Eight lessons on how to get the growth you planned

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete on December 4th, 2020 by admin

Now is not the time to slow down. Growth initiatives are critical for value creation, even survival, throughout an economic cycle.

Maintaining focus on the growth agenda, especially during a downturn, is no easy feat, however. For growth initiatives to deliver lasting gains, they require a clear aspiration, organization-wide alignment, and careful monitoring. When we reviewed 60 recent growth transformations—intense, company-wide programs aimed at enhancing overall corporate performance—we found that more than half failed to meet their targets. So we looked for the biggest pitfalls that tripped up promising projects and the key elements that contributed to others’ success. Our analysis reveals eight lessons that companies looking to reignite growth should apply.

  1. Set targets high enough to compensate for declining momentum in the base business and inevitable setbacksAs we noted in our earlier research, the growth aspiration that leaders set matters a great deal to the shareholder value those efforts generate. Companies whose growth outperformed others throughout the 2007–2017 cycle achieved excess total returns to shareholders (TRS) of 8 percent, while the rest hovered around zero during the period. Yet many companies venture on what they believe to be ambitious programs only to find the results fail to change the growth trajectory of their overall business. Why? The reason often lies in overly optimistic baseline scenarios and a lack of detailed understanding of the business momentum. Over time, competitive activity, shifts in sales channels, product commoditization, and other market factors can erode revenue in the base business. Without a granular view of that underlying business, bold plans, even if executed well, can be undermined by leakage in the base. To produce incremental growth, the targets and priorities leaders set for the growth program need to accurately reflect the business’s momentum and compensate for this natural attrition.Consider the experience of a technology player looking to turn around declining revenues. About a year into its growth transformation, the program had produced an impressive 8 percent in new revenues—yet the company’s total sales continued to decline. The leaders realized that the downward sales trend in other parts of its business exceeded the gains made through the new growth initiatives. The company ended up resetting its targets to take into account the trajectory of its base business based on more accurate market forecasts.

    Companies also need to be realistic about their likelihood of success. All growth initiatives face the intrinsic risk of new competitors or changes in customer behavior shifting the market dynamics, and some efforts are bound to underdeliver or fail altogether. In the growth transformations we reviewed, the success rate ranged between 50 to 70 percent. To offset the likely setbacks, companies should create a pipeline of initiatives that adds up to 130 to 150 percent of the growth ambition. Leaders should also foster an entrepreneurial spirit and not punish failure due to factors beyond project managers’ control.

  2. Define a few growth themes and ensure the entire organization embraces themBefore launching growth transformations, many companies extensively review and update their strategic priorities. This typically entails analyses of market trends, category and product performance, and competitive activities. In studying the practices of growth outperformers, we found these companies go beyond the core and look into potential moves involving geography, market adjacency, and value chain to set their priorities and aspirations.The result should be a set of four to six clearly defined priority growth themes that cover all potential growth levers. That could mean expanding offerings by entering into new product categories or introducing new services, and expanding segments the company pursues by deepening penetration into existing markets or focusing on micromarkets. Defending the existing customer base (through the acquisition of new accounts, churn reduction, and cross-sell) also needs to be part of the mix, as does innovation in products and business models. Improving sales performance management or customer experience and even M&A or partnerships all could be part of the growth recipe. It’s essential that the organization can act on the growth themes within 12 to 18 months and that their achievement be hardwired into incentives for business leaders.

    In our experience, cascading these priority themes down through the organization is as important as the strategic review that produces them. The failure to communicate and ensure organization-wide alignment on the desired direction hobbled the growth program at one industrial company. The leaders had spent significant time developing what they believed to be clear strategic priorities, yet growth failed to materialize. There were two problems, it turned out: the priorities were too numerous for the organization to address with focus and scale, and regional business leaders found them disconnected from near-term opportunities for their units. A subsequent mapping of the hundreds of regional initiatives against the corporate priorities demonstrated that some units pursued growth projects tailored to their specific markets rather than the company’s chosen themes, and those local opportunities were in turn not supported by the corporate programs, diminishing the potential to leverage the company’s global scale.

  3. Protect the margin of your base business while focusing growth on high-margin targetsA growth aspiration sometimes ends up becoming a push for volume at the expense of margin. Sales teams may present “opportunities” that essentially mean lowering prices or focusing on lower-margin offerings to reach more customers—recipes that rarely deliver profitable growth. This risk is particularly acute in companies that lack strict pricing and margin controls. Perhaps counterintuitively, raising margin targets when setting the aspiration for the growth transformation can help deliver the desired results. This requires leaders to identify initiatives that combine volume growth and pricing levers within sales. More broadly, they should pursue ideas that are both growth- and margin-accretive, such as business-model innovations or expansion into high-margin, high-growth markets.When an international agricultural company asked its various units to develop growth plans, for example, it found the country organizations were reluctant to launch pricing-related initiatives alongside revenue-growth efforts for fear this would limit their sales opportunities. Management also realized the organization lacked the pricing systems, processes, and governance needed to avoid margin erosion as business units strove to deliver top-line growth. To address these shortcomings, the company developed a pricing tool through which it could challenge each national organization on its (net) prices at the product level and intervene when it found them offtrack. The new tool not only delivered a 1 percent improvement in earnings before interest and tax, but ensured the revenue growth achieved by the business units did not erode margins.
  4. Make line managers accountable for designing and implementing growth programsOur analysis of successful growth transformations suggests that having a critical mass of employees involved in their design and execution makes a big difference. Companies that score in the top quartile of growth performance mobilized at least 8 percent of their workforce to drive the initiatives. Some top performers deployed 20 percent of staff or more.Additionally, for growth gains to be sustainable, local leaders need to be accountable for their targets—they should “own” their parts of the program. As such, management should empower them to develop portfolios of initiatives (within the corporate growth themes) that are customized for their businesses or regional contexts and are projected to deliver 130 to 150 percent of their ultimate growth target (in line with our point in the first lesson). Line managers—the individuals who know the offerings and the customers best—should then lead the initiatives, not external project managers who lack a long-term stake in the business. Which function these internal leaders come from would depend on whether the initiatives are related to go-to-market strategy, innovation, product development, or inorganic moves.

    Some growth opportunities require establishing or improving cross-functional collaboration. As the chief growth officer of one leading consumer packaged-goods company put it, “Product, engineering, and sales [should] take decisions jointly, so you don’t have fingers pointing at each other.” For example, a food ingredient player noticed the lack of short-term alignment between operations and sales which, as at many organizations, were separate functions. A shortage of customer orders at specific moments led to sizable productivity losses due to production stops and slowdowns. Unlocking growth required making sales and operations jointly accountable for the objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs), and milestones set for different team members.

  5. Fund growth by reallocating resources and reinvesting gainsAsking business unit leaders to come up with growth ideas will inevitably lead to requests for additional resources for sales, marketing, and technology. An ambitious growth transformation does require proper funding, but it should be guided by a structured process of resource reallocation. Often, existing allocations are due more to past performance than future growth potential. Consider instead asking each unit leader to free up 20 to 30 percent of resources from their existing budgets and separate the savings and the gains from earlier initiatives when reallocating these resources to growth programs. Making resource reallocation a mandatory exercise before committing any additional funding forces everyone to invest in their own success.Wherever the resources come from, top leadership needs to communicate early how much funding will be provided to support growth initiatives and how the decisions about its allocation will be made. Setting expectations for new funds and then failing to deliver them can be a major blow to the transformation effort’s credibility and the organization’s commitment to its execution.
  6. Create implementation plans with clear milestonesMcKinsey’s research on organizational transformations suggests that shorter initiatives tend to produce better results. In that study, we found that successful transformations delivered close to a third of the transformation value within the first three months and approximately 75 percent in the first year. Our research into growth transformations found a similar trend: shorter initiatives have higher success rates. Moreover, early successes are important accelerators of the entire transformation.Yet many growth programs are designed to last multiple years. What’s more, they often rely on high-level plans short on detailed proximate goals and expectations. Designing a growth program with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timebound milestones can enable leaders to address execution bottlenecks in a timely manner. This requires setting milestones based on weeks rather than months or years.

    It can be useful to test the larger program with a limited-time pilot. One electronics player that was working on a new direct-to-consumer proposition it expected to become a sizable business first spent six months running a small-scale study with select users to develop and test the proposition. The lessons at each step of the project helped the company fine-tune the expectations for subsequent milestones while the multiyear road map kept the project firmly on its path.

  7. Continuously prune and replenish the pipeline of initiativesIdeate, refine, renew, and repeat is a cycle that never stops, when done well. Our earlier research on organizational transformations shows that companies in the top quartile restocked their initiative pipeline by 70 percent after the first year, often compensating for initiatives that had been canceled. Maintaining such a healthy pipeline of growth projects, however, requires that companies adopt a rapid-learning approach.Continuously monitoring progress and pruning underperforming initiatives allows scarce sales and marketing resources to be redistributed to more promising efforts—and the faster that is done, the better. As for generating new growth ideas, networks of champions for each of the priority themes can be great sources for pipeline renewal: they can share lessons and success stories across regions and business units, often without the involvement of senior management.
  8. Measure and incentivize performance at multiple levels to focus interventions where they are needed mostManaging a growth transformation requires tracking numerous performance dimensions, from market demand to the competitive landscape to the progress of the initiatives themselves—factors that are both within and outside the management’s control. Performance management should include financial metrics as well as operational and leading KPIs. Many of these will be interrelated, and leaders should determine which are best managed at which level of the organization to create the right incentives and enable timely intervention. At a minimum, growth performance management should cover three levels:
    • Overall corporate goals. The top leadership team needs to understand how the growth transformation is driving the company’s top line. Connecting the growth project’s impact to the actual (or forecasted) revenues can reveal influences outside the initiatives’ parameters, such as foreign-exchange effects or sales declines in parts of the business not targeted by the growth transformation.
    • Growth transformation targets. Leaders of the transformation should track execution progress, operational KPIs, and financial impact for each initiative within the program. Creating a performance-management dashboard to monitor these metrics can enable them to address execution problems and redesign or even terminate initiatives quickly.
    • Functional performance. Take sales as an example. Companies whose sales organizations outperform their peers consistently excel in two capabilities: frontline execution through standardized performance management and analytics-driven opportunity identification and prioritization. These sales leaders are three times as effective and twice as efficient (based on gross margin to sales cost) as the median. Sales management should provide a single source of truth on forward- and backward-looking sales performance as compared to targets (such as order book and funnel) and incorporate this into frequent sales-performance dialogues so the insights the metrics reveal are translated into frontline action. The performance of other functions critical to reaching the growth aspiration, such as marketing, innovation, or corporate development, should have similar growth targets and analytics integrated into their performance measurement.

Delivering the growth your strategy calls for is a complex and challenging endeavor for most organizations, particularly during a downturn. To ensure the results meet the aspirations, companies can lean on the experiences of others to guide their targets and approaches to execution. While the temptation to wait for the current crisis to pass may be strong, it entails the risk of falling behind competitors who adopt a through-cycle approach to growth and emerge far ahead in the recovery.

Source: McKinsey.com, November 2020



Strategic talent management for the post-pandemic world

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 22nd, 2020 by admin

As COVID-19 accelerates talent management trends, CHROs can take action now to craft a strong talent strategy for later.

In the COVID-19 era, chief HR officers (CHROs) are playing a central role in how companies reimagine personnel practices to build organizational resilience and drive value. There is no shortage of new responsibilities, from fostering connectivity early in the pandemic to developing and implementing plans for the return to offices.

Additionally, the COVID-19 crisis is now accelerating preexisting talent management trends in the CHRO playbook. By acting in five such areas, CHROs can craft a strong and durable talent strategy for the post-pandemic world.

  1. Finding and hiring the right people. Efficient and effective hiring continue to be important.For example, organizations are re-thinking the role of on-campus interviews in the hiring process, given the success they’ve experienced with remote interview methods. And since temporary labor is poised for a faster recovery, organizations should be ready to use that flexible labor in additional ways.CHROs should take a fresh look at tools that make it easier to connect people to employment, based on a deeper understanding of their skills and how those match with available jobs.
  2. Learning and growing. CHROs must consider the effects of large workforce transitions accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and the key role that reskilling plays in helping close talent gaps.The agenda for post-pandemic learning and development extends beyond reskilling to three categories of cost-effective training:• Broad-based digital training in essential skills
    • Focused upskilling rooted in changing work
    • Leadership development
  3. Managing and rewarding performance. The crisis is accelerating shifts in how organizations manage and reward performance. It has dramatically affected goals and performance plans, while making remote workers further reliant on performance management for feedback.To encourage effective performance management now and beyond, CHROs should:• Transparently link employee goals to business priorities and maintain a strong element of flexibility.
    • Invest in managers’ coaching skills.
    • Keep ratings for the very highest—and lowest—performers but also celebrate the broad range of good performance.
  4. Tailoring the employee experience. The blurring line between work and life while working remotely means that employee experience is even more critical.CHROs must help establish norms of working that foster engagement and inclusion for all employees. The solution will be based on talent needed, which roles are most important, how much collaboration is necessary for excellence, and where offices are located today, among other factors.HR departments should also consider the range of analytics tools they can use to understand and promote connectivity and engagement, from social network analyses to listening tools such as mobile text platforms.
  5. Optimizing workforce planning and strategy. Given shifts in how value is created in the post-COVID-19 world, the talent base required may need to shift as well. Workforce planning, strategy, and change is the HR spending category that McKinsey survey respondents cite as most likely to increase over the next 12 months.Components of workforce planning and strategy include:• Critical roles. Research suggests that a small subset of roles is disproportionately important to delivering a business-value agenda. For each role, identify core jobs to be done, qualities needed of leaders, and whether the role is set up for success.
    • Skill pools. Organizations should look at their major skill pools to understand the skills required for the future and whether they are long or short on the required talent.
    • Talent systems. CHROs now have more workforce-planning tools to help them match people to jobs. Such tools will become increasingly critical for CHROs to meet the challenges ahead.

For more information, please read our article, “HR says talent is crucial for performance—and the pandemic proves it.”



Source: McKinsey.com, 20 November 2020

Därför är cheferna största problemet med distansarbete

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 20th, 2020 by admin

Distansarbete under coronakrisen kräver ett nytt ledarskap. Det är inte teknologin som brister på världens arbetsplatser, utan chefernas förmåga att organisera distansarbetet, anser forskarna.

– Det är viktigt att cheferna tar reda på vad varje medarbetare behöver individuellt, säger professor Lena Zander på Uppsala universitet och får stöd från en färsk undersökning från den internationella handelshögskolan Insead.

Tidigare i år skickade ett forskarteam på Insead ut en enkät till chefer och medarbetare i flera olika länder i världen om hur distansarbetet går i coronakrisen. De har fått svar från 429 personer i 58 länder som visar att bara hälften anser att deras chef stöttar distansarbetet på ett effektivt sätt.

Uppkopplingarna fungerar generellt ganska bra och mjukvaran håller för distansmöten och kommunikation mellan medarbetare och externa kontakter. De första stapplande försöken med videomöten har övergått till att bli en vana. Det som brister nu är hur cheferna organiserar arbetet. För många chefer faller det sig naturligt att då gå in och styra mer. Men det viktiga är att tänka efter vilken hjälp varje enskild medarbetare behöver, menar forskarna.

– Ledarna behöver vara proaktiva och tänka igenom hur arbetet ska gå till innan man sätter igång. Vilka frågor kommer att komma? Det är också viktigt att hitta en gemensam syn på vart gruppen ska och hur ni ska komma dit, säger Lena Zander som är professor på Uppsala universitets företagsekonomiska institution.

Hon har under många år studerat hur grupper jobbar ihop på distans och hon har sett hur den uppkopplade kommunikationen påverkar medarbetare på olika sätt. Vissa blir mer ensamma och isolerade än vad som är bra för deras arbete. Andra kan bli utmattade av den interaktiva kommunikationen.

– Många som sitter i digitala möten hela dagarna är helt slut på kvällen. Det blir en annan intensitet när man träffas via videolänk. När du har möten på jobbet har du möjlighet att flytta blicken åt lite olika håll, se i dina papper eller ut genom fönstret. Men för dem som sitter mycket i möten nu blir det svårt att slappna av under dagen, säger hon och fortsätter:

– Vissa är väldigt bekväma med att prata via skärm, medan andra måste få lite betänketid och komma fram till saker i sin egen takt. Därför är det bra att mixa medierna så att man kommunicerar skriftligt, muntligt och via videosamtal.

– Under distansarbetet är det viktigt som chef att alltid fråga de anställda hur det går och om de behöver något. I normala fall så kanske man räknar med att de anställda kommer förbi skrivbordet om det är något de vill. Men det är inte lika lätt nu och det kan bli en tröskel att ta sig över. Därför måste ledaren fråga en extra gång.

Chefen bör skapa en struktur utifrån varje individ. Vissa behöver att chefen hör av sig varje dag, medan andra inte har samma behov. Vissa medarbetare behöver praktiskt stöd, andra behöver bolla idéer och problem, medan andra har ett behov av socialt stöd.

Lena Zander menar att man inte får glömma det sociala behovet och även behov av att ta pauser.

– Att dricka kaffe är inte bara att dricka kaffe. Förutom att det är ett sätt att känna av vad som händer, påverkar det arbetet. Det är på fikat och de gemensamma rasterna man kan känna av hur folk mår. Man kan lösa det genom att till exempel bestämma en tid när man har videomöten som bara är sociala, säger hon.



Källa: DN.se, 19 november 2020

Ledarskap – Att behålla teamkänslan på distans

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 10th, 2020 by admin

Någon mer som saknar att träffa kollegorna? Småpratet vid kaffemaskinen, någon som drar ett skämt i kontorslandskapet eller väntar vid mikron i lunchrummet. Vi vet, vi också. Att behålla teamkänslan på distans kan vara en utmaning. Därför har vi samlat 6 tips på roliga aktiviteter som ni kan göra helt digitalt:

Gissa vems kylskåp
Alla medarbetare tar en bild i deras kylskåp så att man ser innehållet. Sedan får alla deltagare skriva ned vems kylskåp de tror att det är. Flest poäng vinner. Här kan du med fördel att använda appen Kahoot. För er som fotograferar era kylskåp, fuska inte med att gömma det ni inte vill visa.

Harry Potter Escape Room
Vem älskar inte Harry Potter? I denna aktivitet ska gruppen lösa problem tillsammans för att kunna ta sig vidare till nästa rum. Denna aktivitet är kort, men kul att göra tillsammans.

Ni kommer till länken här

Digital tipspromenad 
Tipspromenad på distans, går det? Jajamän, denna tipspromenad kan alla delta på oavsett vart man befinner sig. Man går nämligen bara ett antal meter för att få nästa fråga. Förslag på frågor kan vara aktiviteter eller händelser som gruppen tidigare gjort tillsammans. Det kommer garanterat att väcka roliga minnen.

Du hittar Active quiz här.

Detta visste ni inte om mig!
Lär känna vandra i denna aktivitet. Alla deltagare gör fritt en PowerPoint-presentation om sig själv. Det kan vara en blandning av bilder på fritidsaktiviteter, favoritplatser, en bild på personen som liten eller något överraskade inslag. Alla deltagare får sedan gissa vem som är vem.

Rita och gissa
Kör rita och gissa tillsammans online. I Skribbl kan ni skapa privata grupper och spela tillsammans. Det utlovas många skratt!

Du hittar skribble här.

Online AW med musikquiz
Bara för att man inte kan ses fysiskt behöver man inte sluta ha roligt på en AW. Deltagarna fyller valfri dryck i sina glas och loggar in på er gemensamma videoplattform (exempelvis Microsoft Teams). En eller flera personer leder sedan musikquizen medan resterande deltagare gissar vilken låt som spelas. Ingen fantasi till musik quizen? Inga problem! Du hittar färdiga musikquiz här.

Vi hoppas dessa tips kommer bidra till en starkare teamkänsla på hemmakontoren!




Källa: Personalchefsthlm.se, 10 november 2020

Har du rätt värderingar för att kunna få jobb?

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 2nd, 2020 by admin

Värderingstester ska mäta om jobbsökande passar in.

Logiktester, personlighetstester och caselösningar. Många jobbsökare kan vittna om allt mer tidskrävande rekryteringsprocesser. Den senaste trenden ska mäta de sökandes värderingar – men metoden möter kritik.

Under 2000-talet har kulturen på arbetsplatsen hamnat allt mer i fokus. Men den senaste trenden riktar snarare ljuset mot de anställda.

Genom att göra värderingstester vill rekryterare kartlägga vad en arbetssökande tycker är viktigt och mindre viktigt, men också vad som motiverar dem och hur de skulle agera i olika situationer. När kartläggningen är klar matchas personens värderingar med arbetsplatsens kultur. Det kan till exempel handla om att leta efter anställda som lever upp till visionen om att vara ”aktiv, professionell och trygg”.

Resultatet kan presenteras på olika sätt beroende på vem som testar. Ibland anger en procentsats hur mycket den arbetssökandes värderingar överensstämmer med företagets. Ibland är underlaget mer utförligt och beskriver på vilka punkter kandidaten och organisationen är lika och på vilka de skiljer sig åt.

Enligt ett av testföretagens hemsidor har en person som matchar större chans att stanna på företaget. Om två kandidater i övrigt är lika, kan alltså värderingarna vara det som avgör vem som ska få jobbet.

Fenomenet är fortfarande nytt, och det är långt ifrån alla rekryterare som har börjat använda testet. Åsikterna går isär – även inom kåren. Anna Rydbacken, som ansvarar för fördomsfri rekrytering på rekryterings- och bemanningsföretaget TNG, är tudelad.

– Det är förstås jobbigt att arbeta i en organisation där man inte stödjer huvudsyftet med verksamheten. Men att sträva efter att alla kollegor ska ha samma fritidsintresse eller samma inställning till hur mycket energi man vill lägga på jobbet… där måste vi få vara lite olika, säger hon.

Att TNG inte använder värderingstester beror delvis på att många stora testföretag ännu inte erbjuder sådana. Men Anna Rydbacken säger att hon har noterat att det ”börjat bubbla” i branschen. Hon utesluter inte att de kommer använda värderingstest i framtiden, men just nu ser hon en risk att de kan leda till mindre fördomsfri rekrytering.

– Ja, i och med att du kan välja att ännu tydligare plocka in personer som är exakt som de andra i organisationen.

Och vad är risken med det?

– Då får vi en väldigt homogen grupp. Idag vet vi att organisationer behöver ha större olikhet i alltifrån ålder och etnicitet till var har vi studerat. På senare tid har det bara sprutat ut rapporter om hur mycket bättre organisationer presterar och mår om vi har större mångfald, säger hon.

Det kommunala bostadsbolaget Stångåstaden i Linköping säger sig ha varit först i Sverige med att använda värderingstester. Malin Wettre, HR-chef på Stångåstaden, ser tvärt om att testerna bidrar till mångfald.

– Tidigare tittade vi mer på om man har en viss kompetens och har jobbat med samma saker förut. Nu kan vi våga gå ut och titta bredare, välja människor från exempelvis andra branscher, men med rätt inställning och värderingar, säger hon.

Förhoppningen är att testerna ska minska antalet felrekryteringar. Reaktionerna från de sökande har hittills varit positiva, enligt Malin Wettre. En del menar till och med att organisationens fokus på värdegrund bidrog till att de sökte ett jobb på Stångåstaden. Att organisationen ska bli mer likriktad bedömer Wettre som osannolikt.

– Nej, för det har inte alls med personlighet att göra utan om de gemensamma värderingar vi har inom Stångåstaden, säger hon och pekar på att det snarare handlar om hur de bemöter kunder eller hur de agerar gentemot varandra.

Hon får medhåll av Sara Höglund, senior rekryterare på Adecco, ett rekryteringsföretag som sedan några månader tillbaka börjat använda värderingstester. Anledningen är att förmågor som att klara av förändringar och att leda sig själv ses som allt viktigare för att kunna möta framtiden.

– Test kan ge en indikation på om personen lämpar sig mer för bolaget i stort, vilket bidrar till att man kan hitta en person som har en motivation och engagemang som matchar just den organisationen, säger Sara Höglund.

Hon tror att det är minst lika viktigt för dem som söker jobb att ställa samma typ av motfrågor till potentiella arbetsgivare.

– Fråga vad de har för värdegrund och vad det betyder i verkligheten. Fundera över vad som är viktigt för dig, tipsar hon. Att värderingsstyrd rekrytering för tyska byråkrater hade kunnat förhindra Förintelsen är till exempel tveksamt

Hannes Landén, doktorand i sociologi vid Uppsala universitet, pekar på att värderingar inte är så ”neutrala” som många vill tro. De är inte heller jämnt utspridda i samhället utan hänger ofta ihop med faktorer som bakgrund och klass. Därför tror han inte att värderingstester bidrar till större mångfald.

– Om jag forskade på det här skulle jag ha som grundhypotes att man kommer få ganska styrda mönster av till exempel klass. Men det beror förstås på hur testet används, säger han.

I sin forskning har han noterat att det finns en tendens att ”egenskapifiera” det som egentligen beskriver en relation mellan arbetsgivare och arbetstagare.

– Att vara motiverad, engagerad eller driven ses som karaktärsdrag, men man skulle lika gärna kunna beskriva det som ett uttryck för en fungerande relation. Det finns ju ingen som är engagerad hela tiden om man inte får någonting tillbaka eller som är motiverad vad som än händer. Så i den meningen är det inga karaktärsdrag, men det görs om till något man tänker sig att arbetskraften, den som söker jobbet, ska leva upp till.

Att organisationer intresserar sig för mer än de anställdas personlighet, kultur och mjuka värden är ingenting nytt. Hannes Landén tycker däremot att det finns en paradox mellan att å ena sidan värdera en kultur som gärna ska vara familjär, rolig och gemenskapande, men å andra sidan utföra tester.

– I sammanhang som verkligen bygger på gemenskap, till exempel i ett kompisgäng eller familj, då använder man inte den här typen av test för personlighet. Att man vill testa någon bygger på en vilja att utöva en form av kontroll, man vill leda och styra en organisation, säger han.

Som sociolog tror han att människors agerande främst påverkas av situationen, av vilka spelregler som finns och vilken roll man tilldelas. Att värderingsstyrd rekrytering för tyska byråkrater hade kunnat förhindra Förintelsen är till exempel tveksamt, menar Hannes Landén.

– Så det finns anledning att vara lite försiktig med vilken betydelse man tillmäter värderingar.

Hur påverkar det nya aktieägardirektivet er?

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Board work / Styrelsearbete on October 29th, 2020 by admin

Johanna Sommarlund är delägare och konsult på Novare Pay, ett bolag som arbetar med ersättningsfrågor för ledande befattningshavare. Under 2019 blev EU:s aktieägardirektiv svensk lag vilken får stor påverkan för många bolag.

Vad är aktieägardirektivet och vad det tjänar till?
– Enkelt sammanfattat togs aktieägarrättsdirektivet fram för att stärka aktieägares ställning och försäkra att besluts fattas för bolags långsiktiga stabilitet. Direktivet behandlar bland annat frågor om ersättning till VD och vice VD och förhoppningarna hos EU-kommissionen var att aktieägarnas möjlighet att ta ställning till ersättningsfrågorna ska skapa en bättre koppling mellan företagsledares prestationer och löner.

Vilka av era kunder påverkas och vad är nytt?
– Direktivet omfattar bolag som har sitt säte i en EU-medlemsstat och är noterade inom EU. De statligt ägda bolagen och bolag som följer Svensk Kod för Bolagsstyrning omfattas också av de nya reglerna. Direktivets räckvidd är alltså omfattande och det här innebär att flera av våra kunder nu måste anpassa sig efter de nya reglerna. Ersättningsriktlinjerna, som nu är mer omfattande än tidigare, lades fram och godkändes tidigare under 2020. Till årsstämman 2021 ska nu för första gången en ersättningsrapport upprättas och publiceras, något som är en helt ny utmaning för dessa bolag.

Vad är viktigt att ha i åtanke med anledning av de nya kraven?
– Till att börja med bör de berörda bolagen starta sitt arbete med ersättningsrapporten nu, om inte igår. Det är en lite trasslig rapport att ta fram och det kommer att krävas noggrann kartläggning och diskussion internt för att arbeta fram den information som rapporten ska innehålla. I vår rapport ”Ersättningsrapport 2020” har vi gjort en sammanställning och bland annat ska data som sträcker sig över de senaste fem räkenskapsåren redogöras för och bolagen bör därför tänka över hur och med vilka mått resultaten ska redovisas. Ersättningsriktlinjerna ska också följas upp och ställas i relation till hur ersättningen faktiskt har sett ut, så det är helt klart en ökad arbetsbörda som faller på de publika bolagen.

Hur hjälper ni era kunder i arbetet med rapporten?
– Vi är specialister på ersättningsfrågor och arbetar med alla frågeställningar som kan uppstå på området, såväl i rollen som projektledare som bollplank. Även om ersättningsrapporten är en ny utmaning, kan vi genom vårt breda nätverk och kundbas bilda oss en god uppfattning om hur trender och normer utvecklas. Vi har möjlighet att se frågan ur ett helhetsperspektiv och kan därför identifiera problem och lösningar så att våra kunder kan få hjälp med alltifrån specifika tolkningsfrågor till att ro hela rapporten i hamn.


Källa: Novare.se, oktober 2020

Hur blir man en bättre chef på distans?

Posted in Aktuellt, Digitalisering / Internet, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 22nd, 2020 by admin

Var fjärde svensk jobbar mer effektivt på distans. Men cheferna tenderar att underskatta hur dåligt många medarbetare mår av isoleringen, visar en ny kompletterande undersökning till Telias digitala index.

25 procent av de anställda har jobbat mer effektivt på distans under pandemin, och framför allt större företag – med mer än 50 anställda – har sett en ökad produktivitet.

Det visar en uppföljning till den årliga rapporten ”Telias digitala index” där deltagarna svarat på frågor om hur de upplevt distansjobbet under våren.

”Vanligt känna mindre arbetsglädje”

– Missnöjet handlar om minskat engagemang, mindre arbetsglädje och att man saknar det sociala, säger Mille Backman, chef för digitalisering och förändringsledning på Telia, och fortsätter:

– Här är också skillnaden mellan chefer och anställda störst. Många arbetsledare tycks underskatta vad det sociala betyder för deras medarbetare. Den centrala frågan framåt är: Hur får vi in samarbetet och det sociala kittet i den digitala miljön?

Fortsatt distansjobb efter pandemin

Rapporten visar att svenska företag har en positiv inställning till distansjobb efter pandemin. Så många som 79 procent av beslutsfattarna på företag med mer än 50 anställda svarar att medarbetarna kommer att fortsätta att jobba på distans, helt eller delvis.

En ny undersökning från Gartner gav liknande resultat: 74 procent av finanscheferna planerar att göra distansarbete till en permanent lösning långt efter pandemin.

– Att leda på distans kommer att bli en allt viktigare kompetens, konstaterar Mille Beckman.

Hur blir man en bättre chef på distans? Här är 8 tips från Mille Beckman.

1 Bjud in till möten som inte handlar om jobb

Inför rutiner som uppmuntrar till gemenskap online – som ett återkommande morgonmöte på 15 minuter där det är frivilligt att delta och där temat inte är jobb. Du kan kliva in och säga hej, ungefär som du hejar och byter några ord vid kaffeautomaten på kontoret. Linkedin är ett bra socialt verktyg, föreslå en digital lunch eller fika med medarbetare eller andra i ditt kontaktnät, skicka sedan en möteslänk.

2 Ge individuellt anpassad feedback 

Ta reda på hur de helst kommunicerar. Vissa vill ringa och prata, andra chatta. Vissa behöver mycket kontakt för att klara distansjobbet optimalt, andra föredrar mindre utbyte med chefen.

3 Dela mera av arbetsdagen

Många företag har tekniken på plats, men saknar arbetssätt som skapar energi och delaktighet. Lansera forum och rutiner där det blir naturligt att dela mer av jobbet: Att be om tips, få feedback, utvärdera. Ställ frågan: Vad gillar ni med kontoret? Hur kan ni få in det i den digitala miljön?

4 Tydliga riktlinjer om takt och ton 

Det skrivna ordet kan lätt skapa missförstånd, du kanske skriver något i en chatt som misstolkas av den berörda som sitter vid sitt köksbord. Informera om vilken ton ni ska ha och utvärdera löpande hur ni kommunicerar.

5 Undvik en-tar-över-skärmen-möten

Många digitala möten går till så att alla checkar in, en tar över skärmen och sedan ”försvinner” de andra. Hur skapa mer meningsfulla möten? Ett trick är att noga formulera syftet med mötet, vilka ska vara med och varför, hur långt ska mötet vara? Gör en agenda och en kort beskrivning av mötet i kallelsen, så att de inbjudna känner både engagemang och ansvar.

6 Se upp för digitala klyftor

Gör regelbundna digitala hälsocheckar – hur jobbar medarbetarna digitalt, vad behöver var och en lära sig? Växer kunskapsklyftan mellan medarbetarna är det svårt att flytta företaget framåt.

7 Pauser skapar kreativitet

Ett vanligt misstag vid distansjobb är att vi ”jobbar på” utan pauser. Som ledare är det viktigt att uppmuntra till ett hållbart digitalt arbetsliv. Tipsa medarbetarna om att lägga in promenader, lunchraster och annat som ger energi.

8 Bygg kulturen digitalt

Skapa er företagskultur digitalt, och inte enbart på den fysiska arbetsplatsen. Hur vill ni att medarbetarna ska uppleva er digitala miljö? Hur delar ni information, hur ger ni feedback och så vidare.



Källa: Telia.se, DI.se, oktober 2020

How to plan a successful leadership succession at a start-up

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 20th, 2020 by admin
After spending ten years turning their start-up into a highly profitable unicorn business, the cofounders of PropertyGuru were able to successfully hand over the reins of the business and safeguard its continued success.

When founders decide it’s time to move on after nurturing their start-up into a successful enterprise, years of hard work can quickly come undone if they don’t plan the leadership transition well. Steve Melhuish, cofounder and former CEO of PropertyGuru, spoke to McKinsey’s Tomas Laboutka about the painstaking transition process he and his cofounder put in place to ensure the success of the company and its new CEO.

Key insight #1: Business founders need to recognize when it’s time to turn control of the business over to someone else.

Tomas Laboutka: There are numerous success stories of start-ups handling leadership succession well, but also countless examples of failures. When did you know it was the right moment to bring in a new CEO for PropertyGuru?

Steve Melhuish: It was a personal decision. My cofounder, Jani, and I bootstrapped the company, building it from scratch into a regional market leader in ten years. It was a grueling and relentless time, as we worked seven days a week, without vacation and with little salary, for most of that period.

As my twin children approached their third birthday, I realized I’d missed so much and was scared that I would miss their formative years unless I took action. So I decided my priorities needed to change and promised my wife I’d hand over operations of the business by the time the kids were five years old.

I discussed it with Jani, and he was reaching a similar conclusion, having recently had a son. We knew it would be a complex, challenging, and lengthy transformation and transition process, so we set the wheels in motion early.

Key insight #2: Laying the foundations for a successful leadership transition can involve several years of planning.

Tomas Laboutka: How did you communicate your intention to your investors, partners, and employees?

Steve Melhuish: We presented our proposal to the board in 2014 by explaining that every leader needs to plan for an eventual succession. The shareholders at that stage were understandably concerned, since they’d invested in a founder-led business for two years and worked alongside us.

In addition, while we already had a presence in four countries at that time, 96 percent of our revenues were generated in Singapore, primarily by Singapore real-estate agents. And decision making within the company was still largely concentrated with me and Jani, so we lacked depth in our regional leadership and middle management.

So we agreed to a three-step plan focused on revenue diversification and professionalizing the organization before identifying and transitioning to a new CEO. We made a commitment to the board to execute this plan over the subsequent three years.

To support revenue diversification, we heavily increased product, team, and marketing investment in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. We also added a fifth country to our portfolio by acquiring Vietnam’s market leader. And we acquired two companies focused on serving real-estate developers, to enhance our value proposition to these valuable clients.

We hired the company’s first CFO, CMO, CTO, and CHRO and invested in new IT systems and processes underpinning these functions. Additionally, we invested in training and development to help increase our middle-management capability.

Nine months after starting this transition process, we successfully completed PropertyGuru’s largest round of funding. We made it clear to the prospective investors right at the outset that we were in the middle of a transition that would hand over control of the company to a new CEO in roughly 18 months. But at that stage, we didn’t yet communicate our succession plan to employees, since we wanted the whole team laser-focused on our business priorities: diversification and organizational development.

Key insight #3: Taking the time to choose a new CEO who fits a carefully considered candidate profile can reduce the risk of ‘organ rejection.’

Tomas Laboutka: Finding a replacement for cofounders who helmed the company for a decade couldn’t have been easy. How did you design the CEO selection process?

Steve Melhuish: Bringing a new CEO into a ten-year-old, founder-led business is clearly a high-risk proposition for the founders, company, and shareholders, all who worry whether the new CEO will fit in and enhance, or damage, the company. It’s also high risk for the incoming CEO, who worries whether the existing company culture is a good fit for him or her and whether the founders will actually step back to let him or her do the job unencumbered.

The process we designed was aimed at not only identifying the best CEO but also minimizing the risk of “organ rejection.” The candidate profile we developed placed a heavy emphasis on culture, values, and talent development, as well as experience in building fast-growing businesses. We aligned with and received support from our board members and then hired an executive search firm we’d had success with in the past placing some of PropertyGuru’s CXOs.

We were surprised at the quality of the shortlist and how quickly it came together. Many of the candidates were well-known senior executives leading large Asia Pacific or Southeast Asia teams for Fortune 100 tech firms. We were taken aback that talent of this caliber would want to join a much smaller, earlier-stage private tech firm.

However, it became clear during the interview process that some candidates were frustrated by bureaucracy, politics, slow decision making, low Asia investment, and the lack of significant “face time” with stakeholder management back at headquarters. Given their lack of decision-making authority within their large organizations, candidates were attracted by the prospect of owning the full P&L, functions team, and strategy in a smaller company.

In the final stage of the hiring process, the top three candidates presented their growth plans for PropertyGuru during a two-hour interview with Jani, me, and the board. The CXOs were involved and conducted background checks, including via back channels with team members, customers, and suppliers. We ultimately selected Hari Krishnan, who had successfully built and was leading LinkedIn’s Asia Pacific business. It turned out to be a great decision.

Key insight #4: Smooth leadership transitions require meticulous planning, transparency, and patience—before, during, and after the handover.

Tomas Laboutka: How did you ensure your new CEO fit within the culture of PropertyGuru? How did you prevent “organ rejection”?

Steve Melhuish: We implemented a three-step process to reduce this risk, which included coaching, a pre-handover soft landing, and post-handover founder support. We created a new chief business officer role, which owned all commercial aspects of the company, for Hari for the first nine months. Hari, Jani, and I also met weekly, and through this process we were able to accelerate learning and guide Hari on any historical or personnel issues.

This enabled Hari to accelerate his onboarding, deliver some wins, build credibility internally and with the board, and determine whether PropertyGuru was a good fit for him. At the same time, Jani, the board, and I had the opportunity to monitor progress against expectations, assess the cultural fit, and minimize risk before handing over the keys to the company.

We also hired an executive coach for the first four months of Hari’s tenure with PropertyGuru. This involved individual coaching for me, Jani, and Hari to help us manage any specific concerns and expectations. We later moved to group coaching sessions to bring out and address any bigger issues. It was a highly uncomfortable but highly valuable process.

After nine months, I announced my handover of the CEO role to Hari via a live broadcast to all PropertyGuru offices, followed up by an email and live town halls with all three of us in each of the five countries where the company operates.

We also reassured the team that Jani and I remained committed to the company and would continue working within the organization, as well as on the board of directors and as shareholders.

Over the next 12 months, I moved to the back seat, handing over responsibilities and decision making as Hari, Jani, and I continued to meet weekly to review progress and issues. By January 2018, I had handed over all operations and was able to shift into a half-time role working on strategy, M&A, and some key client relationships.

The transition process took three years and was incredibly smooth, thanks to a well-managed and phased approach, strong board support, as well as empathy and openness between Hari, Jani, and me.

Key insight #5: Planning a successful leadership transition also includes contingency plans for failure.

Tomas Laboutka: The leadership transition seems to have worked out quite well. You recently reported strong growth figures, and PropertyGuru is profitable. What if the transition hadn’t worked out? Did you have a contingency plan?

Steve Melhuish: Business momentum has continued throughout the process, and we recently reported strong annual results, with 24 percent revenue growth, 64 percent EBITDA growth, and an increased market leadership position across the five countries where PropertyGuru operates. The succession was a success. Hari and the team have done a great job building on the foundation created by Jani and me over the first ten years.

As with all plans, though, success is never guaranteed. Our contingency plan in case of failure was for Jani and me to step back into the business. Underpinning this possible scenario was the phased process over a three-year period, which included working full-time alongside the new CEO for 15 months after the formal announcement. After the CEO transition announcement, we remained fully engaged in the business. We were involved in leadership meetings and social activities with the CXOs, engaged with the wider team, held weekly meetings with the new CEO, and maintained full visibility of key priorities and challenges. This minimized the risks and also enabled Jani and me to assume leadership again at short notice, if necessary.

Key insight #6: Cutting the cord to a business you’ve poured years of your life in to building can be painful but also opens up exciting new opportunities.

Tomas Laboutka: Looking back, what was the most difficult aspect of the leadership transition and how did you resolve it?

Steve Melhuish: I’m grateful the transition process went smoothly, and the results speak for themselves. The most challenging aspect of the leadership transition was actually on a personal level. Despite initiating and driving the succession plan for more than two years beforehand, I struggled with turning over the reins, and it took me close to a year after the announcement to adjust to this new reality. I realized it was hard to just switch off and step back after ten intense years of building a business. I also discovered that I had an ego. I enjoyed leading the company, calling the shots, and being interviewed by the media. I missed social interactions with the team as well.

I struggled emotionally, had a crisis of confidence, and suffered from lack of purpose. It was during this time that my wife remarked, “You’ve achieved all you set out to do, but you are now more miserable than I’ve ever seen you. Do you want the CEO role back?” My answer to her was an emphatic “no.” My priorities had shifted, and I was determined to spend more time with my family, while thinking about “what next?” This started the process of my transitioning into a more positive mode.

Thankfully, I had amazing support from my wife and my Entrepreneurs’ Organization colleagues. I also received coaching from some fellow founders who’d been through similar experiences when exiting their start-ups.

I began meditating, exercising more, going on vacations, reengaging in the regional start-up scene, and investing time and money in the climate and social-impact space. Two years later, I’m having fun. My last ten angel investments have all been in the sustainability space, and I’m working with some inspiring start-ups, founders, investors, and organizations.

Source: McKinsey.com, October 15, 2020

Talent retention and selection in M&A

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 14th, 2020 by admin
Retaining critical talent and ensuring the right people are in key roles are essential to a successful merger.

An organization is only as good as its peopleas the adage goes. At no time is that more true than during a merger integration. A deal can create an opportunity to upgrade talent across the organization; in some cases, gaining access to highly skilled employees is the primary reason for an acquisition. Conversely, mismanaging talent issues can seriously affect the success of even a relatively straightforward transaction.

Organizations undergoing a merger need to tackle two core challenges around talent: how to retain people critical to the combined company’s performance and how to manage the employee selection and appointment process in a way that causes the least disruption and anxiety. Thorough preparation and management of both processes is paramount to achieving a merger’s goals. This article presents our insights into talent issues that arise during M&A and how to handle them to foster a smooth transition.

Understand your merger archetype

Managing talent in a merger integration should not follow a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, the type of deal you pursue needs to guide how you go about employee retention and selection.

In the case of two organizations of similar size coming together in an approximate merger of equals, both the acquirer and the target company need to pay close attention to retaining key talent. This type of deal often happens during industry consolidations or when a company is trying to reinvent itself by acquiring a competitor with complementary products and customer relationships. While leadership teams tend to protect their own core cadres and corporate cultures, the focus here needs to be on keeping the people best suited to driving the combined company’s performance. Accordingly, a fair and transparent selection process is needed to avoid (real or perceived) biases or favoritism on the part of either legacy company.

When a larger, often better-performing company acquires a smaller or lower-performing firm that operates within its core business, employee selection tends to favor the acquirer’s incumbent talent. In such cases, the acquirer’s retention focus may be quite narrow, aimed at the best performers or employees deemed critical for maintaining business continuity.

In an acquisition involving the entry into a new business or market, the buyer’s talent retention focus will likely be quite different. Typically, retaining the target firm’s employees is essential to the deal’s value, and there is usually limited overlap between the target’s workforce and that of the acquiring company, aside from support functions.

Tailor your talent retention strategy

During the anxiety-filled period of merger negotiation and integration, talent deemed critical to the combined company’s future needs to receive special attention. Since talent flight can undermine performance, value creation, and both the near- and long-term success of the deal, organizations should develop talent retention plans as soon as possible—often before the acquisition is finalized.

The key steps in a talent retention program are determining its scope and approach, defining retention levers, and implementing and monitoring the results.

Determine retention scope and approach

In most merger scenarios, the vast majority of employees do not receive retention packages—typically, less than 2 percent of staff should receive such incentives. However, those few critical employees need to be identified quickly. They could have highly specialized and hard-to-access skills or knowledge vital to running the combined business (such as expertise in the legacy IT systems). They may be important for ensuring stability during the integration phase or they may be high performers essential to building the next phase of the combined organization.

For example, when a global medical device company acquired a small but fast-growing healthcare solutions firm, the target’s product innovation capabilities were a core reason for the deal. The acquirer’s CEO knew he had to move quickly to engage and retain the R&D team, so the head of the integration group promptly flew across the country to meet with the staff, reassure them about their roles in the future organization, and express the company’s enthusiasm for their product innovation plans. The integration leader also committed to ring-fencing the R&D team to allay their concerns that the multinational’s “bureaucracy” would stifle their activities. All the core innovation staff ended up remaining with the new company, with limited financial retention investment required.

It can be challenging to identify the most valuable individuals or know which ones represent a flight risk. Often, top leaders create lists of employees they feel are important to retain—a top-down approach that, being fast and simple, is well suited to mergers with short time frames and high potential for significant loss of talent. However, unless an organization had recently undertaken a talent-to-value exercise, top corporate leaders may lack a comprehensive understanding of the critical talent and roles in the company. As a result, the company may end up offering retention bonuses to too many people, some of whom do not hold essential roles, potentially causing integration cost overruns. Conversely, complex hierarchies or unconscious biases may shield top executives’ views of who really matters in the legacy company, leading to omissions in retention efforts that end up costing the combined company valuable capabilities.

A more comprehensive but time-consuming alternative is a bottom-up approach, which gathers input from multiple management tiers and combines it with other information, such as employee interviews, surveys, or social network analysis. While this provides leaders with a more detailed understanding of the talent they should try to retain—including people at lower levels of the organization—it is not always feasible given pre-close limitations on who can be engaged for input and what information the target company will provide.

A solution that balances the above two approaches is for the legacy heads of each function and the HR business partners of both organizations to nominate the 2 percent “critical talent” in each area—individuals in mission-critical roles, high performers, or those with strong future potential. The HR team can then vet the list with the CEO, the chief human resources officer (CHRO), and the integration leader to determine the need for retention incentives based on the impact and probability of each individual’s departure. (For more on identifying critical talent, see “Matching talent to value” and “Finding hidden leaders”.)

Define incentives


Talent-retention programs typically target critical employees the company believes it may lose with a mix of financial and nonfinancial incentives. While financial measures tend to be the first lever organizations turn to, this approach can be both expensive and often less effective than companies anticipate. Financial incentives are best used for addressing short-term needs, such as inducing a finance manager targeted for layoff to stay for a few months after merger close to help with the transition from legacy financial processes to new ones adopted by the combined company. Generally, however, organizations should lead with “soft” incentives such as praise, attention from leaders, and opportunities to take on more responsibility, all of which have proved to be more powerful at keeping talent motivated. A McKinsey survey of more than 1,400 integration executives, for example, reported that “praise and commendation from an immediate manager” was the most effective retention lever, scoring above performance-based cash bonuses and increases in base pay.

In general, incentives should be offered in waves rather than at one time, as not all essential employees will be immediately known to management. Additionally, leaders may find that some highly valued talent does not need special incentives to stay after the deal is announced.

Implement and monitor retention

Once companies have identified their critical talent and determined suitable incentive plans, they should waste no time in implementing the retention program. With financial incentives, it is usually best to conduct the program discreetly so as not to alienate those not offered incentives to stay. There is much less sensitivity around the many nonfinancial retention levers, such as opportunities to participate in training programs or invitations to lead projects, as these are common incentives or rewards for high-performing individuals. With both retention approaches, perceived fairness is critical. In particular, functional heads and HR staff need to be prepared to answer questions about the methodology and thoroughness of the process that determines which individuals receive financial bonuses.

Tracking the impact of the talent retention program is important, both as it applies to the overall workforce and employees identified as critical. Companies can use metrics such as unwanted attrition, turnover costs and employee satisfaction, and should be proactive in adapting the retention program in response to the findings. For instance, engagement surveys can deliver early alerts of declining staff morale, providing time to reengage select employees or employee groups before they decide to move on.

Selecting the right talent

Identifying the candidates for key positions in the combined company is a priority that HR leaders should start addressing even before the deal closes. From determining the selection criteria to communicating, implementing, and tracking outcomes, the decisions made at this stage will bear heavily on the integration’s success. This is particularly important in deals involving the merger of similarly sized firms as such situations require more finesse than other M&A integrations.

At a time when companies are competing for talent in a global arena, offering a positive employee experience—by enabling staff to create personalized, authentic workplaces that ignite their passion and give them purpose—is a key driver of retention, especially among millennials. Our research shows organizations that focus on employee experience as a core element of talent management have a 65 percent chance of achieving superior total returns to shareholders.

Designing, managing, and delivering a positive experience is especially important during the post-merger talent selection process—not only for employees offered positions but also for those not selected or who choose to leave. How the HR and integration teams treat the latter groups can have far-reaching effects on workplace morale and the company’s reputation as an employer of choice.

There are four core elements to ensuring that the selection process leaves a positive impression on all involved: designing a fair and transparent methodology, ensuring the process is well coordinated, managing stakeholder expectations, and effectively onboarding employees starting new positions. Most of these tasks are best handled by a central talent selection office.


Establish a fair and transparent process

“Will I have a job in the new organization?” During a merger, that is the primary concern of most employees, so step one in the talent selection process should be providing information. Defining how staffing choices will be made—including selection criteria, legal parameters, and timelines—and communicating this to the organization will help allay anxiety, as will an explicit commitment to fairness and transparency.

Naturally, the approach to selecting high-level executives (such as those reporting directly to the CEO) will differ from the one used for most of the workforce. While the executive selection process is often opaque to the broader organization, the outcomes send a message to all employees about the values and culture they will experience in the combined organization. For example, if the CEO only selects individuals from the acquiring company for the new management team, this may be interpreted as a signal that the acquirer’s employees will be favored for lower-level positions as well, creating the risk of critical talent leaving the acquired company.

Typically, at least the top two levels of leadership below the CEO are chosen before the deal closes, usually by the combined company’s chief executive, and the appointments are often subject to board approval. In selecting direct reports, the CEO should first focus on roles essential to maintaining business continuity along with those needed to fulfill the growth or transformation ambitions that motivated the acquisition. For example, if the CEO is moving from a sales-led geographic structure to a more matrixed brand structure, selecting a chief marketing officer should be a top priority, and if no sufficiently strong candidate is present at either organization, the company should quickly launch an external search. Furthermore, the new leadership team ideally should be introduced to the organization as a group rather than through appointment announcements over time, as a one-time transition in management will help lower uncertainty and distraction among employees.

For the rest of the staff, the selection principles and process should be communicated as soon as possible to reassure employees that the methodology will be consistent and equitable. The principles are typically developed by the CHRO, endorsed by the CEO, and shared with the employee base as the talent selection process kicks off. They may range from strategic, outcome-oriented goals (such as supporting and protecting the core businesses and enabling the vision for the combined company) to specific guidelines (for example, if a position in the new organization consists at least in half of new responsibilities, all eligible employees from both companies can apply for it).

What matters most is that the principles resonate with the organization and increase confidence in the process. They should address questions such as: What does the talent selection aim to achieve? Will employees from both companies receive equal consideration for positions? Who decides who will be offered positions in the merged company? And, will downgrades, grandfathering, relocation, trial periods, and other individual factors be part of the decisions?

The selection process also needs to establish “guardrails”: legal parameters by which decisions must abide, such as regulatory approvals, the WARN Act (for US businesses) and works council stipulations (for European businesses mostly) that apply to HR practices and may vary by role, geography, and timeframe (for example, pre-close, day one, and post-close). Such guardrails are typically shared only among HR employees responsible for defining and executing the selection process and with managers involved in conducting interviews or choosing talent for the new company. The parameters should be defined and disseminated as soon as possible after the deal is announced and reviewed regularly by the general counsel overseeing the integration.

Finally, management needs to define and communicate the criteria, process, and timeline for selections. These are often constrained by how quickly a company needs to make staffing decisions, how involved direct managers are in the process, and the availability and quality of talent assessment data. Typically, the criteria cover the following kinds of questions:

  • How do you define the talent pool eligible for each role in the new organization (for example, can potential candidates come from both legacy companies)? If someone is not selected for a CEO-2 role (reporting to a CEO’s direct report), can the individual be eligible for a CEO-3 role? Could he or she be offered positions in other parts of the company?
  • What guides the selection when multiple incumbent employees apply for a role?
  • What data (such as performance ratings or R&D patent applications) and other inputs (resumes, for example) are considered and how do you calibrate their relative importance given different practices in the legacy organizations and potential functional or individual biases?
  • For which roles will you conduct interviews or seek additional internal or external applicants, and how will you source external talent if needed?

In terms of schedule and time frame, the following questions should be answered:

  • Are you prioritizing talent selection by seniority and level of responsibility, or handling multiple employee tiers at once?
  • When will candidates be notified, when will new roles begin, and what will be the exit dates for those leaving?
  • Will the dates vary by office location or country?
  • What do HR business partners, managers, and other decision makers need to do, and by when, in order for candidates to be notified of selection outcomes by a certain date?

Establish a central office to coordinate selection

Deciding which employees should stay, go, or move to different roles is often a complex process involving many decision makers and urgent time pressures. If managed poorly, it can cause the new company to lose critical talent and capabilities, miss synergy targets, face business disruptions, and even risk lawsuits and reputational damage. What’s more, during the hectic integration period, the HR team often lacks the capacity to adequately support talent selection, especially as the department is likely undergoing its own functional integration. Creating a talent selection office (TSO)—a temporary, centralized command group—can improve the employee experience, produce better selection outcomes, and reduce potential legal risks.

A TSO is particularly valuable during large employee reorganizations driven by ambitious synergy targets and undertaken within short time frames. It can also play a vital role in ensuring exits happen quickly when one or both of the merging companies operate in multiple geographies or industries with complex labor laws or strong union relationships. For example, when one US-based company acquired a European firm of similar size with a significant number of employee overlaps across numerous regions and functions, it established a temporary TSO and placed a member of the target company in charge. Not only did the central TSO enable the combined organization to reach its synergy targets roughly six months ahead of schedule, but the choice of lead helped reassure the target company’s employees that the selection process would be fair to them.

As the command center, the TSO is responsible for guiding leaders involved in the selection process in how they manage organizational anxiety around potential head-count reductions. This includes instructing managers and job candidates on the interview and selection steps and timelines and coordinating with the communications team of the central integration management office (IMO), where appropriate, on responses to questions about the process. The TSO also ensures that the employee choices align with the new organization’s strategy, desired culture, and synergy objectives related to employees, and that the selection and retention processes adhere to the established principles and other guidelines.

Communicate with stakeholders


Typically, the TSO is also responsible for the third element of the selection process: managing stakeholder expectations. This can range from defining who will be consulted in talent selection decisions to helping managers conducting interviews understand how much time is required and when they need to commit. The TSO needs to become the “one source of truth,” tracking decisions in real time and making sure systems are updated promptly and accurately.

Doing this effectively requires regular communication among several stakeholder groups, including the IMO (to coordinate the timeline with other integration activities), employees involved (both those who interview or select candidates and the candidates themselves), the communications team (to align messaging related to talent, such as the announcement of a new leadership team), and finance and IT (to coordinate updates to HR management and payroll systems). The TSO also needs to be in close touch with the company’s HR partners to coordinate the execution of the selection process, as when new external employees are brought onboard.

Onboard employees into new jobs

Once talent selection is completed and announced, the talent team often thinks its job is done. However, the selected employees still need to be properly onboarded. Given the intense pace and workload before, during, and right after a merger, this crucial step is often neglected, leaving employees who start new jobs insufficiently prepared for the realities of the merged organization.

To avoid a decline in workforce performance and employee experience, the TSO should work with HR staff and line managers to define the onboarding requirements, at least for critical roles and talent. It should also solicit feedback from employees on their experience of the integration process and report that to the IMO.

Källa: McKinsey.com, October 2020

Hemarbete gör att gränser flyter ihop

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 13th, 2020 by admin

Otydlighet, brist på återkoppling och höga ambitioner. Det gör att en av fyra tjänstemän som har arbetat hemifrån under pandemin har svårt att dra en gräns mellan arbete och fritid.

– Det är vanligt speciellt när det är otydligt när man gjort ett tillräckligt bra jobb, då är det många som blir osäkra och gör lite extra, säger Ulrika Hagström, utredare med ansvar för arbetsmiljöfrågor vid TCO.

Detta i kombination att man kan utföra arbete när som helst under dygnet kan leda till att många får mycket långa arbetsdagar.

Stort ansvar

– Många i dagens arbetsliv känner ett stort ansvar och engagemang i sina arbetsuppgifter. Och de som får mer av förtroendearbetstid och större möjligheter att lägga upp arbetstiden och anpassa den efter det övriga livspusslet gör ofta lite extra, säger Ulrika Hagström.

Hon varnar för att vara för hård mot sig själv och bara räkna den arbetstid då man är 100 procent produktiv.

– När man är på arbetsplatsen då går arbetstiden medan man tar ett samtal med en kollega i korridoren, flyter ut i andra tankar som inte har med arbetet att göra en stund eller får ett privat samtal från barnen.

Ulrika Hagström menar att ingen människa kan vara produktiv åtta timmar om dagen.

– Så kan inte en människa fungera. Hjärnan kognitiva förmåga är inte som en dator. I längden orkar ingen att sitta med blicken fäst på datorn timmar i rad. Man behöver ta pauser, både rent kroppsligt och mentalt säger hon.

För att inte hemarbetande ska pressa sig för hårt spelar chefen stor roll.

– Det är arbetsgivarens ansvar att se till att ta reda på hur medarbetare har det, eftersom det alltid kommer att finnas de som inte tar upp det själva. Speciellt de som är nya i arbetslivet eller osäkra på om de producerar tillräckligt bra.

Mindre återkoppling

Under pandemin har det kommit flera rapporter, bland annat från Previa, som visar att den psykiska ohälsan ökar.

– Mindre feedback på det man gör och att man saknar ett socialt sammanhang kan bidra till ökad risk för psykisk ohälsa, säger Ulrika Hagström.

TCO:s ordförande Therese Svanström driver just nu flera arbetsmiljöfrågor för att regeringen ska prioritera dem de närmaste åren.

– Ett nytt tänk i arbetsmiljöhänseende behövs när gränserna mellan jobb och fritid riskerar att flyta ihop. Arbetsgivaren är enligt arbetsmiljölagen skyldig att arbeta förebyggande och systematiskt med arbetsmiljöfrågor även när medarbetarna jobbar hemma.

Dessutom anser hon att skyddsombudens roll behöver diskuteras när en allt större del av arbetet sker digitalt och hemifrån.

– Det är en viktig aspekt som arbetsmarknadens parter behöver arbeta med gemensamt.

Källa: GP.se, 13 oktober 2020