Archive for December 2011

Altruism – ‘Tis The Season For Some Of Your Direct Reports To Shine

December 17, 2011

According to a widely adopted behavior model developed by Dr. Eduard Spranger, we all have six common workplace motivators that inspire us to do what we do.  In order of national rank the motivators are:

  1. Utilitarian: practical accomplishments, results and rewards for their investment of time, resources and energy.
  2. Social: opportunities to be of service to others and contribute to the progress and well being of society.
  3. Theoretical: knowledge for knowledge’s sake, continuing education and intellectual growth.
  4. Individualistic: personal recognition, freedom, and control over their own destiny and others.
  5. Traditional: traditions inherent in social structure, rules, regulations and principles.
  6. Aesthetic: balance in their lives, creative self-expression, beauty and nature.

The challenge many leaders of “for profit” organizations face is the Social motivator is overly dominant for many of their direct reports (nationally it’s #2).  While this generally creates very unselfish team members who find great satisfaction in supporting others, it could negatively impact your bottom-line; much depends on the roles or scope of responsibility provided to these folks and their ability to find ways to otherwise satisfy this altruistic motivator.  By allowing your direct reports an opportunity to represent your organization and fulfill that motivation in appropriate ways like contributing a holiday offering to some deserving organization on behalf on your team, or “adopting” a needy family, you directly address an important motivator to the individual and gain credibility/respect for giving back to community. Empower your altruistic direct reports to give-back this holiday season on behalf of your team, and you’ll experience success all year long.

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Use Candidate Assessment Results After The Hire Too

December 10, 2011

Many companies use behavior assessments and skills testing in their selection process.  These crucial instruments assist hiring managers in differentiating among candidates and making the best hire.  However, once the offer is made and the candidate is hired, the assessment results are often filed away and rarely referenced again.

Reviewing the results with the candidate during the on-boarding phase provides them with some personal development guidance. Candidates never score perfectly on their assessments, understanding where they scored low allows them to address their short-comings and pursue job-specific learning.  At the very least, the new employee knows their new leader doesn’t expect them to be perfect and intends to provide support in areas that could otherwise be liabilities.

Additionally, the new hire’s direct supervisor can benefit from using the assessment results.  The reports can give the supervisor tips for how to motivate and give feedback to the new hire.  The results also let the supervisor know when to add support and when to stay out of the way – to manage their performance better.

Empower your new hires and their supervisors with the hew hire’s assessment results and everyone will experience more success.

Screen For Level 5 Characteristics When Interviewing Leaders

December 2, 2011

Selecting leaders may be the most difficult and crucial decision a hiring manager makes.  The new hire is going to impact the development, careers, and success of many others within the organization.  According to Jim Collins in “Good To Great” a Level 5 leader is proficient in:

  1.  Individual accomplishments
  2.  Team interactions
  3.  Managing others
  4.  Leading others
  5.  Humility and will

Most hiring managers are pretty good determining whether the leader is capable of demonstrating Levels 1 through 4 (and maybe even will), but pay little attention to screening for humility.  Ask the leader candidate the following questions to get a feel for how they have demonstrated humility:

  • Give me an example of a time you and your team accomplished something significant; how did others in the organization recognize the team’s contributions? Listen for whether the leader promotes their team first and minimizes their own recognition.
  • Give me an example of a time you and your team failed to accomplish a goal; what happened?  Who fell flat?  Listen for whether the leader took personal accountability for the failure or shed the blame on others.

Empower hiring managers to screen leaders for humility and the whole organization will be more successful.