Periodic realignment saves cars and workforces

October 30, 2015

Periodic realignment saves cars and workforces

You know what it’s like. You take your hands off the steering wheel and the car begins to drift off course. Drat … out of alignment.cartoon car needing repair

You can fix the problem right away and get back on a straight course. Or you can ignore the problem, putting the fix off until the time is right, until you have more time to address it. If you do that, the car continues to shift out of alignment and becomes even harder to keep on a straight course. Eventually, you’re going to at least need new tires.

It’s easy to spot when employees begin to go out of alignment:

  • You see your employee turnover increase, especially in key staff.
  • HR says your employees are having more workplace accidents.
  • Managers are complaining that it is difficult to maintain productivity levels.
  • Customers are voicing concerns, becoming less satisfied with your service or product.

Any one of these should be an immediate signal that you have a problem. And each of these hits your bottom line directly.

If you put off addressing the problem, you run the risk of adding another problem, and then another, because employee dissatisfaction spreads easily. And the results of that dissatisfaction can hit you hard.

Here are five things you can do at the first sign of trouble:

  1. Directly ask your staff about their issues (allowing anonymous feedback is your best bet for getting to the root of the problem).
  2. Respond to your employees’ input. Be prepared to share the information you’ve gathered and what you are going to do about it.
  3. Hold the leadership team and managers accountable for making the changes that you have identified that will address the issues. Make it part of their performance objectives.
  4. Be proactive going forward. Engage employees more frequently about performance and their role in the company. Annual performance discussions simply are not enough.
  5. Ensure that you conduct meaningful exit interviews. Hold managers, HR, and the leadership team responsible for spotting issues and trends identified in those interviews.

Ok, so it isn’t quite as easy as popping into Pep Boys for a realignment. However, companies that understand the value of aligned and engaged employees will make the effort to keep them that way.

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