There are several common organizational strategies that result in a more effective use of human, capital and financial resources which result in a greater committed and satisfied workforce. When the strategies are applied in the private sector there is improved cohesion among management and employees and profits grow. When applied to the public and non-profit sector the same organizational cohesion occurs resulting in improved service and greater efficiency of resources. I found the following four integrated strategies consistently improved organizational outcomes.
Rally around strategic intent. Every organization I have worked with gained when they developed or renewed a clear statement of its vision, mission, goals, values and SMART objectives. These are the hallmarks for improved motivation and productivity. Keeping the strategic intent of an organization alive is work for leaders and all those entrusted with enterprise outcomes. Maintaining its vitality is much easier when all key players from first line employees to the executive team are involved in the clarification process.
Nurture a positive organizational culture. Organizational culture consists of behavioral norms and the underlying shared values that keep the norms in place. Shared values such as respect, honesty, integrity, reinforce how people within the organization treat each other. Studies have consistently shown that positive behaviour begets positive results and negative behaviour blocks positive achievement. Negative behaviour often occurs when positive values are allowed to languish or when they are not championed and lived by the leadership team of the organization. A positive organizational culture generates individual and team energy that drives positive internal and external customer relationships, self-satisfaction and productivity.
Encourage collaborative team effort. Successful organizations are made up of independent and inter-dependent teams where the collaborative effort among the teams achieve the outcomes of the whole. Each team works synergistically within itself and cooperatively with other teams. The functions and role of each team is understood by other teams and day to day work flows seamlessly from within each team and outwardly to the others. One team is not better than the other and all teams search for ways to support each other for the betterment of the enterprise. They work like parts in a clock and in the end the clock goes tick-talk in a timely fashion; and, if the parts don’t work together the clock stops. So too in organizations, if teams don’t work effectively within and together productivity wanes, relations become strained and the organization falters.
Engage employees in those things that affect them. There is sufficient hard evidence to show that engaged employees are productive employees which in turn translates into an improved bottom line. This substantiates my own experience in working with organizations. Engaged employees are those that both know what the organization is about and have an emotional attachment to it. An organization where people are engaged has clearly stated values which are authentically lived in a state of mutual trust, respect and fairness. Everyone fulfills the commitments and promises they make. Organizations with engaged employees reap the benefits of improved productivity, higher morale, reduced sick leave, and fewer accidents. Employees experience a “blend of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job involvement and feelings of empowerment” (Engage for Success), as well as improved motivation, and a greater sense of self-worth and improved life style. Yet, even though we know all the benefits of an engaged organization, a report by Gallup Poll indicated that only 29% of Canadian and United States firms have an engaged workforce.
Questions to ponder: Does your organization rally around a common purpose and direction? Are individuals and teams positively energized by the organizational culture? Do the teams work together like clockwork? Are the individuals and teams fully engaged so that they and the organization fully benefit? Need help acting around these questions, call a qualified consultant or business coach or consider training for your leadership team - Priority Management is an excellent training resource for this.
Author: Richard P. Fontanie MSW, FCMC Up-dated from the files of Fontanie Learning Solutions.
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