We promised to continue last week’s discussion with Michael Easton to bring you some of his tips on revising an organisation’s mission and values. We hope that his valuable advice will be helpful to any companies giving this some thought as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.
What tips would you give to any company thinking about making changes to its Values and/or Mission?
Engage employees to explore what the proposed Values and Mission mean to them as individuals and teams.
Follow a transparent process to explore internal and external stakeholder opinions and provide a safe environment to discuss ideas.
Listen to the voice of the workforce and provide feedback on how these changes are being applied. Demonstrate how the feedback has helped make an impact.
Develop a playbook for reference. Collaborate with the investor relations, marketing and external communications teams to ensure consistency between what is delivered to external stakeholders and what is delivered internally.
How do you measure the success of an initiative like this? What are the desired outcomes, in your opinion?
The measures of success need to be defined upfront and be relevant to what matters to your organisation. This is not a copy and paste programme – each organisation needs to consider what’s important to their specific culture, how they have evolved and why the change is needed. I would expect to see an increase in individuals calling out behaviours that are not aligned to the revised values. This needs engagement by the leaders of your organisation.
Consistent and effective engagement from leadership is so important. How have you been able to achieve this?
I’ve deployed the brilliant resources of marketing, communications and investor relations teams to help develop the toolkits for internal communications. Pulse surveys are also essential to assess progress in delivering the revised values (and whether or not they resonate with stakeholders). The ability of the leadership team to listen, adapt and adjust needs to be prioritised.
The way businesses connect with their people is more important now than ever before. How do you think the coronavirus pandemic will change the role of the Chief HR Officer moving forward?
Creating a clear path for people to deliver their best work in a complex and evolving environment is just part of the role. Chief HR Officers will now have to wear many hats: coach, counsel, challenger, collaborator and influencer. The Chief People Officer role is to shape, broker and help deploy the new ways of working in a way that protects each other and optimises the impact work has on individuals. Organisations that make the work relationship more human, celebrate diversity and find a way to positively engage people, will be the organisations people want to associate with.
Clearly you’ve made a successful career in HR. If you weren’t in corporate HR, what do you think you would be doing?
In addition to my HR role, I volunteer as a NED Board member for a social enterprise – Bravestarts.com. I love to create clarity and find a path towards helping others achieve their goals – so a sports coach or a music instructor would also add to my areas of interest!
Michael Easton is the former Global Head of HR at Elekta, a Swedish Medical Technology company and leader in precision radiation medicine. His most recent role was Group HRD for EnQuest plc. Michael helps organisations optimise their people agenda to the business plan and partners leadership teams in delivering improved engagement, performance, collaboration and accountability. Michael brings a diverse range of sector experience and insights having worked in start-ups to global plc's enabling people to deliver their best work in double-digit growth environments.