Strategic Human Capital Insights

Do You Really Need an Employee Handbook?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

1/23/19 10:00 AM

It may be underestimated, but it is certainly strategic!

This question predictably comes up when I speak with company management, often because the Employee Handbook is seen as moderately useful but not on the top of management’s priority list. 

Why’s that? Because often the Employee Handbook:

  • Isn’t current
  • Doesn’t cover the full range of issues
  • Isn’t specific enough to be meaningful
  • Isn’t given to new employees
  • Isn’t used by management

However, one thing is for certain, when something goes wrong in an organization, the following happens:

  • From the manager’s perspective: Managers look to the Employee Handbook for guidance and protection from liability.

  • From the employee's perspective: Employees look to the Employee Handbook for guidance, protection from liability or loopholes created by omission or ambiguity.
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Topics: Change Management, Leadership, human capital, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Is Being Loyal to an Employee a Good Thing?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/10/18 10:30 AM

Both employee and manager loyalty has always been considered a good thing. So what’s changed? When does being loyal long-term, at all costs, go from a virtue to a liability?

The concept of "change" has changed everything. When companies grew at normal rates, and change was incremental and predictable, manager and employee loyalty could keep pace with each other and with the direction of the organization. Now, however, when organizations are growing fast and adapting to new technology, new processes and methods, increased customer demands, and additional new employees, the predictable static environment that many employees are comfortable with, have morphed into chaotic, change-driven, unpredictable frontiers where the old rules and controls have evaporated. Increasing, the latter describes today’s work reality. 

Here are some important questions to consider when thinking about manager loyalty:

  • What does it mean for the employee who is attached to the old rules and controls and is having real issues adapting to the new work reality? 
  • What does it mean for new employees who don’t know the old rules and controls and don’t really need to work under those constraints since that work environment has shifted?
  • What does it mean for the manager who must manage these two conflicting and competing employee needs?
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Topics: Change Management, Leadership, human capital, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Delegation: A Key to Developing a Human Asset Management Strategy

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/20/17 9:00 AM

If a Human Capital approach is your goal, then delegation must be in your leadership toolkit

In an earlier blog, we asked the question, “Is your current leadership team up to the Human Asset Management Task?"

Quality leadership is a critical element for a robust human asset management strategy. If we agree that a critical function of the leadership role is to continually develop employees (the asset in human asset management), then employees must be a critical competencyof the leadership role.  Employees are your implementation squad. They make things happen, or not!  It’s easy to talk about developing employees, but actually doing it and doing it well is another story. The barrier to developing great employees is the key leadership skill of delegation.

Delegation is the most underrated skill, which is ironic because it is not only one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills, but also one of the MOST DIFFICULT and MULTIFUNCTIONAL skills that a manager must perfect. Leadership, you can’t think that employees will create themselves into their own self-appreciating assets. Some will, but most will not. Why? Employees are not typically privy to the macro-organizational issues of human asset management, nor do they systematically know exactly what they need to do. Leadership and delegation is your job, not theirs.

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Topics: Change Management, human capital, human asset management

4 Critical Challenges: Delegation or Dumping...Is There a Difference?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

2/25/15 10:00 AM

Helping employees get more productive is often associated with delegation. So let’s take a journey into ‘delegation land’. As managers, we often outline what the person needs to do, tell them to do it, and naively call it delegation. The art of delegation is one of the most difficult and complex tasks a manager can perform. It is the most critical managerial task for the organization and yet it eludes most managers. Why?Because it is a multi-step process, that requires assessment, execution on the part of two people, accountability and the genuine investment of time. But, the most common manager response to delegating is, ‘I can do it faster myself’.  Haven’t we all said that?So in reality, under the delegation banner, we have true delegation, over delegation, under delegation, micro delegation and dumping.  Let’s focus on the last category – dumping! 

There is an important distinction between true delegation and the others. The problem arises when the manager assumes that by just telling the employee to do something, delegation has occurred and, the employee is fully accountable.  This could not be further from the truth.  In reality, dumping has taken place.

Download the eBook: "Human Asset Management Strategy: A New Approach"

Here are 4 critical challenges the manager must initiate to avoid dumping and develop the management skill of delegating.

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Topics: Change Management, Organizational Effectiveness

4 Employee Transition Phases During Change

Posted by Joanne Flynn

8/26/14 12:38 PM

Leadership Landscape: Identifying & Understanding the Subtleties of Transition Leadership

The Internal People Side of Change Management: Transition Leadership and the Change Trajectory

Transition Leadership:  Dealing with how employees transition through the phases of change. 

Transition Leadership focuses on the people side of change management.Transition Leadership requires the leader to go far beyond the processes used in change management to the gray area dealing with employees’ emotional reaction and response to change.Here the leader must fully understand the psychology of how change impacts the organization at the individual level.

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Topics: Change Management, Leadership

3 Types of Leaders Managing the Change Process

Posted by Joanne Flynn

8/19/14 4:45 PM

Leadership Landscape: Beware of the External Horizon

Of the many facets of Change Management, this focuses on the leader, the environment, change and the process responses required for success. 

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Topics: Change Management, Leadership

'Antichange' Code: How to Recognize Employee Resistance to Change

Posted by Joanne Flynn

7/29/14 10:06 AM

When we talk about resistance to change, it's easy to say, "Organizations don't change, people do, or don't".  While true, change will only occur when change cascades down throughout every level of the organization.  

We need to view organizational change simultaneously at two levels, macro and micro, in order to diagnose where the entire organization is on the change trajectory.  It's easy to see change at the macro level.  It is normally displayed by senior-level leadership speaking in broad, strategic terms, focusing on positive impact of the change.  It is, however, equally as important to focus change efforts at THE most granular level in the organization - each person.  As managers, your job is to listen to how each employee is articulating, or not articulating, their issues around change.  

We know there are four change levels.  These levels closely parallel Maslow's Needs Hierarchy.  The change trajectory describes these stages of change acceptance as:  denial;  resistance;  exploration; commitment.  As your people go through these stages, how do you, as managers, recognize which stage each employee is in at any given time?  

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Topics: Change Management

[Case Study] What Needs to Change in Response to Strategic Change?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

7/22/14 10:03 AM

Case Analysis: Phoenix Strategic Performance 

How often does a significant strategic organizational shift occur, and then the follow-up implementation is treated as ‘business as usual’ (BAU)?  This happens more often than it should.  Why?  It appears to be less disruptive and seemingly easier.  However, we know it is organizationally naïve to believe that ‘business as usual’  will somehow meet new strategic goals.  Yet, this happens all the time.  In our latest case study, we focus on just such a change. 

There has been a dramatic change in the market place.  Our senior leadership has decreed a strategic change, however, there has only been an insignificant and painless amount of change in implementation of that strategy.  The change in strategy is in response to a dramatic shift in the marketplace - a ‘change in kind.’ 

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Topics: Change Management

Change Management Series Part 3: 4-Point, Anti-Change Reality Check

Posted by Joanne Flynn

7/1/14 9:17 AM

Anti-Change Is Systemically Embedded.  And We STILL Ask, “How Come Change Management Is So Difficult?"

We use the term change very casually these days.  Change literature is all around us.  Change management is now considered a core management skill.  Organizations talk about how employees need to embrace change. So if there’s all this noise about change, why is the reality of change management more like pushing molasses up a mountain?    

Let’s take a look at what is really at the core of why organizations exist.  By understanding what is really at the core of why organizations exist, we might then be able to understand why studies still show a 60 – 70% failure rate for organizational change projects. 

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Topics: Change Management

Change Management Series Part 2: Discover 2 Key Change Concepts That Can Be Game Changers

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/24/14 9:26 AM

Is there really a difference in the types of change confronting us now? 

Change is all around us.  The word 'Change' has been so overused, we can no longer determine its precise meaning.  For example, a moderate change in process is far different from a change of epic proportions.  The same word, ‘change’, has significantly different meanings, outcomes and consequences.

Let’s further develop key change management terminology from our earlier blog, where ‘continuous change’ and ‘discontinuous change’ were defined. 

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Topics: Change Management

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