In the UK, we get the idea that our staff need to be technically trained, but we have little or no understanding that the job of 'manager' is neither innate nor obvious. It can't just be learned by trial and error. Simply, we don't train our managers and, as a nation, this lack of management training is killing us. Here's what to do.
Whilst training interventions can indeed change the whole organisation, the culture change scenario differs from ‘normal’ training. ‘Normal’ training is in pursuit of change in competencies in individuals. Change in culture involves change in the way things are done in the organisation – the normative behaviour of all. Here's how they differ.
Performance appraisals have come in for some serious criticism recently. And yet the books and articles written which criticise simply advocate performance appraisal by another name – or rather a collection of names. Here's an analysis of the issues.
Staff development is the act of persuading a member of staff to change – to change their skills, knowledge or behaviours – towards that wanted. That persuasion comes by way of training, mentoring or coaching. Staff have existing competencies and behaviours. The difference between what’s needed and what’s available today is what any development must focus on.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Called to the ministry” describing how someone became a priest or vicar. But it extends further. Many say that they knew from a young age just what job they wanted to do. Once in work, many people comment that they feel so motivated by the job they do that they’d do it even if they weren’t paid. Calling extends to many careers. So how does a calling come about and how do hiring managers attract those with a calling?
The nature of work and careers have changed. Despite myth, the average employee tenure is still over eight years. And in that time staff must grow. When it comes to employee career development, you, as manager, have a clear decision to make and that decision depends on the relationship your firm has with the worker. You'd best take a contingency approach: develop your knowledge workers, give opportunity to your foot-soldiers, make alliances with your specialists and hire your contractors when needed.
Managers often lament the attitudes and commitment given by those born in the 80s and 90s. Getting commitment from generation Y is difficult. They say that staff from this generation are self-opinionated, lazy and have little respect for authority. But much of these opinions are formed because Generation Y are simply different – different from their Generation X managers and Baby-Boomer parents. Commitment can be had from Generation Y if managers work at it. Here's how.
[First published April 2015]