At the same time, however, while recognizing the place for inclusive leadership and opportunitiesfor feedback and empowerm...
Dianova: A Portuguese top search executive and professor argues that “no one, for betterleader that one can be, can motiva...
demonstrate added value. Of course, the next challenge is taking the feedback learned from suchtools and actually applying...
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Interview with stacey minton serono eacd 2011


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Interview with stacey minton serono eacd 2011

  1. 1. DIANOVA EXIT® MAGAZINE "TALENT MANAGEMENT AS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE WITHIN ORGANIZATIONS" 26th ISSUE 2011 Stacey Minton, Director, Management and Employee Communications Merck Serono S.A, and Internal Communications Working Group Coordinator at European Association of Communication Directors+visit website http://www.merckserono.com/en/index.html+read full EXIT® (portuguese version)http://www.issuu.com/dianovaportugal/docs/exit_26_gestaotalentoDiavona: Defining Change Management as the process of alignment of Leadership,People and Organizational Culture, aiming to a more effective Organization, leads to afirst question focused on Leadership. According to Communication Monitor 2010, theInclusive Leadership style (that name challenges and stimulate shared decision making),specially within private companies (45,3%) or Nonprofit Organizations (46,9%), ispositively correlated with job satisfaction and the capability to mobilize people. Wouldyou like to comment these findings?Stacey Minton: When people work for a company, regardless of the industry or the type(private, public, non-profit), they want to feel heard. They want their opinion and their expertiseto be valued. And, they want to know that the company places a value on their role in theorganization. Being heard helps them to feel a part of the future and of the success of theorganization.Today’s employees are more vocal about what is working well and where improvements areneeded. And, as the world grows accustomed to having immediate communications channelswhere they can easily and freely voice their opinions, like Facebook, Twitter, etc., they will expectthe same of their employer.It is critical that today’s employer be willing to not only hear from employees but actively engagewith employees to ensure dialogue across all levels and functions within an organization. This isa role that should be played by management, with support from Communications and HumanResources.EXIT® Magazine “Talent Management as Competitive Advantage within Organizations” 1
  2. 2. At the same time, however, while recognizing the place for inclusive leadership and opportunitiesfor feedback and empowerment of teams, there also must be a final decision-maker in the end.Group decision-making rarely works, but a single decision-maker, armed with information frommany different groups with different perspectives, can result in a strong culture founded onengagement and dialogue with employee stakeholders.Dianova: Secondly, and also according to CM 2010, Internal Communication and ChangeManagement are steadily growing (+7,3%) along with Personal Coaching and TrainingCommunication Skills (+9,6%) are the they main expected development of disciplineshorizon 2013. In your opinion, why do you believe these trends are (or will be) of suchrelevance for Organizations’ development?Stacey Minton: Again, as employees feel more and more empowered, and as open dialoguebecomes the norm across the globe with social media tools and a focus by employers to engagewith and ensure that employees are heard, internal communications is becoming a moreimportant discipline within communications.We are seeing that employees are more frequently ranked as a top stakeholder, with specificemphasis being placed on ensuring that they are as informed and up-to-date as key externalaudiences.As recruitment and retention of top talent becomes more important as well, a focus on internalcommunication and ensuring the employee’s voice is heard and considered becomes yet anotherimportant aspect of being a good employer.The ever-changing world in which we live, especially in industries such as the financial sector andpharmaceuticals to name a few, also demands that change management become a part of anyOrganization’s focus. Change is a constant today, and it is imperative that organizations developstrong platforms for responding to and adapting to change, and more important, for ensuringthat their employees are a part of the change process, through dialogue and engagement.Dianova: In order to promote a desired positive change, in a roadmap towardssustainability, what would be your advice to Organizations (both for-profit or nonprofit)in terms of how to manage change in harmony with their core values? What sort ofprocedures and capabilities are required to instill that desired change?Stacey Minton: Key to managing change in line with a company’s values is first and foremost,the willingness to communicate. Employees do not expect that every detail will be sharedimmediately, but they do want to know what they can expect and when.Clear, concise communications that puts the employee at the heart of the change and anticipateshis or her needs as a part of a change program will ensure buy-in as the change becomes tangible.A clear value that must be applied is that of transparency; this does not mean sharing everythingas soon as it is known, but it does mean timely and clear communication, with as much detail aspossible.An additional requirement for any organization is to provide tools for engagement with theemployees. Hearing from them how they are being affected, what they appreciate about thechange or what is not understandable to them will help ensure that the ongoing communicationsplatform and resulting change program addresses what the employees need to know.EXIT® Magazine “Talent Management as Competitive Advantage within Organizations” 2
  3. 3. Dianova: A Portuguese top search executive and professor argues that “no one, for betterleader that one can be, can motivate another person. People cannot be motivated, but canbe mobilized”. What’s your opinion regarding this statement?Stacey Minton: There is a common saying that people cannot be motivated. However, anorganization can lay the groundwork and provide the right environment so that a person can findhis or her own motivation. It is the role of an organization to share news and information in aclear and timely way, provide direction and opportunity for employees who choose to engage,and share a vision for the future.It is the manager’s role to work closely with his or her team to then understand what motivates aparticular person and ensure that the right opportunities are available to help build on thatinherent motivation. And finally, it is the role of the employee to then seize those opportunitiesand ensure that he is responsible for creating an environment that motivates and challenges him.Dianova: Social Media are the most expected development of communication channels(+37%), according to CM 2010. Taking into account that Social Media is all about socialscience and a new architecture of enriched collaboration & cooperation in solvingproblems, what are the main challenges Organizations still face today in order toembrace these array of opportunities?Stacey Minton: Probably the greatest challenge for any organization in embracing social mediatools is being willing to receive both the good and the bad. Social media delivers a new modelwhere organizations can hear the real thoughts of their stakeholders (both internal and external),even if they don’t want to.The challenge for an organization is to be willing to receive the bad – the poor customer serviceexperience, the product that doesn’t live up to expectations, etc. – and to be able to respond tothe criticism and learn from and improve for the future.It also requires that organizations be willing to be seen as having flaws, or areas that needimprovement.In the past, it was easier to hide potential flaws. However, for companies willing to embracesocial media tools and the inherent feedback mechanisms they provide, they can benefit from realand unvarnished feedback that can help them to improve in tangible ways.Dianova: The Social Media participation process should be managed under a humanizedapproach, focused on 3 pillars: Honesty, Respect, Added-Value. Under an InternalCommunication and Social Media (with external impact) Strategies, in your opinion whatshould be the main guidelines for effective participation in order to prevent negativeissues and reputation damage?Stacey Minton: These three pillars provide a perfect framework for implementing social mediastrategies targeting employees. Organizations must communicate through such channels withhonesty, and they must allow employees to do the same. This of course means hearing both thepositive and the negative from employees, and welcoming both types of feedback equally. Socialmedia platforms also must demand respect from all participants.This can be challenging in sometimes drawing a line between honesty and respect, but in general,truthful comments, if started in a respectful way, have a powerful role in helping to shape acompany and its course. And, of course, any tools implemented must bring some value to theorganization. In the case of channels for open dialogue between an organization and itsemployees, if the dialogue is allowed to be truthful and respectful, it will almost alwaysEXIT® Magazine “Talent Management as Competitive Advantage within Organizations” 3
  4. 4. demonstrate added value. Of course, the next challenge is taking the feedback learned from suchtools and actually applying it for the future betterment of the organization.Dianova: Last but not least, is Talent management and Internal Communications sodifferent within a for-profit company and nonprofit organization?a. How can you attract and retain The Talent within a nonprofit organization in which egthe stock options or other financial bonus are non-existent?b. Do you consider Talent Managers within nonprofit organizations to be more creativethan the for-profit ones in order to achieve the same desired results?Stacey Minton: Having not worked for a non-profit in my history, this is a tough question toanswer. However, with the recent financial crisis and its impact on every industry and in everyregion of the world, the ability of for-profit companies to attract and retain top talent is also achallenge. It requires creativity from all hiring managers and organizations.With that said, though, a key to attracting and retaining top talent is through the managers of anorganization. Statistics show that for most employees, it is their manager that makes them wantto stay or to leave a company. By focusing on developing strong managers who know how tocreate an environment that can motivate their teams, and by giving managers the tools to helptheir teams grow and succeed, it would suggest that significant changes could be seen almostimmediately, as managers become better at managing people and creating the right environmentsfor people to succeed.Of course, we cannot under-estimate the financial benefits that people expect, but assuming thatthere is some competitive level of benefits, statistics also show that employees will more oftenchoose a job that offers them a new challenge, an opportunity that they find motivating, or anenvironment where they can see potential growth for themselves. -END-EXIT® Magazine “Talent Management as Competitive Advantage within Organizations” 4