Archive for May 2012

Conduct Consistent One-On-Ones Create Happier Direct Reports

May 18, 2012

In their book “Contented Cows Give Better Milk,” Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette research the impact happy employees have on organizations. They found companies with happier employees:

  • outgrew peers by 4:1 margin
  • earned more than $40 billion than peers
  • created more than 800,000 jobs than peers

One of the best ways to create happier employees is for leaders to conduct consistent one-on-one meetings with their direct reports. The frequency and duration of the one-on-ones is at the manager’s discretion, but weekly 30 minute meetings work best. Consistent one-on-ones provide direct reports an opportunity to voice needs and receive praise. The sessions also provide the opportunity to assess goals with the purpose of ensuring culture and happiness are synchronized.  Regular one-on-ones allow the leader to recognize issues and deal with them before they become time-sucking, full-blown problems.

Direct reports who have consistent, dedicated time with their supervisor are much happier with the organization and, more importantly, their supervisor (remember most superstars leave companies because of the poor relationship with their boss). All this happiness leads to increased profitability and growth.

Empower your leaders to conduct consistent one-on-ones and your organization will be more successful.

Screen For Core Values Early In Your Selection Process

May 11, 2012

Almost all business leaders agree the most important component of their cultural fabric is their core values. Executive teams and strategic coaches have spent countless hours developing and refining these crucial organizational identifiers.

Good hiring managers screen for the organization’s core values early on in the screening process to gauge core values fit – before the hiring manager has fallen in love with the candidate. We recommend a core values email screen be conducted after a candidate has successfully passed the first phone screen.

In the email screen, the candidate is asked to reply in an email how they have lived each of the organization’s core values. This not only gives the hiring manager a feel for how the candidate internalizes the core values, but provides a great sample of their writing and email skills.

Here is a sample email screen:

Below are the core values for the ABC Company. Please take a few moments to provide an example of how you have demonstrated each of these core values in your professional life. We are looking for specific examples; if you do not have one, you may leave it blank, but we are not looking for hypothetical situations. We don’t expect a novel, but sometimes being too brief loses the meaning or the context. Please respond as though you were responding to an email request from the individual to whom you report.

Results Driven: Be accountable for getting the right things done right and on time.

Team Focus: Place team goals ahead of personal goals.

Do the Right Thing: Even when no one is looking or will ever find out.

Empower your hiring managers with core values email screening, and you’ll increase your odds of making a successful hire.

Be Clear About Team Expectations

May 4, 2012

According to a Harris Interactive study of 23,000 workers, managers and executives:

  •  22% of workers focused on organizational goals
  •  10% of people have clear, measurable deadline-driven work goals
  •  8% of people systematically schedule priorities
  •  23% of workers understood organizational strategy and goals
  •  60% of worker’s time actually spent working on key goals

If this were applied to a football team of eleven players:

  •  Only two would know what the next play was going to be
  •  Only two would be focused on executing the next play
  •  Only one would know his specific assignment on the next play
  •  Only one would be totally committed to the next play
  •  Only two would meet their commitments on the next play

The greater the clarity of the mission, the greater the odds of success. Team members must know what is expected of them, in as granular a way as is practical, in order to meet or exceed those expectations.

Empower your teams with clear expectations and you’ll be more successful.