Natural Resources / Production - International


Behavioral change, decision making skills, large scale intervention, in-house facilitator training


Natural Resources/ Production

The Task:

One of the production facilities of a company faced closure or radical transformation. A competitive analysis of internal and external competitors had revealed poor performance in comparison. Only a radical improvement in work practices as well as a significant reduction in the size of the workforce would be able to save the plant. The management team expected major resistance from both the workforce and the unions. Coverdale was approached for help on with this major change initiative. 

The Solution:

Coverdale and the management team co-developed a multi-tiered program that would involve the entire organization:

  • To kick the overall project off Coverdale facilitated one-day meetings between management and the workforce to explain the relative market position of the plant and outline the proposed organizational changes. 

  • Employees were given the time to voice their concerns and fears - especially at the beginning when meetings were quite challenging. However, the overall attitude towards the necessary change improved as employees saw that management was truly committed to saving the plant together with the them. The employees not only had a voice, they were the driving force towards the change initiatives. In order to enable them to do so, the workers will be given the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills by management, so that true empowerment could happen.

  • Once these meetings were completed a series of custom-designed three-day workshops were rolled out to the entire organization. These workshops were designed to support the development of new skills and behaviors that are required for a self-directed decision-making workforce. 

  • To accelerate the rollout of the program and increase sustainability and impact, Coverdale developed internal facilitators from the workforce who worked alongside Coverdale consultants. The in-house facilitators focused specifically on managing team-led performance improvement projects that were initiated after the workshops.

The Outcome:

Just in the first year 180 new improvement projects created savings of US $1.7 Million! The results were communicated and celebrated with the workforce and created positive momentum for the overall change project.

Over several years over 400 workforce-led initiatives have been implemented. The plant now regularly exceeds its own production records; lost production days and operating cost have been reduced every year and "massive improvements in reliability" have been achieved.