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Move the Needle Towards Results with One Word

Move the Needle Towards Results with One Word

The pressure is on. It’s "do or die" for businesses going through a transformation. Businesses must push forward regardless of uncertainty. Efficiency, productivity, profitability, competitive advantage, quality, or customer satisfaction are all critical objectives.

To achieve those results we create plans that use action phrases such as:

Manage by walking around, planning, presenting, cascading information down, holding managers accountable, training, communicating, implementing, rolling out, analytic reporting, evaluating, visibility, holding meetings, directing, telling, and surveying.

Yet moving the needle and getting traction towards objectives appear to be stuck.

Why do you think that is?

There is one word missing from those action phrases above…involving.  Involving front-line staff in initiatives is a critical key to success.

Here are three key points to consider:

1) Know the difference

Know the difference between real employee involvement and top-down activity.  A director having meetings with staff and asking their opinion is good, but not necessarily true involvement. An employee participating on safety committees or a task force is what qualifies as true involvement.

2) Vary the Levels of Opportunity

Don’t get stuck on one activity.  The same process can get old and people grow complacent over time. Even leaders grow complacent and shift to mental autopilot. Mix it up. Give employees options and create different and multiple venues for participation. Employees will pay attention.

3) Audit Your Plans

Take a look at your plans with different lenses. Review whether employees are or can be involved in:

  • Development of policy;
  • Organizing the initiative;
  • Planning – procurement, design, problem-solving;
  • Measuring – proactive and reactive monitoring;
  • Auditing and reviewing – auditing for efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability.

A word about the “uninvolved clock puncher.”  An uninvolved clock puncher is someone who only wants to come to work, do his or her job, and go home.  There is something important to note about them too. Knowing there is an option to participate and seeing coworkers participate can still influence overall satisfaction and acceptance of the direction needed to achieve key targets.

It is involvement that creates a positive experience that employees will remember. Experiences ultimately lead to positive perceptions, retention and a workforce that is actively engaged in achieving results.


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Tresha D. Moreland, MBA, MS, FACHE, SPHR, SSBBP, founder of HR C-Suite, is an HR thought leader in Human Resource Strategic Management. She has held key human resource leadership roles for over 20 years in multiple industries most recently a senior vice president in the healthcare industry. Tresha is the founder and publisher of HR C-Suite ( HR C-Suite is a game changer results-based HR strategy website. It is a first-of-it's-kind site that organizes HR strategy based on desired business result. She has developed a business philosophy of integrating human resources with business strategy, thus creating a hybrid HR leadership approach. This approach enables the leveraging human resources to achieve business results.

  1. Tresha:

    Good article. Simply put and accurate.

    I am still amazed to find so many leaders who fail to truly grasp the fact that what ever end result you want it is the associates (employees) who create it day in and day out. I have always found that the greater the involvement of associates and the more positive their mindset, the greater the results. I also have found that the individual mindset is strongly influenced by the level of involvement and the degree of opportunity.




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