Actelion

Global HealthCare business

The Challenge

The client was known for its innovative products and services. Open communication and the exchange of ideas was fundamental for its innovative approaches. However, in recent years innovation dropped dramatically and the client realised that employees were not communicating with each other anymore and nobody was given feedback to each other. The client wanted us to advance the skills and ability of staff in giving and receiving feedback – both written and spoken.

Our Work

Using our unique EMOTIX©tool we revealed what 500 employees, across the organization really thought and felt about giving and receiving feedback.

We combined this with Psychological Interviews and workplace shadowing, to reveal employees’ opinions and emotional experiences of giving and receiving feedback at their workplace as well as observing their behavior while working.

Result

  • Most employees were afraid of giving or receiving feedback because a culture of blame, risk and anxiety had emerged.
  • Employees actually didn’t really know how to give constructive and motivational feedback and needed direction & training in this area.
  • Managers didn’t have a process in place to write down performance reviews on a regular basis. They filled out appraisals forms when appraisal week was coming up. This meant that their appraisals were full of biases i.e. solely relying on memory rather than documented performances and behaviours, being influenced by their emotional state they were in, in that given week, not needing to justify their decisions.
  • Nobody acted upon appraisal feedback. The company simply didn’t implement any consequences if employees didn’t act upon the feedback that was given to them and thus saw no point of changing anything.
  • Managers only gave feedback and never asked for feedback, which only supported negative associations around feedback.

“These results feel intuitively very true even though they don’t sit comfortable with us. The recommendations are very useful as they can be immediately implemented and don’t require a massive investment or changes in processes.“

- collective feedback from board members