What Gets Measured Improves

Motivated, successful, and contributing. That’s what you need your staff to be to achieve your goals and provide quality care to the clients you serve.  The world is changing.  Systems must evolve to support these changes or you fall behind.  Without healthy human systems and measures to assess them, your tools and strategies fall short. Human systems are simply structures you put in place to communicate your expectations for how people need to think, act and behave in order to fulfill your organization’s stated purpose.

Are you bold in measuring whether you and your co-workers are walking the talk? Do you prioritize your human systems and measure each person’s ability to perform within an agreeable level of competency?  One example of how I support clients in this is by having them review one another’s commitment to live the organization’s unique core values and the eight values that build trust (honesty, straightforwardness, receptivity, disclosure, respect, recognition, seeking excellence and following through on commitments). First, each person offers a measure between 1-10 for how well they are living each value, and then receives 1-10 feedback from coworkers. Suggestions are offered.  This is one example of using measurement to identify and prevent problems and proactively make improvements in human systems.

In my last article, I indicated the following 5 processes ensure your organizational wellness:

  1. REQUIREMENTS GATHERING
  2. HUMAN SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
  3. PROGRAM DESIGN
  4. IMPLEMENTATION
  5. TESTING AND MAINTENANCE

In this second of five articles, I support you in understanding what and why to focus on your:

2.    HUMAN SYSTEMS ANALYSIS

What? Uncover the strengths and weaknesses within your human systems so your people are supported in positive thinking, feeling and behaving.

Why? Your people are your greatest asset! Consider:

  • Have we conducted a company-wide assessment measuring levels of trust, alignment, and engagement?
  • Do we regularly repeat assessments to determine where to make improvements?
  • Do we over-communicate our purpose and values so everyone can repeat them if asked?
  • Have our employees created their individual plans, outlining their purpose, values, and visions?
  • Do our employees understand the expectations of our leaders for excellence in social intelligence?
  • Do our leaders effectively transfer responsibility to staff for getting along and getting a lot done?
  • Does our company utilize a temperament assessment to foster self-awareness and awareness of the diverse values, priorities, communication styles and behaviors of one another?
  • Do our leaders conduct weekly staff mentoring sessions and discuss opportunities for improvement?
  • Do our leaders collaborate to support each other in fine-tuning our human systems?
  • Do we track performance targets related to our human systems?

I work with leaders to develop human systems that build motivation from within their staff.  Part of the process includes identifying performance targets (desired outcomes) related to their human systems.  I offer these target areas as possibilities:

  • Reducing trust gaps
  • Increasing alignment
  • Improving retention
  • Reducing gossip
  • §Improving service
  • Reducing complaints
  • Improving relationships
  • Improving productivity
  • Improving engagement
  • Improving performance
  • Improving profit
  • Increasing revenues
  • Improving staff satisfaction
  • Improving customer satisfaction

Don’t leave your human systems to chance. Analyze them. Identify specific criteria for success, then measure and adjust.  For help in establishing and analyzing your essential human systems, call me!

Judy Ryan (judy@LifeworkSystems.com), human systems specialist, is owner of LifeWork Systems. Her mission is to help people create lives and jobs they love. She can be reached at 314-239-4727.

As published in St. Louis Small Business Monthly, December 2013