Building a High Performance Organization
By Pamela Wilson
The Department of Aviation has begun a series of strategies to transform the Department into a high performance organization or HPO. Researchers define an HPO as one where each person is regarded as a partner in the business or organization; and where people are empowered with the trust, resources, and environment conducive to executing the organization’s mission in a superior manner. Studies show that HPOs are up to 40 percent more effective than organizations managed with traditional principles.
A major element of an HPO is quality staffing, Department of Aviation Training Director Steve Lee told a group of airport executives in January. He was conducting a training session on a new talent management system, which delegates to specific management levels the responsibility for recruitment, retention, professional development and success measurement.
One of the challenges we all face is getting the right people in the right places,” said Lee. “That will become increasingly difficult because it’s going to be an employees’ market in the next few years.”
Lee says an organization can gain an edge as an employer of choice by promoting a company culture and showing prospective candidates the value of becoming part of it. He cited Starbucks’ retention rate, which is reportedly attributed to its emphasis on company culture.
Under the Department’s talent management system, recruitment will be based not only on a candidate’s skills, but on how well that person can adapt to the organization’s culture. The next step in the Department’s process, Lee said, is to define the organizational culture. That will take place during the next few months, with input from various levels of the department.
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