Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hiring Fit-ness

Ask experienced managers “Have you ever made a bad hiring decision?” and most will confess to at least one. Ask “Why was it a bad decision?” and the answer is usually “They were a really bad fit.” But what is “fit” and why is it so important in hiring? Certainly one element of fit is identifying the right functional and technical skills, but even the most technically qualified employee can crash and burn (and take morale and productivity with them). Beyond functional skill - the ability to perform - fit requires personal motivation, stress tolerance, communication, social and other skills, - the motivation to perform.

In one study almost as many managers said fit and potential were the most important factor in hiring and promotion as those who cited functional competency. Poor job fit is the main reason for turnover and job dissatisfaction. It drains resources and negatively impacts organizational performance and profitability. Since managers spend 60% of their time resolving people issues, improving job fit in hiring directly improves performance.

To improve your hiring “fit-ness,” first, clearly define the job and the competencies critical for success in the role. One way to do that is to model your most successful performers in that role, or similar roles. Next, create behavior-based interview questions and use valid assessment tools to determine each candidate’s potential fit. Finally, train every hiring manager to objectively and consistently evaluate each candidate.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Feedback Without Tears

Managers often hesitate to give developmental feedback for fear of damaging the work relationship. Yet, at least one survey has shown that accurate and supportive informal feedback can increase an employee’s performance potential by over 30 per cent. The key to delivering feedback “without tears” is preparation.

Before offering feedback, prepare by answering a few questions, such as: 

  • What do you want the feedback to accomplish?
  • Is it related to work and if so does it benefit the organization? 
  • Is it something the receiver can fix, and if so, do they have the resources to fix it? 
  • Do you have all the facts? If not, do some research to clarify the situation. 
  • Does the feedback benefit the receiver? 
  • Will it help them produce better work? 
  • What’s in it for you? Don’t deliver developmental feedback just because “they need to hear it,” or to gain status, or avoid/displace responsibility. 
  • Is the feedback welcome?
  • Do you have the receiver's trust or just authority? 
  • Can you help? Do you have the expertise, information, authority, resources, etc. to help the receiver be successful now and in the future?

Answer these questions BEFORE offering feedback, and if there isn’t a big payoff for the receiver and for the business, it probably won’t benefit you either. When you do deliver developmental feedback, be prepared to ask more questions than you answer and to help in any way you can.