Fresh intelligence from Databuild’s unique people

Highly engaged people: that’s Databuild’s new secret weapon. Developed out of CEO Morag Evans’ conviction that supremely aligned and motivated staff would give Databuild the edge over competition into the future, the market intelligence firm launched an initiative to involve all 50 employees intimately in plans to distinguish an experience of the Databuild brand from rivals.

Evans’ vision culminated in the Databuild employee alignment, engagement and appreciation programme. This programme is now known as the Databuild Quotient or DQ which, while still in its infancy, is already proving statistical evidence that engaged organisations outperform disengaged ones by far – and by any measure.

How was Databuild’s system developed?

Databuild’s first step was to hire an expert guide.

In March 2013, Evans hired us because of our role in the design and implementation of Deloitte’s highly successful employee engagement programme that achieved and sustained an 80% engagement ratio over five years. (Most firms succeed in engaging only around 30% of their workforce.)

Phase 1 of the engagement process design involved developing a clear company purpose and plans to achieve this purpose so that these could be:

  • Shared with every member of the Databuild team,
  • Understood by all, and
  • Used to provide clear context and purpose for every Databuild job and function.

A task team of 20 Databuild people – assembled from different levels, areas and disciplines of the business – collaborated in workshops to crystallise the company’s goal and game plan over a two-month period – producing and packaging it in a meaningful way for distribution to the Databuild community by May 2013.

Because the task team communicated what they were involved in throughout the process, and involved staff members in decisions and issues, the process of developing the enterprise road map extended to most company stakeholders, which ensured broad employee orientation and a buy-in across the Databuild community.  

Second step: Define how you want your community to act

After getting a sign-off on a clear community purpose and plan to achieve this purpose, the Databuild task team set about defining what community behaviour was needed to achieve this purpose. In addition, the company specified what outcomes were required from every community member to deliver success in key strategic zones.

Four weeks later, each employee knew precisely:

  • Why their role existed,
  • What behaviour, contributions and standards were expected monthly, and 
  • Where and how individual contributions impacted the business.  

Also, every employee understood what behaviours would be recognised and appreciated into the future – and exactly why leadership valued the behaviours.

What tools did Databuild use to manage the process?

To manage the community, alignment and engagement process effectively, Databuild opted to use our iSight system, which is an employee engagement application developed to address each of the well-researched factors that motivate employees to engage. iSight uses social media intelligently to:

  • Connect every employee to the enterprise community and its goals, and
  • Track every employee’s contributions to it.  

The system provides every employee with a simple tool set to self-track performance monthly and the functions to collaborate and share ideas and information. iSight also makes it easy for the enterprise community to recognise, process and appreciate behaviour that deserves to be recognised.   

The Databuild DQ programme was officially launched at the end of May 2013. An all-day Amazing Race-type event was used to demonstrate the importance and value of teamwork in winning teams in a fun and memorable way.

Now, every Databuild employee belongs to one of the company’s purposes and communities:

  • Each person is connected to the groups, work streams and a culture of common purpose and collaboration. This means that these are essential to aligning and motivating people.
  • Everyone is appreciated for their contributions.

“We have seen a significant lift in understanding what we’re trying to achieve and how each employee can contribute to it.  Although our DQ programme has been only been running for a short while, our people are already operating as a community: collaborating more and rising up to the recognition and appreciation that they’re getting for meaningful contributions. We fully expect to get the strategic paybacks for our investment in aligning and engaging our people,” says Evans. 

by Jonathan Hall

This article was first published on HR Pulse.


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