PERSONAL NOTE FROM GREG SMITH
I am writing this month’s Navigator from my hotel room in Cairo, Egypt. The view from my room is breathtaking. It overlooks the Nile where I can see boats plying up and down the river. If I look to the West, I can almost see the Pyramids in Giza. This is my second trip to Egypt this year where I have been conducting my High Performance Organization seminar. The Egyptians are always a warm and willing audience. They listen intently and appreciate everything they learn.
I am staying at the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel. Yesterday, I met the hotel manager on the elevator. He recognized me from the seminar. He and his executive staff attended my workshop. He shook my hand and thanked me for what he had learned. He said he was implementing nine things he learned from the seminar. I felt proud and honored.
This is why I do what I do. Traveling is hard and tiring, the hours are long, and I spend time away from my family. Despite this, I love what I do. My calling and passion is clear and personally rewarding—I want to help people become better leaders, retain their staff, and grow their businesses. This is my purpose. I am fortunate and blessed because I am living my dream.
POISON OR POTENTIAL: ARE BAD BOSSES DRIVING AWAY TOP PERFORMERS?
During a seminar, a manager asked me this question….
“I work for an older manager who is not motivated and does not listen to my ideas. I have a lot to offer my company, but feel blocked by this “old” management style. I am getting frustrated and am thinking about finding a better job elsewhere. What should I do?”
Create a Charged Environment that Engages the Workforce
The younger workforce has an entirely different set of needs and expectations than our generation. As the talent shortage grows, all organizations should pay particular attention to their top performing employees. Do you know who they are, and what are you doing to cater to their needs?
Top performing employees have more choices and options about whom they choose to work for. Those businesses that do a poor job have higher turnover rates and lose productivity. And when your top performing talent leaves—what are you left with?
The old saying is true: Employees don’t quit the company, they quit their boss. A survey we conducted showed a significant number of employees left their last job because of their boss. Bad bosses drive good employees away. Bad companies do nothing about it. Many HR managers stay silent for fear of rocking the boat. What a shame. HPO identify their top performers and focus on plans to keep and engage them.
Focus on Performance, Not Just Seniority
Jennifer, a 25 year old marketing assistant, states her situation in a different way. “I have noticed in my company promotions only come to those who have seniority. This is a poor business practice that produces poor business results. There is a growing resentment toward supervisors if they are less qualified than the people working for them. We are looking for strong leaders whom we can respect and aspire to become.”
Should we just dismiss these complaints from younger managers, or is there merit to them? If you don’t agree, then plan to lose the war for talent.
Ignore Them and Lose Them
My survey shows in 43% of the cases, the attitude of the manager was the primary factor in employees quitting their job.
Development Programs and Challenging Job Opportunities Are Critical
The first step is to identify who are the top performers. I believe all people are equal, but some people are more equal than others. This may sound like gobbly gook, but ask yourself this question. If you were recruiting NASCAR drivers, whom would you rather have on your team, Dale Earnhardt, or someone who has never won a race?
Once you identify your top talent, then create opportunities and development programs just for them. A development program is not merely sending them to a class. It should include standardized and customized components based on the needs of the individual. Providing everyone the same options is like throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping it sticks.
Don’t Forget the Others
Top talent rarely comes fully developed. “A” players are easy to spot, but the largest population of people is what I call the “B” players. They have the potential to become “A” players, but need a little help. Top talent is not just your highest paid people. Top talent can also be that front-line employee, receptionist, or service employee. What are you doing to develop them to move up?
Here are a few ideas to consider:
-Every manager you have should be held responsible for the talent management of his or her employees
-Offer coaching and mentoring programs
-Provide honest feedback and performance evaluations
-Use 360 degree feedback
-Incorporate mentoring programs (younger mentor older and older mentor younger)
-Allow top performers to pick the managers they want to work for
-Use challenge projects to recognize and develop them
-Identify their “dream job” and help them design a plan to reach it
-Offer education and training programs
-Require all managers to design a development plan for their talent
-Put the “A” players on a fast track for pay and promotions
DEVELOP YOUR MANAGERS WITH TELESEMINARS
Many organizations have asked us to provide monthly teleseminars for their management team. Contact us for this cost-effective way to train your managers.
TIPS TO THINK ABOUT
Employer of Choice
According to a poll of 800 adult phone respondents, almost 80 percent said they would rather work for a company with an excellent reputation than for a company with a poor reputation, even if they were offered a higher salary at the latter.
Source: The Cherenson Group ~ Livingston, N.J.
When 150 executives were asked, “How valuable is it for a manager to identify and raise a successor to his or her position?” their responses were:
80% Very valuable
20% somewhat valuable
Source: RHI Management Resources ~ Menlo Park, Calif.
In the wake of the Enron scandal, 75 percent of 747 business people agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I would risk blowing the whistle if I discovered bad management practices in my company.”
Source: Dale Carnegie Training ~ Hauppauge, N.Y.
USING ASSESSMENTS TO HIRE AND DEVELOP TOP TALENT
The most important aspect of any business is recruiting, selecting, and retaining top people. Research shows those organizations that spend more time recruiting and developing high-caliber people earn 22% higher return to shareholders than their industry peers.
Ponder for a moment the last person you hired or promoted. Did they work out as intended? Or did they turn into somebody totally unlike what you thought?
Visit our online assessment center to view our complete library of profiles and assessments.