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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

Talent Magnetism is top of mind these days as unemployment rates continue to decline in many parts of the country. Some of you may be thinking, “This isn’t a problem for us, as no one ever leaves our company.” Then again, that’s exactly why you should be paying attention to this month’s edition of The Talent Maximizer, as often companies unintentionally go from employer to employment agency.

We’ve signed on a number of new clients this summer, including a Fortune 50 company that only works with the best in the business. Our world-class practices can be applied to organizations of all sizes. We welcome the opportunity to do so for you. Call today at 413-582-1840, or e-mail Roberta@matusonconsulting.com to explore ways you can achieve the type of results our best clients are attaining.

Summer Time… And The Hiring is Easy

A lot of employers put their hiring plans on hiatus during the summer months because they believe the entire world is on vacation. This is a big mistake.

Suppose you got wind that your competitors were kicking back this summer. Would you instruct your sales team to do so as well? Or would you advise them to take advantage of the situation and step up their game? I’m betting you’d choose the latter.

Lots of employers are kicking back this summer and thinking they’ll rev back up again come September. That’s great news for you. Less competition for those stellar candidates, who by the way are still entertaining new opportunities in spite of spiking hot summer temperatures.

Think about it. Businesses tend to be more relaxed during the summer months. Employees can take longer lunches. Or they can sneak away for a few hours while the boss is on vacation without anyone noticing. This flexibility makes it easier to say yes to interviews.

You can’t take a vacation from hiring in a hot labor market if you are serious about hiring the best. Taking a break this summer will leave you out in the cold come September, when the talent is snuggling into their new positions elsewhere.

Employees Behaving Badly

I recently received a note from an executive asking me if bad behavior among employees was the new norm. Specifically this executive wanted to know if I had noticed that people seem to have fewer boundaries these days. Employees in her firm seemed to be over-sharing with other employees and customers. I had to chuckle when I read her e-mail, as my husband and I were having breakfast in our hotel lobby while listening to a middle-aged woman on her cell phone sharing more details of her life than we cared to know about. Did I mention that she wasn’t even a guest at the hotel?

Boundaries in the workplace seem to have changed, and not necessarily for the better. I’ve noticed this most in the service industry. Waitstaff calling me by my first name when handing me back my credit card, for example. Call me old fashioned, but I’m not their friend and it is not appropriate. A simple thank you will do. However, in their defense, I wonder if in their training (assuming they’ve even had any training) they’ve been given direction regarding what’s appropriate and what’s not.

I do believe that much of this stems back to the hiring process. If you are merely filling slots, then you aren’t paying attention to the details. I’ve personally hired and have helped companies hire enough service personnel to be able to quickly ascertain who is cut out for service work and who is not.

Employee selection is not about asking the right questions. It’s about carefully listening to the way a candidate responds to your questions and determining if this person has what it takes to be successful in the role you are about to hire him or her for.

Download a copy of my book, Selecting for Success, during the month of August, and receive a complimentary thirty-minute phone consultation on how to apply these concepts to your organization. To get started, e-mail me after you’ve downloaded the book and we’ll set aside a mutually convenient date to speak.

Too Busy to Lead

How can a company be too busy to train their leaders? That’s a question I kept asking myself after having a conversation with someone who reached out to me for help. This person was interested in having me come on-site to work with leaders who are being promoted to management as a result of high growth in their organization. I’m really exceptional at what I do, but even I can’t transition a good manager to an excellent leader in ninety minutes, which is all the time they were willing to provide their leaders for career development.

What we have here is a house of cards. You have this weak layer of management that will eventually topple as more people are added to their span of control. The results will be disastrous.

Here’s what one employee at this company recently posted on GlassDoor, a job and career site where employees anonymously dish on the pros and cons of their companies and bosses: “The worst company I’ve ever worked for…. Managers are inexperienced and trouble.” The scary thing is that this person still works in the organization, which means he or she is most likely spreading these opinions (which may very well be valid) throughout the organization. Yet the company is only willing to set aside a nanosecond of time when it comes to leadership development. Preventative action is always less expensive than contingent action. A lesson you can learn on someone else’s dime.

Rules of Attraction: Your Monthly Tip on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Hire slowly and fire rapidly. Seems like common sense, yet companies are hanging on to the wrong people as if their business success depended upon these people. The exact opposite is true. There are long-term consequences to having the wrong people in your business, and none of them are positive.

Think about the future of your organization and determine who in the company will be joining you on this journey and who will need to step off the ship. Pull into shore long enough to allow those who won’t be joining you to disembark. Then be prepared to move full speed ahead!

For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 413-582-1840 if you’d like to discuss applying these concepts to your organization.

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Meet Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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