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National Grid: Inversting in our people

Updated on November 30, 2011
National Grid Chief Executive Steve Holliday
National Grid Chief Executive Steve Holliday

P7 Action: investing in the company's most important asset - its employees.

How can an organization adopt an ethical stance in a succession plan that honors the agency's obligations to stakeholders (e.g., citizens, taxpayers, current employees, other agencies)?

For this task I will use a true experience, one in which I’ve suggested a change on promotion tactic which had never been submitted.

P7 Action: investing in the company's most important asset - its employees.

National Grid believes without the professionalism of employees, the company wouldn’t be as capable as it is now. I say National Grid is right and I agree absolutely. The company has given recognition to the employees for the company’s success as oppose to Steve Holliday, the executive. They have realized that the company’s success is a result of a bottom up relationship that derived from its vision statement “One Company one way”.

In compliance with national grid, I too believe that an employee can be a great asset to his employer. I believe that all employees are capable; therefore all employees are potential assets which can bring value to the company they work for as well as its shareholders. However, it is the managers of that company, those closest to the employee who should be held responsible for understanding the employees’ value and worth.

Looking at it from this perspective, we’ve noticed right away that they can be conflict of interest between the manager and the potential skills demonstrated by the employee. This conflict will be the result of virtue ethic for it is the character of the employee that is in disagreement with the manager not skill. It’s not always common for a manager to promote an employee within a corporation without knowing the employees scope of potential. Nonetheless, it is that same potential that can become a disadvantage for the employee if his skill proves to have been merited. That manager wants to know the career path of the employee in other to know whether or not the employee’s intention does not conflict with his own career path.

To solve that problem, succession planning has to be dynamic. The employee has to be willing to change location to work among other managers of the company who are not in direct contact with the previous ones. This would allow the head of the department or the vice president to better observe the employees progress within different sector of the company. The opinion of the employee’s lack or success will not rest on one group of employers, but instead different groups, among which deriving from all sort of religion, culture or educational background.

As a marketing manager, if we want to sell a product, we need to understand the market as well as the demand for the product we wish to sell; otherwise we won’t know its worth.

Likewise, employees are assets to their company. They worth depends on the various skills they have to offer the corporation, Employee’s skills are like anchors of chains that hold a boat (a company) steady, without them, the boat the company won’t stay still, they market share would fluctuate like a traffic light.

Managers should then value their employee’s improvements and growth, for they all contributes to the corporation’s success. As demonstrated by National Grid, Technical training & leadership programs are the key components that help its employees developed into future leaders. In a way, National Grid has utilized a product differentiation strategy to help recognize their employee’s success within the company.

The purpose of differentiating the most productive employee from the least productive is an outcome of product differentiation strategy. In this case the most capable will be recommended for promotion where this employee will learn other skills which can make him / her into a unique employee.

As you can see, it is no different from creating a product that is dissimilar from the rest. The new skilled employee provides value to the company just like a product provides value to its consumers. National Grid has engaged this strategy because its fulfillment agrees with their vision statement “ONE COMPANY ONE WAY”


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