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Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce

Customer highlight - Creating cultures of continuous improvement

min read

"We’re not only asking the team to come up with areas for improvement, but we’re also asking them to help identify the solutions." - Leeann Watson, General Manager.


The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce supports 2,500 businesses in New Zealand’s South Island. The Chamber has a proud 150 year history, and a strong commitment to providing outstanding service to their members in an increasingly fast-moving business environment. They needed a way to leverage the expertise held within their team in order to become more nimble and responsive to new challenges.

Looking beyond employee engagement

The Chamber had used engagement surveys for many years but were ready for a change. They wanted to involve all of their people in identifying challenges and solutions for improving business performance. “We chose AskYourTeam because it was so much more than just an engagement survey,” says Leeann Watson, the Chamber’s General Manager.

“It provided an in-depth look right across the organisation. It gave us an opportunity to dig a bit deeper and look at the levers where we needed to make adjustments.”

Abandoning their traditional engagement survey in favour of a complete business optimisation system has actually served to build employee engagement at the Chamber. “Everyone in our team now has an opportunity to be heard, to share ideas and feel proud about the achievements across the organisation. It’s provided a platform for the team to really engage," says Leeann.

Support at every step

As a busy manager of 28, Leeann didn’t have a lot of time to invest in implementing the system, so she was pleased that AskYourTeam were available to support her throughout the process. “The support is a big part of the advantage of AskYourTeam - from the setup stages and communicating with our team, through to reading the results and retesting. Knowing we could pick up the phone and clarify anything we needed gave us the confidence to run it successfully."

Transforming results into action

The easy-to-use technology combined with full support from AskYourTeam has meant the adoption of the system was seamless. The Chamber quickly began translating their results into action. Leeann says the process was straightforward:

“From the first set of results, we sat down with the teams, we discussed the gaps, we created an action plan, and then away we went.”

Since the baseline survey, the Chamber has used tailored retests to measure their progress. “We retested specific components to see if the changes we implemented had a positive impact or needed further tweaking. Some of the key areas where we’ve made changes are around the CRM system and enabling the team to have the right access to information, reporting and technology to assist them to do their job more efficiently.”

Creating more effective leaders

Peter Townsend, the former Chamber’s CEO, is enthusiastic about how AskYourTeam has improved the management team’s effectiveness. “One of the critical components of AskYourTeam is that it enables you to drill down into the factors that are affecting your staff in a way that I haven’t seen with any other management tool.

It’s been very powerful in identifying the real issues and then getting on top of them in a constructive way.

Leeann reports that AskYourTeam has helped her to strengthen her relationship with her team. “It provides an environment for leaders to be able to listen to their team’s feedback and start the conversations needed to drive change.”

The result: A culture of continuous improvement

Using AskYourTeam has helped build a culture of continuous improvement at the Chamber. “It’s provided a new mindset for the team,” says Leeann.

“And that’s the beauty of AskYourTeam – we’re not only asking the team to come up with the challenges and areas for improvement, but we’re also asking them to help identify what the solutions are. It reinforces that continuous improvement is a really important part of any business.”


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