Written by Melissa Summer. 1 min read.
In the first episode of The Myers-Briggs Company Podcast, we interview Sherrie Haynie, seasoned consultant who guides organization development, executive development and change management initiatives for global clients.
What is change management and why does it matter for organizations?
Sherrie shares her expertise about working with organizations on change management initiatives, and what organizations and leaders tend to get wrong when it comes to change.
“The textbook definition [for change management] makes a lot of sense under controlled environments. But the current environment is anything but straightforward. The textbook strategies [for change management] need to be challenged. And leaders and HR practitioner should be aware of how attentive they’re being to the needs of their employees,” says Sherrie.
And why does change management matter for HR practitioners?
Part of the reason is because bad change management by managers leads to employee turnover. Another reason is that change initiatives affect employee responsibilities, which can impact those employee job descriptions.
“All those typical HR responsibilities are going to be magnified during a change initiative.”
Other questions answered in this episode:
- Why is change management important for organizations?
- Why is it important for leaders? For HR practitioners?
- How does change management apply differently to the hybrid workplace?
- What does personality have to do with change?
Want to learn more about change management? Check out these resources:
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Intro: Welcome to The Myers-Briggs Company Podcast where we bring together thought leaders, psychologists, and personality experts from around the world to talk about work life, home life, and how to get the best from life.
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Melissa Summer (MS): Welcome everyone to the podcast. My name is Melissa Summer, I will be your host for this season and with me today I have Sherrie Haynie. Sherrie is the Director of US Professional Services for The Myers-Briggs Company. She is a seasoned leader of business function, guiding organizational development, executive development, and change management initiatives for global clients. So welcome, Sherrie!
Sherrie Haynie (SH): Thank you! Thank you, Melissa.
MS: Yay! And we’ll pretend there’s an audience clapping and stuff… [muffled laughter]
Sherrie, we’re going to talk today about change management but not just change management. With everything that’s been going on lately in the world, there’s been a lot of change. So, we’ll just start with, as far as an intro, what is change management or what’s your definition of change management?
SH: Well… I will describe what we would consider the textbook definition of change management. It’s really a systematic approach that organizations take, that includes planning for dealing with transitions, transformations of what your business model might be, what processes you are utilizing in your organization, what technologies might be fuelling your organization, and also addressing market needs.
So, if we consider change management [to be] a methodology, to address changes that need to happen, and what you need to do to get there and be successful. And of course, the purpose of these initiatives are to successfully implement whatever strategies you’ve identified, to help people accept, adapt to those changes, while also reaching the desired business objectives. So, I mentioned the textbook definition and that really is… it makes a lot of sense under controlled environments. Let’s say you are just addressing a market change and we think about these controlled environments, having a clear path forward, something very straightforward.
But as you just mentioned, Melissa, the current environment is anything from straightforward. We’ve just faced the global health crisis, we have environmental concerns, we have social issues, a war, economic uncertainties, so implementing change management right now is anything from straightforward. So these outdated textbook strategies need to be challenged. Organizations need to be more agile, more flexible, and really pay attention to how attentive you are to the needs of your employees—more now than ever before.
MS: I was just thinking, when you had said that, “Oh, every organization now who’s gone through the pandemic and has had hybrid working and remote working, had a crash course in change management.”
MS: Whether they did it well or not, it’s still [laughs]…I think some organizations are still being measured on that.
SH: That’s right.
MS: But aside from kind of economic and the changes that we’ve gone through lately, why is it important to even look at change management for organizations? Why not just announce the change, and do it, and then be done with it? Like why is it even a topic?
SH: Right, right. Well, we think about, “Why is it a topic?” or “Why is it important for organizations?” is…if we were society of just technology and robots, we could simply apply new code and change the way we do business. And, you know, certain aspects of how we do business, it is that simple. You know, you write new code, and you change how things work. When we look at the fact that the human element is front and center for organizations and how we get things done, we have to be responsive of how organizations are successful, and that’s through the successful implementation of people being able to do their jobs, organizations being agile, responsive, and doing so in a way that we can be successful as an organization, which is fuelled by the human capital.
MS: So how does change management then…how is it important for leaders specifically? Obviously, leaders are the ones who are telling people, “Hey this is where we’re thinking of going as an organization and these are the things that might have to change.” But what can leaders learn about change management? Where does that come into play?
SH: I think that the vital role that leaders play is being the person to role model. What is the change that we’re wanting to implement? And how can we get there? And really influencing the employee base to give them what they need, to find out what they need, in order to be successful during this change. And research shows, and there’s a lot of research out there, that people don’t leave organizations, they leave their managers. And if leaders can do their best job of supporting not just what the business needs but how to help their teams work in a situation where they have what they need so that the business can be successful. So, leaders in organizations can’t be successful unless their teams are motivated to be their best and to really want to champion the change at all levels.
MH: So where then does…I mean, HR is the one who, you know, makes sure that the people are taken care of in an organization, that everyone knows what they’re doing. Where does HR play in change management or in the larger change management project?
SH: Yes, well HR definitely needs to have a seat at the table, and have that strategic viewpoint, and be part of the decision-making process because they have really that front line, that front line connection to the employee base. So first and foremost, they need to be there at the decision-making process at that strategic level. And then from there, their tasked with the implementation, the tactical processes and the steps that are really necessary to roll out a successful change initiative. It’s one thing to see it on paper and it’s another thing to actually roll it out and all the tactical pieces that must fit into place. So things like employee roles will change, what are the employee responsibilities, differences, from now, until that successful change has fully evolved? What new skills might they need? What training does HR need to provide for employees to be successful? Are they managing the impact of employee satisfaction? What happens if this change really is not in alignment with the values of the employees? People will leave. Now they’re faced with turnover, hiring, so all of those kind of typical HR responsibilities are just going to be magnified during a major change initiative.
MS: That makes sense. Especially the part that you were saying about, that I hadn’t thought about, even roles changing, and that’s a core of what HR does is making sure that the job descriptions are reflecting what people are doing and I could see how lots of little changes would mean that…maybe a job has changed over time and the description might not match. And that would be a big problem.
MS: Can you give an example of something that you’ve experienced, or maybe a company that you’ve worked with—I know we can’t name names for a lot of them—but if you have a real-life change management example?
SH: I would say a real-life change management example would be the clients we’ve worked with that were all facing the same thing…in one word, it has to do with COVID. I think the entire world, every organization, every HR team, every person has been impacted by COVID. And this is, you know, this is really the first time I think in our current lifetime, in our current history, that we’ve experienced the entire world going through something of this magnitude. From a health standpoint, clearly some individuals and families were impacted more severely than others but if we think about this from a change management impact on organizations…many organizations that thought it were never possible to work remotely, were completely thrust into this reality, where we had to make it work. So clients we’ve worked with who were struggling at first, they had to make it happen and we came in to really help them make the best of the situation and to help them get through that hump. And not just make it work but to make it work well. And to look at the longevity and the impact of, now that we might be over that curve of the actual health impact of COVID, what did that leave us with and how did we really help these businesses to survive the lockdowns, the quarantines? And where are we now at this particular moment in our organizations?
MS: So, I know you mentioned COVID obviously…big change management for the change management initiative that lots of companies took in response to COVID. What are some other examples of when companies might want to make sure that they have their change management skills up to par? Like I think the only one that comes to mind for me, off the top of my head, is acquisition. But what are some other examples of big things companies might be going through where they would want to really focus on a change management platform?
SH: I would say the acquisition is a great example, and we could also combine technology companies. We’ve worked, you know, with clients and experienced either a merger or an acquisition where it greatly impacts technology in the way people get their work done. So, if we’re thinking about an organization who might have had more of a traditional way of interacting with their clients, whether it be a service industry and a good deal of their interactions with their clients might have been face-to-face, or just more felt like a personal approach. And a particular client I have in mind, transformed their business through acquisitions and mergers, and the majority of what is still a service industry, is now managed remotely. Partly that set them up well when COVID became a reality. But aside from COVID, it was a dramatic change for the employee base where they had to adjust to providing what their values, their values being aligned to having a personalized service, but in a remote situation where they no longer could sit across the desk.
And I won’t name names but if you think about the financial industry where it’s a mortgage transaction and these particular individuals were…they were used to building a relationship, and really feeling like they’ve earned the trust of their client, and in a face-to-face situation. And their business model completely turned on its head and going to the corporate office was no longer a part of their day-to-day work life, and meeting with clients face-to-face no longer happened. So, they had to accomplish what they felt the keys to success were building report with their clients and they accomplished that through face-to-face interaction. So, this dramatic change was really enabling the clients and the mortgage lenders to have this relationship virtually and to seek success in a very different way.
MS: So, how long did that how long was that whole engagement that you guys had with that company? How long did that take?
SH: The bulk of what I consider the tactical changes which included awareness, communication, training, was about a six-to-eight-month process. But that’s an excellent question, Melissa, because where most people think their work is done, and they can sign off—this change has happened, we are complete—that’s when the real work actually begins. And that’s where you start to see ‘I’ve checked the box, I work this way’, but what happens to the longevity? Are our people’s values what brought them into that organization or that line of work? If it is now completely different, we start to see complacency. We start to see performance dip. We start to see well-being and employee satisfaction dip. So that actually, where the real work begins is when you think you are finished.
MS: Right, because most employees, if you say: “Oh, by the way, at the next companywide we’re announcing a new a new change initiative” or any sort of change, I feel like most employees groan and they go, “Oh no! What is this going to mean for me?” or, feels like most employees hate change when it comes to their work. Why is that? Because I think of other changes, like a weight loss, and sometimes it can…I can hate it, but I feel like for other people, it’s really inspiring because you’re making a change that you’re excited about. Why does that not happen as much with organizations?
SH: Well, there’s, you know, there’s a common misconception most people hate change and actually, it’s not true. Some people thrive on change, and it really impacts each person differently. So, what might be dreadful to me, and I find it very stressful, could be exhilarating for you. It could be that depending on what that change is, it’s welcome, it’s a welcome change. Or just the mere fact that some people [think] if it’s not broke, let’s not fix it, and I really need to see a lot of evidence, or I have possibly a very structured natural inclination, and if that’s disrupted it will impact me to a greater degree. Whereas someone that enjoys change for the sake of change, might champion it and get behind a change initiative, without realizing that it might not have needed to change. And so, there’s lots of differences in in how we receive change, and how we react to it, and very personalized from one person to the next.
MS: Out of curiosity, does this have anything to do with personality type?
SH: Well, I thought you might ask that question and actually it has a good lot to do with personality type. We find that certainly personality doesn’t explain everything about us. However, there is some significant connection between what our stress triggers are, how we cope with change, what we need in order to communicate, how we want change communicated to us, what we need to communicate with others during times of change, how we define conflict, what we need to build trust, and to feel comfortable with change very much has a direct link with personality. There are, you know, different coping mechanisms that I might need based on my personality as opposed to what you might need. You think about personality being a natural fuel for how we think, how we process information, how we learn, and how we prefer to act or behave in a given situation. So, it really impacts how we do our best and if doing our best is disrupted because of an organizational change, then we see how does our personality play into it working well or not working well? So, all of these variables absolutely impact how we respond to change and how we are our best, or how we’re not at our best, during times of change.
And I’ll bring up a word that I just use. You notice I use the word prefer…how we prefer to behave or act. And I think that’s really key to understanding how our personality impacts our behaviors. So ideally, in an ideal world, our personality should not dictate our behaviors. If you’re very self-aware, think about a person who has a high level of self-awareness, they know what their natural inclinations are, or what they prefer, but then they will choose the behavior, that most supports the needs of the moment or the needs of the environment.
So, you think about a toolbox, and you’re building a house, and you have an arsenal of tools, you know, hammers, saws, power tools, all of these various tools, and you don’t pick the hammer, you know, to cut a board in half. There’s just a certain tool. So, kind of a simple analogy but if you think about our natural preferences and someone who’s very self-aware, they are going to know that my natural preference for making decisions quickly is not always the right behavior if I need input, if I need consensus. So, a highly self-aware person will know, my natural inclination is not going to be the best tool I will pick another tool. So I said that’s an ideal world. If you think about the average person who might have average self-awareness or someone who has low self-awareness, they’re going to act based on their gut, whatever their natural inclination, is based on their personality, how they typically think, might be how they just have that natural reaction. So, if there’s a major chain and I like to think things through, I like to be methodical and that’s just my go-to nature. If I’m required to be flexible or to just think off the top of my head, I might be much more rattled than someone who already consciously knows how to flex outside of their comfort zone. So, that low level of self-awareness is going to put people at a disadvantage when they’re going through times of change. Someone who has a higher level of self-awareness…they’re going to be better equipped to deal with change.
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MS: So, I know in there you mentioned personality preferences. In this conversation I think you’re specifically talking about MBTI or Myers-Briggs personality type, right?
MH: Can I ask, Sherrie, what are your Myers-Briggs personality type preferences?
SH: My type references are ENTJ. That is Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging.
MS: So, what would, for example, someone with your personality preference, ENTJ…what does change management look like specifically for them? Or for you?
SH: For me, I would say an ideal change management is… there is a big picture, strategic need for the change that we have had groups of people collaborate and identify what we need in the future. Not just what we need tomorrow because I wouldn’t expect that a change that happens tomorrow will be beneficial for us a year from now or five years from now. So, ideally, what does the world look like in a few years, a few years from now? So, let’s really strategize and think about what’s in the best interest of our company in the next few years. I don’t like to get too caught up in the details early on…I think that can derail the best intentions. So, I prefer big picture first, get as many people on board, lots of brainstorming and really figure out where we’re headed and then we can come back in and start to take a look at the details and really identify, you know, timelines and objectives. So, my personal preference is, big picture first, where are we headed, what do we need, and then we’ll worry about the details as we proceed.
MS: And so you said you have one of your preferences is for Intuition and, if I remember right, that’s a lot of that big picture detail? So, someone who has the opposite preference maybe they’re…well, I don’t want to list a whole specific four-letter type but someone who has preferences for Sensing, which is the opposite preference of Intuition…would they also like big picture? Would they not be as concerned about the big picture? What does it look like for someone who has that?
SH: Well, from my experience working with colleagues that have a preference for Sensing, they’re likely to want to pay attention to the details earlier on in the process. And what I have found is if I’m not being sensitive to or cognizant of what their needs are, if I brush over the details or minimize the impact of the details, if I’m only being selfish and I’m only thinking about what I think is most important, that would definitely aggravate or irritate someone who has a Sensing preference because they need to feel that the concrete steps are being considered. Otherwise, the downside to only considering my approach is we get too far into a change and there were some pretty clear red flags right in front of us that I might have ignored or just looked past, and the person with a Sensing preference might have seen that red flag, might have seen the realities, which could have saved us time had we paid attention to that. So that’s definitely an example of both are equally important. And just because one might be my preference Intuition and another person has a preference for Sensing…both of those are equally valid and valuable in this process of managing a change.
MS: What does it look like… because now I’m thinking, oh well, logically, wouldn’t you want to have one person with Sensing on one team and a person with Intuition on the same team? But I’m thinking that you don’t. Should you make sure that you have all preferences on a team? Or how does that work?
SH: Well, specific to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, it’s not a tool that’s designed for selection. So, you know, to answer that question related to picking people and having an equal number of people with Sensing, Intuition, and the other various personality preferences, the world doesn’t work that way and there there’s not an appropriate tool to really go out and select for personality preferences, and organizations who take that approach are actually doing so in an unethical way. So, the tool is designed to help raise our self-awareness and then understand, ‘how do we step outside of what our natural preference might be, and work with others who have different preferences for the betterment of the team?’ And, in reality, how we work with clients that maybe have that curiosity—‘should I recruit for, or should I go step outside of my team and try to bring someone in, with a different preference?’—it’s perfectly fine to explore and tap into other people’s ideas. But the reality of…let’s say you have a team of six people, and it so happens that four of them have a preference for Intuition, and two of them have a preference for Sensing, you might have the majority, or the flow of the team if the majority has that big picture mentality or big picture process, you may need to stop and pause and just sort of consciously make sure that you tap into the individuals with the Sensing preference and ensure that their voice is heard equally.
What if everyone on the team has an Intuition preference and you don’t have anyone in your particular team that’s part of that decision making process that has Sensing? There are tools and techniques that you can employ that will enable you to consciously pause, and think about what are the steps that we might be missing? What are the details we need to further explore? So, really forcing yourself to step outside your comfort zone and ask the questions that are detail oriented.
You think about your day-to-day job. Even though I prefer Intuition, there are many parts of my job that require me to be detail oriented, to focus on the facts, and to really give specific information to questions. So, we are constantly stepping outside of our comfort zone, but you need to do it in a very conscious way and if it requires processes, checklists…whatever it takes to enable you to be as well rounded as possible, even if you don’t have an equal distribution of all the preferences on your team.
MS: That makes sense. Awesome.
Well, going back to kind of the change management in the hybrid workplace. So, you mentioned that personality plays a role in that but how does change management look different, or how are even just regular initiatives different, now that so many companies are working hybrid and people are just starting to come back to the office? Is it kind of the same as it was before or is there really a way that companies’ leaders and HR people can approach this differently, keeping hybrid best practices in mind?
SH: I think when you’re considering hybrid best practices you have to think about, on the one hand, you might feel that you’re at a disadvantage if you have individuals in a home office, individuals at the corporate office, you’re trying to implement this large-scale change. One downside could be just equipment needs, technology needs. Do people have what they need in order to do their job and to be successful? Is it going to actually create more of a burden on individuals to get their job done because they’re working remotely or working at home? On the flip side of that, it could be that you’re actually at an advantage. If you’re a global organization and this change requires people to work different hours or to be more flexible, then you might actually be at an advantage because having that flexible schedule, it may be, especially individuals, you know, with families they’re taking care of, it might be that they work two or three hours in the morning, early morning hours, and then they might have a couple of hours in the afternoon to take care of some family needs, and then they work into the evening.
So, being attentive to what your individuals are going through and this kind of work life balance that is quite a different experience and acceptance of our new realities, it could be positive or negative, but it’s really looking at the leaders, what team members, where they are in their current environment and how can we really individualize what employees need in order to bring it all together and really see the business success.
MS: So, how would a leader know what an employee needs? I’m thinking especially if there’s maybe a leader who has, let’s say, ENTJ Myers-Briggs type? I think that’s a more, more common among leaders, one of the more common types. But how would that leader know what the different people on their team need?
SH: With the example that you’re using, ENTJ, if that leader assumes that everyone on their team thinks the same way they do, makes decisions the same way they do, learns the same way, processes information, then they’re going to make some mistakes and they’re not going to know what their team needs. So, first and foremost, it’s just self-awareness that, number one, I am particularly having the ENTJ preference, I know that what my preferences are not shared by all of my team members. So having, number one, your own self-awareness and having your team go through an experience where they elevate their self-awareness and they identify, what is it that that you need to be at your best? And explain that through a very trusting environment. Have a team-building or a team development session where individuals have identified, ‘Here’s what I need to communicate.’ If I’m in a team meeting and if I put someone on the spot, if they have an Extraversion preference, they might enjoy, or Extraversion and Intuition preference, they might enjoy brainstorming in the moment. But if I have someone with an Introversion preference, let’s say Introversion and Judging preference, they might much prefer to know ahead of time what the agenda item is, do some research, and then process it internally before they share in a meeting.
MS: You’re speaking my language.
SH: So, being able to identify your own preferences, the preferences of your team members, and taking that information, sharing it with one another, and then figuring out how can we leverage our differences so that we can really get the best from everyone. And it’s not a right or wrong. There’s not a better or worse. It’s really taking what we know about each other and what we can learn from each other and getting the best from one another.
MS: When you mentioned the Introversion and Judging preference, those are my preferences. I have preferences for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging, so INFJ. And immediately when you said, get the agenda ahead of time, have time to think it over, that is so helpful for me because I know when I’m thinking about any sort of change initiatives, I want the info ahead of time, so I can have time to read it and if you’re just telling it to me verbally, I’ll get most of it, but I need to then go away and think about it and process it.
SH: Yes, an un self-aware leader can be dangerous and really impact the morale of the team and the ability of the team to really contribute what their true abilities are.
MS: Speaking of morale and change management, can you, knowing about personality type, would you have—or MBTI personality type specifically—do you have a better idea of who might be the people who would be excited about change or be quicker to jump on board, and maybe who are the people who might need or want a little more information before making that decision? Does type tell you that sort of thing?
SH: Type can give you an indication of…if we were to categorize how likely is someone to be comfortable with change versus how likely is someone to not be comfortable, you know, just through interviews and lots of data, we have found that more people with Extraversion and Intuition combined, E and N, are likely to be the people who will change for the sake of change. They like to experience new things. They get bored easily. Whereas someone with an Introversion and a Sensing preference would prefer if something is working, let’s keep things as they are if it’s working. And that’s a generalization and might sound like a stereotype but it is supported by data. That said, we don’t ever want to put someone in a box and just assume that you have ISTJ preference that you won’t like this change, or you have ENTJ preference, you’ll love the change. So, you can do more harm than good by trying to over-associate someone’s feelings based on their type, but generally speaking we have found that that people with that Extraversion-Intuition may be more likely to enjoy the change someone with Introversion and Sensing may be more likely to show me why you need to make that change. It’s not that they won’t support the change, they just need to see a little more evidence as to why we need that change.
MS: Interesting. Yeah, that makes sense. I’ve heard one of the criticisms of the MBTI tool being, oh it puts you in a box, and what you said they’re about well it can…knowing type preferences can give you an indication of what someone might want or how [inaudible] they …behave… the way that they’re thinking about things but then, don’t just assume that everyone who you know has ENTJ preferences is always going to feel the same about things.
SH: Absolutely. The MBTI from that perspective, your personality preferences, that’s one part of who we are and it’s a significant part of who we are. It definitely fuels our thinking and our motivations. But because it’s only one part of who we are, there are other things about how we have evolved as individuals that impacts how we address change or what we need during times of change. So, it’s great information but used in combination with other data points, is where it’s most valuable.
MS: So, when we’re talking about other data points by the way, what are some of other… if you have any other tips to keep in mind to have a better change management approach in an organization? Like, if I’m a manager, I’m a leader, what are some of the things that I could start doing on the next, the next thing that’s going to change that I know that’s coming up. Do you have any tips or any take aways for anything I could do, or any leaders or managers could do, to start doing change better?
SH: I think the more you just authentically ask employees their viewpoints, their opinions…I think some of these other data points have to do with values: why is someone working in that industry? Why are they working at your company? And personality type can be part of that. It might be that there’s something about their personality that they were attracted to your organization and there’s lots of research to support that. But there also other aspects—some of your skills you’ve developed, the values that you hold. If those things are damaged in the change process then you’re going to definitely see turnover…just the impact of low morale. So talk to your employees, whether it’s informal, formal, surveys, one to one conversations with your manager, large scale surveys, and the more information you can learn and glean from the employees as a whole will help you make better decisions. And you take the whole the whole of the employee base, look for themes, but then don’t neglect the individual conversation. So, a manager may have a team of six people and within the broader theme, there might be some individual nuances that you just need to pay attention to, so keep the communication open. Ask for thoughts and opinions and, you know, the people that are on the front line and doing the work are likely going to have insight into things that will help the change be successful that the executive team might be overlooking. They might not really see the day-to-day realities that you face with your customers.
MS: That’s a great …those are great tips, all great tips, especially the one of the people on the front line maybe knowing something about what’s changing that the managers or leaders might not know. I really like that.
MS: When it comes to HR, what are what are some of the things HR could do better to help with change management or maybe something that they don’t know that they’re doing, or maybe should stop doing?
SH: Right, right. I think the role that HR plays, in addition to, as I mentioned earlier, they should be at the seat at the table, they should be part of that strategic decision. But once the change has begun and it’s decided and now we start implementing it, HR is really responsible for creating opportunities to have some self-awareness, to have some programs where people can go through some assessments and really identify what their preferences are, and then bring teams together, have some formal opportunities and create space—not a nice-to-have but a must-have—to really help teams identify what they need during this time of change, recognizing that a one-size-fits-all is not going to be successful. Different people need different types of support, they need different tools, they need different ways that they can communicate. And one thing I mentioned earlier is if you are self-aware, you might be able to flex, you might be able to be more successful because you’ve practised how to flex and to behave in a way different or outside of your comfort zone. That said …
MH: What is flex …?
SH: Go ahead.
MS: Sorry, when you say flex what is… what do you mean flex?
SH: Thank you for creating that opportunity for clarification. So, it’s a jargon, so flex outside of my comfort zone means if I have my preference for Intuition, I like the big picture, that’s my comfort zone. But I regularly need to look at spreadsheets or evaluate data and really get into the weeds of a project, so for me that’s flexing. And it’s required, I feel like I do it well but it’s a conscious effort to make sure that I’m dotting the i’s crossing the t’s. So, that would be flexing as stepping outside of what your normal natural inclinations are. So, if I am in the HR department, I’m providing these opportunities for people to have the self-awareness, creating opportunities for them to learn how to flex and add new skills, that’s very important. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of trying to identify where can I align my employees’ preferences with something that they would enjoy doing.
So, you think about longevity and especially in the environment that we currently are seeing in the hiring and employment that there’s high employment, and we’re starting to see a race for getting talent, you know, more of the talent shortage. So we need to think long term, not just making sure someone knows how to flex, but also identifying where in their career or in their role do they find a place where their motivations are aligned with their work task, and creating some sort of balance between ‘I know I have to flex and I can do that to be successful’, but also are you finding and looking for ways for employees to really match up their motivations and their interest in, and their natural inclinations with, their day-to-day work. And with that balance then you really get the best of both worlds. You get the best out of an employee, when they’re able to really have that motivation and natural preference personality fuel what they do best, but also they’ve got the tools and they’re equipped to flex when necessary. So, I think HR can really impact employee development by not thinking of one-size-fits-all but how can we provide ample opportunities and diverse opportunities regardless of what you’re what your natural preferences are.
MS: And now, do all of that but do all of it virtually in different time zones [muffled laughter]
SH: That’s right. HR definitely has their work cut out for them in the world we live in now and being able to service a large employee base in that way.
MS: Well, perfect. This has been really helpful. Before we sign off, is there anything else that you wanted to add around change management or any anything else I should know?
SH: I think the concept of change management is…again, it’s an ever-evolving body of knowledge industry. I think even the terminology change management can be defined very differently. There’s other terminology, rather than change management, is managing change or managing a transition, and it even turns it on its head how you would define that. Change management is, you’re creating this structure and system, whereas managing change is really that long term transition of what’s happening with the employees, how are they experiencing the transition, what do they need personally. So, it almost adds more of a personalized approach so that you can have that long-term success. So, change management is your plan in advance, and then managing the change and managing the transition is really the whole package. So, just thinking through not just for a six-month project but what can we do to ensure long term success in an organization, and making sure that the change is beneficial for the company and the employees.
MS: This has been a fantastic conversation, thank you so much Sherrie for joining us and we look forward to speaking to you soon!
SH: Thank you, Melissa!
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