The Rise (and Fall) of “Trophy” Workers

We have all seen them. We might have even made fun of them. They “hover” over their kids, protecting them from the many horrible harsh realities of life – like losing a baseball game, getting a “C” for average work, or even being disciplined by a teacher or boss for bad behavior or poor performance.  […]

The Weakness Behind Discover Your Strengths

Recruiting and retaining talent is the highest priority in many companies. Discovering employee strengths is a popular strategy. Why wouldn’t management want to know if a candidate or employee had “the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity?” (That by the way is the definition of strength according to Gallup.) As a […]

OverReliance on Discover Your Strengths Blinds Managers | Part 2

In my last post I pointed out how ignoring your weaknesses was a flaw in the strategy to discover your strengths. Even Gallup admits that its research has been distorted. Let’s now move on to the second reason why relying on strengths alone is a path that may lead to performance disappointment, dispassion, and missed […]

Are Workplace Personality Tests Fair?

Despite decades of research, validation, and business case studies, the mere mention of using personality tests in the workplace seems to spark controversy.  Lawyers, government agencies, social advocacy groups, job applicants, and even human resource professionals dive into the discussion with a passion. And in what seems to be an almost annual ritual, The Wall […]

Self-Motivation or Raw Talent: Which is Better?

Self-motivation is one of the employee traits sought by most managers. Just take a quick review of help wanted ads and job descriptions and large majority include some mention of it. It’s also one of the most challenging qualities to define and prove. Anyone can say they possess this skill but many employees falter when […]

Culture fit? There’s an App for that!

Culture fit is very often the determining factor on whether an employee stays at a job long-term. With one out of two workers quitting before 18 months, managers could use some help. Despite years of urging hiring managers and HR professionals to focus employee selection on cultural and team fit, many hiring decisions still ignore […]

How to Hire Employees Who Don’t Need A Kick in the Butt

Frustrated with hiring employees who only seem to be motivated when you kick them in the butt? You are not alone! Last night, I overheard a waiter sharing with guests at the next table that he really wanted to be an architect but he wasn’t very good with math. “My brother got all the math […]

Good Customer Skills Soothe Customer Rage

Hiring people with good customer service skills may be more important than companies assume.  Ensuring customer questions and problems don’t evolve into customer rage can be prevented with a few simple steps. It turns out that 85 percent of consumers will retaliate against a company if their customer service needs are not met. Other examples of consumers striking […]

How Motivated Employees Acquire Work Deficiency Syndrome

Typically new hires are motivated employees.  They arrive at the workplace with a positive attitude and lots of energy and ambition. But even the most skilled employee lacks some competence while he or she learns new systems and attempts to integrate into company culture.  But what happens after the first few weeks or months on […]

Halo Effect: 4 Conditions To Avoid During Employee Evaluations

The termination and subsequent replacement of any employee is painful. And the retention of an under-performing manager, especially a senior manager, is like self-inflicting a wound. There is never a good time and it is always more expensive. Everything we do anymore needs to be done yesterday. The problem solving requirements for managers today are […]

VUCA: Are Your Leadership Skills Growing Obsolete?

Institutions and nation states are now facing inevitable and even predictable, change. But they lack the leadership, flexibility and imagination to adapt. It’s not that their current leaders and pipeline are not smart enough or don’t recognize what’s happening. It’s just that the speed of change is simply overwhelming them. Welcome to the new world […]

7 Deadly Sins of Leadership: Tests to Avoid Hiring Bully Leaders

Passion, confidence, ambition, creativity, focus – these are all highly desirable attributes of any successful leader. But like almost every quality that people possess, when overextended our strengths can become weaknesses. And with just a glance through Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune or a host of other business magazines and journals and you will surely […]

The ABC’s of DISC – What Energizes and De-Energizes Employees

I’ve recently published several posts about how DISC influences individual preferences toward customer service, learning, and even delivering performance reviews. While I received several comments and emails about the content in the articles, a majority of readers inquired about more information about the DISC model and DISC profile tests. I realized I might have put the cart […]

8 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring Your Next Salesperson

When it comes to assessing a candidate’s fit for sales, one size definitely does not fit all. Traits like assertiveness, criticism tolerance (ability to take a no), and resilience may be important to “get past the gatekeeper” and “close the sale.”  But selling complex products or differentiating a company’s services from its competitors require consultative and relationship […]

Employee Motivation: Finally An Explanation That Makes Sense

Employee motivation and cholesterol have a lot in common! First of all, both are essential for life.  We need motivation to thrive.  We need cholesterol to protect us from heart attacks and strokes.  Next, we can have too much motivation or too much cholesterol, both excesses impeding our lifestyle. Third, both motivation and cholesterol come […]

Lies We Believe about Employee Engagement

Thanks to the Gallup organization, employee engagement has become part of nearly every organization’s vocabulary. Gallup and other companies like Deloitte, McKinsey, and BCG highlight the value high employee engagement generates: higher customer satisfaction, more innovation, and faster growth to name a few. Who can argue with results like that? So what’s the problem with […]

Hire Forward: When Past Performance Isn’t Enough

To hire better, managers need to stop hiring while looking in the rear view mirror. Companies and its managers must begin to rely on future potential instead of past performance. Here are the reasons why. For centuries, “employee” selection was made based on physical attributes.  To build pyramids, cross oceans, tunnel through mountains, build canals, […]

Stop Reaching for the Battery Cables to Motivate Employees!

How many times have you looked forward to a vacation only to feel depressed and de-energized as you head back to work?  Or maybe you thought that graduation from college, a new job, a promotion, or reaching a certain age was all you needed to turn on the success “switch” and feel real purpose and […]

Past Performance Is Out, What is a Credible Hiring Test?

For decades and maybe even centuries, past performance has been a reasonably good predictor of future performance.  It still is if … the job is repetitive and routine.  Unfortunately that limits its use to primarily low-skill-low-pay. But since our world is changing faster than ever before,  job responsibilities and therefore the skills to do the […]

Moody Managers Bad for Performance Reviews?

Shhh! Do you hear those painful cries and sighs emanating from behind company walls?  Those aren’t from the goblins and witches but employees and managers. The reason: It’s annual performance review time! As if the mere mention performance reviews isn’t enough to set off a passionate debate over their value, recent research on how moods […]