In my organizational development work I am hired to help organizations improve how they are engaging, managing, and utilizing their people. Typically, the “people problems” I see are:
- Low employee morale or engagement
- Failure to hit projected targets
- High staff turnover
- Lack of response to advertised jobs
- Higher than average rates of absenteeism
- Poor productivity and low performance
In order to figure out where the problems are in an organization, and how I would recommend we solve them, I work with a five-step process. While the process itself seems simple, the delivery, synthesis, and analysis are anything but!
STEP ONE: RESEARCH
The process begins with an analysis of the organization. This involves speaking with key stakeholders to discover what they have done in the past, what initiatives have failed or succeeded, and to identify any common themes. In this step I speak with the stakeholders individually, rather than as a group, in order to get individual opinions. I investigate if the organization has had any employee feedback mechanisms that reveal opinions on employee experience.
STEP TWO: INTERVIEWS
If an organization doesn’t have employee feedback information available, I will interview some or all employees and collect their feedback on the organization. This will include asking questions about their job duties and what they like and dislike about the organization. The questions are similar to an engagement survey, but are tailored specifically to the organization and the issues they’ve identified.
STEP THREE: ANALYSIS
The results of the interviews and research are then analyzed to determine what is really happening. What are the key pain points? Where are the communication breakdowns? What are the systems involved? What are people feeling? And what are they wanting to see or hear from the organization? This is an in-depth analysis and may take multiple days to ensure I’m seeing the root of the problems. I am not looking for a Band-aid fix, and neither are my clients.
STEP FOUR: RECOMMENDATIONS
A meeting is then held with the executives and I deliver my recommendations. Any statistical data is shared and compared to industry standards. While there may be a formal report, the initial findings are shared live in one-on-one meetings or around a boardroom table. Guidance and coaching are provided to the organization to help them gain the tools they need to initiate the recommendations and implement real changes that stick.
STEP FIVE: IMPLEMENTATION
When the client is ready, I will then help them develop and implement processes and programs that will address the pain points while strengthening the best parts of the organization and it’s culture. I coach and guide my clients to move forward instead of storming in and implementing things all by myself. My goal is to teach the organizations I work with to develop on their own and be able to identify future issues with increased intelligence and focus on continuous improvement.