The client describesThe consultant reflects

Case: As new employees came, everything changed

New employees had started in the municipal administration, and something was wrong. The good mood had vanished. When some people were in the same meeting, it became unbearable. The head was experienced, but this was more than he could manage. PlanB was contacted.

- First we attacked the problem narrowly: what happens when we have meetings? But we soon realized that we should have a broader approach. We could see that there was something we couldn’t solve by changing only the meetings; it was all about our culture in the workplace.

PlanB worked both with coaching for each employee and group exercises.

- I see it as both a process for the individual and the entire workplace. We have worked with the individual, to help the individuals specifically with what they the need to move forward. But we have also worked with the overall culture in the workplace. How we meet and work together.

Conflict management has been an important part. The conflicts have been clarified and analyzed as they come.

- We have laid bare the conflict now when it occurs, instead of saying that we will deal with that later. It is good to stick with the things that hurt, that you become familiar with the situation. We have come outside the comfort zone where we are comfortable several times in the process, and it has been something that made people think.

Attendance has been great the whole way. All have been involved – even though many probably thought it would be “business as usual” when the process began. But it did not …

- There have been occasions when individual employees have thought it was very, very difficult. You have reached the point where it has been necessary to change. These are difficult processes, but have proved to be valuable for both the individual and the workplace. It takes time.

In the beginning, the manager was worried about that the process in the beginning was too slow.
- From the beginning, I did not think it was necessary, but soon it dawned on me that it would take time. Changing culture is a long process that will keep after the consultants left the room.

Even the seasoned manager has been enlightened during the process.

- I’ve learned that I should be closer to each employee in the process, than I had expected. It was a great experience for me, and certainly also for the employee. We got closer, had a frequent dialogue. It is very clear what our roles and expectations are. The expectations we had for each other in did not harmonize previously, and today they are brilliantly clear.

The mood has changed in the office. The conflicts have become fewer. And the manager has received sort of a bonus:

- It’s fun to be the leader. This provides the ability to use resources to other things than conflict resolution and to look forward in a different way. I can delegate more and more. It gives me more room as a leader; I don’t have to bury me in the execution, but can pay more attention to leadership. This is very useful.

The management has changed. Among other things, they have developed guidelines to welcome new employees, procedures to be introduced in the ordinary business. They will probably also continue with individual coaching.

- The most obvious is that people have been allowed to flourish. They dare to question. It is powerful to dare to ask if there is something you do not know, and not be criticized for not knowing. I think we are on track now. We have tools we can use and a common culture. The process is not finished, but we have started.

Read about PlanB’s services: If you work as a manager

Tags:  change management, Conflict resolution, forandringsledelse, förändringsledarskap, Förändringsledning, konflikthantering, Konflikthåndtering, organisationskultur, organizational culture, Teambuilding, Teamudvikling, Teamutveckling

Johanne Eriksen

Johanne Eriksen is a senior consultant at PlanB. She works with facilitation and supervision of systemic cultural development in organizations, both among employees and management. She also works with conflict ...

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