by Gary Brose
When I wrote my first book, I detailed the 8 Essential Elements of a Quality Bonus Program and how to construct it … in great detail. Later, I realized that as helpful as that was to managers who had to design some kind of reward program for the employees, it failed to address many of the key issues that I take for granted. The truth is, a good bonus program does not work if you are flailing in every other management category. Bonuses work great to keep people focused on the most important parts of their job but a good bonus system is only one of the seven steps to higher productivity. If you are underwater on the other six, you’ve got big problems.
So, I wrote “The Ultimate Motivated Employee!” and I borrowed from the wisdom of many who have gone before us (and some that are still with us) to focus the reader on understanding human nature better. I cite some well-stated business wisdom such as Jim Collins “Get the right people in the bus and in the right seat” and then I help the reader grasp how that plays out on their level.
This book is meant to be a chance for a beginning manager to start formulating how they will manage and to be a moment for a veteran manager to re-examine their style. We can all be better at what we do but it takes a little thought. I just help the process along a bit. And, to spice it up, I have added a score of stories about real life events that illustrate motivational techniques and help the reader understand more clearly. You will read about Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, and how he got his start. You’ll get the story on how Fed Ex first hired Christos Cotsakos as a cargo handler who then went on to become a Corporate VP and the CEO at E*Trade. And you’ll find out what Hemingway, Napoleon, Khrushchev and Yogi Berra all had in common.
When it comes to understanding the science of motivation, I believe this book is the place for business people everywhere to start.
by Michael Patterson
There are organizations today who bypass structured on-boarding, training, and development programs for their employees. Managers may spend more time selecting, training, and rewarding their new puppy at home than they do their employees at work. The truth is, many people can relate better to dogs than they do people. You wouldn’t bring a 200lb St. Bernard home to a studio apartment. Then you shouldn’t hire an employee who doesn’t possess the skills and characteristics needed for the job, or whose values and work-ethic doesn’t align with your company’s culture. As I dog owner, I wouldn’t expect my new puppy to know how to sit and stay without the proper training and reinforcement. As a manager, I shouldn’t expect a new employee to perform effectively at his or her job without providing the proper training, coaching, and motivation either. In Sit Stay Succeed! Michael Patterson places into your hands his innovative approach for coaching, motivating, and developing your employees so they will exceed expectations. It’s a system straight from the dog’s mouth; no bones about it.
by Sharon Armstrong
“It’s not supposed to be this way,” writes HR specialist Sharon Armstrong in the introduction to her new book, “The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional,” published in May 2010 by Career Press (www.theessentialperformancereviewhandbook.com).
Although performance reviews are actually less popular than a trip to the dentist for most supervisors (see that study below), the good news is that Sharon Armstrong — the woman who began her career in Human Resources in 1985 as a recruiter/trainer in a large Manhattan law firm and launched her own HR consulting business in the year 2000 — has found a way to take the pain out of the process.
Her new book offers 224 pages of advice on how to make the process productive, painless, and effective. The reason is simple. She’s been there.
“I know from firsthand experience that performance appraisals can be one of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of work life—for both supervisors and employees,” Armstrong says. “Appraisals are meant to clarify and reward, and to be interactive and fair. They take real time, real dialogue, and a real focus on the future, rather than just the previous few months. And they need to work successfully for all employees—not just the terrific ones.”
The reality: Why supervisors and employees fear performance review
Too often, Armstrong realizes, performance reviews don’t work.
“Supervisors often complain they are required to focus on tedious written forms, but don’t have enough training in how to use them,” she says. “They also worry about getting hit with complaints or lawsuits when there’s even a hint of discussion in the review about ‘improvement opportunities’. And there’s also the frustration of measuring intangibles.”
What’s more, employees often aren’t any happier about the performance review process.
“Anyone who is in the HR business knows that employees just plain dread appraisals, citing feelings of trepidation from one error that dragged on through 10 categories of the performance review, and frustration with perfunctory appraisals that neither acknowledge nor foster growth,” Armstrong adds. “As one employee told me, ‘The perception of the individual or relationship often dictates how critical or complimentary a supervisor can be.’ ”
Why does one of the most vital workplace responsibilities show a shabby face?
Armstrong cites statistics and surveys to explain the problem:
• A 2006 survey by the Council of Communications Management (https://www.ccmconnection.com) confirmed what almost every employee knows—that positive feedback related to their efforts, and recognition for a job well done, are the top motivators of employee performance.
Through formal evaluations and regular informal routes, performance appraisals yield excellent opportunities to motivate. Yet the process is frequently counterproductive, or viewed merely as perfunctory.
• According to the United Kingdom’s Institute of Personnel and Development (http://www.cipd.co.uk), one in eight managers would prefer to visit the dentist than carry out a performance appraisal.
It’s not supposed to be this way. Rather than a painful yearly event, performance evaluation can be viewed as a culmination of small meetings, formal and informal, held throughout the evaluation period.
The good news: The Essential Performance Review Handbook offers help
“Happily,” Armstrong says, “the elements involved — goal setting, effective observation, practical documentation, and ongoing communications — can all be learned.”
Inside The Essential Performance Review Handbook you’ll find:
- Sound guidelines
- Sample evaluation forms
- Helpful insights for use on both sides of the desk
- Do’s and don’ts
- Tips for “owning” the appraisal
- Ways to leverage the review
The book is divided into nine chapters:
Chapter 1: The Roots of Anxiety
Chapter 2: Forget Winging It!
Chapter 3: Appraisals That Don’t Bite
Chapter 4: Mission: Possible
Chapter 5: The Many Facets of Compensation
Chapter 6: Rating Error Traps
Chapter 7: When Appraisals Derail
Chapter 8: Keep It Legal
Chapter 9: Performance Reviews in a Changing World