Tag: management

05 Nov 2018

Return of The Invisible Man by Debra Fraser

Anyone over age 50 may remember the television series from the 1960s, The Invisible Man. It’s the story of British scientist Peter Brady who, while working on an invisibility formula, suffers a tragic accident and inadvertently turns himself invisible. Eventually, Peter uses the tragic illness for good and becomes an unbeatable superhero — a fantastic ending for every show. Sadly, however, in the real world of work, being invisible is an all too common experience for many staff members. And the endings for them? Well, not so fantastic.

Take Mark, for example. He spent the last year formulating new marketing reports to measure the effectiveness of his company’s client retention efforts. His efforts jump-started a 35 per cent increase in retention figures in just one year. Walking by the coffee station at work, he overhears an executive speaking with his boss, “Ask the guy who does the reports to print a few copies for the office.” The “guy”? He winced. Despite his year-long efforts he still wasn’t seen as a person… just as another spoke in the corporate wheel.

People just want to be seen, zeen?

They need to be seen, acknowledged by their peers, and mostly by their bosses. Recognition is the simple discipline of seeing people — not just what they do or their results, but who they are. And this is personal. Most companies take the short cut approach in attempting to check this box by running employee of the month, tenure, and service awards programmes. They are called “programmes” because they are programmed into the regular schedule of company events. To go further, there are now recognition companies specialising in automating these programmes so that at the click of a button one manager (usually in-sourced to the HR manager) can pull names from a productivity report, load them into a recognition system and voila! Instant recognition programme! No genuine human connection required. It can be almost, well… inhumane.

Interesting stats: 50 per cent of satisfaction comes from an employee’s relations with his/her supervisor. Seventy nine per cent of staff who leave the organisation do so due to a lack of recognition or appreciation. And a whopping two-thirds of employees report receiving no recognition for good work in the past year. They are invisible.

Recognition coming directly from the direct supervisor is the most valued ingredient in motivating and retaining employees. As an HR outsourcer my company provides significant value to companies who outsource their non-core functions to us, such as payroll, HR programming, engagement surveys. But outsourcing — or in-sourcing — the personal side of any core business process is NEVER a good practice.

Effective leaders practise a daily habit of recognising the employees behind the work and express gratitude, continuously. They bring the so-called invisible people into full view.

Until next time, leaders, keep lookin’ up!

Debra Fraser, MBA is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the BPIAJ, and a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica and Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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27 Aug 2018

Launching Leaders: How to spot the leader-in-hiding by Debra Fraser

It is no mystery that one of our nation’s challenges is related to our ability to deploy a bench strength of leaders – leaders are in demand for public and private service, in social, business and even spiritual affairs. After all, if we are going somewhere (somewhere better), someone must lead us.

For those heading organizations, how does one go about discovering potential new leaders, anyways?  Do you look for personality, education, work ethic, passion, creativity? Or perhaps good looks? Years ago, a middle manager who reported to me commented on the humble car I was driving (a 1999 Honda Accord LX, which I still own and love!). This young aspiring leader said: “You know, you have to upgrade your car because it’s just not motivating me to aspire to move up the ladder!  You should be driving a bimma!” Needless to say, his expectation of what a leader should be initially took me by surprise. Perhaps we should add yet another characteristic of leaders: “Must Drive Fancy Cars!”  Ahhh, don’t we wish it was that simple…

Since before the rise of the Industrial Revolution, this matter of selecting leaders has been asked over and over.  Peter Drucker, known as the ‘founder’ of modern management point out that “productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.”  So if you are a business owner, finding the next leader is crucial to the success and sustainability of your business.  Here are a few guidelines that can take the mystery out of your search for the next leader:

Potential leaders are marked by the following in their daily activity:

  1. They put Integrity first, and here’s what it looks like. Integrity is not an airy-fairy concept.  It means the candidate has a keen sense of what is right which is demonstrated in how he treats co-employees and the company’s customers.  H/she will naturally approach business decision making by weighing how to ‘do-right’ by the customer, the employee, the Company and the community. This habit by yield’s a consistent reliable approach and by it’s very nature engender TRUST, the very thing that keeps customers loyal, employees from leaving, and curries favor from stakeholders including those in the wider community.  That’s measurable value!
  2. They thrive on being the one held accountable; not necessarily the one in charge. I recently performed a stay interview with one of my own staff members, asking her to describe her ideal job and work environment. “Ideally, do you prefer to work behind the scenes, or as part of the team, or do you prefer to be the ‘front man’ who own the success or failures of projects and initiatives?” She shook her head vigorously at the notion of being the one in front, and I appreciated her honesty and candor (BTW, she is an excellent SME and a high-performer).  Her response is a reminder of the innate differences in passion and desire residing in each person.  Your next leader is the one who assumes responsibility whenever there’s a mess so that s/he can lead the clean up effort!
  3. They place a high value on Relationships. As the old adage says all “Business moves at the speed of trust” and if this is the case, relationships are both the fuel and the machine!  Let’s face it, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Community and general communications are all based on managing relationships.  Looking for a Leader?  Look for the person who naturally keeps commitments to his peers, seeks for clarification and understanding when changes are rolling out, and who values the voice and experience of others, genuinely.

These are indicators that can be spotted in persons day-to-day routine.  They are internal characteristics that indicate who they are as a person in the NOW, so there is no guesswork in how they will act once they are given the title.  And less guesswork = less risk, which is always good for business.

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/how-to-spot-the-leader-in-hiding_142421?profile=1270

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09 Jul 2018

Have what it takes to be a manager? by Debra Fraser

Aspiring Ainsley just passed his 90-day probation at an entry-level job and schedules a meeting with HR to ask where he can apply for a manager position. Ambitious or delusional? Who knows, maybe a bit of both! But it begs the question: How do you know if you are management material? What are employers looking for anyway?

The 70/30 Rule

Having worked with clients both locally and overseas (about a 30 per cent – 70 per cent split), I can tell you there is no clear answer, but there certainly are trends. Some local companies still look for the traditional pre-requisites: education, peer and supervisor references, industry knowledge and experience, and prior management experience. This last requirement is really a catch twenty-two. The result is that many high-potential managers are excluded from consideration due to one or two unchecked boxes. Companies from North America and the UK are more flexible on the education and qualifications side, but sometimes rely too much on ‘personality’ fit, preferring candidates who build rapport with them, at the expense of solid management skills. So what’s an aspiring employee to do?

The best advice I can give is simply this: build your experiences on a solid foundation, much like you build a house. Build it and they will come! Here are some competencies that all employers want to see:

Once you have these skills, half the battle is won.  The other half is being able to confidently present them in the interview process. Another hurdle that must be crossed!  Hiring an Interview Coach to work with you is an effective, and worthy investment.  Having coached job-seeking managers on interview skills I have seen time and time again that the best-skilled candidate will almost certainly NOT get the job if interview skills are lacking.

Finally, consider your motivation for moving into management, a role carrying much higher responsibility and stress.  Let’s say the management post would equate to an additional $20,000 JMD per month, then you must consider your options.  Perhaps a part-time job in teaching or real-estate, or working overtime, could yield a similar cash lift.  If selling Avon on-the-side would reward you an additional $35,000 JMD per month, which would you choose? If you still choose management, money is likely not your main motivator, and you will enjoy the sober pursuit of becoming a manager.

Debra Fraser M. BA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions – a leading HR Outsourcing and Consultancy firm, a member of the BPIAJ, HRMAJ – Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and SHRM Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/have-what-it-takes-to-be-a-manager-_137328?profile=1270

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