How to Make a People Place of Your Organization
If your concern is that administration be of no concern in the health of your organization; if you have come to the realization that there is gold in retaining your valuable staff; and if turnover is a major contributor to slowing the progress you know is possible for your organization, the solution is surprisingly straightforward.
Some of today's most successful entrepreneurs are approaching administration in a new way by laboring under an "old fashioned" notion that it's possible to foster an atmosphere conducive to simultaneous productivity and loyalty, an unbeatable combination. Choosing one or the other will lead to organizational imbalance.
The world is enormously stressful, but the workplace need not reflect this condition. Attempting to create an atmosphere employees will be drawn to when the stress of complicated lives threatens to overwhelm them is not only evidence of good people skills, but is good business as well - commonsense!
Create an oasis in which effort, loyalty and creativity are appreciated and rewarded alongside productivity, and you will find the rewards flow in both directions!
Some turnover is healthy, even necessary to maintaining the vitality of any organization. Just as the human organism must periodically regenerate by sloughing off dead and harmful cells, the healthy business must do the same. However, excessive regeneration, in the form of turnover, indicates an unhealthy organism in at least one area, and requires informed intervention to regain balance.
I have divided the factors contributing to excessive turnover into roughly four categories; defects or breakdowns in the recruiting and hiring process, the orientation/training process, day to day satisfaction in the workplace, and leadership and management practices.
Begin by understanding the needs of each position and employ the commonsense concept of perfect fit. Seem obvious? Create position descriptions for all administrative areas in advance of the need, and make certain that your HR professionals have these on file, and updated, at all times.
Knowing what the position requires is not enough. You must hire accordingly, factoring in future expectations as well. If you're working with professionals in this area and you have kept them well informed regarding your needs and company culture, they will advise you concerning appropriate candidates for your opening; it pays to follow their suggestions. Admittedly, this approach requires time and effort on the front end but the return on investment is calculable – that's commonsense!
If your approach is to fill vacated and newly created positions from within the existing ranks, know your current staff, their strengths, weaknesses and interests. This is simply good business, not to mention good leadership. A square peg in a round hole has never worked for anyone involved.
Make It a Good Beginning
Hiring the right person is just the beginning. Now start them out right and don't lose a great hire to inattention in this area. Even the most adventurous spirit is not anxious to walk into the unfamiliar, a dark cave on a bright sunny day, with no guide.
If you don't want to create an unfavorable and often lasting first impression, and you've found new employees stumbling around blindly on occasion, don't be too quick to place the blame. See that new hires are made welcome by providing a guide to orient them to the culture of your organization. What is obvious to you may not be to the new hire. I have known people who walked out at lunch on their critical first day, never to return, as a result of oversight in this area. Such waste is inexcusable.
Create and document your orientation procedures. This should not only involve introductions, but scheduled time spent with representatives of each department, with handouts outlining expected interactions. Poll your existing employees to find out what would have been most helpful for them; then include them on your design committee.
A new hire lunch is not only appreciated by all involved but is a great way to begin establishing a support network. Put a buddy system in place, especially if you have no staff trainer. Establishing a "go to" resource for a new hire can make the difference between a smooth transition into the company culture and a nightmare for all.
When the quality decision is made that people, at all levels, in and out of the organization, will come first at all times, the rest will follow. Take the first step toward this goal by looking closely at your hiring, placement and orientation procedures. Everyone wins in a People Place, staff, leadership, clients and customers. Success will follow in every other area.
Karin Syren, CTACC is a Strategic Life Planning coach specializing in the versatile EffectivenessCoaching© model. She works with leaders in all areas, at all levels, to increase their personal and professional effectiveness by learning to live unique, powerful and significant lives. If you want to discover what makes you unique and how to form your future around it and live more effectively, visit www.solushunz.com.
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