Open Letter to Human Resources

Richard Highsmith
November 8, 2011 — 1,956 views  
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Did you know 53% of your workforce is not producing up to their capability? Mercer Consultants conducted a survey entitled What's Working over the past two quarters among nearly 30,000 workers in 17 countries, including 2,400 workers in the US.

Here are the findings:

  • Nearly one in three (32%) of US workers is seriously considering leaving his or her organization at the present time.
  • Another 21% are not looking to leave but view their employers unfavorably and have minimal loyalty, commitment or motivation.

Since two in five of your employees are not considering leaving, this issue is not simply about finding a way to increase retention. In fact if you increase retention without improving attitude, the financial hit on the bottom line could be catastrophic to your company. Without some type of intervention your employee sentiment will continue to decline. Team building can be an important part of that intervention.

No doubt you are aware of the value of team building activities with your organization, and you probably conduct team building events for one of these two reasons. The first reason... Tradition! "Our company has always done an event at the annual meeting." Or "We like to do something physical, since there is so much sitting during session." Or "The employees expect it." The second reason is a decision to entertain the participants and break up a long series of meetings. Why? "Our CEO loves go-karts." Or "We think it's important to have fun." Both of these are excellent reasons to do a team building event. However, in my experience, companies tend to under-utilize the talents and capabilities of quality team building consultants. Addressing specific needs is possible in both the above scenarios.

Mindy Fox, a Senior Partner at Mercer says, "Diminished loyalty and widespread apathy can undermine business performance, particularly as companies increasingly look to their workforces to drive productivity gains and spur innovation."

This clearly calls for team building that goes beyond tradition and/or simple entertainment. Your employees need an event to improve their attitudes, motivation and professional performance... not just another passive seminar. A quality team building company will assist you in assessing what critical needs exist. A careful analysis of how to address these needs should lead to recommendations to your management team.

The types of problems your team building could address are varied. For example you might consider events to:

1. Engage participants in the over-arching goal of the meeting

2. Help employees to get to know one another

3. Improve intra-departmental cooperation

4. Raise the sensitivity of the participants toward each other

5. Bring laughter and lighten up the environment

6. Motivate the participants toward a new company goal

As an organizational consultant, I'd like every team building event to have a concrete, measurable goal. Remember tradition and entertainment don't rule out having a real world goal. Having a measurable goal will allow you to determine if the training produced a suitable return on investment. The behavior you want to modify must be observable. Let's compare two sample goals:

1. We want the team to work together better.

2. Team productivity will increase by 10% over the next three months and complaints to HR will be reduced by 25%.

Goal number one is a great outcome, but how will your management team decide if it is achieved? It is rather nebulous. Goal number two is more straightforward and allows your managers to do before and after measurements. This approach is essential in large companies where programs might be rolled out over thousands of employees. Your current team building professionals probably charge significant fees for employee training. One question to ask yourself is whether your company is getting a reasonable return on this expenditure?

Consider again these statistics...Over half your work force is experiencing "diminished loyalty and widespread apathy." As a Human Resource professional you must begin to look at team building as an effective tool to change the attitudes of your employees, increase their productivity, retain valuable workers and produce a positive ROI. Why wait until your next annual conference? Some of your employees may already be preparing to change jobs. Find a quality team building company today to help you identify your needs and design a progressive training program with measurable goals. Loyal, motivated people make loyal, motivated employees.


Article Source:

Richard Highsmith

Richard Highsmith, [email protected], is President of Quality Team Building. He has twenty-five years experience training and coaching. He has built and sold two successful businesses. To learn more about becoming a team leader visit our website at or call Rick toll-free at 1-888-484-8326 X101. Article Source: