One of the biggest challenges in fast-growing companies is silos. Imaginary walls spring up between departments. Before you know it, the sales team and the engineering team, for instance, feel like two totally different companies. They’re not meshing socially and — just as worrying — they’re not collaborating or exchanging information on projects. This lack of coordination inevitably hurts the final product and the customer’s experience.
This is a huge … [ Read more ]
This reminds me of something our leadership-development team launched last year with behavioral nudging. We created what we call “whisper courses,” which were based on the premise that, as leaders, we have the best intentions yet get so busy and forget to do the many little things that matter so much. I recall us talking about how nice it would be to have this invisible … [ Read more ]
High-performing managers create simple goals, make sure they are clear and transparent, and revisit them regularly. Google, for example, uses an agile goal-setting process called OKR (objectives and key results), which was originally developed at Intel. The process is simple and effective: Each individual (from CEO down) sets ambitious and measurable objectives (like “launch Gmail version X by year end”) and are asked to define … [ Read more ]
I’m a big believer in teaching leaders to fish. That’s why we’ve rolled out a weekly(ish) email for leaders … that summarizes all the things they need to be thinking about in terms of managing and messaging to their team. We break it down into a few sections: things to know, things to do, things to share. It sounds simple, but let’s be real, leaders … [ Read more ]
In every interview I’ve ever had with another company, I’ve met my potential boss and several peers. But rarely have I met anyone who would be working for me. Google turns this approach upside down. You’ll probably meet your prospective manager (where possible—for some large job groups like “software engineer” or “account strategist” there is no single hiring manager) and a peer, but more important … [ Read more ]
Bank of America … has created an onboarding program for executives one to two levels below the C-suite. The program aims to ensure that the new executives understand role expectations, quickly develop a network among key stakeholders, build relationships with their team, and learn from other leaders what it takes to succeed, especially in their particular role. To achieve these objectives, the program must transfer … [ Read more ]
Not all roles are created equal. Many companies don’t take the trouble to understand which are their linchpin roles—as distinct from high-performing or high-potential people. These are roles that have a big influence on the customer experience or that provide critical support or coaching to employees who shape the customer’s response. Given scarce resources, targeting these roles can be an efficient way to raise employee … [ Read more ]
To foster staff longevity, organizations can arrange for group members to switch roles with one another. Google, for example, encourages employees to leave their positions and take on “bungee” assignments for three months to one year in different areas of the company. Employees can acquire new skills and find out whether they like a new job (or are good at it) before committing to it. … [ Read more ]
It’s important for senior leaders to find a way that people can share information in reasonably efficient ways. I really like the example of Salesforce under Steve Greene and Chris Fry — they had a policy where engineers were free to change jobs within the company. So, every four months they’d have an internal job fair, like a bazaar with booths, where people would walk … [ Read more ]
Just as the Net Promoter approach has strong descriptive and predictive power with customers, it works just as well in the realm of employee engagement. Loyalty leaders measure engagement by asking a handful of simple but predictive questions: Would you ask your friends and family to work in this company? Why? And would you recommend our product or service to your friends and family? What … [ Read more ]
The size of your organization and the age of your workforce dictates which type of rewards and recognition program works best. One organization improved motivation and almost eliminated turnover by creating a family environment including special incentives.
Every year employees celebrate their work anniversary with a cake and receive $100 for each year employed made out in a check.
Twice a year employees’ children receive a … [ Read more ]
Some innovative organizations are using a two-tier performance appraisal. One appraisal assesses how a person “manages”–did they get work accomplished in a timely manner and achieve their performance goals? This assessment determines the leader’s bonus. The second appraisal assesses the individuals leadership ability–how well did they develop, motivate and engage their people? This determines whether they get promoted. So someone may be … [ Read more ]
Talented people have so many opportunities that you can’t keep them forever. But even if they stop working for you, they can work with you. But how do you build a network that works? Here are a few tips.
1. There’s more than one way to network. An alumni community can be either an official company initiative or a grassroots effort. It comes down to ownership. … [ Read more ]
A warning to senior executives of companies across industries: Your recruiters could be repelling your best job applicants. They’re providing the same recruiting messages to all candidates. But the reality is that not all applicants are looking for the same things. So companies must create distinct, targeted recruitment approaches for different profiles of applicants.
Applicants with advanced educational degrees, for example, are attracted to specific attributes … [ Read more ]
Prudential’s recruiting method, called the Career Development Program, allows people to stay in their current jobs throughout six months of training — mostly online, and at the candidates’ own pace — to earn the professional designations required to become a certified life insurance agent and financial advisor.
Prudential launched the CDP in 2009 as a small-scale experiment, but it’s worked so well that it’s now the … [ Read more ]
Studies have shown that staff at different stages in their career favor different benefits, for example younger staff may tend to favor cash rewards rather than pensions. Companies can overcome these discrepancies by developing flexible “pick and mix” benefit options. An example of this is a points based system where staff at different levels qualify for varying levels of points; these points can … [ Read more ]
Have every new employee do customer support for two weeks. The first week is a typical “first week at a new company” which includes a formal day of orientation on the first day. The next four days are structured around on-boarding the person and getting them involved in their role and their team, but not too deeply. This allows there to be a “break in … [ Read more ]
Managers of a product team at Microsoft offered employees the chance to pick their next assignment, rather than having the leaders hand down those decisions. In this case, to retain top talent in a competitive market and to boost employee satisfaction, team leaders pitched their projects to employees, allowing them to evaluate the opportunities and chart their own course. Some managers worried that participants would … [ Read more ]
Formerly, when operational people in the business units at Devon Energy did a search for a new employee, HR would hand them a list of candidates. It would be their job to decide which candidates to see and to sell the candidates on Devon.
Now, we in HR sit down with the business leader and talk about the need, and the strategy to fill the need. … [ Read more ]
I would have a policy like Hewlett-Packard had when I worked there, before starting Apple. They encouraged you to work on little inventions of your own, and you would get some financial support from the company to build them. The company benefits in two ways. You’re becoming better at designing things for the company because you’ll force yourself to learn ways to solve your own … [ Read more ]