Leadership Update is a free electronic monthly newsletter. In it, you’ll find strategies for helping you realize your full professional potential.
- Quotable: The Pundits Speak
- Partnership Problems: 6 Ways to Weather the Storms
- Management: Taking Your Organization’s Pulse
- Readers’ Forum: Your Observations
- Subscription Information
QUOTABLE: THE PUNDITS SPEAK
“Just when you think you have your employees figured out, they will want something different. No wonder rational executives prefer dealing with machines, ideas, or money.” — Edward L. Gubman inThe Talent Solution
“Statistically 100 percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.” — Wayne Gretsky
PARTNERSHIPS: 6 WAYS TO WEATHER THE STORMS
Business partnerships are often compared to marriages. And in business, as in a romantic relationship, there may be times when you wonder whether the match was made in heaven or someplace else.
In a recent edition of BusinessWeek Online, Azriela Jaffe suggests the following when you’re feeling that your business partnership is on the rocks:
1. Are you battling outside stressors that are affecting the business partnership? When you’re trying to cope with family problems or financial pressures, your business relationships may suffer, even if they’re usually good.
2. Is the crisis chronic or acute? If there have been ongoing problems, you may need to do a thorough assessment of the how the partnership is functioning. On the other hand, if it’s due to seasonal or situational factors, don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s time to terminate the partnership. If the working relationship is solid, you’ll rebound.
3. Be careful not to spread the bad feelings around. Negative feelings can be like a cold that spreads throughout the office. If you think you’re having a bad day or a bad week, try keeping to yourself until you understand better what’s causing your bad mood. Determine whether it’s due to partnership issues or factors outside the business.
4. Be realistic about the partnership. Like a marriage, partnerships go through stages. Your needs and the needs of your business are going to change over time. Realizing that there may be stormy periods will help you weather them better.
5. Be patient. Ruptures in a partnership can take time to heal. It may be best to wait until a dispute is resolved before making a decision about future commitments or a termination.
6. Seek outside help to resolve seemingly intractable problems. Just like in a marriage, sometimes it takes an outside party – a trusted advisor, business coach or business psychologist – to help identify and help resolve problems.
MANAGEMENT: TAKING THE PULSE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION
One of the keys to keeping turnover low is creating and maintaining an environment where your employees love (or at least like) to come to work every day. And the best way to find out how much they like working for you is to ask them.
But many managers are afraid to solicit feedback more than at the annual review. Why? First, they’re afraid to hear bad news. But who isn’t? Second, some are worried that if they learn of a problem, they have to do something about it. But if you heard about something that was making key employees dissatisfied, wouldn’t you want to address it somehow?
The upsides of getting regular feedback are pretty attractive: – You can get a jump on problems before they fester.
– You’ll learn what your employees like about their job and the company, not just what irks them.
– Simply asking people what they think often makes them feel valued.
Here’s a sample process for obtaining regular employee feedback:
– Select key people who will be responsible for conducting feedback meetings and make sure they “buy in” to the value of the process. – Create a questionnaire that covers the essential aspects of company life (e.g., things about the job that the employee likes/dislikes; satisfaction with their office or workspace; thoughts about supervisors, peers and direct reports; overall satisfaction with the company; what would raise their satisfaction).
– Make employees aware of the process.
– Set a schedule to interview each employee once a year in addition to the annual review. The ideal time is mid-year.
– Use employee feedback to create a list of action items to be handled by the employee’s direct supervisor or your HR department.
Please call me at 610/642-3040 if you want more ideas about how to gather and use employee feedback about your firm.
READERS’ FORUM: YOUR OBSERVATIONS
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