High Performance Engagement
is a way of working that enables engagement between management, employees and their Unions. Although a partnership is sought between management and Unions, all of the workforce is involved, regardless of whether individuals are Union members or not.
The guiding principle behind High Performance Engagement (also referred to as High Performance/High Engagement) is that the people closest to the problem (or opportunity) are involved and engaged in solving the problem (or opportunity). This is perfectly aligned with many Continuous Improvement methodologies (Lean, Six-sigma, Kaizen, Toyota Production System).
Unlike many Continuous Improvement methodologies which focus on delivering better Customer and Commercial outcomes a High Performance Engagement approach delivers on Culture AND Customer AND Commercial outcomes.
Air New Zealand's board demanded the company achieved three very interdependent goals; commercial returns, enhanced customer experience and a strong people culture within the business.
This is smart business. Every commercial organisation has to get three things right to be sustainable:
- It must provide security and satisfaction for it's employees (Culture).
- It must satisfy it's customers by improving it's service and products (Customer).
- It must satisfy it's shareholders by making more money now and in the future (Commercial).
Delivering on these three strategic pillars through High Performance Engagement resolves a conflict that has been a constraint for organisations for decades.
- To satisfy shareholders commercial expectations it is necessary to satisfy customers and have secure and satisfied employees. (the task focus)
- To satisfy customer expectations it is necessary to have secure and satisfies employees and commercial satisfaction. (the improvement focus)
- To satisfy security and satisfaction for employees (culture) it is necessary to have commercial satisfaction and customer satisfaction. (the people focus)
High Performance Engagement creates High Performance Cultures
through three foundations:
- Involving the people closest to the business problems in the problem solving. To do this successfully requires a collaboration between those impacted by the problem directly as well as subject matter experts and management.
- Constructive inter-personal behaviour between the people involved in the problem solving.
- The use of Systems thinking. This is a 'whole system' form of rational thinking and problem solving. At Air New Zeland they use Interest Based Problem Solving.
The combination of these three things when practiced consistently has a profound impact on the way people think and behave, how they make decisions and in turn creates a set of culture norms that is highly engaging, delivers great customer satisfaction and greater commercial returns.
"Put your staff first, your customers second and your shareholders third." - Richard Branson