I left the world of compliance consulting for a career in incentive consulting because I was tired of management by consequence. For years, I have stood fast by the premise that there are two ways to manage employees:
By the bench or by the basket
If you manage your players by fear, they will do just enough to keep from getting benched. If you teach your players the skills to win and trust them to use them, they will focus on winning.
Still, the professional world is full of managers who believe policy is more important than purpose. With every action they take they seek documentation. They see their duty to the organization to be always mindful that failure happens and one should therefore cover their ass.
Let me re-frame the scenario: If your job is to put a ranking system in place to determine who to fire…YOU should be fired!
“Let anyone who is without sin cast the first stone” – John 8:7
50% of performance reviews at Zappos are based on Core Values. They also focus on their core values as the character assessment in their hiring process. Core Value knowledge is critically important in talent management. Anyone can perform their core job function well. When elevating said performer to a management position they need as much focus on people skills as they do job function. This is where most organizations talent development strategy fails.
For the record, I believe organizational promotions should be 100% internal.
However, when the only means for promotion are performance metrics the culture erodes. Show me a first time manager who was promoted based only on the metrics of their performance and I will show you a person who is enveloped by insecurity.
This is why Human Resources remains the most important department in any organization. While it remains the core function of the line manager to determine performance acceleration. HR should be responsible for considering each employee’s Corporate Citizenship Rating.
If HR wants a seat at the table (sorry Matt – donation to follow) all they need is a list of Core Values in hand. This way, HR is no longer marginalized as the Administrative Policy Police and the line managers can focus on job function.
What a perfect world we live in!
Thanks for Reading!