TIGCRU Insight was asked to design and facilitate of a series of ‘Work:Life Balance’ workshops for a team of 58 people, in a top 10 pharma company.
The team worked within a matrix organisation, where demand was increasing and there was a reduction in overall headcount. The client had Lean Sigma, Voice of the Customer (VOC) feedback that has shown that staff considered there to be too many last minute requests, an overwhelming demand and high delivery focus.
While some individuals were coping and managing their time effectively, others, with the same workload, were getting flustered and stressed and had a tendency not to deliver. This situation was not good for the individuals or the business.
Thus, there was a need for a very realistic time management course. Not one where a specific tool is ‘rammed’ at them, but something meaningful, a course that allowed individuals to work on their plans and, in doing so, teach a couple of important life skills.
Philosophy underpinning workshop design
TIGCRU Insight designed a training workshop based on the belief that each individual:
1. Has different preferences as to how they make decisions and get work done. Myers Briggs describes this as those with a preference for ‘Judging’ or ‘Perceiving’:
- Judging: those who prefer coming to closure on decisions, preferring to live life in scheduled and orderly ways and wanting things to be controlled and regulated.
- Perceiving: those with a preference for keeping open to new experiences and information. Preferring to live life in a flexible, spontaneous way.
2. Will only change behaviours if they are motivated to do so and believe in the benefit.
3. Needs to find a planning strategy that works for them.
Thus, TIGCRU designed and delivered a workshop that acknowledged different preferences – it did not encourage those with, for example, a ‘perceiving’ preference to use it as an excuse for poor planning! Rather, recognises that these individuals need to find a way that works for them.
The workshop design enabled everyone to find something to suit their style and make a personal commitment to improve.
The workshop was highly interactive and included:
- Visualisations of current and desired state.
- Use of the ‘Systems Thinking’ model to help individuals identify priorities versus actual use of time in their own lives.
- Understanding the concept of preferences, then sharing tips / best practice with those who have similar MBTI preference.
- Looking at belief systems and identifying areas that individuals could bring some influence or control.
- Exploration of useful skills to employ:
- Time planning
- Approach to information handling (big picture versus detail preferences)
- Verbal & written communications
- Use of delegation
- A Market Place of different types of time management tools (that would appeal to different MBTI types)
- Practical planning session, allowing individuals to put their own choice of tool from day into practice with real data.
We had lots of feedback that people found the coverage of different approaches/tools useful. Also, some specific comments:
‘Helpful, relevant and pitched well.’
‘It brought back to me that I actually have a lot of power to influence my situation.’
‘The toolkit was very helpful, also looking at blockers and what others see as blockers to goals.’
‘Useful to take time to reflect, could use as a start to a better way of balance.’
‘Made me stop and think/reflect about time in a more structured way.’
‘Very clearly presented throughout. Found looking at blockers and how to work your way through them most useful.’