If you ever read my articles on “Performance I Create” you’ll notice that when it comes down to process improvement, I always start with analysis. That’s my style. You have to have a starting point. You must know where you are before you can get to where you want to go. Now the one thing I have not talked much about until now is the one thing that can cause it all to fall apart.
With any process improvement project that’s designed and implemented there is one variable that cannot be controlled and therefore cannot be accounted for. Even if you follow the other steps perfectly; those steps being problem/process analysis, technology/equipment evaluation, efficiency /workflow metrics and finally production, you still have to be prepared for one OTHER piece. I’ll write more about those steps in future articles, because each is unique and has its own limitations and potential.
Here’s the one x-factor that can cause the entire thing to fall apart like a house of cards. That thing is PEOPLE. People and their unpredictable behavior and the effects of that behavior on the motivation and stability of the group can’t be predetermined. Team chemistry is fragile; it doesn’t take much to break it. And again, human behavior is unpredictable. You never know what’s truly going on in someone’s thoughts.
Employees are dealing with a variety of issues from new job opportunities, job dissatisfaction, domestic drama, health & wellness issues, financial issues, alcohol and drug related challenges, and then just plain ole misery.
Since bad behavior is costly, more and more organizations are holding employees accountable for what they do outside of the office as well as within it. Companies lose quite a bit of revenue paying out severances, settlements, and lost law suits based on the behavior of employees. In addition to that, if you have a team of workers that do not agree with your new direction and do not buy in and corporate, they can destroy it all.
So how can you select low risk in talent? Well, nothing is 100% but you can follow these tips to try and mitigate your risk.
- Background Checks. Yes old faithful; check the work history, the references, drug tests, criminal background checks, and PLEASE check the social networking sites. Many issues are hiding in plain sight.
- Employee Evaluations. Some folks in the HR community are calling for the end of these, but I say no, because these little chats can you great insight into an employee’s psyche. You just have to pay attention and ask the right questions.
- Skill assessments. Maybe you have an employee that is not as skilled as they said they were. Develop a test, check their skill level. Newsflash, employees will lie to you, so you must test them.
- 360 Feedback. You need analytics from the workforce, see how they fell about the process and possible changes. You can gage the employees that want to make things better and more efficient versus the ones that don’t.