Archive for January 2012

Have A Consistent Selection Approach In Your Organization

January 26, 2012
Cyndi Gave

Consider this:  One of your hiring managers 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 of your managers 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 are you 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 your organization has structured people processes and you take your talent seriously.  Inconsistent and haphazard approaches to talent within the same organization leads to bitterness and animosities within the ranks of your team.
Develop a structured, challenging approach to selection, empower hiring managers to follow it and your organization will be more successful.
The Metiss Group

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“People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.”
– Samuel Johnson


Exchange Performance Appraisals Before The Meeting

January 20, 2012
It’s the time of the year for many organizations to schedule annual performance appraisals for all employees.

There are many reasons we suggest having your direct reports complete a self-appraisal, but perhaps the most important is to allow sufficient time for you both to discuss the truly important items.  If you both complete the appraisal, and exchange copies a day or two in advance, you can both digest the comments and identify the areas in which your perceptions differ the most. 

After general conversation about the overall performance, you can then lead the discussion into those areas.  Example: “Jim, I believe your overall performance for the last quarter/year was strong, generally meeting all the success factors of your accountabilities and meeting your commitments on quarterly goals. After reviewing your self-appraisal, I realized there were a couple of areas we seemed to have a difference of opinion, let’s talk about those.”

If you begin at the top of a form, you may not have sufficient time to discuss the areas of greatest value, or end up splitting hairs over insignificant issues for which there is a general consensus; this allows sufficient time for the truly important items.

Empower your direct reports by allowing sufficient time to discuss performance review discrepancies.

Kill Two Birds With One Stone Doing MBWA

January 13, 2012

It’s the beginning of the year and if you are like most people, you’ve committed to getting more exercise.  As a professional one of your new year’s goals is likely to become a better leader.  Why not work on both goals at the same time?

MBWA is a common acronym which stands for Management By Walking Around, invented by Hewlett-Packard sometime in the 1970s, made famous by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman as one of the ‘Eight Basics’ in their book In Search of Excellence in 1982. defines MBWA as:

Unstructured approach to hands-on, direct participation by the managers in the work-related affairs of their subordinates. In MBWA practice, managers spend a significant amount of their time making informal visits to work areas and listening to the employees. The purpose of this exercise is to collect qualitative information, listen to suggestions and complaints, and keep a finger on the pulse of the organization.

The more a leader walks around, not only are they getting better connected with their organization, they are getting more exercise.  Doug Conant, President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, went so far as to track his MBWA steps “by strapping on a pedometer and trying to walk 10,000 steps every day around our headquarters between meetings to check in with our people.

Empower yourself to do more MBWA and you’ll be a successful and healthy leader.

Begin With The End In Mind

January 8, 2012

It’s the New Year, so as Steven Covey recommends in his 2nd habit: Begin With The End In Mind.  What do you really want/need to accomplish this year?  What about your direct reports?  Is there a development goal they have that you can support?

Empower the success of direct reports by asking each what they really want to accomplish as a development goal this year.  Together, set a plan with clear expectations, set some milestones for discussions about resources, restrictions, obstacles, and progress toward the goal.

As a team, identify a goal or two that supports organizational goals and set similar plans.  Discuss exactly what success looks like, what resources the team will need, any restrictions, and set the first few milestones with clear level of authority.  By creating clarity around these borders and boundaries, you empower the direct reports to attain the goal without micromanaging how exactly they get there.  Keep adjusting the milestones and level of authority as needed, and you’ll all be energized by the success.

Empower the success of your direct reports by beginning with the end in mind and setting the borders and boundaries around identified goals.