If you love your job, don’t read this.
Is it really unethical to recruit your competitor’s best employees?
From time to time, when I tell audiences that one of the best places to find the quality employees they need is from the competition, someone people will object because they mistakenly believe that going after people who work for the competition is unethical.
That’s when I have to ask:
- Since when did giving someone a better opportunity become unethical?
- Why is it OK to go after a company’s best customers, but not OK to go after their best employees?
- When did employees become property owned by the organization that employs them?
- Why does it make the business news headlines when a company hires a CEO from a competitor, but it is not OK to go after and offer an opportunity to a frontline employee or manager?
- Since all the best people who want to work are already working, where do you find the quality people you need to excel?
In Sam Walton’s words: “If you beat your competition to the best employees, those best employees will help you beat competition.”
This was originally published in the August 2014 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.
By John R. Stoker, Smartblogs Contributor
In our leadership development training, we like to start out by asking people to list as many characteristics about their former leaders that they abhorred or adored. This tends to start out as a fun exercise, but takes a more serious turn as people then start to look at themselves and their own leadership skills and behaviors.
10 leadership traits that people adore
- Has a clear vision of how people’s work meets the leader’s expectations.
- Provides timely, clear, constructive feedback.
- Expresses appreciation and gives credit where credit is due.
- Actively listens and answers questions.
- Treats others with respect and kindness.
- Consistently fair in their treatment of others.
- Trains, develops, and grows their people.
- Willing to jump in and help out when things become difficult.
- Has an open door policy and is available.
- Supportive and protective of their people when things go wrong.
Obviously, this list is not comprehensive. There are many great leadership traits we could add.
By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Great Resumes Fast Contributor
Telephone interviews can be difficult, but often they’re the precursor to an up-close-and-personal opportunity to present yourself, so it’s important to get it right. You’re a voice on the phone, and you need to come across as professional and personable with none of the advantages of a great appearance and open, friendly body language. It’s natural to be nervous, but if you follow the techniques outlined below, you’ll be fine.
Use a Land Line
There are few things more embarrassing, unprofessional, and generally frustrating to all concerned than trying to conduct a telephone interview, only to have your cell phone blow out the interviewer’s ear drum because of static—or cut out entirely. Use a land line. If you’re one of those people who’s foregone the landline in favor of exclusive cell service, get thee to a friend’s house posthaste and borrow a land line.
I know, no one’s seeing you. But take a tip from call center workers everywhere, who hear time and again from their supervisors, “Smile when you dial!” Believe it or not, it really does come through in your voice, and you want to come across as friendly and personable.
Keep Your Resume at Hand
When you’re asked in your telephone interview about your employment history, the last thing you want to say is “Ummmm ….” You want to be able to provide names, contacts, job descriptions, and dates of employment without hesitation. Remember, you’re in a virtual meeting, and you need to be prepared.
I know, you love your fur kid. But you wouldn’t bring him or her to a face-to-face interview, would you? It’s beyond embarrassing to have to say to a potential employer, “Sorry about the noise, it’s just Snuggles* yelping at the birds outside my window,” or “Oops, sorry, Miss Kitty** wanted to be petted, and she knocked the phone out of my hand!” Unless you’re applying for a job at an animal shelter, pet shop, or veterinary clinic, put the babies in another room. Actually, now that I think about it, that applies to human babies as well—but of course, SUPERVISED in the other room.
By Kevin Mason, Genesis HR Solutions contributor
Performance reviews are an effective way to improve employee performance while also maintaining transparency between management staff. Unfortunately for many small and mid-sized businesses, delivering an effective performance review is more of a concept than a practice.
Below are four tips for delivering a performance review that is effective, appropriate and will help keep your employees engaged.
1. Get to know your employee before review time
If you have been an effective and active manager, it is much easier to deliver criticism than one who is chronically absent. Understand what is going on with your employee, and consider that when choosing how to deliver feedback. The basic idea is to remember to communicate with them in a manner that makes them comfortable. Knowing what manner that is can only be determined by prior interaction with the employee.
2. Deliver feedback as needed, not when it is convenient
Keeping a list of all of the things an employee has done wrong gives the employee the impression that the company (or manager) is simply looking for reasons to fire them. If your intent is actually to help them improve, this is almost a guaranteed way to fail. Instead of delivering criticism only at a performance review, deliver it when it happens. This helps the employee know that you are trying to help them improve as well as giving them the opportunity to do just that.
By Jessica Titlebaum, The Glass Hammer Contributor
Captain Chelsea “Sully” Sullenberger spoke at the Options Industry Conference this year in Austin, Texas. As the keynote speaker, he talked about emergency landing US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River and keeping safe all 255 aboard. One of the things he said about handling the crisis was that, “You can manage many things, but people deserve to be led.”
A crisis in the office may not feel much different than maneuvering a plunging plane. The same goes for any crisis; you have to look at the situation from a bird’s eye view, trust your team, confidently communicate to the parties involved and rely on the processes you already have in place to get you through, safely and successfully.
Get Out of the Way
Cynthia Zeltwanger is the Executive Director of the Paulson Institute. She currently oversees daily operations and workflows of the Institute’s staff in the United States and China.
Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Zeltwanger spent 17 years at FIMAT USA, a subsidiary of Societe Generale. FIMAT merged with Calyon Financial in 2008 to form Newedge Group, where Zeltwanger was global chief operating officer. At FIMAT, Zeltwanger held roles such as; chief executive officer and managing director of the Americas as well as general counsel.
In 2003, while at FIMAT, the Northeast coast and Midwest parts of the United States as well as the Canadian Province of Ontario experienced a widespread power outage.
“During the blackout, we had the option to support the New York office from our Chicago office; however, the electrical back up for that particular office was also on the East Coast,” she said. “We couldn’t communicate between the offices and we knew it was only a matter of time before clients got a whiff of what was going on.”
While in New York, Zeltwanger had to trust her employees in Chicago to control the situation.
“My manager was in Chicago and I had to trust that he had it under control. I knew the New York office had a lot going on and sometimes, the best thing to do in a crisis is get out of the way.”
One of the things she learned while handling the blackout was not to micromanage, but to delegate work.
“We dispatched information and let the employees make the good decisions we knew, they knew how to make.”
By Julia Russell, SmartBlog Contributor
There’s no perfect recipe for rising up the CPG leadership ladder, but what ingredients have been most important for those who are currently leaders within their food and beverage companies? Lisa Walsh, vice president of PepsiCo Customer Management, has been with PepsiCo since 1999 working on things like trade engagement strategy, strategic partnerships with customers and e-commerce sales strategies, and certainly qualifies as a leader in CPG. She also represents the company within the Food Marketing Institute, Network of Executive Women and National Grocers Association.
SmartBrief talked with her about how she got to where she is, what lessons she learned along the way and advice she would offer to those hoping to follow in her footsteps.
Can you talk a little bit about your path to leadership at PepsiCo?
Early in my career I focused on learning the fundamentals of the industry. It started with gaining a solid understanding of data and analytics that drive the business as well as the mechanics of how product moves from “seed to shelf.” Knowing my business cold gave me credibility and visibility to move ahead.
I quickly discovered that learning is an ongoing process, especially as the consumer, shopper and retailer evolve which require new skills and capabilities to be developed. Today I’m helping drive our e-commerce strategy at PepsiCo, an area that wasn’t on my radar screen even five years ago but I was open to something different and was willing to take a risk. Getting out of my comfort zone provided me with a new opportunity to create value for the company, no matter how scary it seemed jumping in.
And finally, I wouldn’t have gotten myself to where I am today if I didn’t make a commitment to building relationships. Networking, collaborating and investing the time in getting to know people as individuals has enabled me to earn trust, forge authentic relationships and drive consensus when needed. It also makes for a great culture where everyone feels supported and can work toward a common goal.
By Henna Inam, Forbes Contributor
At one point in my corporate career I was charged with laying off a number of people. We had certain headcount targets to meet as part of a corporate restructure. My head count reduction target came to me in a large brown envelope at the end of a long executive team meeting we were in. There was no discussion about how to go through the process. Just do it. Restructurings are no longer the exception in today’s workplaces. Given recent layoffs announced by Microsoft, and other companies, how about we engage in a dialogue about a more human way to fire people?
The Leader’s Dilemma
One of my executive coaching clients has to layoff several people in her organization. Her dilemma is how to do what’s right for the business (make target commitments), honor her own values, and the dignity of the person being fired. Having to fire people is inherently uncomfortable for most of us. To escape that discomfort, our coping mechanism is often to shut down our feelings and make it a swift surgical procedure. This leaves us disconnected from a part of ourselves and often leaves the employee in pain, anger, with trust damaged in the organization. In today’s social media world, this undermines the investment made to actually build organizational trust and reputation. For me personally, it also takes away a bit of the soul every time we do this, because we have not honored the human being inside of ourselves and others.
If I asked you to describe your attitude towards your work in one word, what would it be?
Setting aside for a moment your feelings for work, the English language admittedly makes this difficult.
German, for example, is a fascinating language in that new or changing concepts can be described by stringing words together to create a new one (e.g., freundschaftsbezeigungen, which means “demonstrations of friendship”).
Defining “happiness at work”
I’m prompted to ask this question by Alexander Kjerulf, the Happiness CEO, who wrote in a recent Fast Company article:
While the English and Danish languages have strong common roots, there are of course many words that exist only in one language and not in the other. And here’s a word that exists only in Danish and not in English: arbejdsglæde. Arbejde means work and glæde means happiness, so arbejdsglæde is “happiness at work.” This word also exists in the other Nordic languages (Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Icelandic) but is not in common use in any other language on the planet.
For instance, where we Scandinavians have arbejdsglæde, the Japanese instead have karoshi, which means “Death from overwork.” And this is no coincidence; there is a word for it in Danish because Danish workplaces have a long-standing tradition of wanting to make their employees happy. To most Danes, a job isn’t just a way to get paid; we fully expect to enjoy ourselves at work.
The U.S. attitude towards work is often quite different. A few years ago I gave a speech in Chicago, and an audience member told me that “Of course I hate my job, that’s why they pay me to do it!” Many Americans hate their jobs and consider this to be perfectly normal. Similarly, many U.S. workplaces do little or nothing to create happiness among employees, sticking to the philosophy that “If you’re enjoying yourself, you’re not working hard enough.”
By Annie McKee, Harvard Business Review Contributor
Have you ever felt like your boss is out to get you? Maybe you’re paranoid. But then again, maybe not. There are a lot of bad bosses out there, leaders who aren’t stupid but lack emotional intelligence. Their self-awareness is strikingly low, they’re clueless when it comes to reading people, they can’t control their emotions, and their values seem to be on a permanent leave of absence.
These dissonant leaders are dangerous. They derail careers and blow up teams. They destroy people — sometimes overtly, sometimes slowly and insidiously. Over time we can find ourselves in perpetual, all-consuming combat with these bosses. We think about it all the time. We relive every last painful word hurled our way. We nurse our wounds. We plot revenge. We talk about our boss and the injustice of it all with anyone who will listen, including coworkers and loved ones.
It’s tiresome, really, but we can’t help ourselves. It feels like a fight to the death. That’s because fighting with a powerful person — like a boss — sparks a deep, primal response: fear. After all, these people hold our lives in their hands — the keys to our futures, not to mention our daily bread.
Clearly, battling to the death with one’s boss does not lead to health, happiness, or success. But what can you do?
First, protect yourself. Conflict with one’s boss usually backfires. That’s because our many cultures place huge value in the official hierarchy: the higher you are, the more “right” you are assumed to be — especially by people even higher up. It is a self-perpetuating system that respects and rewards people by virtue of their level in the organization, not their behavior. This means that you can lose a battle with your boss — in his eyes and others’— even before you start. So, if you must fight, be sure you have a strategy to protect yourself from the fallout. For example, you want to be sure you’ve prepared key people to support you if things go wrong. You also probably want an “exit strategy” to get out of the conflict. You can then decide to act on this long before real damage has been done.