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Peeriosity Senior Executive Forum Hosted by Heidelberg Cement

On October 18, 2012, HeidelbergCement hosted a Peeriosity Senior Executive Forum in Dallas, Texas with attendance restricted to the senior-most leaders of Shared Services at Peeriosity member companies.

Executives from leading Shared (Business) Services organizations attended and the Forum focused on topics that members selected as the ones on which they were most interested in collaborating with their peers. The format was highly interactive with each topic initiated by a member case study on either a success or challenge related to the topic. Similar to all Peeriosity interactions, vendors and consultants were prohibited from attending or having access to attendee details or discussion content.

Meeting Theme: “The Shared Services Employee Value Proposition – Attracting, Retaining, and Developing our People”
Topic 1: Creating a High Performance Culture – The Framework for Success
Topic 2: The Role of Continuous Improvement Programs in Employee Engagement
Topic 3: Formal and Informal Employee Development Programs
Topic 4: Simple Things that Really Make a Difference to our People

For each agenda topic, members provided case studies of their experience as a catalyst for an interactive discussion among attending Senior Executives.

These led to some very lively and passionate discussions including:

Steps to achieving cultural alignment and balance in the customer experience, financial results, and employee engagement.
The challenges of increased empowerment and driving decision-making deeper into organization.
Flattening organizational structures and resulting pros and cons of increased spans of control.
Consequence management and taking action on both high and low performers
Actions to take on highly productive employees who are not culturally aligned with the organization
Measuring the direct impact of a High Performance Organization – can it be done?
The right balance between bureaucracy and engagement within continuous improvement programs.
Fun rituals (“spirit sticks, dollar-store bracelets, slam days”) that drive continuous improvement engagement.
Consensus in the need for everyone to speak same improvement language requires at least one day of formalized quality training.
“Transaction Lean” programs specific to Shared Services are not complex and can yield excellent results
Once grounded in common language and toolsets, “Blitzes” at every level can yield quick results – our people know where the issues are and how to fix them. Leaders need to give them a voice, facilitate and make this happen.
Overcoming obstacles in working cross-function to improve end-to-end processes.
Mentoring programs (formal and informal) that have an impact.
Career tracks for Shared Services employees within the broader organization.
Shared Services development programs for High Potentials.
Best practices in partnering with Human Resources.

The session on “Simple Things that Really Make a Difference to our People” included dozens of ideas that can be implemented quickly and with little no cost including:

  • Job swapping/rotation (teach someone a critical skill and learn a new one)
  • Increased decision rights to teams
  • Periodic recognition events
  • Symbolic awards (“Legoman”, Light Bulb, Great Job Card, etc)
  • Voice of Customer recognition
  • Flexible work schedules (4×10, 9×9, work from home days)
  • Team Building/Blitz Days
  • Jeans Days (Possibly tie-in to charitable contribution)
  • Team Community Service Events
  • Lunch and Learns
  • Breakfast with … (CEO, Customer, Shared Services Leader, etc.)
  • Town Halls
  • Social Committees
  • “Cafetorium” –  mini café-style collaboration space to sit casually with co-workers
  • Work-life balance built into goal setting
  • Brown-bag offsite brainstorms
  • “Brand You” – Career workshops

The conversation continues in the Senior Executive research area within the Peeriosity website which features a section for the documents associated with in-person Forums, as well as iPolling, Peercasts, and shared documents exclusive for executives.

The next Senior Executive Forum, hosted by Procter & Gamble, is for scheduled for February 12, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. We hope to see you there!

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

Peeriosity members are invited to login to to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity and the Senior Executive offering included in the membership Click here.

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