Making Performance Appraisal Effective

If someone at work says, “You did a great job,” you’ll probably accept that comment without question (and think “I’m glad someone noticed!”).  However, if another person comes to you and says, “You messed that one up,” you may reject that comment (and think “how would you know?”).  The problem is that neither judgment – praise or censure – was supported with any valid information. An ineffective performance appraisal can feel the same way.  Most organizations use some process to collect information to support an appraisal (employee self-assessment, feedback from clients and colleagues, managerial observations, etc).  Even when this information is valid, it is often not sufficient to deliver an […]

The Golden Rule of Interviewing

You probably know the old saying – he who has the gold makes the rules! But, with interviewing, there is another golden rule, one that can affect your ability to get the job you want.  Managers will hire anyone when they believe the person will create more value than they cost.  No matter what other questions you get asked during an interview, you must make sure to answer the most important questions – HOW WILL YOU ADD VALUE TO OUR COMPANY? This question may seem obvious, but I think you may be surprised at how rarely it appears in interviews.  Nowadays, companies use a wide range of selection methods including […]

So good in the interview, so bad on the job

“He was so good during the interview, so where’s the person we hired?” According to statistics released by PR News, 46% of new hires fail within 18 months, with another third rated as only fair to marginal performers – which means 81% of new hires eventually prove disappointing.  And these results continue to occur despite advanced methods we see companies use to search the globe for top talent. Poor hiring is incredibly costly for organizations, both in terms of direct expense and the opportunity cost and disruption created as people cycle through jobs.  Because of these significant costs, there is a constant stream of articles with suggestions about how to […]

Make Yourself More Valuable at Work

Jobless claims fall to 5-year low, but hiring still sluggish – that’s today’s latest headline. Good news yes, but still troubling, because it’s mostly fewer layoffs not more jobs. Things may be improving but few believe that it’s a great time to be looking for work. So, what can you do to make sure you keep the job you have?  Here are some steps you can take right now to make yourself more valuable at work. 1. Make a “line of sight” connection between your job and a critical company result. One good example comes from an L&D department. This function used traditional measures like program attendance and participant reactions, […]

Ethics Training to Address Senior Military Officers’ Bad Behavior? Not so Fast!

The New York Times reports that Defense Secretary Panetta has ordered a review of ethics training, in light of recent scandals involving CIA Director Petraeus and others. Officers have been investigated or fired for behaviors including “sexual improprieties, sexual violence, malfeasance, or poor judgment.”   What’s wrong with the training solution? The leap to ethics training as a solution reflects a common organizational bias towards training as the solution to all problems. And, as with most situations where this bias exists, training isn’t likely to make much of a dent in the problem.  The training solution is predicted on invalid assumptions: –       that the officers don’t have a clear set […]

How to be a Strategic HR Business Partner to Your Clients

If you’re in HR, you may be familiar with this common lament – “We want to stop being treated like a pair of hands and start being treated like a strategic business partner.” You want your clients to listen to your advice, to include you in strategic conversations, to seek your input before embarking on major initiatives. You want to have influence over your clients’ decisions and actions. But what do you do when you get an audience with a senior client? Do you take some solution or product that you want your client to buy into – perhaps it’s team coaching, action learning, employee engagement, or some kind of […]