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Welcome to the June 2010 issue of Alignment Solutions! Here are three of the things going on this month:

  • We are in the process of finalizing a new booklet containing little-known “secrets” about developing and administering effective surveys. While not rocket science, this information is key to obtaining accurate, usable information. Watch for an announcement about the booklet’s availability!
  • We are pleased to announce our 2010 teleseminar series, The Employee- centered Workplace™: The Key to Optimizing Business Results. Organizations cannot optimize their business results unless their employees are fully successful. Join us as we identify and discuss four areas that collectively create a work environment that benefits all stakeholders. The series kicks off on July 21st. Click here for more details or to register.
  • On a personal note, I am training to walk the Nike Women’s Marathon in October and to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through its Team in Training (TNT) program. This will be my eighth marathon with TNT; this season I am dedicating my training to a former colleague who recently was diagnosed with lymphoma. If you would like to help me “Save lives, one mile at a time” – or just check in to see how I’m doing - you may make a tax-free donation to the Society through my TNT web site: http://bit.ly/ddUEPP.

Our article series called Research News You Can Use selects findings of academic research that are applicable in the workplace, and suggests how you might implement them in your organization.

June Topic: What You Don’t Know about Retaining High Performers Can Hurt You

Premise: If retaining high performers is important for your organization’s success, you might want to pay close attention to the findings of a recent study that examined factors such workers consider when making decisions about whether to leave an organization. One result in particular might surprise you – and I don’t mean that in a good way.

This month’s theme is “becoming fully successful.” In order to optimize business and personal results, individuals must be fully successful. But what does that look like? Find out how to assess the extent of your organization’s employee-centeredness as well as your own track record on “you-care.” .

The Feature Article,“The Employee-centered Workplace™: The Key to Optimizing Business Results,” explains that optimizing business results is impossible unless workers are fully successful. This article makes a case for why an employee-centric environment makes good business sense, and identifies the factors that create such a setting.

In “Revisiting the Employer Performance Scorecard,” the Business Solutions section updates a tool that enables organizations to discover how employees perceive their (organizations’) performance.

In the Personal Solutions section, “Optimizing Personal Results: The YOU-centered Life” challenges readers to make self-care a priority, and provides three suggestions for how to begin to do that.

I invite you to visit my web site at www.BusinessAlignmentStrategies.com and my blog at www.OptimizeBusinessResults.com to find other articles and resources that may be of value to you and your colleagues. I welcome your feedback!

Do you know someone who could benefit from the value we provide? If so, let’s create a win-win-win situation! Contact us about how we can make this happen.

 

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The Employee-centered Workplace™ : The Key to Optimizing Business Results

Do you want to optimize your business results? Try focusing on helping your employees become fully successful.

Although many employers insist, “Our employees are our greatest asset,” their actions tell a different story. Too often workers appear to be an afterthought, if not a millstone around management’s neck. Yet organizations cannot optimize their business results unless their employees are fully successful. Consider this question: have you ever seen unhappy workers and delighted customers?

The way to help employees become fully successful is to create an Employee-centered Workplace™, an environment in which every person, process, system, policy, and program is focused on making employees fully successful. When I went to work for FedEx in 1979, one of the first things I learned was founder Fred Smith’s philosophy about how to run the company, which was contained in three simple words: People – Service – Profit. That is, if you take care of your people, they will provide exceptional service, which will result in profit for the company. In the 30+ years since then, I have not seen any evidence that proves him wrong about this point.

As the U.S. economy begins to make its way out of recession, it is critical for organizations to retain their key employees. Yet surveys show that many workers, especially good performers, are ready to “jump ship” at the first opportunity. Why? Many organizations today are employer-centered; some are union-centered (i.e., focused on the union as an organization, not on the workers it represents); others are customer-centered. None of these philosophies are about creating employee success. All of them do a disservice to stakeholders by squandering employee talents and leaving money on the table.

Research and experience indicate that there are four primary areas that collectively determine how employees experience their workplace: (1) supervisors, (2) organizational culture, (3) organizational processes, and (4) rewards and recognition. For additional details about these four areas, including the factors that influence employees’ perceptions of each one, please see our Business Solutions article Revisiting the Employer Performance Scorecard. The good news for employers is that management can influence all or most of the factors in each area. The really great news is that there are a multitude of no- or low-cost practical tools and techniques that will help you transform your workplace into one that supports your employees’ success.

How employee-centered is your workplace? To find out, I invite you to take our brief, complimentary Employee-centered Workplace™ Assessment. Not only will the results indicate how employee friendly your workplace is, the feedback is full of links to free resources for each of the four areas. Contact us with your questions or comments!

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Revisiting the Employer Performance Scorecard

It is impossible to optimize business results if employees are anything less than fully successful. Achieving the goal of fully successful workers requires a commitment to creating an employee-centered workplace™, an environment in which every person, process, system, program, and policy is focused on helping workers become fully successful.

How do you know what goes into creating such an environment? In May 2009 I wrote an article to introduce the Employer Performance Scorecard, a tool that enables employees to assess their organization’s performance (vs. their managers’ performance). The idea is that management must determine how employee-centered their workers perceive the organization to be before they can devise a plan to help support workforce success.

Since writing that initial article, I have expanded the information it contains. Here are four additional points not included previously:

  • Supervisors play a critical role in organizational success. Organizations need to nurture and support them so they in turn can enable employee success.
  • One goal of organizational culture is to engender a sense of commitment in workers rather than one of compliance.
  • Accountability mechanisms must be embedded in all processes.
  • Using a total rewards approach provides multiple opportunities for customizing reward/recognition packages that speak to employees’ needs and interests.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how to optimize your business results by creating an employee-centered workplace™.

 

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Optimizing Personal Results: The YOU-Centered Life

Are you living a “you-centered” life? I don’t mean that in an egocentric or narcissistic way. What I do mean is, do you put yourself and your needs ahead of others’ needs or wants? Are you kind to yourself? For too many people - parents and those who work in helping professions come to mind immediately - the answer is no. While some would report that answer with pride, consider this point: those who consistently fail to meet their own needs are short-changing themselves as well as those they purport to serve. There is nothing noble or virtuous about running yourself ragged in “service” to others.

Organizations cannot optimize their business results unless their employees are fully successful. When they focus their efforts on ensuring workers are fully successful, all stakeholders are well-served. Similarly, individuals cannot optimize their personal results unless they acknowledge and make their own needs a priority. Engaging in self-care before helping others results in a greater ability to be of service and provide value. This is the reason why airline passengers are instructed to put on their own oxygen masks first in case of emergency.

Here are three suggestions to help you think about how to engage in self-care and to ensure you make your needs a priority:

  • Make a list of the ways that living a “you-centered” life benefits you and the people around you. For example, consider the value you can provide when you take care of yourself and can bring your “A” game to the table, vs. the value you provide when you are dragging because you have chosen to let your own needs slide.
  • Take a look at an article I wrote last year that describes how a tool called the Personal Scorecard can help you bring balance to your life. Perhaps the examples will spark some ideas about how you can begin to make yourself a higher priority.
  • Use the template provided in chapter 2 of my e-booklet From Confusion to Chaos to prioritize the things in your life. Categorize the various elements as being critical, very important, or important. (Things, people, and activities that are not at least “important” should be eliminated completely!) Then see how closely the reality matches this priority list.

Often life experiences force us to confront the question of whether we are living a “you-centered” life. For example, personal illnesses provide opportunities to re-assess what we are doing and to make other choices. News of a friend’s or co-worker’s life-threatening illness may cause us to take a look at how we are choosing to live our own lives, and to consider whether we are making ourselves a priority.

Living a “you-centered” life is a choice that only you can make. What’s your decision?

 

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Date of Publication: June 2010
Pat@BusinessAlignmentStrategies.com
www.BusinessAlignmentStrategies.com | 562.985.0333
Copyright 2010 © - All rights reserved, Pat Lynch