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The Responsible Management

Thursday 24 September 2020

Responsible management aims to combine the social and economic performance of the company by taking into account the aspirations of all stakeholders according to dimensions relating to CSR and sustainable development in general.

It is based on digital technology and on new civic aspirations that recognize human faculties as a decisive added value in the digital age.

Source of innovation, collective power, agility, efficiency, it presents a major strategic asset and incentive if it is sincerely deployed.

Originally, the emergence of multiple issues and the digital revolution

In the early 2000s, the 3rd industrial revolution, that of the digital revolution, appeared, followed now by the 4th revolution, that of the factory of the future, or factory 4.0.

The digital revolution has changed our relationship to knowledge and our relationship to time and space, now strongly contracted: thanks to connection tools, at any time, we can access information and communicate, regardless of the distance with our interlocutor.

The climatic, political, economic and social dimensions1 are strongly impacted by this digital revolution, the consequences of which are numerous:

  • the emergence in civil society of more systemic concerns and a more holistic view of our world.
    The raising of requirements, in terms of responsibility and sustainability, and the multiplication of collective social or environmental commitments are a perfect illustration of this.
  • the transformation of most professions and production methods, as well as the very innovative character of the aspirations specific to the new Y and Z generations who want a more balanced life between the professional and personal spheres.
    The business world has been radically changed, with the change in the value of work, the profound changes in modes of collaboration and the organizational structure of work, changes in human relations at work, etc.Accelerated upheavals that push to invent new management methods of a more collaborative and less hierarchical type.

Stakeholder expectations

Indeed, traditional managerial practices are no longer sufficient to meet the concerns and new expectations of internal and external stakeholders in the company. Strengthened by the profound transformation of their value systems, the stakeholders are demanding that the mere pursuit of profit and profitability be overcome in order to reconcile economic performance and social performance, by integrating the objectives of sustainable development and the values ​​of CSR.

The most asserted of these expectations is the search for meaning in work. Young people

graduates from prestigious schools and young executives have even made it an essential selection criterion

to apply for a job in a committed company in line with their values.

To the point that the balance of power between recruiter and candidate is gradually balanced and is set to become a real challenge for recruitment in the years to come. [1]

Another strong aspiration: autonomy, closely linked to the quest for meaning, and which comes with it to shake up the managerial models which persist in their rigidity.

It is the continuous increase in the level of training of the teams and the arrival of generations Y and Z, hyper-trained employees, which gave rise to these expectations.
The hyper-training and the hyper-connection of these young employees have also aroused in them the increasingly pressing need to work in a team, both cohesive and equal, because of the attachment they have to their peer group. Or the desire to balance their professional life and personal life by resorting to teleworking or flex-office.

Implications in the managerial transition and benefits for the company

To meet these multidimensional aspirations, companies are now obliged to distance themselves from the existing model to innovate in a management that effectively reconciles the interests of the company with the interests of all the stakeholders of the organization. This is responsible management, which offers a tremendous strategic opportunity, in particular to reduce socio-organizational risks, increase the performance and efficiency of employees, which increases the agility and sustainability of companies.

Decided by Management, this managerial transformation consists of converting management based on obedience and discipline into enlightened leadership, based on conviction, co-construction and sharing a purpose together.

Such an overhaul of the managerial culture is deployed on two axes: on the one hand, the driving forces (Sustainable Development Manager, CSR Manager or Communication Department) assigned to promote the company’s projects, with external stakeholders in particular, in order to reinforce the social acceptability of its projects and to strengthen its territorial roots.

On the other hand, local managers, who implement it internally by uniting their teams around the established strategic vision.

An inspiring and enlightened leader knows how to share this strategic vision. By combining it with an emotionally positive work climate, he manages to give meaning to everyone’s missions, to set the course to follow, to arouse the feeling of being responsible for his actions and of having a real role through which to come true. In short, he succeeds in demonstrating relational skills and emotional intelligence, and in practicing a transversal and participative managerial style.

It therefore manages to satisfy the needs for autonomy, recognition and belonging of team members, and therefore to strengthen their development, their Quality of Life at Work (QVT).

The release and optimization of talents are encouraged, while the commitment, innovation, creativity, adaptability, sharing and cooperation of employees are boosted.

This emotionally positive climate promotes the elevation of the level of maturity of the teams and the benevolence between team members. Just as it reveals their collective power, made all the stronger by bringing together employees of diverse origins according to the principles of parity, diversity, interculturality, intergenerationality or inclusion.

The use of local communication tools complements all the positive contributions of responsible management already mentioned: it facilitates the two-way flow of information, enhances the richness and quality of interpersonal relationships, relaxes hierarchical links and functional, in particular.

As for the responsible training of employees, which is of strategic importance, it is required to guarantee proactive career management.
This is the mission of the Provisional Management of Employment and Skills (GPEC), which establishes a career plan in collaboration with the employee. It must allow the rapid adaptation of human resources to the continual changes in the economic, technological, social and legal environments of the company.

This involves carrying out innovative prospecting for training and providing continuous training for each employee. The means to increase skills, to transmit and capitalize on their knowledge must be given to each operator to enable them to deploy their versatility, their multiple skills, and to increase their employability.

Agility, relational skills, cooperation, innovation, sharing of knowledge and knowledge, autonomy, empowerment, learning, commitment, benevolence…
These individual and collective skills, which are sought, encouraged and even revealed by responsible management, are vectors, among employees, of increased efficiency, individual and collective performance increased tenfold, to the benefit of the company.

In the short term, these behavioral, relational and social skills will prove to be just as decisive in the success of the transformation towards factory 4.0, this factory of the future which aims to become smarter by using the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems.

In this structure the deployment of new digital technologies inherent in the 4.0 factory. will intensify and will not fail to profoundly change the nature and organization of the work of employees.
On the one hand, the nature of the work: it will indeed be based on real interactions and cooperative relationships with the machines of the future. Cobots, exoskeletons that will relieve operators of repetitive tasks, allowing them to redirect their individual and collective intelligences to get involved in missions requiring more skills, such as anticipation, management / resolution of unforeseen problems, management complexity and diversity, contribution to decision-making…

A set of social skills specific to humans, which

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Stéphanie PLESSIS

Professional coach, consultant, speaker and trainer

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