A Case Study

Introduction: In today’s pursuit of business excellence, organizations increasingly acknowledge the pivotal role that people skills play in achieving remarkable results. This article delves into the transformative Effectiveness Institute People Skills Workshop, which took place during a national team meeting. Through valuable insights and practical tools, participants were equipped to elevate their communication, collaboration, and overall effectiveness. Here, we explore the meeting’s vision, the team’s challenges, desired outcomes, and the tangible impact of honing improved people skills on business results.

Defining the Vision: A primary objective of the meeting was to help employees grasp how their individual contributions fit into the larger organizational vision. Essential elements for success included boosting morale, fostering teamwork, and promoting transparent and honest feedback. The team faced frustrations stemming from a transition from an operational mindset to a more financially-oriented approach, which curtailed the flexibility and workarounds they were accustomed to. This shift resulted in employees feeling disconnected and undervalued. To overcome these hurdles, building trust in the workplace became paramount.

Desired Outcomes: The workshop aimed to empower the team to make informed choices about their behavior, enabling them to create win-win situations when interacting with others. Recognizing and understanding colleagues’ behavior styles would foster support and motivation, ultimately enhancing teamwork. The desired outcomes were measured through two key business results: the percentage of improvement in Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) efforts and the percentage of improved Personal Audit Execution (PAE).

The workshop provided participants with practical tools and strategies to directly apply their newly acquired people skills to achieve these measurable business outcomes.

Prework and Personal Learning Plans: To maximize the workshop’s effectiveness, participants received prework outlining the skills they would acquire, the behaviors they should exhibit after acquiring these skills, and the job results they would deliver by applying them. This information guided participants in creating personalized learning plans, which included personal case studies shared with their supervisors. This prework enabled participants to focus on their individual goals and actively engage with the workshop content.

For DSO results, participants were encouraged to build stronger trust and relationships with clients, enhancing communication and involving everyone effectively in the process, thereby significantly improving audit execution.

Follow-Up Sessions and Measurable Impact: To ensure sustained application of the acquired skills, three follow-up sessions were conducted over three months. The results were promising, with 50% of participants reporting improvements in DSO. Additionally, participants felt they became better listeners, and were more attuned to understanding others and respecting their unique styles and approaches. PAE scores, measured quarterly, were projected to improve by 50-75% overall for 72% of participants. These improvements in communication and productivity exemplified the tangible impact of developing people skills on business outcomes.

Conclusion: The Effectiveness Institute People Skills Workshop empowered meeting participants with practical tools, strategies, and heightened awareness to leverage their people skills for enhanced business results. By fostering trust, improving communication, and recognizing diverse behavior styles, teams can cultivate a collaborative and inclusive work environment, leading to increased effectiveness and productivity. The measurable impact on key business outcomes underscores the significance of investing in people skills and nurturing employee development as cornerstones for driving long-term success.

Kathy Koultourides is Principal and founder of KKnow How LLC. She utilizes her strong business background and talent development expertise to guide businesses on how to best improve performance through customized training solutions.

Read more about Kathy here.