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The most important employment decision

I was interested to see in the Sunday Times Rich List the many owners of recruitment consultancies - perhaps I should think about changing career....

Tough Talking

A recent Sunday Times article discussed the pros and cons of an annual cull of the bottom 5% of poorly performing staff.  The outcome seemed to be that many organisations advocated this approach but few were brave enough to do it.

Between a rock and a hard place?


girl_supporting_boulder-212This type of research is not new - in fact I recall many years ago, more than I care to remember, reading something similar about how different levels of staff in organisations perceive each other.  And of course, there is always someone else to blame for the lack of recognition, training, empowerment etc etc.

What I find interesting about this piece of research is the apparent short term memory loss of the senior managers interviewed.  They appear to have forgotten completely that they were once members of the ‘mushy middle' set themselves. 

How did they get to where they are today?  Did they suffer from the lack of management and leadership that creates a barrier to performance?  Did they fail to deal with underperformance in their teams?  Did they have the poor influencing abilities and managerial competencies that they notice in their direct reports?  Apparently not...

This research is in my view an indictment of the participants' own leadership qualities - and that most powerful quality of all - leadership by example.  Senior managers have to devote time, energy and commitment to developing their people - investing in good quality training and development.  Good investments, financial or otherwise, do not provide returns overnight - in fact the best returns are often secured in the long term. 

Managers at all levels have to recognise talent and good performance and reward it accordingly.  Too many managers spend time bemoaning those employees who do not perform rather than praising and providing development opportunities for those who perform well. 

If you are a manager spend time regularly assessing the talent you have in your team - notice the good performers and cast your mind back to when your contribution was recognised by your manager.  Positive feedback and recognition are powerful motivators.  Practice them more with your team and turn your ‘mushy middle' into a force to be reckoned with.

This article appears in the March 2007 issue of Connection, the magazine of the Cambridge Network www.CambridgeNetwork.co.uk

Why you need an HR Director on your Board

There are many theories about why many organisations choose not to have an HR Director on the Board. If people are an organisation's greatest asset or provide the only source of competitive advante, it would seem a 'no brainer' - yet it's not.

What is the role of HR?

It's a mystery to many what HR is there for and whether it provides any use or value to the organisation. I offer my view of what HR is there for.

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