In this first of a multiple entry series, I will highlight some best practices we discovered while partnering with our HR professionals to lead people and maximize their commitment, effort, and loyalty.
- Work Attire. Teams wear the same uniforms or work attire. Employees knew there were different roles on the team but everyone played for the same team and wore the same clothing. Simple but powerful.
- Hiring. HR professionals screened applications and narrowed down the pool of candidates. But, it was critical that Operation leaders actively participated in final interviews with HR professionals. Ultimately we needed to be directly involved in picking our team members.
- Call-in Policy (Absenteeism). If an employee was going to miss work, then they contacted their immediate boss not HR. And, if they didn’t contact their boss then the boss was connecting with them. This helped drive more accountability and genuine concern for individuals.
- Policies and Procedures. Operation leaders were trained by HR specialists on the basics of our employee handbook, pay, and benefits. It was not acceptable for an Operation leader to send someone to the HR specialist or a website without first trying to answer the question themselves. We wanted all leaders to be a credible source of information for their employees.
- Bi-monthly ‘People Meetings.’ These mandatory 2-hour meetings had a standard, 3-part agenda. First, we discussed, by name, any employee who deserved special recognition (non-financial) for results and values-based behavior. Second, we replicated the process for anyone who was being coached and/or disciplines for unacceptable results or behavior. Finally, our HR specialist would highlight a section of the employee handbook. Our ultimate goal was to create more consistency in coaching our employees.
- Process Discipline. Inconsistencies in how Operation leaders handled overtime notice, time off requests, performance reviews, and filling job openings created perceived favoritism. HR specialists were responsible for developing and monitoring the processes but Operation leaders had to be accountable for the timeliness and quality of execution.
What’s your experience been? Let me know by email. More Operations Lessons Learned in my next post.