With a new year come new resolutions, or goals. What do you want to accomplish and how are you going to get there? Are you prepared and ready to meet your goals?
For many organizations, goal setting is the path of growth and good health. Successful organizations know their processes, baselines and options for improvement.
Handling the Transition
Many people establish a resolution to do more with less time. One important organizational goal is to know its processes, with a focus on efficiency. With the recent economy, growth is more difficult to achieve, so looking at your operations and efficiencies are very important. By evaluating how your business operates, you discover who is doing what—and how efficiently it’s being performed.
With an aging workforce, organizations are seeing more frequent retirements and transitions, which could translate into lost knowledge of standard operational procedures. On average, it costs 16 percent of an employee’s yearly wage to transition him or her. What if understanding and documenting what a person does, and how they interact with the rest of the organization, could drop that figure to 13 percent?
For example, Jim wants to move or retire within the next 30 days. How do you handle the transition? Is there a document that shows what Jim (truly) does day to day, and how it impacts everyone else?
A job description is vital to establish the expectations of a new employee, but does it really capture the evolution in the departing employee’s duties? It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that Jim has been doing more than what is spelled out in his job description. The organization may discover that blending some job duties amongst a team or contracting externally may be more efficient than replacing the job role. Stepping back and documenting what Jim does daily will allow the organization to better prepare for the transition and improve efficiencies. Keep in mind, documentation is the key.
An Organizational Checkup
Another popular resolution each year involves one’s health. But how can one’s organization stay healthy? We hear the terms “standard of work” or “standardized work” as a way to document current best practices and create a baseline, which allows us the opportunity to learn better ways to improve. Much like having an annual health checkup, it can help us develop into a healthier organization.
As each new generation joins the workforce, they must be better equipped than their predecessors. Amidst great technological advances, they must be prepared with the ability to adapt and apply changes, especially in an ever-expanding global environment. If you look at the “toolbox” of knowledge and skills we bring to the workforce, we see advancements through each generation. Not long ago, we used manual processes and handwritten documents; this evolved into computer punch cards, then desktops and laptops, and now tablets and smart devices with cloud-based solutions—with each generation experiencing organizational changes as a result.
We now have smart devices and personal trainers to manage our health and track our progress. We look to sources outside of ourselves to help us meet our personal resolutions. Likewise, once you have a clear representation of what your employees do and your baseline is established, you can begin the process of becoming a stronger organization. Continuous improvements of documentation, new techniques, software, equipment and labor may assist in achieving your organizational goals. Just as an individual might turn to a trainer for support, many companies seek consultants to suggest ways to strengthen your organization. By utilizing external resources, organizations may benefit in the event of employee loss or sudden growth. It may also lower operating costs.
Whether you are a startup or well established, operating any kind of organization is challenging. The challenges come from all angles: the overall economy, labor force, technology, competition, etc. Perhaps in your organization, growth, health and strength are more than just numbers and size—achieving your resolutions could mean reviewing and changing a few of the ways in which you operate. iBi
Paul Schaub is a co-founder of 4ce, Inc., with 15 years of experience in project management and organizational alignment.