By Stephen E. Kohn and Vincent D. O’Connell
“Used artfully, feedback on competencies can be a priceless tool for self-examination and for cultivating change and growth. Used poorly, it can be an emotional bludgeon.” — Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.
Most managers prefer “the carrot” to “the stick” in supervising work performance.
Motivating employees through positive reinforcement is usually far less of a managerial challenge than having to criticize or, in worse-case scenarios, having to take disciplinary action for errors, omissions, or other sub-par work performance. Yet few managers escape the requirement to address situations when criticism of a subordinate is warranted and a necessary part of maintaining a productive workforce. Read more…
Skills shortages in 2020 will rise to an entirely new level.
And I’m not talking about STEM skills, although they’re critical. Or the ability to speak multiple languages, which needs to be more common in the U.S. Or even the readiness of college graduates to take a place in the economy, which a majority of employers report is lacking.
I’m talking about the skills that the globally-connected, superstructured, computationally focused, smart-machine powered organizations of the future staffed by longer living and working, new media-using employees will require.
We’re all thinking about that right? We’re re-writing job descriptions and re-wording job postings to incorporate the emerging skills we know we’ll need. Aren’t we? Read more…
HR ladies secretly love to write performance improvement plans.
Let’s face it — performance problems are exciting. No matter how it ends, HR looks like it is making an impact on the company. And you get to use your lawyer voice!
(Why the hell did I earn my SPHR if I can’t play lawyer?)
If you are going to get involved in the performance management process, you need to have a governing philosophy. My beliefs are very simple: Read more…
“When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” — Louis Nizer, noted American trial lawyer.
Few of us truly appreciate criticism, because no matter how valid or constructive, it can be embarrassing or annoying (especially when someone fails to offer a solution to the perceived problem).
Poking holes in something is much easier than repairing them — yet most critics don’t let that stop them. Hence the saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; those who can’t teach, criticize.”
If an error is definitely your fault, you should correct it. But it’s too easy to point fingers when something simply seems awry, or when a problem’s cause remains uncertain. Read more…
We all know the compliment sandwich is a bad idea as it sends employees confusing mixed messages (“Am I doing a good job or not?”).
We also all know that constructive criticism is important, otherwise how could we improve or know what is most important for us to focus our efforts on to improve?
But what’s the right ratio of constructive criticism to praise and recognition? It’s certainly not 1:1 or even 2:1. The proper ratio is nearly 6:1 praise to criticism. Read more…
It’s a different world we live in today.
Yes, 30 is the new 20, which makes 20 the new 10, which makes me … still old.
I’ve mentioned this before, and people always felt like it was tongue in cheek, but I think it’s time as HR pros and leaders we start having parents in on our performance conversations.
I’m serious! And, I have a great real-life example from the world of professional basketball and the NBA. Read more…
Yesterday, I went to a retirement office party. Nothing special – cake, bad punch, obligatory cane with tassel and horn.
The party was for a guy named Mike. Here was my exact conversation with Mike’s boss, a friend of mind:
Me: “What does Mike do?” (Me making small talk)
My Buddy: “I don’t know.” (Only half kidding)
Me: “Are you going to replace him?” (me trying to drum up business) Read more…
This was prompted by John Hollon’s TLNT article, Weekly Wrap: Surprise! We STILL Really Hate Performance Reviews.
In his own style, John was highlighting a column from The Washington Post on The corporate kabuki of performance reviews. I’ve stopped counting but that may have been the millionth discussion of this scourge of the HR community.
The reason for writing is simple – THIS PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED. We must be masochists to allow it to continue. Here’s why: Read more…
It made for a dreadful commute.
The crater-like potholes dotting the main thoroughfare near my office were wreaking havoc on my car’s pothole alignment. I wasn’t the only unhappy camper. The city was inundated with complaints from angry neighbors and shopkeepers who demanded repairs.
Finally, a road-crew was sent to fill the gaping cavities and restore drivability to the busy street, and they did a very nice job.
Do you think the city has received any thank you calls from the neighbors and shopkeepers in the area? I’m certainly happy about the repairs, but I haven’t called anybody down at City Hall. My guess is that no one else has, either. Read more…