Strategy survey leading the way in strategy communication
Deltamarin Ltd has gone through an extensive strategy process. It was time to revise the existing business plan so that it would extend further into the future. Jari Nurmi from Deltamarin was trying to come up with ways to ensure that supervisors and other key persons involved in implementing the strategy would understand the company’s revised strategy and goals consistently and as originally intended by management.
“As the company’s strategy is only as good as its implementation, we have to ensure that everyone implementing the strategy is on the same page,” Jari Nurmi summarises.
The company was also planning an employee survey at the same time. Corporate Spirit was commissioned to conduct the survey because of its solid expertise in employee surveys and its ability to provide professional and customised research services. When it was decided to carry out the strategy survey as part of the employee survey aimed at the entire personnel, it took only one implementation process to conduct both the employee survey and the strategy section fully customised for Deltamarin.
Management, supervisors and other key persons as the target group
Strategy-related questions were added to the employee survey as a separate set of questions. As the responses were gathered electronically through individual survey links, the strategy questions were only aimed at the people whose opinions were sought. At Deltamarin, a fairly large group of managers, supervisors and experts had participated in revising the strategy, and even more key persons were to become involved in the implementation phase. These people were selected as the target group for the strategy questions.
“The strategy survey we carried out as part of the employee survey gave us important information about how the company’s goals and strategic guidelines have been understood in practice and how strategy communication should be finetuned within the organisation.”
– Jari Nurmi, Director, Administration, Deltamarin Ltd
Now that more than six months have elapsed since the survey results were delivered, Jari Nurmi is already seeing the benefits. “The strategy questions provided us with clear information about which parts of the strategy are well understood and which parts we should elaborate on. We also got important information about our previous performance in terms of strategy communication. In addition, we now know how the opinions of managers, supervisors and other key persons differ from each other. Based on all this information, we have been able to finetune our strategy communication and aim it correctly.”
“I believe that this process will help our company to achieve the particular objectives that are written in our strategy.”
Professionally prepared questions guarantee relevant information
According to Jari Nurmi, a precondition for a successful employee survey is that it is conducted by an impartial third party.
“If we had started to implement the strategy section of the employee survey as our own project, the content of the questions would most likely have been remarkably shaped by the people preparing them. We took full advantage of Corporate Spirit’s expertise right from the planning phase. Their experienced Research Director studied our situation and together we decided that the strategy section of our employee survey would be prepared through pre-survey interviews where the interviewees would be selected from among the target group. As a result, we got a set of professionally prepared questions that also reflected the perspective of the people implementing the strategy.”
The strategy section of the employee survey included questions about strategy content, goals, and strategy communication, but also about the organisation’s ability to implement the strategy in practice.
“When the survey is carried out by an independent research company, the respondents know that their responses are processed strictly confidentially. As a result, they respond to the survey and are honest.”
According to Nurmi, another success factor is the confidentiality of responding. “The results of a survey like this can only be utilised if the response rate is high and the responses are honest. When the survey is carried out by an independent research company, the respondents know that their responses are processed strictly confidentially. As a result, they respond to the survey and are honest.”
Implementing two surveys with different themes and target groups simultaneously can easily lead to two different result utilisation processes. “At Deltamarin, the employee survey utilisation process has been assigned to HR, whereas the results of the strategy section are utilised by the people who are responsible for the strategy process,” says HR Coordinator Tanja Kangas.
Deltamarin Group is a company specialising in consulting, design and engineering, and construction services in the marine and offshore industries. The company operates worldwide and employs more than 300 people, most of whom work in Finland or in the company’s subsidiaries in Poland and China. The company is a strong exporter, but also plays a significant role in the Finnish market.