Performance Management in the age of transparency

What have you done for me lately? It's a vital question for both manager and employee.

The answer is readily apparent with increasing ease and frequency. As information flow and transparency become ubiquitous in the workplace, managers have everything necessary to provide real-time feedback. 

We can be nimble and, in turn, help our teams and companies do the same. The days of the regimented quarterly and annual performance reviews are over.

We interact with our teams multiple times a day, dozens of e-mails, information shared on intranets, wikis, social media, project tracking software, etc. Very few...


Is Your Organization Prepared to Support Virtual Work?

Whether your virtual teams are in the formation stage or have been operating for a few months – it is critical to ensure that they are set up for success and get off to a good start.  Organizations that proactively plan how to structure their virtual teams to set them up for success will see a better return on their investment than those that do not.
Here are some other guidelines to follow to ensure your organization will maximize its investment in remote work:
Keep Your Virtual Teams At a Manageable Size



Cultural fit trumps skills

According to experts, candidates with the right skills are being overlooked by employers more interested in "cultural fit" and alignment of core values with their company. In fact, cultural fit has become so important to hiring managers that it now often rates above a 100 percent match to the necessary technical skills.

In a recent article it was stated that this trend is being seen across a wide range of industries and even in highly-skilled roles like project management. Experts are saying that for most roles, soft skills and cultural alignment is more important than technical ability. ...


Costly Unpaid Internships

An important customer, client, colleague or business partner asks an executive if her son can intern with your company for the summer.  Don’t worry about the money, she says.  My son is only looking for the experience.

As we approach the summer, expect more of these requests.  I personally have received quite a few already!

Sounds like a classic “win-win.”  The intern learns something and you strengthen an important relationship at no cost. So, the executive says “of course.”  Not so fast, please!

There have been several recent high-profile cases in which interns have alleged that...


More motion is just that!

We (Americans) live in a “take action” culture, a culture of the “yankee work ethic” in which incremental effort and pressing the nose harder to the grindstone supposedly leads to success and rewards. We are also a culture of immediate gratification the “I-want-it-now-quick-fix-diet-pill-plastic-surgery-100% LTV loan” society.

Don’t get me wrong, those traits are to be admired when put to good purpose. They have helped to make us the innovative, industrious, can do leader of the modern world. But they can often (as in a crisis) work against us.

Here is the inevitable confusion: Because some hard work...


Optimizing Talent in the New Workforce

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about talent management in terms of the new workforce.  We’re starting to see the signs that the economy is going to rebound.  When that happens, the speculation centers around whether companies will go back to their old ways and just start hiring people or will the new workforce be a blend of freelancers and consultants along with employees.

As you may guess, my bets are on the latter.  At least for a few years, I think we’ll see more permatemps in the workplace.  Which prompts a question about the best way to...


#NEXTCHAT RECAP: Promoting the HR Profession to Millennials

Each day HR professionals in companies of all sizes are addressing issues related to planning for the eventual departure of baby boomers from the workplace.  There is much talk of succesion planning as it relates to filling key positions and roles within these companies.  
In the midst of these conversations, another question needs to be raised: "Who will succeed our current generation of HR professionals?" 
On  April 18 at 6 p.m. ET, Curtis Midkiff, SHRM's "Social Media Guy", hosted #NextChat and tackled questions such as Who's Next? -- Who will be the...

How to Quickly Overcome Inexperience

10 dangers of inexperienced leaders:

  1. Needing to be liked.
  2. Blaming.
  3. Emotional decisions.
  4. Impulsiveness.
  5. Trying too hard.
  6. Neglecting the long term.
  7. Focusing on symptoms rather than causes.
  8. Aiming without pulling the trigger.
  9. Meddling.
  10. Forget to say thank you. (Speaking of thanks, many of these points were inspired by contributors on the Leadership Freak Facebook Page. Thank you!)

10 questions every inexperienced leader must keep asking:

  1. What type of world are my behaviors building around me?
  2. How many questions did I ask today?
  3. ...

Snails, Big Companies and Bureaucracies

I’ve always held the opinion that big organizations move at a snail’s pace. Every day, we see or read about bureaucracy – government is the biggest offender. But anyone who has worked with large NGOs (non-government, not for profit organizations), or giant corporations has tasted it. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule. The most valuable business on the planet has set a wonderful example for getting things done. But unlike Apple, most big companies don’t have the will or the way to cut through the quagmire of red tape to “just do it.”  Even Procter & Gamble, a...


5 ways you can help younger managers view older workers differently

There is an explosion happening all around us.  We are getting grayer as a society - much grayer.   As a result, organizations are faced with a diversity-related challenge.   Younger managers, on a much broader level than ever before, are finding themselves in the position of having to supervise older subordinates. 

Early on in my career, I found myself in a similar position.   As a very young, first-time manager, I found myself with subordinates who were considerably older than me.   To be honest, I didn't think much of it.   A few months after becoming a manager, an employee from another...