Who Are the Keepers? …2


“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu…

 Post 2: As Fisher and Ron walked into the restaurant the next day, Fisher narrowed the topic, “I want your input on how you’d answer this question my wife put to me last night.  She asked why I think it’s a good idea to evaluate my team right now and identify those I’d like to prioritize keeping on the team.  How would you answer that, Ron, say – if you were asked by one of our executives?”

Ron smiled, “My political answer to an executive would reference the training on Change Management they’ve made us attend.
“But, honestly, the situations we discussed yesterday really do seem to be harbingers of change in the minds of many employees.  And that kind of environment often makes people re-evaluate their current world enough to look around for other options.  So if all the people on our teams began to job-shop, which ones do you think would be the first to find other great opportunities?”

“Ah,” Fisher answered immediately, “the ones we want to keep!  So if we identify them now – before the shopping begins, we can ensure they are satisfied and contributing great work so they feel successful and confident about being here….”

“…And are not tempted to shop around!” finished Ron. “You got it.”

“That’s one question answered!  My second one is, what qualities should we prioritize when identifying the keepers?”

Ron didn’t pause, “I’ll bet you can give that a good start.  Think about it while we order, and then let’s hear what you think should be on that list.  Okay?”

Fisher had taken out a notepad and jotted a solid list and a few examples of each before the food came:
The Obvious Answers to Who Are the Keepers:

  • Best statistics
    • performance measures
    • attendance
  • Positive behaviors
    • follow-through
    • clear communication
  • Solid career initiative
    • respected tenure
    • knowledge / skill foundation

As they looked at it together and discussed other ideas, Ron admitted, “Our lists might all look a little different, but you have the major pieces.  Lots of the examples may be specific to your team or even to specific projects or situations.

“But there is one other aspect of performance that I think is worth putting on everyone’s list of who to keep;” Ron continued and began to draw on a napkin.  “I would rather have agents of change, because those victims of change are exhausting.
“One statistic that has stuck with me from that Business as UNUsual change management classes is that, when business change occurs, typically 20% of employees engage in the change, 60% wait and see what will happen with the change, and 20% stay disengaged through the chaos of change.   I refer to that engaged 20% as agents of change, and since business today is synonymous with constant fluctuation, I’d like to keep as many of those people on my team as is reasonable.”

Fisher waved for the server, “I’ll pay for your coffee and dessert if you’ll stay and talk more about how you identify those employees.”

Reality: If you can guarantee you will never have to make significant business adjustments again, then go right ahead and let those Change Agent employees go out the door without a fight.

 FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog: Does your mental picture of an agent of change look like the one Ron shares with Fisher?

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