Talent Management

Maintaining an HPO: Employees Make the Difference

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of the goals of any business is to become an HPO — a high performance organization. That means you have created a lean, mean running machine that operates at top efficiency, and your employees are engaged.

Research by the Gallagher Organization has suggested that only 25 percent of the typical work force is engaged. This means that only this fraction of the employees in the typical organization is truly in tune with management’s mission, vision and values. Now, as a high performance organization, your stats are much higher than that with a more extensive and committed core group who can be counted on to care about the organization’s success and produce. But will they stay that way?

Nothing stays the same, as we all know. The economy fluctuates, employees leave for reasons that have nothing to do with job satisfaction and new employees to replace them or fill the needs of your expanding business can be a challenge no matter how carefully you chose and train. So the question remains: how do you maintain your HPO?

Keep a focus on your employees, as you can’t continue this performance if they don’t stay engaged. One suggestion is to continually try to expand your group of high achievers and use them to be aware of, train and convert any middle of the road or disengaged employees in your organization.

Train and empower this group, as well as all staff, to think and engage in problem solving. Encourage them to work with the employees who are good at what they do but are neither engaged nor disengaged to discover ways to heighten commitment and develop more than a superficial “by-in” to your organization and its goals. Take this high performance group, appreciate them and give them what they need to keep all of the parts running at maximum efficiency.

The goal is to maintain zero percent disengaged and no more than 15 percent in the middle group. It can’t be assumed that the high performing employee will stay that way or that a new employee will reach that level of engagement.

Should you find that you now have a few disengaged employees, remember to always go with counseling and conversion attempts first as there has been both time and financial investment made in them. And, it’s not good to have a reputation of throwing away people as a first resort when encountering a problem.

That said, if disengaged employees are resistant to your efforts, and the efforts of your high performance group to counsel and move them to engaged, then you need to let them go. Keep the HPO you’ve worked to create by keeping staff that works for, and not against, you.

Category: Talent Management


About the Author: Steve Cohen

Steve M. Cohen, Ed.D., CMC is President/Partner of Labor Management Advisory Group, Inc. and HR Solutions: On-Call, both based in Kansas City, MO.Often described as a “mess management” expert for his ability to skillfully resolve people prob…

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