Just Say Yes: The Benefits of Letting Your People Drive Improvement

Google has become a powerful example in driving innovation by providing employees with time to work on whatever they want on a regular basis.  I read a great article about this on Inc.com, “Why You Should Let Your Employees Do Whatever They Want, by Michael Schein dated February 18, 2014. I admit, when I heard about this idea some years ago, I…

Manufacturing: Has Your Suggestion Program Run Out of Gas?

Has your suggestion program run out of gas and died?  Don’t worry, you can reincarnate it quickly with these tips! History:  The first company to introduce an employee suggestion program is believed to have been William Denny and Brothers, a shipbuilding company in Scotland, in 1881. The purpose of the program was to  leverage employee knowledge and ideas to drive…

Manufacturing Metrics and The Yellow Brick Road

Most organizations use metrics as measuring sticks, showing people how the organization is doing.  Many management teams use a Balanced Scorecard, including both financial (lagging) measures and non-financial (leading) measures.   Lagging measures show us results that have occurred, after the fact.  Leading measures show progress at a designated point in time, allowing time for people…

3 Critical Months In The Life Of A Manufacturing Plant

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a precision metal-working plant in in the Northeast USA.  This plant had been through lots of upheaval due to a string of acquisitions, and the formerly unionized workforce was now non-union, with most of the original employees having successfully evolved with each change. The time came when a…

When it Comes to Systems and Tools, 1 Size Does Not Fit All.

Anyone who has worked in several organizations either as an employee or as a consultant has most likely observed that there are many approaches to building effectiveness and efficiency in organizations large and small and in every industry. Often-times, we do benchmarking against competitors, surveys, and we use Best Practices. As an H.R. professional for…

What is H.R.’s Strategic Role?

H.R. is generally a participant with the executive team in establishing the business strategy. But H.R.’s strategic role goes well beyond a team role in deciding the strategy. Execution is where most organizations struggle or fail, and H.R. can significantly impact execution. There are six Keys to Strategy Execution (KSEs) that are essential to optimize…

Is Your In-house Learning Function A Cost Center Or A Strategic Enabler?

A global survey by HCM Advisory Group found that 48% of executives view their company’s learning function either as a necessary but high-cost contributor or as sunk cost. 52% see the learning function as a strategic enabler for the organization.  86% of the survey participants were US companies. A learning function becomes a strategic enabler as…