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Today’s opportunity: Create sustainable systems to reduce turnover and more

Posted Apr 15 2009 11:43pm
As you know, I’m the “glass half full” sort of person. I try to consciously filter out all the doom and gloom of the daily news (“Economic woes much worse than the Great Depression” for example) and focus on the small hidden articles that headline, “Opportunities exist even today!”

Some companies are frustrated because the phone isn’t ringing quite so often. The traffic in the door might be lighter, and the anxiety level higher. But when you consider the quieter times as a window of opportunity to plan and execute some new approaches, it can be exciting, too.

Here’s the question one of my favorite business consultants suggested: what needs to be done in your company to make it function without your daily presence?

The idea for some people may be to move from full-time-plus into semi-retirement, but for many of us the idea is simply to free up our personal time to write a book, to teach a class, to create a new division within our company. If you’re nose-to-the-grindstone day after day, just to keep the current company functions working as you want them to work, you don’t have time for these new creative – hopefully profitable – activities.

You may not be the owner of the company, or even work in the “C-suite”. The same question, however, is relevant: will the functions that you’re responsible for continue without your daily work?

It’s a question of systems, really. It’s a matter of building expectations for each member of the team so that day after day, month after month, year after year, quality outcome happens.

Creating and implementing sustainable systems takes time, planning, effort and energy. You might need to create a beta-system approach, test it, revise it, re-launch it – maybe several times before you get an approach that becomes sustainable.

Maybe one of your company goals is to reduce employee turnover this year. What sustainable systems will you implement to make this happen, month after month, year after year? PHI has an excellent publication titled “ 12 steps for creating a culture of retention ” that sets out researched activities any organization can follow for reducing turnover. It breaks into two major areas: Recruitment and selection and creating a culture of retention.

My favorite step? Step #10: Offer robust learning through training, on-the-job learning, career development and advancement.

For this step, we can help you create the sustainable system to continue to offer every single team member opportunities for professional growth and career advancement.

For the other steps, you’ll need to evaluate, create, test and implement systems that simply make them a part of what happens in your company.

Automatically. Without your daily nagging or hands’ on efforts.

Creating a system that is sustainable takes focus and time. But what better time to create a system for future excellence than today, when perhaps you and other members of your team are just a little less busy than usual? It’s an exciting opportunity. Those of us that grab this opportunity and benefit from it will see results long after the economy’s turned the corner.
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