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Good Management Attracts Great Employees

Demand to be managed!. Too often in business, money is used as a substitute for managing. So the idea that if I can pay you a lot of money, [then] I don't have to engage with you, I don't have to be direct with you. [Software (Management) Process Improvement]

Do you want to attract highly talented employees? John J. Mack, the head of Credit Suisse First Boston, says "a firm's best hope for distinguishing itself in the crowded financial field now has to come from its superior management of people." (HBS Working Knowledge; Demand to be Managed; November 24, 2003) Management is almost as important as money in attracting and motivating employees.

Reward employees for desirable behavior immediately after the event. Giving useless people more money to perform the work they should be doing, is absurd, but it happens every day. This negative reinforcer causes talented employees to be cynical in their own efforts. Instead, learn to give rewards to top performers for specific desired actions, not as a motivator for poor performance.

Replace yearly performance reviews with smaller more frequent rewards. Employees want to know what they are doing right, and shouldn't have to wait a whole year to find out what they have been doing wrong. Managers must be cognoscente of employee actions to promote bi-weekly rewards or coaching when necessary.

Rewards don't always have to be monetary. Treat employees with dignity, not as pawns or cogs in a larger corporate machine. Understand want motivates each individual. If you can't take the time to know that 'Sally is motivated by training,' and 'Bob is motivated by exciting new projects,' then you need more time on the front line.

Part of getting to know your employees as individuals is having some understanding of their personal life. Help employees balance work and personal life to the degree performance is enhanced in both areas. You don't need to counsel their problems, but you need to know what resources are available for referral.

Gone are the days of the top-down aggressor who used brute strength to whip their minions into line. Nor are there many inspirational leaders that employee rally around to follow their every word. If you want to attract talented employees, your managers need to improve their ability to effectively manage.

/ employee-relations | management-strategy /

By Justin Hitt at December 13, 2003 3:04 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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