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.