Big business is defined as having over 500 employees. These businesses have their own unique set of challenges that small businesses just don't face or do face, but on a much smaller scale. The more people a large business employs, the more opportunity there is to help them with the following:
Human Resources (better hiring process/practices)
The larger the company, the potential for more complex system flows or the amount of systems that there are. Granted, what truly separates a billion dollar company from a million dollar company are the amount of EFFECTIVE systems in place. But, at Catalyst, we typically find that the larger the company becomes (with more people in charge of managing, with high turnover of management personnel, with department heads or upper management that have trouble acting on inefficiencies or with the creation of too many departments, there is a tendency to create redundancies or to just let inefficiencies remain because someone doesn't want to "rock the boat"). When a manager knows that there are inefficiencies, but cannot get his superiors to act on it for whatever reason, the manager will a lot of times just give up the fight and learn to deal with the bad work flow.
This is called "Diseconomies of Scale". This is where the additional costs of becoming too large expands beyond its optimal level. In other words, these companies are spending more than they bring in and many times it is the cost of having more people (due to the inefficiencies of the work flow or the redundant systems/work flows).
Some examples of diseconomies of scale are:
Ineffective work flow and communication between departments
Coordination problems between many departments and divisions
Overpaying for resources, paying salaries that are too high, and excessive waste of resources (usually occurs in an uncompetitive market or not understanding the local market)
Low motivation of workers resulting in lower productivity
Principal-agent issues. This occurs when managers are given the authority to make decisions, but don't necessarily make decisions that are in the best interest of the company. This is typically not done intentionally by the managers, it's just that they don't possess the ability or the know-how on how to make good decisions
Human Resources - Poor Hiring Process/Practices
Large businesses, as Catalyst has found out, can have just as many issues as small business In fact, the scale of these issues is what leads to these issues never being addressed. Either the parties involved are just too close to the issues to actually see them, they see them, but don't know exactly what to do about them or it seems just too overwhelming to tackle. The same goes for a large organization's human resource department. Behaviorally speaking, those that run the HR department typically fall into the "S-Style" on the behavioral modality scale. What this means is that these behavioral types RESIST CHANGE. So, changing anything is next to impossible due to all of the push-back that is experienced from those types who happen to run the HR department. Typically, these are the most common issues or mistakes we see with large organizations in regard to their HR departments:
Outdated Employee Handbooks. Outdated internally or externally, either way it could be a recipe for disaster. Federal employment laws change constantly as do company policies and ensuring that you are protecting your organization and disseminating the correct information to the "troops" is paramount.
Incomplete/Misfiled Employee Files. Not having the I-9s filed properly, not having all of the employees' personnel documents in their personnel file, and now with HIPPA it might be wise to store your employees' health and welfare files separately as well.
Cutting Corners on the Hiring Process/No Proven Hiring Process. Hiring quickly just to fill that billet can be disastrous. The cost of turnover, the cost for wrongful termination/discrimination suits, and the cost of workers' compensation claims can plague a company for years.
Hurried Promotions Without Conducting Due Diligence. Many firms are quick to promote from within, thinking that just because someone performed well in one area of the business that they will perform well in every area of the business. This couldn't be further from the truth.
No Solid Training Program/No Training Program at All. Not only do employees need to be immersed in the culture of an organization, they also need to have a solid training program. According to a Gallup poll, only 34.1% of American workers are engaged at work. Wow! Now, there are a lot of reasons why that might be (not hiring the right person for the job, bad management, bad policies, inefficiencies, etc.). But, one reason for sure is that employees want to know how to effectively do their job and they want to feel that they are making a difference.
Inadequate or Missing HR Policies. Many companies are operating with missing policies (vacation policies, FMLA Policy, harassment policy, disaster policy, etc.). Not having these in place can cost a large organization a lot of money.
Not Complying with Employment Laws or Regulatory Agencies' Policies. A lot of large businesses' HR departments are ignorant of the ever-changing employment laws or regulatory agencies that govern the industry in which these businesses operate. This can be VERY costly as the fines can pile up rapidly.
Catalyst can assist an organization in all of the above by first auditing the current HR processes and practices, offering suggestions for change, implementing the necessary changes, and then tracking the results.
This is probably one of the most overlooked and yet, most crucial areas of a business (small or large) that if truly focused on can have a continual, dramatic, and positive effect on the business. We need to reiterate this: Not addressing the issues that exist (and trust us, if your company employs people, they exist), in regard to your organizational development will ensure that your company becomes toxic! So what are some of the symptoms that a company might possess that is inherent with bad or non-existent organizational development?
Experiencing high turnover
There is a lack of employee engagement (Hawaiian shirt Fridays are NOT the solution by the way)
Employees are stressed out and end up having more health issues, thus call-off of work more frequently
There are unhealthy cliques that have developed within the organization
Employees can be cutthroat with one another
There is frequent, poor communication
Frequent and multiple mistakes are made by employees that end up costing the company in having to redo the work
Employees appear to have no idea what is expected of them
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you could more than likely use a tune-up from an organization development standpoint. Catalyst specializes in assessing your current situation from an organizational standpoint, offering solutions that can remedy the company's OD challenges, and then implementing the change that is needed to remedy these OD challenges. The outcome? More engaged employees, healthier (physically) employees, better productivity, a more harmonious workplace, fewer mistakes to correct, and a workforce that is much easier to manage.
This is by far the hardest area for Catalyst to gain entry into a large organization and typically one we avoid. Let us explain: Typically large organizations have legions of internal accountants, an outside accounting firm that they use, and a CFO who manages the day-to-day and strategic finances for the company. For those companies, Catalyst leaves them to their impressive resources. This is not to say that Catalyst couldn't have an impact on the overall health of the organization from a financial standpoint, but typically the CFO's of large organizations are very possessive of their "turf" and refuse to cooperate with our investigation and recommendations. The biggest challenge with these types (yes, we're going to the behavioral modality argument again) is that they are typically very cautious, very critical, and very much afraid of making any kind of mistake. So, if it was even perceived by these behavioral types that they weren't doing their job the best that it could be done, it would be devastating to them. These behavioral types typically are very risk adverse (which can be an unbelievably, beneficial behavioral trait), but are really only concerned with putting out fires, not preventing them.
So, on that note, we do offer resources that can give a better look into the company's overall financial health.
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