Monday, April 16, 2012

Compensation Dreaming

In case you missed them, here are my most recent posts over at Compensation Cafe with teasers:

The Grass Isn't Greener:  Paying more for external talent doesn't pay off.  Find out why. "You found a great person, got them to sign and they’re starting tomorrow.  You sent them information about benefits enrollment and a nice welcome video from the CEO.  But how will you convey to them all the tribal knowledge of the company they will need to navigate the new role and succeed?"

Moneyball: Whenever Brad Pitt makes a new movie I try to write a compensation post about it.  Still working on Glorious Bastards. "The reason following the pack doesn't work is that ‘talent scouts’ in every industry tend to write off talented people based on personal preferences rather than actual skills or potential."

Part of the Team: Ever wondered how many companies actually consider the families of their employees when it comes to talent strategy and rewards? "If you pay decently and treat people fairly, families tend to have a stabilizing and retentive effect on employees.  But if your corporate culture is more of the crazy-hours-combined-with-eccentric-incentives variety, you might want to up your family values game a notch."

The Young and the Restless: Written in honor of the hot date I once went on with Michael Damien, this post explores the difficulty of retaining Generation Y. "A recent Mercer What’s Working survey found that although younger workers have a higher satisfaction rating than older workers, they are also more likely to leave their current jobs.  This may seem like a paradox but it isn’t."

Is Viral Pay Contagious:  This post takes a hard hitting look at the modern practice of letting employees vote on each others' rewards. "Who typically gets voted off the island, the least qualified person or the least likeable person?  I don’t want to generalize here but the last person standing tends to be a charismatic buffoon rather than a highly competent person with an offputting personality."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Women 2.0 - Infographic

Check out this infographic on Women @ Work, courtesy of the MBA program at UNC.  Read more about it here.

Women at Work Infographic Via MBA@UNC
Via MBA@UNC MBA Online & Women 2.0

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

So What? I'm Still a Rock Star

I recently read a post about a person who’d been fired 3 times despite excellent performance reviews. You can read about it here.

Dave Ryan and I were discussing this a few weeks ago during our regular catch up and decided to write about it as our next project social topic.  You can read Dave's take on rock stars in general over at HR Official.

A few years back I managed the functional side of a large global software implementation project.  There were nine process teams scatter throughout Europe and the US and each process team had one solution expert from my team.  In all the extended team included 109 people and I depended on my solution experts to keep everything moving in the right direction.

One of the people on my team had a challenging personality but they were working on something really hard and getting it done.  There were others in the team who were easier to get along with but they couldn’t have done this particular job. 

It never occurred to me to ask this person to resign. 

Yes, I had to invest some time smoothing ruffled feathers in the team as well as providing guidance about behavior but I considered this part of my job.  And they ended up being a real team player, mentoring others and patiently helping them understand highly complex topics.

So when I read this post I asked myself:

•    Instead of telling someone not to hog credit, why not give them credit?
•    Instead of reining people in, why not give them more responsibility?
•    How the heck is it easier to fire someone than help them work more smoothly with others?

It is definitely true that skills are not everything.  Attitude matters, interpersonal skills matter, and cultural fit matters.  A good manager must put the greater good of the team ahead of their own comfort to deal with people who threaten team performance, even to the point of removing them from the team if necessary.  But that shouldn’t be the starting position.

Now, this story has several strange points, such as the fact that the person wasn’t fired but asked to resign.  That just smacks of missing information, without which we can’t really judge the case fairly.  It could be that this person was impossible to get along with, received every chance in the world, and was finally asked to resign rather than being fired out of respect for their otherwise good performance.

But let’s say they were fired as the author suggests because it was easier for the manager than dealing with the personality issues.  What is HR’s responsibility in this situation?

What would you have done?

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