Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Addition by Subtraction - Developing Internal Teams

As a people manager or team leader you may have been faced with the challenge of having an underperforming team member. Often that team member has been with the company for some time and is an old hand at their job with the company. The challenge is that if you need to have an optimally performing team, what do you do with the underperforming member?

Logically there are several things you could do including ignore the situation hoping that it goes away…however, you’ll probably have a performance review with built in improvement indicators to support a progressive disciplinary action in the future with adequate documentation. On the other hand, you might have a chance to meet an immediate need and have enough “history” of underperforming to make a change.

Rarely is making a change in these circumstances elegant, but it can be an opportunity for addition by subtraction. Underperforming team members take a huge toll on the entire team as well on the productivity of the unit/division/department. By moving the underperforming member out of the group (and perhaps out of the company) the remaining members have an opportunity for raising the bar without the worry of how to pull up the underperformer. Over time, the team will rebuild their efficiencies and may experience such growth that the removed player is replaced with another member who again “raises” the bar so the team's performance is adjusted twice raising optimally in both instances. That is where the magic of addition by subtraction makes the most sense. When the team's performance is doubly enhanced as a result of making changes and “swapping” underperformers for those who may even raise the bar higher!

Cheers to the new math!

Best wishes in successful team building.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Client Efforts - Candidate Polish

One of the things that I love doing as a recruiter is providing my clients with polished professional candidates who arrive for an interview ready to hit the ground, add value and make a difference.

I've blogged before about Interview Preparation, but I can't stress enough how important it is to give the interviewee a sense of comfort about the interview which lies ahead. I'm not talking about putting a lot of canned answers in their minds, but instead helping them visualize the interview process enough that they can allow the normal jitters to quiet and be spot on with their responses to questions. A pre-interview discussion about expectations allows the candidate to put his/her best foot forward. I'm pretty sure as a hiring authority most of you want to see how candidates perform under pressure, but you also want to see them perform at their best. Hence the reason for "reasonable" preparation on the part of the candidate.

It just makes sense. What doesn't make sense....candidates who don't have time for a pre-interview expectation discussion or for clients who have disdain for the process.

Mining for precious gems - good hire diamonds.
Happy hiring.