May 2018


With a nascent American economy, clients are seeing increased competition for talent and rising compensation expectations. Increasing employment opportunities bring new promise of career progression for those who simply want to learn more, grow, and contribute more each day. After more than a decade of stagnant job and salary growth, employees are optimistic and excited by the prospects of a more dynamic economy and greater career choice. This puts a resurgent press on earnestly examining organizational cultural and leadership capacity in dealing creatively with the daily rigors and challenges of work.

As part of an effort to reduce absenteeism among staff (largely doctors, nurses, dentists, etc.) in a VA hospital, we framed work from the perspective of life-consuming time. In the context of each 24-hour day, most working age adults spend an enormous percentage of their lives at work engaged in hopefully satisfying and career enhancing activities. If you do the math by starting with 24 and subtract out the recommended 8 hours of sleep, the requisite time for eating, shaving, showering, and shining, and the round-trip daily commute, and take your time at work as a percentage of the resulting number, you may be shocked to realize what a huge part of your life work consumes. The purpose of this exercise is not to depress the staff--thiswas by the way a largely psychiatric hospital--but, on the contrary, to underscore the incredible importance of managers and leaders understanding the impact of providing really effective leadership.

Times of budding prosperity call for a carefully examination of underlying human resource policies and practices such as salary administration and performance management programs as well as a fresh look at the prevailing organizational culture in terms of mission, vision, and values. A central question is whether they are, in terms of a fair day's work, all operating in unison or are you preaching one thing and practicing another.

For more than two decades, HRA has been serving the needs of people-centered organizations, providing tailored solutions to promote top-quality leaders and successful cultures of accountability. We will be happy to talk to you about ways we can help.

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