On July 1, we passed the half-way point of 2016. You may have begun the new year with the usual resolutions, but we are not going to dwell on those. It is time, however, to look at what has happened in your workplace so far this year.
What has happened to your employment? Many firms have expanded employment this year. In Central Ohio, we are beginning to see shortages in some areas, particularly those that demand certain skills. If your organization has been hiring or is planning to do so, what have you done to be certain there will be an available pool of qualified applicants? Are you working with area schools, training centers, or your unions to establish relevant pre-service training programs and help with recruitment?
What have you done with incumbent worker training? Now is the time to reexamine your training programs and restore cuts that were made when budgets were thinner. Have you increased training this year, or has it remained stagnant? Your own workforce is you best source of qualified workers for new tasks. By training them, you can fill the need for more skills while retaining workers who already understand your workplace.
Have you truly involved your employees? Want to know more about the training employees need? Ask your employees. Want to get ideas about how to improve the system or production? Ask your employees. Want help selecting applicants that will work with your employee teams? Ask your employees. Are there significant factors impacting your employee satisfaction? Ask your employees. Are you concerned about other workplace issues, such as drug abuse, return-to-work procedures, flex-time or job sharing? Ask your employees. (Of course, CALMC can help you with each of these issues by enhancing your employee involvement process, but you get the idea – ask your employees).
Do you have world class customer service? Good customer service is essential, but it is really a minimum standard. Good is not good enough. Share information about customer surveys, complaints, and commendations with your employees so they can use them to help improve the process. The answers they have about customer service issues may surprise you and help your organization.
How is the safety record in your workplace? Have the number and severity of your incidents or injuries decreased this year? A recent Google search for workplace safety programs returned over 82 million returns. Many of these programs produce a reduction in injuries, but usually only over the short term. To produce lasting reductions in safety incidents you need to involve your employees. Employee involvement processes, such as our Safety Always process, produce a long-term reduction in problems, which benefits employees and the bottom line.
Is your organization as successful as it could be? If not, the time to start getting there is now. Engage your employees to identify and solve workplace problems, and look proactively at the improvements that can be made. If you believe your employees are the most valuable resources in your organization, then it is essential to maximize that resource through employee engagement. Remember, CALMC can help you optimize your employee involvement and Quality process.
Now, about those New Year’s Resolutions……