From an entrenched Public Sector organization with 80,000 employees, out of which 60,000 were considered ‘ghost employees’, and a Union to reckon with, 26% shares were bought by Etisalat Telecommunications, of UAE, in 2006 for $2.6 billion, along with management control of the-then telecom monopoly. Our team was deployed in 2007, as partners in the transformation exercise, to prepare minds to accept not only a mass reduction in number of employees, i.e. more efficient work ethos, but also the shift from conventional land telecom services to mobile and web-based solutions.
Our transformation exercise comprised on-ground hands-on one-day interventions with 2,500 employees from across the country, 80% being linemen from the deep interiors of the provinces. The challenges included facilitating dialogue between seniors and the linemen; inviting them to think of a combined future, one with immense opportunities offered by cyberspace, but inspire willingness to rise above conventional telecom management skills; to maintain its status as the backbone for the country’s telecommunication infrastructure; to leverage the existing strong bond its people have with the company and harness their ambitions for a fresh new Vision for PTCL.
Realization of and appreciation for the diversity that exists at PTCL. A historic fact, yet one that was not showcased or leveraged in the past. Having been invited to be part of the transformation process and included in the Visioneering exercise, people felt special and, therefore, demonstrated higher levels of ownership. Narrowing the schism existing between senior management (DEs) and linemen resulted in uniting them to pool their ideas for a better shared future. Enhanced responsibility to put into action what people have conceived, designed and scripted themselves. Awareness of the ability to contribute at the strategic level, to have a voice and become value-adding members of the organization. To learn to shift from complaining to becoming solution-centric and, thus, see purpose and meaning in their contributions. This was affirmed through implementation of plans during the interventions. ‘Mirroring’ of participants’ actions produced the highest impact and change in mindset and behaviors. This led to a shift from being a frustrated employee to a respectful and responsible corporate citizen, one that has the privilege of fulfilling promises.