Encourage Direct Reports To Focus On Organization Success First

Posted May 19, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

If an administrative assistant prepared for the perfect meeting, yet the meeting did not go well, were they successful?  If the operations department increased productivity by 25%, yet the company missed its sales goal, were they successful?  If the sales department experienced record sales, yet the organization lost money, was that success?

Most people in an organization think of their department, work team, or individual contributions as being their most important focus and measure their success by how well those work units perform. Although the accomplishments of work units are important, at the end of the day, the success of the organization is all that matters. The goals and accomplishments of the whole team must take precedence.  For that to happen, leaders must clearly communicate the organization’s goals and objectives and reward everyone when the organization succeeds.

Leaders who empower their team to put the organization first experience more success.

Check In On Development Plans Before It’s Too Late

Posted May 11, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Communication, Leadership, Performance Acceleration

Even if it is well into the year, it‘s not too late for leaders to have discussions about their direct reports’ development plans.  Even if they have been doing quarterly updates, leaders should be checking in with their direct reports to see how close they are to achieving their development plans.

Everyone wants to feel successful relative to their personal development and growth.  If it looks like a direct report may come up short on their development goals, leaders should see if there are some short term wins that could be achieved before the end of the year, even if the ultimate goal will not be accomplished.  Leaders may also want to consider allowing some extra time or resources to allow the direct report to achieve success.

Imagine how a direct report will go to the wall for a leader when they’ve made an extra effort in helping them achieve a personal goal.

Leaders empower the success of their direct reports by removing obstacles or deploying resources relative to their development goals.

Keep The Saw Sharp

Posted May 5, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

Habit #7 in Steve Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is called “Sharpen the Saw.” Covey uses the common analogy of a woodcutter who is sawing every day for several days and is becoming less and less productive. The process of cutting dulls the blade. So the solution is to sharpen the saw periodically.

We’ve found that in practice, however, most people fail to understand what sharpening the saw really means. When leaders overwork themselves and their productivity begins to fall off, common wisdom says to take a break, maybe even go on vacation. However, that isn’t sharpening the saw – that’s putting the saw down. When a dull blade is put down for a while, the blade will still be dull when picked back up.

Sharpening the saw is actually an activity, just as the analogy suggests. Think about what it would mean to sharpen the saw. Here are some saw-sharpening ideas:

  • Exercise
  • Improved diet
  • Continued learning (read, listen to audio programs, attend a seminar)
  • Learn a new skill
  • Organize the home or office
  • Clear out a bunch of little tasks that have been put off

Now the woodcutter can’t just alternate between cutting wood and sharpening the saw indefinitely. Downtime is needed too, but it isn’t the same as sharpening the saw. The woodcutter can become even more productive by sharpening the blade, studying new woodcutting techniques, working out to become stronger, and learning from other woodcutters.

Empowered leaders sharpen their saw and are even more successful.

Source: StevePavlina.com

Assessments Alone Should Not Be A Hire/No Hire Determinant

Posted April 28, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Selection

Recent advances in behavioral science have created many precise behavioral assessment instruments and the Internet has made administering these instruments easy for hiring managers.  Given the perceived accuracy of the results, hiring managers often let one assessment alone determine whether or not to hire a candidate.  Hiring managers should use a variety of assessment instruments to measure many different aspects of a candidate’s behavioral profile along with other screening approaches.  Using one assessment alone is to assume people are one-dimensional without having various skills, abilities, strengths and weaknesses not possibly evaluated through just one tool.

Regardless of the number of assessments and their validity, relying only on assessments to hire or not hire someone is committing leadership negligence.  Aside from compliance requirements (the US Department of Labor states assessments should not represent more than one-third of the hire/no hire decision and must be directly tied to success in the position), leaders must include other screening mechanisms with candidates.

Assessment results should generate more conversation with the candidates and/or references to verify how the individual performs in real life.  If a decision is made based solely on the assessment without follow-up, then the assessment has become a go/no-go decision point which is not only in direct violation of the EEOC guidelines, but just isn’t fair to the candidate.

Empowered hiring managers use sufficient tools and processes to make the right selection decisions for success.

Have A Consistent Selection Approach In The Organization

Posted April 21, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Selection

Consider this:  One hiring manager believes they are a good read of people; knowing in their gut whether or not a candidate is right for the position/organization and their candidates breeze through the selection activities.  Another manager has a rugged, structured, and consistent selection process and their candidates respect the organization’s thoroughness.  Additionally, their peers have an increased respect for the new hires knowing what it took to get hired.  How are the two managers viewed throughout the organization?  How is the leader viewed throughout the organization?

Though we strongly recommend a formal selection process, it’s just as important to have all hiring managers following the same approach to hiring.  A consistent selection approach sends an important message to all candidates and new hires that the organization has structured people-processes and they take their talent seriously.  Inconsistent and haphazard approaches to talent within the same organization lead to bitterness and animosities within the ranks of the team.

Leaders should develop a structured, challenging approach to selection, empower hiring managers to consistently follow it and their organization will be more successful.

Make Sub-Goals When Setting Annual Goals

Posted April 14, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

Psychologists who specialize in goal-setting theory advocate setting sub-goals that are of moderate difficulty in pursuit of much larger goals.  Setting smaller goals helps build confidence and creates success, momentum, and motivation towards achieving the ultimate goal.

As leaders layout their annual goals, they should break them down into smaller sub-goals.  The sub-goals must be measurable and time-based.  For example, if the annual goal is to read ten business books, the first sub-goal might be “read 100 pages by the end of this month.”  If the annual goal is to hire five new sales associates, the sub-goal might be “define the ideal sales associate profile by the end of the quarter.”

Effective annual goals should be difficult and meaningful.  The best way to achieve those goals is by mapping out the smaller sub-goals, accomplishing them, and celebrating the success.

Empowered teams break down their goals into sub-goals for a successful year.

Make Sure Direct Reports Know The Results Of Their Efforts

Posted April 7, 2017 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Communication, Leadership

In 1976, J. Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham developed a key model of work design called the Job Characteristics Model. It has since become the basis for many job enrichment strategies and is still implemented today. Hackman and Oldham contend job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity result from the application of their model.

The core dimensions of the model are: job variety (ability to perform multiple job functions), job identity (how the job affects the organization), job significance (how the job helps society), autonomy (how much independence the job has), and feedback (what happens as a result of the job).

Leaders may not be able to influence their direct reports’ variety, identity, significance, and autonomy but they can easily impact the feedback dimension of their accomplishments.  Unfortunately, once the results of a job have been completed and delivered, they often forget about them and move on to the next task.  Communicating the outcome  of their efforts to direct reports will go a long way toward helping them embrace their jobs and be more productive.  Celebrate the positive outcomes and learn from the not so positive results; in either event, recount what happened (in most cases the outcome is positive).

Empowered leaders share the end product of their team’s efforts and their teams are more productive and successful.