Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent – Forbes

Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent

Whether it’s a high-profile tech company like Yahoo!, or a more established conglomerate like GE or Home Depot, large companies have a hard time keeping their best and brightest in house. Recently, GigaOM discussed the troubles at Yahoo! with a flat stock price, vested options for some of their best people, and the apparent free flow of VC dollars luring away some of their best people to do the start-up thing again.

Yet, Yahoo!, GE, Home Depot, and other large established companies have a tremendous advantage in retaining their top talent and don’t. I’ve seen the good and the bad things that large companies do with talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent :

1. Big Company Bureaucracy. This is probably the #1 reason we hear after the fact fromdisenchanted employees. However, it’s usually a reason that masks the real reason. No one likes rules that make no sense. But, when top talent is complaining along these lines, it’s usually a sign that they didn’t feel as if they had a say in these rules. They were simply told to follow along and get with the program. No voice in the process and really talented people say “check please.”

2. Failing to Find a Project for the Talent that Ignites Their Passion. Big companies have many moving parts — by definition. Therefore, they usually don’t have people going around to their best and brightest asking them if they’re enjoying their current projects or if they want to work on something new that they’re really interested in which would help the company. HR people are usually too busy keeping up with other things to get into this. The bosses are also usually tapped out on time and this becomes a “nice to have” rather than “must have” conversation. However, unless you see it as a “must have,” say adios to some of your best people. Top talent isn’t driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be a part of something huge, that will change the world, and for which they are really passionate. Big companies usually never spend the time to figure this out with those people. 

3. Poor Annual Performance Reviews. You would be amazed at how many companies do not do a very effective job at annual performance reviews. Or, if they have them, they are rushed through, with a form quickly filled out and sent off to HR, and back to real work. The impression this leaves with the employee is that my boss — and, therefore, the company — isn’t really interested in my long-term future here. If you’re talented enough, why stay? This one leads into #4…. 

4. No Discussion around Career Development. Here’s a secret for most bosses: most employees don’t know what they’ll be doing in 5 years. In our experience, about less than 5% of people could tell you if you asked. However, everyone wants to have a discussion with you about their future. Most bosses never engage with their employees about where they want to go in their careers — even the top talent. This represents a huge opportunity for you and your organization if you do bring it up. Our best clients have separate annual discussions with their employees — apart from their annual or bi-annual performance review meetings — to discuss succession planning or career development. If your best people know that you think there’s a path for them going forward, they’ll be more likely to hang around.

5. Shifting Whims/Strategic Priorities. I applaud companies trying to build an incubator or “brickhouse” around their talent, by giving them new exciting projects to work on. The challenge for most organizations is not setting up a strategic priority, like establishing an incubator, but sticking with it a year or two from now. Top talent hates to be “jerked around.” If you commit to a project that they will be heading up, you’ve got to give them enough opportunity to deliver what they’ve promised.

6. Lack of Accountability and/or telling them how to do their Jobs.Although you can’t “jerk around” top talent, it’s a mistake to treat top talent leading a project as “untouchable.” We’re not saying that you need to get into anyone’s business or telling them what to do. However, top talent demands accountability from others and doesn’t mind being held accountable for their projects. Therefore, have regular touch points with your best people as they work through their projects. They’ll appreciate your insights/observations/suggestions — as long as they don’t spillover into preaching.

7. Top Talent likes other Top Talent. What are the rest of the people around your top talent like? Many organizations keep some people on the payroll that rationally shouldn’t be there. You’ll get a litany of rationales explaining why when you ask. “It’s too hard to find a replacement for him/her….” “Now’s not the time….” However, doing exit interviews with the best people leaving big companies you often hear how they were turned off by some of their former “team mates.” If you want to keep your best people, make sure they’re surrounded by other great people.

8. The Missing Vision Thing. This might sound obvious, but is the future of your organization exciting? What strategy are you executing? What is the vision you want this talented person to fulfill? Did they have a say/input into this vision? If the answer is no, there’s work to do — and fast.

9. Lack of Open-Mindedness. The best people want to share their ideas and have them listened to. However, a lot of companies have a vision/strategy which they are trying to execute against — and, often find opposing voices to this strategy as an annoyance and a sign that someone’s not a “team player.” If all the best people are leaving and disagreeing with the strategy, you’re left with a bunch of “yes” people saying the same things to each other. You’ve got to be able to listen to others’ points of view — always incorporating the best parts of these new suggestions.

10. Who’s the Boss? If a few people have recently quit at your company who report to the same boss, it’s likely not a coincidence. We’ll often get asked to come in and “fix” someone who’s a great sales person, engineer, or is a founder, but who is driving everyone around them “nuts.” We can try, but unfortunately, executive coaching usually only works 33% of the time in these cases. You’re better off trying to find another spot for them in the organization — or, at the very least, not overseeing your high-potential talent that you want to keep.

It’s never a one-way street. Top talent has to assume some responsibility as much as the organization. However, with the scarcity of talent — which will only increase in the next 5 years — Smart Organizations are ones who get out in front of these ten things, rather than wait for their people to come to them, asking to implement this list.

[At the time of writing, Jackson was long YHOO]

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What’s the sweet spot for optimal improvement?

 

 

 

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/whats-the-sweet-spot-for-optimal-improvement

 

While practicing, you want to be succeeding on 50-80% of attempts.

Fewer than that and you’re going to be confused and feel like it’s all luck.

More success than that and you’re not pushing yourself.

Via Daniel Coyle’s excellent book The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills:

Comfort Zone

Sensations: Ease, effortlessness. You’re working, but not reaching or struggling.

Percentage of Successful Attempts: 80 percent and above.

Sweet Spot

Sensations: Frustration, difficulty, alertness to errors. You’re fully engaged in an intense struggle— as if you’re stretching with all your might for a nearly unreachable goal, brushing it with your fingertips, then reaching again.

Percentage of Successful Attempts: 50– 80 percent.

Survival Zone

Sensations: Confusion, desperation. You’re overmatched: scrambling, thrashing, and guessing. You guess right sometimes, but it’s mostly luck.

Percentage of Successful Attempts: Below 50 percent.

 

You’re the Boss — Now What? 7 To-Dos as a First-Time Manager – Forbes.com

You’re the Boss — Now What?

7 To-Dos as a First-Time Manager


If you’ve been promoted to management for the first time, you’re probably stoked about your new gig, ready to take charge, and, let’s be honest, contemplating how to spend your first new paycheck.

But, if you’re like most, you’re also feeling pretty terrified. While graduating to management is a huge accomplishment, it’s also the beginning of a pretty huge challenge. Not quite sure where to start? Get off on the right foot with these steps for a smooth transition.

1. Get Smart

First off, make it your personal mission to learn everything you can—believe me, this is the big key to success as a new manager. Seek out the management tools, resources, and classes that your company offers. Some organizations have formal supervisor training, and nearly all have manuals and HR policies. Read them, digest them, and keep them on your bookshelf.

You should also do some digging and learn more about each of the people you’ll be managing. Review their personnel files, their resumes, and their past performance reviews and goals.

2. Find a Mentor

Of course, many of the situations you’ll face as a manager aren’t outlined in any manual. How do you deal with a team member who’s underperforming? Or an overachiever who you’d love to promote but can’t because of budget cuts?

The good news is, someone else has probably dealt before with any situation you’ll face. So one of the most important things you can do is find a mentor, someone with whom you can confidentially discuss issues as they arise. If this is your boss, great. If not, find someone else in your company who can serve in this capacity.

3. Change Your Focus

You’ve likely been promoted because you’re awesome at your job. But the crazy thing about your new position? It’s not about you anymore. “Before you were a manager, your number one job was to accomplish tasks,” says Penelope Trunk in 4 Worst Mistakes of a First Time Manager. “Now, your number one job is to help other people accomplish the tasks in an outstanding way.”

This shift is often difficult for first-time managers, but it’s crucial—your performance will be tied to the performance of your team. This means, if your team fails, you fail. And if they succeed? You can take credit, but you have to share it with the rest of the group, or they won’t be willing to do a great job for you in the future.

4. Listen and Learn

Many new managers want to make bold changes quickly to show that they’re in charge—and it’s a bad idea. Resist this temptation, and instead, take plenty of time to fully understand your organization and team. Set up individual meetings with each of your new staff members to understanding their roles. Ask questions about what they like about their job, the biggest challenges they face, and ideas they have for improving the organization.

Obviously, you can’t please everyone, but saying “I would love to get your input as I make plans for the future” goes a long way in building positive relationships and open communication. And understanding what people’s goals, hang-ups, and challenges are can help them perform at a higher level, which will only serve to help you.

Also let them know that you’re open to listening on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s having an open-door policy or scheduling “office hours” each day, make sure your employees know when and how they can reach out to you.

5. Address Relationship Shifts

The biggest mistake that new managers make? When asked this question, “90% of the women whom we interviewed replied that they tried to be liked,” say authors Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio in The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch). This can be especially true if you’ve been promoted from within and find yourself now supervising someone who used to be at the same level as you.

The 24-Step Modern Resume

The 24-Step Modern Resume

This link has a few tips to create an impressive resume. Courtesy theladders.com

Use this list to ensure your resume gets where it needs to go and that it receives as high a ranking as possible, optimizing your chances of getting an interview.

Checklist

    1. Do not apply to a company multiple times if the positions do not match your experience and skills. Recruiters notice multiple submissions, and it reflects poorly on a candidate if he or she applies for jobs that aren’t a good fit.
    2. Don’t send your resume as an attachment. To avoid getting caught by security scans, paste it into the body of the e-mail.
    3. When e-mailing a resume, keep exclamation marks out of the subject line and body of the text.
    4. When e-mailing a resume, don’t use words in the document or headline that could be misinterpreted by spam filters. For example, use “graduated with high honors” instead of “graduated cum laude.”
    5. Include a professional or executive summary at the resume top, followed by a list of bulleted qualifications and/or achievements.
    6. Customize the professional/executive summary and bulleted list(s) with keywords that match a given job.
    7. Make sure the keywords in the executive summary and bulleted qualifications and achievements replicate those in the job posting.
    8. Keywords alone aren’t enough. State-of-the-art ATS technology relies on contextualization as well. Frame keywords with descriptive material that demonstrates experience and familiarity with the subject.
    9. Do not use abbreviations such as “Mgr” instead of “Manager.” It is unlikely that the ATS has been programmed with a list of abbreviations to stand in for keywords.
    10. Avoid misspellings. A misspelled keyword is a keyword that the ATS will miss, lowering your ranking.
    11. Use standard capitalization, not all lowercase or full capitals. Improper capitalization annoys recruiters.
    12. Fill in all the information requested by an online application process, even if it’s listed as optional. Recruiters often sort by optional information to filter out applicants, and filling in all fields will ensure you don’t erroneously get caught in a screening filter.
    13. Fill in all information requested by an online application process, even if it’s included in your resume. This information can be used to filter out applicants before a hiring manager comes to the point of opening the resume itself.
    14. If you’re being referred by an employee, make sure the ATS knows it, because it’s smart enough to care and will rate your resume higher.
    15. If the ATS offers options, opt for uploading your resume instead of cutting and pasting. This feature often parses information and saves it in the optimal format, ensuring the cleanest presentation.
    16. To avoid choking an ATS with a highly formatted resume, make sure your resume is in a clear, concise format, with your contact information located at the top instead of in the header or footer.
    17. Do not include graphics or logos on a resume; they can garble the information the ATS processes.
    18. Respond within 24 hours after hearing back from a company.
    19. Keep an eye on spam folders. Filters are so sensitive today that they can recognize e-mail that’s automatically generated — a category which both spam and follow-up e-mail generated from an ATS program can fall into.
    20. Adhere to instructions provided in follow-up e-mail. If the follow-up e-mail lacks a phone number but directs you to respond with your availability, respond via e-mail, not by calling. This will likely get you the fastest response.
    21. If you receive an automatically generated rejection e-mail, immediately contact the recruitment office of the rejecting organization or a sympathetic administrative assistant — anyone who can advise you as to the best way to replace the resume currently in the ATS with one containing better keywords and phrases.
    22. When reapplying after an initial rejection, tweak executive summaries and bulleted lists of key skills and achievements. Don’t alter your work history elements.
    23. When reapplying, don’t try to use a different e-mail address from the one you used on your first try. This isn’t enough to avoid a duplicate record in advanced systems such as Taleo, which use multiple candidate identifiers, so make sure to follow Step #21.
    24. Once your customized resume has been resubmitted, contact the appropriate recruiter (or sympathetic administrative assistant) and request that your updated resume be reviewed for the open position.