Teaching old dogs new tricks

by emma 31. October 2011 15:34

With financial experts warning of another global recession it’s a worrying time for both healthcare professionals and those currently without a job.

The Government in its ultimate wisdom last week revealed plans to eliminate certain discrimination laws in an attempt to make it easier for employers to do away with unproductive workers and replace those with a willingness to work.

But while the principle may sound simplistic, one boss’ judge of a productive medical representative doing their upmost to sell a dated product may be different to the person struggling to succeed in a crowded and competitive marketplace.

Instead of casting aside one unproductive worker for another, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called for the Government to scrap its intention to remove certain discrimination laws and instead focus on those with healthcare jobs, for example, to increase their skill set to improve productivity.

The CIPD’s calls aren’t exactly rocket science – yet they do make sense. Questions have to be raised why so many employees are unhappy with the level of productivity of their workforce. The reason may be closer to home.

More than a third of the workforce in the UK has managerial responsibilities. But how many of those dedicate time to improving the skill sets of their staff? Whilst training days or programmes may not provide immediate results the long term skills gain can yield rewards for years to come.

The key to unlocking productivity levels may not be with those set for the axe, but those wielding it in the first place.

Keeping Motivation and Performance High

by Emma 8. August 2011 15:31


Simon North looks at motivation in the workplace to achieve high performance and success.

Motivation is one of those concepts which relate more to outcome and output than it does to input.

In other words, it is the consequence of a sequence of situations, contexts and events which allows somebody to feel that their motivation is OK.

Where performance and motivation are similar is that performance also is about output. But both issues do require a sensible and sensitive approach to the way that people work. Giving colleagues a sense of the direction of travel that they and the team overall are taking, plus consistent and regular communications about what needs doing, as well as how they are doing in terms of their feedback, are fundamentals to keeping motivation and performance high.

The sensitivity issue comes into play in terms of listening and tuning in to every individual on a regular basis. This does not have to be formalised and structured as part of the standard appraisal process. This is much more about day to day management and supervision.

In a workplace where the war for talent is making it tough to find good workers and where key skills are likely to be getting scarcer, the need to treat people well increases every day. Avoid over-measuring --whilst it is important to measure outputs and performance, over-measurement can be a real irritant to high-performing individuals and may reduce their level of motivation for what it is that they do.

It is far better to have regular input sessions on being clear about the future and the team’s expected performance, followed up by frequent shorter feedback conversations both one on one and in small groups to check that the individual and the team are going in the right direction.

If it sounds simple that’s because it is. One of the biggest mistakes that we can make is to over complicate what is really a simple, humanistic process based upon personal relationships.

Simon North co-founded Position Ignition for Organisations, to provide innovative solutions to help organisations manage their senior and most valuable workers more effectively.


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