Do you have the right people in place for change?

Leadership Coaching with Mel Brown

People are Our Greatest Resource

Last month’s column was about dealing effectively with change. I discussed driving the change, selling the change and implementing the change. As I promised in that column, this month will focus on some of the personnel issues that must be addressed when we implement change.

While Human Resource Specialists point out that people are our greatest resource, and that is true, they can also be an organization’s greatest obstacles to the successful implementation of change.

Before implementing a change in strategy or in organizational culture, an organization’s leaders need to ensure they have the right people in place. Changing a deeply ingrained organizational culture requires keen assessment of a company’s employees, followed by prompt and aggressive action.

Research by The Hay Group, a world-wide human resources firm, has identified four types of employees based upon how they adapt to change. Those are the Superstars, the Open-minders, the Skeptics, and the Recalcitrant. Let’s look at each of these groups and how to deal with each of them.

The Superstars

Who are they?–The Superstars are the most desirable group. They “get it.” These people have internalized the organization’s vision and have the right behaviors and competencies for success. They deliver results in the right way. They create value and leverage themselves and others’ talents.

What should you do about this group?—Set this group up as examples of what the organization can be. Do whatever it takes to retain them. Reward them handsomely. Make sure they receive the most in the way of promotions, special assignments, etc.

The Open-Minders

Who are they? — Even though these employees may have under-performed in the past because of poor skills and weak competencies, they are ready to align themselves with the new culture and are eager to be part of the plan. They have the basic “raw material” and with development could be contributors. These are the ones who will really try, go along with and assume things will work until it is clearly demonstrated otherwise over time.