Home' HR Monthly : April 2016 Contents 26
THREE TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
Leadership is situation. Managing
a turn-around is different from
managing a start-up or managing a
successful business. Identify your
company’s situation, because you can’t
apply management principles blindly.
Surround yourself with
top-level managers. If your
senior management team
shares your ambition, it will
make your job easier and the team will
attract more talented people.
Be authentic. You have
to have a genuine love of
people. If you are talking
about the company, staff
have to believe what you are saying.
“Our corporate colou r is red,” says Pacas, explaining that
he wanted to see that colour splashed over more job sites, and
over an ever increasing share of the B2B, retail and online sales
The vision to paint Australia red was one thing; executing it
meant investing heavily in the company’s management team and
corporate cultu re, and making sure all staff felt they could play a
role in growing the business.
Rather than importing an exact replica of the Hilti
management model from overseas, Pacas chose to work with a
flatter management style typical of many Australian companies.
But he was also determined to have a senior management team
made up of the very best people in the business.
“The vision is only the start of things,” says Pacas. “How you
bring it to life is the key. You have to have a lot of discussions
with your team every day. We invest heavily in management, in
leadership, and we make everyone accountable.”
The benefits of a strong management team always flow down
the employment chain, says Pacas. If managers clearly explain a
company’s vision and lead by example, staff are more likely to
strive to meet their own performance benchmarks.
It’s a strategy that has paid off. In six years, Hilti’s Australian
operation has almost doubled its business, says Pacas.
There has been a professional pay-off too. In December,
Pacas received AHRI’s 2015 Lynda Gratton CEO Award. The
award recognised his use of best practice people management to
achieve positive results for the company.
Hilti Australia has also received Aon Hewitt Best Employer
accreditation four times in as many years, and was awarded ‘B est
of the B est’ status by the HR consultancy in 2011.
Genuine staff engagement will nearly always help drive
financial success, but Pacas says there is a line between making
staff feel happy about their workplace and creating a competitive
culture. He says it’s not enough to be a nice guy, but he doesn’t
want to encourage a dog-eat-dog mentality among staff.
“You need to find the ‘sweet spot’ between those two things.”
Pacas says it is a big mistake to believe problems can be fixed
by simply getting rid of old staff and hiring new people. It can be
financially and strategically better to invest in the current staff.
“If we lose someone because it did not work out, we consider
it our fault,” says Pacas. “We have very selective criteria for
hiring; we are looking not just for technical ability, but for
attitude and cultural fit.”
Financial incentives also play a role, with monetary rewards
offered to everyone from workshop staff to senior managers.
Hilti also runs ‘leagues’ that offer non-monetary awards to
teams or divisions that excel in any given period.
The company conducts an annual employee survey that Pacas
describes as a “very, very powerful tool”.
“ We act on suggestions from staff. Some of the questions in the
survey are quite confronting, such as ‘Do you trust your senior
managers?’. If the result is only 80 per cent saying ‘yes’, we work
hard to fix that.”
He says there can be scepticism about management styles that
talk about things such as vision and integrity, “but maybe those
companies aren’t communicating properly”.
Among other things, Hilti cites courage as a core value of
its corporate culture. Pacas says that in part means having the
courage to focus on long-term goals.
“It is the courage you have to have as a CEO. We are all under
short-term pressure to deliver results ... but the focus is on having
a long-term competitive advantage.
“There will be a lot of intense discussions every day and it is an
illusion to think you can change things quickly.”
Applications for the 2016 AHRI Awards close 20 May 2016.
For more information visit:
“ WE INVEST HEAVILY IN MANAGEMENT,
IN LEADERSHIP, AND WE MAKE
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