It was great. I laughed, I cried, and I learned a lot!
I was wondering if you had any suggestions on low cost or low tech solutions for starting the 9 Box process for smaller companies? We are about 160 people, so not really small but we are tight on cash and I need to make a case for the value of the system before I can usually get approval for budget and I wanted to try to figure out how I can make this happen.
We are currently using ADP and it’s clunky but does the job especially for payroll.
Just wondering if you know of any lighter solutions or ways that companies have hacked this together before!
Your situation isn't unusual. You've got big plans and want to apply the best tools you can find, but like many sharp HR pros, you've got a limited budget.
Here's what I would tell you - You've got 160 employees, which means if you want to do a Performance vs Potential 9-Box and the Talent Review that should always accompany it, you're small enough to do the 9-Box manually, with an assist from Excel.
You might not need any fancy technology.
Here's how to get at the 9 box via Excel:
1. Come up with a listing of all your performance ratings, and then adjust them by percentile 0-100 for use in creating your 9-Box.
2. Next, you've got to run a similar process with the concept of Potential. Pick one of the 4 ways I talked about doing that in the webinar, then use excel to normalize those ratings of potential on the same 0-100 concept I mentioned with performance.
3. Finally, watch this video on creating a X/Y Scatterplot in Excel.
If you do a good enough job figuring out how to transition your performance/potential data to a 0-100 scale, you're going to end up with a decent 9-Box out of Excel. You might have to draw you grid lines, but you can handle that.
Let me know how the bootstrapping goes. Video below:
The last time I proposed a product/service idea for HR, it was about aggregating all the references your company takes in and selling them as a recruiting database.
Pretty good idea. There's some companies that chase it now, especially within the reference checking space.
Here's another million dollar idea. The Aggregator Killer. What's this product do? The Aggregator Killer is designed to make sure the jobs you pull off your career site actually come down off of all the ###### ######## aggregators that are out there.
The need for this product is based on of the following marketplace realities:
1. Indeed changed the whole game by aggregating job and redefining the job post.
2. Lot of competitors sprung up in that space, most with substandard tech and discipline compared to Indeed.
3. LinkedIn created their "economic graph" and basically started scraping every job known to man. They basically started "aggregating the aggregators". What could go wrong?
4. As a result of all the Indeed imitators and LinkedIn scraping those imitators, it's now really hard to ensure that after you "unpost" a job (hopefully you filled it) - that job actually goes away across the internet.
Instead, you job is still out there, and people are going to keep pinging you about it.
You can't blame the haters for chasing Indeed with a "me too" product.
But you can hate them for being slack when it comes to getting you jobs off the grid after you close or "unpost" in any way.
So here's how my Aggregator Killer is going to work. Through a rare cocktail of technology and recent Law School graduates, we're going to guarantee your job will come off all the boards.
Cost? $5 a job. Sounds expensive, right?
Sure it does. Until you get embarrassed in a million different ways by not being able to get that job down.
$5 a job. It's a bargain, people.
VCs - hit me up via email if you want to talk about funding my dream.
Some of you that are seasoned HR Pros know the cautionary tale when it comes to employee surveys. Rely on them too much or send the wrong signals to your workforce related to how they can be used, and they can become witch hunts toward capable managers with difficult workgroups.
Ordinarily, you'd think that old school industries that value authority and chain of command would shy away from using employee survey results to decide which leaders need to be "reassigned", right?
Sure you would. So, you'd like be surprised to find that the FBI is using rollup results by city to figure out where they have leadership issues. Look at the data provided through the picture below (email subscribers enable pictures or click through for graphic), secured through a freedom of information act request by the Washington Post:
Green means good. Yellow means get it together. Red means you've been reassigned to the mall detail.
"As FBI Director James B. Comey focuses the country’s premier law enforcement agency on terrorism and cyberthreats, he is leaning heavily on a little-known corporate tool to deal with a critical part of getting the job done: climate surveys.
Comey is using the surveys to help determine who should be running the most important jobs at the bureau. And in the process, he says, he wants to create a leadership factory.
In an e-mail last year, Comey let all of the bureau’s nearly 35,000 employees know just how seriously he takes the results. “For those leaders whose surveys are covered in red, we need to quickly find a path to improvement, or we need to get them out of the role,” he wrote.
Comey calls the surveys “smoke detectors.” “Red is dead,” as current and former FBI officials like to say."
The message is clear. If your survey results are in the toilet, you have to get it fixed. How much time so you get? What about factors that show you have a generally cranky workforce of g-men? The answer at the FBI is the same as it is in your company. It depends...
Trending upward on employee sentiment scores is important. Even for FBI lifers...
We did a webinar over at Fistful of Talent last week, talking about the difference between Performance and Potential (sponsored by my friends at Halogen Software). Here's a small portion of the slide deck, talking about ways that you can measure potential in your employees.
Enjoy - be the lookout for our next webinar when we talk about ways you can bootstrap your training function. (email subscribers, click through the post title to see embedded slide deck)
"Since he started in September, Matt has chauffeured students in the wee hours leaving bars, and older couples heading out to a quiet dinner. Some know who he is -- "The best comment I ever got was, 'Good driver, better hook shot'" -- and some do and pretend they don't, surreptitiously trying to take pictures from the backseat; some have no idea; and some ask because he's 6-foot-10 and 270 pounds.
Matt is more than happy to chat. He is naturally inquisitive -- in one evening driving around town, Matt discussed how to doctor quinoa to make it taste good, whether college athletes ought to be paid, what the restaurant he hopes to run someday will serve and whether the Browns should start Johnny Manziel (yes, he argued) -- and is honestly interested in what people have to say."
His shifts include picking up the recently terminated:
"She came out of the office building just as people do in the movies after they've been fired -- toting a cardboard box stuffed with her possessions.
And the thing is, Matt Stainbrook knew what had happened. When he arrived for the pickup, some superior came out and told him, "OK, we're terminating her right now."
"I'm going to play it off like I don't know she just got fired," Stainbrook says. "That's my good idea. My bad idea is, I don't know what to say. So I fumble and I say, 'Hey, how's your day going?' Yeah. She goes, 'Good' ... and it was silence for the whole ride."
There is "Taxicab Confessions," there is "Cash Cab," and then there is Stainbrook's gig, the true reality show that happens when an inexperienced, 22-year-old basketball player turns his car into an Uber taxi."
"I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete. It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter. Therefore, most of us who do this (I have taught myself to stop putting two spaces after a period and it was hard) are over 50 years of age.
Over the years, I have heard that this has been used as a method of screening out older candidates."
I'm into my 40's, and it's a natural thing for me to do two spaces. Some grammar/spacing nazis have pointed out that I shouldn't do that.
Me? I've never made the adjustment. Rather than focusing on the spacing and use of the King's English of others, I just try to write everyday and let the market/readers decide what to do with me.
I've never understood the fascination with attempting to correct others use of grammar or spacing, especially when the issues involved appear to be opinion, not fact. But age discrimination? That's something that should get your attention - do with that what you will.
If any part of you writes for a living - and we all do to some extent in any white collar job - I'm going to go out on a limb and say anyone who would eliminate you for using a double space after a sentence is someone you probably don't want to work for.
The leading ways to determine someone's age for discrimination purposes are still the following:
1. Year you graduated on your resume
2. The fact you don't put the year you graduated on your resume (you must be old)
3. Your pictures on social profiles.
4. You list "Different Strokes" as your favorite TV show.
I had the pleasure of being a gamification panelist on a Meridian Global (a great Learning Management System, check them out) L&D Hangout. Had a good time, take a view/listen below (email subscribers, click through to the site if you can't see the video below).
Gamification and HR? Learn all the lessons you need to know from LinkedIn and Trivia Crack. Take a listen and we'll tell you why on this Google Hangout!
Clicked your new profile photo to check it out - I like it!
Would love to know your opinion on a trend I am seeing as I'm screening HR Director candidates...
I used to encourage HR undergrads to pursue their MBA instead of a Masters in HR. I felt it held more value for businesses and was a tough program that would advance them in ways a specialized degree couldn't.
I am shocked at the number of candidates I am seeing with an MBA and MA in HR.
The result for me is I am losing respect for the MBA! I mean, if sooo many people can get one, is it really a tough program? Does it really demonstrate anything special anymore?
What do you think? Am I way off track with my line of thinking?
I obviously have to lead with a Groucho Marx quote here - "I'd never belong to any club that would have me as a member".
Your advice is still relevant, and if it's any consolation, lots of young HR pros took your advice, right? Now they're pissed off that people like you won't get out of the way fast enough, and in a cocktail of following AW's advice and having time on their hands - they've got more degrees than they've had jobs. I say this as someone with 3 degrees, including a MBA. But I'm Gen X - now a veteran of all this we call HR.
You're obviously seeing the explosion related to accessibility and availability of the MBA. Distance learning and lots of options has made the MBA tag a bit easy to gather, which I think means you've got to evaluate what the candidates are actually presenting in a couple of different ways:
1. Where did they pick up the MBA and did they actually have to work hard to achieve it? Traditional programs where you have to spend time in class still rule in my eyes - that commitment, along with the interaction that occurs when you have to work in groups with other humans is still the most important thing. That being said, there's a lot of online MBA programs that work the hell out of people, with University of Phoenix coming to mind. Of course, there are a lot of diploma mills as well, which is why you feel the way you do.
Good rule of thumb - any school with a directional name without reference to a state or city is a problem. Southeast Missouri? Says legit to me. Southeastern University? Wait, Southeastern where? Oh, university... <shudder>
2. The most important thing related to the MBA is what they learned and how it's changed them. With that in mind, some of your interview process has to go after what they learned from the MBA program and how they applied it. Additionally, how has it changed them? If someone really took the MBA and ran with it, when you ask them for a portfolio of their work at their job, you'd like to think they could provide that to you.
No portfolio means they checked off a box. Existence of a portfolio means it changed their worldview a bit and now are looking to create work product that helps them in the future.
I still like the MBA. I just think you'll have to do a little work to figure out what Steve Martin learned in The Jerk - what's S*** and what's Shinola.
I'm on record as saying that you should let the person interviewing you for a job talk as much as they want.
Basically, it works like this- the more your interviewer talks, the more she's going to feel LIKE IT WENT ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Sure, she talked 90% of the time. You did the head nod and appeared pliable. That's the sign of a great hire for most managers!! Whether they know it or not...
Let them talk if they want to talk - PS, hiring managers- you job is to get your airtime down to 20% of the interview - do more than that and you're just waxing poetic instead of extracting information.
I'm got another one for the candidates who want to be loved in any interview process - I'll call it the "+1" strategy, and it's designed to take advantage of anything the hiring manager says in the interview.
Your interview is full of opinions and insights coming from the interviewer. They're trying to build flow. Your job as a candidate is to use that and build even more momentum. Here's how you do it:
You hear the interviewer/hiring manager share an opinion or experience they appear to view as positive. You automatically grab something from your past that shows you've had a similar experience. That's a +1 strategy.
Non work-related example - Hiring Manager complaining about DMV. You share your worst DMV experience. Shared misery +1.
Politics example - Hiring manager complains about Obama. You're a democrat, so you do what most democrats do - leave Obama alone and go after Hillary (her own email server? The gall...). Politics +1, and you hit your own party in a way you can live with. +1
Work-Related example. Hiring manager is proud of his Mac, talks trash about IT. You've never owned a Mac in your life and trust one as much as you trust the French, but you know what to do - ask whether he's getting the iWatch (+1), then move with his answer - if he likes it, you say you're intrigued by it, if he doesn't, talk about lack of functionality, etc. Another +1.
Common sense? Sure, but you'd be surprised how many candidates are too uptight to pull it off.
You need +1's - If you didn't come out of the interview with at least 4-5 +1's, you didn't have a good day as a candidate.
FYI - don't try this with me. You bring that weak stuff with me in an interview, I'll take you down a path of follow up questions designed to "out" you as a +1er.
Quick thought today: If part of employee engagement is your employee feeling like they're in a perfect job for where they're at in their career, then...
One of the most important things you can do with any open position is to NOT overshoot your target.
Here's what that means. In a knowledge/skills/abilities world, it's easy to go down the checklist and make sure the candidate has what they need to be productive in the role in question.
One question we never seem to ask: Do we think the candidate is happy to have this job? Do they think they're fortunate to be working in the job, for the company, the manager?
In my experience, it's probably better to hire someone who's a 80% match for the job but has demonstrated ability to be a quick learner. Why? I want someone who knows they might be in a slightly bigger job than they deserve from a KSA perspective, and is thankful for the opportunity. But close enough of a match that they can survive and close the gap quickly.
Do you get that thankfulness from someone who's slightly overqualified or simply a good fit for the job in question? Maybe. But I think that afterglow quickly fades.
Give me the almost qualified candidate any time. I'm pretty sure you get longer periods of initial engagement from that type of hire than someone who's basically overqualified for the role.
Don't overshoot your talent target in recruiting if you want longer periods of engagement on average. There are 99 things that impact engagement - this is one.