How to Criticize Employees | inc.com


Inc.com - The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs
Even if you’re an experienced executive, it’s likely you often find it very difficult to tell other people where they need to improve. Praising a good performance is easy; everyone likes to receive a compliment. But what do you do when a kick in the butt seems more appropriate than a pat on the back? Here’s how to do this effectively:

 

1. Treat criticism as a form of feedback.

The term “criticism,” while accurate, carries the baggage of negativity. By contrast, the term “feedback” implies the participation of both parties–a two-way give and take where both people learn and grow. Feedback is an opportunity for mutual growth. You learn by getting feedback, and you learn by giving feedback. The moment you reposition your criticism into the context of feedback, both you and your employee will feel more relaxed and receptive.

2. Provide criticism on an ongoing basis. Leer más “How to Criticize Employees | inc.com”

The Power of Praise: ‘Thank You’ Goes a Long Way | Inc.com


Kathleen Kim | Inc.com staff
Thanks INC!

New research reveals something pretty obvious. Thanking and rewarding employees can give your business a boost.
Don’t hold off until annual performance reviews to praise stellar employees. A simple “thank you” here and there can boost efficiency and even help your business make more money.

According to new research (and, perhaps, the laws of common sense) companies that excel at employee recognition are 12 times more likely to generate strong business results than those that do not.

In companies focused on rewarding their workers, employee engagement, productivity and customer service were about 14% better than in those that skimp on recognition, the study found.

The study was conducted by advisory services firm Bersin & Associates President and CEO Josh Bersin wrote recently that “high-recognition culture” companies share three common traits:

First, they build focused recognition programs which collect “thank you’s” and “feedback” from peers, not just managers. Second, they directly tie recognition to business goals and company values, so recognition reinforces strategy. Third, they give employees open and transparent access to the program – so everyone can  see who is being recognized and anyone can recognize another.

But to really praise like a pro, start here:

Be specific and know your people
Consider the delivery
Get everyone involved

Leer más “The Power of Praise: ‘Thank You’ Goes a Long Way | Inc.com”

Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com


http://business.time.com

Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.Keep Your Best Employee

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it:   Leer más “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com”

entrepreneur.com | Stories


Growing and managing a workforce is almost never easy. And when it comes to staffing up, business owners have to juggle issues such as tracking resumes, analyzing candidates and other human resources obligations. For smaller firms, the difficulties associated with managing these duties can often be amplified.

The good news is there are several useful toolsthat can help. Though they will not replace a physical HR manager, these three services should be able to help even the smallest company hire and manage employees more efficiently:

Small Business Job Growth Continues
image credit: Shutterstock

Small businesses continued to add jobs in October, but the question remains whether this will be a sustainable trend given growing uncertainty about the economy and looming fiscal issues.

Employment in private small business (companies with one to 49 employees) payrolls rose by 50,000 in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP Small Business Report released Thursday. This is the largest payroll increase since July and accounts for 32 percent of employment gains across all company size groups.

Within small businesses, 37 percent of the employment growth contribution was associated with companies having between one to 19 employees while 63 percent of October’s small business growth was driven by companies with 20 to 49 employees.
Many small businesses remain confident in the economy’s future growth despite and a recent study by Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index suggested that the credit crunch for small businesses may be easing.

 

Retaining Great Employees: It’s Not About the Money


Written by Mansur Hasib

As IT managers and leaders, it is our job to foster the professional growth of everyone who works on our team. If we do not do this we are failing as leaders.

I have had many discussions on the topic of training with both employees and managers. Many IT managers are afraid that certifications will make their employees more marketable and allow them to find better opportunities. Employees are frustrated that their managers do not allow them to grow and so eventually they leave to find better opportunities to learn and to grow professionally.

When I was negotiating my budget as a CIO, I asked for and received $2,000 per year for every employee that could only be used for travel or training. It required the consultation of supervisors and could be used for a conference or even a certification. Since some training is more expensive, employees were allowed to trade and give someone their training dollars for one year so they could get it back from the recipient in a subsequent year. At times I was able to recruit someone simply because I had this guaranteed annual training benefit.

Leer más “Retaining Great Employees: It’s Not About the Money”

Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com


Looking to attract and retain the talent required to take your company out of start-up phase and onto the next level? Be open to change.

Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.

So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it…     Leer más “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com”

The 4 Dumbest Rules That Will Kill Your Company’s Culture


Fast Company
Expert Perspective
BY ROBERTA MATUSON

 
Imagine what a great place the working world could be without these dumb, stupid rules.

It’s hard to imagine that the Olympics would have some dumb, stupid rules, but if this world-class organization can have some, it’s not a stretch that companies have them, too.U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world all-around gymnastics champion, cried when she failed to make it to the women’s all-around finals. I can’t say I blame her. Wieber didn’t qualify because of the two-per-country rule, which prior to 2004 was the three-per-country rule.

The rule states that no more than two gymnasts from any country can qualify for the all-around finals, regardless of their score.Some might argue that this rule is a good one, as it gives countries who might not have a chance to medal in the all-around an opportunity to do so. But it’s still a dumb, stupid rule, as we know there is a snowball’s chance in hell these countries will beat out those who are truly the best.

This dumb, stupid rule reminds me of some of the rules I see in corporate America. Let’s begin with the most famous stupid rule of all: the customer is always right.

I learned about this rule early on in my career when I worked at the service desk at Marshalls. We’d have the regulars who would come in at the end of the season and return clothes that were obviously worn, and I do mean worn. We had to refund their money because the customer was always right. I recall a time when a customer tried to return some crazy item that we never sold in our store. You guessed it. The customer was right and we the customer service personnel had to find a place to store this large object.I also recall many a time when customers were down right rude to store personnel. How this was right I will never know! Leer más “The 4 Dumbest Rules That Will Kill Your Company’s Culture”

Are You Creating Disgruntled Employees?


You can’t make every worker happy, surely, and should a business even try? Evidence from our recent research suggests, actually, that the answer is yes. Or rather, our evidence shows that managers are giving up far too soon on their disgruntled employees, making them less productive than they could be, exposing their companies to unnecessary risks from thefts and leaks in the process, and inflating turnover costs.

What causes employees to become disgruntled and what can be done to prevent it? To find out we zeroed in on the most unhappy people in our data. These were 6% in our database of 160,576 employees who displayed the lowest levels of job satisfaction and commitment on their 360 evaluations of their bosses. We were looking for those among them whose managers also oversaw the most satisfied employees. In this way we identified that group of leaders who were managing both the very unhappy and the very happy at the same time. Leer más “Are You Creating Disgruntled Employees?”

The benefits of mentoring


http://www.personneltoday.com

Often faced with having to organise learning and development opportunities for the rest of the organisation, HR professionals tend to be the last on the list when it comes to creating worthwhile opportunities for themselves.

Many organisations now boast successful mentoring schemes, where staff looking for guidance can partner with a mentor to help steer them in the right direction. And, while HR professionals often have a hand in organising these schemes and ensuring they run efficiently, there is also scope to use mentoring to help manage their own careers.

According to the latest HR careers survey from XpertHR, when asked “how do you manage your ongoing career and knowledge development?”, just 13.3% of respondents said that they had a mentoring relationship with someone inside the HR function, while a further 4.7% used mentors from outside HR to develop their careers.

Three key beneficiaries

How to get the best out of a mentoring relationship

  • Define what you want to get out of it. Do you need career advice? Is it for an accreditation? Are you looking to make a change?
  • Use the initial meeting to establish whether or not you will get on, and set down some ground rules.
  • Set yourself a number of goals (three or four is adequate). Make sure these are realistic and discuss them with your mentor.
  • Have an honest discussion about what happens if you don’t have any chemistry with your mentor and want to end the partnership (on either side).
  • Encourage your mentor to set you action points at the end of each meeting, so you have something to focus on for next time.
  • Discuss a realistic time frame (six months, for example) and define an end point.

John Woodward-Roberts, a senior consultant at the leadership institute Roffey Park, believes that there are three key beneficiaries from a mentoring relationship, the first and most obvious being the person being mentored. “Being in the company of a role model, a wiser head who can guide you through a period of transition, can be very powerful,” he explains. The other beneficiaries are the mentors themselves and the organisation, which will benefit from the improved performance and capability of the person being mentored.

Eighteen months ago, Gill Bell, HR director at Handle Recruitment, saw that HR professionals seemed to be undervaluing their own mentoring needs after she was approached by a client to find mentors for a couple of their staff. She came up with the idea that other clients could benefit from a “mentor matching” service and, last July, the company launched its first HR mentoring scheme. Interested parties nominate themselves and Handle finds appropriate mentors, depending on what the mentee wants to get out of the relationship. Some want to move from generalist HR into a specialism, others may be working in a stand-alone HR position in a company and be looking for some support, and others may simply need someone to help track their career path. Leer más “The benefits of mentoring”

The Need to Optimize Human Resource’s Resources | by Jesse de Agustin


by Jesse de Agustin | @emonalytics
Methodology Advisor
http://revealingengagement.com

Measuring subconscious emotional responses are not only useful when engaging a customer group but also when hiring employees. Traditional personality surveys, behavioral questioning, both in discussion and survey formats, and computerized software give limited applicant insight. Applicant tracking systems are powerful tools; yet especially with organization’s increasing emphasis on ensuring culture fit, the face to face interview is critical – because this is where emotion – both conscious and subconscious are center stage. Interviewers might be aware of  how to ‘read’ generalities of body language, but the advice is often incorrect.  For instance, just become someone looks down, doesn’t mean they’re hiding something.

The typical human resources practices are in need of optimization in terms of how they’re targeted at understanding actual human behavior.

Optimizing Human Resource’s Resources

Personality tests are often used in the hiring process, and are typically administered online. They attempt to delve into specific traits that apply to applicant’s behavior at work, and interpersonal behavior. [1] While these tests can be useful for jobs where teamwork is important, applicants can also easily “fake” responses based upon social norms, or what they believe the employer is “looking for.” Moreover, an eye tracking study shows that all ‘dimensions of personality were fakeable.’ Leer más “The Need to Optimize Human Resource’s Resources | by Jesse de Agustin”

Changing the Conversation in Your Company


Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind

BORIS GROYSBERG AND MICHAEL SLIND
http://blogs.hbr.org

 

Boris Groysberg (bgroysberg@hbs.edu) is a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Michael Slind (mike@talkincbook.com) is a writer, editor, and communication consultant. They are co-authors of the book Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations (HBR Press, 2012).

In our experience, it’s rare for a diverse group of headstrong Executive Education participants from around the globe to agree on anything. Yet earlier this month, when we surveyed a group of leaders who attended the Driving Performance Through Talent Management program at Harvard Business School, 92% agreed that the practice of internal communication “has undergone a lot of change” at their companies “in recent years.”

While the sample size in this case isn’t large — about three-dozen leaders took part in the survey — these participants make up a highly representative group. They hail from every part of the globe, and from organizations small and large (with head counts that range from about 200 to more than 100,000). They occupy senior positions in fields that include sales and talent management, and they work in industries that range from manufacturing to health care to financial services.

That survey result reinforces a finding that we’ve observed elsewhere in our research: in company after company, the patterns and processes by which people communicate with each other are unmistakably in flux. The old “corporate communication” is giving way to a model that we call “organizational conversation.” That shift is, for many people, a disorienting process. But it also offers a great leadership opportunity.

Our research has shown that more and more leaders — from organizations that range from computer-networking giant Cisco Systems to Hindustan Petroleum, a large India-based oil supplier — are using the power of organizational conversation to drive their company forward. For these leaders, internal communication isn’t just an HR function. It’s an engine of value that boosts employee engagement and improves strategic alignment.

Broadly speaking, there are four steps that you can take to make your approach to leadership more conversational. (In future posts, we will address each of these points at greater length.)

1. Close the gap between you and your employees. In our survey, we also asked respondents to name the biggest employee communication challenge at their company. In response, one participant cited the need to “move away from top-down communication.” Another highlighted a “disparity between the senior management team and middle management due to low transparency.” Trusted and effective leaders overcome such challenges by speaking with employees in ways that are direct, personal, open, and authentic.

2. Promote two-way dialogue within your company… Leer más “Changing the Conversation in Your Company”

Should I Outsource? To Be Or Not To Be Outsourcing

The Benefits
Outsourcing usually brings important benefits:
– Cost savings – this involves offshoring (companies recruiting workforce from abroad mainly for the reason it’s cheaper). For some it’s a necessity, for others just a business decision to maximize profit. Many large companies were forced by the recession to cut down costs and chose outsourcing by necessity, which stirs lots of controversies nowadays.
– Focus to core business tasks – the company may fuel investment and people’s force onto main processes of the business, leaving aside the non-essential energy consumers. Outsourcing raises the predictability of variable costs, which is another benefit.
– Quality increase – outsourcing provides access to both technology (logistics that the company could not afford by itself) and knowledge (skills, intellectual property). This enhances the in-house ability for product innovation and boosts the image of the company from customers’ perspective.
– Contract and other legal advantages – externalized services imply having a legally binding contract that offers the possibility of applying penalties and special conditions. Also, tax incentives for hiring outsources in some countries can be remarkable.
– Scalability – you won’t have to worry about temporary decreases in productivity, the outsourced company will usually be able to manage such fluctuations and integrate positive deviations too. This is a main advantage of having an external workflow.
– Liability – companies developed on a lot of ramifications often transfer liability over some concerns that are outside their core competencies to outsourcers.
– A fair open schedule – you hear a lot of talk over the work-life balance and how to optimize it. Well, outsource some of your leg work and it’s achieved!
When to Outsource
There are various concerns regarding outsourcing, as it’s an important decision that will potentially shift your business processes. They are not decisive issues, but it’s important to anticipate the risk in order to minimize it. Main issues of outsourcers sound as following:
– “I won’t be able to supervise things as I do with my in-house workers.”Distance and time zones can be obstacles for exchanging feedback, so it may be less frequent than for internal processes. There are various software solutions for communication and employee management that will help you overcome this (VoIP, instant messaging, time tracking software such as Paymo, cost and schedule assessment tools).
– “I fear my outsourcers are not as qualified as I would like.” Get to know outsourcers’ skills, expertise and know-how, also be willing to spend some hours training them in matters of your company in order to achieve the best results. This way you won’t have surprises and you will share the responsibility in case something goes wrong. Why do that when it’s easier to cancel the contract and maybe ask for compensation? Well, maybe it’s just me, but it’s more ethical to share responsibility, plus you won’t waste time in finding another outsourcer each time, and another, and another…


Outsourcing

Laura Moisei | http://workawesome.com

There’s a half-joke that trolls round my office: “You cannot do it? Outsource it to the guy next to you!” Well, I agree, this doesn’t quite mean outsourcing but rather passing the buck, yet it works like charm at times!

To state things straight, it’s a world of interaction we live in and businesses often need to outsource tasks that can be done cheaper and better by specialized third parties. How to know if outsourcing is a go for your business?

This is quite a delicate matter, even though almost every company or professional has experienced outsourcing at some point, especially when starting up. Some businesses choose to outsource narrow processes such as billing, while others externalize large sections (customer service is among the most common task here).

Most of the outsourcing pros affirm that it saves time and money, but in order to do it right and not achieve the opposite effect you should analyze some nuances.

First question for you: How wide is the task you want to outsource? A few parameters to take into account: number of people involved from your side, time and resources demanded. Before deciding to outsource, it’s always a good idea to create a formula to quantify your costs and benefits and to prove you that outsourcing has a long term benefit rather than short term – don’t hesitate to use your own variables to reach a conclusion. Obviously, saving costs should not be the sole purpose of outsourcing. Leer más “Should I Outsource? To Be Or Not To Be Outsourcing”

Got a Good Business Idea? Here’s How You’ll Know

4. It solves a problem. The problem should be significant and something that impacts a large group of people. “If there aren’t a lot of people who have the problem or if it is not a problem that people really care about solving, move on,” said Gordon Adomdza, assistant professor, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, at Northeastern University. He points to Facebook, which tackled asynchronous connectivity, and Google, which addressed the problem of search. “Since the problems are big, there is room for the company to revise its offering, innovate its business model and still be in business even when customer needs change,” Adomdza said. “Because the problem is big, the company can still survive by pivoting within the space.”


businessnewsdaily.com

CREDIT: Lightbulbs image via Shutterstock

There is no shortage of business ideas, but so few get off the ground. What separates the long-lasting endeavors from those that have a quick expiration date? BusinessNewsDaily spoke to some experts to get a read on the factors that are common in business ideas that take off.

1. It is innovative or offers a twist on an existing product or service. Opening the next pizza joint in a strip mall that already has two pizza parlors is not a formula for success, unless you plan to offer something the others have missed.

“Being new or first is not enough,” said Jose Palomino, founder and CEO of Value Prop Interactive, a consulting firm, and an adjunct professor of marketing at Villanova University. “The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player, but it defined the category. Being innovative or new doesn’t work if your product doesn’t matter to anyone.”

It doesn’t always pay to be first to market with a product, experts say. “It is not necessarily the person who gets their idea to market first that wins,” said Karen Russo, president of IIPE, an international candidate and name generation firm, and K. Russo Consulting, an executive search and human resources consulting firm. Think BlackBerry being eclipsed by other smartphones that followed. “Sometimes, it is better to sit back and learn from others before jumping in,” she said. Leer más “Got a Good Business Idea? Here’s How You’ll Know”

10 Crazy Job Interview Mistakes People Actually Made

· On the way to the interview, the candidate passed, cut off and flipped his middle finger at a driver who happened to be the interviewer.

· The candidate took off his shoes during the interview.

· The candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.

· When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn’t hired on the spot, he painted graffiti on the building.

· Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when the background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.

· Candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”

“It may seem unlikely that candidates would ever answer a cellphone during an interview, or wear shorts, but when we talk to hiring managers, we remarkably hear these stories all of the time,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.

Lucky for interviewers, she notes that standing out from the crowd – in a good way – is typically a bigger issue for most job-seekers than avoiding a big mistake…


job interviewBy:  Chad Brooks, BusinessNewsDaily Contributor
http://www.businessnewsdaily.com

·         The candidate put the interviewer on hold during a phone interview. When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer she had a date set up for Friday.

·         The candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.

·         The candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up 10 minutes late.

·         On the way to the interview, the candidate passed, cut off and flipped his middle finger at a driver who happened to be the interviewer.

·         The candidate took off his shoes during the interview.

·         The candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.

·          When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn’t hired on the spot, he painted graffiti on the building.

·         Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when the background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.

·         Candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”

“It may seem unlikely that candidates would ever answer a cellphone during an interview, or wear shorts, but when we talk to hiring managers, we remarkably hear these stories all of the time,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.

Lucky for interviewers, she notes that standing out from the crowd – in a good way – is typically a bigger issue for most job-seekers than avoiding a big mistake… Leer más “10 Crazy Job Interview Mistakes People Actually Made”

Social Business Planning in 2012

Today marks my two-year anniversary at Edelman, or what we affectionately like to refer to as an “Edelversary”. So much has changed in the industry since joining the team here—we are truly working in a real-time business environment. We’ve seen “social” move from an item to be checked off the list from major brands to something they are genuinely grappling with in terms of integrating at scale across the enterprise. At Edelman Digital, we’ve always approached social a bit differently from others—focusing on the fact that much if it revolves around human-to-human interactions (we now call this community management), but if social is to scale—it must begin to spill out of the marketing silo and truly influence how we do business. We believe a connected business is better positioned for the future than a business, which remains disconnected and non adaptive.


Originally posted on Edelman Digital

Today marks my two-year anniversary at Edelman, or what we affectionately like to refer to as an “Edelversary”. So much has changed in the industry since joining the team here—we are truly working in a real-time business environment. We’ve seen “social” move from an item to be checked off the list from major brands to something they are genuinely grappling with in terms of integrating at scale across the enterprise. At Edelman Digital, we’ve always approached social a bit differently from others—focusing on the fact that much if it revolves around human-to-human interactions (we now call this community management), but if social is to scale—it must begin to spill out of the marketing silo and truly influence how we do business. We believe a connected business is better positioned for the future than a business, which remains disconnected and non adaptive.

Leer más “Social Business Planning in 2012”