3 Ways to Get Your Employees to Want to do More

Sometimes it feels like you are in a tug-of-war with your employees – always tugging at them to do just a bit more, think a little more, create a little more or be a little more focused on a customer. You can see it, but they can’t, or don’t, or won’t.

Let’s look at why this is happening.

  1. There is a lack of alignment. How excited would you be to do more in your job if it doesn’t align to your strengths and interests? We choose our level of effort in our work, and much of this comes from how we feel about our work. The more confident and capable we are, the more interested we become. Hiring and developing employees into roles that align to their abilities, passions and interests encourages their productivity, contribution and performance. If employees are low on energy or off in their performance, where in the organization would they be a great or better fit? What needs to be in their days to help them feel capable and competent – and excited to do and be more?
  2. There is a lack of inclusion. How many of your employees do just what the job says, likely because you rarely ask them what they think, suggest and propose? One of the holdovers from our industrial age is the management mindset that managers tell and employees implement. Today’s thinking workplace needs the employee to be actively involved, included and thinking because they are the eyes and the ears of the business. They interact more significantly with customers and therefore have greater information and ideas about how to answer the question, “What could make us better?” To share this information, at least initially, employees need to be asked and invited to contribute – to be included. Regularly ask employees for their thoughts and ideas from every part of the organization. As they are invited to share, they see that doing and being more is encouraged, applauded and even rewarded.
  3. There is a lack of development. The workplace keeps changing which constantly requires new skills. For employees to do more, they need to have the best skills. This requires regular and recurring feedback and development. Again, how competent and confident would you feel if you don’t have the opportunity to continue to learn, grow and have the skills to contribute? Make education, learning and development a regular part of every employee’s workday or workweek. Empower employees to constantly use their new skills and assess the impact.

Most employees actually want to do and be more in their roles. They, however, are stopped by outdated and ineffective management or cultural practices.

Take Action
Stop and notice what you do that disengages your employees. Gather the information you need to shift to behaviors that are more effective and productive. Alignment, inclusion and development are key to raising your employees’ productivity.

And remember: an added benefit of an employee who wants to do more is that they may think twice before looking for the next opportunity.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Move Learning Off the Back Burner

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3 Ways to Help Your Team Start Strong and Focused in the New Year

A new year. The opportunity to see things as new, fresh and exciting. Is this the atmosphere you encourage in your work environment? Or will your employees come down off their holiday high and feel like they are back at the grind?

The more engaged employees are in their work and the workplace, the greater their productivity, performance and loyalty. Re-engaging employees in the new year is a great opportunity for management to make some important changes.

So, as a new year welcomes you and your team back to the workplace, here are three ways to start your year off strong, focused and engaged.

  1. Reconnect personally with your team. Make a point to get to know your employees in 2019. To effectively manage and coach your employees, it is important to know their strengths, interests and values. It is important to know what engages and disengages them about their jobs and the organization. It is critical to know how they best communicate and learn, and what their most and least favorite aspects of their jobs are. Gather important information about each of your employees to understand them better and to know how to best connect with them and coach them. Employees want time with their managers – use this increased time to get to know them and to develop a plan to connect with them more effectively going forward. People quit people before they quit companies. What is one thing you can do to more personally connect with each member of your team?
  2. Include your team in creating shared 2019 goals. Goals are important – they provide direction, clarity and focus. By including employees in the creation of goals, or more specifically team goals, they feel more included, valued and part of the organization. A culture that constantly asks employees for input not only benefits from greater employee loyalty, but also from expanded ideas that come from empowering and expecting employees to actively think throughout their days. How will you involve your team in the creation of shared goals?
  3. Commit to sharing more performance information. You want your employees to be more focused and engaged, but few feel that way when they work in the dark. They can’t connect their work to its impact or value. Work with employees to identify the key performance metrics that will help them asses their department’s performance and their individual progress and impact. Develop a performance dashboard by role or department to help employees see their personal or team impact/progress on shared goals, and to encourage discussion, dialog and conversation. What information will you share in 2019?

Every employee wants to add value and make a difference. Many times, we may unintentionally dissuade them from doing this by doing things that discount their value or disconnect them from their team or organization.

Take Action
As a new year approaches, commit to reconnect with them, get their input for shared goals and commit to sharing performance results. Not only will including employees generate new and great ideas for you, but they will feel more valued and appreciated for being included in the conversation. Start the new year off strong.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Move Learning Off the Back Burner

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Don’t Drag Your Feet When Hiring New Talent

By Jay Forte

When it comes to hiring, you can’t drag your feet. Good talent is in great demand, which means if you have a slow or complicated hiring process, you will likely lose the best talent.

According to a 2017 Glassdoor survey, the average length of the interview process is 23.8 days. Some organizations may think that pace is just fine since it gives them room to leisurely interview each candidate or to build the hiring process around busy schedules. Other organizations pride themselves on the slow and methodical approach to hiring. Both do not take into account the current demand for talent and the speed that today’s employees need to make decisions.

At its core, the real issue is creating an effective and successful hiring process that is also efficient. So, how do you do it? Follow these five steps:

  1. Clearly define the tasks of each role and the performance attributes (strengths, skills, experience and education) required to do these tasks well.
  2. Build a sourcing strategy for each role, including conventional and non-conventional sources to find the best talent. A sourcing strategy defines the conventional and unconventional ways you will find candidates who have the attributes you need in the role.
  3. Define your interview components. As more and more organizations are using the “prove it to me interview,” define the segments and activities that will be part of each role’s interview. For example, you may have four segments in a role’s interview with two segments for questions, and two segments for activities that allow the candidate to share and prove what they know about the role.
  4. Define your interview team and train them. Your interview team must be masters at either behavioral-based interviewing or assessing skill levels through the activity portion of an interview.
  5. Develop a clear, sound and efficient interview process from date of contact to date of decision.

Take a minute to notice two the most frequently used words in the previous list: define and develop. Being intentional about each part of this process is the key to making it effective and efficient.

With a clear process in place, consider creating a timeline and stick to it. Not only will implementing a timeline help keep the process moving forward, it also ensures candidates are kept updated on their status in your process. As you build out your timeline, consider the following:

  1. Introduce the interview process to the candidate in the opening communication. Help them know the timing, what your interview is like, how to prepare and how to be successful in your interviews.
  2. Develop and follow a schedule of regular and clear communications throughout the interview process. Let candidates know where they stand. Define key dates in the interview process, including actual interviews, follow up dates and the date a decision will be made.
  3. Once a decision is made, send out start dates, how to be successful in your first week, key things to know about the job or the organization and connect the new employee to another employee (i.e. a buddy) to help them feel connected from the start.
  4. Gather personal information about the new hire to be able to create a personalized onboarding experience. Share the date of onboarding and be sure everything is ready for the new employee on his/her first day.

Take Action
The opportunity to attract a candidate to your company, to share what the employee experience is all about, starts with the interview process. Make your hiring process clear and efficient, and be sure to share all of the critical information and dates up front. Nothing disengages a future potential employee more than an organization that is disorganized, unclear or too slow in its decision-making. Have an intentional plan so you never drag your feet when hiring new talent.

 

Consider reading People Are Like M&Ms

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Stop Promoting the Wrong People into Management Roles

You have a great employee. So great, in fact, that you are afraid you will lose her if you don’t promote her. So, you promote her. And she fails in her new managerial role. Why? Because being great at her current job doesn’t mean she will be great as a manager.

This isn’t a one-off example. According to the Gallup Organization, companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talents for management positions 82% of the time. They let old ways of advancing employees override a wiser and more results-focused approach. Think of all the resources mismanaged in this situation and think of the unintended consequences of putting the wrong person into a managerial role: employee disengagement, low morale, workplace drama and the inevitable turnover.

Today’s workplace success comes from talent alignment. Since most of our jobs are thinking jobs, we must know the brain of the job to know whether those we want to advance or promote to the job have a similar brain. People excel in roles that need what they do and like best.

But so many organizations continue to believe in promoting from within without using a sound and intentional review process to assess the existing employee’s attribute alignment to those needed in the new role. Having a clear process that is used for both new hires and internal promotions can help you both get the right people in the right jobs and build a workplace cultural value of alignment as the key to performance success. Promoting with inadequate assessment of fit and alignment is the key to disengagement and poor performance.

To be able to make wise promotion and advancement decisions, consider the following.

  1. Create a clear performance profile for all management roles. Clearly define the tasks of the roles as well as the attributes (the strengths, skills, experience and education) needed to be successful doing the defined tasks. Be clear of what is required to be successful in the role. Don’t deviate.
  2. Build and use your interview process to accurately assess the abilities of any candidate, both internal or external, new or promotion. Hold every candidate accountable to demonstrate the required strengths and skills as these are what it takes to be successful in the role.
  3. Be honest with employees about why a role is or isn’t for them. Being upfront shares that your hiring process is designed to create role alignment and is committed to getting the right person for the right job for the success of the employee and the organization.
  4. Help the employee who does not get the management role develop a meaningful development plan (including new value-add tasks) that better aligns to her core strengths that she finds both engaging and important.

So many times we automatically promote employees based on either time with the organization or success in their current role. The failure comes by promoting them from a high-performance area to an area that may be out of their core strengths. Both the employee and the organization then suffer.

Change the mindset by showing that alignment matters most, whether that means bringing in new talent or promoting existing talent. Rethink how employees can stay in their high-performance areas, continue to add value and see a career path in your organization. This is the new way to engage employees.

Take Action
Consider a new manager job opening at your company. Do you have an internal candidate in mind? Why? Take the time to really understand the role and its success attributes, then interview your employee the way you would interview an external candidate. The goal of the interview is to assess whether the employee has what it takes to do this new role. Do this to set them up for success.

Need help with this? Contact us to learn how we help companies hire and promote the right people to the right jobs.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Are You Rigid or Flexible? 

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Even in Low Unemployment, Great Companies Are Finding Great Talent

By Jay Forte

The unemployment rate across much of the country is 4% or lower. This means it is difficult to find great talent, right?

Wrong.

Consider this: The Gallup Organization has been tracking employee engagement for nearly 20 years. Employee disengagement has hovered at nearly 70% for most of that time, indicating that nearly three-quarters of the people you meet anywhere in work or life are either disengaged or actively disengaged in their jobs. These people are interested in new opportunities, opportunities that give them more than just a pay increase. These people are looking for organizations that are employee-focused, that have managers who act like coaches, have a hiring process that aligns employees to the right roles, that provide employees with the opportunity to learn and grow, and share the value and impact of every role so employees feel – and know – that the work they do matters.

If this is not you, be aware: your people are looking for organizations that offer these things (and that is a discussion for another time).

If this sounds like your organization, you are in great demand.

So, when looking at the unemployment rate, the real challenge is not as much about supply as it is about branding. How can you get the attention of those disengaged employees in other organizations to show them you are different – you are a remarkable place to work because you create an employee experience that amplifies engagement and helps employees succeed?

Create a dynamic workplace and then build a job center on your website that attracts people to see who you are, why you are remarkable and what your current employees say about working for you. This can create a talent pipeline, a constant source of talent who are disengaged in their current roles and could therefore be dynamically engaged in your organization because you offer the things they want and need, things they do not have in their current workplace.

Instead of fixating on the 4% unemployment rate that frequently has you accepting talent that doesn’t fit your roles or your organization (because you feel this is all that is available), focus on creating the kind of workplace that would attract the large number of highly talented and high-performing employees who are disappointed and disengaged in their current situations. Be employee-focused and let the world know it. Build it and they will come.

Take Action
How are you sharing what is unique, amazing and exceptional about your workplace to get the attention of disengaged employees in other organization who could be great in your workplace? Challenge yourself – and your hiring team – to develop ways to better spread the word about who you are and what you do, and why every employee does work that matters.

 

Consider reading Stop Managing and Start Coaching 

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