Change with Impact

Spot and spoil your core competent employees

The majority of the development in a company is led by the same limited force

The global competition has changed the premises for how tomorrow’s companies should be managed and organised. There is a need for a break with the traditional hierarchy and kindergarten management where we shift from a reproductive to an innovative focus.

Spot and spoil your core competent employees

We estimate that today at least 20-30% of the employees in large Scandinavian companies are involved in developing the company.

Nevertheless, the majority of these companies are organised in the same manner as they were 30 years ago with too many managers and too much hierarchy and an almost non-existent environment for fostering innovation and change.

For many years, identifying a company’s core competences has formed the basis for creating a competitive edge. This was also the case 10 years ago, but in the innovative companies of the future, the core competences are not explicit, and they change continuously as the company develops. Thus, it makes much more sense to talk about “the employees possessing core competences” – the ones who make a difference in the company and who possess knowledge which can be brought into play.

Thus, in the innovative and change-oriented company, identifying these employees is of vital importance. Experience proves that they pursue personal and professional development, and they appreciate the feeling of being part of the winning team. They appreciate a good salary, but professional and intellectual challenges and interesting role models in the organisation are what is instrumental in retaining them. They want to learn, and they are fully aware that their value depends on the development of own competences and on their network. But they also want to “see a sense of purpose” in their work. The positions and values of the employees must be reflected in those of the company. Companies with no idea, differentiators and values do not attract these employees.

Publicly acknowledge specific cultural traits, behaviour and employees for making a difference

Employees possessing core competences in innovative companies do not need a job description. They want to solve tasks and “make a difference”. Employees matching this description are hard to find. Most managers are aware that all change projects and the majority of the development in a company are led by the same limited force who are able to rise above day-to-day operations and step in whenever necessary. Thus, the principal task of every manager is to expand this troop. Either by recruiting more of this type of employee or – and this is probably our most important point – by identifying and spoiling those who are already in the company.

For the truth is that these are the employees we, as managers, often do not pay much attention to. We take their top performances for granted, while we turn our eyes towards the employees who shout the loudest. As an example, one of our employees was for many years a customer with a large insurance company. He had never notified a single claim, never got anything stolen and never heard anything from them – besides invoices and, of course, an annual mandatory letter on premium increases. Is it any wonder that he changed insurance company when he was presented with another offer? Apparently, for all of a sudden he received more attention from his old insurance company than he had ever been given altogether in the 10 previous years.

It was just too late – just as is often the case with our best employees when they one day suddenly hand in a notice of resignation. Simply because we did not pay enough attention to them or had the courage to openly show that some employees (or customers for that matter) ARE more important than others.