Empowering Employees



Introduce a new performance management practice to foster a collaborative, self-motivated and high-performing workforce.

Mazda Canada set out to transform their organizational culture after an internal survey identified employee development as a barrier to workplace performance. Initial meetings with Mazda revealed that their current performance management process – a traditional forced-ranking system – was neither improving employee performance nor encouraging engagement across the workforce.

Mazda sought to build a work culture that would reward and encourage collaboration and continuous improvement. Their goal was to better align corporate values and organizational culture in a way that allowed them to leverage these innovations in their talent management system into a competitive advantage.

“I can’t say enough about the quality of Dialectic’s work. They are truly world-class at what they do.”


GEAR-Up: a custom-tailored, full-scale coaching program designed to drive change, increase employee motivation and encourage continuous improvement.

We began by meeting with Mazda employees to gain a better understanding of employee-manager relationships, obstacles to performance and career advancement, and the problems employees saw with the current performance management system.

Our research team then examined the psychological and neuropsychological bases of motivation. We reviewed current research on employee performance and engagement from scientific journals, business literature and popular media, and then conducted a comprehensive literature review of empirical viable coaching systems.

With a clear understanding of the challenges faced by both employees and managers, we developed GEAR-Up, a change-enabling coaching program, consisting of the following tools:

  • A User Guide outlining the principles of the coaching system
  • A set of 12 Practice Beliefs highlighting the necessary skills for effective coaching
  • A set of infographics and job aids to facilitate just-in-time learning
  • A two-day in-person learning event, during which managers conducted scenario-based, practically grounded coaching sessions with their employees, and
  • A 12-week digital learning program consisting of brief eLearning modules to help managers build their coaching skills


Mazda Canada successfully transitioned to a conversation-based performance management practice, resulting in greater workforce collaboration, improved employee engagement, and increased productivity.

12 weeks after implementation, we conducted a workshop to measure the impact of the GEAR-Up program. Since the program was introduced, Mazda Canada has seen a 40% increase in the categories on their employee survey reflective of employee engagement, satisfaction, and performance:

Employees report that the new system provides greater incentives for continuous improvement and opportunities for professional development. Mazda Canada managerial staff report that they are better equipped to lead teams in a positive and constructive manner, engaging employees in a process of ongoing performance coaching that will continue to drive productivity and improve employee retention.

Employees reported the following impacts of the new system:

  • Better problem solving skills
  • Feeling more empowered in their jobs
  • Feeling more engaged in their jobs
  • Having a better understanding of the business environment
  • Improved communication
  • Increased trust
  • Better relationships between managers and staff
  • Feeling appreciated
  • Time savings
Brian McDougall, Senior HR Director

“We’ve been working with Dialectic since 2013 to help us tackle some of the most important changes we needed to make as an organization. I can’t say enough about the quality of their work. It takes me aback each and every time. From deep scientific research, to striking insights and creative solutions, they are a highly trusted partner and truly world-class at what they do.”

© 2016 Dialectic. A division of 2407124 Ontario Inc.
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© 2016 Dialectic.
A division of 2407124 Ontario Inc.