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Central Hawke's Bay District Council

Involving employees in transformational change to drive continuous improvement


Central Hawke's Bay District Council


Local Government 

With a bold mandate for change and the need to consult with its workforce, one of the first initiatives of former CHBDC CEO Monique Davidson, who served in that role, was to engage AskYourTeam. She needed a tool to position the organisation for transformational change and measure progress, as well as quickly get up to speed on the key issues affecting council. 

Lack of insight into the organisation hindered new strategy plan

The council – with a small ratepayer base and many challenges – needed to make changes to support its new “Together We Thrive!” strategy. It needed to build a high performing and highly involved team to drive change, improve visibility of what was happening in the business and issues of concern to frontline staff, and then use those deep insights to inform decision-making.

Baseline insights set foundation for high performance

AskYourTeam Employee Voice was the solution adopted by Council as a powerful tool to gather insights on what was going on within the organisation, with findings informing vision and strategy. The first survey, says Monique, was about establishing a baseline to inform next steps.

"This is what our people are saying, this is what we need to dig deeper on, and therefore, this is what we really need to focus on if we're going to build a high performing, highly involved team”.


Better connections and continuous improvement

A follow up survey identified a potential disconnect between the leadership team and the rest of workforce regarding the pace of change; people felt the leaders were too far ahead, and they were being left behind. From that feedback came an initiative to ‘bridge the gap’ spanning a number of actions including bringing emerging leaders into leadership teams to improve understanding and communication.

Using AskYourTeam Employee Voice as a key feedback and insights tool, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has affected significant change, deepened its frontline team’s connection with organisational purpose, and made better business decisions. 

In addition, the performance and success of the council’s Thrive programme received the 2020 award for excellence and innovation in organisation and people development from the leading membership network for professionals in Local Government (Taituarā).  
Monique says AskYourTeam has helped the council build a culture of continuous improvement and deliver for the community. 

“One of my biggest learnings is if you’re considering AskYourTeam, make sure you're actually listening and prepared to follow through with action. It means that you're building a culture of continuous improvement and is part of what we do and who we are.

Monique says "I'm proud of the way our people have grown and what they have learned about themselves. They have learned how to lead and how to connect with each other and with our purpose, and vision, and action, which is what our community is interested in”.