Make the most of organisational shifts.
In their flagship report ‘The State of Organizations in 2023[i] ’ McKinsey & Company highlight ten big shifts that they believe organisations are facing today.
One of the key shifts which many people are thinking about is the changing attitude to work. This is something we witness every day. People are looking for a new balance between how much they give to work, and what they receive for it in return. The question for organisations is how do we close the gap between what people want and what companies need? To take it one step further, how do companies best capture the energy that people give, or create the environment where people give the most they are prepared to give?
I think that as ever and so much more now, people want to do meaningful work, they want to make a difference and want to believe in what they do. I also think that the expectation of what a place of work is has evolved significantly. In today’s business environment we increasingly expect companies to play the role of a community, where we find support and social connections.
Many organisations say they look to match top people with opportunities. I know what is meant by ‘top performance’, but I wonder what is meant by ‘top people’ – there are great people everywhere, the difference is whether the company, the team or the leader can inspire them to give their best. Which brings me to my top pick of the trends McKinsey have identified - the leadership that is self-aware and inspiring. And while we live in an ever increasingly changing and scary world, this one is a constant!
At Smiths we have seven Leadership Behaviours designed to create an environment for people to thrive and for the business to succeed. It gives us a guide to improve and grow, individually, in teams and as a company. The Leadership Behaviours describe how we work with one another and create value through our actions. And importantly, these behaviours apply to everyone at Smiths – from the shop floor to senior executives.
We launched the Leadership Behaviours in 2022 and have since undertaken a broad programme of activity for the behaviours to come alive and be the felt experience for people at Smiths. Our approach has been to ensure that our people are clear on what the behaviours are, why they are needed and expected, what they mean practically and their role in bringing them to life. We are now in the process of integrating them into our core people processes, including in our talent assessment, development and recruitment programmes.
Our aim is to create the environment where our people excel, in return providing them with a great place to work. Our Leadership Behaviours are the mechanism enabling us to do this.
Vera Kirikova is Chief People Officer at Smiths Group plc
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