Positive engagement turns around
11 years of losses

In 2007, a large Australian agricultural organisation was in dire straits when its CEO resigned in the face of falling profitability, contractual problems with its biggest client and extremely poor staff engagement levels in many areas. The company was sold to a venture capital investment company, which immediately appointed an exceptionally experienced professional as the new CEO.

The new leader’s first task was to stabilise workforce morale and re-establish their engagement. So he assembled all his managers from around the country to address them as a group.

His methods were simple and direct, with an emphasis on integrity and honesty. Rather than making grand promises relating to market performance, he explained that his commitment to each and every employee was total, and that he would lead from the front and be accountable. He told them they had a choice: to either take a package and leave now, or to place their trust in him and helping the company rebuild a positive, productive culture.

They chose the latter, and 12 months later the company achieved its first profit in 11 years, winning awards and completely turning around workforce engagement levels.