Case Studies

To give a flavour of Just Development’s approach and to outline the breadth of our services, we have put together the following case studies.

 

Individual Coaching

Performance Management

Assessment Event

Organizational Change

Team Effectiveness

 


A Successful Individual Coaching Programme

A company Director, Reg, was keen to learn how he could improve his effectiveness at work. A successful coaching programme was implemented over a six-month period leading to improved work performance through enhancing Reg’s communication, people management and team working skills. 

Reg had recently taken part in an internal 360o feedback programme. Just Development facilitated the feedback discussion during which a Personal Development Plan was agreed. 

Reg was keen to challenge some of his less effective behaviours and decided a tailored individual coaching programme would be perfect. He wanted a challenging, open process that would lead to real change. 

Clear goals for Reg were established and options were discussed. Reg decided on a six-month programme. 

The programme involved personality and motivation profiling, followed by a day’s experiential work based on tailored case study scenarios based on difficult situations that Reg faced in the work context. Video replay and role-play meetings using qualified actors were used to enhance learning. 

Following a period of consolidation and review, a second, more focused day was developed and run using similar techniques.

 Reg was delighted with the programme, and reports from colleagues provided evidence that Reg’s behaviour had indeed changed. Reg’s performance improved, and he personally experienced greater satisfaction and lower stress at work.

 

Delivering a Leading Edge Assessment Event 

The corporate finance function of a leading technology company was looking to recruit high calibre employees to fill demanding and challenging positions. A leading edge assessment process was developed in partnership with the finance function, resulting in the successful appointment of two candidates. After three months, the new recruits were performing well.

The organization was rapidly developing and growing, and the corporate finance function needed to respond to new demands. These new positions involved the rapid identification, acquisition and integration of companies into the organization’s global portfolio, whilst removing businesses no longer central to the core strategy.

To be successful, employees need the ability to work at a detailed level as well as understand and interpret the overall business strategy. 

Just Development conducted a job analysis within a short time scale involving key stakeholders and existing employees. An assessment event was created around eight core competencies.

The assessment event, designed by Just Development, was an integrated set of scenarios, based around ‘a day in the life of a regional director’. This involved the use technology to create a realistic experience for candidates. 

The assessment event was facilitated and coordinated by Just Development, with employees from the Human Resource and finance functions trained as assessors.

Candidates and assessors described the event as challenging but enjoyable. The outcome was the successful selection of two competent employees, as evidenced by their performance after three months in the role.

 

Intevention and recovery of a failing change process 

A high street bank wanted to move away from a directive to a participative and coaching management style to improve individual and organizational performance. Managers went on an ‘away day’ and were instructed to change their behaviour. Managers found this impossible within the prevailing organizational context and culture, performance did not improve, and in fact it got worse. Just Development was asked to work with the bank, as a result of this, performance improvements were seen. 

The existing management style of the Bank was directive. For example, at the annual appraisal meeting employees were ‘told’ what their objectives were for the coming year. 

The bank wanted all employees to take responsibility for their own performance and development at work, changing the culture to one where employees felt involved and motivated towards broader organizational goals. 

The away day raised issues of resistance among all employees such as “There is not time for this” and “why change” - typical of an unsupported intervention. 

Just Development worked in partnership with the bank’s Human Resource, Training and Business Development departments, and at an operational level with branch managers, to provide skill development workshops and ongoing coaching support. 

Just Development also worked at a strategic level to link the change programme to current and future business goals, and to existing organizational practices and processes. This ensured that necessary context changes were introduced to support a more effective management style.

 Enhancing Team Effectiveness 

A manufacturing company wanted to improve performance by increasing worker autonomy through teamworking. Teamworking had been developed with production employees, while administrative and sales staff continued to work within a hierarchical structure. Just Development worked with the organization to introduce successful teamworking in these areas and deliver improved performance, in this case increased sales revenue. 

Following the introduction and support of self-managed teams in production areas, sales and administrative employees were increasingly frustrated with their work environment. Their work environment did not compare favourably with the autonomy provided to production employees. Frustration was leading to poor performance among the sales and administrative functions, with sales revenue falling. 

Just Development explored the existing work context, connections and processes within the sales and administrative functions. Multifunctional team structures were identified and supported by employees and directors alike. 

Teamworking was developed through workshops and outdoor activities. The teams now work successfully together, and the company’s sales revenue has increased. The ongoing development and success of the teams is monitored through an integrated staff performance process.

 

Creating an Effective Performance Process

 A manufacturing company had introduced teamworking, and a new appraisal process. The initial performance improvements were not sustained beyond a 12-month period. Just Development, in partnership with the Managing Director developed a performance management strategy and supported the introduction of an innovative performance management process leading to sustained performance improvements. 

The manufacturing company had undergone some changes, including the introduction of team working, and a move towards a more facilitative management style. Initially this was very successful, leading to increased turnover, reduced sickness and absence and improved product quality. 

Typically, these initial improvements were not sustained, as the company lacked an integrated performance management strategy and process. 

The Managing Director was undecided about how to sustain improved performance without returning to old-fashioned management methods. 

Just Development was asked to evaluate the current situation. We recommended the implementation of an innovative performance management process. 

A performance management strategy was developed with the Managing Director. The performance management process was piloted in one department, where it was developed with the direct involvement of employees from that area. 

Through a process of agreement with the management team, employees collated their own performance data and managed performance improvements. 

The combination of a clear strategy, performance process and a consultative approach led to sustained improvements in performance on key business objectives in the pilot department. In addition, employees experienced enhanced well-being. 

Following the success of the pilot intervention, the process was rolled out across the company.