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• Don’t sugarcoat the truth. You may think that your employees would much rather hear that everything is going to be okay when it’s really not. What your employees want to hear is the truth— what the real problems are, what you’re planning to do about them, and how your employees can help get past the coming change—and not some sugarcoated version of it. And when things get really bad, being straightforward and honest with your employees during a crisis will not only help you get through it but also continue to pay dividends in employee goodwill after the crisis has come and gone.
THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MANAGEMENT
• Get employees involved. Giving employees some measure of control over their destiny at work by encouraging them to take part in discussions and decision making will improve their morale while providing you with a valuable source of expertise that you might be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
• Keep the vision alive. One of the most important things that leaders do in organizations is to paint a vision for the future. While an organization’s vision gives employees something to strive for when things are going smoothly, it is especially important in times of great change when chaos and confusion often reign. When things are at their worst, a compelling vision stands as a shining lighthouse that will both inspire your employees in trying times and guide their efforts toward a common purpose.
-------------------------- POP QUIZ! ----------------------------------
A fundamental issue in managing today is managing change in a positive and productive way. After reflecting on this chapter, answer the
following questions about change in your life and role as a manager:
1. What is your most common approach to change, and how does that help or hurt you in situations you encounter?
2. What effective strategies have you used when you felt confused or overwhelmed in your life?
3. Have you ever helped a friend or associate who was going through a difficult period? What seemed to be most helpful to him or her?
4. Are there warning signs you could have noticed leading up to a crisis you’ve experienced? Could you have dealt with things in a way that diverted or minimized the problem?
5. What are three benefits of change that you can get excited about?
Leadership: The People Thing
Hiring and Retaining the Very Best People
IT'S A NEW WORLD OUT THERE . . . Hiring and . . .
How to find (and keep) the very best people.
The hiring process explained.
Where to find the best candidates.
Interview skills demystified.
Picking your best candidate and making an offer.
LEADERSHIP: THE PEOPLE THING
HIRING (AND KEEPING) GREAT PEOPLE
Finding and hiring the best candidates for a job have never been easy. It’s your job, however, to first understand exactly what qualities you’re looking for in your new employees, and then to identify them in your job candidates. Here are some of the qualities that most employers look for when hiring new employees:
• Hard working: There’s nothing that will throw a manager into a paroxysm of rage faster than having an employee who slacks off and who doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the words “hard working.” Employees who are willing to work hard often go above and beyond the call of duty in serving customers and in attending to the needs of their organizations. As competition in global marketplaces continues to heat up, employees who go above and beyond the call of duty may be the one thing that differentiates organizations that succeed in the long run from organizations that don’t.
• Good attitude: By “good attitude,” we mean people who are positive, friendly, and willing to help customers, clients, and coworkers. As you question potential job candidates, it’s important to try to get some idea of what they’ll be like to work with for the next 5 or 10 years. Skills are important, but attitude is even more important. As highly successful Southwest Airlines puts it: “Hire for attitude, train for success.”
• Experienced: Experienced employees are worth their weight in gold. Not only are you more likely to get a better, higher quality work product in less time, but you’ll also have someone that is ready to perform at maximum potential in a few days rather than the weeks or months it would take to train someone who is not experienced.
The Management Bible
When you interview job candidates, be sure to take the opportunity to ask very pointed questions that require your candidates to demonstrate to you that they can do the job.
• Go-getter: This quality is the ability to take initiative to get work done. In an Internet survey that Bob conducted for his book, 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work (New York: Workman, 1999), initiative was ranked as the top reason that employees were able to get ahead where they work (which makes this quality something both you and your potential new hires should be interested in).