Posts Tagged ‘Talent Management’
This begs the question: What do Gen Y workers want anyway? And what exactly do they expect from a boss in terms of managing work efforts, effectively?
To prepare for a meeting with city leaders, I recently met with an interesting Gen Y/Xer (she’s between the demographer lines) who works in a professional staff position in my city.
Our city, like others, is attempting to understand how we can do a better job of keeping our best/brightest talent here—and not move away to your city, for example!
When this young lady shared with me how much she had enjoyed working at a previous position in Washington, D.C. (prior to moving to my city of Springfield, MO) especially how she had loved working for the management at that organization, I was really curious. I asked her to explain exactly what the management had done to make it such a great work experience.
Her answer was insightful, it also serves as a good reminder for what many Gen Y workers want today.
What Gen Yers Wish Managers Knew About Managing:
- Shed titles. Contrast that with managers who use a title (and its authority) to control others. The managers at the Washington organization weren’t interested in ‘controlling’ but in collaborating with employees more effectively, hence they shed the formality of their titles and got on her level. While they still held a title, of course, they didn’t allow those titles to create distance or tension—as in I’m over you and I’m your boss so I do as I say.
During these uncertain times, is it possible that some of your customer’s are less likely to switch loyalties to another supplier, even if that supplier ‘might’ offer some advantages?
Do you see customer loyalty on the rise? Some of my clients do and have expressed this view to me recently.
One client recently passed this story along: when his sales force blitzes a new territory for their product line, out of 300+ contacts they now only yield 1 or 2% new customers! In the past this was apparently much higher. And get this, he wasn’t referring to a direct-mail blitz, but rather, personal contacts in the field. His company has earned a stellar reputation in the marketplace, and has among the highest quality as well as lowest price points, but still finds receptivity to doing business with a new supplier much more difficult to achieve.
What factors may be driving increased customer loyalty today? Well, according to some studies (Harvard Business Review, July-Aug 2009) trust in business is running much lower than in previous years.
So, if decision-makers trust other businesses less, doesn’t it seem possible that they might be less likely to consider switching to new vendors? While resistance to changing suppliers has always been evident in competitive B2B markets, it may just be on the rise.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can ride this wave of mistrust and come out ahead.
7 Ways to Keep Existing Customers and/or Land New Ones:
- Find ways to build and earn more trust in the initial phase of your sales cycle with prospects. Offer to do lunch and learns, provide case studies of your results, provide a steady stream of customer testimonials.
- Give the sales cycle longer intervals than in the past. If your sales cycle is six months, give it nine or twelve when soliciting a prospect who has never done business with your company before now.
Short Article #44
A. DEAR ERIC: While it’s a very effective tool for motivating and retaining good employees, granting work independence (autonomy) can be too-much of a good thing. Besides, the best approach for further empowering employees may have little to do with more autonomy.
There are three signs to look for before concluding that more job independence is definitely needed in your workplace:
No. 1, is your employee overwhelmed? Are they missing deadlines frequently? Has their morale or attitude grown more negative recently? Do they appear more stressed, tense or short on patience than normal? If so, then visit with your employee and find out what’s going on. Even the most dedicated employee can only take being ‘overwhelmed’ for so long.
Granting more autonomy can help in this situation, but only if you do two things: allow your employee to delegate appropriate amounts of their workload to others, and secondly, if you make expressly clear the overall goals and priorities which will impact the employee’s work going forward.
Short article #42
Unfortunately, one unintended consequence of high unemployment may be that it has given some managers the belief that they can be more demanding or controlling of their employees.
I’m hearing managers say things I haven’t heard in a long time. Things that bespeak of an underlying and troubling attitude.
- “I can have you replaced with a dozen just like you by noon if I want!” Read more »
Short article #41
In his book, The Future of Management, Gary Hamel contends that the current management model centered on control and efficiency, no longer suffices in a world where adaptability and creativity drive business success.
Hamel’s perspective is credible. As well as being a bestselling author he is ranked the #1 Influential Business Thinker by the Wall Street Journal. Some points from his book:
There will be new challenges to competitive viability and profitability: In a world of immediately accessible information, there is less room for mediocre products or services.
Modern management needs to change its model for the future. "Modern management has also stymied the opinions and free-spirits of human beings by getting them to conform to rigid rules and procedures, and in so doing squandered creative problem solving or innovation. It has brought discipline to operations, but imperils organizational adaptability."
Management innovation can bring significant advantage. In studying over 100 management breakthroughs across two centuries, Hamel notes that major advances in managerial practices often
Short article #36 and #37 (combined)
Mainly, employees sensed that management really didn’t want their input. Two things in particular tipped them off.
First, nothing was ever acted on as a result of the input. Secondly, management never followed-up with employees later to discuss the ideas. (I realize ‘never’ is a big word… but it’s the word I most often hear from employees).
Thank goodness, many employee suggestions boxes, often located in the lunchroom or break room, went away. (I think they were turned into kindling wood, or hidden away in the closet by embarrassed managers).
Unfortunately however, suggestion boxes have now been replaced with more modern, but still largely ineffective methods for gathering employee input, such as:
- An “open door” management style which seemingly encourages openness from employees but rarely gets it.
- Employee forums. Such forums often turn into gripe sessions (at least that’s what I’m told by managers who don’t like doing them anymore.)
- Monthly or weekly staff meetings (aka “huddles” or “departmental meetings”) where the employee perspective is rarely garnered because such meetings are often monologues instead of productive, honest dialogues.
- Employee performance reviews. Too often reviews are one-way communications of arbitrary scores and ratings that have nothing to do with improving performance or building value into people. Secrets to Giving Employee Performance Reviews.
What’s wrong with the aforementioned methods for acquiring employee ideas and suggestions. Nothing! As long as, employee suggestions or ideas are handled effectively.
Highly effective managers are good at getting a steady stream of helpful, open dialogue from employees. Ideas they can use to cut costs, improve efficiencies and increase profits.
One of the best ways to start generating more useful employee input is by making sure you avoid the 6 Most Common Fumbles Handling Employee Input:
- Manager says they want input, but really doesn’t. He/she believes that the people in the company with all the answers are the people who hold titles, not the employees, because employees have a limited perspective.