Showing posts from July, 2011

10 “Don’ts" When it Comes to HR Metrics

I am asked what lessons I have learned when it comes to HR metrics a lot when I am speaking.There are so many lessons as this field has come such a long way in such a short period of time. When I first started reading and speaking on the subject back in the late 1990’s the top HR measure was cost per hire.Fast forward to today and we can analyze things like: PREDICT ING who will be successful in our organization by using recruiting and performance data and we can PREDICT who is at risk for leaving our organization.Fascinating, and the possibilities are endless.Here is a shortened version of my lessons learned in regards to HR metrics.(They are in no particular order)Don’t just start measuring the usual suspects, start with your organizational strategy and work from thereDon’t copy your neighbor’s HR metrics for the reason listed aboveDon’t use benchmarks for the sake of benchmarking because average does not equal better resultDon’t just email metrics out and expect your managers to un…

Six Employee Engagement Ideas to Help Re-engage Your Employees After An Economic Crisis

A lot of what you hear today from HR executives and consultants is the issue of employee engagement. Are your employees engaged or does it just seem that way? Do you feel your employees get what the company strategy is and are they helping to really achieve it?  This is a re-post but I still believe that we are all facing uncertainty within our workforce. I feel as though we are seeing things improve (slowly) but many of our employees are still not sure of their future. If you are looking for a few ideas to re-engage your employees, read the list below to see how you can make a difference. For your employees, for your leaders as we optimistically look for a more solid recovery from this economic crisis: 1.Increase employee communications ·Bad news is better than no news ·Build trust - be open and forthcoming with information ·Seek feedback from direct reports ·Be innovative – design new methods for employees to communicate with management ·Be a good listener - allow employees to vent and expr…

Identify Your Managerial Style - Who Are You?

Since there have been numerous articles on retention of employees every HR executive should be asking 2 very important and mission critical questions as a strategic partner with your CEO: (1)what kind of manager am I?, and (2) what kind of managers do I have in my organization? (this includes your CEO too). As we all know, the biggest untapped opportunity within your organization is how managers and you as a manager shape the way people work together to deliver results. So, what kind of manager are you?a micro-manager (you know what this is), an arms length manager (macro-manager), a cloistered manager,  a secret manager (never tell the staff anything even the need to know stuff), a good people manager, a task master, an on and on. Well, I extend the challenge to each of you to look inside yourself and ask those 2 very important questions. Then you should reflect to see if your style is getting the best results from each individual, department, group, and business. If the answer is ye…

Performance Management and The Atlanta Public School System

Our Atlanta City Public School System has been in the news lately for its highly publicized cheating scandal. You can read about this here and here.

Being an Atlanta native, it breaks my heart on many levels, the worst being what this has done to our children and all for what? More dollars in the bonus checks of high-ranking APS employees. I cringe every time I see that logo. "Our focus...Student Success," at what cost?
I do not have all the facts in this case, all I know is what I have read and heard on our local and national news on the subject. But at the heart of the matter, these teachers and schools were being rated and bonused based on CRCT standardized test scores.

Of course, that made me think as performance management is something I do know a little something about. Did anyone at APS ever hear that, "What gets measured gets done?" And just sometimes employees take this to the extreme to make more money.

I have no idea what the teacher's and principal'…

What Legacy Media Can Learn from Eastman Kodak

What do you do when your industry is changing? What do you do when your innovations are fueling the changes? Those problems have plagued Eastman Kodak Co. for three decades and the company’s experience provides some lessons for those running legacy media businesses.

Eastman Kodak’s success began when it introduced the first effective camera for non-professionals in the late 19th century and in continual improvements to cameras and black and white and color films throughout the twentieth century. Its products became iconic global brands.
The company’s maintained its position through enviable research and development activities, which in 1975 created the first digital camera. Since that time it has amassed more than 1,100 patents involving electronic sensing, digital imaging, electronic photo processing, and digital printing. These developments, however, continually created innovations damaging to its core film-based business.
Digital photography created a strategic dilemma for the compan…

Capacity for Change: New Skill Set for Employees?

I thought long and hard last week about an individual's capacity to handle change in the workplace. So many times when we are called in on a project we are changing something in the organization. Whether it is strategy or a performance management system. The way things used to look, now look different. And every time we are involved in a change project, we have those employees that embrace change and those that go and hide in a corner.
I am wondering if through this recession, we have increased our personal capacity for change?
I mean people have lost jobs, people have lost their homes and finances....but I hear stories of resilience and perseverance.
Then, I thought about my own situation I am going through all of life's greatest changes all at once and I feel I have a different perspective on change. It almost makes me feel like if change isn't happening something is wrong.
Back to the organization...change is here to stay and I believe change is even more prevalent n…

A Day in the Life of a Consultant-Post Recession

So you think you want to be a consultant. You better think about it long and hard. It's not the glamorous "get on an airplane and bill $3K a day life" that has been rumored.
It's tough out there. Clients are more informed than ever, competition is stiff and pricing is all about who is the best negotiator. We have been involved in bidding where large companies "give" the business away because they have extra capacity and they "just can." TOUGH!
Before you order those business cards, here is a day in the life of Cathy Missildine-Martin, Consultant and HR Rock Star!
A typical day starts (7:00AM) by scanning Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, WallStreet Journal and Google to see what's going on in the business world. Then, if it is blog day, I have to get inspired to write something interesting that HR professionals will read and retweet. This inspiration usually comes in the shower or from something experiential from a client, colleague or student.…

News of the World Closure Shows the Business Cost of a Bad Reputation

The decision to close the News of the World in the UK because of the fallout from the phone hacking scandal shows the importance of ethical behavior and public credibility for media firms.

The paper had been hacking the private communications of celebrities, politicians, crime victims, and even relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and then spent four years trying to cover it up by paying hush money and—according to some reports—bribing police officers to ignore its crimes.

The paper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., was Britain’s largest selling Sunday newspaper until it spectacularly unraveled in recent weeks. Continuing revelations of illicit activities and the announcement of Parliamentary and police investigations led advertisers including Ford, Sainsbury, Lloyds Banking Group, Virgin Media, Dixons, and Vauxhall to pull their advertising.

Perhaps it was embarrassment—but it was more likely the loss of revenue, the loss of almost $3 billion in market value for the parent c…

You As A Manager

How many times have you asked yourself how am I as a manager? I can tell you that I asked that question to myself at least once a week for 30 years in business. I am sure you are like me, you want to constantly improve as a person and as a manager so that the people that work for you respect you and not fear you. I also asked my subordinates how I was as a manager once a month in our staff meeting to make sure that we were(1) on the same page in tasks and timetables,(2) that we were moving in the same direction on projects and people issues,(3) we were aware of each others issues so we did not bump into each other or do double work. 

I always made sure that I was a boss first and friend second. I really do not have to go into the details of how you do that or discuss why you may think it should be reversed. And with that here are the challenges you may face :

co-worker issuesmotivating team membersperformance reviewsproviding enough resources for workers to succeedcareer pathing where y…
Happy 4th of July America

MySpace Sale Underscores the Risks of Exuberant Digital Investments

The decision by News Corp. to dump MySpace once again reveals the risks of over exuberance toward digital companies that do not have a proven business model or long-term customer loyalty.

There are plenty of digital investments that meet those requirements, but a number of the most hyped firms moving toward IPOs and acquisitions do not. They need to be considered with hard headed pragmatism.

MySpace was launched 2003 and rapidly became the toast of the digital world as a social networking site and “the place” for musical stars and fans to connect. By 2005 it was the fifth most visited site on the Internet.

New Corp., which was anxious to benefit from growth in digital media, jumped at the opportunity to acquire the service and paid $580 million in 2005. It was an enormous price for a company with an unclear revenue potential.

Within two years MySpace had grown to be the world’s number one social networking site and was receiving 100 million unique monthly visitors. But it still had revenu…

Why Do Employees Hate Change?

Suppose your supervisor offered you a 50% increase in pay, and 2 weeks of additional vacation just because she thought you were a great employee.  Would you accept the changes?  How likely are you to dig in your heels and refuse them because you don’t like change? For many years, William Gould and I as well attributed organizational resistance to change to the fact that people simply hate change.  I no longer think that is true.  It’s not that employees hate change, but rather we don’t like the personal aspects of change that will adversely impact us, and our jobs.  The most basic question we often ask ourselves upon hearing of change is, “What is the worst possible way this will affect me?”  When there are losses (either real or perceived) associated with change, we are more likely to resist.  Why do you think employees resist organizational change? Credit by: William Gould of