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Employee Morale, Leadership Style, Changing Organisational Norms & Behaviour

Client: IT function in an investment bank; Location: USA, UK & Germany

Client Brief

The IT function in a global investment bank was experiencing very low employee morale and an increasing loss of headcount.

This situation was putting pressure on quality which led to client dissatisfaction.

The mounting pressure from clients for an improved level of service resulted in a faster loss of morale and increased number of resignations.

Our brief was to analyse the problem, understand the factors that led to decreasing quality and morale, and make recommendations to management.



For our first step we analysed the true costs of the problem. This proved to be very significant and alarmed the client.

We then undertook an employee research programme using a blend of qualitative and quantitative methods to understand employee attitudes and beliefs and the factors that were driving these.

It emerged that the management style adopted by a new leadership team in the IT function was promoting norms for internal competition in an environment where teamwork and cooperation was required.

This led to rivalry and lack of coordination between IT functions, quality problems and caused stress to employees. Increased internal client pressure made the problem worse.



The client made some changes to the leadership team and committed to a comprehensive change programme to promote cooperation and lift the spirits of the workforce.

The systems dynamics modelling exercise helped senior management to get a better understanding of the business consequences if people factors are nor carefully managed.

We repeated the analysis after one year and found that morale had increased markedly and clients reported a considerably higher level of service.