In previous articles we have discussed the impact employee engagement has in today’s work world. We wrote about how important it is to have employees own the organization’s dream so they were performing as psychological owners of the dream rather than going through the motions of just being employees.
Some of the justification for our comments was based on research conducted by the Gallup Poll, which did an exhaustive study on employee performance. At the end of the study they made the following conclusions.
- In every organization, approximately 25% of employees will perform outstandingly.
- In most organizations, approximately 25% of employees will produce very poor work.
- Finally, approximately 50% of employees will produce average work.
In addition, they indicated the cost of allowing the average and poor employees to perform in this manner was significant. They were so bold as to say that in one year, such performance cost American businesses about $3.5 billion.
As significant as this information is, there is another issue that is frequently overlooked in the performance paradigm. That is the issue of systemic problems.
The question is, are systemic issues a significant problem?
Let’s begin with two stories. (The names of these organizations and people are omitted.)
A city government asked our firm to assist in solving a number of performance problems that had caused the citizens, the mayor and everyone else to become upset.
As our firm worked with each city department, it became obvious there wasn’t a lack of care or effort on the part of employees. We noticed there were a number of systemic issues that were at the center of the performance problems. These issues were identified and resolved. Happy citizens, happy mayor, happy employees.
A business owner was upset with an employee. The employee was working too slow and was missing deadlines. The business owner was ready to dismiss the employee when the owner happened to use the employee’s computer. The business owner found the computer was a piece of junk. They purchased a new computer. Systemic problem solved. Happy owner, happy employee.
Here is a list of systemic issues that can damage performance and cause additional problems in the work environment:
- Poor equipment
- Poor facilities
- Poor management practices
- Poor human resources policies and procedures
- Poor recruitment practices
- Poor business strategies
- Lack of vision and direction
You may wish to use this as a checklist to make sure your performance problems aren’t caused by systemic issues. Stay tuned for our additional articles that will expand on these issues.
Mentoring business owners is one of our specialties. Contact us by filling out the form below, so that at the end of the day you may say “Happy Me – Oh Happy Day!”
Bob and Doris
The HR Experts