Disagree (-2 points)
1. I understand my company’s business strategy.
2. I know exactly what my job responsibilities are.
3. I know how my job contributes to my company achieving its goals.
4. The amount of work I’m expected to do is reasonable – it’s not too little, and not too much.
5. I have the decision-making authority I need to do my job effectively.
6. I recommend my company to others as a good place to work.
Calculate the average score. How did you and your colleagues do?
- 8+: Excellent! The communication in your company is strong, and your employees have the support they need to make your company a success. If your company is having productivity issues, you can look to other potential causes.
- 4-7: Caution! Areas need improvement. Reviewing answers to the quiz will point you in some new directions with your employees.
- Below 3: Beware! The Productivity Quotient may have pinpointed the source of your company’s problems. Consider the answers to each question as you review our analysis, and closely review the communication process between management and employees for areas to improve.
How well did you know the concerns of your company? If your score is perfect, consider what’s working well, strengthen it, and spread that management know-how around your company. If not, chances are it points to some systemic challenges. Read on…
The beauty of an effective assessment tool is that the questions can point directly to the answers. We’ll steer you in the right direction and the rest is up to you.
Here are some action steps for low scores on each question:
1. Understanding the Strategy: If employees do not understand your company’s business strategy, you have two choices: either communicate your strategy better or rethink it. Your employees may see holes in your thinking that you do not. Dig deeper to find out what aspect is unclear for them and listen for common threads in their responses that could point to solutions.
2. Knowing Responsibilities: If employees do not know their responsibilities, do the mangers? Time for a “Roles & Goals” conversation. At the end of the dialogue, be sure the manager and employee both walk away with a written summary of the understanding. This will make performance management much easier.
3. Linking Individual Goals to Corporate Objectives: If people do not understand how their jobs relate to the company’s objectives, you may have a communication problem (have a department meeting and/or “Roles & Goals” conversations) or an ineffective performance management system. Do you have a system in place? Do the managers understand the system and use it effectively? Are they motivated to use it? Or is the system dysfunctional for current needs? Re-evaluate your system with your managers to find means of improving it.
4. Reasonable Expectations: Are employees expected to do too much or too little? Periodically look at the responsibilities of each person on your team and rebalance the workload as necessary. Also consider whether employees could be exposed to a broader array of responsibilities, enhancing their skill set, expanding their knowledge base, and keeping their interest. Do you see every employee as a contributor to the company beyond the specifications of his or her job?
5. Decision-Making Authority: Take advantage of the talent you have. If your employees are not empowered to implement solutions, they won’t bother trying to find them. If you’re not taking advantage of your talent, now is the time to start taking steps to figure out the best way to do so.
6. Recommending the Company: If your employees would not recommend the company to others, it is important that you find out why not. If they would but do not, do you have an Employee Referral Program in place to motivate such recommendations? Such programs are quick, low-cost alternatives to other methods for sourcing candidates.
This recalibration of the market offers a golden opportunity to rethink your corporate level of productivity and its drivers. Further, it is the perfect time to address issues you may not have had time to address when everything seemed to be moving at warp speed. Take advantage of this time by assessing employee satisfaction, analyzing the effectiveness of your company’s employee communication, and addressing major and minor problems. As a result, your company will be well prepared for your next round of growth and well positioned to take advantage of the coming market upswing.
Debra Woog, principal of connect2, provides customized, cost-effective, expert human resource management on an interim basis. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Moss provides emerging companies with recruiting consulting services through her company Blueprint. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com.
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