Z Telecom

The Solution

We knew we had the antidote and we wanted to make a lasting change that would impact Z’s day-to-day operations long after our intervention is over. It was a clear issue of mindset, and no matter the number of skill building hours invested, nothing would make a difference until the mindset is where it needs to be. And so it was; we started changing mindsets by working what the Arbinger Institute calls self-deception – not knowing or resisting the fact that one is part of a problem. Once a person realizes that they are part of a problem, only then they would use the developed skills to be part of the solution and impact the corporate culture positively.

Needless to say how tricky this work can get: working with layers and layers of resistance, inflated and monumental egos, dysfunctional leadership and all sorts of collaboration-hindering obstacles. We knew it would be challenging, and we were determined to make a difference.

As mindsets were getting in shape, we organized gallery-walk-markets where teams would post both their needs and their best practices, pitch for assistance and get a match for the capabilities they are looking for. The results were tens of hours of renewed collaboration that we proposed to be punched in team passports and accounted for vs. agreed upon collaboration benchmarks. To make results visible, an intranet application would track progress, dissipate news and update targets and a huge clock installed in the main hall would tick away collaboration hours achieved.

That was not all. We designed a company-wide internal communication campaign with catchy designs and out-of-the box placements to refresh the learning, remind about the team objectives and their importance and have the key messages engraved in people’s minds.


Result: Another success story of a “trace partner getting stronger than their challenges.

Bank B

In such an arena, many Banks, of which Bank B, have resorted to mergers and acquisitions coupled with innovative marketing strategies and aggressive recruitment and retention plans to gather what it takes to be among the top alpha banks of the country.

These strategies, along with the growth they secure, bring a series of challenges related both to the new comers and the current veterans.

To name a few, below are some of these challenges:

  • Unifying the performance and the employee satisfaction centered management culture that accompanies the competitive growth strategy and rolling it down to the farthest of the organization structure.
  • Building high performance teams that deliver under the stress of daily operations and the strain of market conditions.
  • Creating a sustainable motivation central that derives its momentum from the way leadership handles teams on day to day basis.
  • Optimizing employee turnover to serve the sustainability of the bank’s vision and strategies and its execution excellence.

In addressing those needs, B Bank and “trace partnered with an objective a management plan and an execution strategy of the same for the purpose of reaching the set goals.

It all started with a pre-project survey that benchmarked the current status of motivation and outlined the challenges team members and their leaders face in their dealings. A set of KPIs and training and coaching objectives were identified for the team, and special attention given to some influence centers and few other areas and persons described as “challenging”.

The project was then rolled out from top down to cover the Chairman’s office, the bank’s directors, its seniors as well as middle and branch managers. Over 300 leaders were trained, coached motivated and followed-up for the change sought. Workshops provided trained on techniques that became ready to use once the session ended. Participants engaged in real plays, challenges that relate to their daily jobs, and attempted to think of them and solve them as the session went on. They ended their 2 day time investment in personal change plans that they committed to follow up once back on their jobs. Some were later on engaged in one-to-one executive coaching sessions to assist their development and fuel the execution of their personal growth plans.

The overall organization was set to speak the same language in alignment with its aggressive and innovative HR and marketing strategies and the result expected to translate into the bottom line.



The Solution

Looking deeper into what makes people leave their job would almost guarantee an answer that name the relationship with the manager. On another note, being “happy” at work ensures a higher engagement and thereafter more productivity. The great thing about these 2 facts is that the prime influencer of both is none but the team leader.

This is where the thinking started.

“Nothing changes of nothing changes”.

We thought. So in order to engage the team members, collectively as well as individually, managers needed to do the things they do, the things they say and even think and believe, differently.

This is where the pre-project survey results on challenges and aspirations were plotted into the training and coaching sessions that targeted team leaders of various organizations structure levels, who can, in turn implement the change required for success.

The workshop, and later on, the scheduled executive coaching sessions, attended by more than 300 senior and middle managers, equipped the participants with the skills needed to evaluate and act on motivation patterns, identify and use communication styles and cues effectively for influenced and enhanced performance, construct a reinforcing beliefs culture that boosts productivity, build effective teams, coach for development, delegate for organizational and personal growth as well as for the increased job satisfaction, manage change, follow up, and implement the sought after agile culture.

Throughout the workshop that derives its teaching from winning practices modeled into simple learning objectives and methodologies, participants these on real personal cases that they related their time investment to. They were individually coached on their cases and were fueled and challenged to practice their insights and acquired know-how both to solve the presented issues as well as to plot the learning back into the work place. At the need of the workshop, the managers were requested to commit to an action plan related to both personal objectives as well as well to ones concerning their teams. These action plans were than used for follow up and executive coaching.

The pre-project survey was rolled over another time a few months after the project ended, and results were enhanced on every level.

To us, it was the recording of another success of “trace’s methodology and know-how delivery and another place where our team left a trace and people were capacitated.



Bank O

Some of the vital challenges HR had to deal with to support the Bank strategies were directly related to customer service and employees disengagement; the culture has always been pure aggressive selling and growth with no real attention to customer or employee experience and satisfaction. This has resulted in a high number of complaints received daily from customers, losing prospects and opportunities within a highly competitive market,  and a high turnover rate in the banks’ talents who were demotivated and had no loyalty or look out for succession in the organization.

Knowing this, it became urgent for HR to address those challenges through equipping the teams with customer service (customers being internal and external) and selling skills that would help them keep up with the challenge to maintain and grow the business, and that would motivate them to perform best and achieve within their current role to grow in the bank.


The Challenge

 In this challenge, the audience was from different customer facing points- tellers and personal banking representatives. Those had to have an aggressive- yet customer oriented- approach towards their day-to-day operation.  

Another challenge was to address the development needs of the supervisory team; this team was disengaged and working in an environment where their undefined role frustrated them, had minimal loyalty to the branch/team, turnover rates amongst it were high and individuals lacked the skills needed to carry on the new vision and goals the bank is setting for development.

All in all, the Bank was looking for a shift in culture whether towards its clients or its employees. The shift would start from within- through training front liners- and roll out towards an enhanced customer experience throughout the branches. As it happens, the shift would help elevate employees’ motivation, productivity, loyalty, opportunities to develop within the organization, all with a clear focus on performance and growth in bottom lines.

In addressing those needs, Bank O Academy and “trace partnered with an objective of making the change happen and setting the new- WOWING Customers culture which would help the bank management reach their goals through a 3 years program.

The project started with surveying and assessing employees on the job (through customer surveys and mystery shopping) and facilitating management SWOT Analysis sessions and gathering insights from upper management on where and how they want to see the operations going. This was the ground on which “trace built the workshop material/real plays scenarios to be used in the sessions.

Next were the workshops and training of all clients facing employees (tellers and personal banking representatives) on The Secrets to Wowing Customers & Service Excellence. Being based on actual scenarios (collected before and during the workshop), the workshop gave participants new tools and techniques that, when used, can help increase customer satisfaction and loyalty while standardizing/ unifying the customer experience across the bank.

Throughout those workshops, a main challenge stakeholders were voicing out was the distortion in communication between them and the back office functions; bringing clients an excellent service would not be possible unless the back office (where all the customers files/requests go for study, appraisal, approval) understood, experienced and saw what the front liners face with customers while trying to serve them better. Here the need for a customer service workshop for the support functions came to light and The Bank O Academy and “trace set another training path that would support the 1st on getting best results through enhancing communication, team work, accountability, and responsibility between the 2 cycles.

By the end of year 1, The Bank O Academy and “trace completed the training of more than 450 front liners and support functions. Follow up and learning refreshers were essential and provided in the form of email shoots which motivated and reminded the team members of the importance of what they are doing in terms of customer service (for over 3 months), while tests, mystery visits and clients surveys helped assess the actual implementation on the ground.

Year 2 of this program was all about aggressive selling; tellers were trained on up-selling, cross-selling and referring scenarios while private banking representatives were trained on up-selling, cross-selling, getting referrals, negotiating, closing more deals and maintaining relationships.

Managing the new customer service and sales culture wouldn’t have been possible without training the branch assistant managers on supervising the implementation of the strategies and learning. Here came the challenge of motivating those on assuming their roles as supervisors and equipping them with the tools and techniques needed to maintain a wowing customer service, enhanced sales/branch and proper team work within the branch and support functions. This was the ground for Secrets to Great Supervisors workshop which was delivered to 70 assistant branch managers.

Having delivered training session for over 1000 trainee through the 3 different workshops that rolled over 2 years, it was again essential to have follow ups. The follow up came in the form of boosters and refreshers in year 3; the continuous customer feedback, test results and supervisors’ input/branch helped The Bank O Academy and “trace build up booster sessions that would give participants a ground to share success stories and challenges to further work on in terms of wowing customers, selling and/or supervising. In year 3 “trace also had full training sessions for new comers in their different roles to make sure the culture is maintained year after year.



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