Eric Flamholtz, Ph. Some of these growing pains are more common than others, so you can prepare for them if you know what to look for. Maybe some of the items on this list will sound familiar. Employees might even begin to experience physical illnesses brought on by excessive stress, leading to increased absenteeism. This is usually a good sign that it is time to review efficiency and perhaps hire additional help.
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Eric Flamholtz, Ph. Some of these growing pains are more common than others, so you can prepare for them if you know what to look for. Maybe some of the items on this list will sound familiar. Employees might even begin to experience physical illnesses brought on by excessive stress, leading to increased absenteeism. This is usually a good sign that it is time to review efficiency and perhaps hire additional help. Seek feedback from your employees about where they are feeling the most overwhelmed and why.
Are they spending time on unnecessary or redundant tasks? Or is there just too much for everyone to do? Your needs might range from one or two additional part-time employees to several additional full-time employees. Everyone should know what their longterm goal is and what they should be doing on a day-to-day basis to get there. Bring together key decision makers in your company to analyze where you stand in these four areas and how that knowledge can help you establish a clear plan for the future.
Lack of Direction This is closely related to the issue of employees constantly putting out fires, and the solution, again, is strategic planning that involves everyone. Whether it is because immediate obstacles occupy too much time for employees or for other reasons, staff members sometimes can start to believe they are spinning their wheels and not really accomplishing anything.
Not only does this lead to morale problems, but employees may lose interest and seek employment someplace where they feel a greater sense of purpose.
This can lead to an organization becoming a group of isolated factions at odds with one another while duplicating tasks or leaving tasks unaddressed altogether. This can come by way of formal management development programs, but it also can come by way of identifying strong management candidates and grooming them for the responsibility. Build a culture in your company where current managers are expected to identify potential candidates for management positions and mentor them until an appropriate management opportunity presents itself for that candidate.
Obviously, the waste of time is inefficient, but such meetings also may reinforce a belief among employees that the company is directionless. Too often, meetings regress until little more than informal discussions that take too long and result in no clear decisions being made. Everyone attending a meeting should know why they are there when they walk in the door, and everyone should leave the meeting with a clear sense of what they need to do, based on whatever decisions were in the meeting.
To make sure there is follow through, subsequent meetings always should include an agenda item to address tasks assigned at the previous meeting. To get your meetings back to being productive and useful, keep them short and on topic. A focused minute meeting can be more productive than one three times as long if it simply is padded by people chatting and following tangents. To do this, make sure every meeting has a detailed agenda and stick to it.
If the agenda involves a lot of detail, consider breaking the meeting into two or more sessions. Multiple short meetings often can be much more productive than a single long meeting. Focused meetings also can help address the problem of people or departments working in their own bubbles. If a larger project involves two or more departments, meetings are an opportunity for managers from those respective departments to communicate clearly with one another about what is expected of each department.
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