9 Must Haves for Business Success

post from Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell:

Ask any manager and
they’ll agree that people issues are some of the most important ones they face
in their day-to-day routine. What can an organization do to assure they’ve got
great practices?  The following are nine
essentials that must be in place to ensure success.

1.    Corporate
Whether an
organization realizes it or not, it has a culture. Elements that define your
culture is leadership style, communication, the work environment – formal or
informal – and how mistakes are handled. 
Culture sets the tone for everything you do and everything you stand
for.  Leaders matter in any organization
because they are so visible.  Be
conscious about the culture that you set for your organization.  Manage it through your culture and your
actions and hire staff who will fit it.   

2.    Strategic
A key success
factor for any organization is having the right people in the right jobs. Hire
for attitude and train for skill. Know your culture, have clearly written job
descriptions, and train your managers to interview so they can find people who
will be successful in their jobs and in your organization. Follow best
practices, such as checking references to be sure that you bring in the right

3.    Welcoming
new employees.
There is
a wonderful time between when you hire a new employee and when the person starts.
It’s an opportunity to reinforce how glad you are that they accepted your
offer.  Have the hiring manager send a
welcoming letter or e-mail before they start. Be ready and carefully plan out
their first week.  Meet with them, take
them to lunch, introduce them to co-workers, assign a co-worker to be their
mentor and have all of their resources (phone, computer, e-mail address) ready
for them.

4.    Employee
engagement and retention.
and retention are inextricably linked. 
Focus groups and stay-interviews can reveal why people want to come to
work every day.  Build on those reasons
to encourage excitement about your organization. Don’t forget rewards and
recognitions programs. The most incredibly affective recognition strategy is
saying thank you – letting employees know you appreciate them.  It costs nothing and can have a huge payoff.

Total rewards programs. Rewarding employees goes beyond wages.
It includes indirect compensation such as benefits, rewards and recognition,
and flexibility. Your total rewards package should link to your recruiting
strategy as well as your goals and objectives. These programs should be
compatible with your culture, appropriate for your workforce and industry, and
be fair and equitable both internally and externally. Communicate with your employees
and make sure they understand that their benefits and other indirect programs
that you offer are part of their overall compensation package.  Take the time to educate your employees about
their benefits.  They will be very

Employee development. Development helps employees to be
effective in their current jobs and prepare for future opportunities that help
the organization to grow.  Training,
coaching and mentoring, and stretch assignments are just some of the ways to
develop employees. Development opportunities must align with the company’s
mission, goals and objectives, so use measurements, benchmarks and metrics to
assure they are.  Giving your employees
the opportunity to grow and succeed is a good value proposition and will help
you to grow a successful company.

Performance reviews. Performance reviews are just a part of
performance management – an ongoing process of planning, continual monitoring
and frequent feedback.  Managing
performance is crucial to employee motivation and feedback is an integral part.
Feedback lets employees know they are making a contribution and doing things
right.  Make sure expectations are clear
and don’t assume your employee’s know them. 
Performance reviews should focus on outcomes and results. 

Positive employee relations. Policies communicate expectations and
create the framework for fair and respectful treatment. They assure consistency
in making decisions while recognizing that each situation is unique and
requires flexibility.  Benchmark with other
companies in your community and industry to understand best practices, but develop
policies unique to the needs of your organization and your employees.  Communicating with employees is critical to
positive employee relations.  With
communication methods changing rapidly with technology and social media, it’s
important that you deliver messages in a method in which your employees like to
receive information. 

Ending the employment relationship. Even in a culture with positive employee
relations and frequent, open communication, employment relationships end. If the
company is initiating the termination, it’s important to be fair and
consistent.  Consider how similar
situations were handled in the past. 
Consider the individual’s tenure and history.  Review your policies, but don’t forget to use
judgment.  Keep other employees in
mind.  Good performers want to work with
other good performers.  After a layoff,
the employees who are still employed are also impacted, often being asked to
take on more work and responsibility. 
Regardless of the reason for the termination, even voluntary
terminations, treat the employee with dignity and respect.  Former employees may turn into future employees
or they may recommend others with great skills to meet your future talent

the authors
: Cornelia
Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell are influencers to the HR & Business
Communities. They’ve taken their collective years as Human Resource
professionals and consultants and shared it in The
Big Book of HR
They’ve also written The
Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook
and collaborate on a weekly blog,
Making People Matter. For more
information visit www.bigbookofhr.com.