Shift Happens

By April 23, 2014 No Comments

Today we’re honored to feature insights on change management from Zackarie Lemelle, CPC, CBC, Managing Partner of Leadership Engagement Services at The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).  Zack is an expert in leadership and business re-engineering and over the years, he has been instrumental in driving organizational transformations for numerous high-profile clients.  Here, he offers guidance on engaging and retaining talent amid significant change. — Maurice Gilbert

growthShift happens. It’s inevitable.

This is partly because of the economic challenges that have resulted in significant downsizing, rightsizing, outsourcing of employment overseas and increasing unemployment numbers, as well as the ever increasing global economy.

Engagement levels in most organizations have gone down, too. Leaders have to understand that they need to find a different way to connect with their employees to get extraordinary results.

People are our greatest asset.

Some of the shift is that leaders now realize that when they use the phrase, “people are our greatest asset,” they truly have to believe that they are. In many cases this phrase – in the world before the recession – was a cliché. Leaders didn’t behave in a way that demonstrated that people were their greatest asset. They didn’t act that way. They didn’t see people that way.

Leaders are now recognizing that this phrase cannot simply be a cliché. They’ve got to actually live it, breathe it, demonstrate it and exhibit it in almost everything they do – every single day – because people today are conscious of that. They have options. They have choices.

There’s a statistic that came out of research done by Right Management that said as the economy continues to improve, 60 to 84 percent of the workforce is going to look for new jobs; and of that 60 to 84 percent, 25 percent of them are going to be your high performers. These are people that companies have invested in as their next level of leadership. Unfortunately, these employees are not as committed to the mission and vision of an organization, not as engaged as they should be in an organization, and they are actively pursuing other opportunities.

Echo boomers are different than baby boomers.

Leaders in today’s world also have to understand the fundamental needs of the multiple generations that work for them. For example, Baby Boomers believe that if they follow the rules and do a good job, they will be rewarded with a raise or promotion – without asking. Echo Boomers (the 80 million children of Baby Boomers who are early in their careers), on the other hand, are known to be the generation of entitlement and may believe that they deserve a raise or promotion and are not afraid to ask.

Echo Boomers have a different purpose for working. Leaders have to engage, interact, communicate and behave differently with Echo Boomers than they do with Baby Boomers. Leaders have to understand how to tap into their creative energy to get results. They have to know how to engage each individual in the company’s purpose, mission and values.

Leaders have to understand how to tap into and engage each individual.

If leaders don’t embrace differences in the needs of their team, they’re going to find themselves dealing with the 60 to 84 percent of their workforce that could be looking for new jobs. How would losing 60 percent of your workforce impact operations? Would your company be able to produce what is needed to keep your customers happy? I doubt it.

Zack Lemelle

Zackarie Lemelle has over 35 years of experience working in firms from start-ups to Fortune 500s. Most recently, Zack spent 18 years with Johnson & Johnson. Early in Zack’s tenure, he served as Vice President/Chief Information Officer of J&J’s largest pharmaceutical company and later as Worldwide Vice President/Chief Information Officer of J&J’s largest global medical device company. Zack also spent five years in human resources as Director of Business Re-engineering. Zack’s final assignment was as Vice President/Chief Information Officer for J&J Corporate Systems. Zack is an iPEC Certified Executive Leadership and Business Re-engineering Coach. He has spent years working with senior executives and management boards, developing leaders to forge new strategies and relevant operating models in sales, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, information management, human resources, finance and research and development. Zack provides the unique expertise of combining people and process coaching to drive transformational change.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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