Overcoming Talent Disruption | November 2022
Organizations everywhere are experiencing a profound disruption in the ways their employees interact, work, or remain with the organization. Many are finding it difficult to understand and clearly map out a plan that can confidently carry them into the future. But, as we move toward imagining a post-pandemic era, organizations will need to meet these new demands for how we live and work.
Don’t Stop Strategic Talent Acquisition, Even When Hiring is Slow | October 2022
The time for organizations to focus on strategic talent acquisition is now. In recent months, the economic news has been unsettling to say the least. Global financial strains and government fiscal policies will hurt U.S. growth according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg and others. Inflation is rampant and the stock market has been extremely volatile and expectations are that both trends will continue for the foreseeable future. This news will influence some organizations to hunker down and take short sighted measures such as freezing hiring.
“Quiet Quitting” – Everything old is new again! | September 2022
“Quiet Quitting” is the latest buzz word for what has been an age-old problem for organizations – employees who, when they do show up for work, only do the bare minimum to “get bye”. For some employees, it means setting boundaries and not taking on additional work, for others it just means not going above and beyond, and some see it as a way to “stick it” to their employers who they believe only see them “as another cog in the machine.”
Helping Good Managers Become Better Leaders | July 2022
Understanding the difference between the role of a manager and a leader is crucial to maximizing the potential of your people. A manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. A leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked and complementary.
What is Job Fit and Why is it Important? | June 2022
There is no greater tragedy in business than hiring competent individuals for jobs in which they’re destined to fail. When this happens, the cost to both the organization and individual is huge. When that person leaves or is fired, not only does the organization lose a competent individual, but there is also the cost of turnover to consider. For the individual it’s been a waste of their potential and hit to their self-esteem.
To See Ourselves as Others See Us | May 2022
When poet Robert Burns penned those words more than two hundred years ago about seeing ourselves through the eyes of others in his famous poem (To a Louse, 1786), he could not have known they would apply so fittingly today. As a manager or leader in our organization, we often fail to consider how others see us or how our words and actions may negatively affect them … think “lack of engagement” or “negative turnover”.
Instead of looking in the mirror and reflecting on whether our hair is combed or if the jacket or sweater fits well, a wise leader will look beyond the outer image, go beneath the surface. He or she will evaluate and look inside their true self.
Why Aren’t Teams Working | March 2022
Organizations create functional, cross-functional, and cross-company teams to garner ideas and initiatives from the diverse experiences and talents of their employees. They do so because teams bring numerous advantages – they typically increase productivity, communications, and decision making since members are often closer to the issues. Additionally, teams often bring different backgrounds and a wider range of knowledge to bear on problems rather than relying on any one individual, manager, or department.
What we wish, we readily believe | February 2022
“What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.” ~ Julius Caesar
This quote nicely sums up why some of today’s good managers and leaders struggle in their roles. They wish to be seen as considerate, effective, trust-worthy, decisive, innovative, or open-minded and so they believe others see them that way as well. They may also think their approach to any given problem is the best of all possible options or they’re stuck in the mindset that “the way things have always been done here” is how things must be done. As a result, they have difficulty dealing with others who see issues and opportunities from a different perspective.
What Leaders Get Wrong About Emotional Intelligence | January 2022
As technologies continue to automate routine tasks, it’s estimated that up to one
third of skills considered important in today’s workforce will have changed over the next three to five years. Executives and employees alike are increasingly recognizing that emotional intelligence (EI) skills – such as self-awareness, awareness of others, authenticity, emotional reasoning, self-management, and positive influence – will become more important as many jobs become more client (external/internal) focused.
Why Good Enough is Not Good Enough! | September 2021
Jeff, one of my mentors in the field of Emotional Intelligence assessments, recently had an epiphany while conducting a workshop for a client. One of the exercises during the workshop was to ask participants to use one-word adjectives to describe how their “best” boss, as well as their “worst” boss, made them feel. Not surprisingly, he got the following results … valued, appreciated, trusted, supported, etc. versus worthless, stupid, angry, unappreciated, etc.
It was then when Jeff decided to go off script and, just out of curiosity, asked the participants how their “average” bosses made them feel. The word most often used was “indifferent” and here’s Jeff’s epiphany …
Incompetent People Really Do Think They’re Competent | August 2021
Unfortunately, when it comes to Emotional Intelligence, the same is true for many individuals, managers, and leaders – they think they effectively demonstrate Emotional Intelligence in both the workplace and in their personal life … but they don’t.
Why is that? This phenomenon is explained by the Dunning-Kruger Effect which is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability and this tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their own skills.
Just Because They Can Fog A Mirror, Should You Hire Them? | May 2021
The other day I was talking to a neighbor who owns a number of businesses and she was complaining about the difficulty of hiring entry level employees, a common lament many of us hear (or perhaps say) every day. She went on to say, “It’s gotten so bad that if someone applies and can fog a mirror, we’ll hire them; besides, if they don’t work out, we’ll just let them go”. Her comment of course is a common one; but it also begs the question, “Just because they can fog a mirror, should you hire them?” And, no, this article isn’t about ways to find applicants.
3 Common Interview Mistakes – Why Interviews Aren’t Enough | March 2021
One of the more difficult things any of us must do is interview people. Whether you’re looking for a new virtual assistant, a truck driver for your warehouse, a medical technician for your lab, or someone to work on your ad campaigns, interviewing people can be tough, time consuming, and expensive. However, it goes without saying that organizations serious about improving their profitability and long-term viability in an increasingly competitive economy need to hire the best candidates.
Who’s bold enough to suggest their leaders might benefit from Emotional Intelligence Training? | October 2020
It’s generally agreed that emotional intelligence matters more today than it used to because the workplace has changed. While today we work largely in teams, the COVID 19 pandemic has created a whole new dynamic in the relationship between leaders and their team when most, if not all the team, is working in isolation at home.
Top Four Reasons Why Employees Leave and How to Fix Those Leaks | September 2020
Imagine your organization’s talent pool as a leaky pipe. Regardless of its culture, every organization experiences turnover and when it happens it costs time, money, and productivity.
Charismatic or Emotionally Intelligent Leadership – Two Sides of the Same Coin? | January 2020
For some time I’ve been intrigued with the concepts of charismatic leadership and emotionally intelligent leadership. I’ve often wondered if they are “two sides of the same coin” or are they “different”.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team | September 2019
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® is a simple, proven model and thoroughly-tested learning program which helps teams succeed.
“We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us.” | August 2019
The animal characters Walt Kelly created for his classic newspaper comic strip Pogo were known for their seemingly simplistic, but slyly perceptive comments about the state of the world and politics.
What Makes a Leader? | June 2019
Drive down Main Street in Anytown, USA and you’ll see gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, banks, and various office buildings. For each of these entities, there is a single person who is ultimately responsible – a person who is in charge. Are these people leaders or are they just people in charge? Is there a difference?
The Importance of Specific, Quantifiable, Measurable, and Objective Criteria when Creating Performance Models | May 2019
When using job match assessments to improve the selection and promotion process within an organization, success will depend largely upon how current top performers are identified. Since the process is designed to help an organization select candidates who share the same job-related characteristics of their top performers, misidentification of those critical characteristics by misidentifying members of that group can lead to poor results and the selection of candidates who do not perform well.
Trends in Employee Engagement and Emotional Intelligence | April 2019
As I began research for this month’s newsletter, I came across one of my old newsletters from 2007. In that newsletter I made reference to Ken Dychtwald’s book, Workforce Crisis, which had been published the previous year. In his book, Ken not only predicted the shortage of skills and talent in today’s workplace, he also wrote about setting strategies in motion to avert that workforce crisis which included, among other things, an entire chapter on “Meaningful Work and Engaged Workers”.
Ten Ways to Engage Employees April 2019
While we’re taking a trip down memory lane, here is the list from my 2007 newsletter on ten ways to foster employee engagement. While some have stood the test of time, in hindsight one or two of them might appear to be a bit naïve if not antiquated:
Measuring Your Compatibility | February 2019
Here’s a word of advice for managers who’ve had an unpleasant meeting with a key employee and cannot fathom why Give-and-Take turned into Tug-of-War. Get out your employee manual and look under troubleshooting for Failure to Communicate.
Oh, wait. That topic isn’t in our employee manual.
The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence | January 2019
In the time period “between 2016 and 2030, demand for social and emotional skills will grow across all industries by 26 percent in the United States.”(1)
If you want to dramatically improve employee engagement, productivity, and profitability within your organization, you really need to intentionally hire emotionally intelligent people and then train and develop them to be even more so. Why? Today it’s our “people skills” which are more important than ever before in our ever-changing complex business world.
Hiring is a process, not a one-time event! | December 2018
How did this happen?
Her resume was impressive,
She nailed the interview, and
Her manager thinks the world of her …
Her co-workers despise her and
Her customers avoid her.
In our work with organizations we see this problem over and over. The job candidate had an impressive resume, absolutely nails the interview, and then three months later their “evil twin” shows up for work.
Hiring for Emotional Intelligence? | October 2018
There are hundreds of articles published annually regarding the cost of a bad hire and/or the negative impact of a bad hire on team morale, productivity, revenue, and profit. There are also millions of dollars invested in applications, platforms, and assessments designed to help companies avoid those bad hires. Why? Because hiring the right people really matters. However, despite great tools and our best efforts, we still sometimes miss the mark. So, what’s been the missing link? We’ve not been able to hire for Emotional Intelligence … until now.
What Did I Miss? | September 2018
I recently did a morning seminar for the Thumb Area Manufacturing Forum on the “Three Keys to Hiring, Developing, & Retaining Top Performing Employees”. The first key, as you might guess, was to improve their hiring process. But, given the time I had to do the seminar, I wasn’t able to expand on all facets of the hiring and retention process. WHAT DID I MISS? The importance of onboarding – and that’s the topic of this newsletter.
Succession What? | August 2018
I recently had breakfast with a friend of mine, a businessman who owns a company with about a hundred employees. Among the many things we talked about that morning was his desire to retire in the near future from the day to day involvement in his company. His longer term plan is to just retain his role as the Chairman of the Board until a suitable buyer for his company could be found in a couple of years. While he’s comfortable with the individual he recently made the president of his company, his nagging concern is that he doesn’t have enough of the right people in other key positions. Even more nagging is the fact that he doesn’t have a development plan in place for those individuals within his company who could fill those key positions.
Keeping Your Best: How to Improve Your Odds | July 2018
The good news according to The Center for Michigan is that “Jobs are plentiful and wages are booming in Michigan”. The bad news for employers is they can’t find enough applicants (let alone qualified applicants) to fill their open positions. This condition is true for virtually all employers – manufacturing, health care, retail, transportation, financial, etc. As the job market swings toward increasing scarcity of qualified applicants, a parallel trend begins to appear: top performers in every sector of the economy start to change jobs, looking for better pay, more recognition, opportunity for advancement, or perhaps just a change.
Getting the Right People on the Bus – Will We Know Them When We Find Them? | June 2018
Since the publication of Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great in 2001, there’s been a proliferation of books and articles all confirming the importance of “Job Fit”. Because of this, there are lots of managers who fervently endorse the concept of “get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus”. These managers invariably believe they’re hiring according to these principles; but, good intentions aside, a real question arises.
5 Steps to Moving Low Performers Either Up, Over, or Out | May 2018
Every organization, despite its best efforts in recruiting, hiring, and motivating employees, invariably faces the problem of low performance employees. We all know the signs … tasks which get done, but seldom on time and usually poorly done; absenteeism and tardiness creeping up; and managers who gradually shift some of that person’s workload to other, higher-performing workers.
Why is ROI important for HR professionals? | April 2018
It’s often said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. While almost a cliché, this statement is especially important for Human Resource professionals. Most HR departments typically measure such things as the time to hire, cost per hire, turnover, absenteeism, lost time due to injuries, etc. While important, limiting their measurements to these types of metrics fails to address HR’s necessary contribution to the organization’s business goals.
Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You | February 2018
One issue constantly surfaces these days during our presentations to leaders of organizations and, in all candor, it’s an issue which consumes those of us who are helping best-practice companies both attract and retain top talent. That issue is … “you must know your employees well, better than they know themselves.” Much like the song “Getting to Know You” from the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, it’s all about getting to know more about your most precious asset – your employees.
10 Ways to Coach By Example | February 2018
Envision good performance and communicate your vision.
Don’t just nod your head; listen to your direct reports.
Don’t ask employees to do something you’re not willing to do yourself.
Why Aren’t Teams Working and What to Do About It | January 2018
Since the dawn of human existence, people have organized into teams to accomplish what no one person could effectively do on their own. But it wasn’t until the late 1920s and early 1930s with the now classic Hawthorne Studies that researches conducted a series of research activities designed to examine in-depth what happened to a group of workers under various conditions.
Is More Always Better? | September 2017
Organizations have two kinds of problems – system problems and people problems … and it’s the people who ultimately fix the system problems. Historically, organizations have been much more successful at solving their systems problems than their people problems. With system problems, there is the benefit of dealing with objective information, quantified information, and a common frame of reference.
Reasons Not to Use Four Quadrant Social Style Assessments for Pre-Employment | September 2017
Quadrant Social Style Assessments (aka DISC type assessments) should never be used for pre-employment (hiring) purposes for the following reasons – they…
When Good Applicants Are Scarce, Select for Fit, and Train for Skills. | May 2017
In F. Leigh Branham’s book, Keeping the People Who Keep You in Business, he makes this suggestion; “Interview applicants who may lack traditional qualifications, such as degrees or years of experience, but have the right abilities and can be trained,” (emphasis added).
Ever had an Unpleasant Meeting with a Key Employee? | March 2017
You know the kind, you walked away from that encounter and couldn’t fathom why your planned “Give-and-Take” conversation turned into “Tug-of-War”.
Lincoln on Leadership: Effective Strategies for Tough Times II – March 2017
In the author’s words, “Why are there so few leaders in today’s business community? The answer seems to be that most managers don’t understand or know enough about the nuts and bolts of skilled leadership.
Lincoln on Leadership: Effective Strategies for Tough Times I February 2017
Only ten days before Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office in 1861, the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union, taking Federal agencies, forts, and arsenals within their territory.
“To See Ourselves as Others See Us” | February 2017
Two hundred years ago, when poet Robert Burns penned the words about seeing ourselves through the eyes of others in his famous poem, “To a Louse” (1786), he could not have known that they would apply so fittingly today.
Helping Good Managers Become Better Leaders | November 2016
Understanding the difference between the role of a “manager” and a “leader” is crucial to maximizing the potential of your people. A manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. A leader’s job is to inspire and motivate.
Hiring and Promoting the Best Leaders | November 2016
Making mistakes in hiring or promoting can be costly to an organization, making mistakes in hiring or promoting people for leadership positions can actually be destructive to your organization.
Are You an Effective Leader? | November 2016
It’s been said leaders are made and not born. While it’s true many great leaders tend to share certain traits, anyone can learn to be an effective leader if they’re willing to develop the characteristics of leadership.