Monthly Archives: November 2011

You're Worth PENNIES on the DOLLAR

You’re worth PENNIES on the DOLLAR

It’s true! Research shows that $.75 on EVERY dollar that employers spend on employees is wasted.
Here’s why: when a person is hired to fill a position, they provide a set of solutions by performing certain tasks within an organization.
Few organizations that I have coached/consulted actually conduct an assessment of the individual’s core competencies, to expand the job description to include all of the skills that you possess and the things you do REALLY well (core competencies.)
If you are really strong in say 6-8 key areas, your job may only allow/require you to use 2-3 of those skills in your day to day roles and responsibilities. That’s 25% of your full talent potential.
According to a Global Workforce Study conducted by Towers Perrin in March, 2008, only 21% (1 in 5) of the employees surveyed are “engaged” in their work, and 38% admitted being partly to fully disengaged. Engagement was defined as employees willing to go the extra mile to help their company succeed.

The other things you do really well and maybe are most passionate about remains dormant…UNUSED in that organization that is paying you for your collective experience, training and skill sets.These wasted skills when applied to EVERY employee could be the difference maker in organizations remaining competitive, esp. in times like today when precious resources CANNOT be squandered.

In a 2008 study by Resources Global, 80% of global HR leaders believe the “war on talent” is a key & enduring business issue in the next ten years. How can this be reconciled against employer claims that there is a lack of qualified/skilled labor? It can’t!
What if organizations took a DIFFERENT approach to talent management…

What would happen if your company constantly assessed its people’s strengths, took active steps to expand their talents and skill sets through training, moved their employees into other jobs to make BETTER use of their untapped talents, and created opportunities for employees to experience the entire organization by conducting job rotations, work-sharing, and cross-functional team-based work flows?
Taken to the extreme, organizations could create entirely NEW roles for each employee, in order to take advantage of their many unused talents, skills, and passions?

It is relatively EASY to conduct a human capital audit for each of your employees.
You match the employee roles and responsibilities in their current job to their core competencies. Once yo identify their unused talents, you create a mini career development plan to determine the time frame their manager to incorporate those unused talents that the manager and employee agree to incorporate into their daily workflow. There are tools that you can rely on to help you manage this MATCHING process. I’ve developed a Human Capital Audit web application that helps organizations to do this.
“…at a time when companies are looking for every source of potential advantage, the workforce itself represents the largest reservoir of untapped potential.”
– Julie Gebauer, Towers Perrin Managing Director
By matching employee skills to their daily job requirements, organizations would develop a workforce filled with top-performing employees (the Jack Welsh model with only type A – Star employees.) You would create an entirely engaged, motivated, and passionate workforce.
That in turn would foster a higher level of employee loyalty, retention, and a wealth of new ideas creation flooding your organization with new products and services, more effective ways to find, keep, and up-sell clients, more efficient operations, reduced costs, better inventory management, quality control measures, etc.
Think of the commensurate benefits gained by organizations that embraced such talent management practices. You would have much higher employee attendance, greater productivity, stronger financial performances. you would have a world filled with world-class organizations like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Disney, SAS, Boston consulting Group, Hasbro, Wegmans, Cisco, etc.
* 88% of U.S. workers consider themselves creative BUT only 63% said their positions were creative.
* 75% of survey respondents thought their employers valued creativity.
* One in five said they would change jobs, even if it meant LESS money to be MORE creative.
(Survey conducted by IPSOS Research in 2007 to 564 adults commissioned by the Fairfax County, VA Economic Development Authority for the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy.)
Instead, many organizations remain content to achieve relatively low returns on their aggregate investment in their workforce. This is especially true when you factor in ALL of the costs associated with employees such as: recruiting costs, salaries, benefits, training and professional development, social security and other expenses mandated by law, equipment, utilities, rent/mortgage costs, insurance, and incidentals.
Only when organizations realize their employees are the GREATEST asset and work to cultivate that resource for competitive advantage will they unleash the full potential of their workers.

Ethical Business Organizations Are MORE Profitable!

Ethical Business Organizations Are MORE Profitable

Organizations that do good are more successful in the markets they compete in. Stated bluntly: Ethical businesses that do right…do better!
As a business coach, I always remind my clients if they implement ethical practices, it will have a direct POSITIVE impact on their bottom line. It turns out, there is an entire field (heck a global “Who’s Who”) of organizations that prove this is TRUE.
Check out this year’s list of 110 companies that have been awarded the prestigious “World’s Most Ethical Companies” distinction.
These organizations, which represent a broad range of sectors/industries, have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past three years, during the Great Recession.

What does it mean to lead an ethical organization?

First off, you don’t just HAVE an ethical organization…you BUILD it!
You start by defining the organizational values and beliefs that are important.
This step seems to get lost with most of the entrepreneurs and start-ups that I consult with. However, it is often EASIEST to include ethical behavior/morality as part of the organization’s BUSINESS plan BEFORE a business is formed, then grows and becomes entrenched in its artifacts and hard-wired behaviors.
More than anything else though, ethical organizations are created by ETHICAL LEADERS!
Ethical leaders can be identified and are placed into positions based on the specific innate traits and skills they possess/exhibit. The qualities they possess are courage, generosity, modesty, benevolence, fairness, justice, self-control, and sociability.

Ethical leaders display a keen sense of altruism by promoting the best interests of others (most notably their followers), at the expense of ethical egoism or acting in their OWN best interests. They are “hardwired” towards utilitarianism – the act of creating the greatest good for the greatest number of people. They always try to maximize social benefits while minimizing societal costs.
According to Ronald Heifetz: “Leaders help their followers confront and overcome conflict by effecting change.”
Robert Greenleaf’s extensive research into the field of ethical (“servant”) leaders found the following:
* Leaders should be attentive to the concerns of their followers, and empathize with/nurture and care for them.
* Leadership is given to people that should serve others.
* Caring leaders always help followers become more knowledgeable, free, and autonomous.
Social responsibility to care for the have-nots.
Simon (Sinek) says GREAT leaders ask: “Why…What…How?”
A field of leadership study called the STYLE approach assessed how ethical leaders actually behave. Ethical leaders with a strong employee orientation engage followers (direct reports) with a strong human relations focus. These leaders care about their people (also referred to in leadership studies as the “consideration” approach.)
Given the importance of caring leaders in developing ethical organizations, why are so many institutions run by poor leaders? The answer…”they’re NOT!” They are MANAGED by people that were given positions of immense authority not based on their ability to lead but some other factor(s). The practice of putting people that are ill-equipped to lead into top positions has a special name…it’s called the “Management TRAP.”
If ethical behavior is a straight path to profit, why are so many heads of organizations ethically “challenged” these days? I mean, the list (of unethical organizations) goes on and on…British Petroleum, Bernie Madoff, News Corp, Monsanto, Exxon/Mobile, Halliburton, Adelphia, Global Crossing, Worldcom, Arthur Andersen, Enron, Phillip Morris… Clearly, while being ethical has a direct correlation with success, unethical organizations can turn a buck or (a few billion.)
An outgrowth of ethical business practices can be found in corporate social responsibility and the Green Movement. This is not the same thing as organizations putting a positive spin on their activities only to achieve goodwill/positive PR. Rather, ethical organizations exhibit a genuine concern/passion for positively impacting society long after they’re gone.
The take-away for organizations is, even if you don’t care about practicing ethical behavior for altruistic reasons then I propose your organization pursue them as a means of staying competitive.
Some great resources to explore this topic further:
* Joanne B. Ciulla: “Ethics, the Heart of Leadership.”
* Robert Hoyk & Paul Hersey: “Ethics and Employees.”

So…what do you think?

Use Social Media for Your Personal Branding

Use Social Media to Build Your Personal BRAND


Social media is all the rage these days. You see it EVERYWHERE! Virtually the whole world is one global online social networking village, between the 800 million users on Facebook and 120 million on LinkedIn.
How can you build your personal brand in this global network, without having your voice drowned out?
First, you need to understand that social media is another marketing platform through which you can extend your personal brand. Define your core competencies, values, beliefs, qualifications, and interests. Your strategy to build your brand online should supplement/suport your offline networking activities an more traditional marketing efforts (PR, print, broadcast, outdoor advertising, direct mail, etc.)
To that end, you MUST develop a strategic social media plan that integrates with your marketing plan and includes the following:
* A comprehensive and COMPELLING definition of your personal brand in significant detail with core messaging including your value proposition, core competencies and unique selling proposition – WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?;
* The segments you plan on targeting;
* The 3-4 industries you wish to pursue;
* Industry associations, networking groups, blogs, events, think tanks, consortiums, journalists, and subject matter experts.
Armed with your strategic social media plan, you need to limit the scope of your approach so it is manageable. Begin by completing your FREE profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and MeetUp. Commit to investing 15-30 minutes each weeknight and 45 minute to an hour each weekend day for 1-2 months.
You will need to create your own website and blog to serve as the core of your social networking efforts. Two of the more popular blogging services that are both FREE are Google Blogger and WordPress.
WordPress is a much more robust publishing platform. There are many free seminars/workshops/courses offered online and near you that can help you get started.
A blog is a recurring regularly scheduled article you publish on specific topics. The typical length is 600-800
Understand that there are certain guidelines you should follow when developing your social media strategy. For starters, it’s NEVER about the QUANTITY or size of your network but the QUALITY of your online relationships. A great TOP-10 list from Shama Hyder Kabani’s: “the zen of social media marketing“:
* Decide where you stand on the types of relationship you want to have and the kind of information you want to disseminate.
* Determine what constitutes social media and the social networking resources you can utilize.
* Clarify who owns what when it comes to the content you create directly or re-purpose/republish from others.
* Keep all your confidential information PRIVATE.
* Decide who is responsible for creating, distributing, and monitoring as well as performing analytics to gauge your social media ROI.
* Dictate the rules of engagement without being a dictator.
* Address taboo topics.
* Have a system for monitoring the social sphere.
* Make training easily available for all your employees that are tasked with being social media ambassadors in your organization
* Have a crisis plan – see Blackberry!
There are a Gazillion resources out there to get started. A random list of the more popular ones include:
All top
Social Media Today