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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MUTUAL EXPECTATIONS: CONFIRMING PRIORITIES

New Employees face a barrage of information, priorities and other distractions that can effectively bewilder them in a new job. Even after some time, it may still take a while to sort out what the key priorities are, amidst all the messages they receive.

At the same time, as Managers, we want to get key messages through, to build performance as effectively and as soon as possible. We need to cut through the fog!

Let’s recognize new Employees’ need for clear, logical messages to help them get started. Once that basic foundation is established, more detailed steps can be built on it.

Smart Managers initially clarify the basics of the employment relationship with newcomers, by early discussion of Mutual Expectations on either side, Employee and Employer. Above all else, what are key points Managers want Employees to understand and act on?

The key messages charted below enable newcomers to clearly understand what they should expect from the employer and, what the employer expects from them. We can more effectively launch new Employees with a short discussion of these basics to establish the working relationship going forward.

EMPLOYER

Our obligation to Employees is to:
  • Provide a safe, secure, workplace.
  • Provide fair pay & benefits.
  • Provide training & guidance to learn the job.
  • Provide resources & support to get the job done.
  • Provide assistance & problem solving when issues arise.

EMPLOYEE

Your obligation to the Employer is to:

  • Show up every day, on time, to do the job.
  • Do the best job you can.
  • Work well with other people.
  • Where issues arise, let your Manager know about it.
  • Try to make things better on a continuous basis.

This is a start. Managers then need to ensure they demonstrate their availability to consult, and openness to discuss, any relevant topics. This keeps both parties better informed, and establishes a solid communication relationship going forward.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INFLUENCE

Great Performance! Effective Employee Relations! Retention of Great Employees!

These things don’t just happen by accident. Successful Managers have developed a wide range of strategies to systematically and positively influence employees and the organization. They don’t just try to hire great employees and hope for the best! They think ahead, plan for success, and put a lot of hard work and discipline into making sure the right things happen, consistently.

They take advantage of your Opportunities for Influence, such as:

PLAN FOR SUCCESS
  • Think ahead. (You have time for this step. How long to you plan to be in business?)
  • Identify positive, successful behaviours, desirable for your organization (e.g. key values).
  • Establish action plans to promote and reinforce those behaviours (e.g. organizational values, core values, key skills). They won’t just develop on their own.

RECRUITMENT
  • Promote your values when recruiting and on your website (e.g. teamwork, initiative, etc.).
  • Stress the priorities with candidates and select for them in your hiring.

ORIENTATION
  • Get ‘em early! Confirm and reinforce mutual expectations and core values immediately.
  • Use a planned, step by step approach to welcome, then gradually grow, new employees
  • Don’t ignore or overwhelm newcomers. Teach them gradually, don’t just process them.
  • This is a golden opportunity that most many organizations miss big time!
  • Remember the poor orientations you have had, and don’t make the same mistakes!

TRAINING
  • Ensure employees are fully trained to do what you want done.
  • Discuss upgrades or ongoing training over time. (e.g. an annual development plan).
  • Enhance and reinforce Core values and positive skills in your training.
   (e.g. interpersonal/communication, teamwork/collaboration, influencing etc.)

PERFORMANCE DEVELOPENT
  • Ensure Clarity as to both Task and Behaviour expectations (e.g. how to treat others)
  • Provide planned Contacts to consult on performance during the year, not just at the end
  • Reinforce Core values and other positive behaviours such as: internal customer service, problem solving, accountability, continuous learning, etc.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
  • Communicate Core Values and organizational expectations. (e.g. mutual expectations)
  • Reinforce those values and expectations.
  • Ensure your internal two-way communication systems are effective.
  • Intervene promptly and effectively in situations to reinforce organizational expectations.
  • Take a fair, balanced approach, you build trust and credibility.

Recognize and exploit your Opportunities for Influence for simpler, more effective management!

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