Building a unified company culture at LHH Penna

Michael Dean
 

“We knew we couldn’t take the LHH culture, or the Penna culture, we had to create a new culture.” Nick Goldberg, LHH Penna’s chief executive for the UK and Ireland, lays out the challenge facing the new company, formed through LHH’s acquisition of Penna in 2016.

To help guide this process, Nick looked for a tool that could deliver the same level of real-time insight on people and culture, as he was used to from the company’s commercial operations.

“We use Salesforce at LHH Penna a lot, to understand how our sales are going, what our pipeline’s looking like – and that’s a real-time dashboard”, explained Nick. « The thing we love about Peakon is it’s a very similar experience, and rather than looking at your pipeline and your sales, to some extent you’re looking at the more important thing which is, how are your people feeling? If your people are feeling really good and really engaged, you’re going to perform better as a business.”

Learn how LHH Penna implemented Peakon to help build a unified company culture.

The need to understand whether the organisation was truly forming it’s own unified culture, as the changes were taking place, was one part of the puzzle. Finding the right methodology to do so was another. “The first thing that we did when we looked at Peakon was obviously to look at the bank of questions that they had. Being engagement experts ourselves, we thought quite honestly that we have to change quite a lot of the questions,” said Nick.

“However, when it came to it, we realised that the questions Peakon had created were almost perfect for our business. We then tweaked some of those questions to make them more correct for the exact circumstances we were going through, which was a big merger of two organisations. So we probably added ten percent to the questions to make them feel right for our business.”

Six months on from the launch of Peakon at LHH Penna, the feedback provided by employees through short, bi-weekly, pulse surveys has enabled leaders throughout the organisation to meet challenges and build the right culture.

“We learned through Peakon that people didn’t feel like they could express their opinions –  however much we encouraged it, we learned that with our two companies coming together, it wasn’t becoming as clear to the new business as it had been in the old business. That was a big shock to me if I’m honest, I was not happy”, Nick explained. “Had we not have had Peakon, we probably wouldn’t have known that, we would have just thought that’s the way it is.”

Six months down the line, hear why LHH Penna’s people love Peakon.

In response, one of the initiatives started by LHH Penna was to host “good to great” dinners each month, giving employees a dedicated forum and carte blanche to discuss with the company’s directors what they’d like to improve in the company. “If you think about it, it’s an additional stage to Peakon – because Peakon does that, but this is a facilitated session that takes it to another level.” Sure enough, this progress was soon reflected in increasing scores on Nick’s Peakon dashboard.

“I can’t think of a world now without Peakon. You know, not being able to see how people are feeling on a regular basis, with all the data analytics we have in our business around other things? For me the most important thing to analyse is your people. Gone are the days of doing that once a year and getting the data back six months later. We live a world now that’s so real-time, that changes every week. Being able to see how your people feel, and how engaged they are in the different departments, and the different regions, and the different levels, really helps you understand where and how to take your business forward.”

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