STRATEGIC HR CONSULTING

How Will You Achieve Your Vision?

As you work to create an exceptional organization, lack of employee engagement, pockets of weak leadership, or poor succession planning may prevent you from achieving your vision. Or perhaps your company is experiencing rapid growth, has gone through a merger, or needs to restructure. These ordinary – and not-so-ordinary – situations require strategic handling that may strain your HR department’s already stretched resources.

Axiom specializes in the strategic human resources consulting services that build organizations for the long term. We provide strategic HR consulting to organizations in Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, and surrounding areas.

Culture

Are the underlying beliefs that employees hold about your organization creating an environment for greatness? If not, it’s time to step back and start some meaningful conversations.

Engagement

Let’s break engagement down to daily employee experiences and then follow a celebrated approach to creating experiences that help employees (and customers) thrive.

Restructuring

If the market is changing around you, it’s time to ensure that your structure is aligned to those shifting realities. Let’s follow a 4 step process to ensuring your structure is supporting your strategy.

Succession Readiness

How strong is your organization’s leadership pipeline? Let’s move from ‘succession planning’ to ‘succession readiness’ by getting your next generation of senior leaders ready.

Completed HR Consulting Projects:
  • Succession Planning: assessing an organization’s current state to understand internal strengths and forecasted gaps in order to significantly improve future readiness
  • Executive Team Effectiveness: enhancing the overall functioning of an executive team using “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” methodology as a backdrop
  • High-Potential Talent Development: implementing an “Action Learning” program to accelerate the readiness of high-potential leaders and developing future general managers
  • Organizational Effectiveness: leveraging “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” (4Dx) methodology to increase organizational focus as employees commit to impacting the leading indicators of success
  • Conflict Resolution: providing tools and awareness for the skillful handling of challenging situations (including the use of the Thomas Kilmann conflict mode instrument)
  • Team Building: using DISC assessments as the foundation for helping teams better understand team dynamics and increase effectiveness
  • Board Functioning: assessing key issues to support the Board optimize how they, as a diverse group, best achieve their overall mandate
  • Organizational Restructuring: working with key leaders to redesign the organization to better align with the company’s go-to-market strategy (including support throughout implementation)
  • Incentive Design: creating annual and mid-term incentive programs that drive organizational improvements
  • Leadership Development: develop and deliver customized leadership modules from “The Art of Feedback” to “Leadership Fundamentals: Respect, Protect, Connect”, including post-module assignments to apply learning on-the-job

Culture

Creating Culture That Inspire Success

HR Consulting - AxiomIt is often said that if you are not managing your money, your money is managing you. The same is true of organizational culture. But many organizations either aren’t proactively defining what they want their culture to be, or know what they want and make the necessary changes, but 6 months later the culture is drifting back to where it started.

Axiom understands that current culture is like a powerful magnet – pulling people towards the way “things are always done here”. However, with a focus on the fabric that defines your culture (leadership behaviour, systems & structures, and employee beliefs) we can shift culture to better align with the results you want. It is often best to start with one component; that which will have the most significant impact.

Similar to the Axiom Results Model, we start by explicitly stating the required shift in business results. We then work with your team to identify the aligned cultural shift to attain these higher level results – what is currently working for you, what is not, and what is in your cultural DNA that we must honour. Finally we work with leaders to identify, very specifically, what new experiences they must create in the workplace to facilitate and support this new culture. It is these experiences that create “water-cooler conversations” that either move your culture forward, or hold your culture back.

Axiom also looks at the broader picture of business culture:

  • Is the department or organizational vision clear?
  • Does everyone understand the vision?
  • Are the resources available to bring success to life?
  • Are the rewards systems aligned?
  • Do you have the right skills and skill training?
  • How are meetings handled?
  • As cultures change, the supporting structures must change as well. If you keep your old supporting structures, they will ultimately pull your culture back to the “old ways.”

All these elements need to be in play to create the culture you want. Our proven approach to organizational culture change will guide you every step of the way, whether you’re re-energizing the culture within a single department, or across your entire organization.

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Engagement

Employee Engagement Strategies Recognized as the Best in Canada

HR Consulting - AxiomGreg Pinks, Axiom’s Chief Leadership Officer, completed his undergraduate work in employee satisfaction and his Master’s thesis on employee commitment. Over the past decade he has been refining the art of employee engagement and the employee experience. While he led the people practices at Corporate Express, the team’s work was recognized by The Globe & Mail and Hewitt Associates for creating one of the most engaged organizations in Canada.

Respected. Protected. Connected.

Pick up any book on employee engagement, employee motivation, the employee experience, creating great workplaces, or creating innovative workplaces and there will be 3 underlying themes. The Axiom Model of Leadership & Engagement is predicated on this research, dating back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In essence any bundle of leadership initiatives or people practices must satisfy these three elements:

Respected: The base and most fundamental need. Are employees treated with dignity and respect throughout the organization? From the moment they are first introduced through the recruitment process to the moment they leave. Are even the most challenging processes (e.g. downsizings and terminations) based on the fundamental of highest respect?

Protected: Author and speaker Simon Sinek passionately states that the role of protecting the team is one of the most critical roles that a leader plays. People, when knowing that others’ have their back, are far more creative and productive in the long-term that those working from a place of fear. Pick up any article on “innovation” and a fundamental tenant will be creating a culture that understands that mistakes are critical to moving forward and learning. Being protected does not mean having a job for life – but it does mean that your boss’ goal is to do all they can to help you succeed.

Connected: The highest level of the three needs, and critically important. Engagement literature highlights the human desire to be part of something bigger than oneself. This boils down to employees knowing the mission of the organization and how they ultimately contribute. The more connected employees feel to their boss, their peers, and the organization as a whole, the more they will ultimately contribute and engage others (including your customers) in the pursuit of excellence.

As a leader, do your employees feel respected, protected, and connected?” Do your organizational people practices support the same?

Moving Forward

Consider the points below before your organization invests time and resources on higher levels of employee engagement:

  • Employee engagement cannot be bought with a table tennis table; it must be earned through meaningful daily experiences.
  • High levels of engagement will not further an organization’s success in the absence of a well-understood organizational mission.
  • There is no magic wand; it is the culmination of an aligned people strategy, coupled with strong leaders, that bring out the best in all employees.

Axiom’s expertise can help your organization create a platform for industry leading engagement. We work with you to ensure the following key drivers are all aligned and supporting excellence:

  • Vision & communication
  • Leadership & coaching
  • Recognition & rewards
  • Role design & contributions
  • Work/life balance & community

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Restructuring

Strategic Organizational Restructuring Consulting

HR Consulting - AxiomUnless structure follows strategy, inefficiency results (1). And because strategy continually evolves, so too must organizational structure.

Axiom has significant experience realigning structure to meet the changing needs of organizations. We know that restructuring isn’t only about reporting relationships, it’s about processes, go-to-market strategies, and often most importantly, customer relationships. Organizational restructuring can’t be taken lightly, and every role undergoing change must be fully considered so that employees/associates are set up for success in the new world.

Our 4 step process:

  • Understanding the need for restructuring, the drivers for change and the success criteria
  • Creating redesign options, from the traditional to the innovative
  • Evaluating redesign options against key processes and success criteria
  • Implementing and managing the change, including the creation of individual transition plans

Axiom has consulted on organizational restructuring in the following circumstances:

  • Growth into new markets
  • Growth due to acquisitions
  • Introduction of new business lines
  • Realization of synergies following mergers or acquisitions
  • Economic downturns
  • Realignment with a geographic and/or product focus
Turnaround

The most critical organizational restructuring comes about during a turnaround – and you only have one shot at making your turnaround work.

The good news is that the clarity the turnaround provides can be leveraged as an avenue for precise focus. It’s an opportunity to explicitly clarify your mission-critical goal and ensure each and every employee is aligned to it. A turnaround is not a time for “want to have,” it is a time for “must have.”

Organizational restructuring during a turnaround also requires a broad focus. Objectives that are focused on the mission-critical elements must be prioritized; all other goals must be culled. Communications must be frequent and agile, there must be systems in place to retain key employees, and accountabilities must be crystal clear to ensure every role is contributing.

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Succession Readiness

Customized Programs: Learn | Practice | Reflect

Succession Planning - AxiomLet’s make your talent development programs 100% relevant to your organization and 100% relevant to your people. We do it in real time, in real roles, overcoming and succeeding at real issues.

We know that learning opportunities that arise on the job are by far the most effective. Even more we know that, according to HBR, organizations are spending $356 billion annually on ineffective leadership development programs. Axiom works with you to create on-site talent development programs that address the unique needs and culture of your organization and put your money (and more importantly your time) to good use.

o you need funding for your leadership development? Axiom is recognized by The Canada-Ontario Job Grant program as an eligible provider – this grant may cover up to 83% of your costs. Ask us how.

Axiom focuses on 3 areas of talent development:

Leaders:

  • Creating and facilitating on-site leadership training sessions addressing the people practice issues relevant to your organization. These may include the following topics, and always includes opportunities between sessions to learn, practice, and reflect.
    • Engaging Leadership
    • Powerful Feedback
    • Earning Trust
    • Resolving Conflict
    • Effective Delegation
    • Disciplines of Execution
    • Attaining Results
    • Beyond Performance Management
  • Leveraging Target Training International’s (TTI) DISC assessments to improve leadership effectiveness within a diverse team
  • Supporting leaders one on one through executive coaching

Leadership Teams:

  • Facilitating team-building sessions using Target Training International’s DISC system to foster stronger communication and team effectiveness
  • Applying Axiom’s Leadership Excelleration model to your leadership team to ensure the team is working together in the most efficient and effective way (i.e speed & results)
  • Working directly with executive teams to understand their foundation for success and resolve unaddressed barriers

High-Potentials Employees:

  • Creating high-potential talent development teams to provide up-and-coming leaders stretch assignments while solving some of your organization’s challenges
  • Providing leadership training sessions outlined above to create succession readiness for when the time comes to lead a team
  • Supporting high-potential individuals one on one through leadership coaching

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Are you achieving your leadership vision?

Contact Axiom to discuss how we can help your leaders, and your organization, excel!