Improvements in Emotional Intelligence lead to higher levels of employee engagement and to the delivery of large-scale projects on time and on budget for this iconic retailer.

Driving Large-Scale Change Projects – An Iconic Retailer

Emotional Intelligence Case Study Iconic Retailer

Background

A large Australian iconic retailer with many sub-companies and brands was moving to a shared-services model. Large-scale change projects were being facilitated with the assistance of iconic professional service firms to centralise operational functions such as IT, Finance and Human Resources.

As can happen with these types of transformation projects, the announcement and commencement of them drove down employee engagement, talent retention and performance, and drove up fear, resistance and negative behaviors among employees, potentially derailing some of the projects.

The Genos Solution

Genos designed a Leadership Development Program to improve the project team leader’s capacity to positively influence others, manage resistance to change, and improve employee engagement.

Based on the Genos model of Emotional Intelligence the program involved:

01. A Time 1, 360-degree assessment of each leader’s emotional intelligence and the levels of employee engagement among their direct reports at the outset

02. One full-day and two half-day workshops on how to utilize emotional intelligence skills to positively influence others and manage resistance to change

03. Seven one-on-one coaching sessions to improve leaders’ capacity to perceive, understand, express, and create positive emotions in the workplace

04. A Time 2, 360-degree assessment of each leader’s emotional intelligence and the levels of employee engagement among their direct reports to help determine the ROI of the program

Research on the relationship between levels of employee engagement and business performance is clear, robust, and well-established. Organisations that achieve high levels of employee engagement on average achieve 3.9 times earnings per share greater than like competitor organisations with average or low levels of employee engagement.

Results

As can be seen in the graph below, leaders’ emotional intelligence improved on all dimensions of the Genos model.

retail graph

At the conclusion of the program the participating leaders were more self-aware of the impact their behavior had on others. They were better at expressing their own emotions and were therefore perceived as more genuine and trustworthy. They were also using emotional information to reason better and to manage and control emotions more effectively. The largest improvement occurred in the emotional reasoning dimension.

Before the program leaders were thinking rationally, making decisions based mostly on facts and figures. The solutions they were trying to execute were right, but how they were executing them was driving resistance and disengagement.

At the conclusion of the program, leaders’ results showed they were combining this strength with more emotional reasoning, making decisions based on facts and taking into account how people were feeling or likely to feel about decisions made, and how to communicate them on that basis. They were consulting their staff more and making people feel more included and involved in how best to implement the change initiatives.

What was the impact on employee engagement? As shown below, employee engagement improved in a number of areas.

Research on the relationship between levels of employee engagement and business performance is clear, robust, and well-established. Organisations that achieve high levels of employee engagement on average achieve 3.9 times earnings per share greater than like competitor organisations with average or low levels of employee engagement.

retail graph

As a result of experiencing more emotionally intelligent leadership, employees felt the team’s interpersonal effectiveness had improved, as had their ability to organise and plan work. The survey also showed improvements in employees’ perceptions about the quality and timeliness of their work. People felt more valued by the broader business and were less likely to leave. Indeed, the program ensured change projects were delivered on time and on budget with much less talent attrition and stress.

Participant Feedback

The Genos program helped us realise you can have the right technical solution but unless you can inspire people to help you deliver it, the solution is worthless. The skills we learned on the Genos program will stay with us forever and be useful not only on other change projects we drive but also outside of the workplace in our private lives as well.

Genos International

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