John Lewis is the UK’s largest department store retailer and part of the John Lewis Partnership (JLP). As an organisation, JLP is well-respected for its combination of commercial acumen and corporate conscience. It is known for its policy of "Never Knowingly Undersold" which has been in use since 1925 and for being owned by its employees.
All 93,800 permanent staff are Partners. Together they own 43 John Lewis shops 337 Waitrose supermarkets, an online and catalogue business, a production unit and a farm. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. The Partners share in the benefits and profits of a business that is based on its founder’s vision of a successful business powered by its people and its principles.
Why Motivational Maps?
Motivational Maps started to be used in 2010 in the John Lewis Maintenance department (around 400 Partners). At that time, John Lewis were embarking on a significant expansion of its estate, starting with the first of a new format of stores – John Lewis at Home. These would be stand-alone buildings on retail estates, with a selected product offering which require less floor area and do not need a full complement of staff (Partners). As such they represented a significant change in the Partnership’s strategy.
In addition, waste and energy initiatives were being introduced, further which increased the scope of the Maintenance Department’s service provision.
Like most organisations, JLP wanted to grow whilst maintaining their profit margins. This would require maintaining the headcount, by minimising recruitment and redeploying existing Partners to new roles, and not replacing all retiring Partners, etc.
However, the Maintenance Department were experiencing a number of challenges, including:
• The Partner Opinion Survey scores for the Department were disappointing, particularly around job security. (It was subsequently found that Defender was a key motivator of this Department, i.e. the need for security, certainty and predictability.)
• The Department was struggling to delegate the waste and energy initiatives at least partially because the Partners were concerned about providing a reduced service to customers. The lack of capacity for delegation generated real concern about the Department’s ability to successfully manage the expanding estates without increasing headcount.
Rodney Hoper, Manager of Maintenance in John Lewis (at that time), engaged a Motivational Maps Licensed Practitioner to help the Department. His remit:
« We are entering a period of change and growth, which brings uncertainty. It is important the team are equipped, so that whatever shape that change takes, they are in the best place to be successful and handle the change. In the meantime, the team need to be focussed on current activities and performance. »
Rodney Hoper believed Motivational Maps would help engage the team in embracing the changes through the new strategy, and would provide an essential people centric element to its annual Maintenance Conference. The conference provided a good opportunity to consulting the Department about the proposed new vision, strategy and how performance would be measured.
Rodney particularly liked the Motivational Maps capability to generate metrics around each individual and each team’s level and source of motivation, and the personalised individual reports with motivation strategies.
What did we do with the Motivational Maps?
The Practitioner worked with the Operations Managers (OMMs) to map the motivators of the Management Team. The programme started with high-level insights and developed over a number of years into Leadership Coaching for each Operation Manager and their successors.
• Each OMM completed a Motivational Map and received personalised feedback. This gave them confidence in recommending the tool to their teams.
• All 40 Branch Maintenance Mangers (BMMs) completed a Motivational Map prior to attending the Conference.
• At the Conference we explored the role of motivation in influencing behaviour, performance and relationships. We provided an overview of Motivational Maps and then revealed the Top 3 Motivators of the Team and the lowest motivator.
• All attendees were involved in discussions and exercises around these 4 Motivators. This empowered them with knowledge of how their motivation influences their behaviours and choices, and how to manage and feed their motivation.
• The OMMs wanted to understand their teams better and we used the Team Maps to understand the motivators of each regional team.
• We provided the OMMs with insights specific to their overall team of BMMs and for the individuals.
• We considered development al needs and team dynamics.
• We identified top and ‘worst’ performers and looked for trends in motivators to explain and predict this,
• We considered the implications of potential successors and movements of BMMs between the four regions and changes in OMM dynamics (following personnel changes).
• One of the OMMs received Leadership Coaching. The Motivational Map was key to self-awareness, and particularly to identifying and removing blocks or barriers to the individual’s progress which were frustrating both the individual and succession planning. As a result, the individual became far more effective at challenging his team’s performance and keen to take on more responsibility.
• Over the following 4 years (2011 to date), further Leadership Coaching with Motivational Maps was provided to the other Operations Managers and their successors.
• The Leadership and Development Department of John Lewis adopted Motivational Maps as a core tool, and 16 Partners were trained and accredited to use them by a team of Motivational Mappers. The Maintenance Department’s experience and positive feedback about the Maps were fundamental in making this choice.
How did people react to the Motivational Maps?
At an individual level the BMMs and OMMs found the Motivational Map questionnaire quick and easy to complete. The speed and on-line access meant time away from their jobs was kept to a minimum.
The BMMs were given their Motivational Map reports at the end of Day 1 of the Conference – after getting insights into their motivation. Many reported staying up late or getting up early to read their Motivational Map report, and found it very interesting and easy to understand.
« I found the Motivational Map a really interesting and useful exercise, and I think the Maintenance Team will both enjoy and benefit from it. »
« By understanding my motivators and setting clear expectations, I am far more effective in delivering both personal and business objectives. The Team Map helped us understand each other much better. »
This is what the team map for one of the BMMs revealed :
1st Motivational Driver : Searcher. Customer focussed, mission-critical tasks, good causes, seeks meaning, simple, sincere specific feedback.
2nd Motivational Driver : Defender. Prudent, consistent, dependable, will stay on track, seeks security, stability, predictability.
3rd Motivational Driver : Spirit. Self-driven, focussed, self-sufficient, self-manager, seeks freedom, independence, making own decisions.
Lowest Motivational Driver : Star. The need to be admired and respected because of one's position is an alien concept, hierarchy has little attraction,
Team Motivation Score : 73%. This indicates the team is in the « Boost » zone, and is generally well motivated. As a team, it is likely to perform very well.
What was the impact of the Motivational Maps?
The first tangible impact was the buzz at the Maintenance Conference. These events tend to be detailed and technical and the participants showed a much higher level of engagement at a personal level than usual. Feedback following the Conference was also positive.
The changes and new strategy were adopted and implemented easily within the team. The team have remained committed to the new strategy and its evolution over the following years. Communication strategies, identified during the Conference as part of the Motivational Map exercise, were adopted and supported these changes.
Reflecting back in 2015, at the work that has been done with the Maintenance Department of John Lewis we can provide the following update:
In 2010, when this work started, the department contained around 400 Partners. This included:
• 5 OMMS
• 24 Branch Maintenance Managers looking after 24 branches and ancillary buildings.
In 2015, the department has:
• 4 OMMs
• 23 Branch Maintenance Managers looking after 43 branches and ancillary buildings (80 buildings in total).
The project has been a commercial success. To date, the increase in productivity has saved the Department in the region of £500,000 via saved salary and associated employment costs.
Critically, and in line with the Partnership’s Principles, the Project has also been a success for both Customers and Partners, with performance across all areas of the Department (Customer, Finance, Operations and Partner) improving.
This sustainable growth and success has been achieved despite fundamental changes in key personnel:
• Rodney Hoper, Manager of Maintenance, retired in 2012 and was succeeded by an experienced Partner, who was new to the department.
• 3 of the 4 OMMs have been on their long-leave (7 months of paid leave each), and
• Their successors (BMMs) have stepped up and not only covered their Regions, but continued to drive improvements in both operational and personal development.
We believe that one of the critical factors that have led to this continued success, despite changes in key personnel, is the Motivational Maps used to create lasting change in people.
The Department is currently under review and further expansion of a dozen more branches is planned. Yet the mood is positive and the team feel strong. They are indeed « well equipped so that, whatever shape that change takes, they are in the best place to be successful and handle the change. »
In summary, the Motivational Maps have been fundamental in creating long-lasting and significant changes in attitude and behaviour. The OMMs and BMMs have created more control over their attitude, behaviour, strategy and how they approach their roles. As a result, they feel strong, optimistic and empowered.
Motivational Maps is currently used for Leadership Coaching in the Central Team – which provides specialist technical guidance to the Maintenance Departments of both John Lewis and Waitrose. Long-lasting and remarkable results have been achieved, especially in long-serving Partners who’ve been with John Lewis for over 20 years.
Feel free to contact Marc Peycker at your best convenience!