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Continued from Previous……
The last nine posts covered the challenges to scaling up in some detail. Much more can be written about it, but I believe the picture is fairly clear, and we can now move to solutions.
The rather long list of challenges can be summed up under fewer broad heads. People, Infrastructure, Processes, and Resources may be listed as major heads in which work needs to be done.
SOLUTIONS – PEOPLE
People are central to all efforts because people make the organization and run it. Following measures should be considered.
Engagement – employee engagement is the magical element that makes any program from good to great. Engagement is physical, intellectual, and emotional.
Physical engagement means that the employee would give her/his best physical effort. They would work full time, not take unnecessary holidays, and even do extra labor whenever needed. If a project is running late and needs extra hours for on time completion, it will be done without putting pressure on anyone.
Intellectual engagement means that the employees would give their best intellectual capability to their work. They would constantly think of innovating, improvising, and improving the ways things are done. They would contribute ideas for the growth of the organization.
Emotional engagement means that the employees would feel emotionally attached to the organization. They would feel they have a stake in it and that it is akin to being their ‘own thing’. Being emotionally engaged also means that everyone contributes to developing and maintaining an environment of goodwill, camaraderie, and teamwork.
Engagement Building process takes time and consistent effort. It may be easier to develop in a startup but may be much more difficult and time consuming in older organization which may be harboring anti-engagement culture for a long time. Consistency is a key word because going back to older practices even temporarily would hamper the change effort.
Engagement can be built by working in three areas.
Inclusivity – as they say, enlarge the circle and include everyone. There should be similar treatment for anyone. Discrimination, which is always without merit, must be avoided. When the staff knows that they are considered to be important part of the organization and that their voices are heard and their opinions count, they develop engagement.
Respect – respecting all employees at the human level builds and strengthens self-respect in them. People come from diverse backgrounds, from humble to respectable. They bring various amounts of self-respect in them. Without consideration to this factor, if they receive respect from seniors and peers, they develop a healthy amount of self-respect which may or may not have been there before. Self-respect is a great stimulus for engagement.
Growth – over time is the ambition and desire of all employees. Growth is measured in terms of learning new skills, doing new work, and gaining new, elevated positions. Gallup ran an extensive survey to measure employee engagement. The questionnaire they finally designed has twelve questions, six of which relate to growth. Growth is considered extremely important by the employees, and they understand that growth is not just about promotion.
Capability – most employees coming at the entry level are equipped with theoretical knowledge but do not possess the practical experience. It is necessary to develop their capability to execute their jobs properly. Capability starts from a basic level of expertise and can keep rising indefinitely. The Peter Principle, ‘Everyone rises to his level of incompetence’ means that the limit is ‘incapability’, and not ‘capability’. Building capability offers great rewards for the organization and the staff and is an extremely effective tool for building engagement.
Capability building can be done through an integrated process of on-the-job training and internal/ external trainings.
Capacity – building is mandatory as the organization grows in size. One part of capacity develops as the employees handle bigger jobs over time. They learn automatically about how to deal with larger volumes, more customers, more shipments, and more production. They develop mechanisms to cope with the increasing demands. However, all this development may not be in the right direction.
Two steps may be considered for capacity building. One is external trainings in specific, targeted areas, and two is bringing in staff who already have a higher capacity.
Talent acquisition, talent management and talent retention are not just buzzwords, these are important tools for organizational development. Similarly, performance management tools are equally important for scaling up the organization.
To be Continued……
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