She did WHAT?!?! Dealing with differences of opinion in the office.

Welcome to 2011!! I know, I know I’m a wee bit late. The year’s had an interesting start so forgive me.

Anyway, the reason for this post is simple. A young colleague of mine started her own business late 2010 & did SO well she was able to hire an assistant! I helped her select the person she hired & gave her 1 key piece of advice on her new assistant’s 1st day: You are going to give him instructions on how you want something done & he’s NOT going to do exactly as you instructed because he will feel like he can do it BETTER.

Once she finished with the “Humanist Exec says WHAT? ” denial takes, I explained to her why I did NOT see this as as big an issue as you might think.

Having hired probably 450+ personnel in my career & supervising up to 200 on any given day, the one thing that must remain true is that you treat your team as the intelligent individuals you know them to be. They’re going to have ideas about how things should be done & even how things could be done BETTER. You hired them for their talents, the value you felt they could add your company, & the unique brilliance you saw in there somewhere. So let them SHINE. Listen to their thoughts & suggestions. Openly solicit their input. Not only will you reap huge benefits, you will also help them in their own career-based growth.

Now granted you may NOT always implement their ideas or agree with their opinions on how things should be done, and THAT’S OK.

This is Joyll, The Humanist Exec.
Have a fantastically wonderful day!

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We all have followers but are we all cut out to be leaders?

A quote from a friend whom I greatly admire that he posted on twitter today reads:

“No shortage of people who claim to be leaders, or people with titles of leadership. What is missing is the actual behavior of leadership.” Joe Gerstandt

Ironically this is exactly why I am discussing this today. There are so many that taught about wanting to lead but when then get in positions of leadership do they really understand what it takes to lead? Do they really understand the tough decisions that they are going to have to make in difficult times that may affect get the livelihood of many or even just a few? Do they understand that they are going too have to make choices that may make them unpopular? Do they understand the very long hours most leaders have to put in in order for the company to have a certain level of success? And more importantly can they even begin to grasp the idea that when something does not go according to plan, that not only is everyone going to blame you, but they are also going to look to you to FIX IT AND FAST?

There are certain traits that every true leader must and WILL posses. But thats NOT what this column is about.

Again, the basic question I’m compelled to ask, is simple, we all have followers BUT are we ALL cut out to be leaders?

The answer, just MIGHT surprise you.

This is Joyll Cambridge, The Humanist Exec.
Have a fantastically wonderful day!

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How NOT to screw up new employee onboarding.

Funny how things have a way of coming back around full circle? What… nevermind. Anyway what I need to talk about in this post is relevant on so many levels right now especially for small business because they seem to be doing the most hiring right now, since larger corporations are inappropriately using their stimulus money to shore up their own companies instead of create jobs as President Obama & congress requested. ( oh I’ve said far too much)

ONBOARDING of a new employee is simply the carefully executed introduction & therefore indoctrination of a new employee into your company’s structure.

Simple right? Eh not so much. But instead of discussing what companies do wrong, I thought I’d actually be helpful & tell you how to do it RIGHT. This will help you avoid turnovers AND help you to decide if the decision you thought was a good one, might not be so.

The key to successful onboarding is easily in the PLANNING, something most companies especially ones of smaller size without a lot of HR personnel do not do. Who’s conducting the training? Are all the human resources components addressed such as compensation, health benefits, perks, etc? Who is going to be the onboarding liaison that the new employee can go to if they have a question? Do you have a contigency plan in case new employee is not able to start when you had hoped? (this happens more than we realize) I recommend daily no more than 15 minute meetings with the employee & the onboarding specialist to assess not only how things are going but to solicit honesty & correct any issues that need to be addressed. These should happen daily for the 1st 7 days & then weekly for 1st 6 weeks.

Another thing coming in that I believe is absolutely essential to successful onboarding is the interview of the incoming. I honestly cannot stress how important this is because it gives both employer & employee a forum to discuss anything that may have come up since the acceptance letter was signed & all paperwork filled out AND it gives the employee a sense of value coming in that they may not otherwise feel. There are 3 essential questions that should be asked during this interview that I believe provide valuable insight & create a 2-way dialogue between both parties. The 1st, what would you like to see happen in your 1st 30 days here, is self explanatory. The next, do you have any questions that I can immediately answer for you or find the one who can? Why is this important, well this interview is about welcoming your new employee. This question shows that not only do you appreciate them making the decision to accept your offer but that you want to try & make them feel as well received as possible. The 3rd question is the trickiest because many may be afraid to answer but you have already created an inviting & open setting in which to dialogue so the employee should feel comfortable answering it. “Now that you’ve had a chance to digest coming on board, you’ve researched our company, seen our work environment, & way of doing business, anything you’d suggest we change/update?” Now as the employer, I know what you’re thinking. WHY ON EARTH SHOULD I ASK THAT SO SOON? Simply put, today’s new employee is much better educated, much more informed, & well seasoned by the time they join your company. Why would you NOT want to take immediate advantage of all that potentially wonderful talent?

This is Joyll Cambridge, The Humanist Exec.
Have a fantastically wonderful day!

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