Case Study #2 –
This client is a business located in or within 50 miles of the Des Moines metropolitan area. It is a professional business that is a branch of a chain, with about 6 staff people. The business serves a number of customers who are repeat customers for the services and products they offer. As with most businesses, they have some new customers that come into the business, some repeat ones, and lose and gain some to and from other similar businesses.
The manager reported that the home office wanted the managers of each of their branch offices to go through some type of training on dealing with staff and office issues. The manager was not impressed with the training offered by the corporate headquarters. Having heard of Alan Feirer and Group Dynamic, he met with him and decided to hire him to do his coaching and training. He retained Alan for an initial period of nine months.
The manager was new to this location, though the branch had been open for a number of years. The new manager had a markedly different style from the old one. Further, the employees were largely well tenured and entrenched in their ways of doing business. The new manager was charged with improving this branch and that required a change in culture. A big issue he faced was that in his previous positions he had not supervised a lot of people. He also had a social relationship with several of those on the staff at his new location.
The manager set two goals with Alan:
- To establish better communication with multiple types of personalities.
- To build a better team-oriented atmosphere.
Initially, the manager experienced the DiSC profile and also engaged in 360 degree feedback from his current staff and others that he had supervised in the past. According to his DiSC profile, the manager is the type of person who is very active in dealing with problems and challenges. He is demanding, forceful, strong willed, determined, ambitious, and aggressive. He prides himself on being a hard worker.
In the 360 degree feedback, it was noted in certain situations the manager came across as intimidating – this was consistent with what the DiSC profile showed. The manager quickly learned that not everyone liked to be talked to in the way that he likes to be talked to.
Alan, who he describes as very caring, began by teaching him how to be more diplomatic in his approach, how to avoid over-reacting to situations, and, most importantly, how to better tell his employees what he wanted them to do. He also helped him to realize that, as a hard driven manager who believed gains were never sufficient, he needed to learn how to step back and enjoy the accomplishments of himself and his employees.
After several months of one-on-one with Alan, a day was taken to give the rest of the staff the DiSC profile and to teach all the staff what that meant. From that, all of them learned how to better communicate with each other and their customers. This in turn greatly improved communication in the office. The more everyone learned, the more they all took ownership for their jobs and for the business.
Communication continued to improve and everyone became more engaged. As all this took place, people spoke openly about the new successes they were experiencing.
As changes were implemented and things improved, Alan gave the manager several books to study on leadership. Those became the focus of Alan’s continued meetings with him.
The manager noted when he started on the new job he wanted to make lots of changes and was impatient. He felt he needed the employees to change. But Alan taught him the key was not to change them as much as to change his own approach to accommodate their styles.
Have the changes been able to affect the bottom line? The manager noted that in terms of growth, their branch has gone from the middle of all branches to the top. Production, communication, and team environment have all improved. Staff members are more engaged and take more ownership of the successes. Further, the manager’s direct supervisor has noted things are going well and has contacted him to find out why his branch is up so much. When asked, the manager reported he was very happy he contacted Alan and Group Dynamic, and happy he made the investment. He will continue to use Alan for at least another year, recommends Alan to other businesses, and has enjoyed the process.
In conclusion, he noted, it is “one of the best professional moves I have made in 20 years.”