In post-assessment of managers on Team Vital Signs, the overall engagement index increased from 33% to 70%. The percentage of people in the “Engaged” category shifted from just over 8% on the pre-test, to 50% on the post-test. At the same time, the percentage of disengaged dropped from 41.6% to 9%, representing a large-scale shift in attitude.
Meanwhile, the plant’s efficiency scores improved by 9.4%, demonstrating an important link between increased engagement and the bottom line.
Results on each scale also improved dramatically, as shown in this graphic, where post-test scores are in red:
Blasi summarizes the results as follows: “The key lesson is in the approach used. Managers in the project experienced something new, and then, on their own initiative, they started to utilize the method in communicating and managing their employees. This is the real test of any training: Do people start to use what they learned? Now we need to spread this methodology to a wider audience, but certainly it’s clear that things have changed for the better.”
One specific example Blasi identified is the contagious effect of a positive team experience. “Looking at the environment in the trainings, people felt good – it was practical, but also warm. They then worked to re-create this experience for others. And, in my opinion an added value, we can definitely see that for many people involved, the word ‘emotion’ is no longer taboo.”
The study is based on a small group of managers, but it shows that effective teamwork has a significant effect on the larger community. Using an “emotionally intelligent” process for building and supporting teams seems to work.
Blasi concluded: “First of all, a very banal lesson: if you do something you can obtain results, but if you do nothing definitely you will not get anything.
Every change is a risk, and taking about a ‘taboo’ subject such as emotions in a very technical organization does seem like a risk! But it’s a basic idea: if we have people staying in their comfortable culture, they will not think differently. We need to ask them questions and to allow them to see from a different point of view. This provides another lens for them to see their everyday behaviors.
I am not saying all, but many have understood this and are starting to realize that they have an impact on their people. Emotions are real, even if you can’t touch them or see them… they touch others in a powerful way. For me, this awareness is the revolutionary thing that has happened.”