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Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.
— Chinese Proverb
 
 

Informed Resolutions™: The Cure (part 3 of 3)

What is the answer to a chaotic workplace culture? We believe it is non-biased and comprehensive fact-finding and analysis coupled with informed objective decision-making, or as we like to call it Informed Resolutions™.  That sounds like a bunch of gobbly-gook.  Shouldn’t something designed to address work culture have a human element? It should and it does. Informed Resolutions is a concept that characterizes the employer-employee relationship.  How does this work?

Informed Resolutions is the idea that non-biased, comprehensive, fact-finding and analysis creates an opportunity to engage employees in resolving internal business issues efficiently, effectively and economically. This concept has many applications throughout a business. This article discusses the benefits to employers and employees in creating a healthy reporting culture where employees feel free to raise issues and concerns. A process based on the principles noted below will encourage early reporting and reduce crises that arise from ignoring problems in the hope they will go away.

Non-biased: A neutral position where someone does not have, as Warren Buffet coined, “skin in the game.”  In our context, the “skin” could be monetary, relational, social, personal, or come from a place of individual bias. Conventional wisdom suggests that someone takes more ownership in something when they have “skin”. Conversely, it may keep us from “seeing the forest for the trees”; inadvertently creating a situation where someone is too involved in the problem at issue to see how it is affecting the culture as a whole.

Comprehensive: An all-inclusive, broad, and in-depth assessment that is inclusionary of nonstandard resources. This includes all types of evidence: documentary, digital, exculpatory, testimonial, forensic, statistical, circumstantial or direct. It comprises everything “from soup to nuts”, not just the main course.

Fact-finding: The objective process of discovering the reality of an issue, culminating in facts that cannot be logically disputed or rejected. Facts answer specific questions, namely who, what, when, where, why and how. The fact-finding process is impartial and collects facts that are positive, negative, and everything “betwixt and between”.

Analysis: A review of the entirety of facts to corroborate the truth by considering all evidence collected, some of which may be conflicting. Analysis involves determining the credibility of the evidence, including the credibility of witnesses and documentation. The fact-finder evaluates the evidence from an objective standpoint, which the law terms a “reasonable person standard.”.  Analysis of evidence collected by the fact-finder in an objective manner is a process designed to avoid “jumping to conclusions”.

The Informed Resolutions concept promotes employee participation in problem-solving, resulting in increased employee engagement and a healthy workplace culture. In our experience, we have found that employees want to feel like their voice is being heard by management and to feel like their circumstances and opinions matter.  Unfortunately, many employees believe that they are given a lot of “lip service” by management, all talk with no action or intention of action. Even worse, employees are fearful of voicing problems because they have seen adverse consequences to others who have stepped up.

With Informed Resolutions, business issues are resolved efficiently, effectively, and economically.  A few of the outcomes Informed Resolutions creates are as follows:

  • Well-vetted internal controls, policies, and procedures are communicated and followed, providing a basis for appropriate decision-making and delineation of responsibilities.
  • Employees and teams are empowered to make decisions because they are part of the process.
  • All “engines are humming” with cooperation and collaboration between departments and teams.
  • The business owner, CEO and managers have time to grow the business, which allows them to anticipate and act on opportunities and challenges from a future- based perspective.
  • There are very few, if any, unanticipated crises because issues are addressed proactively and problems resolved internally before they balloon into a PR, legal, or financial crisis.
  • Employees who are the right fit for the business are hired, they are happy to come to work, and turnover numbers are low.
  • The bottom line tells a positive story of growth, sustainability, and a healthy business climate.

U.S. companies are leaders in external innovation but tend to fail in extending that same creativity to internal innovation. The overwhelming desire to please the customer, build sales and cut expenses often leads to disgruntled employees whose disengagement ends up being an enormous cost to the company. Although employee engagement is not a line-item, the effect of disengagement can be seen in absenteeism, worker’s comp claims, turnover, use of protected leave, legal claims, fraud, security leaks, poor customer service and many other things that all adversely affect the bottom line. 

An article published by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2015 puts disengagement in perspective:

  • 70% of the workforce is disengaged.
  • Engaged companies grow profits as much as three times faster than their competitors.
  • Highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization.
  • Disengaged employees cost an organization approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary.
  • The American economy misses out on as much as $350 billion per year due to lost productivity.

Workplace culture either stimulates or discourages employee engagement. One or two positive gestures, such as an extra day off or a raise, does not increase engagement.  Engagement is systemic.  Healthy work cultures are immersed in a holistic approach to addressing both problems and opportunities.  Putting a band-aid on a broken leg does not work.  Short-term solutions create crises and future expense.

The Informed Resolutions process is predicated on the belief that once a healthy company culture is established, the organization will organically expand and contract to meet the internal stresses, which then rewards the business with reduced exposure to liability and the opportunity for growth.  For more information on this topic, look for our upcoming book Company Confidential:  The Secrets to Effectively Resolving Internal Conflict.

For more information about our services, including employee hotline management, internal investigations, policy and procedure consulting and auditing, and our Informed Resolutions™ process, please contact Cynthia Fenton or Stephanie Woodhead at (844) 321-9733 or email us at info@workplacefactfinders.com

The information contained in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Employers should consult their attorney for legal advice.

12407 N Mopac Expy | Ste 250-514 | Austin, TX 78758 | 844-321-9733 | www.workplacefactfinders.com

Look for our upcoming book, Company Confidential: The Secrets to Effectively Resolving Internal Conflict