Hewlett’s modern approach bears fruit with sales revival

Hewlett-Packard’s HR director introduced a seven-point plan to modernise the
work culture of the 50-year-old technology company.

The company was failing to meet its sales targets 18 months ago so Sarah
Patton started to work closely with the company’s UK managing director to
improve the sales team’s work culture.

The seven "touchpoints" included issues surrounding leadership
style, communication, incentives and compensation.

With the help of consultancy Maynard Leigh Associates, Hewlett-Packard’s
annual sales conference was turned into a theatrical event – with all sales
staff given a bean bag as they entered a darkened room.

The managing director took centre stage and the event turned into a highly
interactive event with games and brainstorming sessions. "It was high-risk
but it worked brilliantly," Patton said.

The plan was not published because staff were sceptical of change.

The company also stopped using e-mails to communicate. "Everyone was
sick of e-mails and so we stopped sending them and used the more human side of
the technology like webcasts and voice messages," Patton said.

The company exceeded its targets last year, although the company is facing
job cuts.

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