The Employee Engagement Myth

HR leader Cathy Missildine had an interesting post on her blog regarding the ambiguity of the buzzwords “employee engagement”. (Here’s the article.)  Her guest bloggers really dig into the credibility issue created with the focus on an area the majority of the HR community have not been able to affect in 13 years.

In our experience working with organizations across multiple continents, the majority of the time what gets called low engagement is really a lack of clarity.  Every individual in the organization should be able to answer three simple questions.

  1. What are we doing?
  2. Why are we doing it?
  3. What are my responsibilities?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll dig deeper into some other simple concepts organizations that consistently excel have learned to well.

BTW – Cirrus Business Group is coming to Biz1190AM in Atlanta in August.  We’ll keep you posted on our first air date.

Creating Accountability in Your Organization

Many organizations struggle with accountability.  Chris Reese shares some basic concepts from Patrick Lencioni and The Table Group that get to the true issues of creating accountability in an organization.

Click on the link below to view this video blog on our YouTube channel.

Creating Accountability

HR Needs to LEAN Up

Recently we’ve been working with organizations on implementing LEAN and Six Sigma. Now before you bail out on me, this blog won’t be about either of those topics…directly. As most of you know, Cirrus is all about helping organizations create shareholder value and become great places to work. One way that value is preserved is through organizational efficiency. That’s why I love the LEAN concepts. Here’s where this impacts HR.

Yes, you should work towards efficiency in all processes across the organization (including HR), but that’s not what I want to focus on here. One of the exercises you go through regularly as part of LEAN is to define the components of the customer value chain. This is a critical exercise, because it brings into sharp focus the features, functionality, and/or services that are truly adding value in the eyes of your consumer. The result is alignment.

Alignment is extremely powerful. Organizations need alignment as much as our bodies and machines. With alignment, efforts are multiplied as the organization begins resonating on the same frequency.

As an HR professional, one of your key functions should be facilitating organizational alignment based upon the culture and objectives of the organization. This alignment should permeate everything from job descriptions to the way performance reviews are conducted.  You should ask yourself how you can work with the rest of the executive team to multiply and reinforce their efforts in creating clarity around the behavioral expectations of your organization’s culture and the organizational objectives.

Compliance is important and critical, but it should not be the primary focus of your HR organization.  Employment laws and EEOC compliance simply define the rules of the game.  The primary role of HR leadership in an organization should be that of human capital optimization, talent development, and talent planning based upon the organization’s objectives, NOT the embedded arm of the EEOC or other labor agency.  You would not expect the CFO of an organization to focus exclusively on compliance with GAAP and tax law.  An effective CFO manages the financial aspects of the organization based upon the organizational objectives within the rules of GAAP and law.  GAAP and tax law  just define the rules of the game.  They affect strategy, but they are not the focus of strategy.  This concept is a major leap for most internal HR organizations, but a very important one.

You should also determine ways to quantify the effectiveness of various HR initiatives.  Put your MBA hat on for a moment.  It is important to measure the return on investment for your your department and any development, hiring, or other initiatives you are implementing to help create clarity and alignment in the organization. This will help you zero in on the initiatives that have the highest organizational impact. You should also be able to clearly state how those initiatives align with the current organizational objectives.

HR professionals, start thinking about how you can be a facilitator of alignment in your organization.  This is where you can add true value to your organization’s value chain.

It’s time for us to all to LEAN up.

Seth Godin on Towards Zero Unemployment

Another great blog by Seth Godin on what creates value in today’s economy.  Enjoy!

6 Steps to Attract and Keep High Performers

findleadersWe hear it all the time at HR functions and from executives.  The number one challenge facing business owners is finding and keeping top talent.

Business owners, often say that they want high performers, but are they ready for them? Continue reading 6 Steps to Attract and Keep High Performers

Succession Planning – The Risk Isn’t Just at the Top

When most people think of succession planning, they usually think about what to do when a founder or other key executive moves on. However, all businesses have risk beyond just their senior personnel making an exit. What about

Continue reading Succession Planning – The Risk Isn’t Just at the Top

Corporate Succession Planning – The Risk Isn’t Just at the Top

When most people think of succession planning, they usually think about what to do when a founder or other key executive moves on. However, all businesses have risk beyond just their senior personnel making an exit. What about

Continue reading Corporate Succession Planning – The Risk Isn’t Just at the Top

Before You Begin – Part 1

Many people dream of owning their own business. Some have a vision down inside they’ve replayed and worked on for years, and some are just tired of working for “The Man”. They want to call their own shots.

Owning your own business is much like raising children. (or sometimes running a daycare, but that’s another article.) There will be moments of great joy and pride, and there will be moments of frustration or even anger. And just like child rearing, if you guide and nurture them right, it’s hard to beat the moment when they come into their own, and you get to say, “that’s my child.”

Over the next several articles, I’m going to share with you some wisdom I’ve gathered over the years. These are not absolutes, but can save you from much self-inflicted frustration.

One of the first things to consider as you decide on when to launch into the great entrepreneurial sea is your own financial position. How will you pay the household bills until your business can afford to pay you? Does your spouse earn enough money to cover living expenses? How much money do you have saved? I’m not talking about just enough money to go through the mechanics of starting your business, I’m talking about how long you could fund your business and pay your bills without a paycheck from your business.

As entrepreneurs, we are naturally optimistic. However, the old adage of “hope for the best and plan for the worst” is certainly worth following here. There will be enough stress getting your business off the ground. You certainly don’t need to add stress that could have been prevented.

If you are the sole breadwinner and looking to jump in fulltime to your new endeavor, my recommendation is at least 12 months of expenses in savings. This is over and above what you need to start your business.

If you are not there financially, consider whether or not you can start your business part time while you still keep your job.

This is also a time to consider what sacrifices are worth making for the dream of owning your own business. Where can you cut the family budget to make it on one income or make the savings last longer? These are some of the things that make for great stories once your business is successful.

What does a chiropractor have to do with organizational change?

As my chiropractor was explaining to me the process she uses to get the spine and upper cervical vertebre back into alignment, I started thinking about the similarities to creating sustainable change in organizational culture.  (yes, I’m an OB geek. I can’t help myself.)

In chiropractic medicine, the biggest challenges to the corrective process are Continue reading What does a chiropractor have to do with organizational change?