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This Is An Interesting Story



This Is An Interesting Story


I was asked to provide HR support for an organisation that had two HR departments.

The reason it had two HR departments? They worked on different client contracts.

The problem? They had lost one of the contracts and now the two HR departments needed to become one.

Now, there were a few issues here.

  1. There were going to be some job losses, so I needed to restructure the department and
  2. I needed to look at the culture.

It was really interesting that these two departments, who worked for the same business, had completely different cultures.

Can you imagine what that was going to be like when I had to merge these together?

Just picture this:

  • We have one leader of a team who was very indecisive. She liked to have lots of chats with her team, always wanted everybody to be happy about any decisions that were made. In fact she didn’t really make any decisions, her team made the decisions and she went along with it. As long as everybody was happy, then she was happy, not a great leadership style.
  • In contrast the other manager, who was a bit of an ogre. She would boom out orders to everyone and tell everybody exactly what they were going to do, keep lots of information to herself, so no one really knew what was going on. Also not a great leadership style.

Two very different leadership styles and two very different cultures, so how can that happen?

Why is it that you’ve got two teams who work for the same business, but their culture is so different?

I spent time looking at how these could be merged together.

There were several different ways the two HR department could be merged

1. Coaching the managers around their leadership style.

Giving them feedback on how they were perceived by others, coaching them on developing their leadership skills.

2. I ran several team sessions with exercises on working together, processes they used and how we could bring the best from both teams into one.

3. I also discovered a lot of acronyms were used.

I carried out an exercise with the teams around what these acronyms meant to them. Amazingly they meant different things to each team; they didn’t mean the same in the same organisation. How would that help with communication in a business?

The reason I’m telling you this story is because I want you to take a look around your business and see if this is happening to you.

I’ve talked before about the HR foundations of your business.

The HR foundations are key to getting you where you need to be, they’re the building blocks for what you need to create a great place to work. Without HR foundations it’s all going to fall down.

You need to make sure that you’ve got those HR foundations in place, that you start to build your processes, which link to your values, which creates your culture.

How can the culture be different in different parts of the business?

I’d like you to go and look at your teams, start to notice what is going on in your organisation.

  • Are there silos in your business?
  • Do sales and marketing have a different culture to finance?
  • Does the administration team have a different culture to marketing?
  • Go and have a look at the different areas in your business. Do they have their own individual cultures?

For your business to be successful you need to bring that culture together. They can’t be silos; they can’t be working with their own cultures. It has to be one culture.

Go and check it out and let me know how you get on.

If you want to find out more about how I can help you create a great place to work then book an exploratory session with me.


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