Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Are you really serious about your top performers leaving you ?

Why people leave their jobs?

People leave a job for a number of reasons – It can be relocation or going back to studies or to take a job elsewhere

What is the cost of this attrition?

Irrespective of why people leave their jobs, minimum it cost your business around 100% of an employee's salary. I am not counting here the productivity loss because of the position remains open as well knowledge & skills which goes with the person until someone's hired and becomes equally skilled and knowledgeable. 

I have always advice companies to have an “Exit Interview Process” in place to ensure that you keep a check on what needs to be done to control the situation and put a preventive action plan as well.I find many companies despite of the Exit Interview Process ,the execution of the process is not done diligently

In my own experience, the two top reasons are that they don't feel challenged or engaged in what they do.

In this blog, I will recommend five habits to make sure your top performers don’t leave you.    

1.    Make sure people connect with Big Picture- I find surprising when I see managers not taking enough time to explain BIG PICTURE (Your functions/organization’s VISION) .It helps when you help people understand the connection between their daily task/responsibilities to the strategic level (link to big picture -Vision).Once they understand the “connect” they contribute towards building stronger engagement and take more ownership. Share your vision statement widely and frequently (every quarter in team meetings). If you don't already have a vision statement, work on one for yourself .Transformation-coach-workshop
2.    Make sure people contribute in a real sense - Next step is to make sure everyone contributes and no one left behind .Engaged Employees do more and don’t leave you easily. People who feel they are “valued” are likely to stay longer. Make sure everyone counts and is likely to play a critical role in your function’s /organization’s success.
3.  Be ready to give clarity to your people if needed – No one likes uncertainty. Employees generally have higher confidence in a manager who they feel is leading the organization in the right direction. If you are in doubt, go and ask your manager rather than showing uncertainty to your own team.
4.  Make sure you take actions against non-performance- How you deal with situations and challenges related to performance? How do you make people “accountable” for their performance? You may turn-off your top people by not addressing performance issues with certain non-performing people in the team or not taking actions against a situation resulting into non performance of your team. If your star performers see you as someone who does not compromise on performance and take actions as needed, they get motivated. They not only excel but also enjoy such environment.

5.  Make sure you recognize/reward high performance- I cannot end this without emphasizing on rewards & recognition. Every organization will have this in place but when I give it a close look, I always see gaps in the way it gets executed. There are many ways you can “recognize” your people .I have studied many companies with their own unique ways of recognizing their employees like a getting a choice parking spot, getting their names on “Wall of fame”, a dinner with the CEO or Head of the Function. Ask your people? “Surprise” them. What works in one environment does not work in other. What worked last year, may not work this year :-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stop !! Communicating with me -Exploring & Breaking Communication Myths

Whatever we are not good in,we suffer .The sufferings are because of the lack of the required knowledge or skills. Interestingly in those sufferings,we have hidden lessons.Only if we are ready to learn ,lessons will start unfolding.Communication is one of those skills which does not come so easy to many of us.At least to me,it is still work in progress.

When it comes to communication the conventional belief is that two most important factors for a effective communication is  "Clarity" and "The Right Medium" . Effectiveness and Efficiency are two aspects of  every transaction even for what is communicating.

Important is execution of what is communicated happens or not .I am sure we all communicate day in day out to our seniors,teams,peers & other stakeholders.I will like now YOU to introspect now and be honest with what you think.

Personally  I have seen many more other forces which come in play,to name a few

  • Do you have a formal or a Informal authority?
  • Are you a Line Function or a staff function?
  • Do you choose one medium or multiple medium ? (phone,email,meeting )
  • How many times you have repeated your message?(Once,Twice,Thrice)
  • How much time you give to the receiver to react to the information provided? (1 day,1 week,1 month)
  • Do you persuade or you are direct in your message?  
The one question I often used to have is when you communicate more you create inefficiency as well as  redundancy of repeating same thing again.Specially with the technology now facilitating this .e.g with emails and auto-messages,people may complain an information overload or hate the mails coming to them quite often.

As per one article in HBR (Harvard Business Review) that multiple mails on the same topic can get an executive feel frustrated but at the same time it helps the sender get the task prioritized.Its important as the executives are facing the challenges of inadequate time available and they being pulled up in multiple directions.This is interesting as we are creating a new problem to solve an existing problem.

Communication preferences mattered as well.The studies highlight that managers with formal authority had started little later as they must have thought that their power motivates other to listen to them and get the job done.Managers without power understood that there first message should be able to motivate people.They did the opposite.They send an instant message and later keep on reinforcing the message by sending multiple reminders to make sure that  the message remains among their priorities.So redundancy works with their case.The job was done faster with less hiccups.Also they used Persuasion as a technique rather then a direct message.

Two decades is a long time at work.I have developed many new habits now.Communicating repeatedly is one of them .Behavior spreads now to my family as much as it goes with my friends.Even I do not spare my "to be " clients .The focus is on persuading them.

Am I waiting for the time when they yell at me -Stop !! Communicating with me....