Articles tagged "Organizational Development"
The Vice President of Human Resources called. “I need to create a Strategic Workforce Plan for our company, get our leadership team on-board, teach all managers how to do this, and then implement this thing. How do I create this so it makes sense and doesn’t alienate everyone in the process?” That’s a great question, because the key issue is not “How do I do this?” The key issue is, “How do I get the leadership team on-board with me to design, implement, and use this plan to ensure we have a talented and flexible workforce now and in the future?”
Just so we're clear right from the start with the title of this article, I'm not talking about what many human resources professionals refer to as 'Workforce Readiness' i.e., The 'readiness' of individuals to enter or re-enter the workforce productively and the subsequent training needed to help them acquire the necessary skills to become employable.
What I'm talking about when I ask, you as a leader, How Ready is Your Workforce? is this:
Is your current workforce ready to support, manage, and lead your company as it will be 3, 4, 5 or more years from now?
With a headline like: Most Heath System Mergers Don’t Meet Expectations – Will Lancaster General Health and U.Penn Be Different? Business Writer, Tim Stuhldreher of Lancaster Online isn’t making any current employees or future patients of either hospital system feel warm and fuzzy as he writes about a proposed merger. The big question for me is:
Why don’t many mergers meet expectations – for hospital systems or other businesses?
What is accountability - and leadership accountability - in particular? When I ask that question of CEOs, business owners, boards members, and senior managers, I'm often met with stunned, confused, and even somewhat frightened looks. For some reason, its meaning in the business world has become something nebulous and almost mythic. But it's not. Leadership accountability is not a nebulous idea and it's not something of myths: it's the core of your job as a leader.
Leadership accountability is simply doing what is expected of you by the people and for the organizations you are expected to lead.
So, what do your employees expect of you? What is needed for the good of the organization?
From my experience, employees typically want nothing more of their leaders than to:
- Provide a vision: A clear direction, focus, and a game plan as to what's going to happen and when to ensure the organization's viability
- Identify and pursue opportunities for enhanced success
- Clear the bureaucratic "roadblocks" and deal with difficult situations quickly and fairly
- Share information regularly and honestly - the good, bad and ugly
- Provide opportunities to learn, grow, and gain skills to maintain individual and organizational competitiveness
- Walk the talk. Model the values the employees are expected to uphold
- Hold themselves, their managers, and others accountable to do the jobs they're being paid to do
- Acknowledge them (the employees), appreciate them, and thank them for their contributions
Employees expect their managers to be able to manage resources, schedules, people, etc. That's a manager's job. However, a leader is a person who fulfills these base management tasks, while also focusing on: "What's next? Where does the organization need to go next and what will my team need to get us there?"
Leaders think beyond the current frustrations and pressures. That's how they identify opportunities and foresee roadblocks. That's how they do their jobs. That's how they're able to lead. That's how they do what is expected. That's why they're respected.
- "Oh yes. Our employees are our most valuable asset."
- "Given the way things are these days, we work very hard to retain our employees."
- "We've provided coaching and mentoring training to all of our management staff!"
Well good for you. But why is it that your staff seems nervous and slightly on edge when you're around? Why is it that your staff doesn't know what's happening in other departments or with the company? Why is it that your staff looks with skepticism when they hear: Coaching for Results, Living Performance Management, and Holding Positive Performance Reviews? The topics seem foreign to them and yet you've provided coaching and mentoring training. Hmmm, now isn't that something. It must be because the trainer wasn't any good. Yup, that has to be it.
Well, that could be it. But then again, maybe the problem is that all of the things you say you do -- you really don't. Maybe you and your management team don't really communicate regularly and clearly with staff. Communicating once a quarter isn't "regularly." Maybe you don't apply the foundation concepts shared in training programs. Sitting in a training program and then leaving isn't "learning." Maybe you all have the best of intentions by talking about communicating more effectively and by attending the training, but then you get fouled up in the follow-through part. Maybe. Maybe not.
The trend I'm seeing lately in organizations is that there's a disconnect in what managers say they do in coaching employees and what they're really doing. Without fail, every manager understands that coaching is a buzzy term used to describe the activity a manager does that is specifically targeted to address a desired behavior change. The manager could desire an employee to change a negative behavior to a more positive one. Or, the manager could desire an employee to change a current skill level into a more advanced one.
Coaching addresses negatives and positives. Just as a sports coach constantly addresses performance -- negative and positive -- in athletes. Yet even though the managers understand what coaching is and how it's supposed to be used, it invariably comes into play most often when they are reprimanding employees and need to say something in order to have a complete documentation packet put together when they write up an employee.
So you say you coach your employees.
Well good. But if you say you do, take some advice -- Actually do it! Employees, like athletes, can tell a good coach from one who's faking it. Employees, like athletes, don't stay with or perform well for poor coaches.
Want to succeed? Behave like a leader and DO what you say you do.