Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2016

Change - we all think we embrace it...

Embracing change? How do you react?
Most people think that they react well, but, of course, it has to make sense to them!
I believed the same thing - then I came up against the changes in my drive to the office.  It has been a long process, at least 18 months, and is still ongoing.
There has been a huge amount of work.   There is change in the road structure without change in the signage.   Note the two photos taken this morning.   Not so much as a white directional line in the road.
The middle and left lane go straight.  The right lane also goes straight, but is fed into a walled road that is a right only turn.   Every morning drivers realise this too late, and aim for the middle lane, without taking into account that there is already a vehicle in the middle lane – MINE!
On Monday, the taxi in the left lane was blocked by an illegally stopped taxi in front of him.   My car was the ham in the sandwich as both vehicles veered into the middle lane without signalling.
Our brains works in myste…

If there were no KPAs or other measurements...

Every discussion on this topic seems to come back to “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”.    Employee engagement is seen as the Utopian solution to driving out measurements and introducing total commitment and great results. Companies have done it. Is it possible as a norm?   And once you have achieved these high levels of engagement, is it possible to maintain them? I think there is a tipping point in terms of size, in both directions.   Too small, family type of bickering kicks in.   Too large, maintaining consistency is challenging. Every line manager needs to be a committed cheerleader, driven by passionate executive leadership.   Psychology qualifications would be essential as each member of a team might have different motivators. Strong identification with the team, division, branch, company has to be the way to go.Look at Sharks and Man United supporters.   They live the brand.   Even when they are losing… In order to identify, people need to feel included at every level…
Do you take former employees back?
We spend so much time discussing retention, and not nearly enough time with the people we want to retain or those we want to return.
There are companies who have a policy not to re-employ. There are also companies who have alumni strategies where they continue to engage with former employees with the clear objective of re-engagement.   These strategies usually sit at executive level and tend to focus on high level talent. It has always surprised me that companies won’t re-employ, when I hear senior execs say that “you can’t go back” – once people have moved on, taking them back cannot be a good decision. I disagree.   First of all, when you find people who add value and fit your culture, they are gifts that don’t go into the re-gifting cupboard! It is a reality that people starting their careers are advised to try different opportunities.  If you hire young people, they will move on.   Your investment in their training will be an advantage to their n…

Buzzwords & Acronyms - Fun or Functional?

Or add to productivity and clarity? I sat in a presentation the other day, and the presenter used the expression "In that space" at least 30 times, plus a few variations on the theme.   I am afraid after the first 5 I stopped concentrating on the content, and started waiting for him to say it again.... In business, we catch onto phrases and words and use them, ad nauseam.  Paradigm shift was a favourite for ages, it is still used, but not quite as extensively.   Then there are "blue sky" and "green field" projects or opportunities, and endless acronyms that can trip you up badly as they are used differently in various industries. I ask, and then land up having every one, even the more obvious, explained patiently for the rest of the meeting.   One sweet young man translated IT for me, a few years ago, as Information Text. Recently, I confirmed what PM stood for in a meeting.   There was a collective gentle, patronising drawing in of breath, and Project Ma…

Is the employee toxic or simply disengaged?

Is the employee toxic or simply disengaged?  And how to tell?Dissecting Employee Behaviour We spend hours of management time dissecting employee behaviour to ensure that not only is each employee delivering to a minimum expectation, he or she is not actively undermining the effectiveness of the business. We design KPAs (or KPIs, or whatever we want to call them), we run regular appraisals, we discuss career paths and succession plans, and as long as toxic employees are delivering on their job description, we keep them! It’s only after they leave, when you hear the collective deep breath of relief from colleagues and management, that you can be absolutely sure of the negative impact.Underperformance vs Undermining My view has changed – rather an underperformer, than an underminer. So what to do? Once you have firmly established that undermining is the problem, the first step is to tell them that you are onto them! Never an easy task, because very few people see themselves as underminin…