Employee & Company Growth Are Often at Different Paces

You were hired for your dream job at company XYZ. For the first few years you were in the zone – you meshed with the company culture and were a great fit in terms of your attitude and behaviour.  Suddenly or maybe gradually you began to feel less aligned overall with the company.  You wanted more freedom, or creativity or different challenges.  The fit does not feel quite right.  There is a chaffing going on.

As an employer and leader you notice that one of your star employees is indifferent. The person maybe quieter or appear to be less involved. Quality of work may be a little inconsistent. Attitude while still good has changed. An underlying tension or apprehension is evident. The company or the employee may have grown by leaps and bounds. What started off as a great fit is no longer.

When facing a situation with an employee who is no longer a good fit there are some steps you as the employer can take to mitigate the situation. First you can meet with the employee and develop a transitioning out plan.  Working with other businesses to find a home for the employee is a win-win scenario. Another option is to look internally to determine if there is a role that will use put the talents and skills of the employee to good use.

What have you tried to ensure both you and an employee come out as winners when the fit is gone?

Business Consultant Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Engage People in Change

Where ever you work there is a workplace culture.  It is the framework that hampers change management because it is viewed to be necessary for consistency in day-to-day operations. What happens when what is defined as consistent no longer serves the business? Some form of stagnation is a result. Stagnation becomes the stumbling block for change to occur.

As a Consultant questioning assumptions, behaviors, beliefs and processes is second nature. Finding a way to engage your clients is imperative.

  1. Address what is actual current in the operation of the business.
  2. Bring measurement tools to the forefront.
  3. Work within the sphere of influence you have.
  4. Ensure your champion for the process is well informed.
  5. Be diplomatic.
  6. Speak to your audience in the manner they understand.

Changes occur with action. Build on your wins and take the time to celebrate each of your successes along the way.

Business Consultant – Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Culture & Transparency

Transparency in culture is a challenge that requires alignment from the executive all the way to casual staff. A blueprint for cultural alignment that is worth sharing follows.

  • Take the time to develop a code of conduct and ethics. Ensure you have input from all levels of the organization when developing the code.
  • Orientation for all employees from the CEO / President to the part time casual staff is mandatory.
  • Ensure employees understand and appreciate that decisions they make and activities they engage in reflect the principles in the code of conduct.
  • Encourage employees to refer to the code when faced with a decision or challenge.
  • Provide a safe and confidential method for employees to voice concerns or areas that may need to be reviewed.
  • Engage a random selection of employees from different divisions or departments to review the code of conduct every 2 – 3 years. Incorporate recommended changes to the code and have all employees re-oriented to the differences.

Transparency is present at every level as is the level of engagement. Employees typically buy in and those who do not leave to pursue other opportunities.

Business Consultant Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Specific Soft Skills

It turns out that people with an Arts degree may have the right type of soft skills to succeed in areas that are uncertain and murky.  That being the case – here are the soft skills that people with a Liberal Arts education tend to have:

  1. Being curious and willing to try new things.

It is speculated about 70 % of working people want to be told what to do and do that over and over again.  Enter the need for curiosity, and the ability to make up the rules as you along, a strong characteristic of Arts grads.

  1. Decoding or analytic skills.

Unpacking systems and processes are what Arts graduates are generally better at than others.  Using critical thinking skills developed during the degree courses is invaluable in terms of putting all of the puzzle pieces together into a logical framework.  It is also valuable when it comes to unearthing details overlooked by others.

  1. Reading people and communicating.

Having empathy and being able to see people as they are is a skill that Arts graduates have in spades.  Focusing on what others want and need and then being able to communicate that clearly is hugely beneficial.

Business Consultant – Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com.



Change Management & Influencing Others

Leadership and management are challenging in today’s business environment. Enter the skill of influence. It is an essential part of your toolkit and one that continuously needs to be honed.

Influencing is the ability to affect and or impact the decisions, opinions or thinking of others. This is achieved when you have the demonstrated commitment and trust in others to carry out the proposed activities.

In working with businesses that have varied in size from 40 – 250 people two influencing approaches worked best.

  1. Emotional Influencing. The cornerstone of this approach is developing and maintaining relationships with those that you work for and with. Ensure your approach connects with the values or goals of team members. Being in service is inherent to the emotional approach.
  2. Cooperative Influencing. Garnering the support of team members relies in part to logic. Cooperation is the other factor thrown into the mix. Cooperative approaches involve all hands-on deck including yours.

Business Consultant – Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com.

Behaviours That Have You Be Accountable & Responsive

All of us earn our good reputations by excelling at what we do. Personal mastery is necessary to set yourself apart from others. A few pointers on achieving the best version of you follow.

  1. Understand That Things Go Wrong

You can do all you can to succeed and plan every meticulous detail of a project or change, but things go wrong and mistakes happen. Be calm and stay focused when that happens.

  1. Leave “Over Thinking” Behind

Be sure of yourself to avoid over-analyzing a situation. Trust your own experience and feelings to see you through and move forward. 

  1. Take Responsibility

Everyone makes mistakes. Acknowledges the mistake and take ownership. That means doing so even when another member of you team is involved in the situation. Address what needs to be done differently and implement the correction for a solution as soon as possible

  1. Be Yourself

The best part about you is that you are original and therefore you should use this to your advantage and stop trying to be anyone else.

  1. Value Simplicity

It is easy to over-complicate things and lose sight of what you are trying to achieve. Do the basics well. Refer to the project or change objectives frequently to stay on task and on track.

Business Consultant – Change & Transformation, Marie-Helene Sakowski, info@effectiveplacement.com