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DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

Four Development Actions to Help Employees Grow, Plus Five Tips for Creating Effective Employee Development Plans

An employee development plan can help your employee close the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. Managers can play a crucial role in creating these plans and helping their employees succeed—especially if they maximize the impact of their plans by including practical development actions and following some best practices for development planning.
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DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

Key Components of a Successful People Strategy

A people strategy is an important element of any business plan. Learn more about what a people strategy is and the five key components that every successful people strategy should include.
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360 DEGREE FEEDBACK

Three Reasons Employees Are Leaving Their Jobs and Three Strategies to Improve Employee Retention

Employee retention is a major challenge for companies right now across industries. And the talent shortage makes losing employees even more problematic. Let’s take a deeper look at the issue of employee retention and explore three common issues and their solutions. These strategies can help you manage employee retention and encourage employees to become even more engaged at work.
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TALENT MANAGEMENT

Performance Calibration vs. Talent Calibration: Do You Need Both?

What is the difference between performance calibration and talent calibration? Are they interchangeable, or do you need both? Let’s look at each of these distinct processes and examine why both are important means of successfully managing talent in your organization.
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HR SOFTWARE

Optimizing Your People Team’s Process for Employee Promotions

Promotion decisions can have a profound impact on the success of your employees and your company. And yet, while many organizations have invested in implementing consistent performance management processes, they have not taken the same steps with their management of employee promotions. If this is true of your company, consider the importance of an effective promotion process and how you can overcome obstacles with the right solutions. 
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SUCCESSION PLANNING

How to Avoid Confusion About “Potential,” “Performance,” and Other Terms in the Talent Review Process

The talent review process is an essential component of the succession planning process. In other words, you need to evaluate talent on your team to identify top performers and those who can help lead the organization to success. 
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SUCCESSION PLANNING

Everything You Need to Know About Assessing Retention Risk in the Succession Planning Process

Staffing naturally fluctuates over time, but you can do your part to mitigate these changes. Companies that pivot to prioritize their team and its development make retention risk management an important part of their operations, and you can too. Read on to learn about how assessing retention risk in the succession planning process can help you manage talent in your organization and plan for the future. 
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DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

5 Common Reasons for Performance Issues (Plus 3 Tips to Create an Effective Performance Improvement Plan!)

In a perfect world, all employees would be top performers every day, week, quarter, and year, but we know that’s not the reality. Addressing performance issues can be an uncomfortable and daunting task for many managers, but avoiding the issue only makes it worse.
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SUCCESSION PLANNING

Replacement Planning or Succession Planning? The Perfect Combination

Succession planning and replacement planning are both strategies that are incredibly important to the lifeline of any organization. However, these two processes are often confused, even by senior organizational leaders. Despite the focus that boards and C-level leaders have placed on organizational talent strategy, I often encounter organizations that still equate succession planning with creating a list of replacements. I refer to this approach as the "names in boxes" method of succession planning. What distinguishes the two is basically the difference between executing short-term and long-term strategies. Do organizations need to employ one or the other, or are both strategies necessary to be successful? I would argue that the two talent strategies must work together.
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PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Virtual Performance Management: Lessons from Yahoo's Telecommuting Ban

The cyber revolt against Marissa Mayer’s telecommuting ban has been fast and furious. “Aren’t flexible working relationships, flip flops and free lunch the mainstay perks of tech companies?!” netizens shouted. While Yahoo bucking the work from home trend has largely been voted a fail across the web – even Richard Branson weighed in on his blog – this action brings to the forefront some absolutely huge employee performance management issues that must be addressed by leaders managing a virtual workforce. Management Gone Too Far? Although many branded the move as retro (not in a good way), Mayer likely believed that this decision was essential for moving Yahoo’s culture forward and is being employed as only one of many reinvention strategies. While we are certainly not privy to all of the internal justifications, a Yahoo source informed All Things D (the original recipient of the leaked HR memo) that in certain cases the arrangements were allowing for lackluster performance and a focus on side projects at the expense of real work. Further, the official HR note blames working from home for sub par “speed and quality”, while insisting that physical presence in the office will enhance “communication and collaboration”, and “decisions and insights”. These are certainly very realistic performance expectations for any organization. The problem is that this is a bandage solution and is unlikely to address the root of what is likely a leadership issue.  I have some questions: Has Yahoo HR conducted research (as the Google People Analytics team does with PiLab) showing that telecommuting is a driver of the factors mentioned in the HR communication? Is there evidence that office staff are more productive than telecommuters? Have they drilled down into the data for specific business units, departments or managers where the issues are occurring to reinforce key leadership and managerial competencies that drive high performance and engagement? Have senior managers been held accountable for their virtual team’s execution of strategic objectives linked to the Yahoo reinvention?  Likely not - otherwise HR surely would have backed up these claims in their memo. My colleagues and I have worked with many management teams with challenging cultural issues, and in the midst of large scale organizational change efforts. Establishing and communicating specific standards of performance and holding managers and teams accountable can effectively change the direction of an organization -- sometimes overnight. It is our recommendation that Yahoo employees be evaluated on a comprehensive set of competency-based behavioral standards including, for example, displaying a sense of urgency in accomplishing tasks; maintaining regular and open lines of communication; making effective team-based decisions; and providing insights that challenge the status quo and push the organization forward. As highlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review blog post by Keith Ferrazzi, we must avoid managing by observation – the early in, last to leave employee may not necessarily be the most productive or even a high performer . Instead, HR needs to provide senior leadership with tools for measuring both the “what” and “how” of performance. When these metrics are utilized the “where” factor is not important – after all, one virtual employee may sacrifice quality to avoid missing yoga, while another is scheduling conference calls with Australia at 10 p.m. to close deals. The most effective way to measure performance is always about both goal accomplishment and the behavioral competencies one utilizes in their work. Both are readily measured when done correctly, even during “virtual observation”.
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