Archive for July, 2009
These are challenging times for companies. The good news for the HR executive is they are more valuable now than ever. When the money stops coming in the front door, companies become more concerned about what goes out the back door. For the first time in some time, risk management and employee productivity are real concerns. What follows are some suggestions to help HR make an impact on the bottom line:
- Eliminate the waste – Dr. Deming stated that every company does three things: add value, engage in administrative activities (accounting, etc.), and produce waste. One way to reduce waste is to get rid of the poor performers—now. Don’t wait until you’re forced into a layoff. Help the company engage in rating and ranking of the workforce and put forth a plan to set aside ten percent of it. The idea is not to replace that ten percent of employees, but to “cascade” down responsibility to the lowest common denominator. For example, an employee making $50,000 a year is paid roughly $25 an hour. It is your job to make sure they’re not doing any $10 or $15 an hour work.
- Force employees to contribute – There’s a reason why most employee suggestion systems don’t work. It’s because most employees are more concerned about any judgment attached to any suggestion they make then the contribution it may afford the company. The only available solution is to force people to provide suggestions. It is now part of their job requirements. Hold monthly suggestion meetings where every suggestion is rewarded with a dollar, raffle ticket, or lottery ticket. Make them fun. Then begin to implement the ideas. Once the employees realize the process is “safe,” be prepared to handle all the suggestions you will get.
- Cut out the time distracters – In today’s environment, there’s no time for 10 minute smoke breaks or fooling around on MySpace, Amazon, or texting your best friend. Make clear your prohibitions against these activities. If necessary, create a separate area where employees can engage in these activities during lunch and break times. In our new economy there will be no for wasting time.
- Don’t let your bread winners walk out the door – One of the biggest mistake a company makes is to ignore their star employees. “Bob makes the company $250,000 a year and causes me no headaches.” And, in the process, Bob gets ignored. Big mistake. Feed the ego of your top performers before they look to get it fed elsewhere!
- Make sure you don’t get sued – Litigation goes up when unemployment does. Make sure you have proper documentation to support any termination or RIF decisions. If you are an HR That Works user and you are not using the compliance training tools and Employee Compliance Survey, now would be a good time to begin.
Help the company with these critical objectives and watch your value soar.
- Do you have well defined job descriptions? If not, please go to http://online.onetcenter.org.
- Do your employees know what you consider to be the most important parts of their job? Or, are you assuming they know?
- How would they know if they were performing these functions per requirement without having to ask you or having to be told?
- Will they be/are employees capable of accepting responsibility for their performance?
- Do they have enough self-confidence based on skills and desire?
- Are they team players?
- Do they have a 90-day plan with specific goals to accomplish?
- Do they have a daily checklist?
- How are they monitored and held accountable?
- Are there any obstacles that might hinder their performance?
- Do you, and they, deal with problems in a constructive way?
- Do you spend as much time praising their accomplishments as you do giving criticism?
Whether you’re a motivational speaker, marketing expert, or hypnotist, you’ve stressed the importance of incantation. Fact is, we are our most dominant thoughts. What thoughts are dominating your workplace?
If someone walked into your business, what thoughts would immediately be generated? Where are your incantations, whether related to your employees, clients, or customers? How are you capturing their minds, hearts, and energy? How excited and engaged does the workplace make you feel? How are you drumming in your message? Southwest Airlines has hearts on their planes, on their shirts, in their airports, in their advertisements — and they trade under the name LUV. Tell me that’s not a dominant incantation!
As Al Reese and Jack Trout wrote, “we’re in a battle for the mind.” But not just when it comes to customers and clients. Your employees are exposed to thousands of incantations every day — most of which are not yours. Which ones are dominating your business — those of some third-party marketer or yours? Consider putting your incantations on affinity clothing, large posters, the back of business cards, timesheets, above an employee entrance, at company meetings, wherever you can. You get the idea.
Create incantations at your business!