Monday, August 8, 2016

Ways that organizations inadvertently compromise the quality of their services



Almost every organization I have worked with would  say that they are committed to quality work internally and quality services externally but often the reality does not live up to the goal. This is particularly true among non-profits but it is not only resident there. Often it is the result of several overlooked factors that inadvertently compromise the quality of their work.

One of the first things that comes to mind is that of poor hiring methods. When we hire without doing do diligence to the qualifications of the applicant or the skill fit we often end up paying a steep price later. There is an adage that says "hire slow and fire fast" and it has great merit to it. Many organizations don't realize the bottom line impact poor hires have on them. First, unqualified individuals do not make the organization look good. Second, it takes more unqualified individuals to get the job done than one highly qualified individual. Thus there is both a financial and service quality variable in our hiring practices.

In addition when we choose to compensate below the fair market value of a job we drastically reduce the number of qualified candidates who will consider working for us. Here is the irony.  We end up hiring more individuals to do a job than we need because we got what we were willing to pay for. So in an attempt to save money in salaries we actually spend more money than we needed to. This is particularly true with churches and Christian non-profits but it can be found in the for profit sector as well.

Another common mistake is to pay too little attention to the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) of those we hire. Even highly competent individuals can hurt the organization if they exhibit poor EQ. They can hurt others on the team internally and create issues with customers externally. Considerable attention ought to be given to the issue of an individual's EQ in the hiring process as well as in ongoing education in this area. For more on Emotional Intelligence see "Signs of good and bad EQ."

Finally, in the desire to save money, some organizations do not provide the necessary tools to staff to get their job done efficiently. This can be training, technology and software or the necessary ongoing mentoring. It is unfortunate that the investment already made in these staff is lost when they either choose to leave or cannot fulfill their job with excellence because of the neglect of their supervisor.

None of these actions are meant to hurt the quality of an organizations work but all do so inadvertently. My philosophy has always been to hire slow and well, pay competitively, give staff the tools they need and have as few staff as necessary. You can do that with the right staff.

TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com

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