Two-Tier Performance Appraisals

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 ]

Create an Alumni Network for Your Company

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 ]

Create Targeted Recruitment Approaches for Different Profiles of Applicants

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 ]

Secret for Hiring Self-starters: Try Before You Buy

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 ]

Pick and Mix Benefit Options

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

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 ]

Letting Employees Choose Their Next Assignment

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 ]

A Better Approach to HR

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 ]

Encouraging Independent Projects at Work

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 ]

Commuication Summaries on Friday

Send out a Friday email with “good news” from the week, highlighting the achievements of each of your team members. If he/she is willing, go even further and have the CEO speak to the team every Friday on hot topics, concerns, achievements.

Encouraging Mentoring

At McKinsey mentoring is regarded as a vital part of the development culture but is still not as common as it should be. To encourage it, several McKinsey offices now ask all associates at regular intervals which partners they view as mentors. Although a small number of partners were named by as many as a dozen associates, most partners were surprised to find that fewer … [ Read more ]

Safeguarding Knowledge

Retirement represents the loss of a worker with the skills needed to perform a specific job. It may also represent the loss of crucial knowledge whose value to the organization extends far beyond the worker’s individual position.

Freightliner, a large truck manufacturer based in Portland, Oregon, has anticipated this dual risk. It set about assessing the extent and severity of the risk, focusing on employees who … [ Read more ]

Common Tactics to Increase Overall Workforce Performance

  • Providing clear minimum targets and acceptable levels of performance.
  • Defining top performer profiles including extraordinary results and behaviors.
  • Removing obstacles and constraints to performance (such as poor systems or processes).
  • Improving the visibility of individual performance and results (such as employee dashboards).
  • Creating transparency of performance relative to peers (such as league tables).
  • Using top performers to coach and spread leading practices.
  • Aligning talent management levers to motivate and develop performance.

[ Read more ]

Optimizing Deployment of HR Assets

Separate jobs into three or four buckets based on their impact (low, moderate or high) on a handful of high-level corporate objectives such as revenue growth. Combine this with rating employees — A player, B player or C player, for example — based on their job performance. This dual-rating system can provide valuable insights into human capital deployment and compensation. For example, it can help … [ Read more ]

Having Teams Make Hiring Decisions

Rather than the typical scenario, in which a supervisor decides whom to hire, the employees who will be the new worker’s peers make the choice. Hiring managers tend to select applicants who think like them, but that often fails to create the best group chemistry. “The hiring teams do a much better job of picking people and you’ve got people surrounding that new person who … [ Read more ]

Make it Harder to Apply

If you look at most applications on or Craigslist, the instructions are very simple: “Send a cover letter and resume to (email address).”

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. However, an issue that can come up in a tough job market is that you’ll have a tough time separating the wheat from the chafe.

Let’s say 500 people apply for the position you posted. … [ Read more ]

Using New Employees to Learn About Your Organization

In order to take full advantage of the latent practical knowledge of staff and conduct a revision of company processes, after 3 weeks every new employee is encouraged to single out all the idiosyncrasies that the company has as well as question practices and procedures. Using the simple questions below (or more sector specific questions), management encourages communication and discovers new ways of looking at … [ Read more ]

Making Onboarding Work

When bringing a new employee onto your team, the experience of current employees can be extremely valuable, particularly those who themselves were recently the new kid on the block. Ask your current employees what they wish they had known sooner. Brainstorm a list of buzzwords and acronyms. And ask current employees what their plans are to help the newcomer get on board and up to … [ Read more ]

Focus On The…Negative

When you start a business, it’s difficult to know what to look for in a good hire. “I learned the hard way that the last thing you want to do is hire people who aren’t 100 percent sure that they want to work for you or 100 percent clear on what they’re getting themselves into,” says Ben Lerer, CEO of Thrillist. To make sure potential … [ Read more ]

Everyone sucks at interviewing so don’t interview

I don’t claim to be good at hiring, but I do have a particular style that I learned from some advisors. I never actually interview people. Ever.

I think of hiring as mutual courting. The only way to court in a work setting is to spend time working together. Whenever I’m thinking of hiring someone, whether entry-level or senior, we do a project … [ Read more ]