Do you have “busy fools” dominating your workplace?

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According to Lean Six Sigma studies, only three percent of workplace activity yields a quantifiable value to an employer.  Too often, this can be the result of a fragmented corporate structure comprised of “busy fools” who appear industrious but in reality accomplish very little. As a starting point, Lean Six Sigma practitioners recommend that HR practitioners ask themselves the following questions:
           
  • Structure – how are functions set up in order to deliver results?
  • Collaboration model – can teams work together to achieve a shared objective?
  • Skills and capabilities – does talent possess the competencies required by strategy?
  • Ways of working – are optimal values encouraged?
  • Measurement and reward – do evaluative processes bring progress?
  • Information and resources – are employees well-suited to succeed?
 
Corporate Missteps
 
Sometimes companies find themselves succumbing to pitfalls when attempting to align strategy with organizational structure.  A few of these obstacles include:
 
  • Communication – employees should understand what a firm’s goals are and be able to articulate strategy clearly
  • Misalignment – every department, and the jobs within those departments, should be carefully designed to align with strategy and create value for a company
  • Drift – organizations evolve, and HR leaders should ensure that firms do not stray too far from strategy-driven design
 
Implementing Structure
 
Companies with a disorganized structure can put policies in place to become better designed and more in tune with strategy.  Experts recommend the following:
 
  • Frequently assess employees to ensure they have a clear understanding of strategy
  • Consistently reiterate that strategy to workers
  • Encourage departments to draft an “organizational purpose statement” that details how they add value to the firm
  • Provide leaders who are unaligned with strategy six months to improve operations
 
With these strategies in place, an organization will operate leaner, meaner, and most importantly, in the right direction – forward.
 
This article was adapted from Keeping your eye on the ball which was originally published in the May 2014 HRD Magazine. To read more click here.

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