How to Get Your Managers to Take the Lead in Performance Management

If you are looking to improve employee and managerial accountability in your workplace it is critical that you start by improving the level of personal responsibility in each of your team members. It is only after your employees, managers, and leaders take full responsibility for the results they achieve that your organization will begin to achieve the results it is truly capable of.

This highly interactive training program will provide HR professionals with the tools they need to train, coach, and guide their managers through a more effective performance management process. Through video vignettes, case studies, real life application and action planning, participants will learn to view performance management as an ongoing process for achieving personal effectiveness.   The tools and techniques in this workshop will dovetail into any performance management system already in place.

Date: May 25, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Event: Wisconsin Medical Group Management Association
Topic: How to Develop a Successful Strategic Management Development Initiative
Sponsor: WMGMA
Venue: The Osthoff Resort
Location: 101 Osthoff Avenue
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin 53020

How to Get Your Managers to Take the Lead in Performance Management

If you are looking to improve employee and managerial accountability in your workplace it is critical that you start by improving the level of personal responsibility in each of your team members. It is only after your employees, managers, and leaders take full responsibility for the results they achieve that your organization will begin to achieve the results it is truly capable of.

This highly interactive training program will provide HR professionals with the tools they need to train, coach, and guide their managers through a more effective performance management process. Through video vignettes, case studies, real life application and action planning, participants will learn to view performance management as an ongoing process for achieving personal effectiveness.   The tools and techniques in this workshop will dovetail into any performance management system already in place.

Date: September 21, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Event: 2017 Pennsylvania SHRM State Conference
Sponsor: PA SHRM
Venue: The Penn Stater Conference Center
Location: 215 Innovation Boulevard
State College, PA

How to Avoid “Ending Up”:  10 Steps to Professional Success

In this session, management and career development expert Mack Munro will show you how to you how to take both an inward and outward look at your personal career plans.  Specifically, you’ll learn techniques to self-assess strengths and weaknesses.  By leveraging the former and minimizing the latter, you’ll present yourself as more confident, capable, and credible.  This will enable you to get the respect that you and your profession deserve.

At the end of this presentation, you will be able to:

  • Define personal mastery and its importance to career development.
  • Describe how goal identification and strategic goal pursuits make a building manager more valuable.
  • Develop the skills and ability to set a strategic plan for career success in the building management profession and demonstrate those skills as you reinvent your current role.

Personal and professional development is critical for your long-term success and viability in this field.  Attend this presentation and get started on your journey immediately!

Date: June 26, 2017
Time: 3:15-5:00 p.m.
Event: Building Owners and Managers Association Annual Conference
Topic: How to Avoid "Ending Up"
Sponsor: BOMA
Venue: Music City Center
Location: Nashville, TN

How to Implement A Successful Strategic Management Development Initiative

Effective managers are key to any organization succeeding.  If you are looking to bring a strategic edge to your organization, training and developing those managers is a key component.  This presentation will show the importance of balancing performance management, strategic goals and initiatives, wants and needs of employees and managers, and tight budgets while working to implement a culture of learning.  The outcome will be managers who are more effective and a workforce that is motivated, educated, and turns over infrequently.

In this session, participants will learn to proactively initiate (or adeptly respond to a request for) a “management training program.”  Specifically, they will learn techniques to identify need, gather relevant data, leverage performance management, and communicate findings to senior management. They will also learn how to keep a program energized and permanently ingrain it into the organization’s culture, all the while communicating its success in the language of business.

Date: August 29, 2017
Time: 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Event: 2017 HR Florida State Conference
Topic: How to Develop a Successful Strategic Management Development Initiative
Venue: Hilton Bonita Creek
Location: Orlando, FL

Effective managers are key to any organization succeeding.  If you are looking to bring a strategic edge to your organization, training and developing those managers is a key component.  This presentation will show the importance of balancing performance management, strategic goals and initiatives, wants and needs of employees and managers, and tight budgets while working to implement a culture of learning.  The outcome will be managers who are more effective and a workforce that is motivated, educated, and turns over infrequently.

In this session, participants will learn to proactively initiate (or adeptly respond to a request for) a “management training program.”  Specifically, they will learn techniques to identify need, gather relevant data, leverage performance management, and communicate findings to senior management. They will also learn how to keep a program energized and permanently ingrain it into the organization’s culture, all the while communicating its success in the language of business.

Date: October 4, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Event: 2017 Tennessee State SHRM Conference
Topic: How to Develop a Successful Strategic Management Development Initiative
Sponsor: MTSHRM
Venue: Opryland Hotel and Convention Center
Location: 2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Are Your Incentives Actually Incentivizing?

Still want to chew gum during the test?

Still want to chew gum during the test?

In my job working with organizations and business I often hear about new initiatives designed to build employee engagement.  Engaged employees, as the rationale goes, are more productive and loyal.  That’s a good thing.  The key of course is to figure out how to engage them.

Some companies try to be competitive with pay and benefits.  Others design educational and professional development incentives.  Some attempt to be Google, implementing organizational redesign with open workspaces, game rooms, and elaborate cafeterias.

And then there are those who use privileges to win over employees.  That’s also effective.  When done in the right spirit.

A colleague of mine shared the note that you can read in this blog.  It was given to all the kids in his daughter’s class in preparation for the standardized tests that are given each Spring.  The school was going to allow students to chew gum or Lifesavers during the test as a privilege, but first each student AND their parents had to sign a contract.  The gum chewing right came with a laundry list of requirements and rules.  What was designed to incentivize students was really no different than the standard set of rules they had to follow each day.  When the privilege has caveats, it ceases to be a privilege.

The idea of motivating people hinges around the concept that people are satisfied when they get WHAT they need, WHEN they need it.  Pay is only a part of it although to be fair, should be enough.  Privileges, like casual dress and bring-your-dog-to-work day should be those little surprises that dazzle and provide a spike in productivity.  But those privileges lose their luster when accompanies by a bunch of rules.  Granted, standards are important.  Provocative or offensive clothing can be a liability and nobody wants to step in dog crap when walking to the copier.  The rules are fine if the spirit of the privilege is not lost.

Which brings us to the gum-chewing contract.  With the fear of punishment high, combined with the added stress of standardized testing, I’m thinking students enter the test with lower morale than if gum was just outlawed.  The incentives just won’t incentivize.

So if your organization want to use incentives, keep the following in mind:

  1. Make the incentives special and limited in time.  Getting people accustomed to the incentive leads to it being seen as a right.  Now you’re stuck leaving it in place for good.
  2. Make the incentive something that the employee would want, not necessarily what you would want.  While I would love a new firearm as a gift, I’m pretty sure my wife wouldn’t see it as an appropriate anniversary gift.
  3. Make the incentive as rule-free as possible.  When privileges come with a host of regulations and rules, they just aren’t as special.
  4. Make the incentive as condition-free as possible.  My ex’s father paid to have the kitchen in her condo refurbished.  His condition was that she had to get rid of her pets and her son couldn’t fry doughnuts in the kitchen.  I’m not sure a gift should have that many conditions.

All of us love to give and get privileges.  Before giving them, take a moment to run through the checklist.  You don’t want your well-intentioned gift to have a negative impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Space to Clear Your Head

beltsIn my opinion, one of the best things about Spring and Summer is that I spend about 3 hours each week mowing my 4 acres of grass on my Husqvarna riding mower.  I’ll gas it up, get a big dip of Grizzly long-cut wintergreen, and put my Spotify mowing playlist (mostly classic rock), and get busy.  It’s my thinking time and where I usually clear my head and come up with new ideas…

…which was recently interrupted when my mower threw the serpentine belt about two hours into the job.  Now I was stuck and had to re-thread the belt.  Usually it’s not that hard but this time the belt was hopelessly twisted.  I had to get down on my belly and try to untwist it plus re-thread it around six different pulleys.  It was hot, grass clippings were stuck to my skin, sweat was stinging my eyes (when you’re bald, sweat seems to pour faster), and gnats kept pestering me.  Finally, after 15 minutes, I had used up all my patience and every possible curse word in my lexicon (plus a few new ones I invented) and walked away.  I looked at every YouTube video I could find on re-threading the belt and found I was doing everything right.  After 30 minutes, I walked back out to the mower and in 3 minutes managed to get the belt on correctly.  I bolted the two plastic guards back on and finished the job.  Walking away was the best thing I could have done.

All of us are good problem-solvers.  We all have something we’re good at.  Sometimes though it works against us.  Our tried-and-true methods don’t seem to work and we push on, determined to prove we can do it.  The harder we try, the worse the problem gets.

When that happens, try the most counter-intuitive strategy you can.  It goes something like this:

  1. Walk away.  You won’t get a new perspective on a problem by staring at it the same way.
  2. Look at conventional methods of solving it.  Find, based on sheer numbers of documented success, what most people are doing.  Just as a sanity check.
  3. Visualize the problem in your head.  Walk through your solving steps without looking or thinking about the particular problem at hand.
  4. Refresh yourself.  Get something to eat or drink.  Watch something entertaining if just for a few minutes.
  5. Now go back and see the real problem again.  Just the act of taking a break can clear out your old decision channels and let you see the problem as it actually is, not as you have solved it before.

My reasons for using the mower for creative thinking is that it takes me out of the home office and off the computer.  When that environment presented its own challenge, I should have actually gone into my home office and turned on the computer right away.  The key is distance and objectivity.

This week, when faced with a perplexing problem, take the time to create some space.  Your brain is an amazing tool, but it too requires rest and maintenance.  I promise it will come back in better shape when you do that.

Worst Things First

fish headsHave you ever had one of those days where you knew you had an unpleasant task to take care of but didn’t want to do it?  It may have been a call to return with an unhappy client.  Maybe an uncomfortable conversation with an employee.  Perhaps it was a sales call that you were terrified of.

If you’re like me (or most people for that matter) you probably lost sleep the night before and once at work, began to barricade your time with busywork that would occupy every corner of the day and prevent you from the task.  If you did this correctly, you could honestly say that you would have made that call or had that conversation but were slammed with crisis after crisis.  That bought you some peace, until you came home and realized that unpleasant item would now be waiting for you the next morning…only now the situation would be even more difficult to deal with.

Pain avoidance is normal.  Most of us hate pain and our nature is to do anything to never have it.  Sadly, avoiding just won’t work in most cases.  I’ve learned over time that the best way to deal with it is to use a variation of one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for guidance.

In 1989, Stephen Covey authored one of the most popular business books of all time,

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  In this book, he detailed principles for personal and professional success.  One of them, First Things First, was clear guidance for priority and time management.   I modified that one into:

Worst Things First

Like ripping off a Band-Aid, eating your Brussels sprouts first, or doing things like making the scary call or having that dreaded conversation, getting stuff out of the way is the best way to power through.  The longer an uncomfortable task is avoided, the harder it will be to recover from it.

Years ago, when stationed overseas at NAVCOMMSTA Harold E. Holt in Western Australia I befriended a group of SEABEES, the Navy construction folks that ran the public works department on base.  Their division officer was universally hated by the group and after enduring him for two years, they came up with a fitting farewell gift.  The night before his car was crated to be sent on the two-month journey back to the States, they stuffed a bag of fish heads under the front seat.  Imagine what that would have smelled like when he retrieved it?

That’s what happens the longer one of your uncomfortable goes unaddressed.  Fish heads are nasty, but it’s better to handle them on Day 1 then on Day 60.

This week, think about those “fish head” tasks you’ve been avoiding.  Why not get busy doing the Worst Things First and free up your time, energy, and emotional health?

 

 

 

Follow the Leader

s-l300Leadership is a big word in corporate-speak today.  It brings up images of company culture and vision with a little mindfulness tossed in to be trendy.  That’s not what I’m talking about.

There are two kinds of people in this world:  Leaders and Followers.  Which one are you?  Which is the right one?  I don’t have any clear answers except that each has risk and rewards.

This morning (and it seems nearly every Monday or Tuesday morning) I boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to my usual destination typically through Baltimore, MD.  Southwest boards through a structured letter and number system, beginning with those passengers holding an “A” position, followed by “B” and “C” and with numbered positions in between.  Usually the boarding time is printed on your boarding pass and this morning it kicked off at 0530.  About 0520 I decided to take my position at A-23.  I was the first one.  It took exactly 8 seconds for other people to pop up out of their seats and take their places in line.  No official announcement was made.  People just followed the leader.

Now there’s nothing philosophical about this although certainly there is some psychology involved.  It’s really not all that significant but since I had nothing else to write about this week and I notice this all the time, I thought it would be good to talk about.  Being a Leader has the following rewards:

  1. You Automatically Stand Out.  Some people don’t mind this.  Most people prefer to blend in.  Whether you are right or wrong, you make a stand when you take the lead.  If nobody follows, you look a little naked.  If everyone jumps in, you look like, well, a leader.
  2. You Set the Pace and the Trend.  There is a benefit to this.  You can be the first to start a new movement.  You can coin a new term.  You can define a new path and chart a new course.  There is no wrong way for you if you define the way.
  3. You Become Synonymous with the Way.  If you’re first, you become recognized as the standard.  We “Google” things, not search for them.  We drink a “Coke” not a cola.  We sit in the “Jacuzzi” not the hot tub.

Being the Leader also has risks:

  1. You Automatically Stand Out.  Once you’re out there, there’s no turning back.  If you jump up to be first just realize you’ll get the blame if things turn out poorly.
  2. You Set the Pace and the Trend.  Innovation has a high probability of failure.  Your great idea might start off with a great deal of promise (Blackberry® or QR Codes) but quickly become the face of dated futility.
  3. You Become Synonymous with the Way.  Decades ago, Earl Scheib developed an innovative system of painting automobiles in branded shops.  It was revolutionary.  Unfortunately, Earl Scheib’s quality was notoriously low.  As a kid, I remember going with my dad to pick up his newly-painted truck and seeing overspray on the tires and several drip marks.  He made Earl Scheib a verb in his lexicon (“don’t do an Earl Scheib job when you rake these leaves”).

Every day brings opportunities to lead and to follow.  You’ll have ample opportunities to do both.  Don’t be taken in and influenced by the label though.  Make good choices and learn to balance the two.  It’s a quick path to wisdom, which may be more valuable in the long run than being seen as a leader.

Enough with the Quotes Already!

As a big user of LinkedIn, I am seeing certain trends that concern me.

  1. Putting stuff on it that really belongs on Facebook (political opinions, “can this WWII veteran get 1,000 likes?” and religious stuff).
  1. Self-congratulatory aggrandizing (“Honored to be the keynote speaker at the Colonoscopy Coalition Annual Meeting”)
  1. 3 photos of self or a book cover asking strangers to pick which one looks best by selecting A, B, or C.
  1. The Boss/Leader graphic depicting bosses driving slaves while the leader is pulling them forward on a rope (and other boss/leader comparisons).
  1. People straying from their lane of expertise while positioning themselves as experts (Tony Robbins now becoming a financial and investing expert or Dave Ramsey pitching pre-packaged meal plans – this being different than a regular endorsement)

Yes, you probably think I’m arrogant and opinionated and maybe I am.  Or maybe I’m just someone who expects quality content from my network.

Which brings us to my latest pet peeve:

The cliché quotes with incorrect or assumed attributions.

Take a look at the following:

lincoln quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jesus quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) on 5 Pounds 1968 Banknote from Israel. German born theoretical physicist regarded as the father of modern physics.

Which one is legit?

Actually, if you picked Einstein you might be correct but even this attribution is not 100% confirmed.  What’s more worrisome is the fact that people look at these, nodding as if there is some pearl of great wisdom here and spreading it throughout their network.

If you ask me (and you are since you’ve read down this far), I’ll tell you my recommendations for establishing credibility and sharing wisdom via the quote.

  1. Make sure the quote is accurate.
  1. Make sure the quote is attributed to the right person.
  1. Make sure the context of the quote is correct.
  1. Don’t quote anyone. Develop your own wisdom and expertise and blog and write on it.

Sending out clichés is the lazy person’s way of attempting to inspire an audience.  You have an amazing brain in your head.  Develop and share your own wisdom.  There is always room for more in this world.