Archive for August 2016

Direct Reports Should Focus On The Goal Not Just The Tasks

August 26, 2016

What is more important?

  • Making 20 sales calls or closing $500,000 in new sales?
  • Conducting weekly cycle inventories or .5% inventory shrink?
  • Publishing regular newsletters or 97% customer retention?
  • Creating weekly collections reports or receivables less than 30 days?
  • Attending safety classes or zero days lost to workplace injury?

All too often leaders and direct reports are so focused on the activities they lose sight of the ultimate objective.  Leaders should make sure their direct reports understand their objective, have the resources available to achieve that objective, and then get out of the way.

Does it really matter that the sales associate made only 7 sales calls but still achieved the $500,000 sales objective?  Leaders have a tendency to micro-manage the day-to-day activities because they are the easiest to affect.  Instead, clearly define the expectation – objective, time frame, resources, and restraints – and hold their direct reports accountable for the results without getting immersed in the details.

Leaders who focus on goals and empower their direct reports with the resources to achieve them experience more success.

Delegate For Development

August 19, 2016

When leaders are asked how things are going, many will answer with something about how busy they are – just not enough hours in the day, can’t get anything done, running around like crazy, etc., etc.

Perhaps the simplest way for a leader to motivate, empower, and free up time is for them to ask their direct report: “What three things could I be delegating to you?”

After agreeing what can be delegated, the leader should lay out a development plan to prepare for that delegation. The development objectives should roll right into the quarterly expectations and performance measures.

This may not feel comfortable for the leader who believes “no one can do this better than I” but the leaders must remember that to get to where they are today, someone sometime gave them a break and trusted their abilities.

Leaders who empower direct reports with increased delegation have more success.

Selection Processes Reduce Chances Of Poor Hires

August 15, 2016

Select (verb) – To choose in preference to another or others; pick out (Random House Dictionary).

Process (noun) – A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result (Random House Dictionary).

A selection process should consist of a series of actions to bring about an ideal choice of candidates.  Many leaders rely on intuition, gut instinct, or some haphazard interview approach when choosing among candidates.  The best hiring managers use a defined, repeatable process for selecting talent.

The selection process should include three phases:

  1. Job and ideal candidate definition;
  2. Candidate screening;
  3. Candidate evaluation.

Define the job and ideal candidate in the definition phase clarifying what is expected of the job and what the ideal candidate will look like.  The screening phase should include consistent behavior-based questioning and assessments that tie back to the job and candidate definitions.  The evaluation phase should analyze gaps and discrepancies between observed candidate behavior and job and candidate requirements.

Hiring managers should define the steps in the selection process, stick to them, and empower those in the selection process for success.

Weigh The Steps In The Selection Process

August 5, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor stipulates that if hiring managers administer assessments to candidates, the results of the assessments cannot represent more than 33% of the decision to hire or not hire.  That means at least 67% of a hiring manager’s decision to hire or not hire must consist of other screening activities.  Hiring managers should consider the activities in their screening process and how are they weighted.

Below are the steps and percentages many hiring managers follow in their selection process:

  •  Phone screen (salary and basic skills fit) – 5%
  • Core values email (values and writing skills fit) – 10%
  •  First interview (skills, experience, culture fit) – 20%
  • Assessment results (personal skills, behaviors, culture, critical thinking fit) – 20%
  • Reference checks (screening concerns addressed) – 10%
  • Follow-up interviews (screening and reference concerns addressed) – 20%
  • Handle selection process (project management skills demonstrated) – 15%

While being in legal compliance is important, the reality is there is a strong business case to have multiple steps in a selection process.  No assessment is 100% accurate because humans are more complex than any one, two, or three assessments; however, they are a great basis from which to create exploratory conversations — with the candidate AND references.  It is equally important to see how a candidate does moving through a process and not just in each specific step in the process.

Empowered hiring managers consider many aspects when hiring and make more successful hires.