Having quality performance conversations

Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson

Performance feedback is vital for employees as it provides information on what they are doing well and where they can improve. For new hires, it can assess their progress and ‘fit’ to the team and company culture, while for existing staff it can have a strong motivational effect and help to retain them in the organisation. Managers are responsible for providing feedback about an employee’s performance in accordance with organisational policy and frameworks, however often these conversations don’t go as planned or produce the desired results.

In some ways this is understandable, as these discussions might cover negative aspects, however feedback involving unfavourable information can be positive, if given tactfully and constructively. Its important that during these conversations feedback should also flow in the opposite direction – from employee to manager – so managers should be prepared for some surprises about themselves, whether it be in relation to workload, leadership style, or problems in the workplace.

A useful framework for having quality performance conversations is Perceptual Positions, a neuro-linguistic programming notion originally formulated by Grinder and DeLozier. These positions represent mental reference points from which you perceive things, collect and test information, and relate to what you experience. They can positively influence your ability to understand others and communicate effectively, particularly in feedback situations.

perceptual-positions

Whether manager or employee, you need to be able to act and use all three positions depending on the situation – which often means stepping beyond your comfort zone. Start with noticing the perceptual positions you’re already using and build your confidence to deliberately apply them further, as well as move between them in giving and receiving feedback. Recognise the importance of practice, and you’ll be well-placed to enhance your performance conversations and achieve the outcomes you’re seeking in the future.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Advertisements

Jack Daly Says, “Do you have a culture by design or by default?”

AngelaNg

Angela Ng

Jack Daly is the real deal, a proven CEO and Entrepreneur, with 30 plus years of field proven experience from a starting base with CPA firm Arthur Andersen to the CEO level of several national companies, having built 6 companies into national firms, two of which he has subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Solomon Brothers and First Boston. I was privileged this week to have attended Jack Daly’s two-day workshop in Brisbane, on Building a World Class Sales Organisation and Winning Sales Strategies and one of the highlights I’d like to share is that to successfully grow a company is to have a solid and sustainable culture. Now, management is often told to build a great culture, but do they really understand what it means to do so? Firstly, ask yourself, do you have a culture by design or by default?”

Jack Daly clearly defines culture as the unique personality of your company – the people, the environment, the feel. Great companies build it with intention, because, as Jack Daly says: You can’t fake culture.” Culture does more to bring great people in, keep them there, keep them happy, and keep them working longer and more productively than any other factor. Jack Daly points out that to have a successful business you must create an environment where people WANT to go to work versus HAVE to go to work. One of the motto’s he shared at this workshop: Put the F word back in business. Make it FUN!”

Jack Daly rightly observes that many business leaders will design and articulate an ideal culture but never actually install the systems and processes needed to make sure it gets started and is upheld. He has put the keys to building an incredible culture into his book, Hyper Sale Growth: Street Proven Systems and Processes; How to Grow Quickly and Profitably, which I have purchased and read this week. An amazing book and would highly recommend it.

 Below are the four systems that Jack Daly says you will need to build a killer culture:

1. Systems for Recognition

Jack Daly explains that the people who work in your company should feel recognized and valued, from the very first day they start work. He suggests you should never start new people on a Monday, when things are unorganized and hectic. Instead, bring them in when things are humming and make their first day a day to remember. With your existing staff, small but regular gestures go a long way. Recognising milestones, achievements, and good efforts at any opportunity is sure to make someone feel valued and connected to the company. Recognition doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to be personal. Make sure you tie your rewards as best you can to desired actions. As Jack Daly says, You get the behavior you recognise and reward.” Imagine if today an outsider stood in front of your employees and asked, By a show of hands, how many of you are overly recognized? Put systems in place that ensure a full room of hands up. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Recognize the people you work with directly and win their hearts.

2. Systems for Communication

Many companies get by, day after day, without building specific communication systems. But as companies grow, this approach results in people problems and systematic breakdowns. A top complaint employees make in HR surveys is I wish I knew more about what was going on.” Lack of consistent information breeds confusion, fear, and resentment. Jack Daly advocates establishment of some simple systems of communication between management and employees that will get everyone on the same page. Teams and departments should check in daily. There should be larger monthly, quarterly, and annual check-ins. Establish policy and practice where bad or difficult news is proactively brought to the table. Jack Daly preaches that the best policy is to shoot straight and don’t spin. Most importantly he points out that everyone must learn to listen: We’ve heard it often: two ears, one mouth, for a reason.” If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Shut down your inner voice and start being an active listener.”

3. Systems for Personal and Professional Development

Jack Daly says potential employees want to know why besides a paycheck they should come to work in your company and current employees need to know why should they stay. The best people see their careers as more than just salary and perks. They care about the overall experience they’re going to have while working each day. They want the opportunities for growth and development that can only be fostered in a growth-oriented work environment. Great employees want to become smarter and more productive in their careers. Their objectives are aligned with yours, so make the investment in them. Construct or pay for training that makes your employees better at their technical and people skills. Invest the time and money to cultivate your employees and you’ll end up with skilled and loyal management that will happily expand the company for decades. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Jack Daly says: Discover the visions each of your employees have, and work to blaze a path for them.”

4.  Systems for Empowerment

Jack Daly explains how you can leverage the growth of your business by empowering your people. He stresses that a growing company needs active decision making by everyone, not just the CEO. But it’s not as simple as telling people to make decisions. If they don’t feel confident they have tools and authority, they will hold back and defer back up the ladder. Jack Daly says: To truly empower your employees, you must create an environment where people feel comfortable making decisions, as if they were the owner.” It’s hard to build this empowerment all at once. If your culture is clearly defined and aligned, your people will know what action to take. Every time you give over authority, your employees grow stronger. If they are rewarded for taking right action on their own, that behavior will expand. Put protective systems in place giving them the opportunity to fail safely so they can learn from error. If you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, Daly says: Give people power to succeed and fail on their own so they learn and grow.”

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

1 William Street – Noice!!

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Wow!!! I had my first client visit in 1 William Street this week.

From the moment I entered the building through the formal entry space, the luxe modernist style was apparent. Each floor of the building has been themed in the flora and fauna of Queensland. The floor I visited was dedicated to purple fan coral and looks amazing, with hues of purple and green used generously throughout the sub-tropical botanical design. The fit out is beautiful – timber floors, light, plants, atriums and of course the amazing 360 degree views. It’s not palatial, but it is smart and up to date architecture at its very best. There is access to other levels via internal stair cases, rather than using the lifts. I am sure there are floors (like the Premier and the Deputy Premier’s floors) that do not have this sort of access, but I love the way the staircases have been incorporated as part of the design and not hidden.

img_1105

The open plan will no doubt challenge individuals who have been accustomed to office space, however there are plenty of meeting rooms and spaces to use and generous areas to eat and have a coffee. Big corporates like Google are convinced that this openness improves communication and collaboration amongst their employees and this is no doubt the goal for public servants. The top level of the building is for functions and I was told the views from this level are amazing. Sadly, I didn’t get to confirm this, maybe another day.

img_1108

While not everything is ready, the movement of public servants into the building appears to be on track and well-coordinated. 1 William Street is a once in a life time experience for many public servants to move into a brand new building, a breath of fresh air in terms of architectural style and a quality piece of infrastructure. I for one, will be looking forward to more meetings in this building and can’t wait to see the next stage of development for this end of town.

img_1103

EMPLOYEE PROFILING – Are we all cut from the same cloth?

Ben Wright

I’m asked quite regularly my opinion on the viability of an assessment methodology known as ’employee profiling’, which is quite commonly used to assist organisations in making sound hiring decisions.

 These methods are neither correct nor incorrect and it’s difficult to provide a definitive answer to this question, but rather their degree of effectiveness and relevance depends entirely on the individual circumstance.

 To assist you in making the right decision for your organisation I will outline below both the pros and cons to profiling and how it can be used effectively.

How profiling assessments methodologies are conducted?

  • A selection of an organisations high-performing employees are chosen and given the opportunity to take an assessment that is designed to measure a number of characteristics related to performance. Regardless of the role, the content is usually the same. The score patterns then serve as a benchmark for hiring.
  • During the hiring process, candidates are required to sit the same test and the results are then benchmarked against the current high performers. Those applicants who most closely match the ideal profile are viewed as having the best chance of success and are recommended for hire in an effort to “clone” high performers.

Logically, applicants scoring the same as ‘high performers’ have more in common indicating that they too have what it takes to be a high performer.

What are Pros and Cons of this Methodology?

Let’s start with the pros:

  • Intuitive: The idea behind profiling makes sense.  Look at your best performers and develop a profile that can be used to make sure you hire staff who model success. SIMPLE?!
  • Fast: While many assessment methods are timely to implement, profiling can usually be implemented relatively quickly and reused across multiple opportunities.

In the IT space I have seen this work really well when a profile assessment has been specifically created for role, like Project Managers.

One of the downsides to using a strict Profile Assessment Methodology is that across different roles i.e. Business Analysts, Project Managers, Web Developers, and Solution Architects, they all share different characteristics, that in their own right make them high performers in their specific field. I’ve touched base on a few other cons below:

  • Deficiency: When only one assessment is used for all situations, organisations may find that the content of this assessment will not fully capture all of the things required for performing the specific role.
  • Failure to account for change: This is a big downside as it does not account for the fact that the top performers surveyed may have had a different job profile at the time of hire.
  • In many cases, job performance and on-the-job training may allow an individual to learn and develop in many positive ways. Thus, the profile provided may be an unrealistic one for staff who have not performed the job in question.
  • Over-reliance on “the profile”: as this may create unrealistic standards that can lead to an over-reliance on some attributes and under-reliance on others. Hiring decisions should be the result of balanced information of many types, and the best hiring systems are designed to provide key decision-makers with a variety of information.

The above criticisms can apply to other assessment methods. However, they are worth considering when evaluating the relevance of profiling methods for an organisation’s needs.

Below I have mentioned a few situations where profiling is an ideal methodology for a company to use;

  • An off-the-shelf assessment is needed quickly: Profiling is one of the fastest and easiest assessment methods to implement.
  • The role is mainstream and doesn’t have any specific requirements: Most profiling uses one set of content for all jobs means that the profiling assessment content will be relevant.
  • The organisation is too small or there are too few incumbents to do a proper validation study: Validation research requires relatively large numbers of incumbents to produce a more accurate result.

From my experience the decision regarding the relevance of profiling for a company’s needs comes down to speed vs. accuracy. In such situations, speed and financial expense are often the key decision criteria and a reduction in accuracy is accepted as a result.

In these cases, profiling is a legitimate option and one that will still provide more accuracy than using no assessment or simply using an unstructured interview.

I hope this is helpful, and gives you a better understanding of the pros and cons that need to be considered when choosing the right assessment tool for your recruitment process.

For further information or to discuss please contact me on ben@edenritchie.com.au or 07 3230 0037 

You can also contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

I’m Engaged!

Jade Mortlock

Hold the bubbles!

While I am sure my mum and dad can’t wait for this call I am not talking about a sparkly ring and white dress, I am talking about being an ‘engaged’ employee.

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisation’s reputation and interests.[1]

How would your staff respond to the following 3 questions?

  1. Would you recommend this organisations service to your friends and family?
  2. Would you recommend this organisation as somewhere to work?
  3. Do you see yourself working here in a year’s time?

I attended the most recent Brisbane ACHSM Breakfast forum where guest speaker Ms Michelle Russell, Solution Manager, GE Healthcare Performance Solutions explored employee engagement as a key driver of organisational performance. She believes, and I agree, the above 3 questions will quickly tell you if you have engaged staff.

Regardless of your industry, research shows that organisations with engaged staff deliver better patient/consumer experience, fewer errors, stronger financial management, higher staff morale and motivation, less absenteeism and stress and specific to healthcare; lower infection and mortality rates.

10’s of thousands of articles and papers talk about ‘how to engage employees’. Although written specifically for the NHS ‘Staff engagement’ identifies six building blocks for harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of staff, which can be applied to any organisation.

7-great-benefits-of-engaging-your-staff-3-638

  1. Develop a compelling, shared strategic direction – inspire your staff with a persuasive narrative about what your organisation is seeking to achieve and how staff can contribute.
  2. Build collective and distributed leadership – move away from top-down leadership and share authority, responsibility and accountability with staff.
  3. Adopt supportive and inclusive leadership styles – encourage leaders throughout your organisation to develop a broader range of styles, with less reliance on directive leadership and a greater focus on consensus-building, coaching and supporting staff.
  4. Give staff the tools to lead service transformation – give staff the training and support to improve their services for themselves, creating learning organisations, rather than parachuting in external experts.
  5. Establish a culture based on integrity and trust – develop a clear sense of your organisation’s values and live by them, including maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fairness, even when things go wrong.
  6. Place staff engagement firmly on the board agenda – start making time for regular board discussions of how to improve levels of engagement.What is your organisation doing to ensure the staff are engaged?

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_engagement

5 types of people you’ll meet in every workplace

By Ben Wright

Ben Wright

I recently read an article that resonated, on the 5 types of personalities that you will find in every workplace and couldn’t resist sharing it with my networks. While each working environment can differ greatly according to its industry, scale and company culture, you are still bound to come across these personalities within the workplace.

Learning how to spot these people and work with them will help you build a stronger working relationship and support your own professional development.

  • The office gossip: Now this may be a stereotype, however there’s usually one lingering in the workplace – just waiting to pass on the latest gossip and titbits to colleagues. How do you get around this? Build a rapport by talking about the latest news and celeb gossip but avoid engaging in negative talk about other staff or even the company in general. Engaging with the office gossip can sometimes come back to bite you, so keep it upbeat, positive and about non-work related matters.
  • The noise-cancelling headphone wearer: Does your colleague insist on wearing their headphone or play rather loud music for the duration of the day? This personality can sometimes be tricky to work with, at first it may seem that they are disengaging from their co-workers, but don’t take it to heart. Studies show, depending on the individual, listening to music can increase a workers productivity. If you need to ask them a question, a simple wave or smile will get their attention- alternatively if they are ‘’in the zone’’ send them a quick email.
  • The team cheerleader: If your colleague’s energy level is through the roof before you’ve had your first coffee for the day and they seem to thrive on praising the good work of others – you’re working with a cheerleader. Don’t be suspicious of cheerleaders, appreciate that they have the best intentions, and play a vital role in boosting team morale. Embrace their positivity and make an effort to sing their praises once in a while in return.
  • The negative nancy: The polar opposite to cheerleaders, a negative nancy is generally the person in the workplace who rebuts the ideas of others, is reluctant to try new things and gravitates towards explaining why something won’t work. Don’t write these people off as being a downer, and understand that they are trying not to take the wind out of their co-workers’ sails. They often like to think of themselves as being pragmatic and realistic, so consider their opinions as much as anyone else’s to rally them, suggest you give that new thing a try and see how it goes – if it doesn’t work out they can always say they told you so.
  • The overachiever: You can spot overachievers a mile away!! They’re the busy bee that has a stack of projects on their desk, is always rushing off to the next meeting, insists on arriving early and staying late and always puts their hand up to volunteer for new work. While overachievers can sometimes seem to be exhausting to the uninitiated, these ambitious colleagues thrive on success. Look at them for guidance on managing your workload and bringing your A-Game.

Understanding how each of these personalities operates is key to managing a productive team.

Which type are you?

A Moment In Time Can Change All That You Hold True

Written by Justine Eden

JustineAn innocent moment at home, could have lead to me burning my house down. It was confronting and made me question a lot of what I had placed value on…

My life is busy – but as it is for most of us. I always seem to be chasing that elusive extra 10 minutes in the day, the extra time that would make a difference between being on time or being late – again.

I’m at my best when I’m flat out – yes I can be a stress head perfectionist, but put under pressure – I perform at my best. I’ve always rated my ability to multitask and smirked at those of the opposite sex who appear incapable of multitasking.

I remember talking with a good friend of mine – an executive coach who drives performance through self improvement – who stated point blank that multitasking was ineffective.

He went on to say that you were better off focusing on one thing at a time and doing it right before attempting to move onto what you have to do next. I smiled and nodded at the time and thought – “no wonder you say that – you are a man and therefore unable to multitask anyway”…

But the other night as I listened to my daughter practice her mandarin for an upcoming language contest, and started preparing dinner – at the same time a call came through from a client – which of course I accepted…. We spoke for around 10 minutes and when I turned around the house was full of smoke from the pan heating on the element filled with olive oil, which I had totally forgotten about.

It struck me at that point how I hadn’t really been fully focused on any one thing and probably had my attention spread across 4-5 different things at the same time.   How effective was I really? How effective is multitasking ? I had the mantra of do it once and do it right drilled into me from birth, but the pace of life had made multitasking seem like the only way of possibly getting everything done.

I don’t think this “old dog” will totally learn new tricks. The adrenalin rush of getting it all done keeps me on the edge, but I am focusing on being in the moment and present. Meditation is top of my list of things to start and keep doing. Making notes keeps me on track and means I stress less about forgetting something. Paying full attention to the person in front of me – rather than letting my mind wander across all of the things I need to do is something I am practicing hard at.

Old habits are hard to change – but the wake up call was an opportunity for me to reassess……..