Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elevated HR Solutions: Getting your staff involved in the performance management process

A best practice in performance management is definitely to get a complete review of your employees by utilizing feedback from themselves, from their peers, from their clients, as well as yourself as management.  It's definitely not an easy process to engage in, and dependent on how big your organization/department is, it can be a very arduous task taking careful coordination and constant reminders.  While anonymous information is best, it too can be skewed.  Building your organization up to provide such intricate and a total 360 review of staff can take months, teaching soft skills and ensuring that giving and receving feedback is done so in manner that is respectful.  While feedback is a gift, it's not always perceived that way.

The one recommendation I do make however, is to always get feedback from a self-evaluation point of view before writing the performance review for the employee.  This allows you as the manager to do the following:
1.) You can see if you're actually in alignment with your employees - you can assess to see if they have actually taken cues from your feedback throughout the year and incorporate it into their own self-evaluations.
2.) You can prepare for the interview better, knowing examples they have used and incorporating such ideas into the final performance review.  Working collaboratively will make the process easier, more enjoyable, and gives management great clues into where they need to step up their game in terms of giving feedback throughout the year.

I've had a few managers struggle with this process - but given the alternative, which is walking in cold into a performance review interview, not knowing what your employees are really thinking about their performance - now that's a scary thought!  Getting them involved in the process is truly a great way to start your feedback process!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elevated HR Solutions: Inflated Job Titles

I have blogged in the past about job titles - I've said that they can be a great way to reward employees instead of compensation.  I've also recommended when recruiting for new employees to use job titles that will match the external market (in other words, make it so people will understand what the role is, and then change the title to suit the internal culture).  And now, I have a third comment on job titles - giving an inflated title may be a risk for employers and may be disadvantageous for the employee.

How is it a risk to the employer?

Well - admittedly - the biggest risk is during the termination - and I know what you're thinking: I don't give titles out to employees I'm going to terminate.  Sure...that's usually the thought.  But let's say something happens and you still have to make the decision to terminate.  A higher title means a higher pay-out.  One way around that is having an air-tight employment agreement, but even then, if you aren't providing better than common law you could be in trouble as the employer.  In addition to that, bigger titles also deem bigger responsibilities.  If they aren't ready for the responsibility of a Vice President, Officer or Director that could spell trouble for the employer as well.

How is it a risk for the employee?

As an employee to get a great big title, is nice for the ego.  That said, if you ever want to make the leap to a new company, an inflated title could stop you from getting a position you are actually ready for.  As a recruiter, I've often overlooked people with big titles on resumes because I don't want them to be bored.  In fact, a friend of mine was recently let go and she had a title of Senior Vice President.  There are very few SVP's out there and she would be happy with any management position. She simply changed her title on her resume to say HEAD of and she's been getting a lot more calls.  However, it could still hurt her (why is your LinkedIn Title different than what's on your resume?)

I'm all for great titles and being creative when it comes to developing titles - but be realistic at the same time.  Chiefs, Directors, and Vice Presidents aren't to be taken lightly.  If you're handing them out, make sure you've addressed it in your Employment Agreements at the very least!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Elevated HR Solutions: An Ode to My Clients

I have had an amazing journey as an entrepreneur.  I am writing this today because the last few months I have realized something - that each client that I align myself with has brought daily smiles to my face and I have gained an even stronger sense of purpose.  I want it on record, that I am truly grateful for all of my clients to date.

To the clients that say, "You're right, but..." and challenge me to think out side of the box.

To the client that said, "I don't want to talk about this today. It's not Friday afternoon talk."

To the client that said, "Where were you 3 years ago?"

To the client that has given me numerous recommendations and accolades during my very short tenure with them -- all of you truly make this worthwhile!

T H A N K - Y O U!

It's just not said often enough...