Case Study – Care Options “Culture in a Disrupted Industry”

The Situation:

In 2015 the Aged Care industry underwent major reform by the government. The industry was converted into a consumer directed care system where customers had far greater choice over the types of care and services they accessed, how and when they received them, and most importantly: from whom. In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive environment, Care Options were having a tough time adjusting: Turnover was at an all-time high, the team weren’t motivated, complaints averaged 15 per month, and they were operating at a net profit loss of -1.1%.

Key Insights:
The Organisational Culture Inventory® (OCI) showed that Care Options’ current Culture had positives: people were expected to be supportive of each other as well as friendly and open. However, there was also an emphasis on needed to follow the rules, oppose new ideas, and shift responsibility for decisions. The resu lt was pleasant place to work – but people weren’t motivated or satisfied. People felt the company could be performing better, but that they couldn’t do anything about it.

The Organisational Culture Inventory™ (OEI) revealed what was causing the culture to be the way it is. Employees didn’t have influence or involvement in shaping the company. The way jobs were designed reinforced expectations to behave passively. Leaders had opportunities to improve the way they role modelled and communicated their expectations for excellence.
Key Actions:Creation of the Culture Optimization Group (COG)
To address the lack of involvement and influence of employees, Care Options made sure they had a voice and the opportunity to put their ideas into action. The cross functional ‘Culture Optimisation Group’ was made up of with representatives from throughout the business – including the CEO and frontline Support Workers. They were responsible for getting under the surface of the culture results and generating ideas and actions for improvement.Lisa Johnson“I remember the first COG I was a part of, and Sheilah walked in the room and we all went “Oh the CEO is here” and she took her shoes off and put her lunch on the table, and she said “I’m not the CEO, I’m here for COG”… it feels like you can actually say something… we look at it, talk about it, and the next minute it becomes an idea”
– Lisa Johnson, Multi-Skilled Support WorkerReorganisation Based on the Insights from the Culture Data
Results from the diagnostic indicated that the structure was getting in the way of people doing their jobs effectively. A collaborative organisational redesign process involved a range of staff to freely discuss their feelings and ideas and share their hopes for Care Options moving forwards. New recruitments were made with the ideal culture and structure in mind and they were quick to join the journey.

Leadership Development: Setting a Constructive Tone
Leaders have to role model and reinforce the expectations for excellence. Insights from the diagnostic revealed that there were several opportunities for the leadership team to improve how they were performing. Veraison Development conducted bi-monthly group and individual coaching based on the Life Styles Inventory™ 1&2 (LSI1&2). The program built leader’s self-awareness of their thinking and behaviour and created actions which shifted their thinking and behaviour to being more Constructive.

“Everyone in the organisation is now committed to contributing to our culture with their individual behaviours and commitment to our core values of Respect, Integrity, Vibrancy and Excellence.”

– Sheilah Cummins,Care Options CEO (2016).

Watch interviews with the team about Care Options Culture Journey:


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