Data-driven solutions for legal changes – case study at JTI Hungary

The HR professionals at JTI Hungary turned to CX-Ray’s and Valoro’s experts to develop their workplace, which had been going through serious changes. What did their insights look like? What steps were taken after the survey? All is revealed in our article.

The task

The ten-year-old JTI Hungary Ltd. is a member of the Japan Tobacco International Group. The parent company, the third largest tobacco company in the world, can be found in almost 120 countries and employs more than 27,000 people. JTI Hungary is one of the most dynamically growing participants on the Hungarian tobacco market, with a current 14-15% market share compared to its previous 1%.

The company employs around 90 people, of which 45 currently work in the Budapest center. Because of this, JTI’s inland organization is both a multinational corporation and an SME, since it is characterized by global processes and international values, as well as small sizes and familiar features.

Thanks to the constant teamwork and the high level of workplace transparency, everyone knows everyone in this loyal and committed team. At the same time, it is crucial for the management to invest in its people: development budgets and recognition programs are essential parts of organizational culture. This attitude has two important benefits. One is that the average duration of labor relations is around 7-8 years at JTI Hungary (even in the sales department). The other is that the company has been repeatedly awarded the Top Employer rating for 5 years running. This is only available for those companies that provide excellent working conditions for their colleagues.

In spite of this, legal changes have posed a number of challenges to JTI in recent years. Due to tobacco regulations in 2013 and 2015 the number of employees has been halved. Through replacing the former business model and reducing the workforce, 86% of the whole organization has gone through some kind of change: positions, roles, tasks, responsibilities, processes, and colleagues have all changed. All these exposed the organization in question to a very high burden, both professionally and economically. Fortunately the HR department was aware that it is vital for the management to see the social network of their employees in the most accurate and detailed way.

The solution

To conclude, the HR professionals of JTI Hungary wanted to collect valuable information on the appropriate means of developing the company’s operating system and the employees’ social network. Due to this, two surveys were launched: the Best Workplace Survey, and the CX-Ray Network Analysis. The latter was found through the professionals’ market research. Although HR initially considered only the social network analysis necessary, they also collaborated with Valoro Consulting Ltd. on the recommendation of CX-Ray.

Since the company’s staff completes the Best Workplace Survey every year, they had plenty of experience sharing their opinions. They were a little wary of the analysis as they could not imagine at first how the device would look. It was questionable for them what their superiors would see and deduce. Because of this, the HR professionals presented the survey questions to their colleagues, to ensure that they are focused on what is going well and not at what is going wrong. Thanks to this transparent communication, HR succeeded in completing a 100% participation rate.

The result

According to JTI’s experts, the CX-Ray Network Analysis is very useful because it can show us not only what works poorly and what needs to be developed, but what a team or an organization can be proud of. Due to this, the HR department was able to notice the following aspects:

  • It became clear for them who the bridges are between the working groups, the isolated members of the teams, and the potentially burnt-out employees.
  • They could easily identify which employees did not have the proper information exchange and/or cooperation (although these would have been necessary).
  • They found out that one co-worker had an informal leadership role because he/she essentially knew each colleague and their position in the office.
  • They became aware that one of their key people should be replaced as soon as possible since he/she wanted to retire within half a year.
  • Their staff ​achieved high values with regard to general involvement, which was a very pleasant surprise.
  • The HR department turned out to be a coherent community, but the administration staff were so isolated from them that they had to be integrated into the team again.
  • Though the number of talents was below the benchmark, its recognition was welcome. The data revealed that it would have been unreasonable to expect outstanding results from colleagues since 86% of them have changed their position over the past six months. After all, the main conditions of talent development are experience and self-confidence acquired on the job.

The HR manager discussed the results provided by the CX-Ray Network Analysis with an expert from Valoro before he/she personally started to consult with other managers. The advised instructions have been followed by HR in both human and business areas. The following steps have been taken:

  • The organizational level results were presented across the company, so numerous people could see their names as talents or committed employees.
  • The leaders got personal feedback about their operation. This was particularly important since many of them were still new in their positions.
  • Individual results were sent out to each colleague to raise awareness. The related questions were answered by the management and HR.
  • To prevent burnout, they emphasized the flexibility of working time and that everyone could sometimes work from home.
  • People who have been considered mentors have got greater roles to play in supporting new colleagues.
  • The results have been carefully integrated into the internal selection processes, to support future decisions.
  • Various workshops, training events and conferences have been started, to organize the recognized talents.

Thanks to these, team leaders have noticed the key areas they wanted to deal with later, in the hope of further development.

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Fanni is an Organizational Psychology student at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Her main fields of study are organizational and leadership development. She is working in the online marketing team at CX-Ray Inc.

www.linkedin.com/in/fannicsepely

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