Surviving and thriving is a fundamental part of the transformation to become more ‘lean and agile’ for National Grid Metering (NGM). If successful, teams can achieve substantive performance and health improvements.
Improvements include enhanced growth, profitability, customer satisfaction and employee engagement … and two teams in NGM have achieved just that, and all within 12 months.
About a year ago, the Automated Metering Reading and Daily Metering teams were going through a period of unpredictability in a rapidly changing environment; and many team members struggled with the changes happening in the business. With this, performance became an issue with workloads stacking up – something had to change.
To fully transform the team, several changes were necessary and the power had to be with the people who knew the issues … the teams themselves. They had to break down what the issues were and move members into the correct areas to rectify the underlying problems. By doing this, they identified and shared the jobs out by way of a ‘buddy’ system; relieving some of the pressures on individuals, with each pair working together as equals to solve problems.
With the team focused, before they knew it over 7000 outstanding jobs were reduced to a manageable amount. A brand-new hub was set up, including tracking of training, successes, skills and tasks. Training and upskilling the team is an important part of their journey. Constantly expanding individual member’s skills through learning will help them adapt to a changing environment and new developments. If one person is off, the process that sits with that individual won’t just stop; someone else who is trained will pick it up.
Commenting on the changes, Daily Metering Senior Process Advisor Claire Holt said: “The new way of working has given us greater flexibility in the team, helping us to manage the workload and develop new skills. We communicate more and are able to get results that benefit everyone quicker.”
Investing in people has played a major role in these two teams – the ‘management’ let the teams manage the issues and choose their own tasks. Enforcing this sense of responsibility and belonging has led to the team thinking about flexibility; and with team members equipped to work from home, moral has increased.
Sean Flower, Head of Operations, also shared his thoughts on the transformation: “The team faced many challenges that impacted the way they operated and felt their voices weren’t being heard – despite having the skills and knowledge to resolve the issues. The team can now share their views, ideas and challenges, be heard and be a part of the solution. They are totally self-organised, highly motivated and customer focused.”