human resources small business

Positive Productivity

Productivity: Wrapping up the First Stage of a...
Productivity: Wrapping up the First Stage of a Special Project (Photo credit: orcmid)

A few weeks ago, we had a great group at an SBDC HR seminar. The attendees had lots of good questions. But they also got to start thinking about some questions that underlie many aspects of positive productivity in organizations.

Here are some issues we discussed for you to think about too. What would your answer be to these questions?

What is your vision for the future?
This question is about where your organization is now and where it is going. What specific vision defines your future goals and plans? How does that vision live in regular activities? ‘Hope is not a strategy’ is not just a cliche.

What is your value proposition?
This one speaks to your continuing success. What do you offer that your customers or clients cannot easily find elsewhere? How do your employees influence your value proposition? How do you demonstrate your value to customers and employees?

How are the two above manifest in your policies and practices?
This is where so many organizations begin to really get into difficulty. Do you talk teamwork but recognize and pay for individual performance mainly? Do you talk about top quality or creativity and high performance but regularly avoid conflict? Do you say you value your employees but provide limited benefits?

How are your vision and value proposition communicated to employees?
Are they included regularly in meetings, newsletters, and performance discussions? Do you tell people a bit about them in your employee guide or orientation and hope they ‘get’ it? Do your actions and policies support what you say?

Clear understanding of an organization’s vision and goals and the role they play in daily activities strengthens employees ability to do their work effectively. They help employees serve your clients or customers better. And that knowledge supports on-going performance that directly relates to your organization’s value.

Take a bit of time off this week from fighting fires and really think about these issues. Then do something! Smart tip – talk with other executives/managers and see if their responses match yours. Get some clarity and then communicate. And move forward to higher productivity.

Patricia A. Frame is an experienced management consultant, HR executive, speaker, and author on human capital issues. She is known for her ability to address organizational goals and issues effectively and to create human resource management practices which support these goals without excessive administrivia. Patricia has advised executives and boards on a wide range of human capital and strategic planning issues. She has expertise in organization development, talent management, process restructuring, compensation, and training. She has worked with technology-based companies, government contractors, non-profits, associations, and retail operations. She advises small to mid-size organizations on ways to succeed and to help their employees thrive. Ms. Frame has given seminars for SBDC in recent years on the basic processes of HR management. Additionally, she generously provides one-to-one HR counseling once a month through Alexandria SBDC.

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