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Tech Talk Fundamentals of the Software Design

Booming in the Millennium

To say the world is undergoing a huge economic restructuring might be an understatement. Shifting demographics are one of the key factors driving this change. The U.S. economy has grown at an annual rate of around 3.4% adjusted for inflation over the past 50 years (BLS). An important factor in achieving that pace of economic growth has been an increase of about 1.7% annually in the supply of workers.

The Baby Boomers who drove consumption for nearly four decades are now reaching retirement age. Boomers are leaving, taking decades of experience and intellectual property with them. As they do so, many are concerned with having enough money to support a comfortable lifestyle. The millennia workforce will need a 21st century management system, because it is not only younger but different by sex, race, and ethnicity. This workforce is motivated by a different world view. This more diverse workforce force will demand a variety of benefits, a flexible work schedule, clearly defined opportunities for growth and advancement and of course a competitive pay plan.

Now this brings us to an interesting question, What is the purpose of the pay plan? I personally agree with Robert Heneman, who says, “The ultimate goal of the pay plan is to align the goals and interests of the employees with the goals and interests of the organization. Sadly, as I have frequently observed, performance management systems and line of sight bonus schemes are a blunt stick at best. They are rigid structures based on short time results at best and “finger in the wind” opinion polls at worst. See my earlier blog, “Perfecting Performance Appraisal Tools" for more details.

Those in management will have to approach the system in a different way. It will have to be one that creates a culture of achievement, not entitlement. Such a system replaces blunt stick technology with managers tools ensuring employees know exactly what they need to do to excel by fully supporting the organizations goals and objectives.

This may sound like a dream; it is not. Read on.

21st century workforce management includes:

  • Ensuring performance standards are clearly defined in each employee’s job description.
  • Performance standards are measurable and prioritized according to their impact on Westar’s strategy, goals and objectives.
  • From the first day on the job each employee knows exactly what they must do each day to drive success.
  • Innovation targets are identified encouraging staff to stretch beyond current job requirements.
  • Targets encourage employees to increase their skill certifications, initiate and complete money saving ideas or take on added responsibilities.
  • Areas of personal conduct are provided to ensure professional standards are understood.

Appraisals provide management with accurate measurement of job-specific performance for each employee. They work best when equipped with a “Human Factors” rating scale enabling management to develop effective coaching strategies targeting specific skill and motivation affecting overall performance.

Coaching and development are a part of each manager’s role and responsibility. Many managers are unfamiliar with coaching techniques, as they have not received professional training. A structured coaching worksheet linked with the “Human Factors” rating scale will provide managers with a road map to developing successful coaching strategies for staff at all levels of performance.

Tracking and documentation are made easy with online employee logs and performance dashboards. Each manager has their own console representing their direct reports. The employee log allows managers to create personalized category folders to record individual achievement, discipline, training, vacation and sick leave among others.

Pay increases and rewards are earned. Managers maximize results and rein in costs by providing staff with high value (financial and nonfinancial) incentives. In essence, employees are rewarded for demonstrating exemplary performance, goal achievement, skill advancement or successfully implementing approved innovative ideas. Rewards interlock with daily work efforts and Westar’s key success factors enable managers to drive change at every level within the organization.

Performance dashboards provide managers with graphical information related to performance goals, key performance indicators or employee log entry by person, position, and department, or between international counterparts. Dashboards enable managers to review data graphics from each folder or combination of folders. Managers routinely measure, monitor, and analyze the effectiveness of the workforce as never before. With these tools, management drives strategy and contains costs -delivering sustainable value to customers and shareholders alike.

With a well-trained workforce and Performance Path® technology there is no need for forced compliance as each person recognizes the importance of his or her contribution. Individuals and colleagues work together with a sense of commitment and shared fate. Shareholder value is a measure of personal fulfillment as much as a financial result. In a corporate culture motivated by achievement, there is spontaneous innovation, constant cooperation, and you hear the laughter of people dreaming, achieving, and having fun.

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