All Posts Tagged With: "workforce focus"
Last year, Deloitte, The Manufacturing Institute, and Oracle surveyed U.S. manufacturers about their people management practices, which included asking them to identify the key drivers of their future business success. The most profitable of the largest 142 companies in the survey shared three best practices that differentiated them from the least profitable companies:
- They defined a clear and explicit people strategy linked to their business strategy.
- They conducted formal succession planning across the workforce.
- They linked employee pay directly with the productivity of the company or the manufacturing plant.
(from “People Management Practices and Profitability in Manufacturing” by Richard Kleinert, Emily Stover DeRocco, Atanu Chaudhuri, and Robert Maciejewski, IndustryWeek, October 11, 2010)
The Baldrige Criteria address all three best practices with questions about:
- Human resource plans that support your strategic objectives and action plans. The IndustryWeek article notes that, “In many organizations, the HR function does not participate in the strategy development process nor does it have complete visibility into corporate or business unit strategies.” That won’t fly at a Baldrige organization.
- Managing effective career progression for the entire workforce. Organizations that integrate Baldrige develop what the articles calls “a long-term talent management strategy” that looks “beyond the C-suite to prioritize succession of all critical positions based on specific organizational needs and strategic direction.”
- Aligning compensation and incentives with the success of the organization. According to Deloitte’s 2010 Top
How do you ensure your organizational culture benefits from the diverse ideas, cultures, and thinking of your workforce?
In struggling to answer this Baldrige Criteria question, most of the companies I’ve worked with do not have an aggressive plan to benefit from the diverse thinking of their employees. They typically have a diversity policy and they seek ways to attract and retain employees from diverse backgrounds, but they are not as aggressive about parlaying that diversity into making their organizations stronger.
In “What a Physicist Taught Me About Leading Change” (HBR, October 6, 2010), change guru John Kotter notes that, when he helps an organization form a team to guide a change, he advises “that people who really want to help make the change happen are included in the group that guides the effort, and that they have relevant diversity on many dimensions: education, functional background, leadership or managerial skills, credibility in different parts of the organization, relationships with people at the top and bottom, access to data at the top and bottom, age, tenure in the organization (old-timers and new).”
This is not a common approach. Most teams are formed around similar positions (senior leadership teams) or similar roles (department teams) or similar interests (process improvement teams) without giving much thought to making those teams more diverse. “Yet the benefits of this sort of diversity can be amazing,” writes …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
I attended a local ASQ dinner last night that featured a panel of quality leaders from 3M, Medtronic, UnitedHealth, and Marvin Windows and Doors. The panel discussed emerging issues that they and their companies are dealing with and one of the top issues is the aging population. Aging customers means that their needs and expectations are changing. Aging workers means that knowledge and skills will be lost and that fewer workers are in line to replace them. And then you have to factor in the very different mindsets of the Gen Y and Millennial generations.
Boston Consulting Group and the World Federation of People Management Associations surveyed more than 5,500 HR professionals in 109 countries recently, asking them to project worker shortages in several professions: manufacturing, utilities, construction, technology, trade, hotels and restaurants, financial services, real estate, health care, and education. The participants projected shortages in the U.S. in all professions by 2020 and they anticipate very high talent shortages in construction, trade, and real estate. By 2030, they expect very high talent shortages in every profession except manufacturing and utilities, which should see high talent shortages.
In other words, everyone is going to need talent that’s going to be very hard to find, so what is your organization doing to prepare for this eventuality? How good is your succession planning process? Are you developing bench strength for key positions? …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
Money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to motivating employees—but it’s also not irrelevant.
Chip Conley’s Joie de Vivre hotel chain in the San Francisco Bay area struggled after 9/11. In an interview on FastCompany’s Web site (click here), Conley talks about turning to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid to understand how to connect to the higher needs of employees, customers, and investors. He developed an employee pyramid with three basic themes: “survival at the base, succeed at the middle, and transformation at the top. Applying that to employees, it’s money, recognition, and meaning.”
Conley and his leaders worked on building a culture of recognition and meaning:
- Senior leaders ended their meetings on a positive note.
- They created an environment of recognition throughout the organization.
- They made a rule that the person giving recognition needs to be from a different department than the person being recognized.
- They added questions to the twice-annual work climate surveys measuring performance on the top-of-the-pyramid attributes.
- They held offsite retreats with line level employees to promote recognition and instill meaning.
- They measured relationships to help evaluate manager effectiveness.
Joie de Vivre’s focus on the employee pyramid seems to have produced results: It was named one of the top ten “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area for the fifth year in 2010.
One note of caution: Recognition and meaning cannot replace…Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
A recent post by Seth Godin got me thinking about a question in the Baldrige Criteria: How do you design and innovate your overall work system?
Godin’s post, Goodbye to the office, asks why people go to their office, plant, or factory. As he notes, “If we were starting this whole office thing today, it’s inconceivable we’d pay the rent/time/commuting cost to get what we get. I think in ten years the TV show ‘The Office’ will be seen as a quaint antique.”
I’m not so sure about that. True, we’ve already seen a trend toward more telecommuting, but the office mentality is so ingrained that it will take a few organizations revolutionizing the way we work—and making it fun, desirable, and profitable—to really get this ball rolling, and I don’t think that’s going to be widespread in ten years.
Having said that, the organizations that abandon the office concept in favor of something more efficient and relevant to today’s world will carve out an immediate competitive advantage. Young workers in particular will be attracted to the idea. They are already used to a more flexible environment with their phones and their friending and their connecting with friends through their phones. If they want to get together, they figure it out on the fly and it seems to work. There’s no reason meetings couldn’t be organized the same way. …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
The Baldrige Criteria ask a number of questions that get at the well-being of your workforce, including questions about employee satisfaction and health and the support you provide through services and benefits. Scientists at Gallup have been studying workforce well-being for more than 50 years. Two of these scientists wrote a book about it called Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements.
According to Gallup’s research, there are universal elements of well-being that differentiate thriving from struggling. They have grouped them in five categories:
- Career Well-Being: How you occupy your time or how much you like what you do every day.
- Social Well-Being: Having strong relationships and love in your life.
- Financial Well-Being: Effectively managing your economic life.
- Physical Well-Being: Having good health and enough energy to get things done.
- Community Well-Being: A sense of engagement with your community.
According to the book’s authors, when these factors are fully realized, people thrive.
An article on the Gallup Management Journal (click here) explains why this matters. Most of us believe that happy and healthy people get sick less often than miserable people. According to Gallup’s data, workers with the lowest well-being scores cost their companies $28,800 a year in lost productivity from sick days. In contrast, workers with the highest well-being scores cost their companies just $840 dollars.
That’s an astounding discrepancy! The data suggest that it is worth an …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
In January, the Aberdeen Group published a report on Strategic Workforce Planning. Their conclusions sound like responses to Baldrige Criteria questions.
The group surveyed 240 organizations and differentiated best-in-class (BIC) performers from those in the middle and the laggards. They found that:
- The BIC performers saw a 13% decrease in key talent turnover in the past 12 months compared to a 13% increase for the laggards.
- The BIC performers have at least one “ready and willing” successor for 53% of their key positions compared to just 15% for the laggards.
- The BIC performers have workforce plans in place in 90% of their divisions compared to 13% for the laggards.
The group concluded that BIC performers share common characteristics:
- Involvement of senior leaders with workforce planning initiatives
- Ability to define and screen against competencies required for future business success
- Tools to integrate employee data with financial, customer, and other data to create a comprehensive view of the workforce.
If you integrate the Baldrige model, you will improve your performance in each of these areas by improving your performance on these related Baldrige Criteria questions:
- How do senior leaders participate in organizational learning, succession planning, and in the development of future organizational leaders?
- How do you assess your workforce capability and capacity needs, including skills, competencies, and staffing levels?
- How do you relate your workforce engagement assessment findings to key business results