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Broadspring Review of HR News 31 July 2017

Is Talent Doing The Right Thing or Being Seen Doing The Right Thing

Many organisations run talent assessment and talent management programs with the view of promoting from within. One question that Broadspring have always asked is “How do you define talent?”

Most organisations use input from performance reviews to identify talent. This seems a little odd as reviews are about what HAS happened and talent management is about what WILL happen.

When identifying and selecting people for the talent management programs, how do you find the nuggets that may be below the surface? The quiet achievers? Or do they get missed?

How do you define talent?
Leadership ability?
Influence and being influential?

The challenge is that many talented people, probably even in your company (and perhaps including you) may not be recognised because they do the right thing. They keep their heads down and get on with doing a good job.

Attending a breakfast briefing run by Peter Berry Consulting on the Hogan profiles, a new framework of leadership is emerging where three core elements are required.
Foundation skills – the skills of leadership
Effectiveness in terms of getting the work done
Emergence which is profile and being seen to have potential

Successful leaders manage to exhibit all three traits, yet in some cases the effectiveness is less valued and certainly less recognised than the emergence or profile. Hence the question in the title for this section of news.
Does your talent or high potential program collect those who are effective as well as it does those who are high profile?

In essence the 3 key tips for readers here are:
1. Define what talent and high potential means in terms of future performance and what that means to your organisation
2. Ensure that the high potential candidates present substance and effectiveness as well as a good “brand”
3. If you have not been satisfied with all the results from past talent management programs then it may be time to engage a fresh set of eyes to review how the program may be tweaked to deliver the results you desire

What’s the Bleeping Fuss About Swearing at Work?

Anyone who has seen news or social media this week from the US may have reflected on whether swearing at work is ok or not.
Some studies even say that those who swear are smarter than those who don’t because they are demonstrating a bigger vocabulary.
Others hold the view that certain standards of behaviour apply at work and that swearing undermines those standards or is inconsistent with them.
Some workplaces have a tolerance for “reasonable” swearing as it creates a relaxed culture.
Other companies have a set of expectations in place that are aligned with their customer base – if your customers are likely to swear, then staff swearing is ok
This gets tricky very quickly as our society and cultural “norms” are continually evolving. Phrases that were ok 10 years ago are no longer tolerated, and others that were unacceptable 10 years ago are now acceptable.
Cast your mind across to the stigma that used to be associated with tattoos and how hat has shifted.
Perhaps swearing in the workplace is undergoing similar shifts?
From a HR perspective, as it so often is, the important factor is context.
Language is part of how we communicate and if anyone at work communicates in a way that intimidates, bullies or harasses another then that is unlawful and unacceptable. Whether this includes swearing or not. Thus, if one person swears at another with the intent of intimidating them, then that would be a breach of workplace standards. A person who swears if they bump their knee of a desk, or drop a tool would not be intimidating in that way.
is this making sense?
It is difficult to strike one rule or one response for swearing at work, however there are some guidelines and hints that can be made

1. Zero tolerance for aggressive and malicious behaviour should be included in a Code of Conduct and HR policies. This cannot be tolerated at any time
2. One lapse or incident is not enough to warrant termination of employment, however warnings and repeated behaviour can and should be acted on
3. Context is important, however take the opportunity to review customer expectations and the nature of the work environment before defining a set of behaviours that are acceptable at your workplace

Does Your Team Have the Right Skills and Structure to Succeeed?

This week we have been reading a lot about how to structure a team effectively to gain the best results and performance. Particularly when it comes to sales teams.
What is it that makes a team effective?
Many readers will be aware of the workshops Broadspring Consulting run on team performance and effectiveness and will be aware that our view is that the best teams have:
– a variety of skills and styles
– clear roles that are filled well
– clarity on their purpose
– understanding of their goals, measures and expectations
– rewards and consequences for outcomes
A team can be filled with “stars” and yet not hit the performance heights of another team.
In terms of structure, to answer the question, some tips are:
1. Ensure that teams have both accountability and authority to act in ways to deliver the expected results
2. Recognise all pieces of the process that deliver results. Too many sales teams fail because the sales staff are paid commission but only “catch” the work, whereas the retention of clients and completion of sign up is done by support staff who are unrecognised financially.
3. No team operates in isolation and each team needs to understand how they depend on others and how others depend on them. Regardless of whether we are talking product or service there is a process required to create the end customer experience. Every stage if the internal process needed to achieve that outcome needs to understand their part in the end delivery.

As we enter the Spring quarter, it may be a good time to conduct a team assessment and define what makes your best teams tick.
Help your teams celebrate what works well.
Help your teams work on what elements are not working as well as they could.
Review the support structures and policies to confirm that they continue to be driving the outcomes you require.