Thursday, October 25, 2007
Have you fallen victim to any of these? What do you do to an employee that you find out is using one?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Now I am not a McKinsey consultant and I don't work with very large organizations, but it seems to me that by formalizing informal networks you run the risk of making them as unappealing and unworkable as the heirarchical or matrix organizations they initially compared them to. To me informal networks are formed around people with like interests who are attracted to each other not only for the interest but a personal attraction or likability factor. Requiring an employee to participate in a network established around a practice or field will work no better than a heirarchy if there is no personal attraction to the group. I have participated in a number of networks that were established around a common interest that ended up falling apart or splintering into groups who wanted to share with each other.
Now I am not knocking Bryan, in fact he has a new book out, Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth from Talent in the 21st Century Organization, that I have already ordered. Formalizing informal networks may work in very large organizations, but I think it is doomed in smaller organizations.
People in HR and Management should recognize the power of these informal networks. They can work for both good and bad. One of the points Bryan et al. made was that informal networks fall apart if the "lynchpin" person leaves the network, hence the need to formalize. But knowing just that fact can serve the HR person very well in making use of, or in stopping, an informal network.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
In her blog on the 5 workplace practices two of them are clearly generational. First, she states that voice mail is seldom used by workers under the age of 30. Only the "old" people leave voice mails. For the under 30 crowed, they either use texting, email or just return the missed call. They don't listen to or leave voice mails. So if you are having communication issues with younger workers (or if you are a younger manager and have older workers) take a look at the communication system you have set up and give the "generational test."
The second practice that might be considered generaltional is using the "reply-to-all" button in email. As she says "This was a great button to have in 1993 when even the busiest people only got fifty emails a day. Back then reply to all was a way to have an inclusive conversation.
Now reply to all is only a way to annoy people and make yourself look foolish."
Her other three practices that she thought should be gotten rid of are:
- The office candy machine.
- The office fundraising drive.
- The massive office party.
She is an interesting read, especially for us "older" HR types. So I recommend you link to her blog and keep up with this "voice" of a younger generation.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Kris suggests using two questions, which he feels cut through the B.S. These are:
- Tell me when you have been most satisfied in your career.
- Tell me when you have been least satisfied in your career.
He suggests "Those two questions measure Motivational Fit and are stunning in their simplicity. Assuming you like the background and experiences of the candidate and are confident they can do the job, you really only need to evaluate if your company, the specific opportunity and the candidate are a fit for each other. So ask these questions one at a time. Once you get the response from the candidate, ask "why?" and say "tell me more" multiple times. Then, s.h.u.t. u.p. Seriously - stop talking. Don't bail the candidate out, but rather force them to tell you what really jazzes them about jobs and companies, and subsequently, what drives them crazy."
I like this. I have one client where we have had a difficult time finding the right match for the executive positions. The background and experience have been good, but the "fit" has not been there despite DISC behavioral profiles. So I am going to suggest to him we use these questions, perhaps that will be the solution.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Ten percent of U.S employees say their company has used email to fire or lay off employees, according to a national survey of 752 U.S. workers. And, 17 percent indicated their boss used emails to avoid other difficult face-to-face conversations. "Email has become the new shield of today's business. Companies hide behind it to avoid the negative reactions of unhappy employees," said Frank Kenna III, president of The Marlin Company. "While email works fine for day-to-day communication, the last thing you want to do is use it for something as sensitive as layoffs. That risks turning former employees into disgruntled ones who can become walking negative advertisements for your firm."
I am astounded that ANYONE does this, let alone 10 percent. If you don't have the guts to face your employees and say you are letting them go then you don't deserve to be a manager! And what HR departments are allowing this to occur?? They have no more back bone than the manager and run the risk of causing the company more trouble. What has happened to courage?