All Posts Tagged With: "workforce focus"
Where do you start? You want to make your organization more competitive, better able to meet customer needs, less inclined to mistakes, but you’ve been doing things the same way for years and you’re not sure where to begin.
When I get this question, I suggest starting with one or more of the 3 P’s: processes, people, or planning.
Start with Processes. The Baldrige model is a process model because the work of an organization is done through processes. Organizations that haven’t taken a formal approach to process management usually spend way too much time firefighting because their processes are out of control, or they blame people when their processes fail. Neither is a prescription for long-term success.
You can develop a process orientation by first identifying your key work processes, which Baldrige defines as your most important internal value creation processes. If you’re not sure where to start, look at what products and/or services you provide to your customers and figure out the internal steps that design, produce, and deliver those products and services. Then consider the support processes that make these customer-driven processes possible, such as your key processes in sales, marketing, finance, human resources, IT, etc. Once you’ve identified your value creation processes, assign a process owner …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
When is a metric not a metric?
In “Five New Management Metrics You Need to Know,” James Slavet suggests new metrics that great teams should measure. Few are new, and even fewer could be considered metrics since they are largely unmeasurable, but being aware of them may help your team improve performance, so here they are:
- Flow State Percentage. How many hours a day team members are “in the flow”—focused on a task without interruption—divided by the number of hours they work. According to Slavet, “studies have shown that each time flow state in disrupted it takes 15 minutes to get back into flow, if you can get back at all.” Find ways to reduce interruptions and productivity will go up.
- Anxiety-Boredom Continuum. People are more productive when they are challenged without being overwhelmed, and they tend to be unproductive when they are bored. Observe team members for signs of boredom (low energy, showing up late and leaving early) or anxiety (reacting to setbacks with anger or frustration, getting sick a lot), ask them where they are on the continuum, and strike an effective balance.
- Meeting Promoter Score. At the end of each meeting, “ask the participants to each rate from 1 to 10 how effective the meeting was,
In his book, The Culture Cycle, James L. Heskett wrote that effective culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in performance when compared to “culturally unremarkable” competitors.
Culture has a significant impact on the bottom line.
Burson-Marsteller and the Great Place to Work Institute asked senior executives from 20 of the top 25 “best multinational companies” for 2011 about the value of a positive work environment. Deidre Campbell highlighted the findings in this article on the HBR Blog Network:
- They invest more in their employees: 30% are investing more in work-life programs such as flex-time and health benefit while the other 70% are holding steady. None is cutting back.
- They provide stability: 75% of respondents valued most those programs that communicate brand mission and provide career development opportunities, compared to 15% who valued traditional benefits like health insurance and family leave and 5% who valued onsite benefits such as cafeterias and childcare.
- They value culture: “When asked which elements of workplace commitment most benefit daily operations, companies ranked culture at 80% and recruitment/retention at 70%,” writes Campbell. Competitiveness, customer loyalty, innovation, and productivity each garnered less than 20%.
- They share their story: 70% of respondents said customers are the most important external audience for understanding the company’s
I grew up in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod: baptized and confirmed, eight years in parochial school, Sunday School and church every Sunday, graduated from Concordia College in St. Paul and taught for four years in a Missouri Synod elementary school. Concordia is a popular Missouri Synod name: The Concordia University System includes ten colleges and universities, many of the synod’s churches use the Concordia name, and the publishing arm of the synod is the Concordia Publishing House (CPH), which is the only non-healthcare recipient of the 2011 Baldrige Award.
It’s a well-deserved honor. CPH has 247 employees and revenues of $35 million and provides more than 8,000 products to members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. It excels at customer service, starting with 98% customer satisfaction scores, exceeding the benchmark for U.S. call centers. It’s Customer Call Center has been considered a “Center of Excellence” by Purdue University each of the last three years.
Innovation helps CPH build customer relationships. Its Center for Client Retention collects and analyzes data from customers of competitors, categorizing sales and customer trends in more than 50 different ways to correlate product sales and types of customers. Its Emerging Products team studies how to use new technologies to deliver innovative products. The number of electronic products …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
Although 9% of Americans are unemployed, 52% of organizations recently surveyed by ManpowerGroup are having trouble filling positions. The problem is not that unemployed workers are living large off their unemployment benefits but that they lack the exact skills employers need.
At FastCompany, Donna Wells, CEO of Mindflash, suggests a solution that does not involve blaming our education system or the work ethic of our labor force: Hire for the qualities you seek and teach the skills they need.
Wells provides an example. Con-way Freight of Salt Lake City couldn’t find and hire qualified drivers fast enough to meet its needs. Rather than being chronically understaffed—and losing revenue as a result—it started free driving schools at 75 of its truck yards and guaranteed a job for anyone who passed the training. In the first 18 months, it graduated nearly 440 drivers and has retained 98% of them.
The Baldrige Criteria ask a number of questions that you can use to evaluate your hiring and training processes:
- What are your key human resource or workforce plans to accomplish your short- and longer-term strategic objectives and action plans?
- How do you assess your workforce capability and capacity needs, including skills, competencies, and staffing levels?
- How do you recruit, hire, place, and
If you have spent much time with senior leadership teams, you know the typical pecking order of those who report to the CEO. Finance on the right hand. Sales on the left. Operations, Marketing, IT, and Legal close by.
And then there’s Human Resources, which seems to have inherited a seat at the table. It performs essential services—recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits—that every company needs, so it can justify its presence in the C-suite, but it rarely carries the influence that shapes strategy or drives performance excellence.
But it could.
Brad Power writes about this in “Why Doesn’t HR Lead Change?” He defers to Dave Ulrich, a University of Michigan professor recognized by HR Magazine as the most influential person in HR, who said there are three human resources processes that are critical to embedding a culture of continuous improvement:
Talent flow. Human Resources can develop processes for hiring and promoting that recognize the attitudes and behaviors their companies seek. Managers hire for expertise, not attitudes and behaviors, yet attitudes and behaviors that align with and support the culture and direction of the company are essential to continuous improvement. HR can make sure this dimension is considered.
Rewards. “Continuous improvement demands that people not only carry out their jobs, but …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
Fast Company blogger Seth Kahan recently led a roundtable discussion among senior HR professionals about three tough questions they face (article here):
- How does strategic HR drive competitive excellence?
- What skills does HR need to develop to contribute in the C-suite?
- How is talent acquired to build the future, to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives?
The conversation produced these insights:
- HR is positioned to drive competitive excellence if it is fully aligned with business goals. The Baldrige Criteria ask a key question about this: What are your key human resource or workforce plans to accomplish your short- and longer-term strategic objectives and action plans?
- Organizational capacity building is a direct and powerful contribution HR can make if it is fully aligned with the future direction of the enterprise. In addition to the question above, the Baldrige Criteria ask: How do you organize and manage your workforce to address your strategic challenges and action plans?
- Senior HR professionals must be well-versed in business drivers including financials, industry, market circumstances, and competitive intelligence to be considered a player in the C-suite.
- As the world transitions from hierarchical leadership to self-organizing collaboration, HR is positioned to support or drive this shift. The HR section of the Baldrige Criteria addresses this