‘Active and current listening today has become mission critical for companies’
Kevin Oakes recent book – Culture Renovation.
As organisations evolve and continue to change, it’s easy for senior leaders to lose touch with the reality of the lived employee experience on the ground. Long gone are the days of the annual survey as being a barometer for culture.
Recently we invited Karen Simmons, The Change Executive CEO, to facilitate a lively peer group conversation with Senior HR Executive leaders in her space in Surry Hills. She talked around the possibilities and drawbacks for business leaders in developing and tuning in to a ‘listening strategy’ to inform their actions and decisions.
Karen posed key questions to the group, and the conversation flowed, with insights, stories and practical take outs filling the whiteboard wall. No fancy handouts – just a reflection of the collective brain in the room. Here are a few sound-bites from the conversation…
What holds companies back from deploying a comprehensive listening strategy?
o Don’t really want to hear, or know what to do with the information.
o Not able to mobilise quick enough to turn the insight into action.
o Surveys are being gamified.
How are we overcoming the challenges?
o Integrating listening into the operating model.
o Taking multi-layered approach, and engaging employees in designing the actions.
o Starting to move towards predictive analytics.
What are some approaches we can share?
o Frequent and active listening enables clarity of priority culture action through weeding out the noise from the signal.
o Implement a ‘listening tour’ (think ‘safety walk’ for every new employee)
o Use multiple data points – e.g make sure the annual survey is not the only source of ‘truth’ for engagement incentive.
o Be the ‘sense makers’ – HR takes the coaching role to enable leaders to continually improve culture.
About the Speaker/Facilitator
Karen Simmons is an organisational change specialist with over 25 years international experience and a strong reputation for her indepth understanding of what it takes to transform a business and culture from the ‘inside out’. Karen works with senior leaders, and in-tact teams to build change resilience capabilities. She founded The Change Executive in 2013 an Australian innovative change agency based in Surry Hills, offering advisory, coaching and learning services, working with ASX listed companies, Australian Government and digital scale-ups.