To empower others, you must take their measurements regularly…
Post 8: As the weeks passed and December 1st approached for the launch of compensation changes required by the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act, the team of five leaders worked to complete the transition plan.
Pat shared the common goal the executive team agreed should be targeted and communicated at every level. The team then evaluated the communication plan outlined by the marketing and HR groups, gave a few suggestions and moved on to the agenda for the day: identifying any employee and leader training required for a successful execution of the changes.
Sharon picked up her napkin, “I was thinking we may not have to reinvent the wheel with employee training. I jotted down the topics I found in reviewing the new-employee orientation content under ‘Managing our Constant Change’….” The rest agreed that these topics made a good foundation for the employees who are facing change and that a simple review should suffice.
Olga shared a handout, “I did type up the key concepts about leading change that are trained when new leaders are on-boarded:
Acknowledging guaranteed realities
Human reactions to change: these both align with what new-hires get;
Skills needed to navigate change: these are in the resource package available to all new hires;
Preparing employees before details are public: Because Pat and Sharon noted this is important, I emailed that segment as a refresher to leaders who will likely have impacted individuals.
Linking to the company direction: thanks to Pat, we now have the targeted direction.”
Then Olga shared some concepts the team had not yet surfaced:
Productivity impacts of imposed change
Brace for the cyclical refocus of new direction and priority
“Those last two topics deserve some examination in light of this specific change.” Pat interrupted. “Though I’m not sure that direction adjustments will be a reality with this change, it can’t hurt to review it.
“But I do think that the effect on productivity could be huge in groups that have several exempt employees who must move to hourly compensation. From an operations perspective, supporting their outputs, focus and new habits will be critical.”
Olga agreed, “I can certainly see that; let’s put some rigor around the review of principles for helping people through those productivity hurdles.
“Pat, the other aspects you listed lead us to concepts applicable to those leaders who supervise people. I feel that leaders must address individual performance and career paths with their employees who forced to make tough changes; a review of these topics could help:
Aligning coaching to the individual’s response and stage of change-acceptance
Crafting your own ‘career brand’ during difficult times, which goes along with
Dangers of trust-tarnishing, self-preservation behavior
“But there were two principles that I feel all of our leaders should review or learn:
Re-recruiting our best players: we must admit our good employees will start looking elsewhere fast if they are too unsettled;
Engaging individual team members: I hear so many business leaders miss the value by skewing the meaning of the term employee engagement!”
“Olga, this was really helpful; thank you so much for gathering these topics.” Sharon interjected. “I know there is work to do, but I’m pretty encouraged. I am encouraged that much of the leadership training will be mostly review, and I’m confident we can do that electronically if the executive level helps set the expectation.”
“I agree; though I feel a few areas will need detailed training and perhaps interaction and application practice.” Josh summarized, “To use Olga’s language, in our company I think some ‘rigor’ should be applied to re-framing these three areas for this specific transition: productivity impacts, re-recruiting our best people, and the real meaning and practice of employee engagement. What do you guys think?”
The group discussed training content, audience and strategy for quite a while before finalizing the plan they wanted to submit to the teams that were waiting to execute the training. Olga and Sharon volunteered to share with those groups in a meeting that was already scheduled.
As they began to wrap up, James raised his pencil to interject. “I wanted to wait until we were finished talking about leader training and how we would reinvigorate the new-hire change-training to bring this up.
“This week I tried to look at the currently proposed compensation changes through a training lens: some training will be needed by employees to adjust their behaviors successfully. I feel there should be practical training on efficiency versus effectiveness, on delegation, effective meetings and communication and other things that will help people fit their work into their new restrictions.”
“Thanks for that reminder, James.” Josh responded. “Sharon and I found that many of the leaders want to be responsible for bringing that kind of training to their teams themselves after the announcements. When we interviewed managers about facing this challenge, they put several of your topics on the table. Why don’t you and I walk back together, and I’ll share some specific examples we heard. We want to know if you see gaps, but we are hoping those individual team leaders will address that learning by engaging their people in customizing the process changes they will need to make.”
Reality: In today’s world, knowing change will impact people and failing to prepare them to successfully navigate and execute the changes is simply failure to lead, and the resulting incompetence ruins both businesses and careers.
FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog: What employees would you choose to re-recruit if you were facing an atmosphere where good employees would be tempted to leave?