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  • 1. T en A cTions L eAders M usT T Ake Tod rive o rgAnizATionAL P erforMAnce WhitePaperBy Paula Pierce, PMPWhether you’re leading a public sectororganization, Fortune 500 company, newbusiness venture, or special project, suc- If an activity or project doesn’tcess rises and falls on the effectiveness align with the strategic plan,of your workforce—your human capital.More and more, employers are realizing don’t waste time doing it.that people are the key differentiator andprimary driver of success. Having soundhuman capital management policies es direction, parameters, and measures ofand practices in place based on a good success. If an activity or project doesn’tstrategic foundation is a critical asset align with the strategic plan, don’t wastein enabling your organization to achieve time doing it. If you find yourself doingits goals. But it takes more than just lip a lot of things that don’t align, maybeservice. Below is a list of 10 concrete it’s time to revisit the strategic plan. Theactions you can and should take to engage strategic plan is core, a critical first stepemployees and get them working toward to get all employees headed in the samecommon goals. direction. Develop it, live it, believe it— don’t try to lead without it.Action 1—Establish a StrategicFoundationThe first step is to establish a strategic There’s no better way toplan—the stable foundation upon which allother activities are built. A comprehensive foster confidence thanand actionable strategic plan is developed through consistent, open,by a representative group of stakeholders,thoroughly communicated, and regularly honest, regular, and timelyreferenced. It includes these elements: communication.Mission—why the organization existsValues—what the organization believesin Action 2—Foster Confidence throughVision—what the organization wants to Communicationbe Employee confidence in your managementGoals—what the organization wants toachieve team’s ability to lead the organization to success strongly influences employeeStrategic objectives—the organization’s commitment and drive. There’s no better Solutions used:tactical approach. way to foster confidence than through con- sistent, open, honest, regular, and timelyThe strategic plan should drive everything communication. When your employeesyou and your employees do—it establish- understand the strategic plan, receive con-
  • 2. sistent messages regarding organizational willingness to take risks written objective statements that describevalues and goals, and know the issues what needs to be performed and how well.  Other individual factors, including lifedriving management actions, they will experiences. These objective statements should betrust, commit to, and work for you rather developed collaboratively with employeesthan against you. Develop a communica- Once you’ve determined the work that whenever possible and communicated dur-tions strategy that mobilizes management needs to be done and documented position ing the first month on the job and duringat all levels, provides communications responsibilities, defining competencies will every performance discussion.tools, and establishes roles and account- determine what it takes to be successful.ability. For like positions, you can define job-spe- Action 7—Continuously Manage cific competencies such as cost estimat- PerformanceAction 3—Document Responsibilities ing, enterprise architecture, quantitativeOnce employees understand the elements risk analysis, solicitation planning, or team If performance expectations are estab-of the strategic foundation, they will want development. The core competencies will lished and regularly discussed, manag-to know how they can contribute on a daily be common to every position within your ing and appraising performance will bebasis. Documented position responsibili- organization, regardless of technical spe- much easier. Performance managementties and decision authorities can provide cialty or hierarchical position, and may is an ongoing responsibility for those inthat link. But standardized job descrip- include things such as stress tolerance, managerial roles, not a once-a-year event.tions that establish salary levels are not customer focus, and adaptability. Frequently discuss individual employeeenough. Defining and documenting respon- performance in a one-on-one setting. Thissibilities are critical building blocks to stra- Action 5—Strategically Recruit and provides the opportunity to recognize con-tegic human capital management because Select tributions and fix problems before they’renearly every other people-related activity too difficult. Taking time to discuss per-gleans information from them, includ- Use your defined position responsibilities formance with an employee demonstratesing employee recruitment and selection, and competencies as baseline criteria to your personal interest in his or her job suc-performance management, training and recruit and select new talent. Turnover is cess. If an employee is performing well ordevelopment, and workforce planning. If inevitable and can be very costly if not needs improvement, it shouldn‘t come asyou haven’t determined and organized the well managed. But turnover can also be a surprise during the annual review—thework that needs to be done and document- advantageous when you know exactly what annual review should summarize all theed position responsibilities for it, you don’t skills sets new employees need to possess “mini” performance discussions you’vehave a strategically aligned workforce and and behaviors they need to exhibit. A well- had during the year.you can’t support your strategic plan with planned approach to align recruitment andyour human capital practices. selection with your strategic plan will go a Action 8—Provide Opportunity long way toward eliminating mission-criticalAction 4—Define Competencies skill gaps or deficiencies. Employee development is almost univer-Competencies are the knowledge, skills, sally recognized as a strategic tool for anabilities, personal characteristics, and organization’s continuing growth, produc-other factors that help distinguish superior tivity, and ability to retain valuable employ-performance from average performance ... turnover can also be ees—especially in a knowledge economy.under specified circumstances. In other advantageous when you know In today’s employment market, workerswords, competencies are the internal expect and demand more as they changecapabilities that people bring to their jobs. exactly what skills sets new jobs and even careers throughout their life-Examples include: employees need to possess and times. More than ever, employees are like- ly to be loyal to an organization that shows Knowledge—bodies of information behaviors they need to exhibit. such as project management, soft- a personal interest in their career develop- ware acquisition, or organizational ment. Foster this loyalty by ensuring that development every employee has an annual individual Skills—proficiency or expertise Action 6—Set Expectations development plan in place. Make sure they know how those plans relate to career Abilities—capability to perform Set employee performance expecta- growth and align with the organization’s Personal characteristics—such as tions and hold employees accountable. strategic plan. Develop them collabora- decisiveness, attention to detail, and Expectations can be communicated via tively, pledge your support, include them
  • 3. in your performance management process, plans to get there. Unsure whether you’veand tie them to salary bumps and promo- got that workforce? Just ask. Take a peri-tions. odic pulse of your employees’ attitudes, motivations, and concerns and analyze them against what you’re trying to achieve. Online surveys, focus groups, town halls… Take a periodic pulse of there are many ways to get employee your employees’ attitudes, input. Just keep the communication loop going. The data you receive will be invalu- motivations, and concerns and able in reducing weaknesses and lever- analyze them against what aging strengths. And just by asking and you’re trying to achieve. responding, you’ll send a strong message to your workforce about your commitment, expectations, and priorities.Action 9—Recognize Contributions Taking a strategic approach to human capital management ultimately producesMore than anything— including salary— better results—whether they’re for youremployees want full appreciation for work bottom line or delivering on your mission.performed. Reward exemplary accomplish- Lay a solid strategic foundation first, andment and behavior. Tie that recognition then align your human capital practicesto your strategic objectives and you’ll not with the vision, values, and goals you’veonly have happy, engaged employees, established. Ensure every activity fromyou’ll also be motivating your workforce that point on is driving your mission andto align and focus on its ultimate goals. take periodic pulses to help you stay onRecognition can be given in many forms, track. A solid planning effort up front andincluding monetary bonuses; time off; well-focused execution will go a long wayawards with the organization’s name, in establishing a framework for a results-seal, or other mission-related inscription; driven, higher performing organization.theater tickets; merchandise; or letters ofappreciation. The bottom line is that rec-ognition doesn’t have to be expensive—apublic “thank you” goes a long way. Taking a strategic approach to human capital management ultimately produces better results—whether they’re for your bottom line or delivering on your mission.Action 10—Solicit FeedbackAchieving your strategic objectivesrequires a skilled, informed, focused, andengaged workforce that knows exactlywhere the organization is going and how it
  • 4. Headquarters11 Canal Center Plaza Robbins-Gioia has been dedicated to delivering managementAlexandria, VA 22314t: 800.663.7138f: 703.684.5189 solutions to government agencies and Fortune 500 companiesAnniston, AL608 Noble StreetAnniston, AL 36201 since 1980. We help our global customers optimize their256.235.2827Charlotte301 South College Street business processes, accelerate change, and establish time,Suite 3710Charlotte, NC 28202704.714.6200Dayton cost, and quality improvements to transform their businesses.1360 Technology CourtSuite 200Beavercreek, OH 45430937.426.8081Detroit26555 Evergreen Road Selected Past & Current ClientsSuite 1115Southfield, MI 48076 COMMERCIAL248.359.7800 AOL Department of Homeland Security American Red Cross Customs & Border ProtectionSacramento AT&T Federal Emergency Management Agency400 Capitol Mall Avaya Secure Border InitiativeSuite 900 AXA Financial Transportation Security AdministrationSacramento, CA 95814 Bank of America Department of Interior916.449.3967 Colonial Bank Department of Justice DaimlerChrysler Department of TransportationWarner Robins, GA1100 Park Drive Delphi Department of Veterans’ AffairsWarner Robbins, GA 31088 EDS Environmental Protection Agency478.329.0009 Fannie Mae Executive Office of the President Fifth Third Bank National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ford Motor CompanyOttawa FuGen DEFENSE AGENCIES180 Elgin Street General Motors Defense Logistics AgencySuite 900 Hewlett-Packard U.S. Air ForceOttawa, Ontario Canada Johnson & Johnson U.S. ArmyK2P-2K3 Landmark, a subsidiary of Halliburton U.S. Marine Corps613.236.3773 U.S. Navy Lockheed Martin Lucent Technologies Office of the Secretary of Defense Merrill Lynch PricewaterhouseCoopers STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Public Service Electric & Gas New York City Police Qwest State of California Regions Bank State of Maryland United Airlines State of Michigan Verizon Wachovia INTERNATIONALwww.robbinsgioia.com Wells Fargo Agriculture Canadainfo@robbinsgioia.com British Ministry of Defence 800.663.7138 CIVIL AGENCIES Canadian Department of National Defence Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Canadian Blood Services Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce ©2006 Robbins-Gioia, LLC® All rights reserved 2-14pp032706_OrgPerform

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