Organization effectiveness is the new six sigma, the new lean manufacturing, or the new balanced scorecard (pick one). We're all starting to learn that no process can replace engaged people.
And doesn't that just sound totally obvious when you say it out loud? Why did it take us so long to figure out?
A senior OD professional recently told me that she suspects there are more mandated coaching, leading and employee engagement activities in a manager's week than they have hours to work. So the front-line staff may be happy, but their managers are drowning.
Another executive wondered why their organization keeps building tools that head office think managers want, instead of the tools managers are actually asking for.
A client is worried about engagement in their volunteer workforce, which numbers in the thousands, because they can't get along without all this free labour.
Everywhere you look, there is an item about the current and/or impending talent shortage. No one is talking about hiring boomers who want to work part-time, or will only take interesting work. I'm not so sure there is a shortage of that kind of talent. The articles are all about a shortage of entry-level professionals and knowledge workers, or mid-career managers. There aren't enough of those to go around now, and demographics suggests the problem will only get worse.
Add it all up, and you get a need to make organizations more effective at hiring, developing, deploying and retaining people.
If this is your problem too, you might want to look at a report I read this morning published by Deloitte, which outlines the issue well, and offers some constructive ideas as well. One of their ideas was to stop putting people in narrow confines of opportunity based on what they did in the past. I loved the examples they gave of successful executives who changed careers, the best of which was that David Ogilvy had no background in advertising when he started his agency. And Ray Kroc sold milkshake machines.
- Deloitte Report: It's 2008: Do You Know Where Your Talent Is? and Global Talent Pulse Survey: Becoming a Magnet for Talent
If need some fresh thinking, insight and inspiration on the general topic of people and their work, I can suggest visiting a couple of blogs that recently caught my attention:
- Pamela Slim's Escape From Cubicle Nation had an amazing open letter to CEOs that is a must-read. She followed it up with an open letter to employees that had a major dose of reality in it as well.
- The Alchemy of Soulful Work: Bailey WorkPlay blog, which recently had a truly inspirational post called The Greater Sin Is Not Dreaming Big Enough.
My own best tip? If you don't truly love the people in your organization -- what one of my bosses used to call "the kids in the branches" -- you're sunk. No consultant in the world will be able to make your organization a great place to work. If you do love them, start listening with your heart.
managing employee experience