By Cathleen Snyder, Director of Client Relations and John Throckmorton, VP Operations
We recently had the privilege and pleasure to attend the 2016 Ohio HR Conference in Sandusky, OH. If you have not attended, we would highly recommend it. This is an opportunity to connect and network with other HR professionals, attend some great development sessions, and have a little fun along the way.
For those who couldn’t attend, this year’s theme was “Play Like an HR Champion” with a football focus on teamwork. This begs the question, “What have you done today to improve your team?”
Building an effective team is not trivial. Whether you root for the Bengals, Buckeyes, Browns or any other team, we constantly hear stories of the challenges of keeping that team focused, healthy, and thriving. Often this means dealing with external distractions.
For our own teams, we also face varying levels of skills, experience, engagement and expectations. What are you doing to improve this team on a daily basis? Are you providing training? Are your teams challenged? Are you recognizing your team in some way, regularly? Are you showing a personal interest in your team mates? Are you empowering them to make decisions?
In theory, it’s not hard. In practice, it can be a different story. We get busy. Our attention gets drawn to the latest fire or problematic employee. Often we focus on what’s not working and fail to acknowledge what is working.
Some tips to improve your team daily:
- Say thank you
- Look for learning opportunities
- Talk to your people, more importantly…listen
- Ask the team’s opinion
- More strategies for refreshing your team’s effectiveness
In the end, it is critical for your team members to know that you care about their well-being.
Some of your managers may ask, “Why do I care, can’t they just do their jobs?”
In fact, many of us gripe about just doing performance management activities on an annual basis. There is much discussion in the HR space about abolishing annual performance reviews and taking it to regular and consistent discussions. Can you sustain regular (weekly, monthly, or at least quarterly) open discussions with your employees? The annual review forces a point in time where performance is reviewed, discussed and documented. If you can replace this with the regular discussions, then you may be ready to abolish your reviews.
But, what if you took it to the other extreme? At the Ohio HR Conference, Jim Tressel addressed the issue of teams and feedback. For the Ohio State Buckeye’s under Jim Tressel, he said every team member was given a grade each and every day based on their performance on and off the field – practice, workouts, film prep, academic studies, etc. This gave each and every player a very clear understanding of where they stood with their manager and their expectations of performance. Can you give your employees a grade every day to ensure they clearly understand your expectations as well as their performance?
Our job as HR is to challenge our managers to over-communicate. Reach the level of feedback that wins national championships! We’re excited to bring our learnings from the conference back to add to our play book. Whether you favor Lou Holtz, Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer or Nick Saban, now is the time to run the big play.