The AdVantige

Eight Factors that Keep Star Performers on Your Team

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Mar 05, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Measuring employee attrition is good; planning for retention of top performing employees is critical.  Your best performers have options, and they know it.  They constantly evaluate your organization and the options you present for them.  Keeping these employees must be a component of your overall HR solution.  Here are eight factors that you must consider while planning for retention of your star performers:

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Tags: management 101, employee recognition, star performers

Employee Documentation: Too Important to “Wing It”

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

After all this time, I finally get it!  You worked hard for a long time to get to a leadership role.  Since you do such a great job of hiring good people, you don’t have to worry about documentation.  After all, you have so much faith in your organization’s “family environment.”  No employee would ever knowingly do the wrong thing.  If they make an honest mistake, documenting it would only communicate mistrust, ruining the family environment.  Did I get it right for your workplace?

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Tags: hr solutions, management 101, employee documentation

Five Crucial Tactics for Decision Making

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Super Bowl XLVII featured a classic matchup between two great teams, led by two great coaches.  The Harbaugh brothers have more in common than their family ancestry, which is pretty impressive on its own.  A similarity that impressed me is that both coaches made tough, unconventional decisions that made a great difference in their team’s performance.  Each leader courageously owned his decision, not knowing with certainty that the outcome would be positive.  Eventually, the rest of the world saw what these leaders saw, and acknowledged the wisdom of the decisions.

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Tags: management 101, management development, decision making

New Boss, Old Headaches; Getting Management Transitions Right

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

For most employees, getting a new boss is not a good thing.  Just when they have the old boss “trained,” a new boss comes in on a mission to make an impact.  After all, if the new boss doesn’t change anything, why do you need a new boss…right?   

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Tags: management 101, new manager, workplace changes

Do You Make These Common Employee Documentation Mistakes?

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Jan 08, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Managers tend to have a lot of reasons for poor and missing documentation when it comes to employee actions.  Some of the common reasons actually sound … almost… valid.

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Tags: hr solutions, management 101, employee documentation

Employee Recognition: The Gratitude Attitude

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

When is the last time someone was openly recognized for something good at your workplace?  If it has been more than a week, you may want to think about employee recognition.  I hear it all the time – what used to be a basic work ethic is now worthy of a confetti drop.  While it’s hard to deny some concerning changes in societal norms, I believe that the gratitude attitude can provide your Company with a HUGE strategic advantage. 

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Tags: hr solutions, management 101, employee recognition

How to Recover from Employee Grievances

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

Employee grievances rarely happen overnight, or without some cause.  The root of a grievance could be some lingering, unresolved offense at work.   It may or may not involve management.  Perhaps the root cause is not even work related.  Sometimes, grievances have a basis in how an employee was treated at a previous employer.  Regardless of the root cause, grievances in the workplace should not be allowed to continue.
Unheard grievances are a major source of risk for employers.  Consider the following…
  • If you won’t listen, maybe a union rep will (in MD under several circumstances, a union rep has legal protection against disclosing employee grievance-related information)
  • The issue could spread to other employees (including productive ones)
  • An offended employee may take advantage of manager mistakes (making a minor issue seem like a major offense)
  • Loss of productive employees (voluntary attrition)
  • Involvement of top management may increase risk, especially if they are not trained in labor law and/or conflict resolution
 Most managers try to maintain a friendly (or “family’) environment among the employees.  A close work environment is a beautiful thing; it is great for profitability.  The sting of unheard grievances is even worse in a close work environment.  In a poor work environment, nobody cares… so an unheard grievance may not have the effect of devaluing any one particular person. 
Here are a few tips on handling employee grievances.
  1. Encourage employees to resolve disagreements themselves…with clear ground rules and boundaries established (no yelling, shoving, personal attacks, etc.).
  2. Include an open door policy in your employee handbook…and honor the policy when your employees come in the open door.  It says great things when they come to you with concerns.
  3. Use HR to intervene, even after employees come in the open door.  Effective HR Support is prepared to identify and mitigate risks while handling the core grievance.  Managers may be seen as biased based on their history with the offended employee.
  4. Have a written policy in your handbook regarding investigation of employee concerns; follow your written policy, and refer to it when you talk about the grievance.
Disagreements are part of the norm in the workplace.  Sometimes, they escalate to become grievances.  High performing companies practice grievance resolution without intimidation or retaliation.  Today’s offended employee could be tomorrow’s CEO; who knows?  Grievances always lead to an open door...
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Tags: management 101, employee grievances, conflict resolution

Why Bad Bosses are Killing Your Business

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

If you have worked for more than three bosses, odds are you’ve had at least one “bad boss.”  According to the press, bad bosses are responsible for global warming (lots of hot air, or something), increases in auto insurance rates (employees speeding to work), and most of what troubles our society.  Most people think of bad bosses in terms of their impact on the employees’ morale and job satisfaction.  The impact of bad bosses goes much deeper than that.

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Tags: hr solutions, management 101, increase profits

Modern Rules for Political Discussions at Work

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

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Tags: hr solutions, management 101, politics at work

Management 101: How to use Performance Reviews to Boost Your Profits

Posted by Timothy Carrington on Tue, Oct 02, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

In many Companies, performance feedback is pretty rare or inconsistent; neither is good.  Managers may even avoid confronting employee performance problems for reasons like…
  • Assuming that employees know the expectations, and they are willfully not meeting the standard (poor attitude).
  • No expectation of support from top management.
  • No knowledge of standard expectations.
  • No standard expectations to manage to.
Any reason given for not addressing sub-par performance quickly is not a good reason.  Performance problems cost real money, otherwise known as avoidable losses.  Overstaffing, excess overtime, higher turnover, production errors and rework are some symptoms of deficient performance feedback.  Because written performance reviews are also part of the (should-be) ongoing documentation process, long-term costs can include high unemployment compensation rates, legal fees, fines, penalties and other hr problems.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to performance reviews:
  1. Get the employees to buy into their performance goals.  Since they do the job on the regular, your employees should have great improvement ideas.  Ask them how they think they should be measured, and use at least some part of their feedback.  This will get you buy-in, extra effort and more profits.
  2. Explain how the employees’ goals are relevant to the Company’s success.  If they see the connection, they will trust you more for giving them meaningful work.  Trust is a key factor in reducing turnover, a clear drain on profitability.
  3. Employees tend to assume things are fine unless you tell them otherwise.  No news may feel like good news; giving an employee a chance to improve is real good news.
  4. Review everyone, regardless of their position.  In high performing organizations, no one is above receiving feedback, delivered in a respectful manner.  Having standard processes for all keeps employees’ attention on production, not grievances, complaints and other activities that don’t produce profits.
Any employee who is good enough to hire should be given every opportunity to do his/her best work.  Best work = best profits, if the job and performance criteria are well designed.  Maximize your profits; talk about performance with your employees.  Performance reviews are invaluable hr solutions.
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Tags: hr solutions, management 101, reduce overhead