During a conversation with a frustrated employee, she revealed the source of her frustration was work.  The regional director conducted an all employee meeting to discuss the results of the engagement survey.  The “company” was launching a campaign to improve engagement through a series of moral boosting activities, aka pizza parties.   Immediately following the meeting with the regional director, the president of the company held a meeting stressing the importance of the staff to raise their productivity levels. 

Her issue with the meeting was that the “company” did not understand that it wasn’t morale boosting activities that were needed.  In 2013 the company shifted its staffing requirements by reducing staff hours; this was in an effort to avoid lay-offs.  Everyone would be able to keep their job.   However, the patient load did not decrease, but actually increased.  This resulted in an increase in the staff caseload, and not enough hours to provide quality customer care and complete the critical administrative requirement of documentation and billing.  Staff was being reprimanded for not completing the administrative component of the job in a timely manner.  Additionally, to compensate for the reduced hours many of the staff had taken on part-time jobs, while the company augmented the staff with temporary employees.  I asked what would be an optimal solution.  Her recommendation was to reinstate the hours for the staff as opposed to augmenting the staff with temporary help. The employee ended the conversation admitting that engagement was indeed low and saying:  “I appreciate the pizza but hunger is not our issue.”

I am certain this type of misalignment is playing out in organizations around the country.   How often do we as leaders institute policy changes or actions for the good of the business, and miss the impact of the action on the people and productivity?  The end result,  the unintentional   consequence of low engagement.  There was certainly good intention on the part of the company to arrange the staffing to ensure that all employees maintain a level of employment. 

Are your policies inadvertently causing a misalignment between your people and your purpose?  Now is a time for action, conduct an organizational audit of your policies.   I am committed to helping organizations achieve maximum productivity by aligning its people with its purpose, contact me  to continue the discussion.