Case Study: Sue - HR Operations Manager
" Jonathan helped me to understand why I was working in the way I was. It wasn’t really about practical process, although Jonathan did give me lots of ideas along the way. We focused more on my key drivers and how this impacted on the way I worked. Once I'd made sense of that, I understood what I needed to do differently to work more effectively. "
Sue was facing a substantial challenge.
She was new to the job, and new to the organisation. Nothing too unusual, but that new job was HR Operations Manager for a FTSE100 company. And to make things more challenging, the business had not had a centralised HR function for very long.
After a few months in the job, she was trying to put in place a whole range of HR processes across all the different regions and divisions - and she was finding it tough to get the buy-in from local senior management that she needed.
It started with a cup of coffee...
Our first meeting with Sue was over a cup of coffee. Nothing too structured - just a chat with Jonathan to find out her expectations and to help her understand our approach. After that, we booked a three-way call with her line manager, the HR director, and Jonathan arranged a short 360 degree feedback exercise with the people Sue worked with most. That meant she could start with frank feedback on what she was doing well, and what she could improve.
Finding fifth gear
For the next six months, Jonathan met Sue off-site once a month. And they covered a lot of ground, from the journey she took to her current role, to looking at her current team configuration and working arrangements, to mapping out the people she needed to engage, and ways to do it.
One idea that really resonated with Sue was finding a strong metaphor for her position. She felt like she was trying to cruise on the motorway in third gear - lots of energy and revving like crazy, but no more speed. By finding new, more effective ways to understand and perform in her role, she felt like she was moving into the next gear.
After six months, her line manager could clearly see Sue's growing capability, confidence and impact. More importantly, she was building up productive, professional relationships with the regional Managing Directors she'd been struggling to engage six months before.