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A Bad Management Hire Is Almost Impossible To Correct

binoculars-tim-and-selena-middleton-flickr

Tim & Selena Middleton via Flickr

The devastation wrecked on an organization due to a bad management hire can last decades.

We’ve all seen them. People who were promoted to a management position because of their success in a previous position or because of who they knew (or who their daddy knew). Often times, failed CEO’s are simply recycled into other organizations where they fail yet again. I’ve even seen people mistakenly hired to oversee hundreds of employees because they played tennis with the right people and had married into a prominent family.

A bad management hire is almost impossible to correct

But they’re painfully easy to spot.

Gallup just released their State of the American Manager report, finding that organizations hire the wrong people for management positions 82% of the time, costing the economy between $319 billion and $398 billion per year.

How do these people get promoted to management positions in the first place? Several reasons:

  1. It was their “turn” to be promoted
  2. They were successful in a previous, lesser role so the assumption was that they would succeed in a bigger role (see The Peter Principle)
  3. Hiring managers are perfect examples of the Dunning-Krueger Effect

Harsh? Perhaps. $398 billion is pretty harsh too.

What does a “low talent” manager look like?

They’re the exact opposite of a top performing manager.

Their team’s performance is stagnant because the manager isn’t engaged or even remotely connected emotionally to the organization’s goals. Their expectations, if they set any at all, are either too low or wildly optimistic. In other words, they’re out of touch.

They’re unable to initiate positive change and the team struggles to generate momentum. They’re always “starting with a fresh slate” but your organization doesn’t need another “fresh start” … it needs momentum.

They lack both personal accountability and accountability for others. Their inability to organize the team’s assignments coherently makes meeting any type of goal much more of a struggle.

They use fear and manipulation instead of building a trusting relationship with their team members. There’s very little trust, almost no transparency, and dialogue is virtually non-existent.

They let office politics run the show. When it comes time to make any sort of decision, all the political implications are considered first. Expediency rules the day and the first law is “Don’t Get Fired.” The second law is “Find the Decision I’m Most Comfortable With.” The 187th law is “Do What’s In The Best Interest of Everyone Involved.”

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There is good news

Each of these defining characteristics are measurable using the right battery of psychometric evaluations. In less than 45 minutes, we can tell you each managerial candidate’s propensity for:

  • Understanding how to provide the motivation their team needs
  • Exercising the proper assertiveness to overcome obstacles
  • Applying both Personal Accountability and Accountability for Others
  • Building positive relationships with team members and clients
  • Solving problems without getting bogged down in petty office politics
  • Planning for contingencies, having an eye on the future, and making a decisions based on the best interests of the company and everyone involved

Gallup’s research into 27 million employees led by 2.5 million managers has shown that only an elite 10% have all these qualities naturally. They’re the top performing managers your company needs. Another two in ten can get there IF their organization supports them with intensive coaching and training.

In an age where the ability of employees and managers to adapt and innovate is what determines the future of most organizations, corporate directors must begin to educate themselves on talent assessment. C-suite appointments should not be made based on intuition or cursory evaluations. Instead, directors must commit themselves to learning and living the best practices for making the right hiring decisions. ~ Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

If you want a top performing managerial team, you’ll have to search for it (it may already be working at your company). And based on the dismal failure rate (82%) of most organizations, there’s very little chance of finding that team without the right tools to help you identify it.

Research indicates you need an outside voice that isn’t impressed by a resume, an interview that went well, a candidate’s previous success, political connections, or a list of credentials as long as your arm; a voice with reason, that can see things more objectively.

With the right tools, you can identify leaders and managers that fit the criteria to take your organization to a position of superior performance. It will require four different validated instruments backed by brain science:

  1. A behavioral analysis to determine how a potential candidate will approach obstacles, accountability, and build trust
  2. A motivators evaluation to determine how a potential managerial candidate will handle office politics and still remain collaborative
  3. An emotional intelligence assessment to determine how a potential managerial candidate will relate with and understand people
  4. An axiological values analysis to determine how a potential managerial candidate will employ an empathetic outlook, hold themselves and others accountable, and make systematic judgements

Without all four, you’re likely to flounder with the 82%. 

Is that acceptable to you?

What are the implications of more managerial mis-hires for your organization?

Are you willing to do anything about it other than the same old thing you’ve done for the last 15 years?

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles. 

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Want to learn more? Contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create genuine Job Matching System solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881. 

Can Just Anyone Be A Top Performing Manager?

square-peg-round-hole

Short answer: No. Not a “top performing” manager.

People don’t like hearing this but despite what your doting relatives told you as a little kid or what some over-priced motivational book’s author screams from a stage, each of us has intrinsic limitations. We all know it. We just don’t like to admit it.

Can an old dog learn new tricks? Absolutely yes. Can an intrinsic non-manager learn to become a top performing manager? Absolutely not. Can they get by? Sure if ‘getting by’ is all the company wants. But not as a top performing manager … one who consistently gets results, who regularly overcomes obstacles, who is reliably emotionally intelligent enough to read people and then adjust, who predictably makes decisions despite the inter-office political implications, who invariably creates an environment of personal accountability, who always builds positive, engaging work relationships, and who delivers distinguished performance as a matter of routine.

To quote the most recent Gallup Survey on the State of the American Manager:

Virtually all companies try to fix bad managers with training. Nothing fixes a bad manager.

Nothing Fixes A Bad Manager

Gallup found that only 10% of the people they’ve surveyed possess the necessary intrinsic motivators, behavioral characteristics, emotional intelligence, and axiological values to be a top performing manager … naturally. Another 20% CAN get there IF the organization supports them with intensive training and coaching. And lest we forget:

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And that’s after studying 2.5 million manager led teams of 27 million people. If you have stronger research, please forward it to me.

Why do companies pick the wrong manager?

Because they use the wrong selection criteria.

  • Tradition – this is how we’ve always picked managers (using resumes, behavioral interviews, referrals, conversational interviews, reference checks, education, background checks, trusting someone’s “gut”)
  • Tenure – this person has been here the longest and is “ready” to be a manager
  • Accomplishments – they were successful in a previous role
  • Connections – no explanation needed (they play tennis or golf with the right people, married into the right family, members of the right club, , etc)
  • Political Implications – they’re safe to promote … there won’t be many political ramifications or “backtalk”

How-Org-Choose-Mgr
Tenure times Tradition plus Accomplishments times Connections all divided by the Political Implications of the hire. The lower the PI the easier it is to promote. Of course, the higher up the corporate ladder the hiring manager (aka decision maker) is currently, the lower the PI for his/her management candidate preference.

The result of using this formula?

Disengaged managers. When we put someone into a position for which they do not fit, they don’t have at least some natural talent for, or that they really didn’t deserve, they will not be engaged with that position in a manner that generates superior performance. They can love the job. They can be passionate about it. But over the course of time they will become disengaged because the job doesn’t match their intrinsic needs. Conflict will ensue.

Another result? Disengaged employees. Research shows that up to 70% of an employee’s disengagement level is due to their manager. And when managers themselves aren’t engaged with their work? You can’t expect their employees to be engaged either. Gallup’s research shows that 51% of managers are just dialing it in and another 14% are actively looking to do harm to the organization.

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How SHOULD an organization select  managers?

Begin by carefully outlining what the job needs for superior performance in the role. Not every management position has the same exact requirements – some deal with the same people on a daily basis while some deal with lots of different people all day long. Some positions are more data and task driven while others are more people driven. Without knowing precisely what the JOB needs, you won’t be able to pinpoint the person that would perform it best, When you don’t know who you’re looking for, you’ll start looking for a Superhero. But I have bad news. Superheroes don’t exist.

A better way is to accurately benchmark the position’s three to five Key Accountabilities. No position should have more than six or seven Key Accountabilities – if it does, that position needs to be divided into TWO positions. Once you have the KA’s, it’s a simple matter of having subject matter experts use a series of assessments to create the ideal employee for the position and compare your candidates to that standard.

A Better Way To Select Managers

Start with a validated Job Matching System that sets the standard for a management position based on what the position needs rather than a vague list of job duties (aka the job description) or a hiring manager’s personal preferences. We call it a Job Benchmark and it starts by gathering those who know the job best and asking them to outline the Key Accountabilities of the position … essentially asking, “Why does this managerial job exist?”

Key Accountabilities

What are the Key Accountabilities required of the manager on the job? What does the job itself require, not what the big boss or the people doing the job think it requires. A Key Accountability is a specific task or set of tasks the manager must do on a daily basis to justify the position’s existence. You need to know the Key Accountabilities for each management position and rank them according to their importance in getting the job right.

Job Behaviors

What behaviors are required by the job for superior management performance? If the job could speak out loud it would say, “I need [X] to be done this particular way to be done right.” Not the way it’s being done now or how it’s always been done or how the employee would like to do the job – but how it should be done for maximum success.

Job Motivators

What are the attitudes and motivators are required by the job for superior performance? What values does the job reward? For example, if the job calls for someone with a strong resourceful attitude – someone driven to attain practical results and maximizes any investment of time, money or other resources – then only a person with those values will be happy in the job and do it the way it should be done.

A job may need someone with a highly collaborative attitude, or a principled attitude, or an instinctive attitude. The management candidates with those intrinsic attitudes will do the job better, more effectively, more passionately, and for longer than those without them.

The Candidate’s Motivators and Behavioral Styles

You’ll need to know each applicant’s behavioral tendencies, motivators, and attitudes in order to match them to the job. There’s no other way to know for sure that people will be superior performers in a particular management position prior to bringing them on board than to hire only those whose behavioral styles and motivators match those of the job itself. This is the most powerful hiring tool you can have if hiring top talent is a priority. You’ll also need an assessment that will give you a set of specific questions to ask any potential employee.

Motivating Your Employees

You have manuals for virtually every piece of equipment in your company. In order to attract, develop, and retain the best people, managers must have a “people manual” composed of validated assessments that will tell them exactly how to motivate, how to manage, and how to communicate effectively with each individual reporting to them. Our assessments take all the guesswork out of hiring and developing top talent so that employee empowerment becomes the crucial part of your retention process.

Once you take these steps, you’ll have a performance review process that includes employee evaluations based on the job’s Key Accountabilities, Behaviors, and Attitudes. If both you and the management employee know what’s expected in well defined terms, performance reviews are a snap.

How do you accomplish these steps?

First, benchmark the job itself, not the people in the job. Benchmarking the job  takes all the bias, American Idol type personality contests, ambiguity, and non job-related elements out of the hiring and managing process. Once the job benchmark is complete, then assess your employees and applicants for a comparison to the job assessments. The gaps become readily apparent for those who don’t match the job’s needs.

There’s no better way to get and keep the right people in management, than to take these steps to put the best people in your management positions.

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. Follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles. 

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Want to learn more? First check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top management talent, create genuine Job Matching System solutions, and implement succession planning for key management positions.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

The Great Manager You Need Is Probably A Woman

businesswoman leading a team

Stock Images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A recent Gallup survey examining 27 million employees led by 2.5 million managers has found that female managers, in every working generation, are more engaged than their male counterparts (41% vs. 35%). Even though those managerial engagement numbers seem low, the difference is significant because engaged managers tend to have engaged employees. And engaged employees can equate to a 27% increase in revenues per employee according to Gallup.

Women in management engage their employees

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 2.44.13 PMGallup discovered that females are more engaged than males as employees and female bosses engaged their employees better than male bosses. These engagement numbers aren’t stellar by any means but the distinction is there. The highest engagement numbers came from female employees with female bosses while the lowest were male employees with male bosses.

Gallup further found that individuals with a female manager are 1.26 times more likely to strongly agree with the statement “Someone at work encourages my development.” It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon (hat tip to my friend, Allen Devereux) to recognize that encouraged employees work harder and produce better results.

Employees were 1.29 times more likely to strongly agree with “Someone at work has talked to me about my progress in the last six months” and 1.17 times more likely to strongly agree with “In the last seven days I’ve been recognized or praised for doing good work.”

The only area where employees working for a female manager didn’t outscore a male manager was: “At work, my opinions seem to count.”

So, in a nutshell, women managers are:

  • More engaged than their male counterparts
  • More engaging than their male counterparts
  • More likely to encourage employee development
  • More likely to give feedback to employees on progress
  • More likely to praise or recognize employees for good work

Gallup found a unique combination of five NATURAL qualities that makes a great manager (male or female):

  1. They have a unique ability to motivate employees
  2. They overcome obstacles by being assertive
  3. They cultivate an accountability culture
  4. They build relationships built on trust
  5. They make educated and unbiased decisions based on the company’s best interest … regardless of the inter-office political implications.

These qualities are measurable using the right psychometric assessment tool … one that utilizes all five of the sciences relating to psychometric analysis.

These components are measurable using a combination of Emotional Intelligence Quotient, Behavioral Analysis, Driving Forces, Analysis, our Business Acumen and Capacity Analysis, and our Axiological Values Evaluation.

The reason organizations, Human Resources, hiring managers, and decision makers GET IT WRONG is most likely a combination of

  • Trusting Their Gut – the WORST possible way to select high performers because it incorporates personal bias
  • Outright gender bias against putting a woman in charge of a group
  • A satisfaction, even an EMBRACE of the STATUS QUO

When organizations jettison the bias and start using an EEOC validated selection tool such as TriMetrix HD, more women will be promoted to the position of manager. Cream always rises to the top when a gender neutral tool is used for selection.

BUT BEWARE

ANY assessment tool that fails to use all FOUR sciences and cannot produce an EEOC compliant No Adverse Impact Study proving it, will not only put your organization at risk of an unfair hiring practices lawsuit, but will also FAIL to select the right person (man or woman) for a position. 

Why are Women Overlooked for Management?

The reason that organizations, Human Resources, hiring managers, and decision makers GET IT WRONG is most likely a combination of:

  • Trusting Their Gut – the WORST possible way to select high performers because it incorporates personal bias, relies on past experiences, and has zero accountability
  • Outright gender bias against putting a woman in charge of a group because of a misplaced fear of a negative reaction from others, or plain old male chauvinism.
  • A satisfaction, even an EMBRACE of the STATUS QUO – unwilling to examine a better way to hire because of a “this is how we’ve done it for decades” attitude
  • Using an unvalidated, non EEOC compliant assessment for selection that’s never been proven to be gender neutral

When organizations jettison the bias and start using an EEOC validated selection tool such as TriMetrix HD, more women will be promoted to the position of manager. Cream always rises to the top when a gender neutral tool is used for selection.

Should You ONLY Hire Women?

Of course not, but you should be blind to the gender of anyone making application that has the five qualities Gallup listed. If someone, ANYONE, is the best suited candidate for a position that’s the hire we should make.

Organizations don’t have a great track record and tend to think, “Hey, we’ve done just fine to this point so why change now?” Just imagine your company, full of managers with the five qualities that Gallup found in the best managers. What would your bottom line look like?

Another little tidbit in the Gallup report:

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What are the implications of continual managerial mis-hires for your organization?

Are you willing to do anything about it other than the same old thing you’ve done for the last 20 years?

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles. 

————————————–

Want to learn more? Contact Ron Haynes (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top management talent, create genuine Job Matching System solutions, and implement succession planning for key management positions.

He developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881. C