Employee Productivity Management

Employee productivity management is normally seen as a manager’s job, and that might be a good thing. Recent research has shown that some managers can achieve up to 10% increases in productivity among their staff.

In the video below I discuss this phenomenon and what it means for HR professionals and business leaders. I also talk about a book that has some crossover between the research on employee productivity management and how it actually played out in another study of manager impact on employee engagement, performance, etc. The third piece I discuss is a philosophy of author/speaker that HR’s last great unexplored frontier is employee productivity and how to get more from our staff. I think that’s a key piece of why engagement has become the hot buzzword in recent years (it sounds cooler than employee productivity management), but they both mean basically the same thing: how can we get more work out of our people for the same amount of money?

If it was an easy answer, we’d have answered it already. The book that I talk about in the video covers some amazing concepts for how to develop a culture of belief that is so strong that it drives employee engagement and profits. I highly encourage you to check it out if that’s something you are interested in.

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

Employee productivity management show notes


So, what do you think? How can HR professionals best impact employee productivity?

Want more? Check out the free employee performance management guide!

Internal Talent Management

How internal talent management keeps you competitive

internal-talent-managementWe need the right people sitting in the right seats.

If you’re familiar with the phrase, then you know it’s all about finding the right talent fit for your organization. This discussion shifts from the external focus to the internal talent management process. The reality is that we don’t always have the right people sitting in the right seats when we decide to get serious about the process.

So… What now?

Well, you have a few options. Continue reading

Flexible Schedule Policy vs. Core Business Hours

flexible work schedule policy

Wishing I was this flexible

I have a lot of things I’m proud of accomplishing at work, but it’s the sum of them and the trust that my leaders and staff place in me that have the most impact on me. Below you’ll learn about one recent example of how I was able to stand up for our staff and keep a misguided manager from implementing a decision that would have had a negative impact on the culture and employees. It’s the little things like this every day that make me glad that I’m in HR.

Recently we had a discussion about moving from our current flexible schedule policy to a core business hours work arrangement. Some of our management team looked at the decision as a way to force everyone to be in the office at least part of the day in order to make sure everyone is staying on task and accomplishing their work. (Click here for the tools I use for work/life flexibility.)

However, I was more than a little bit perturbed by the idea.

See, I have this funny, old-fashioned notion that managers are there to… well, manage. Continue reading

Handling Disrespect at Work-The Respect Effect (Book Review)

How to teach managers and teams about disrespect at work

Recently I received a copy of The Respect Effect to review. This post is less of a book review and more of a discussion about one specific idea I found in the book, but it’s been a good read and I definitely have some good notes for my next manager’s meeting. 

How does Zappos handle issues with disrespect in the workplace?

“If it [the issue of disrespect] cannot be successfully handled within the workgroup, we fire them.”
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read it a few weeks ago. It’s not only about not tolerating disrespect within the workplace setting. It also presents an idea that warrants some thought. Continue reading

Employee Performance: Manage and Prosper

A performance discussion for those who manage others

I have been thinking a lot about performance management lately-namely, how can managers get it done faster, better, and more effectively? I run into complaints about all areas of performance feedback: how to do it, what to say, how to have time for it, etc.

I get them so often that I’ve put together a quick discussion you can have with your managers to help them do it well. The best part? There is no “I don’t have time for this” excuse, because the lesson takes less than a minute to deliver. Here we go:

30 Second Public Service Message for Managers

Performance feedback is critically important for your people to do their jobs well. It needs to be all these:

  • On time
  • Honest
  • Accurate

Keep The Golden Rule in mind. Address their performance (good or bad) like you would want your own to be addressed.

Bonus tip: if you think there may be a surprise for the employee, call me.

And that, my friends, is the 30 second lesson on performance!

Want more? Check out the free employee performance management guide!

Job Feedback-You’re Doing it Wrong

I heard a new term to describe poor job feedback recently at the SHRM 2012 Conference, and I just had to share it here.

gunnysack feedback  [guhn-ee-sak feed-bak] noun
the act of saving all of an employee’s feedback over time and delivering it all at one time during an annual performance review; see also terrible management practices and how to increase employee turnover

how to give feedback at workThis is a really bad idea for several reasons.

  • First, you are not supplying the person with positive encouragement when they accomplish something noteworthy. How will they know what they are doing right?
  • Second, you are not correcting improper behaviors right away. Do you seriously think the employee really wants to do the wrong thing for an extended period of time before you get up the nerve to tell them?

In short, it violates the biggest rule with regard to comments for performance reviews: treat the other person like you want to be treated. Stuck and not sure how to proceed? Here’s a crazy idea–ask them what they want! Let’s add gunnysack job feedback to the list of failed management ideas (like using Twitter for reviews).

Anyone witnessed a manager clinging to the belief that this type of performance management is a good one?

How to Develop Managers-Get Them Involved

Get them involvedIn my first post on how to develop managers, I talked about uncovering manager development opportunities. Today we’ll talk about how to structure your organization so the managers want to get involved with their own development.

Hire right

It starts with the hire. If you hire someone who is comfortable with what they can already do and isn’t interested in doing anything more, then you’re probably going to have difficulty working with them. One of my favorite songs uses this lyric, and I repeat it to myself often when things start to get a little out of my comfort zone:

Somewhere in the grand design, it’s good to be unsatisfied. It keeps the faith and hope a little more alive.

There’s nothing wrong with finding someone who is not satisfied with where they are currently Continue reading