The overriding theme of this blog will be Human Resources from a strategic perspective. This blog takes a look at current issues facing Human Resources and offer insight on the building blocks needed to create a dynamic, engaged and performance based workforce.
The successful creation and management of talent will be the hallmark of business leadership in the 21st Century
“Think back to grade
school, high school, college, or your past jobs; I want you to think of the
teacher or manager that during this period had an impact on your life. If you
can’t relate to that time period, think of the person that connected with you
in such a way that you still think of them. I want you to be able to explain
why that person is special.”
This was my group discussion question as I led a manager
development group the other week here in Dubai.
I wanted them to think of how that person connected to them
and meant so much in their lives. This towering figure is one that comes across
our minds from time to time, the warm glow comes from the positive interaction
that you both had.
The No. 1 reason people leave their jobs is because of
their managers and or culture, which connects back to their manager. Yet,
organizations often neglect to emphasize this issue. Many managers don’t even
realize the importance of making the connection beyond their job description.
As the manager demographic is skewing younger, in a lot of
cases they have not been properly developed to understand their role in
engaging their team.
That was what my little exercise was about — understanding
“why” people made an impact on our lives. Will we have the same effect on
our people that we interact with either as managers or mentors? I mention the
word “mentor” because I feel that the role of an effective manager today has
morphed into the mentor/coach. Yes, skill set is important but your ability to
connect with your people is paramount.
Moving beyond the 9-5
It is important today to understand the 360 degree person.
Yes, the 9-5 person will get the job done, but the whole person is where the
connection has to be made. That is the part of the person that will excel
beyond the job description.
When we interview people, we interview 9-5 people because
that is skill set we are looking for. This is a flawed concept because we are
so focused on the job description. However we should look beyond that to find
out as much as possible other aspects of this person, such as:
your overall career goal?
feel you are headed in the right direction to reach it?
this job going to get you there?
A manager’s role is
When it comes to their career goal, a key question for you
as a manager is “How can I help you develop?”
Remember that their career goal may not be with your
organization. However the career goal is very important to know because as
organization’s expand into new businesses, you never know the skill set or
talent equation that will be needed.
The more you know about the people that report to you, the
better equipped you are to “serve” them.
Sometimes, people are perfectly happy with their present job
or the job they are trying to get because it enables the other dimensions of
their life to develop. That’s important for them to understand, and for you as
a manager to know.
When it comes to personal development, we should have as
good a grasp as much as possible on their family and home life. Why, you may
ask? It’s because a person’s personal life feeds back on professional
performance and vice versa. We shouldn’t pretend that it doesn’t.
personal as well as professional
As a manager I would relish offline conversations around
where my employees are developing as a “whole human being.” I wanted to know
their post 5 pm passions and what drives them. These insights enable managers
to connect to a higher level and gives the ability to nurture their development
throughout your time with them.
The old manager’s mantra of “just the facts” was a great
tool in its day, but no longer is effective.
If any of your past direct reports were in one of my
sessions and I asked that same question from the beginning, would your name be
among the chosen ones?
Would they talk about how your discussion helped shape their
ability to manage and connect with people? Would they tell me how you were more
than just their manager and was a guiding force in their career? Would
they tell the group that you were the best manager they ever had?
If you are in doubt as to whether they would go there, maybe
it is time for a “new manager” skill set inventory.