2. Building an inclusive and collaborative team
* Clients’ names changed to respect our confidential relationship.
When an agriculture company was forced into a management restructure owing to significant financial losses, they reduced the number of managers and introduced a new role of ‘supervisor’. The newly appointed supervisors were promoted from within the existing team of workers to join the middle management layer.
The restructure had left a fragmented workforce. It was soon clear that the remaining managers were not working as a cohesive unit and the supervisors were lacking important people skills, unsure of where they sat in the leadership structure.
Poor communication and a lack of collaboration at all levels meant employees were making basic mistakes. Morale plummeted and the managing director, Joanna, didn’t feel she had the time or the skills to turn things around.
I met with each person individually to better understand the situation from their perspective and discover what wasn’t working. I then prepared 3 management team training sessions on communication, team working and collaboration to bring managers and supervisors together.
During an interactive session they brainstormed ideas on how they could improve their methods of communication and team-working. We defined their roles more clearly and created a safe space for them to share their thoughts and work through the issues. Managers’ meetings became inclusive and supervisors attended, which helped to solve issues as they arose.
The team became unified. Both the managers and supervisors developed a healthy respect for each other and worked collaboratively. This resulted in a more efficiently run company with improved communication and fewer mistakes. Managing director, Joanna, observed stronger team work with staff pulling together, and there was more laughter and goodwill. She found her employees were also clearer on what was expected from them, which increased productivity. As a result, when the business reached a good profitable level, Joanna was able to fulfil her exit strategy, sell the business to another company and retire happily.
“Nina showed particular strength and a natural aptitude for the development of our managers and supervisors. Nina led the company through a complex restructure and recruitment process, resulting in the appointment of new management and supervisory teams, some of whom were newly promoted. Nina identified skills, knowledge and mindset/behaviour gaps which required development to bring new team members together as well as empowering them to spot and develop potential in others through a solid review process. Nina’s personable communication style, intuition, empathy and clear commercial understanding of the demands of the middle management layer, provided a practical and pragmatic approach to upskilling my management and supervisory teams. Using her coaching and mentoring skills, Nina facilitated and developed the art of collaboration between department leaders. Nina helped the business to stabilise quickly from the restructure process and be in a stronger position to move forwards.”