4 Steps To Curing Performance Headaches

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Management has its ups and downs. When everything goes well, it’s a great job. Your team is happy. Your boss is happy. That usually means you are happy.  

But it’s not always like that. It’s when things don’t go well that we earn our money as managers.

The down times for most managers are often tied to an underperforming employee. Poor individual performance can quickly become a drag on the team’s performance, morale, and your time if it’s not handled quickly and effectively.

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You’re Not Too Busy For 1:1 Meetings

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Getting that first promotion to management is a big day.

It represents a new title, a raise (hopefully), and more influence. You are now part of “management.”

That excitement can quickly fade once you realize that as a manager, you have a lot more to do, but the same amount of time to do it. It’s easy to get consumed by the busyness of being a manager.

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The 2017 HR Hitlist #5: Treating Technology as the Solution

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the fifth in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.


“Golf is a hard game. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it throughout my life.”

There have been times when I’ve wanted to be good at golf. During one of these times, I became convinced that a buying a new, state of the art set of golf clubs was the solution. If I got better clubs, surely I’d play better.

So, I saved money and ultimately made the purchase. The clubs were spendy, but they were also beautiful. It felt good to show up at the golf course with these fancy clubs. Just owning them made me feel like a more confident golfer.

But when I played with them, I still sucked.

The new clubs didn’t fix my lack of skill. They also didn’t make up for lack of practice.

Golf clubs are tools. And regardless of how fancy or expensive, they are only as good as the hands that hold them.

HR technology is just like those golf clubs.

The explosion in technology innovation means that we have a virtually endless array of technology products to buy and implement within our organization. There are technologies for every problem you can imagine in HR—from employee engagement to new hire paperwork. Continue reading

The 2017 HR Hitlist #4: Playing Small

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the fourth in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.


“If there’s one thing that’s holding us back in HR more than anything else, it is our collective lack of confidence.”

Within every organization, we have departments built around technical expertise. IT are the experts in technology; finance and accounting in financial systems; and sales in sales process.  

We trust these departments to deliver solutions to business needs that exist within their areas. When the organization faces a technical challenge, we trust the IT team to assess the situation, understand the business needs, and find the right solution. Same for accounting and sales.

But, when it comes to HR, it’s a different story. Why is this?

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The 2017 HR Hitlist #3: Defending Broken Practices

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the third in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.


 

When I first started railing against the performance appraisal process years ago, my colleagues in HR were the first to defend it.

“We have to do appraisals to protect ourselves legally.”

“We can’t make fair decisions about pay increases without an appraisal.”

“We have to have some record of performance.”

“You can’t assess performance without ratings.”

The ironic thing was that many of these same colleagues actually despised the very process they were defending. It was cumbersome, time consuming, and they knew the information contained in the appraisals was questionable in far too many cases.

While defending it, they had to ignore the truth that performance appraisals are often inflated by managers looking to avoid conflict. Plus, they had been telling managers that appraisals were a legal requirement for so long, they’d forgotten that it’s not actually true.

The process was broken and they knew it. But, they defended it because they felt like they had to.  

There can be no innovation or progress unless we’re open to the possibility of a better way. The black or white, yes or no, approach to HR does not work in a world of perpetual and accelerating change. As a consequence, HR is riddled with ineffective, old management practices born in an age of industrialization that have no place in today’s world of work.  

While it seems that perhaps we’ve made progress towards replacing the traditional performance appraisal process, that’s only the beginning.

How should interviewing and selection change due to the fact that people are really bad at evaluating other people? Or, what happens to compensation when we consider the evidence that financial bonuses are negatively correlated with performance for complex and creative work?   Continue reading

The HR Hitlist #2: Enabling Bad Managers

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the second in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead. 


One of my favorite movies is the classic Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction.

There’s a character in the movie who they refer to as “The Wolf.” He’s a fixer. When someone screws up or makes a serious mess, they call The Wolf. He shows up to save the day by making the problem disappear.  

I think this is how management often thinks of HR—as their own personal version of “The Wolf.” When an uncomfortable conversation is needed or they’ve made a mess with an employee, they call HR. And, since we love to feel needed in HR, we swoop in and handle things. The manager’s problem disappears. Everybody wins, right? Continue reading

The 2017 HR Hitlist #1: Saying “No”

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Neverbefore has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the first in a series of  guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.  


If I had one wish I could use to transform the work of human resources, it would be to remove the word “no.”

This tiny word is at the core of why HR is too often viewed as an obstacle to progress rather than a facilitator of results.

  • Want to fire a problem employee? “No, you don’t have enough documentation.”
  • Want to let an employee work from home? “No, you don’t have the authority to make that decision.”  
  • Want to give your star performer a big raise? “No, that goes beyond what our policy allows.”

Managers can feel like “no” is the only thing they hear from HR.   Continue reading