Personal Perspectives from Table 8

Following a discussion on ‘Employing Continuous Improvement as a means to engage the disengaged’ the group felt it most impacted on the individual through the following areas:

  • There is huge potential in the untapped resource of the disengaged and the complexity of managing them.  Philosophy of engagement as a concept, role of management in creating and managing disengagement, limit to the effort that should be put into dealing with the disengaged.
  • Posed the question does Continuous Improvement bring Employee Engagement or is it Employee Engagement that bring Continuous Improvement. If the resources are not tapped the company is the looser in the long run.
  • Surprised at the very high disengagement, highly engaged is low, to have the large middle group is hard to believe. Who do you focus on to engage? This is a challenge. It may be a flow between each state, it is necessary to try and engage everyone.
  • Ideas come from teamwork. The disengaged give up and do not support, they are hard to manager and drag others down, even the highly engaged. Thy may have skills but they could be influencers.
  • Important for manager to identify individuals and recognise their skills and access the untapped resource.
  • Employee recognition, as a tool to improve EE, public recognition internally, and or small gifts. Gifys help support morale.
  • Leadership support is vital, but clarity around what is the managers role this area. How can the manager bring them along if they don’t have these skills.
  • Profile of employee
    Highly motivated people can increase engagement, through their language and attitude.
  • Negative people resist change and it is usual try to avoid them.
    The middle ground are easier to manager.
  • It is not always the loudest person that will ensure the project will be successful, this needs to be recognised. There is complexity in the management of Employee Engagement.
  • Disengaged individuals. What is driving the behaviour. What has changed since you hired them. Is it financial, personal, recognition, fit with the organisation , value and respect. The disengaged can sabotage a project. How can you change their behaviour.
  • Immediate inclination is to fix the disengages, focusing on the engaged is important. Prefer productive vs non productive.
    How is engagement measured? The stats seem incredible.
    Unless they are worth it don’t waste time on the disengaged. Is flavour of the month a factor in disengagement.
  • The disengaged are frustrating when other are working hard and they are dragging the group down. A process map can expose the behaviour. Trying to use the highly engage to improve the disengaged is not a good idea. Everyone is entitled to a chance, to help them. The worst thing to see is the managements tolerating the disengaged.
  • Disengagement can be a product of managements attitude to them, living down to the label. Everyone has had a moment in their career when they are disengaged. Management needed to change their attitude.
  • It is rewarding to engage the disengaged. People do not come into work to do a bad job and they were not hired that way. Do people stay in a role too long, does comfort bring complacency, boredom. Encouraged to change role.
  • The disengaged employee can be very different outside work.
  • A quiet employee should not mistaken for a disengaged engaged employee.
  • Is 100% engaged workforce a realistic expectation? Engage people to their potential, through the organisation hierarchy. Not everyone can be the CEO.

Personal Perspectives from Table 7

The topic of ‘The(r)Evolution of Performance Management to unleash Organisation & Individual Potential’ generated a lot of animated discussion. People felt there is a lot of dissatisfaction on the “rating” system – This came up again and again.  Other comments included:

  • The topic gave new thinking – outside the box
  • Needs to be more future orientated rather than past
  • Should be a connection between organisation purpose and performance process
  • PM needs to link back to business strategy
  • Would be great if it could be a more informal process
  • 30 for 30 performance – 30 minutes every 30 days
  • Thomas Barr – the example of his wonderful achievement in Olympics would be seen as a “D” in an organisation
  • Are we empowering or are we controlling?
  • Requirement to separate goals, coaching and performance from rating and distribution
  • Brought awareness of rating systems
  • Feedback needs to be clear and agree why rating was given
  • Other organisations are going through same issues
  • Recognising success in day-to day performances
  • Look forward – set ourselves up for success
  • Nobody likes being rated
  • Current review system reflects badly on all 3 autonomy certainty and status
  • Widespread dissatisfaction
  • Discussion on rating distracts from goals
  • Causes uncertainty – causes threat reaction
  • Parental Vs Supporting
  • PM system not an enabler to empower people
  • Some organisations moving away and some are stuck
  • Performance management around a long time yet it hasn’t evolved to winning  formula
  • Cultural driver
  • Should be seen as positive
  • Individual seek autonomy and certainty
  • Increases awareness of how other apply the process
  • A new approach and view what really brings value
  • Look at bigger picture and what brings value
  • Focus development of 1 to 1 looking – forward not back
  • Value of the more informal coffee conversations
  • Focus on the positives – Thomas Barr example
  • All know our jobs – forward looking and setting ourselves up for success and include in future performance Reviews
  • No right or wrong – should be seen as opportunity to improve
  • Question the current PMS – not adding value
  • What do we want to achieve as an org
  • Give people clear goals
  • Look forward at skills rather than at past performance
  • Metric driven ticking box – it’s not the right way to do it
  • Some organisations are moving from annual conversation – now trying to make it at start and at end of year
  • Organisations want to fit people into boxes  – distribution on scale
  • Think outside the box
  • Great to know that other orgs in same boat – difficult to do how t make as seamless as possible – can have big impact
  • Language used is so important
  • “war room” – not a negative thing – huddle, sharing and feedback
  • Validates feeling general dissatisfaction with the system
  • No negative feedback – advice
  • Immediate recognition use technology
  • Its is a human interaction needs to be personal
  • We’re not alone – other organisations suffering too
  • It is both an organisational issue AND an individual issue
  • Organisation value should be linked to PM process
  • People should be linked to the business survival
  • PM is very important but not used properly – no one looking forward to it
  • Language is very important – “advice” instead of “feedback”

Personal Perspectives from Table 6

Following a discussion on ‘The Power of Influencing & Motivating’ the group felt the impact on the individual was:

  •  Putting Framework and methodology in place and how that can aid us in influencing.
  • Understanding what peoples beliefs are. To understand what way people think in order for us to understand what they feel about the subject or  to understand that they may have a different opinion.
  • People you work close with that we try and get more understanding of their thinking. Language that is used is so important. especially with the correct use of the word BUT.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of the framework. Knowledge that can be shared within organisation and benefit is multiple.
  • Tricks to use with head of their company in respect of language. Struck by emphasis of what is in it for them.
  • Decision based on emotion versus logic, with lean we always talk about fact base decision making. With this it is a struggle we need to be conscious not be bias.  Asking people to just give facts is not realistic as they will always have own bias.
  • From experience programmes have ran and at the end they did the mindset and behaviours so should really have done from outset.  Win the individuals hear ts and minds first.
  • One of barriers to influencing is the misperception that there is a motive or they are being manipulated or being taken advantage of. Can be a barrier.  Getting clearer about what is manipulation or influence.   The skill to ascertain what the individual needs.
  • There has to be logic and structure but being able to diagnose what is needed and why.
  • The power of language and words that could be used to control what people are hearing from what we say. Switch to think what is the message we want the audience to hear from what we say.  Tailor message according  to the audience you are delivering it to.
  • Empathy is implied in what was delivered in the presentation and the likability factor. Understand what the  recepient needs .
  • To have the conversation with the individual to understand what it is they need.
  • Very often people don’t want a thing they want a feeling.
  • Give individual ownership of what is required from them.
  • Positive recognition is remembered.
  • Decisions can be based on emotion and confirmation that we are bias, and decisions are made on what we know already even though there is valid argument for the opposition.
  • Language with BUT and the use of that.
  • Use of positive language and what works for you. Importance  of language and how message can get lost if you are not careful with language. Key words to use to get message across.
  • Habits that are built up over time can work as negative on the way we come across.
  • Lots of common sense in the presentation but ended up with more questions than answers at the end. As managers how do you assess what is in it when it comes to a large group.  Different people responding to different language and how do you negotiate.
  • Presentation was engaging and different types of leadership and good attributes but the challenge is  trying to bring it back to work everyday with a larger group.
  • Trying to keep the message consistent and clear.
  • Framing conversation and choice of words. People behaving like your leaders.  Attitude of self as leaders is filtered out in organisation.
  • Likability, expertise, trustability are useful concepts to bring back to our working environment.
  • Self awareness and delivery of message is key.
  • Key is authenticity and have to work on it. To be seen to be authentic.
  • Making decisions based on emotion rather than logic and trying to influence.
  • Use of words that influence, I can, I will and doing or whichever works for you.
  • Manipulation versus influencing – there is a fine line.
  • In respect of lean we have to motivate ourselves to deliver a message and if you get negative feedback from others  we have to try and stay positive  and get everyone else on board and give them the message correctly to get them on board.  Can be difficult.
  • Normally we focus on the message and task and not focus on the method of how its delivered.
  • We are all driven by something and what motivates us is key. Where have we done well and where have we done not so well.  Trying to find out what motivates people  and adapting it the individual.
  • Take an approach if you know an individual is against the concept and try and get them on board to try and get others to follow suit.


















Personal Perspectives from Table 5

The discussion around Leaders Standard Work’ resulted in very easy and natural conversation, each person engaged on the topic with positive body language.  Individuals  had experience of LSW and shared their experiences of its implementation with the over all group.

The second group were as engaged and very positive on the process of collecting feedback. A bit apprehensive initially but found it very good.

In discussing ‘Leaders Standard Work’ the individual impacts were:

  • A tool for sustaining work not for making the change. Do-It after improvements are implemented
  • Shows a strong level of respect to front line staff, leaders work for the staff. Grows credibility
  • Provides a framework to do take on new roles (eg become a coach or take on a leadership role) allows leaders who are technical and not ops experts us this to have a methodology to drive Ops. Provides continuity, consistence and standardizing work that is done on daily basis.
  • For companies not using it can be used as new tool to measure what site management are doing and how could we use LSW (eg help with efficiency of meetings and drive improvements)
  • Provides an opportunity to be aware of lightbulb moments from staffs. Leaders getting the voice of the team, forces leaders to listen to the team
  • LSW can be as prescribed as necessary eg recognition walk does not state exactly what should be asked, they leaders have guidelines however they can go deeper to document exact details
  • Provides an opp to get Lightbulb moments from staffs. Leaders getting the voice of the team, listening to the team.
  • Requires peer accountability to keep leaders.
  • Getting started do a phased approached, implement 1 item and enhance Implementing all of this quickly will frighten staff
  • Behaviors of the leader is critical , should be engaging, involved, asking as opposed to telling.
  • Who benefits form this LSW? Are the staff getting something out of it? Need staff to evaluate that it is working and have that checkmark in place. Great tool to sustain, do not make it a tick the box exercise
  • Leaders should be accountable for action. Close the loop and feedback. Setting expectations on leaders.  If people believe in it and if something breaks down (eg no meeting) who cares about it and who will flag this as an issue
  • People need to see value – needs to be 2 way communication and leaders know what is expected of them. Engagement.
  • Part of an eco system of LSW in tandem with Lean tools. “People respect what you inspect” Fundamental to sustain the change

Organisational Perspectives from Table 4

Following a discussion of  ‘The power of influencing and Motivating’  the group felt that the impact on the organisation was: mutually beneficial, thought provoking, inspired some small simple changes and awareness of your own presence.  Other points included

  • Body language, must be positive, personal buy in, how you are excited about it
  • Something small first then big bang, building trust, respect
  • Know their beliefs before you start
  • Realistic, honest feedback to build trust
  • Influence v manipulation, WIFIM, how can they be part of creating that change, vested interst.
  • Language, Impact of small words, positive and negative impacts, be affirmative, understand the dynamic.
  • Expertise in creating the environment to have willing participant

Group 2 felt the topic area was powerful if it is done right, must educate and have confidence to do it right.  Awareness and ability to deliver the message was crucial and it must be consistently relayed.  Creating the correct cultural awareness was also cited as important.  Other points included

  • Expertise at the right level, being persuasive, understand your gaps
  • Knowing your audience, understanding the levels, format the message to the mood.
  • Alignment in the messaging from leadership, common language, not just one department but all
  • Deliver on what you say you will
  • Confidence in the leadership, people will listen more to a confident speaker
  • Better communications, correct sequence
  • Messaging, how important and how it is relayed
  • Consistency and commitment
  • Confidence to give the negative messaging first followed by the positive, setting the expectation, feel good factor

Organisational Perspectives from Table 3

All agreed  ‘Employing Continuous Improvement as a Means to Engage the Disengaged’ was very relevant – continuous improvement is completely dependent on engagement.  Other observations included:

  • The case for continuous improvement needs to be explained – explain benefits and people will participate. Explain the WHY
  • You will always have small number of people who are disengaged – one idea is to move them to an area where positive people are (this has worked for some companies in the group)
  • CI is foundation for improvement – all felt that ci initiatives should be moved to other departments not just in operations but also HR, Finance etc.
  • Could link to bonus system, but some companies have found that this doesn’t work (one company had people who preferred not to get small bonus by participating)
  • Difficult to apply with new employees and employees have been there a long time
  • Are people highly engaged because they’re involved in CI or does CI cause people to become engaged? This resonated with everyone – no definite answer
  • Agreement that you need a strong-willed person in CI role – have to deal with engineers, managers etc and be able to withstand negativity
  • Everyone agreed that if you get people interested, people get motivated
  • Important to change view that CI is not about losing jobs – its about making things more efficient
  • One company gave example that they were 3 weeks from closing, when they started Lean/CI and now jobs have been kept in Ireland
  • Employee Engagement is a contact sport
  • CI driven from top down
  • CI can be about small things – improve peoples’ day to day work and they will become more engaged
  • General agreement that HR should be involved – ci can be personal development, mentoring etc
  • HR drives employee engagement initiatives – could HR use CI as a metric?
  • One company had employees with long service and shifts. They have involved every shift in CI. They found that if you give people opportunity and explain WHY you are doing CI initiatives, people will get involved
  • One company had Idea generation project where ideas were then voted on publically on SharePoint
  • If people are not participating, it’s important to have conversation with them to find out why they’re not. Could be that people have to present their ideas and they would feel exposed…
  • One company had a disruptor and decided to give him ownership of a CI initiative & now he is leading a project.
  • Everyone agreed it was a challenge whether to spend time on top performers or disengaged
  • Improving the work is the work

Key Insights

  • Social exchange – creating networks and teams
  • Cross over ideas
  • Leader support – emotional support
  • Senior Leadership Team CI board
  • Trust cycle

Organisational Perspectives from Table 2

Following a discussion of ‘The(r)Evolution of Performance Management to unleash Organisation & Individual Potential’ the group shared the following

Organisational Impact

  • 100% at the table felt appraisals were redundant
  • Appraisals are just ticking the box,  more regular informal appraisals, and regular updated goals is what is needed
  • 30 for 30 managers take out 30mins to spend time with employees- good idea
  • Do we really need it is it relevant what does it achieve, has it lost its power as  ll appraisals need to fit in
  • Need to simplify, setting Clear objectives
  • How to manage behaviour to improve business there is a  big disincentive to out shine other areas especially in production
  • Objectives already being managed, we need to change the culture – look behaviours of individuals
  • In one company appraisal is 25% of metrics 75% behaviours.  this company looked at 4 corporate behaviours + 10 Shingo principles.
  • Simple non-confrontational questions  were used  e.g. was everyone on time?
  • When we talk about behaviours – how do you define them, very difficult? Humans complex different personalities introvert Vs extrovert work very differently
  • Need guidance in helping employees change


  • People are human, how do we use motivation how to influence employees
  • Use Rewards and recognition to engage a simple thank you means a lot
  • Don’t have enough time to spend with people to motivate. Managers are missing out on opportunities to support employees because of time constraints
  • Performance management is broken. When there’s no time, we don’t do it, it’s not valuable.  We need to revisit it and its importance
  • Power of language, do our employees really hear the good review?
  • Important to motivate employees in real time
  • In multi nationals – it’s a franchise need to Feed in to corporate norm and methodology sometimes we have no control
  • Better result if given Real time
  • Productivity can drop if appraisals is spread out over long time frame
  • False rewards – demotivating
  • Team goals becomes impossible goal for individual
  • Individual goals must be aligned to orgs strategic goals
  • All people different, Engagement key to all , Investing in people and how we treat our people is way ahead
  • All about people, tools and framework in last presentation was important  to help interact positively with employees



Organisational Perspectives from Table 1

There was some level of ‘Leaders Standard Work’  in place in some of the organisations and  a general understanding of the concept around the table.

There was acknowledgement that this type of event is powerful way to capture and develop the network. Capturing and sharing information is key to learning. So this type of process is a nice addition.

Good conversation between all groups, great interactions and sharing of different views. Good pace to the conversation and engagement.

4 groups discussed the topic

Main Points captured

  • Importance of presence of managers is key part of Leader Standard Work
  • How does LSW account for manager styles and how can this be applied to different styles of manager
  • Production Operator level have 100% defined by standard work and this changes in % as you go up the organisation
  • It’s to drive a standard on what is key to the system
  • As a senior leader your responsibility is around be seen, enable engagement ad recognition
  • Education of the Leadership team and getting buy in is key
  • What’ the “Why” – Needs to be understood
  • Trying to find out what’s important vs. urgent.
    • Prioritise appropriately
  • Reflection on what working and not and using this to influence the future.
  • Highlights problems and allows them to be corrected
  • Keep it visible and keep it simple – Allows all people to engage
  • What the training that is required –
    • One system had the instructions integrated into the system
  • Simplicity is key
  • Send a designate if you can’t attend, system needs to be supported
  • Management walking around is key
  • Elimination of Email thru the Pulse of the business meeting –
    • So easy to communicate a common message quickly
  • Operator like the face to face engagement option that recognition walks enable.
  • Quick and easy recognition is another key enabler to get engagement
  • LSW is about engagement but it may start of as a mechanical system.
  • Trust – is driven by focusing on the process and not the “who”
  • Accountability back to the person who identified the item, to close it.
  • What’s is meant by leader in “Leader Standard Work”, anyone
    • On group –Senior Leadership Team and Middle Managers
    • One group – Anyone who has a direct report
  • There is some cross over in LSW and standard work of Individual.

Group 2

Shared the last group’s topics and there was alignment with their observations.

Main Point Captured

  • Good understand of what is needed but How do we get there is unclear
    • In the middle of rolling out our Tier boards
    • Meeting Structure and agenda is driven by the board
    • Some levels of checks in place
    • Tier 2 meeting with Sup and Eng. team and manager working
      • Dir. will comes in and observe
      • No standard to what the dir. is looking at
    • Most elements are present but its hit and miss – Looking to drive consistency
    • Driven from the top is key to success.
  • Lacking Structure – Meeting and systems are in place.
  • Looking at LSW to remove waste and making meetings and systems more effective.
  • It’s not a tick the box exercise or engagement
  • Drives engagement
  • Challenge – Making things visible, if you don’t stick to it then you are lost
  • The system is flexible and can be changed to fit circumstances.
  • Needs to be genuine – can’t be saying great job just at a certain time and not calling it out in normal day to day interactions.
  • SME dedicated to support LSW to embed the system. They were tasked with driving engagement.
    • This process created a scorecard on health check
  • Focus on the process – Key to driving success – Not the person.
  • Day in the Life exercise – people jumped into the role to see what was preventing people getting LSW done.
    • Working from the position that people are trying to do the right thing to understand what is preventing them.


Live blogging from ICBE

In a break from the normal conference we will not only live blog the insights from our 7 expert speakers but also harnessing the insights of the attendees.  Following a morning of presentations attendees will push their learning further with individual and roundtable sharing, Q&A and analysis based upon 4 of the key topic areas.  These will be published as it happens.  Click the different tables to uncover how attendees believe these topic areas impact on them as individuals and how it impacts their organisations.