Case: The workstyle quiz

Situation

The head of a business division of a large financial firm was increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy and how complicated it seemed to be for people to get things done.  It's not that they didn't want to get things done, there were just all sorts of hoops to go through, hurdles to jump and dead ends to back track out of.   And everyone needed to be involved.

Tersago's role

Change lead: concept and design of a global simplification program, implementation of central activities including development of the workstyle quiz described below and supporting materials.

Approach

The problem was tackled from various angles, but one designed to get conversation going between colleagues and teams was particularly successful. 

A self-assessment workstyle quiz was developed to allow people to gauge their workstyle, in particular to gauge how that workstyle might be making things more complicated than necessary.  The quiz, with accompanying article, were placed on the corporate intranet.  The article invited all division staff to participate and discuss their results with their teams.  The overal tone of the article and quiz were lighthearted but included recognizable scenarios and useful tips to overcome individual and team style challenges.

Results

The - entirely voluntary -  quiz was a huge success with over 900 people completing it.  Many team leaders used it to spark discussion on how they could become more effective and for a while meetings were being opened with references to various work style types and the need to not be "over engineering".

Anecdotally it became clear that the humourous tone and ability to talk about the quiz' workstyle types gave people a safe environment to raise issues and have open dialogue about what was working and what was not.

Take-away

As the editors of "Cosmo" and many such magazines already know, people love to complete self-assessments or personality quizzes.  They do take some work to develop but if the situation is right for it, they're a great tool to engage people and get a conversation going.