Are You at the Mercy of Your Workforce?

Published: Sep 15, 2010

Are You at the Mercy of Your Workforce?
By Rick Johnson, CEO Strategist, LLC

This bias that exists in some companies is almost as though admitting that employees are the most precious of corporate assets will lead to an anarchy on which companies will fall at the mercy of the workforce.

Well, shake your head in disbelief if you want to, but the reality of the situation is that you are at the mercy of your workforce.

The rules have to continue to change. If you aren't willing to admit that and get your head in the game then you won't survive in the new millennium. Remember, it is the Employees that create success.

Problems with staffing and retention may not be due to bad hires or a low unemployment rate. In fact, they may be related to poor management insight by not recognizing your employees as a core competency in your business strategy.

Although employees may not fit the strictest definition of a core competency, it is a fact that your employees are the ones responsible for creating many of your core competencies. It is an undisputable fact that failure to recognize the importance of employee contributions will lead to failure regardless of your business strategy.

Pay Attention

Many company executives pay far too little attention to this part of their businesses. Often the mindset is that this is the "touchy-feely" stuff that's a non-revenue producing necessary evil. Some do not prioritize it during their strategic planning process.

"People are not profits but without people there are no profits."

Some companies recognized their dilemma years ago. Many of the top performers in your industry are at the top because they recognize that it's the employees that really create success. . These are forward thinking companies that have found solutions to their recruitment and retention challenges.

Following in their footsteps requires an initial "gut check." Honestly ask yourself how your employees would answer questions like:

• Do you receive counseling on a career plan?
• Is there a current wage and salary plan in place?
• Do performance incentives exist?
• Do you receive regular training and instruction?
• Do you receive performance updates and recognition beyond a once a year chat with your boss?
• Does customer feedback play a role in performance evaluations?
• Are suggestions reviewed and awarded?
• Is there both a formal and informal communication channel?

These questions relate to the basic core competencies of human resources: staffing, training, rewarding, recognizing and organizing. The business strategic plan cannot succeed without paying attention to this part of the business. You must facilitate your employees' involvement and feedback into this process.

This basic premise in implementation varies according to size. The same plan for a $20 million privately held company would not work for a $500 million private or public company. Use these questions to guide you during the strategic planning process. – Sign up to receive "The Howl" a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today's issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution's "Leadership Strategist," founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business.

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