Cooperation for committed decision making
How we helped the client
November 2009, it was decided by three Swedish municipalities to start investigating the possibility of a joint payroll administration. The major challenge was initially, besides deciding how far to stretch the cooperation, to create commitment and consensus regarding the upcoming joint venture. A decision was made to initiate a pre-study in order to seize competence and ideas from the payroll departments.
Actea’s mission was to facilitate two workshops, first a full day workshop with the employees and then a second meeting with decision-makers from the three municipalities including HR and IT managers. The objective for Actea was to use our experience in order to get the cooperation and change process going in an engaging and clear way. The outcome from the workshops was to be the foundation for decisions on how to move forward.
How we did it
We set up effective and decision preparatory workshops based on the time and resource limitations at hand and the customer’s needs. In close cooperation with our customer, we planned the content of the workshops carefully. It was important to create an internal drive and commitment so that the employees would feel involved in forthcoming decisions.
In the first workshop with the employees from the three municipalities, we described the future/wanted position in terms of a joint payroll administration. The focus was to create consensus in this topic and it was crucial to capture the competence and ideas available from the payroll departments. The employees answered questions together about what actions should be prioritized in order to succeed and how those actions could be taken with a high level of commitment. Potential project obstacles and how to deal with them were discussed and a review of available specialist competence within the municipalities was made.
The second workshop with managers and other decision-makers was started off by establishing the respective requirements per municipality and then defining the main objectives of the cooperation. From this, sub targets and activities were derived. A clear and comprehensive structure for upcoming project started to evolve.
What we achieved
In the workshop sessions it was decided what the wanted state was for the joint payroll solution. Also, a common and overall base for decisions in the coming steps was created in terms of a benefit analysis of the cooperation.
Additionally, the effect of the efforts made was a growing participatory and appreciative culture between municipalities as well as internally in respective organization. Through giving the employees a voice already from the beginning, they were more involved and bought in on decisions made.