Most of us want to work for a “Good Company” – one that prospers because it is a good to its employees, customers, and the environment. But most of us also know how challenging it can be to make the necessary changes.
Over the past decade, we have learned a great deal about what it takes to get (and stay) good, both from companies that have succeeded, and maybe even more importantly, from those that have failed.
There are five components essential to successful change management:
- A CEO who “gets it” and commits the resources necessary for change to occur. If your CEO doesn’t fit this description, then this is where your change management work has to begin. You have to make the case for change in the language of the “C suite” – by presenting a compelling business case for change, based in evidence and hard-nosed analysis.
- Managers who are skilled in the behaviors needed to make change happen from the ground up. Achieving this requires a systematic, disciplined approach to change management. (Remember that “hoping” is not an effective change management strategy!)
- A performance appraisal system that supports the desired change. If you want people to change their behaviors, then that message needs to be reinforced through your performance appraisal system. For example, if the only performance that is appraised and rewarded is achieving short-run business results, then that is what will get done.
- Smarter measurement systems. Ditto on #3 above. In order for an organization to change, the metrics it uses to measure its progress must include some that focus on the desired change. In particular, they must go beyond short-term measures of productivity and profits.
- An HR strategy that supports all of the above. Change is about getting people to behave differently. As a result, HR has a critical role to play.
Change management is a subset of human capital management. Those organizations that build this competence are better positioned to be the good companies that will survive and prosper for years and decades to come.
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For the past year, I have been leading SHRM’s Investor Metrics Workgroup, which is a key component of SHRM’s larger standards setting initiative. I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress.
In December a draft Investor Metrics Standard was passed by the Workgroup. This month, the draft Standard will move on to the next step of the process, which is a vote by the larger SHRM Metrics & Measurement Taskforce. After that the Standard will go through a public comment period, and if necessary, revisions. Then, finally it will be an official ANSI standard (and it may then go on to be considered by ISO as an international standard).
(Turns out the standards-setting process has many steps!)
As the next steps of this process unfold, we will be looking for firms that are interested in beta-testing the standard. So if you think this might be of interest to your organization, please contact me directly, and I can provide you with more detail on the draft standard and the process for beta-testing it.
Laurie Bassi was recently interviewed by Human Resources IQ regarding the importance of training investments as a predictor of company performance – and how that information can best be used within your organization:
The most effective training professionals and HR professionals are those who are learning how to blend compelling quantitative analysis with the ancient art of storytelling.
Read the entire interview here.