Case Study

Employee Engagement within the Industrial Maintenance and Overhaul of Naval Ships


For nearly five years, Conscient Strategies has been engaged to work with the US Navy and its prime contractor to deliver a culture change initiative to the civilian team operating to repair and overhaul Navy ships.  Through our Performance Coaching program, we help our clients at four Naval Shipyards around the world accomplish their goals—return a submarine or Aircraft Carrier back to the Navy Fleet on time and on budget.  We do this by implementing a coaching based leadership change and increased employee engagement initiative in the Shipyards. We accomplish that mission by providing targeted, high-caliber performance coaching for key Shipyard staff via a time-tested embedded methodology.

Employee engagement is an on-going challenge at the Navy’s shipyard.  In most cases, the leadership structure includes older employees with a great deal of experience, and young employees with relatively little experience, and a divide in terms of ways in which to accomplish and motivate work. When we first began work with the shipyards, engagement was assessed to be at an all-time low. Conscient Strategies has been on the forefront of helping close the gap and boosting employee engagement.

Employee engagement is defined as the degree to which employees are motivated to come to work and contribute fully to the organization’s goals.  Further, there are three common attributes which promote employee engagement: vigor, absorption, and dedication. Vigor refers to a high level of energy and persistence. Dedication results from employees finding significance, inspiration, and meaning at work. Absorbed workers are concentrating on their tasks in such a way that it feels like they are in flow and time is passing quickly.  

Promoting employee engagement requires transformational leadership.  Transformational leaders tap into employees’ intrinsic motivation, which is the only sustainable way to drive high levels of commitment and performance. Tapping into intrinsic motivation requires emotionally intelligent leader behaviors.  When emotionally intelligent leader behaviors are exhibited, employees feel safe and experience an optimal level of excitement (not too much and not too little) for sustainably high performance. Conscient Strategies has been coaching and training shipyard leaders to adopt productive behaviors to promote the type of employee engagement described above. 


Employee engagement is an on-going challenge at the Navy’s shipyard, and divides manifest between working generations and work ethic. Conscient Strategies is on the forefront of helping close the gap and boosting employee engagement.

What We Did

The training and coaching program implemented by Conscient Strategies is focused on shifting leader behaviors to create an environment that promotes high workplace engagement. Training on emotionally intelligent leadership as well as targeted individual and group coaching are the foundation for cultivating leaders who make employees look forward to coming to work and pouring themselves into their work with their teams. Specific leadership behavioral changes encouraged through our strengths-based coaching result in employees believing that their leaders care for well-being and support their learning and growth. The resulting changes in organizational culture generates higher levels of engagement.  Conscient Strategies coaches help shipyard leaders behave in a way that makes employees feel valued and empowered, and these feelings drive higher engagement and performance. 


As a result of Conscient Strategies leadership coaching and training at the shipyards, there has been a measurable uptick in quality, timeliness, safety outcomes.  Additionally, errors in production have decreased. These types of results are simply not possible with the low levels of employee engagement that were initially present at the shipyard. The proven results that come from productive shifts in leadership behavior have resulted in an increased demand for leadership coaching and development at the shipyards. Further, existing shipyard leaders are taking seriously their responsibility to connect with and cultivate a new generation of inspired and engaged young leaders.  All of this has been possible from the mindset shifts achieved through our breakthrough coaching and leader development program at the shipyards.

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