Like many parts of life outside work, what’s most likely to make a difference to an employee’s job are not large-scale changes (a hostile bid for the company, say) or big personal milestones (getting married) but the steady drip-drip of small-scale changes to their role, their responsibilities, or the technology or processes they use to do their job.
And while these changes can wreak havoc, they can also be some of the most common to occur, according to CEB data. For instance, in 2015:
52% of employees said they’d experienced a change in their workload.
37% of employees said they’d gone through a change in the composition of their team.
32% of employees said they’d had a change in the product, technology, or equipment they work on.
The bottom line is that there’s no way to prevent distracting events, so corporate quality teams, whose job it is to prevent employees making errors in their work (whether it’s anything from the more traditional production line to those in a corporate function) should focus their efforts on mitigating the effects of these events.
For example, the Quality team at a global manufacturer in CEB’s network developed a dashboard to determine which facilities were and weren’t prepared to handle these types of changes. The dashboard included just three factors:
Application of good practices that help employees maintain focus amid distracting events (like quality culture or management commitment).
Operational performance indicators (like number of process improvements).
High-level quality performance (like scrap or product performance).
Each of the three areas of the dashboard are marked red, yellow, or green depending on performance. Quality used the dashboard to determine where to take action, looking at plants it might previously have overlooked. For example, a facility might have a good quality performance score at a high-level that masked poor practices underneath, all of which is useful information for Quality as they look at potential risk areas.
The dashboard is also used to make sure the Quality team don’t create distracting events themselves. For instance, if Quality notices a facility with poor performance across the board, it should make sure any improvement initiatives don’t affect employee focus.