Submitted by bren811 on
my regional leader has asked me to spend a week at a different office. They have had a high turnover of people doing "my" job at this location, and would like me to assess the workload of the position, identify any other issues for the role, and make some recommendations for improvement. The issues may relate to the individual position, or to team dynamics. The manager hasn't given my any guidelines on how she would like me to go about this, or what sort of output she is expecting at the end, despite my having asked for this.
Time and motion studies have already been done, so I should be able to access this data. I will be able to speak to the person who has recently resigned from this position, and later, to her successor. I hope also to be able to access performance reviews for people who have previously worked in the position.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to sources of data, or approaches I could take to the problem? All ideas welcome - I'm a bit worried that someone is going to say "you had a whole week and all you came up with is this???"
Thanks in advance
I’ve made some assumptions when developing my response, based on the information you provided – ie: that this may not be a manager position and this position is located in a regional area. Here are some points you may wish to consider when developing your recommendation to your manager:
- Was there an interview report written when selecting the previous candidates and are you able to review it? Could there be issues with the selection process which has resulted in selecting the wrong type of people for the position? Were the appropriate behavioural questions asked?
Who interviewed for the position? Was a person, like yourself, in a similar position and who knows the job, involved with the selection?
- Is the person the only one doing that type of work in that location? If so, did the person have access to people in similar roles? Having worked in a similar situation, in a regional office, it did help that I was able to meet people in Head Office who directly impacted my work, and those in similar roles in other locations not long after commencing. Having built those relationships made my role a lot easier with asking for help when I needed further advice regarding organisational systems and procedures.
- Ask the other team members for their insight as to why they think there has been a high turnover in the role.
- Some basic questions you may wish ask when interviewing the previous occupant of the role - besides why they resigned are:
* Did they have access to the resources they needed? – people and equipment
* How were the interpersonal relationships with their supervisor and other team members?
* Were they provided with adequate induction and training to enable them to perform their job?
Some of these issues may not be relevant for your situation but hope this has provided you with some help.
Karen gives some good suggestions. There's 2 additions that I'd suggest.
Get an understanding of what were the expectations of the people in the jobs who have left and the team members that are still there. How did those expectations differ from what was actually being experienced. This is broad but in a similar situation I encountered I was able to get a good understanding of why people were leaving simply by understanding that the team had been given a certain set of expectations by the previous management relating to the job including pay and performance that were different than what the new management team had given.
The other thing is to understand if there have been any significant changes prior to when the attrition started.
Thanks Karen and Steve for your suggestions. I'll be following up all of these ideas.
First, thanks to Karen - GREAT POST. Well done.
And with all that in mind, I would suggest that it would be easy to go out there and forget to do the one thing that will make the most difference.
DO THE JOB.
All the interviewing, all the review, research, insight, perspective in the world won't take the place of actually doing the work that this position requires, and learning first hand what issues are impinging upon this role. My guess is it's people and/or boss, in reverse order of likelihood.
I don't know what your charge is... CAN you go and just (for the most part) be the fill in person, doing the job? If you can, just work for a day or two, and then ask people (as just another worker), what happened to the previous person, etc., etc.
Too often, the data we get is skewed by the office's perception of us as investigators.