ready to step off the bus we’ll say well hey if they’re going to do something about it for real and those are your fully engaged people well we don’t want people stepping off the bus we want them jumping in the culture change exactly we want them to be excited now when we take retention as a performance Target we’re recommending that we don’t start measuring that until those first three or four months clear out the the people that are absolutely rebellious about being um responsible we’d actually had employees say what’s so bad about the command and control model you know I liked the command and control model right because they’re clinging to victim Consciousness with a death grip right and they don’t want to be really held accountable to to themselves it’s not even being held accountable by anyone else they don’t want to be accountable to themselves and they don’t want that um that freedom that comes with responsibility because they’re afraid of it and those people if they are um unchangeable which we work very hard to change them but if they are unchangeable you don’t want them you don’t want them in your yeah they need to for the for themselves they need to go somewhere else yes yeah so one of the things that we often also meant uh Benchmark is sometimes our performance Target is not around retention it might be around uh increasing the number of billable hours we’ve had things like that and I’ll I’ll just tell you a quick story about that we worked in a company where we work with 15 facilities simultaneously and all 15 were a 15 out of like 250 facilities so they were this sort of proof of concept project right well in this company in order to get more billable hours they would incentivize people to kind of almost work against each other to get the most right and get the prize and often they they felt like big brother was watching them cuz they had little watches on there that would like their billable hours and always be updating and everything so what we did we said well let’s take that problem and let’s all work collectively where all 15 leaders of these facilities worked to help one another to raise their their numbers by a certain percentage and then within those facilities they worked collectively to say hey if it makes more sense for me to do something over here that’s non-billable will you help make it up over here and so now they’re all working as a team to collectively move the needle on that it was so amazing so it has a dollar amount associated with it but it wasn’t retention so sometimes we’re uh performance targets could be all over the map you know sometimes it could be we just want to increase our patient or customer satisfaction or you know or we want to just generally raise our revenues things like that so so we’re going through your your seven steps yes we we’ve been through two we’ve done two the third one is a little bit more complex in that it has some subp parts but this is where you get not just the senior team to be in support of the general idea of the model it’s for them to develop a very specific plan so most of our companies kind of go along with the plan we set but sometimes they want modifications or they need modifications so it might be how many um so part of our plan includes these assessments that I’ve kind of mentioned but it also includes an ongoing set of training so that ongoing training is typically done as two individual modules that every body watches including the leaders and then a group module where somebody sometimes it’s the leaders but sometimes it’s just a regular employee they go through and they review this group module and then they facilitate conversation about what was just learned so every month you have this individual training and then everybody comes together they review it they study the relevance of it to their workplace and how would they turn that information and those new practices into resources that become operations of the business right so in in order to create um a custom plan the leaders need to be able to do that well sometimes in order for them to actually um decide to get on the bus together and to have a plan that works for them you have to make sure the senior team believes in people I very I know people who will say to me I think people are basically bad and you have to control them right well you don’t want I don’t want to work with I don’t want work so I want people in fact one of our uh things that we teach is that people are and want to be great and then if they’re not acting great it’s because there’s a system that’s br’s system so I even believe it so much my license plate says you are great because I want to remind people you’re great right so people that are on the senior team must believe that they have to believe that they’re um that their people are worthy of their time and trouble and that they’re good and they want to be good and they have to be willing to build High trust with those people and they have to discover how do we do that we help them with a lot of that we help them with a custom plan so that they know how they’re going to keep monitoring the building of trust right um they also need to know and start to build out a values based culture so what that means is if we’re going to live to a certain purpose we have to know all the behaviors that we have to practice in order to cause this purpose to happen so that’s called value based so we’re going to base everything we do as a company on our values and that in itself requires a certain kind of plan so so I’ll just is it okay if I give you an example oh very much so so zapo is a company that’s known for their culture and values right and so one of their so their culture purpose is also a value it’s an effect they’re going to cause and it’s a behavior they’re going to engage in to get there so one of them is uh we’re going to deliver a wow experience through service right and that’s a way of uh an effect and it’s a way they’re going to operate so when when a typical call center because they have a call center where they sold shoes typical call centers would hide their phone numbers on every site page you know and make it hard for people to go through a whole system of questions and everything to get to a person right and um and they use typically in a in a call center they incentivize people to get off the phone as quick as possible right well when you’re value based it’s not about profitability it’s about creating profitability is part of it but it’s about creating profitability through values and and a certain um effect that you’re creating so in their call center because their purpose was to deliver wow through service they put their number top and bottom as big as could be on every web page um they always had a real person answering the phone and they would have um this and this thing that they said now we don’t want you to stay on as long as possible but we want you to stay on until you know that you’ve created a while experience because your best opportunity is one-on-one with them on the phone and so um that’s what they would do so their behavior was directly affected by this idea that we’re creating a value based culture and it needs to be reflected in the way we do things so that’s part of a plan like a senior team has to be willing to put time into how are we going to change these operations it just doesn’t happen it won’t happen otherwise so they’re going to decide by and design by and hire and orientate and all these things according to a value based culture so when when our companies devise like their core values we actually design their uh behavior um Behavior I forget founded what funded or I don’t remember the the name of it right now but it’s the kind of interview where it’s behaviorally oriented so we take their core values and we say okay one of our core values is blah blah blah um tell me an example of where you’ve done that in your life you know so we’re teaching them how to actually hire and orientate a whole process for orientating people that come in new um so those are all part of you know the buyin on how do we do this here at company XYZ right we also need to make sure that the team that is leading everybody is committ to remembering and constantly overc communicating purpose values and vision because that’s the key to a responsibility based workplace culture and there’s a man that’s very well known Patrick lenion and he wrote an article on the last competitive advantage and he said you could have the greatest marketing you could have the greatest sales the greatest products and services but if you don’t have the competitive advantage of having a purpose-driven workplace culture you’re kind of going to miss out and he said good leaders overc communicate purpose values and vision and so that’s part of the agreement yeah and it’s hard for them at first they’re like what’s the point of this it’s so abstract it’s so like touchy Fey right but it’s really what drives change so and then the last thing is that they have to adopt value based strategies which just another way of saying we believe in a value based culture we’re speaking on it but we’re also putting our um words into actions so that’s um that’s step four of the process so that I mean step three so then the next step is kind of similarly complex okay it’s where the next level down so if you’re in a large company and you’re talking about the senior team is making the larger decisions right but you’re fully Distributing a culture change process all the way down so the next level are your supervisors and managers right and they need to know how to build trust and help people become self responsible we call it self-directed so the steps to that self-directed oh my goodness yes yeah people mostly are being um dominated by something outside of their own empowerment that’s the best way to say it it could be even an authority figure inside them that’s from their childhood but it’s not the real them right right so in this step the way we help the managers to do that is we help them to really understand the connection between it’s important for you to build trust trust is foundational and how do you help people to pick up their own responsibility for that and then we help them to make sure that they have high intelligence emotional and social intelligence is what I’m talking about and that they are able to actually build trust with their people not just talk about it emotional and social intelligence is probably one of the key components for a successful program yes yes and you know I want to just take the um the uh mystery off of those terms really what they they both mean M is is the emotional intelligence is four parts very simple you manage you’re you’re self-aware you manage self aware and then once you’re aware of yourself you you make the option to manage yourself so think about people you know that might know better but they don’t do better they’re self-aware but they’re not managing think about people that don’t even know they’re bull in the china shop they’re like a loose cannon ruining everything right and they don’t even have that self-awareness to realize that they’re doing that and maybe they’re like eating poorly or they’re managing their time poorly there’s so many ways that we can become like completely blind of what we’re up to oh sure and then when we are aware of what we’re doing we still could choose not to do anything about it right so that has its own set of benefits or or negative consequences right then you you can’t even do part two without part one you know self-awareness comes first you can’t do part three without part two you can’t be aware of others if you haven’t even learned how to be aware of yourself and manage yourself right and then you manage the relationships effectively like right now with all the politics going on in the world we’re not so great at managing relationships many people right so that’s the that’s the big mystery of emotional and social intelligence and social intelligence is more like part three and four but emotional intelligence encompasses all four so social intelligence is simply I’m aware of the relationships that I have with people or that people have with one another and I’m able to help them myself and them manage those effectively and you can see that that takes a fair level of maturity in order to be able to build that so in order for people to do that they have to move away from control methods into a model that most managers and leaders are not used to doing which is now instead of me controlling you and managing you and me thinking I have to motivate you and judge you I’m now helping to coach you and support you that feels very different so now instead of meeting you once a year and telling you what you’re review right now saying um where can I help you with your relationships your productivity and your engagement with an eye on um just always guiding them back to the new tools and Concepts so it’s not psycho analysis or anything like that it’s going back to the toolbox it’s going back to the toolbox and making sure that you’re consistently giving the message you matter to me I appreciate you I’m here to support you I’m here to help you pick up responsibility where you need to pick it up you know so they need to understand coaching and counseling skills not from a Psychotherapy mode but on the systems right sure and then they also need to make sure that the staff feel included and that they see their work as meaningful so we teach them ways to in the business sense hand whole projects to their employees but also because they’re fostering like shared collaboration right but we’re also helping them to even take terms like leading a group session or leading a a a leading uh meeting a regular business meeting because we want them to make sure that there’s no staff that are just kind of feeling invisible that feeling of being included is very very crucial that everyone sees their importance on the team and last but not least these managers and supervisors have to take ownership of improving their own performance so they have to be a step ahead even if it’s a baby step ahead right they have to be able to say well I am asking you to do this because I’m not asking you to do anything I’m not doing right I learned something early on in my career about from a manager and he had said that I think it was when I was a teenager work in the bowling alley and the manager was taking the trash out and you know I asked him I said well I thought don’t you have you there’s other people to do this say well I can’t ask somebody to take the trash out if I’m not taking it out myself when it needs to be taken out yes or if you have never taken it out you don’t understand it you don’t understand what it requires or how much it matters so they have to continually be mastering so it’s really interesting when we go through the commitment list because we have a whole list of this is what everybody needs to learn this is what everybody needs to start changing in their behaviors when they go through that they see a column that shows what all the top people have to do and then they see a column of all the mid-levels what they have to do and then the employees list is the smallest and we we visually do that so that they can see wow they’re not asking us to do anything that they’re not doing like they don’t say you go off and do this and I’m going to go play golf right so that’s that’s all the complexity just up to step four so you can see there’s a lot of movies Parts lot of moving Parts but they’re each one of them quite often off the norm right cuz how many times do you approach things like social intelligence Etc um so quickly the last three don’t have subsets thank gosh um but you’re doing great well I just want to make sure we’re not getting too far a field here but um there’s also a step where you consciously have everybody working together to create implementation strategies it’s it’s it’s this step is called creating a value-based culture and making sure that the staff are all consistently operating by trust so at some point in the mentoring process one of the primary conditions is are you having a problem with anybody it could be a customer it could be a colleague it could be a boss we don’t even want them to say who it is or what the story is we just say you have anybody that’s less than a 10 in your relationships and if they say yeah I’ve got two okay what number are they on a scale 1 to 10 they give us that number we say okay now here’s the eight values that trust which ones of these is the other person violating oh yes and which ones are you violating and then all we do with that is say now how will you what actions will you take to overcome your own trust breing behaviors and then what tools could you use to help this other person stop doing their trust breaking Behavior that’s how bottom bones it is around making sure that everybody’s operating by those values that build trust right so they’re even speaking from them and then the sixth step is to just just give people opportunities to take all these Mastery skills and practice them in teams that’s why we could take when I was a a young mom I could take my 5-year-old who out of my four kids was the youngest and that child could take charge of a family meeting on the next week the next child would because we took uh the time to make sure that they knew how to collaborate in a very very effective highly producing problemsolving way right then once you the end game of this entire process of culture change so we want people to see the real end of this is that now you have a group of Highly trustworthy responsible fully engaged people that know how to cross function to redesign all the systems and the processes and the structures for how you’re going to continually improve so it’s not a Flash and a pan kind of culture change it’s a truly comprehensive and sustainable process and that’s why we want to reassure people we we’ve already done all that work you don’t have to reinvent that wheel right and and they need to be reassured that somebody can handhold them through that reassurance plays a big role in in culture change reassurance Clarity where are we going what’s our objective how do we get there what’s the steps we take that’s why we feel it’s very important that we can lay out this whole process so that they they can see it and feel it and kind of get stories around it and get their head around it so we have one one left no that’s all seven so the steps three and four were were you know around developing the plan and making sure all the managers and supervisors are doing the things they need to be doing those all have those kind of complex substeps but I I have all of that information available through Lifeworks systems.com there’s a whole uh narrated uh video just on this topic with you know the the visuals which help so the process of creating a healthy workplace culture it does take some time and effort it does it’s a slow and steady transformation we don’t want to rock anybody’s world so bad that they freak out right but it is a worthwhile Journey absolutely and I mean we have proof that it works it just requires every step of this process to be mindfully followed and that’s why we want to invite all of our listeners to join us in creating a world which people love their life yes Judy it’s great being with you thank you culture changeing the box is a part of the wholecare network check us out online at Hare Network and be sure to visit Judy Ryan atwork systems.com I’m Chris mclen bag I’m creating a life to Love by being with awesome people like Judy Ryan we’ll see you soon for another episode of culture change in a box thank you goodbye

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