Orienting New Employees Starts Well Before You Meet Them

Orienting New Employees Starts Well Before You Meet Them

My fascination with the military—and the U.S. Navy, in particular—started before I was 10 years old. And during the decade between then and when I was commissioned as an officer in 2002, I acquired a whole set of ideas about what actually being in the Navy would be like. 

These ideas came from books, movies, stories from veterans and myriad other information sources around me. 

Some of those ideas turned out to be accurate; others weren’t. For example, most of what you experience on a day-to-day basis in the U.S. Navy—especially if you’re a ship driver like I was—bears little to no resemblance to Maverick’s job as a fighter pilot in the 1986 movie Top Gun. 

But other patterns of behavior such as respect for rank structure, commitment to teammates, and aspects of selfless leadership that I’d learned about turned out to be 

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Don’t Mess Up This Management Moment

Don’t Mess Up This Management Moment

I watched in horror as the supervisor attempted to explain how it wasn’t “that bad.” “You really are doing a good job, and this piece of paper isn’t everything.”

The guy to whom he was speaking wasn’t buying it. 

The supervisor was holding a feedback session with this technician as part of his annual performance review. I was—fortunately, for me—only a 

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How to Make Every New Employee Quit

How to Make Every New Employee Quit

"It was exciting. I was looking for a new job, and I started having conversations with an executive at a successful company. We talked about how the organization was growing, and that led to discussions about how I might fit into their workforce. 

"Given my experience and unique background, he said that I could start out by learning the business for a while. Then, I’d be quickly promoted into a senior-level role in which I’d be able to use my expertise. 

"It sounded like a wonderful opportunity, so I uprooted my life and my family, moved to the city where the company is located and started work." 

This was how a conversation I had recently with a friend began. We hadn’t seen each other in quite a while, so we spent time catching up. This particular friend has a very interesting background and a track record of success in tough jobs. Naturally, I was curious to hear more about how his recent job transition was going. 

He went on. 

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The Rise of HR … Agility

The Rise of HR … Agility

It’s easy to fall into patterns and comfortable routines. 

Some of those are great. Take, for example, dental hygiene. Or strength training. 

But if our routines too often keep us around the same people, we run the risk of stagnating. It’s even worse if we’re isolated—or insulated, depending on how you look at it—from other ideas. 

That’s one reason why I enjoy professional conferences. Even if you’re around people in a similar area of expertise or interest, you’ll learn a great deal from their different perspectives and experiences. 

Last week, I spent a few days at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in Anaheim, Calif. And in between all of the

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Peering into Team-Agility & Talent-Agility: A New Tool for HR

Peering into Team-Agility & Talent-Agility:  A New Tool for HR

I love chairing peer groups as they are extremely powerful in parting the curtains and giving us a glimpse into deeper levels of team-agility and talent-agility.  There is nothing quite like the moment of truth in which the peer group team has created such a safe, transparent and trusting place in which an individual participant can experience the beginnings of a shift in their talent and taking their game to the next level.  Best of all, the whole team learns from the experience, taking away value individually and collectively, even though they were processing another participant’s issue, challenge or opportunity.  It becomes a reliable, predictable and repetitive cycle of win/win/win which spirals upwards, making new levels of talent-agility and team-agility possible.

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Should We Abolish Performance Reviews?

Should We Abolish Performance Reviews?

In four weeks from today, I’ll be enjoying the company of thousands of organizational psychologists at this year’s annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in Anaheim, Calif. This is a fun-loving crowd. It’s probably also one of the few crowds in which you’ll find passionate debates about topics such as psychometrics, leadership assessments or classical test theory.

At last year’s conference, in fact, a structured debate took place on the topic of performance appraisals. Yes, you read that correctly.  

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Recent Agility Research: March 15, 2016

Here are a few items of new agility-related research that popped up on our radar recently. 

Determination of Sustainable Business Strategies during Recession: An Indian Perspective
By: Pritpal Bhuller

In the pursuit of global growth to enhance profitability, and a continual creation of interoperable synchronization of ambitious business strategies with sustainable business strategies, it is essential for the organisations to distinctively synergize the business in the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. The financial recession of 2007-08, which started in US but encompassed most of the economies gradually has fostered the idea of formulating sustainable strategies which would safeguard the interests of the organization even during the times of economic meltdown. Indovation and diversification of business has emerged as a new tool for survival during economic slowdown. Suggestions have been made to the corporate world about focusing on those sustainable business strategies that make their fundamentals strong and help them in surviving even in economic slowdown on the basis of the findings of the analysis.

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What HR People Need to Know About Change

What HR People Need to Know About Change

In a recent post and in some of my research, I’ve been exploring the role that human resources (HR) plays in organizational change. This includes both HR as a function and HR professionals themselves as they get involved (either proactively or reactively) in change efforts.

And there’s one key aspect of organizational change that I think is helpful for HR people to consider. 

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The Gig Economy: A Human Resource Agility Fitness Challenge

The Gig Economy:  A Human Resource Agility Fitness Challenge

This is the era of UberAirbnbTaskRabbitHandy. All of these firms are examples of the “gig economy,” and human resources (HR) professionals are being pressed to update their approach to talent management as a result.  

The gig economy will continue placing pressure on HR leaders, HR policies and HR processes to become more agile so that they can accommodate the kind of turbulence now being created by contingent workers as a growing element of their talent pool.  

The word “gig” has its origins in the

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What’s HR’s Role in Change Management?

What’s HR’s Role in Change Management?

Is human resources (HR) the organizational function that must lead when dealing with organizational change?

Or is managing change a fundamental leadership competency that a wide array of people from every function should have or develop? If that’s the case, should HR professionals themselves try to be change agents?

What works best in organizations that are dealing with a particularly turbulent business environment?

These are a few of the questions that I had the pleasure of discussing last week in a lively conversation in Cincinnati with

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HR in 2016: Top Industry Insights from SHRM, Bersin and SIOP

HR in 2016: Top Industry Insights from SHRM, Bersin and SIOP

One increasingly common trend is, well, trend reports. Professional organizations, research firms and consultancies frequently publish what they see as the latest developments or top predictions for the future. Depending on the source, these trend reports can be thought-provoking and insightful.

At the very least, I find it interesting to see what various leaders see on the horizon. 

Recently, three

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Can HR Drive High Reliability?

Can HR Drive High Reliability?

Positive thinking is sometimes overrated. In fact, too much positive thinking can be disastrous. While optimism can help people and organizations bounce back from tough times, when allowed to dominate the psyche during good times, it can blind us to the possibility of what could go wrong.

It’s important, periodically, to think creatively about potential doom.

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The HR Mindset That Wins Friends and Influences CEOs

The HR Mindset That Wins Friends and Influences CEOs

During a recent conversation I had with a senior executive, I brought up some of my efforts to promote strategic thinking and using data to guide decision-making among human resources (HR) professionals. She nodded in agreement, but then she interrupted.

“You know, there’s one thing I hate about our HR department,” she said. “They think like gate keepers, when they should be thinking like service providers.”

She went on to describe how

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Leadership to Change the World

Leadership to Change the World

Recently, I did something that changed the world. It might have been an encouraging word, a provocative question, a smile.

But honestly, I have no idea what it was.

Recently, you did something that changed the world. It might have been an offer to help, an attentive ear, a cup of coffee.

But you, like me, probably don’t know exactly what you did either.

You see, everything we do can either

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The Secret to Matrix Organization Success

The Secret to Matrix Organization Success

The very thought of matrix structures makes some people sigh and roll their eyes. There’s no question that matrix organizations can be challenging to navigate. But with a good dose of leadership agility, you can make a matrix succeed.

What is a Matrix?

To begin, a matrix is 

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Why CEOs (Might) Hate HR

Why CEOs (Might) Hate HR

In the American television comedy series "The Office," the hostility between Michael Scott, regional manager of the mythical paper company Dunder Mifflin’s branch in Scranton, Pa., and Toby Flenderson, the branch’s human resources director, is a recurring theme.

During one particularly humorous scene, Michael learns suddenly that Toby—who had left the office previously—has returned.

Michael’s reaction?

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The Gig Economy: How Agile is your HR Team?

The Gig Economy: How Agile is your HR Team?

Does your human resources team have the agility required to address the challenges of "The Gig Economy?"

If you haven’t yet heard about The Gig Economy, it is a growing challenge for HR professionals and people managers now faced with a portfolio of workers, some full time while others are contract or contingent workers. 

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