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EQ special award-winning assertiveness training for Grundfos

With our data-based training solution which was born as a result of a comprehensive culture study, we won the special EQ prize of the HRKOMM 2018 Awards. A good employer brand emphasizes the distinctive virtues of organizational culture. In order to highlight these virtues, we organized focus group discussions with production line workers, we used an innovative digital solution to survey office workers and we drew up the Grundfos brand’s EVPs and social media strategy in workshops with the leadership team. The communication training we put together for the blue collar workers based on the results obtained meant an unusual solution, which is unique to this market.

Background

Grundfos Magyarország Gyártó Kft., employing around 2,350 people in Tatabánya and Székesfehérvár has been a major player in the Central Transdanubian Region since 2000. Its parent company is the world’s leading pump manufacturer and operates a significant part of its manufacturing capacity in Hungary. We started our cooperation with Grundfos during the spring of 2017, when they were asking for an employer branding strategy and it’s implementation from Impact Works to reach the company’s human resources and communication goals.

An integral part of this was to support the attraction and retention of blue collar workers. We have identified their challenges through focus group interviews involving 110 production line workers and via an innovative digital solution and workshops involving the company leaders.

As part of the culture study we conducted the following surveys:

Intellectual workers:

  • Leadership workshop
  • Online survey

Manual workers:

  • Focus group interviews
  • Digital maturity survey

Challenge

From the feedback received, tension between management/group leaders and the physical workers has become clear, which is rooted primarily in communication issues: some of the leaders are reluctantly empathic towards physical workers, and physical workers are not able to confidently express their position, their opinions, or share their problems with their leaders. This gap was planned to be reduced by two-sided interventions: we organized leadership communication training for managers, and assertiveness training for blue collar workers. Parallel to our 25 training sessions we have prepared the company’s own trainers as well to continue the program on a long-term basis on their own.

Culture study

As part of the culture study, among 110 blue-collar workers of four factory plants in all three shifts, we conducted digital maturity surveys and focus group interviews.

In order to better understand corporate culture, in accordance with a full day management workshop, we also conducted a white-collar digital survey based on sociometry, an innovative research tool based on online collaboration and opinion sharing.

Internal culture-harmonization program

Implementing the program

Among manual workers this solution is unique as they have spent a full day on the training which aimed to train them to be more confident and more effective in representing their positions and interests.

The assertiveness training

The short, multi-participant training required a new approach and focus. We could not build on transferring comprehensive, deep theoretical knowledge and a lot of actual practice. It was better to work with short, less detailed, more memorable, model-based explanations and situations. We had to use easily understandable concepts and create more viable situations.

Train the trainer

Parallel to our 25 training sessions we have prepared the company’s own trainers as well to continue the program on a long-term basis on their own.

The knowledge was transmitted in 4 parts and after a short training, the internal trainer continued the program independently.

In the following months, all the physical workers attended the training.

The structure of the program

The training program was tailored to fit within the frame of the yearly “classroom day” for the production line workers. Three important features made it unique:

  1. Exercise-oriented structure: The biggest challenge was to involve the workers. In the past they only participated in “lecture-type” lessons.

The structure supported rapid involvement and intensive development:

  • Short warm up, “ice-breaker” game.
  • Forum theatrical practice with the trainer and a volunteer to identify the main communication problems
  • Transaction analysis for a simple categorization of interpersonal relationships.
  • Improv-theatrical development practices (in a group and in pairs), tailored to the needs of the current group, the possibilities and the number of participants
  • Opportunity to practice immediately
  • Analysis, Discussion, Closing Situations – re-enacting the earlier forum theatrical situation in couples.
  1. The trainer: the Impact Works team consists of colleagues from different backgrounds to be able to provide an authentic answer to a wide range of customer challenges and needs.

The leader of the Grundfos assertiveness training:

  • Has worked in a factory before.
  • Is an experienced psycho-drama professional.
  • Is familiar with company expectation as a leader of corporate training.
  • All this guaranteed that he was able to manage the often intact attitude of the participants.
  1. Opportunity to practice: every training reaches it’s goal if it can make a change. Production line workers could try several practices during the training. As part of the program, they had a one-hour meeting with the management of the company, they could ask questions and give opinions on their situation. After the meeting, they analyzed the events together with the trainer and received further exercise opportunities.

All training sessions were different from the others. The number of participants (8 to 30) and their level of involvement required the trainer to take from or add to the program.

Results

For 4 months we held the assertiveness training 25 times with groups of 8-30 participants.

Altogether 360 people participated.

Rating based on feedback from 100 sessions: 4,40 (maximum = 5)