A Hungarian communication and advertising agency recently faced a major organizational development challenge, and solved it with the help of CX-Ray’s network analysis tool.
The essence of the well-known advertising agency’s philosophy is that it should play a significant role in the lives of both its clients and its employees. It has followed this vision in its daily operations, right from the moment it opened its Budapest office.
A few years ago the company underwent a series of substantial organizational-level and structural changes: it had to orchestrate the fusion of workgroups and units in a very short time. The transformation involved a large number of people: the number of employees had increased, and at the same time employees who had not known each other became part of the same community. Every day people with different working styles and attitudes had to mix. Everybody waited in great anticipation, wondering what would happen and what would be the new organizing force to shape the team into a community again. The employees and managers of the agency faced countless questions:
- How can they create learning and relaxation zones for their employees?
- Who are the key people who will help stabilize the period following the transformation?
- How do people feel about where they currently are within the company?
- How do the new work processes perform?
- How can they reduce fluctuation and increase commitment from the employees?
- How can they support their colleagues?
After the reorganization the company moved to the Budapest city center. In this exciting situation the management wanted everybody to find their place in the inspiring and encouraging atmosphere of the new office. Because of this, the agency chose CX-Ray’s Company Network Analysis, in addition to their own internally developed mood survey, to complement their organizational development project. They used Company Network Analysis to map the current situation of the company, to determine what steps were necessary to make changes.
CX-Ray Company Analysis identified many details of the new team that had been outside the management’s field of view.
Strengthening middle management
It became clear that due to the increased headcount, senior management was no longer able to directly stay in touch with everyone, and could not motivate the employees daily either. Because of the large workload, the time of the manager had become fragmented, so they could not even concentrate properly on their own responsibilities. It was therefore necessary to create a new middle management level that would support the work of the senior management. The selection of the team leaders was primarily informed by the results of CX-Ray Network Analysis. From the answers it became clear which colleagues the others recognized for their work, and who was valued as an expert by others. Some of the team leaders appointed in this way had already been picked for this role by senior management. However, some of them turned out to be untapped talents, as their professional qualities and recognition within the company had not been known to the managers up to that point.
Supporting the cohesion between units
CX-Ray Company Network Analysis also highlighted some other group dynamics. In one unit of the company, for example, there was an undesirably large number of opinion communities that were not connected to the manager. With the help of HR, the company has since begun to make this team more cohesive as well.
Finding a replacement for a key employee
In the meantime, an unexpected event made the situation even more difficult. A crucial head of one of the units had to be replaced after they left the company to start a family. When selecting the new leader, it was essential for HR to support the successor’s integration into the community, to make sure that the friendly atmosphere would be preserved, since the company did not want to lose any of its employees. Due to the special nature of the unit, they chose a unit head with a different style who was supported by HR staff in several ways. While training he was connected to people in different units with whom his predecessor had been cooperating professionally. In this way they accelerated their integration and “transferred” the previous leader’s professional network as well. As a result, the team stayed together after the change in management, the new boss gained the trust of its members, and nobody left the company.
Selection of mentors
CX-Ray also revealed the mentors closest to those co-workers who are in an isolated position within the organization. These are the people who can assist those colleagues who have just joined the company, or who have been separated from others over time, in integrating themselves into the team. Based on this data the agency was also able to reconstruct the general process of training. Since then, each newly hired employee gets a mentor, who assists them not only with the transfer of professional knowledge, but also introduces the new colleague as a kind of “work buddy” into the social life of the organization. For example, the mentor can show them where the team members usually have lunch, and invites them to after-work activities as well.
CX-Ray’s tool has in several ways helped to manage organizational changes. The most important result, however, was the following, as a member of the agency’s HR put it: “CX-Ray showed us what steps we would have to consider, so that we who work at the company and endured the difficult times could feel that we’re all in the same boat.”