How Healthy Is Your Organization?

by Carolyn B. Thompson

Carolyn B. Thompson
Training Systems, Inc.
12 Landscape Lane
Camdenton MO 65020

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How Healthy Is Your Organization?
by: Carolyn B. Thompson

It's tough to recruit, inspire and retain unless you're healthy!

You must know what attracts people to want to come to work in your organization and stay there in order to successfully recruit, inspire and retain the best employees.

Assess these 9 areas of your organization for your human resources health:

1. Values, mission, vision these should be known, believed, written, inspiring, lived in, like: "IL Bell will be a customer focused organization." or "Quality of employee, quality of workplace, quality of customer."

Can you recite your organization's mission? Can your employees? If you can't, they can't and if no one can, how can you possibly be inspired to produce your best if you don't know what the mission of your organization is? Make your mission "lived in", short, "jingly" like the ones above.

2. Fiscal is it healthy or a bit under the weather? Tell the truth, especially if there are problems, and most staff will try hard to help. If you don't tell, they'll run from what they perceive to be a sinking ship - you must help them understand what the financial information for your organization means or they may misconstrue reports they're not familiar with.

3. Organization structure make sure it fits your current size. If you've grown or changed the way you do business, like instituting teams, and not changed who's responsible to whom and how from earlier, smaller structures employees will find it difficult to meet expectations, expectations will be difficult to define and no one enjoys working in or can be productive in confusion or bureaucracy. Watch for job titles that are too restrictive, don't mean anything, or aren't clear like these I've seen:

Graffiti-Removal Trainee Outgoing Manager
Vice-President of Retirement Deputy Director of Anything
Second Vice-President in Charge of Grapes Manager of Artificial Organs

4. Policies/procedures re-examine your organization's policies/processes regularly. Things are changing so fast today that many of your procedures and policies from last year will hold your employees and your organization back. When written in the form of an employee handbook, it not only serves as a training tool and reference manual for current employees but also a recruiting tool to let potential employees see what you're all about, what's expected of them and the benefits of working with you.

5. HRIS when you have to spread all your files on the floor to find the employee information you need, it's time to computerize! Human Resource Information Systems can help you become more efficient, create professional information and have the records you need for performance improvement, recruiting and legal compliance.

6. Compensation & benefits make sure they fit the job, your organization and industry and the job market. Your organization should have a total compensation plan, provide employees with all the benefits they want on a tight budget, and use compensation to inspire employees to excellence through gainsharing.

7. Staff development many companies think they have to have a Training Department to have staff development. Not true. All of us train and develop employees in some way with on-going supervision and co-worker help. Assess the current way you help employees learn their job and you can improve your staff training no matter what your budget.

8. Management philosophy do you use baseball bat management, a hands-off approach, or a more guide and support approach? Whichever you choose, make sure it fits your employees' needs so they can be productive and enjoy what they do. Be consistent.

9. Finally, look at your physical workspace it doesn't have to be beautiful, but should be well lit, comfortable, and functional.

Conduct an assessment of your organization everything you find good or bad impacts how your employees and potential employees think of your organization. If improvements are needed, let them know what you're working on they'll stick around to see those improvements! Involve them in the assessment and improvement process - the best employees are motivated by being part of the process!

Carolyn B. Thompson is the President of Training Systems, Inc., a customized training and HR consulting company that helps small and medium sized organizations enhance their ability to recruit, inspire and retain quality employees and improve performance through training. Training Systems, Inc. also provides training design and delivery services to training companies and the training departments of large companies, and professional and trade organizations. Carolyn B. Thompson is an experienced trainer and consultant knowledgeable in the challenging area of employee recruitment, inspiration and retention. She is an exciting, inspirational trainer who leads people to learn. She has written articles for prominent magazines, has been interviewed for Chicago's TV Channel 26, the "You're Hired" radio show, Safety & Health, Small Business Computing, Business Week, Working Woman, Redbook and Inc. magazines, been the subject of articles in the Daily Southtown and Star newspapers, as well as written chapters in several books. Most recently, Carolyn produced a two-tape audio cassette set entitled "Straight Talk for Employers" , has written a book entitled "Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly and Effectively" and is writing a book about on-the-job training for Crisp Publications.

(c) Training Systems, Inc. 1999

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