Bringing the Group On board

(Mostly applicable to managers, supervisors, and leader’s assuming responsibility for a new department).

Here are some suggested talking points for the first meeting with employees; this should be an all hands meeting, open to questions at any time; discuss points to achieve understanding.

  1. I will not ask you to work harder than meLeadership
  2. Company values – expected to live within everyday work
  3. Our work directly affects others — quality, quantity, timeliness
  4. We are not a group of individuals doing work, we are a team
  5. The importance of objectives
  6. Performance reviews and pay for performance
  7. I will give you space to work and help you be successful
  8. It is my job to help you learn, advance you skills, provide development experiences
  9. It is my job to assist you with your career planning
  10. Work hard, be smart, be creative, be dependable, be responsible, and make a meaningful contribution.
  11. It is your job, you need to own it.
  12. When you are ready, I will assist with your promotion or lateral broadening experience
  13. If you are unsuccessful on the job, I will assist with your re-assignment
  14. When something goes wrong, 90% of the time it is usually poor communications
  15. My door will always be open

Some of the above will deserve separate meetings… luncheon meetings work well, particularly if the boss pays for the pizza.

***** S&E *****

Ready. Set. Jump !

There is no shortage of information out there regarding how hot the labor market is … possibly a good time to review what businesses might want to stress to candidates as early as possible in the recruiting process.  Consider sharing these, assuming they are “alive and well” within the company, with headhunters and on a website to get these key recruiting differentiators out there… they just might differentiate your business from the competition.

  • On boarding process (how long)
  • Development programs
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Career path counseling
  • High Potential process
  • International opportunity
  • Top Leader support for, and managers skilled in managing, these features of employment

“A” and “B” level leaders and managers skilled in the art of interviewing and passionately representing the company should be the picks for leading the recruiting charge. Timing is always an issue in a hot job market… Fortune, February 2018, the HR Leader for Intuit:  “We had to reinvent how we do recruiting, using a team of employees who have proved themselves sharp judges of talent…”

It is possible to get to a hiring decision and same day or next day offers with a good, pre-defined and vetted process.  Use a multi-functional team.  For example, same day:  Each team member interviews multiple candidates, the team meets at end of day (use a skilled facilitator) to discuss findings based on strengths, weaknesses, behavioral observations, skills, competencies (pre-defined factors which are aligned with the open position(s), and comes to hiring and offer decisions.  Properly planned, this process can manage as many 20 – 25 candidates in one day.

If the business is fortunate enough to have the budget for it, bring candidates in the night before interviews for an informal dinner and after dinner company update.  Seat one each of the next day interviewers at different dinner tables… interviewers will begin to form initial impressions. — all part of candidate assessment.

The whole process can be done at the same hotel.

*****S&E*****

Mentors

Why a mentor?

Having the guidance, encouragement and support of a trusted and experienced mentor can provide a broad range of personal and professional benefits, which ultimately lead to improved performance in the workplace or in outside personal life. Mentors should not be direct supervisors.  Direct supervisors should be coaches!

What to look for in a mentor:

  • Ability and experience
  • Willingness to spend the time
  • Approachability
  • A good listener
  • Honesty
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Objectivity and fairness
  • Compassion and genuineness

Advantages for Mentees

  • Work on developing a skill or competency
  • Improve confidence and an ability to execute a task, objective or project
  • Help improve listening and communication skills
  • Practice in accepting feedback from a consistent source
  • Practice building and maintaining a professional relationship
  • Expands networks and contacts

Advantages for Mentors

  • Strengthens active listening skills
  • Give back to the organization and community
  • Touch the future
  • Build contacts
  • Added sense of purpose and responsibility for one’s career

When do you need a mentor?

Seek help before known issues in your work or personal life, become a major issue.  Major issues are more difficult to repair so some foresight in regard to using a mentor can pay large dividends.

You may not need a mentor if you have your career path will managed, know where you are going, you are a great listener, observer, and very good at absorbing information and knowledge from skilled, respected leaders and coworkers at work and outside of work as well.

***** S&E *****

Retaining Talent – “The Gauntlet”

There are some very obvious statements we can make about successful retention of talent. It is important as:

  • It drives the business
  • Sets great examples for all employees
  • Success statistics are great recruiting “tools”
  • It is a testament to talent management process
  • It supports the best face of company
  • Presents continuous challenges and opportunities
  • Minimizes talent losses

How to retain it:

  • Secure the support of top management
  • Create related budgets to fund the process
  • Teach your managers to keep their “ear to the ground”
  • Have a strategy and continuous improvement practices in place
  • Involve employees in related process improvements
  • Expect bumps along the way
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate

Seek out best practices of other companies and consulting firm views on the subject – a great way to stay ahead of the competition, obtain fresh views on the subject, and build and internalize a process that just may be benchmark worthy. You know you have arrived when other businesses are seeking out your advice because you have great success stats in talent management and retention.

About “The Gauntlet”

When it is obvious that talent losses are forthcoming, or, a talented professional gives notice of leaving the company, create a team of “A” level managers to meet with the “defector” to point out the advantages of staying with the company.  If the business has a good talent management process and success statistics, these are great topics for discussion as the departing professional runs the “gauntlet” of discussions with the “A” level managers, to include the top manager/leader of the business.  It is also a great opportunity to reinforce the anticipated career path in the business.  I have seen this work many times; on occasion airline tickets are involved to connect the professional to the right leaders.  An airline ticket is far less expensive than losing the talent, the cost of replacing same, related retraining, and the certain impact on peers, other parts of the business, and customers.

Related links:

http://www.hrmorning.com/10-most-effective-employee-retention-methods

https://www.thebalance.com/top-ways-to-retain-your-great-employees-1919038

 

***** S&E *****

Influence: Impact of Behavioral Competencies on Careers

In previous posts the blog discussed the importance of Behavioral Competencies to professionals, their careers, as well as organizations.  Examples of “critical to career” competencies would include Accountability,  Analytics,  Integrity,  Humor, Drive, Persistence, Kindness, Common Sense, Communications,  Flexibility, Dependability,  Adaptability, Professional Presence, Business Acumen, Team Player,  Leadership,  Intellect,  Passion, Humility, Compassion.

And so the list does not become overwhelming, it is important to know that some competencies are scalable over the course of careers.  Said another way, professionals become better equipped, in the area of Business Acumen, as they gain experience in varying assignments, positions, locations, and with peers and bosses. Scalability would also apply to other Competencies such as Leadership, Analytics, and Professional Presence.

A byproduct of building an array of Competencies is the ability to be a significant influence in business (also applies to private life).  This graphic from an IHRCC seminar displays how competencies and influence interrelate.

The graphic suggests that, as a professionals gain experience, skills, knowledge, scope, and discerning professional behaviors, they will differentiate themselves among their peers in performance, influence, and most probably career success.

Referencing the graphic, if you are a believer in bell-shaped curves, then you may agree that as the population distribution moves to the right, talent increases, performance increases, and compensation increases. So the organization’s high potentials, top performers are represented by the right side of the curve and might be 16% to 20% of all professionals.  Obviously, the objective is to increase that number.

So assuming the population is large enough for a bell-shaped curve to be applicable, the above is not much different from what one might find in college classes, about the same distribution of grades (performance) among the students.

***** S&E *****

Talent Management – Creating Space

Creating space in the business for new talent is all about renewal… new professionals, new perspectives, new ideas, and building a bank of future leaders.

“Exporting Talent” (ref: post May 17, 2018)  is one way to “Create Space” and add additional talent to the organization.  Vacancies created by lateral development transfers and promotions create opportunities to fill new vacancies with even more talent.

Yet another very necessary method of creating space is using due process to move along non-performers to appropriate different positions (getting the round peg in the round hole) or out of the organization entirely.

Some comments about due process:  No surprises is the key – this means the professional has had meaningful performance reviews, understands their short-comings with respect to position requirements, has been given coaching and an opportunity to improve, and in the end is not surprised by the organization’s decision to reposition them in a different position or separate them from the business.  This of course assumes the professional has been on the job for sufficient time to perform.

Due process relies on established objectives for the position which are the basis for measuring a professional’s performance.  Accomplishing specific projects, meeting established milestones, having the necessary skills to perform the job, and appropriate ethical and professional behavior are major factors in  performance based, due process driven employment decisions. The post under “Success”, Talent Management – Recruiting and Selection, January 28, 2018, discusses the importance of professional behavior — “Effectiveness Competencies”

Removing non-performers is vital as it offers open positions for promotions and sends a message to other organizations’ professionals that there are standards of performance in the business.  For the manager who makes the decision to remove the employee, it is a vote of confidence in his ability to manage as professional employees usually are aware if employees with whom they interact fall short of the mark of performance excellence.

Failure to change out poor performers can be a morale killer in the department or business.  Poor performance, and other than professional behavior, is almost always visible to peers.  And supervisors and managers who lack the skills to professionally manage their people are usually visible to other professionals as well.

***** S&E *****

Talent Management – Exporting Talent—creating genuine value

We are talking about laterals or promotions from one department or company location to another — “Exporting” people to new positions to further their careers.  For many managers moving talent along to new opportunities is plainly just hard to do.  For skilled leaders, it is not.

Exporting talent strengthens the organization and sends clear, highly visible messages to other onboard professionals.  Moving talent says that the business is interested in and supports career growth.  And for those businesses who do this well and, who take the time to track statistical data associated with career growth, those businesses have a great story to tell and sell as an integral part of the recruiting process. Talent Management metrics are unbeatable when it comes to recruiting and the competition for talent.

Exporting talent broadens experience, presents new challenges,  new perspectives, new work environments, new learning situations, and new managers to test adaptability… all these  are advantages of lateral moves and promotions; that is  far from  an inclusive list. Global assignments are particularly valuable for the company and professionals who are willing and adaptable.  This list is a good example of the additives to career value.  And when compared to compensation it is clear that the latter does little to further a career.

When to export relies on the professional’s grasp of the skills and competencies developed in the present assignment.  It is not uncommon, and I so clearly remember this from my time in global work, to find many professionals having career time lines which had little flexibility.  Timelines that map out new assignments every two years, with no recognition that the learning provided on the current position has provided a strong basis for the next, can lead to failure on the next assignment.  Absent that recognition, inflexible timelines can prove to be a recipe for eventual failure.  It is management’s job to provide the coaching and mentoring to assure the move is appropriate and timely.

Exporting a ready professional is the highest reward for great performance. 

It requires time to sponsor a move, and, great, accurate communications. The process needs to anticipate the timing of the readiness of the professional.  It can take some planning and time to arrange the path.  Absent the appropriate timing and action, unwanted turnover can be the result.

Exporting talent also creates space… “creating space”, a topic dealt with in a later post.

***** S&E *****