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Employee Experience

A large defense systems contractor contacted NBRI to establish their employee experience program. The goal was to collect employee onboarding, employee engagement, and employee exit survey information from their workforce to understand how to propel the company forward in the future.

The company had experienced an impressive period of growth and now had a staff of over 1,000 employees and was generating over $100 million in revenue annually. However, employee turnover was running in excess of 20% per year, manufacturing consistency had been affected, and customer satisfaction was falling.

NBRI designed and deployed several employee surveys, collected the data, ran the analysis, and presented the findings and recommendations to management.

First, it was apparent that the turnover was due to the current core management philosophy, which was not inclusive of employees, but instead was directive and autocratic, similar in nature to what was common in the 1950s and 1960s. Second, it was discovered that management style was affecting manufacturing consistency as the current management team was not equipped to manage a skilled, white-collar workforce.

NBRI recommended that the first step be the creation of a common corporate language so that management could effectively communicate with employees in a manner everyone understood. Our next step was to outline a desired set of employee behaviors using principles that included: communication, focus, accountability, development, work/life balance, and having fun.

This was an important moment for the company because, for the first time, leaders defined how employees should expect to be treated by supervisors and co-workers. Then, all employees completed a half-day of training in the new common language and principles; anyone who managed another person completed a full-day of training. Finally, quarterly management forums were used to teach and model coaching and feedback skills.

After implementing the recommended interventions, future surveys have shown significant improvements in employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and employee turnover has been lowered to single digits.

During the next year alone orders increased by 17%, revenue increased by 25%, earnings before interest and taxes increased by 28%. Also, work-in-process inventory for more than 30 days fell by 71%, defects fell 13%, and overdue customer backlog fell by 52%.

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