When marketing manager, Thomas Borum, 9 years ago joined ALM as the new manager of the Service Center Business - Region South with ALM. Brand, he had a big challenge ahead of him. The department and the team were permeated by bad mood and individualists who went their own way. It went hard on job satisfaction, which was declining to an unacceptable level. A record low satisfaction survey and a holiday home stay put a marked end to the team that, in the group at the time, was known as Team Negative.
Together with 18 business insurers, and a consultant from HUMI, Thomas Borum went to a vacation home, where a two-day cultural seminar formed the framework for a lasting cultural change in the department.
- We went to a holiday home for two days, and it is still something that we talk about in the group to this day. Even though it is almost six years ago, those two days are some days that we all remember, ”says Thomas Borum. “When I remember back to the time before, I remember that there was a really bad mood. It was totally crap. As a new leader, I was, at that time, in a 1: 1 coaching course with Per Poulsen from HUMI, and in that connection I asked for help to get rid of the bad mood. I was determined to create a work environment where high performance goes hand in hand with high job satisfaction. That was my goal ”.
In the cottage, the then regional director and Thomas Borum, as one of the first, reviewed the negative satisfaction survey, and the consultant from HUMI reviewed the effect a negative outlook on life has on oneself and one's surroundings. Thomas says:
- “The first day was about being told how we in the department wanted to be experienced by others, and how we were actually experienced. When we jointly reviewed the satisfaction survey, it was a big shock to everyone that the feedback was so negative. After all, no one wanted to be experienced like this. From there we could move on. ”
On day two, the team put into words how they wanted to be experienced three months into the future, by colleagues, family, management and stakeholders. At the same time, they were given tools to realize their vision of going from Team Negative to Team Positive. It became the team's new Constitution.
The Constitution and 'new glasses'
Together, the team developed a detailed list of a new set of values that would serve as Team Positiv's Constitution. It involved, among other meassures, a set of “new glasses”.
- “Together with HUMI, we started by tackling things that we could change in the short term. The low-hanging fruits. Here was one of the points that we should see the world through new glasses. We agreed that we should look inward and drop the attitude that it is everyone else's fault. We should put on the Yes hat, talk to each other instead of about each other and otherwise show positivity. It was not enough to say "I am positive", we had to show it ", explains Thomas Borum. “Everyone took ownership and we started referring to ourselves as Team Positive. We were Team Positive ”.
There is no doubt that the two days in the cottage had a decisive effect on the team as a whole. Thomas Borum emphasizes, however, that it was both him and the 18 insurers that he had under him at the time that needed to change in order to rebuild trust.
- “It is important for me to say that I also changed myself in the process. The insurers changed and I changed. Over time, I have become aware of taking things in stride and take action, just as soon as I can feel that someone is not feeling well. I have come to understand that you cannot necessarily see for yourself. The team has also become good at paying attention to each other. And it contributes to the common job satisfaction. For job satisfaction is not management-created, but something we on the team create together, ”says Thomas Borum.
Job satisfaction above all
The high job satisfaction in Thomas Borum's department has resulted in fewer job postings and more inquiries from outside. Where no one before wanted to come to Erhverv, new employees now come by themselves.
- "I have not made a job posting for three years. Our culture change has been so marked that our case is constantly being brought forward. Now we are known for being a high performing team with high job satisfaction. We get many inquiries from people from outside who want to be part of our culture ", says Thomas Borum. When I once told my then director that now job satisfaction should be the top goal, he said: "Do you dare?" - "and YES, I dared, because that is the most important thing". He continues: “If you do not get up in the morning and think YES, now I have to go to work at ALM. Brand, then we can not create results either ", says Thomas Borum.
Job satisfaction is a value that Thomas Borum does not compromise on. He takes pride in putting together just the right team.
- “You get the employees you deserve. It is the team that creates the results. Therefore, it is important to me that the right team is set. That you contribute positively regardless of sales figures. It does not matter that you have good sales figures and perform well if you are uncomfortable to be with ", says Thomas honestly.
Now, six years later, the business team in Region South, since the two days in the cottage with HUMI, has been one of the best performing business teams at ALM. Brand.
- "We have six business teams in total in the group and the two days in the cottage almost six years ago, we have been number 1 or 2 measured on job satisfaction, performance and customer satisfaction", says Thomas Borum. “My goal, as a leader, was to create the best performing team with the highest job satisfaction. And I think together that we have succeeded, ”concludes Thomas Borum.
Since this interview, Thomas Borum has once again been named Head of Business and Agriculture of the Year, Alm. Brand, measured in terms of customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and performance.