Due to the high number of retirements, changes in business structure, and demand on performance and customer satisfaction, there is a need to be more efficient. Companies must navigate multiple challenges as they evolve including tighter budgets, lower unemployment, a wave of new technology, and increased regulations. The key differentiator that most influences productivity gains is the human factor.
The employee life cycle starts with hiring the best talent quickly and onboarding with strong orientation programs and training. Having a proactive plan to recruit, evaluate, and hire talent is essential. Eliminating time and excess steps in the hiring process allows decision makers to move quicker which speeds up talent acquisition as well as leaves a very favorable impression with the new employee. Bohan & Bradstreet has successfully partnered with companies to improve the hiring process by as much as 50% of the time.
Onboarding is essential to improving productivity:Streamline orientation and form completion. Enable a new employee to spend their first day on the job connecting with their team and making a meaningful contribution to productivity. Establish clear expectations from day one and align employee goals with department and organizational goals.
Provide continuous learning through mentoring, training, and gaining experience and exposure. Let the employee know how they are doing; complement good performance and address areas for improvement with a plan of action. Frequent feedback on a regular basis will increase productivity and goal attainment. Have the employee contribute on goal setting because the more an employee becomes engaged correlates directly to improvements in performance and productivity. Encourage new ideas and continuous learning.
Identify the disengaged and investigate reasons. Partner and come up with an action plan that the employee agrees with to turnaround performance. Provide training and create goals. Review progress and measure performance. Recognize and reinforce improvements. Do not become hostage to underperforming employees and encouraged them to move on. It is not unusual for employees to outgrow companies and companies to outpace employees.
Recognize performance gains. It is infectious. Identify and reward talent with upside potential. Increase their visibility and enable with opportunities to develop new skills and take on additional responsibilities and/or projects. In this competitive business world, most companies do not have the luxury of bench strength and need to be actively engaged in succession planning at all levels. Therefore have a pipeline of candidates for positions of “higher need” is both prudent and proactive. Improving productivity will not happen unless there is a commitment to excellence, a plan of action, and focused effort.
Three Examples of B&B's Consultative Approach to Recruiting:
1) B&B was approached by a global company with $300M+ in annual revenue and multiple profit centers in Asia, Europe, and the Americas that was carved out of a global parent and purchased by private equity. The finance department had been centralized at the global parent; the carve-out necessitated the creation of a finance department and organization structure. Our team partnered with CFO to create an organization structure, inclusive of roles/responsibilities, reporting structures, compensation structure, and job descriptions. What followed from our consultancy work was an exclusive engagement to find the Treasury Director, Tax Director, Corporate Controller, Corporate Accounting Manager, Compensation & Benefits Director, Financial Consolidation Manager, and 2 Financial Analysts.
2) The business model for a privately-held industry leader was at one time a vertical manufacturer and over the years had outsourced 90% of their machining to contract manufacturers. Over last six months profitability was down and revenues had flat-lined due to challenges on meeting customer expectations and deliverability. B&B met with the CEO. The original thought was to add on a Supply Chain Manager to report to the VP Manufacturing. The goal was to improve purchasing, order management, material deliverability from contract manufacturers, and better accountability to customers. OTD was declining. B&B had a detailed conversation on the business evolution, current business model, existing challenges, going forward strategy, and culture. In a very candid conversation B&B brought to the attention of the CEO that as the company had transitioned from a vertical manufacturer to primarily an assembly operation, the need for strength in leadership shifted from manufacturing to supply chain. B&B looked at the organization chart and discussed the key employees and roles. The VP Manufacturing was under-performing and adverse to change. The manufacturing operation was being run by a manager that upside potential. B&B made the suggestion to promote the Assembly Manager to Manufacturing Director, eliminate the VP Manufacturing role, and create a VP Operations position that would be responsible for all order management, supply chain, and assembly operations. B&B teamed with the CEO to define short and long term goals for the new role, create a search and evaluation process, and establish a fair and attractive compensation package. B&B evaluated 83 local candidates, presented a slate of four, collaborated on the interviewing process, and concluded the search from original conversation to acceptance in 39 days.
3) The business model for a Connecticut OEM had shifted from a vertical manufacturer to more reliance on contract manufacturing and assembly operation with a more demanding supply chain element. Information systems and technology were underutilized and dated. The CEO and CFO initiated a call to B&B to potentially recruit a Project Manager to work for the IT Director. B&B led discussions with the executive team, including the IT Director, to best understand recent evolution, organization structure, business model, personnel, current processes, needs, challenges, and goals. The conversation was interactive, candid and open. The Company viewed IT as under producing rather than as a strategic resource to partner on business evolution. B&B was offered the exclusive to search for a Systems Manager and turned it down. B&B reached out to the CEO and made the recommendation that the biggest road block to success was the IT Director and if IT was to be a true business partner, then new leadership was required. After this conversation, we were retained to source a new IT Director. B&B established a search process with milestones of delivery; identified and introduced four highly qualified candidates; and had a new IT Director aboard within 90 days. The end result is a more interactive IT function that is providing value-based intelligence to both internal and external customers, and active participants in the business planning process.