Pursuing Organizational Stability in 2020
Operational stability is one of the keys to business success. A strong foundation of stability allows your organization to weather any storms. It frees you up to pursue riskier ventures with higher returns. How can you strengthen your business’s foundation in 2020? Today we are going to look at three critical areas: employee retention, process standardization, and planning for succession.
Reduce Employee Turnover
All businesses experience some degree of employee turnover. While it is normal for employees to come and go, reducing the rate of turnover is helpful. Employee turnover costs your organization—both in time and money—so it is good to pursue strategies for finding long-lasting hires and retaining current staff. Here are some suggestions:
- Use careful hiring practices in order to get the right employees on your team. Be clear about job descriptions during the hiring process. Make sure you screen for candidates that are a good fit, culturally and behaviorally.
- Offer competitive pay and benefits packages to your employees. Even if an employee loves their job, if they feel undercompensated, they are likely to keep their eyes open for better opportunities elsewhere.
- Give positive reinforcement to your team regularly. Recognition of a job well done can go a long way in making your employees feel satisfied in their work. You should strive to cultivate an environment of encouragement and respect.
- Support upward mobility within your team. Offer career paths to your employees so they do not feel as though they are stagnant in their job. Support your team members in their pursuit of new designations, memberships in professional organizations, and continued learning.
- Allow for flexible work schedules, if it is feasible. This entails allowing your employees to set their own hours and choose where they work. Scheduling flexibility allows your employees to create a work-life balance that works best for them. Obviously, flexible scheduling is not possible for all organizations. If this is the case for you, consider how you can work just some additional flexibility into your employees’ schedules.
The key to reducing employee turnover is making your team members happy with their jobs. If you are experiencing higher turnover than you would like but are not sure why, consider asking your team. Distribute an anonymous survey or perform exit interviews in order to hone in on the source of your employee turnover.
Standardize and Document Processes
The next area to tackle is that of process standardization. Establishing and documenting clear processes creates uniformity, consistency, and accountability. Here are some tips for standardizing and documenting your organization’s procedures:
- Identify all processes that require standardization. List the different areas into which you categorize your organization’s processes, such as marketing, IT, management, and more. Within these categories, identify any procedures that occur regularly.
- Document the procedures that you came up with in the previous step. Start with the most important ones and work your way down. Make sure to include details about all tasks involved and the people responsible for completing them. Be sure to include the input of the people performing the procedures in the documentation process.
- Communicate the procedures and implement standardization. Explain to your team that you expect them to follow the procedures as documented. Make sure that they have easy access to all the details that they need in order to comply.
- Monitor your procedure standardization and adjust where necessary. Make sure you allow for employee feedback on the procedures. Be open to adjusting and improving your processes.
Standardization is important because it creates uniformity across your organization. It is especially helpful to have in place when you onboard new employees. After all, though you can certainly increase your employee retention, it is unlikely that you will eliminate it entirely. This process is well worth the time and the effort that it requires.
Make a Plan for Your Future
Without a long-term plan for the future of your organization, any stability is relatively short term. In your pursuit of stability, establishing a strong succession plan is key. Here are some tips for approaching this process:
- Start now. The most effective succession plans are created far before they are needed. When you start planning early, it allows you to make long-term preparations. It also allows you to establish contingency plans for unforeseeable circumstances, such as the sudden exit of a key player in your organization.
- Cultivate future leaders within your organization. This does not mean that you should choose the person you want to take over the reins of your organization years from now. Rather, you should provide leadership learning and development opportunities for any and all team members. This will allow you plenty of time to observe who takes advantage of these opportunities and who shows a natural aptitude for leadership.
- Allow input from multiple levels of management as you seek to fill leadership positions. It is good to seek out more than one opinion about who to promote. This is particularly true in large organizations where you cannot know each team member as well.
Are you intimidated by this process? Consider consulting an expert in succession planning. Seek out a valued advisor who can help you prepare thoroughly for your organization’s future.