A, B, or C Player? What Are You?

Talented Players-Part 2

The second half the title didn’t make it due to space, but it should read “A, B or C? What Are You? Do you, or should you, care?

a player knocks out of parkQuoting from Part 1 of this series as a refresher:

Think about your own team or company. Can you stick a label on each person to identify them as an A, B, or C? More importantly, should you?

Do your people need to have a label of A, B, or C stuck on them from the moment they walk in the door? I could go either way with this, so I’m not saying you should or should not. I just want you to think about your own people and if it makes sense to do it for them…

But maybe it’s not the best way to “box” your people in? Are you tacking on a label based on their current performance/situation when it will change over time? Continue reading

A Players, B Players, and C Players

Talented Players-Part 1

a b c playersRecently a friend pointed me to an article discussing A players, B players, and C players. I had some differing thoughts when I read it, and I’m going to break it down and discuss a few different parts of the article that need addressing.

A players are star performers. They are employees who put their professional lives ahead of their families and personal lives because they are striving to accomplish more or move upward in the organization. A players are the risk-takers, the “high potentials,” and employers enjoy finding and hiring them. They are also the players most likely to leave the organization for opportunities elsewhere. Continue reading

Why Do You Keep Hiring Poor Candidates? (Leadership 101)

poor culture fitSo you made a bad hire. Lesson learned. Eventually it happens to everyone.

But why haven’t you moved them on yet? Why are they still hanging around and leeching the morale from your team when you know good and well that they just aren’t going to fit?

Every day that you keep a “poor fit” employee, you make the decision to hire them all over again.

I’ll explain. See, when you hire someone and put that money into them, that’s what economics nerds like to call “sunk cost.” In a nutshell, the cost of the original choice has already been incurred, so don’t let that impact your decisions going forward. Continue reading

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

7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave (Book Review)

Recently I received a copy of 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave by Leigh Branham to review. It was great timing, because I’ve had the “big picture” retention ideas floating through my head in preparation for the HR portion of a leadership retreat at work. This truly was a fantastic book with many great insights, and I can’t list them all here. I’ll hit on some of the high points that really got my blood pumping as an “in the trenches” HR pro:

  • There is a major disconnect with regard to how managers understand retention. According to the research, 89% of managers believe employees leave/stay for money; however, surveys show 80-90% of employees leave for reasons not related to pay (job fit, manager, culture, work environment, etc.)
  • In many companies exit interviews are handled by HR. Surely we’re using that opportunity to learn where our weaknesses are and how to manage them, right? Wrong! 42% of HR departments admit their exit interview program isn’t effective. Continue reading

Human Resource Management Planning-The Micro Level

hr management planShortly into my lunch meeting, I realized it was a human resource management planning exercise in disguise. And it was so much fun.

I talk often about what it’s like working for Pinnacle. A sizable portion of what makes it a great working environment is having a manager who truly spends their time looking for ways to make your life and career a priority.

I highly encourage you to have a similar meeting if you’re managing someone. They want that attention and expertise that only you can give, even if you feel like you don’t have anything to offer.

Topics to cover

Not sure where to start? Try to touch on these areas and pick at least one to hone in on:

  • The employee’s career goals (no limits!)
  • Have an honest discussion of where you have enhanced their career (and in some cases, where you might have limited its growth)
  • How the employee fits into the organizational plan in the 1-5 years to come

Yes, it’s a short list, because what follows is dependent on the responses. For instance, if the employee wants to eventually become a benefits specialist, but your company doesn’t have any openings for that area, you can help them start preparing by giving them more responsibility in that area. If your employee wants to manage people, start shaping them to be the best manager they can be.

If, in the scope of the discussion, you find out that some of your actions have been interpreted as limiting career growth for the employee, then work with them to come to a resolution.

Finally, in the “big picture,” talk about what the company’s future looks like (as best you can describe it, anyway). Discuss what that means for your department and the person’s position in particular. Be honest. You’d want someone to be honest with you!

A few more details

If you’d like your miniature human resource management planning session to be successful, here are a few more tips:

  • Get away from the office for 1-2 hours (a long lunch works well for this)
  • Spend some time talking non-work stuff, because that’s what matters to the employee most (and could uncover some idea of future hopes/ideas)
  • Be sure to get their input on what they see going on with regard to the team/department level; they’re usually closer to the action than you are

Make it so

While HR management planning is a large-scale activity in most cases, for our purposes today we’re looking at how it affects a team, one person at a time. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen organizations be damaged by the actions of one reckless, irresponsible person.

What about the other side? How much positive change and influence could one open, honest person create? Anyone at Pinnacle could tell you that my manager does it on a daily basis, one small action at a time. I only hope I can be that inspirational and supportive when I have my own employees reporting to me. Let’s just say I’m taking good notes!

Do you ever have meetings like this with your staff? What do you discuss? 

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