If you’ve been following along with my Ten Simple Truths, you get by now that I am passionate about enabling people to be purposeful and productive within effective organizational systems.  Part of the engagement equation I shared in Truth #6 that affects employee engagement is the quality of the resources and systems employees work with as they perform their jobs. SIMPLE TRUTH #8: People want tools and resources to do their best work.

Think of your company as an organizational system of different, interrelated parts with lines connecting all the areas. The lines that connect that system together are infrastructure of technology – like an ERP, organizational processes and the human beings that interact with technology and processes. This system collectively provide products and/or services to your customers.  When you think of your organization this way, it becomes clear that your people’s output (volume, quality, innovation, etc.) can only be as effective as their “tools.”

In case you didn’t realize it, your employees don’t come to work wanting to suck at their jobs. Yet, many employees struggle quietly by their inability to do their jobs effectively because their company has obsolete or disparate systems, tools and/or processes that defy common sense.  If your employees have technology that is slow, hard-to-use, not easily accessible, or literally falling apart, you are wasting company resources – your people.  Your peoples’ time, energy and engagement directly impact your organizational productivity and overall financial success.  Without purposeful, effective organizational systems and technology, you have talented people who feel you don’t value their time and abilities. And you have an organization that cannot realize its full potential.

A popular example of people not having tools to do their best work is the new hire who starts their employment but has to wait a week or more until they have a computer in order to start doing their job.  I am not knocking IT folks here because issues like this are typically not about them.  What I am pointing out is that the company has an ineffective organizational system that doesn’t allow for timely ordering, purchase or set up of systems for new hires before they start their job.

Another example is the company that runs its business on outdated IT platforms making it difficult to share documents with vendors, partners or clients because of incompatibility issues. While smart employees will come up with creative workarounds, this issue regularly costs employees thousands of hours of frustration and re-work that could have been spent creating new and innovative products instead.

The quality and effectiveness of the organizational systems you have as the infrastructure of your business are paramount to employee productivity and engagement.  Companies that expect high performance from their people need to ensure they buy and maintain effective systems.  While having a new hire wait to get started seems minor, leaving an energetic new talent uncomfortable and wondering if not having the tools to do their best work is commonplace at your company — is not an optimal way to start a relationship.  As with the saying “a chain is only as good as its weakest link”, your company can only be as effective as your people are. People Matter in Business.

Cindy Goyette, SPHR – Maximizing Human Capital, Inc. 2014