Published on 23-Dec-2013
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s 162,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, batteries and interior systems for automobiles. Through its growth strategies and by increasing market share, Johnson Controls is committed to delivering value to shareholders and making its customers successful.
Johnson Controls instituted a 10-year strategic plan to increase employee engagement levels and leadership effectiveness to meet its global business goals of significant revenue growth and expanding the workforce by 80,000 employees.
Johnson Controls chose IBM® Kenexa® Survey Enterprise to survey its employees and to track the impact and reach of its leaders.
From 2007 through 2011, Johnson Controls’ Employee Engagement Index scores rose by16 percentage points, from 56 to 72, and the company has seen consistent financial growth During the same time span, scores for Leadership Effectiveness rose from 55 percentage points to 71 New efficiencies were implemented, communication improved and employees received the necessary training
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s 162,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, batteries and interior systems for automobiles. Through its growth strategies and by increasing market share, Johnson Controls is committed to delivering value to shareholders and making its customers successful. In 2012, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #5 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. Website: www.johnsoncontrols.com
Executives of Johnson Controls introduced a 10-year strategic business plan in 2006 as a way to focus on growth. An important aspect of the strategy to achieve the company’s economic goals was to improve engagement among employees and effectiveness among its leaders. Executives believed a more engaged workforce, combined with clear direction from its leaders, was essential for the company to meet and possibly surpass its strategic goal of significant economic growth.
The challenge: engaging the workforce
Perhaps the biggest challenge was to encourage each employee to take an engagement survey so virtually every voice in the company could be heard. Collectively, Johnson Controls employees speak 33 different languages, and taking an engagement survey of such a diverse group of people was a monumental task.
At the same time, Johnson Controls wanted its leaders to direct their workgroups more effectively. So, employees were surveyed about the effectiveness and growth of their immediate supervisors.
The solution: using employee opinions to drive performance
Johnson Controls selected IBM Kenexa Survey Enterprise to help it act on the distinct drivers of its culture and improve its overall business success. Employee surveys help ensure organizational alignment, measure and establish engagement and commitment, and reinforce and measure organizational values.
Survey Enterprise enables companies to use employee opinions to drive performance. Our research on engagement, effective action planning and behavior change is highly innovative. Surveys are tailored to account for each company’s distinct culture and business challenges in order to drive performance.
To measure employee engagement and leadership effectiveness on a global scale, Kenexa helped Johnson Controls implement surveys so each employee could have access to it.
“One of the critical elements of our strategic plan was around employee engagement,” said Christer Bergstroem, Vice President, Employee Relations for Johnson Controls. “We had done engagement studies before, but we needed one with the same methodology globally. That’s what we have now, and we’re very satisfied with it.”
Outcomes: responding to employee feedback
Johnson Controls first had Kenexa measure employee engagement scores in 2007. Four years later, its scores on our Employee Engagement Index had risen 16 percentage points, from 56 to 72. The ultimate goal is to have engagement scores consistently at or above 75 percentage points, which would place Johnson Controls in the top quartile of all our clients.
“We would like to have employee engagement as a competitive advantage, and for that to continue we have to keep going,” Bergstroem said. “Our goal in the next five years is to learn from other companies, take a more innovative approach to engagement and move our scores above the 80 percent line.”
One way engagement scores increased significantly is that the leadership of Johnson Controls quickly had a plan in place to follow-up on concerns raised by their employees. Each year, following the engagement and leadership effectiveness surveys, Johnson Controls develops more than 27,000 action plans to facilitate improvement within the company with the help of the action planning tool from Kenexa. These action plans range from improving leadership development to helping ensure employees get the training they need to acquire new skills to keep up with operational changes.
To date, Johnson Controls has identified and completed more than 100,000 action plans. And as a result, leadership effectiveness has risen considerably, from 55 percentage points in 2007 to 71 in 2011.
“One of the reasons we’ve had so much success is that people really believe something will happen as a result of what is said in the survey,” Bergstroem said. “We’ve done regular follow-ups for each manager, from the executive level to our divisional groups to our lowest manager levels. This is a well established improvement process.”
As the company completed action plans, participation in the survey increased nearly 9 percent in a four-year span. Now, 91 percent of all Johnson Controls employees participate in the survey, with more than three quarters completing it online.
Johnson Controls has seen consistent economic growth since it enacted its strategic plan in 2007. The company has directly linked rising employee engagement and leadership effectiveness scores to improved safety records and fewer customer complaints, which are helping to improve business. Company officials believe higher engagement scores have impacted the bottom line.
About Kenexa, an IBM Company
To us, business has always been personal – and it has always been about helping to make the workforce smarter, which is why we are proud to be a platform for a Smarter Workforce. We look at it from two angles
– empowering people and transforming business. Our tools help enable businesses to attract and keep the best people, develop their skills, cultivate new leaders and capitalize on their collective intelligence by applying human insights, social tools and workforce analytics to transform the way they work. We provide deep insight and experience in employee engagement, talent management and leadership development mixed with industry-leading technology and social platforms, giving us the unique ability to build a Smarter Workforce.
For more information
To learn how to build a smarter workforce, visit: ibm.com/social-business
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
IBM Kenexa Survey Enterprise
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