Monday, March 22, 2010

Engage and Align Your Employees with Your Business Strategy

How do you engage and align employees and how do you go about it? Employee engagement is achieved by strengthening and developing the competencies and skill sets of your people coupled with a communication plan to clarify both the business strategy and workplace expectations.

That’s a tall order, you say? Here are 10 steps that can help you improve your employee engagement:

1. Focus on Development of a Communication Plan – this plan of action enables everyone to understand the overall business objectives and how their role and responsibilities relate to the strategy of your business.

2. Focus on Responsibility, Accountability and Self-Empowerment – encourage individual ownership of a project or task, and have each of your employees design a plan of action that will create the willingness by all to be held accountable.

3. Create a Goal and Results-Oriented Culture.

4. Use Appropriate Metrics to Measure Progress – Use a tiered system of goal-orientation both upward and downward toward your businesses goals.

5. Ensure Consistency by Thinking in 3’s – Three goals relative to the company, each department, and each person.

6. Monitor – Review compliance of the goal-oriented process and the results at all levels helps maintain your culture of goals.

7. Identify performance gaps – When a gap is spotted, determining which learning and training initiatives to focus on makes decisions easier.

8. Review Your Performance Management Process – Ensure your process maximizes the use of individual development plans to reinforce the overall goal-orientation plans.

9. Create an Internal Employee Action Marketing Plan – This compliments the achievement of your business strategy.

10. Revisit the Vision, Mission, and Purpose of Your Company - Upgrade if necessary.

It is important that HR Professionals focus on the Five C’s of Engagement to gain alignment. If you focus on the Five C's , you will certainly give your company the “Slight Edge”. In other words, a competitive advantage in this highly competitive global marketplace. It is time to realize that people can make the difference but only if they are totally engaged.

Richard Hohmann
Senior Vice President
Innovative Leadership
Phone: 609.390.2830
Cell: 609.980.0086

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Five C's of Employoee Engagement

It is important that HR Professionals focus on the Five C’s of Engagement to gain alignment:

1. Connection - An organization must demonstrate employee focused initiatives by their management team.

2. Communication - Management must communicate more effectively with their staff to both clarify the position of the company in relation to the business strategy but also clarify the workplace expectations of each and every employee

3. Career - Management must encourage personal and career development in each and every employee centered around both advancement and reaching potential

4. Compliance - Management must provide feedback to all employees in a timely manner and be consistent with their adherence to processes, policies and procedures.

5. Celebration - Management must not only allow for individual contribution and self-empowerment but celebrate success with appropriate recognition and praise.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mentoring Relationships - How to Foster Them

Assigning mentors is an important way to bring new hires up-to-speed or groom promising workers for better thing. But the strategy is only as good as the relationship between mentor and mentee.

Follow this advice:
- Choose Wisely - Of course, anyone would be thrille to work with a company or industry superstar. But you should select mentors based on what they can offer a particular worker rather than their glowing reputations. Talk to perspective mentors about their backgrounds and how they got from here to there, then pair them up with workers who have similar histories. Mentees should be able to look at their mentors and envision themselves having the same success.
- Offer Instruction - Ask mentors to make first contact to avoid putting the pressure on those in the subordinate role. Request mentors dedicate uninterrupted time to working with their mentees rather than allowing meetings to be disrupted by phone calls and other distractions. Mentees should be made to feel their advisors want to help them. And you may also suggest that inital meetings take place in neutral territory, such as a conference room, so worker won't be overwhelmed by ego walls and other trappings of success.
- Follow Up - Solicit regular updates from both parties - to ensure they are in fact meeting and to learn whether the relationship is having the desired effect. Street to mentees that they should be honest regarding how they feel about the process and not fear retaliation if they'd prefer to be assigned to another mentor. If they are not benefiting from the program, it's a waste of time for everyone involved.

Adapted from "Handle the Awe Factor" by Linda Phillips-Jones

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reinforce Teamwork with Performance Appraisals

Why should workers strive to help their teams succeed then their performance appraisals - and salary increases - focus on individual achievement? If your company uses team performance rather than individual performance, your appraisals must reflect those objectives.

Make sure to follow these pointers:
- Set both individual and team goals - Work with employees to get two sets of goals - one addressing individual performance issues and the other addressing team performance. For example, you may want employees to take the initiative in their individual duties rather than over relying on you for guidance. But when they're operating as part of a team, they need to work cooperatively with other team members rather than striking out on their own. Make clear that difference roles have different expectations and it's important for workers to adapt well to each situation.
- Link pay to team performance - How important is a given work team's activity to the overall performance of your department? Does it account for 20 or 50 percent of your workload? Determine what weight should be given to team activities, then rework pay and bonus structures to reflect those percentages. If 50% of an employee's time is spent acting as part of a work team, then 50% of the employee's compensation should be tied to the team's performance.