TalentedApps

We put the Talent in Applications

  • Authors

  • Blog Stats

    • 611,364 hits
  • Topics

  • Archives

  • Fistful of Talent Top Talent Management blogs
    Alltop, all the top stories

Posts Tagged ‘job satisfaction’

Promotions and job fit

Posted by Meg Bear on August 31, 2009

200915795_801b42a1fcSo often I see managers and employees confusing promotion with recognition.  This is a real shame, as often this doesn’t work out well for anyone.

Job recognition should come from your performance review and ideally as part of regular and continuous feedback you get from your boss, your peers and others that you work with.

Too often life imitates art and managers wanting to keep someone happy,  will grant a promotion with little or no consideration to the job fit question.  Promotion involves taking on a bigger or new role and should only be done if that role is a good progression for the individual.

I’ve seen a lot of cases where this is not done well and everyone can be hurt as a result.

The most frequent promotion blunder, is putting someone in a management role when this is not a good fit for their skills.  This puts not only the individual in a tough spot, but it also impacts those unfortunate individuals who are now reporting to someone who does not understand what the job requires.  Moving into a manager role is not a path to individual recognition, but rather a complete shift in the job skills, values and priorities.

I’m growing into the belief that we need to find better and more effective ways to recognize people vs. putting so much pressure on the promotion process.

Promotion should not be the individual  goal, job fit should be the goal.

If we do a better job identifying the roles that fit us and how we can best contribute, then it is much more clear when a promotion would be needed.  A promotion is really only then needed when you outgrow your current job.  Nothing more.

If you are not getting the right kind of challenges in your role, you need a different one.  If you are succeeding at your current role and are not bored or feeling underutilized you should consider this a great job fit and celebrate your own professional nirvana.

I think the message I learned at my first yoga class fits here precisely, you are not here to compete with anyone, not even yourself.

The sooner we focus on getting our job fit right, the happier and more successful we will be.

So the next time you talk to your boss about your role, I suggest you focus the conversation on job fit.  If that takes you both to the topic of promotion then so be it, but if not, hopefully it will lead to more job satisfaction and success.

Posted in Career Development, management, performance, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

How about giving your Boss a Performance Review?

Posted by Vivian Wong on April 14, 2009

handshakeAs an employee, it’s easy to think of a Performance Review as a one way street where the manager reviews your performance. In some ways, a Performance Review is just like social networking (such as Twitter/Facebook)- some make the most of it, while others think it’s a complete waste of time.

If you make the most of your Performance Reviews, then congratulations! I hope you walk away from them knowing:

  • How you are doing at your job – what’s working and what’s not
  • Suggestions/Action items for growth
  • Hope for continued career growth – honest discussion so your manager can help align your strengths and career aspiration with the business needs

You can take it one step further. 

From time to time, you should give your manager the ultimate gift as well. As Meg noted in her Managing Your Boss blog, part of your job is to help your boss succeed. Just like your manager lets you know how you are performing, you should reciprocate and give your manager some feedback on how they are doing as your boss – all relationships (work or personal) thrive on a two-way communication.

So ask yourself: 

  • What is it that your manager does that either helps or hinders you from performing your best
  • Do you want your manager to continue or stop a particular behavior? 
  • What do you want your manager to start doing to bring out your potential?

I am betting that I am not the only manager who appreciates honest feedback from my team. 

For example, I would definitely want you to tell me if I have broccoli stuck in my teeth  or that I was abrasive in my communication or worse, I am de-motivating you unknowingly. I would also like to know if I am doing enough for you and whether  I am providing the right level of support to help you grow

It’s one thing to do the best I can, it’s another to know that my efforts have the desired effect;  and if not, I’d be happy to make improvements and be a better leader and manager!

So go ahead – give your manager some feedback – it might even help your manager to help you in finding happiness at work.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

When in Rome….

Posted by Vivian Wong on September 9, 2008

“Half of the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say but keep on saying it.” – Robert Frost

Photo taken in Oman

Food Court @ Oman

Since we all live and work in an increasingly global environment, I thought I should share some the interesting “facts” I have learned over the years – hopefully you will either find them amusing or helpful in managing your culturally diverse workforce:

Numbers:

  • 4 is a bad luck number for the Chinese (same pronunciation as death) – so you may want to think twice about giving your employee a pay raise of $4444.
  • 13 is a bad luck number for the Western culture but it is actually a good luck number for the Chinese.
  • 8 is a bad luck number for the Hindus – but it is a good luck number for the Chinese.
  • 9 is a good luck number for the Hindus.

Respect:

  • It is considered disrespectful and rude if you enter an Asian household (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hindus etc) with your shoes on. You should always at least pretend to leave your shoes at the door and only put them back on if the hosts are wearing shoes inside their house and insist that you put them back on. The same with “entering” someone else’s house – don’t go into the house unless they invite you to.
  • In Asia, it’s disrespectful to disagree with your boss – especially in public. Subordinates are typically fearful of management. This is one of the many reasons why it can be very difficult to get your asia-born team members to speak up or share THEIR ideas especially in a group setting. They are either afraid of you or they are afraid of being “wrong” or “look stupid”. (“Face” i.e. looking good is very important.) I remember as a kid, I was taught to “Listen before your speak” and I was also warned to “speak carefully and accurately”. Another tip – no matter how much your employees may dislike you or your ideas, they may never tell that to your face; instead they may simply smile at you – out of courtesy. (The secret to having them open up to you is to earn their trust.)
  • Elders in Asian countries are highly respected. If they are significantly older than you, you should address them as grandma or grandpa (even if you are not related to them) or address them as uncle and auntie if they are about your parents age.
  • In Australia, it’s fine to make fun of our prime minister; while in the US and the rest of the world, it’s fine to laugh at endless Bush jokes. Laugh at a Chinese official and you could be behind bars before you even know it. (As a kid in China, we were taught to dob in anyone (including our own parents) should they make disrespectful gestures or comments (accidentally or not) about officials. My father once accidentally used Chinese newspaper to wrap a cabbage and later discovered  there was a photo of Chairman Mao on the other side of the paper – he broke out in cold sweat even though no one else was around.)
  • At the risk of stating the obvious, job titles are extremely important in the Asian culture. If you HAVE to choose between a pay raise and a promotion, promotion may be more impactful than pay raises if you are working with Asians in their native countries. (Of course in the Western culture, money sometimes speaks louder than job titles.) 
  • Middle Eastern people consider it an insult to show the soles of your feet while seated facing your host – so do not place your feet on a chair or cross your legs in such a way that you are showing the bottom of your feet!

Tradition:

  • A Hindu father should touch his newborn baby with gold – because gold is the noblest of all metals. (I wonder what the locals in Hyderabad thought of me when I visited my team there 6 months ago since I don’t wear much gold.)
  • In China, it’s regarded poor etiquette to pile up your own plate or bowl with lots of food at the beginning of a meal (when dining with a Chinese family or your colleagues) – they may not say anything but they may think you are being rude and selfish. It’s OK if THEY pile it on your plate (out of courtesy) but you should refrain from grabbing more than your next few bites.
  • Don’t buy white flowers for your Chinese date or her family – unless they are dead. (In China, white flowers are primarily used for paying respect to those who have passed away.)

Language barriers:

  • Same word may have different meanings for different English speaking countries. I learned this the hard way 9 years ago. I was asked to visit one of our clients in New Jersey and when I asked about the dress code, my VP said “smart business attire”. I jokingly said: “No thongs then?” With a big smirk on his face, he said:’You could. The client would be very happy if you do.” (OK – so I grew up in Australia, and when we say “thongs”, we mean “sandals” or “flip flops”. It is not a little piece of sexy under garment.)
  • In Australia, if someone says:
  1. “like a pickpocket at a nudist camp” – it means they are out of place.
  2. “they are in the cactus”, it means they are in trouble. (Quite a visual)
  3. “couldn’t last a round in a revolving door” – it means someone is incompetent.
  4. “they are happy as a boxing kangaroo in a fog” – it means they are depressed.
  5. “flat-out like lizard drinking” – it means they are too busy and “buggered”.
  6. if someone calls you or your employee a “singsong”, “Wally”, “dingbat”, “dingdong” – they are calling you “an idiot”. (Pick your battle!)
  7. “tired and emotional” – it means they are drunk
  8. “like a possum up a gum tree” – it means they are supremely happy. (Hopefully that’s how your employees describe their job satisfaction!)

Posted in engagement, hr, leadership, management, personal, teams | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

The ultimate gift to an employee

Posted by Vivian Wong on September 3, 2008

We all have talents and our job as managers is to bring out individual’s strengths and help them develop additional skills to be more successful at their jobs. This has a direct impact on employee engagement, retention, job satisfaction and of course the bottom line of the business. In order to do this, we need to create a safe and collaborative environment for team members to ask for help, give them resources to help themselves, as well as looking out for opportunities to challenge them to perform to the next level.
 
Easy said than done.
 
As managers we need to understand what motivates our team members to begin with (beyond money and stock), define and enforce core values with them as a team, and provide both constructive and positive feedback REGULARLY. It’s easy to give positive feedback (although we probably should do it more often) but giving constructive feedback is often the hard part of management – but it really is also the most critical aspect in helping someone with his or her professional growth.
 
On the giving front, we need to have the “right” intent. We give constructive feedback because we want someone to be more successful, not because we have an ill intent of busting him or her for doing something wrong. We need to be sensitive to the recipients and how they would react to the feedback. On the receiving end, it is important to have an open mindset and understand that constructive feedback really is something coming from someone who wants you to do better– no matter what career level you are at. I think the biggest impediment to improvement in most people is that they tend to tie their egos to problems and therefore are reluctant to identify and talk openly about improvement areas without becoming defensive. Mistakes are good – if we learn from them! It’d be wonderful if we are perfect, but to err is human. Just last week I made the mistake of spelling “Principal Developer” as Principle Developer” in a chat room. Someone kindly pointed out in a fun way and asked if the “Principle Developer” would develop principles? Instead of becoming defensive (which would have been a natural instinct), his correction actually helped me made a mental note to be more careful with my spelling. I am grateful that he didn’t want me to look silly in the future. Having the right (open) mindset in receiving constructive feedback is key to self-improvement. While some of us take time to self-reflect, we all have blind spots and we should always be thankful to those for taking the time to point out things we can improve upon so we can continue to grow! (BTW – Ken has an interesting post called Mistakes are just the icing on the cake, check it out if you haven’t read it yet!)
 
Fortunately my manager, peers and directs are very good at both giving and receiving constructive feedback. We have really helped each other grow over time. I truly believe that the ultimate gift to an individual is giving him/her honest and sincere constructive feedback to help with each other’s continued growth – the sky is the limit!

Posted in engagement, leadership, management, teams | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

How to calculate risk of loss

Posted by Justin Field on May 27, 2008

How to calculate risk of loss

Last month I wrote about the job satisfaction model for employee retention. Now I have used the model to develop a model that allows you to calculate the probability of losing an employee, based on their personal retention and turnover factors.

In my mind the risk of loss is really the probability of the loss event occurring, i.e. a decimal number between 0 and 1. So the model really is an exercise in statistics, to work out what that overall probability is. For each of the factors in the job satisfaction model, we can use the data stored in any good HRMS system to give us more information.

Poor Pay — Leads To Dissatisfaction
We could compare the employee’s rate of pay with the market rate (using their compa-ratio). A low compa-ration means they are paid under the market rate; a high compa-ratio means they are paid higher than the market rate. Therefore if the employee’s compa-ratio is 1, this would be a factor for a neutral stance.
Also, since most compensation models allow for increase of pay over time, we could look at both compa-ratio and length of time in job code. Low compa-ratio combined with long service in job code would imply dissatisfaction; low compa-ratio/short service in job code implies neutral; high compa-ratio/long service in job code implies neutral (but also implies that the worker should be ready for promotion too, and if they’re missing out on promotion then they’ll be dissatisfied — see the paragraph below); high compa-ratio/short service in job code implies neutral.

Poor Compensation — Leads To Dissatisfaction
We could look at the average bonus versus the employee’s bonus. If they are under the average then they could be dissatisfied; if they are over the average then they would be expected to be neutral.

Lack Of Promotions — Leads To Dissatisfaction
We could look at the time since last promotion. Long time period implies dissatisfaction; short time period implies neutral.

Lack Of Job Security — Leads To Dissatisfaction
We could look at the number of voluntary terminations and involuntary terminations for the employee’s job code or job family, for the last 12 months. High number of terminations implies dissatisfaction; low number of terminations implies neutral. Higher proportions of voluntary terminations imply that current/recent employees are choosing to leave the organisation, so could imply job insecurity and hence dissatisfaction; higher proportions of involuntary terminations imply that the organisation is downsizing, so could again imply job insecurity and hence dissatisfaction.

Good Leadership Practices — Increase Satisfaction
We could use the employee’s rating of manager performance in 360 reviews. Scores in the top quartile or above a certain threshold indicate satisfaction; scores in lower quartiles or below a certain threshold indicate neutral.
This could also be used to assess the manager relationship (though it’s imprecise).

Recognition — Increase Satisfaction
We could use the data around awards given to the employee to capture if the employee has received awards/recognition in the last 12 months. If yes, indicates satisfaction; if no, indicates neutral.

Feedback And Support — Increase Satisfaction
We could use the existence of completed performance reviews to measure this one. If yes, indicates satisfaction; if no, indicates neutral.
Also we could measure the difference between the employee rating and the manager rating within the performance document. If they are the same, this implies neutral. If employee is higher than manager, implies dissatisfaction or neutral. If employee is lower than manager, implies neutral or satisfaction.

Clear Direction and Objectives — Increase Satisfaction
We could use the existence of worker goals, or goal plans, and/or existence of individual development plan. If they exist, implies satisfaction; if they do not exist, implies neutral.

Weighting
The metric for each factor can be weighted, since some factors will naturally be considered more important than others, depending on the organisation and their business goals.

Risk of Loss
The risk of loss will therefore be the weighted average of all the factors that influence loss of an employee.

Using this model should help HR departments and line managers gain a better understanding of the multitude of factors that influence an employee’s decision to leave. With the risk of loss to hand, line managers can act decisively to intervene in an employee’s decision to leave and be pro-active in making changes that will retain highly-valued employees.

Posted in engagement, performance | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Job Satisfaction Model for retention

Posted by Justin Field on April 11, 2008

I’ve been studying turnover and retention recently and it led me to wonder about the real reasons for turnover.  Everybody understands that some turnover is functional (or beneficial to the organisation) and some turnover is dysfunctional (bad for the organisation).  And we all understand that some turnover is necessary, otherwise organisations would stagnate. 

So, the fundamental reason that employees leave organisations is that they are not satisfied.  Their dissatisfaction could occur on many levels.  Much published research on turnover indicates that money is often NOT the most important reason.  Employees leave for other reasons such as career growth and development, or a change in life circumstances, or factors like that.

It’s handy to think of the reasons for dissatisfaction in terms of push factors (things that make employees more dissatisfied) and pull factors (things that make employees more satisfied).  Here’s a diagram.

Job Satisfaction Model for Employee Retention
 

The factors that are going to make some MORE dissatisfied are things like:

  • poor pay
  • poor compensation
  • poor work conditions
  • lack of promotions
  • poor benefits offering
  • lack of job security

Curiously enough, if you were to fix all these factors, you’d still not get a satisfied employee.  If you fixed everything above, you’d have an employee sitting somewhere in the middle of the satisfaction scale, so they would be neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

The factors that make an employee MORE satisfied are things like:

  • good leadership in the organisation
  • good relationship with their manager
  • recognition for their achievements (not necessarily monetary recognition)
  • advancement in their careers
  • personal growth and development
  • feedback and support (meaningful feedback, not just naked criticism)
  • clear direction and objectives

So there is a lot that can be done on the positive side to increase satisfaction.  Naturally, there are of course many opportunities on this side of the house where a good talent management solution can helps things along.

Posted in engagement | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »