Digicel Group: A Case Study Using Science to Define Performance and Behavioral Deliverables
Digicel is the Caribbean's largest telecommunications provider, serving consumer and business customers in 36 markets in the Caribbean, Central America, and Pacific. For 21 years, Digicel has empowered communities through mobile and digital services that have changed people’s lives. To date, they have served more than 10 million customers.
Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, the company currently has more than 7,000 employees worldwide. Not unlike many organizations around the globe, the pandemic had a noticeable impact on the human behavior of its employees. To retain its top talent, Digicel knew it had to help its people be their best while still remaining authentic to who Digicel was as a company. To do that, they needed to know how their employees really felt about working for the company.
It was important for Digicel to make sure its people felt invested in the company and in their work and that their voices were being heard—across all its markets. To do that, they created a ‘people experience’ opportunity.
In the respective language of each market (French, Dutch, Spanish, and English as the main), Digicel conducted what they called online jamming sessions and asked every employee (11,000 at the time) about their emotional connection to the company, specifically when it was at its best, and what prevented them from feeling that connection all the time. Demographic information was automatically captured, and all responses were translated into English, allowing the company to segment by a number of identifying factors.
One of the key goals of the company was to use the data to help create a highly sustainable performance culture. Out of 11,000 employees, four-and-a-half-thousand participated. The sessions produced a ton of valuable data. Now, Digicel just needed to synthesize, understand, and implement it. That’s when they contacted People Strategies.
Using the vast qualitative data produced by the online jamming, Dave Dubin, PhD, and founder of People Strategies was first asked to create a framework of Digicel based on three key indicators. He came up with “DNA” (dynamic, nurturing, and accountable). The company took the “DNA” to their market CEOs and the Chairman of the board, who all agreed it “feels like us.”
But those were values on their own. They didn’t yet help Digicel relate them to levels of performance. Next, Dave helped the company operationalize those values into performance behavioral indicators on a rating scale that aligned with the key performance indicators—the business metrics. With actual performance indicators, Digicel could put those into its performance management reviews. Now, their talent had firm measures against not only their business deliverables but also their behavior deliverables, which were then implemented organization-wide.
With Dave’s expertise and tools, Digicel was better able to use its data to understand the human behaviors of its employees and how those behaviors manifest in the workplace and affect their engagement, performance, and retention. He was able to take the directional and inspirational part of the process and operationalize it with real key performance indicators, which then made it pragmatic and useful for employees, with no uncertainty of expectations.
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