Case histories illustrate our approach to helping leaders resolve a variety of workplace issues and move organizations through change. We tackle a range of issues including intra-team and inter-team disruption, harassment investigations, strategic planning, organizational growth and change management.
Workplace Investigation: The case of the Louboutin shoe.
A manager believed she witnessed an after-hours tryst between a fellow- employee and her supervisor when she opened the supervisor’s office door to deposit a file and saw a Louboutin shoe lying on his carpet. She quickly shut the door and reported it to her senior manager. It was believed the discarded shoe belonged to the employee, who they knew had been spending significant time with her supervisor, as well they had received reports from her disgruntled colleagues who claimed, she and her supervisor were personally involved.
After having interviewed the parties along with witnesses and reviewing relevant communications, The Fletcher Consultancy concluded that the supervisor was mentoring his employee to better manage multiple projects and was unaware of her strained interactions with colleagues. The supervisor admitted to being involved with another woman - who was not an employee – but was the owner of the Louboutin shoe. The supervisor was advised to cease the liaisons on company premises. He received advice and guidance from The Fletcher Consultancy on how to encourage the female employee to work well with her colleagues.
Workplace Disruption: Resetting a tumultuous workplace
An organization found one of its workplaces in turmoil with employees ignoring guidance and direction from managers, disregarding head office policies & procedures, misleading union members on issues, being uncooperative with colleagues and confiding with clients about workplace problems. There was also a mutual lack of trust between the employees and the leader.
The Fletcher Consultancy ascertained what was working and not working by conducting individual interviews with employees, leaders and union representatives. An in-depth analysis was conducted of the interview findings along with a review of performance expectations, policies & procedures, workplace culture guidelines and a voluminous communication history. A list of issues surfaced and corresponding recommendations were prepared.
The resolution lay with people’s belief that the process was just and a willingness to work in a different way. Issues had been building over the past fifteen years and fact and fiction were comingled. The Fletcher Consultancy established a joint committee between the leader and union to work through each issue. The committee was facilitated by an HR representative, who in turn was guided by The Fletcher Consultancy. In addition, the leader was provided with a retired colleague to coach them through better management of technical issues. Certain employees were identified as needing private assistance to enhance skills and better understand their roles in the workplace, in order that they kept pace with colleagues and did not feel left behind.
After six months, the workplace team became focused on their responsibilities and work relationships which resulted in a supportive environment of continuous learning.
Transforming intransigent relationships: Why can’t we be friends?
A leader inherited a dysfunctional workplace and after having resolved many issues, was faced with one employee who refused to accept the changes. The employee believed, after having attempted to explain their situation that the leader was hostile and unreasonable. The employee filed a harassment complaint against the leader.
The Fletcher Consultancy investigated and found it was not a bona fide harassment complaint as the leader was carrying out their management responsibilities. However, the intransigent relationship remained and The Fletcher Consultancy determined that the employee’s approach to work had merit. She found the cause of the tension lay in the fact that the leader had spent little time in trying to understand a unique area of the organization. The employee who had developed this area, took offense at the leader’s lack of consultation. Each became entrenched in their view. The Fletcher Consultancy helped each person better understand their respective views, then collaboratively explored what might work and what to set aside. They established terms for working together. Three months later, both had adapted well and were enjoying a highly profitable work relationship.
Organizational Design: Where do we begin?
An international firm with offices in North America and Asia wanted to reset its organization to take advantage of market opportunities. As part of strategic planning, they wanted to incorporate management and employees’ thoughts about ways to enhance workplace effectiveness and client relations.
The Fletcher Consultancy worked with executives to arrive at five focus areas which were used as the basis for interviews with employees and management at each location. Where English was a second language, a translator provided simultaneous translation to facilitate the free expression of ideas. The findings were summarized and integrated into a concise change vision and strategic goals. Clear communication of that vision followed through a series of Town Halls from the CEO to all staff worldwide. Interviewees (including management and employees) were briefed on the common themes that emerged in their conversations and described their respective roles in ensuring the success of the strategic plan. In phase two, The Fletcher Consultancy worked with executives to develop an organizational structure to fully capture opportunities. The executive team was invigorated with the organization wide interest and moved forward with the shared vision.
Strategic Planning: Visioning together
A community-focused organization with close to 50 years of delivering excellence in service and care to its community sought assistance to vision its next phase. Their Board of Directors, after having determined key priorities looking forward, sought to expand the process to stakeholder groups in the community. The Fletcher Consultancy facilitated 12 visioning sessions with over 200 participants representing a broad base of interested stakeholders. Participants articulated immediate needs and worked together in table groups to vision their community in ten or more years. Their thoughts, ideas and recommendations were summarized in a report and the CEO and Board provided participants with highlights in a Town Hall setting. The Fletcher Consultancy then worked with the Strategic Planning Committee, using stakeholder feedback as an important facet to plan for the community now and for future generations.