Carnivals are supposed to be fun-filled, but how fun would it be without your friends? We love when the Carnival of HR comes to visit our blog because it gives us a chance to connect with old friends and make some new friends too. We hope that you have fun hanging out with our friends and all of us at the Rainmaker. Enjoy the Carnival!
- Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership has been a good friend for quite some time, and I always enjoy the stories Wally shares and the lessons that can be learned from them. This time Wally shares Vic’s Three Lessons. @WallyBock
- While we may be having fun hosting the Carnival of HR, Dan McCarthy shares which not-so-fun activities your organization should do away with. His Great Leadership Blog post “Fun” at Work also shares some ways you can add “fun” to work and still get things done. @greatleadership
- Not only is our friend Jennifer Miller from The People Equation joining the Carnival, she has also brought her friend Tracy Brower to join in an interview titled What is Work/Life Integration? @JenniferVMiller
- Ben Eubanks of upstartHR has always offered insight to those new to the HR world, and in this post he shares 4 Things I Wish I Had Know About Recruiting @beneubanks
- Some of our friends come from far away, as far as Singapore, like Abhishek Mittal of Mumblr. He shares with us what engagement surveys can do for your business in How Can HR Use Engagement Surveys to Drive Business Performance? @mumblr
- The Evil HR Lady, Susan Lucas, shares the post Why Your HR Manager May Hate You. Please, do not be mislead by the title. Your HR manager really does not hate you, and she clarifies this assumption in the post. @RealEvilHRLady
- Our friend, Kelly Dingee of Fistful of Talent, gives advice on keeping your resume updated in Looking For a New Job? This Is Your Homework for Labor Day @SourcerKelly
- Take a look inside Eric B. Meyer's blog The Employer Handbook to help with your organization's labor & employment law issues. This is why you document employee workplace issues shares an example that might get you to document all workplace issues. @Eric_B_Meyer
- What You Can Learn from "The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace" by Cori Curtis summarizes the book by Gary Chapman and Paul White, and what lessons can be learned from the five languages of appreciation. Her blog, Baudville, has great posts about employee recognition. @Baudville
- In this post, Mary Jo Asmus from Aspire gives advice on how we can respond to conflict in There is an "I" in Conflict @mjasmus
- Check out check-ins at Amy Wilson's Shiny & Useful blog. In this post, Are Check-ins The Future Nirvana of Time Tracking, she shares information about new technology that could change the workplace. @awils
- Here is our humorist friend, Andrew Tarvin from Humor That Works, to share 10 Tips for Using Humor in the Workplace @HumorThatWorks
- Susan Heathfield's Human Resources Blog shares ways to Minimize Resistance to Change by planning for it. @SusanHeathfield
- Can Too Much Note-Taking Slow Down Work Progress? It most certainly does! Put down your pen for a while and read this post by Ian Welsh from HRToolbox. @ianclive
- What does your team do when the line between right and wrong gets blurry? Linda Fisher Thornton discusses Ethical Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us in her Leading in Context blog. @leadingincontxt
- Lynn Dessert sets the facts straight in Six was to overcome "unemployed candidates will not be considered" from her Elephants at Work blog. @LynnDessert
- In this post, Visual Management wit Brown M&Ms, John Hunter talks about using visuals to keep your team at top performance. Make sure to check out his Curious Cat Blog.
The danger of a deeper recession is upon us. The lesson we all must learn and learn quickly (if we have not learned yet)... Companies must do more with fewer resources than ever before. Companies cannot afford to have Talent that is not adding more value that it costs on a more consistent basis.
The competitive landscape is going to continue to demand accountability for results. In fact, I believe the workplace performance "drum beat" is going to only beat more loudly.
It has to.
If your team or company has the wrong employee team member(s) being subsidized throught the efforts of high Job Fit Talent, you are at a potentially extreme competitive disadvantage. Your competition may have better Talent and as a result, better margins that enable them to survive when you may not be able to because of your low Job Fit Talent.
- If you are a manufacturer, the right Talent is more productive - more product is produced by employees who match the Job well.
- In sales, the right Sales People will sell more if they fit the Job well.
These are two "duh" statements yet many companies do not know of or believe in using validated pre-employment personality profiles as part of their employee selection process.
The competitive landscape of tomorrow is going to be won via Human Capital - companies purposefully-selecting the best Talent will win and win big.
Employee selection without a validated personality profile instruments is guessing, and guessing is just plain wrong - especially in today's uncertain economic environment. It blows my mind that there are managers and Human Resources decision makers who are hiring Talent because their gut tells them the person in front of them has what it takes.
Human bias and arrogance are extraordinarily expensive problems.
Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I like to start out each week by featuring five of my favorite HR, leadership development, and employee selection blog reads from the previous week. Here are my picks for August 1st - 5th. Enjoy!
David Zinger, Employee Engagement: Do You Love Employee Engagement Problems? - Okay, we must face the fact that we all have problems, and they are not going to diminish on their own. In this post, David tells us that we must embrace our problems in order to solve them efficiently. He provides us with four invitations to keep us focused on problems and get them solved.
Lisa Petrilli, Visionary Leadership: Do You See What I See? - Have you ever engaged in an argument but were so compelled to make your point that you forget to listen to the opposing view? Lisa reminds us in her blog that we need to view things from others point of view in order to be good leaders. Read more of this blog to find out what two leadership values we should live by.
Chris Edmonds.S., Bud To Boss: Five Disciplines of Servant Leadership - Chris Edmonds is a consulting partner with Ken Blanchard Companies. In his post, he writes about taking senior leaders from self-serving to servant leadership. Chris lays out five disciplines to keep leaders serving others and create a servant culture in your organization.
William Powell, The Leadership Advisor: What Being A Gentleman Can Teach Us About Leadership - I am a firm believer in acting like a gentleman, so when I saw this post I had to share it with you. The Gentleman's Movement is a project that promotes power, wisdom, justice, and love to be demonstrated by men. William points out that leaders of any gender would benefit from following the 4 pillars of The Gentleman's Movement.
Vicki Zlauter, Talent Management Now: Are Job Descriptions Dead? - When beginning the selection process for a new hire, it is important to start out by describing the job. Job benchmarking (Vicki refers to this as Strategic Selection) is the best way to find the right person for the job. It is also the best way to avoid employee turnover and shape your company's culture.
I would like to say it is funny... Funny that sales managers think they can change sales people through sales coaching. It cannot be done.
You cannot fix "broke". Employee coaching will not fix a poor Job Fit problem.
You are either wired to sell, or you are not.
The real talent or "wiring" to be a rockstar outside sales professional comes through an optimal combination of Behaviors, Values, and Attributes. Every position has a unique Talent DNA.
"Rockstar" outside sales professionals are aggressive, seek problems to solve, enjoy working through people. Top sales professionals expect to be paid what they are worth and will take the necessary actions to make it happen.
You just need to get out of their way.
This applies for any position - sales, management, operations, marketing, accounting, etc.
I recently spoke with a sales manager who suspected over a year ago that a particular sales team member just could not cut it. They were committed to "saving" the sales team member. They had to. The CEO told them to. The sales manager had requested the CEO to allow them to let the low performer go.
The CEO said, "No... Work with him..."
The CEO may as well have said, "While you are at it... Raise the dead. While you are at it... Steal the man's dignity, their hopes, and their dreams. While you are at it, reduce the company's margins because we lost sales. And while you are at it... Get ready for a lower paycheck because the low performer is taking compensation that could be spread amongst those who do fit the job well."
The sales manager dutifully worked with the low performer and actually helped the team member improve. But...The sales manager noticed something interesting. The sales manager noticed that every time they lightened up on their sales coaching - when they focused their efforts on other sales professionals on the team - the low performer's performance went down.
Trying to "raise the dead" - to improve the performance of the low Job Fit sales person is really problematic for two important reasons....
- First... Low performers take up valuable coaching time that sales managers could be using to improve the results of Secondary and Primary Job Fit performers. But instead, sales managers waste their valuable time trying to coach the uncoachable - to "raise the dead" - to improve the performance of the lowest performer.
- Second... The other problem is even worse... Low performers know they are low performers and they suffer emotionally for it. I see it all the time. The manager applies pressure to perform. The low performer tries everything the sales manager recommends. The low performer wants to be like the high performers. They attend seminar, read books, watch Glengarry Glen Ross... To no avail.
When I review the results of our personality profile instruments for low performers, I see often see something that frightens me profoundly. I see indications the low performer really does not like their job. Many people suffer significant stress because each day they hate going to work due to poor Job Fit.
That is not only sad but morally wrong.
Sales managers and CEOs are thinking they are helping low performers by keeping them on the team when they do not perform. The unfortunate reality is that the low performer and everyone else suffers as a result.
Keeping low performers on the team who do not fit the job - especially when it is painfully obvious is not charity - it is cowardice. Keeping low performers on the team is the avoidance of reality. It is a commitment to mediocrity and reduced morale. It is just plain wrong to have low performers flounder when they could flourish in a role they were meant for.
Do you know where employee performance is really coming from?
Chances are you may be giving credit where credit is really not due. One particular area that it is easy to measure results and compare Job Fit is in the world of outside sales. After all - you either get the sale or you do not and the revenue is easily measured.
Over the last decade, I have walked past wall upon wall of smiling faces showing sales performance awards. Usually the sales awards are given to those who have increased sales by the widest margin. In at least 50 percent of the "big annual sales award" cases, the sales award should not have been given out to the recipient who received it.
Why? Because the improvement in performance really had little to do with their ability or Job Fit.
In other words, I have seen really low Job Fit sales people receive "sales person of the year" awards who got lucky.
Question... High performers seem to know about the best practices and performance of others. They know when people are performing based upon ability and based upon perceived favoritism.
Let me paint an "example picture" for you. I live in the great state of North Dakota. We are known for agriculture. If you enjoy pasta, chances are you are eating pasta with durum grown in North Dakota. North Dakota is about to become well known for oil. Over the last five years, North Dakota has seen new oil technology come into play and as a result, we have an oil boom.
Imagine the oil drilling equipment companies with territory sales reps selling in North Dakota. Five years ago - there was very little activity compared to today. The increase in sales had little to do with the skills and passion of the sales person assigned to the territory. The territory grew because new technology increased the potential of the area.
Most companies would award a sales person on improvement of sales alone. I wonder how many oil equipment sales people have received awards because the area grew on its own through no real skill of the sales professional?
Smart companies reward employee team members based upon potential and recognize Job Fit as a contributor.
What can you mitigate failing to recognize true employee performance? For most positions that have measurable outcomes, you can do four things.
- Measure outcomes. What are employee team members there to produce? Measure it, compare productivity between employee team members.
- Compare outcomes to Job Fit. What is the Job Fit? How does the employee team member's performance compare to others with similar Job Fit? Is there a coaching or training need?
- Look for anomolies. Someone always figures out a "better way" - identify anomolies and dig deeper to identify best practices that can be migrated to other employee team members.
- Ask your talent what they are doing and how practices could be improved. They will tell you.
High performers seem to be aware of best practices. They know how others are getting the results they are. They know if the awards are "fair" or not.
Therefore, it is not only critical for improving the competitive positioning, the bottom line of the company, but also the morale of the team. High performers want to know the "rules" and they want life to be as fair as possible.
Happy Monday! It was a great week in HR, leadership development, and employee selection reading. I would like to thank all those bloggers out there for providing such great reading. Here are five blogs from July 25th - 29th, 2011 that I want to share with you. Hope you enjoy, and comments are greatly appreciated.
Tanveer Naseer's Blog: 4 Keys To Successfully Resolving Conflicts in the Workplace - Most of us have probably enocuntered a conflict with a customer or coworker sometime in our lives, but they usually catch us off-gaurd. What do you do when your forced to react on the drop of a hat when a conflict does come up? Tanveer tells us of an experience at the grocery store where a clerk delt with a conflict that examplifies how we all should resolve conflict. This post will provide you with 4 keys to get through any workplace conflict.
Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak: Overcoming the Six Dangers of Flip-Flopping - Changing your mind too often can lead your team to feel less confident in your decisions, along with a number of other problems. Dan's blog post provides the six dangers of flip-flopping, and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
Voss Graham, InnerActive: What Direction is Your Energy Focused? - Voss asks the question, "What direction are you focusing your energy today?" If your energy is focused internally rather than externally, you may want to rethink your focus. This post provides examples of internally and externally focused companies, and you will see which one's energy is focused in the right direction.
Rich Wellins, Guest Post on Great Leadership: One More Time: It's the Leadership, Stupid! - How does leadership affect the performance of organizations? More than you may have thought. This post shares research findings on the quality of leadership and how that affects the organization.
Don Cooper, Don't Blog: Please Ask Me for a Discount - If you are in sales and would like to keep your margins high by avoiding discounts, this post talks about the phrases you may want to avoid when trying to make a sale. It also talks about the right attitude to carry to ensure your not losing profits.