Change them and make employee engagement the norm
During a recent Operational GAP Assessment I discovered that our client, like so many other companies, is experiencing the pain associated with two very disruptive management patterns:
- The failure to communicate
- The failure to properly assess internal talent ie. having the right people in the right seats, doing the right things.
In order to successfully close operational GAPs and achieve a fluid process improvement plan, it is necessary to begin by executing change in these two areas.
Employees need to trust that management is there to provide them with accurate information, guidance and support. In the absence of these fundamental expectations, employees will make up their own stories. More often than not, these stories lean toward the negative.
“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” Seneca
The outcome is detrimental to the company and to individual, as it breeds fear. Fear triggers lack of confidence in the company and in themselves. When people act on their fear their level of engagement diminishes. Generally we see five negative areas:
- Productivity falls short
- Commitments are tentative
- Increases in poorly functioning processes will be realized
- The customer experience may be harmed
- Undesirable behavior can be expected.
Establishing a healthy, well-aligned and engaged work force begins with a highly functioning and effective leadership team. Having clearly defined roles filled by individuals with the talent and capabilities to meet their responsibilities, make tough decisions and build trust by doing what they say.
This healthy leadership team can then develop a communication plan where the message is consistent and assure that all stakeholders know and clearly express the following throughout the company:
- Core values
- Long-term plans (BHAG)
- Short-term plans (Annual and Quarterly Priorities)
- Defined processes
- Company policy
- Measured progress
- “The Voice of the Employee”
The next step is to perform a talent assessment at all levels of the organization to place people where they have the best chance for success.
Many companies experience executive misalignment, mismanagement of their people-talent and inadequate communication. Although the impact is difficult to measure and measurement takes some time, there is an incredible opportunity here to make changes that will set you free. Employees will become committed to do whatever it takes to help the company reach its highest potential.