Digital Transformation of Work & Wellbeing – @SHRMLabs Report

I got invited recently to be a part of a think tank of sorts on a project with SHRM Labs and Techstars Workforce Development Accelerator discussing what technologies are needed to help navigate the new digital world of work. What the heck does that mean? Good question!

If you haven’t checked out SHRM Labs they are doing some amazing work around innovation, technology, and work. Led by Guillermo Corea, SHRM is working to take a leading stance on the technology that is built for HR. This isn’t your grandmother’s SHRM! Shout out to Hadeel El-Tashi, she has been amazing as well on the SHRM Labs team.

Basically, we have three types of worker environments right now:

  • Full On-Premise work
  • Hybrid
  • Full Remote

Full on-premise work we’ve been trying to build tech and processes around wellbeing for a long time. To limited success, for sure, but still, it’s been a long focus for technologists and HR for decades. Hybrid and Full Remote, while not new, were limited in use, so the focus was not there, then the pandemic thing happened and this had to ramp up really fast.

What we found is there are limited options for organizations to truly and robustly support their team’s well-being when they work remotely and in hybrid scenarios. Here’s the basis of the report:

This report highlights participants’ voices on each of these points. It proposes ways to foster work/life integration in remote- and hybrid work environments, followed by an exploration of elements that constitute a great employee experience and effective employee culture, closing with a discussion of how companies can attract (and retain) the best talent in the face of a tight labor market and the Great Resignation.

You can download the report here

What were our main findings:

  1. All organizations need to find ways to embrace flexibility in the workplace. Not just white-collar workers, but all workers. Flexibility and “All” is a difficult undertaking.
  2. Give employees agency and develop accountability. I call this one, treating employees like adults, but smarter people in the think tank had better words than me!
  3. Drive efficiency and asynchronous communication tools. Stop the non-stop stream of zoom meetings thinking that’s how you’ll communicate effectively with hybrid and remote workers.
  4. Personalize benefits and improve the employee experience. We still deliver benefits mostly like it’s 1970. Everyone gets a 401K match, even if that’s not your priority and you have student loans or want to buy your first house. Or we offer student loan repayment, but you graduated thirty years ago and paid off your loans, twenty-five years ago. One size fits most, is a crappy experience.

We also had findings around building digital culture and attracting more workers – you can download the report to check those out.

Overall, we’ve got work to do in HR as a total function, including TA, Talent Management, Learning, Benefits and Compensation, etc. This is invigorating for the field and there are so many passionate technologists in our space trying to help us develop great solutions for our issues.

I’ve been studying the technology in our space for the past decade and I’m always amazed that the process of what we need and what’s available is ever-evolving. The pandemic while awful, has opened up the world of work in ways we’ve been pushing to make happen for decades with little movement, then this tipping point happened and it’s like HR is being reinvented all over again.

It’s an amazing time to be in our profession!

You’re Not Smart Enough To Do That!

Don’t you think we should be IQ Testing certain individuals before they can move forward in certain life events? Let me give you some examples:

Things that should require an IQ Test before you are allowed to do them:

  1. Have and Raise Children.
  2. Posting on Social Media Platforms.
  3. Operating any type of vehicle that goes over 15 mph.
  4. Being able to mass email the entire company.
  5. Ordering a drink at Starbucks
  6. Investing in Crypto, stocks, real estate, basically any investment idea you can’t explain to me in one minute.
  7. Getting through TSA and boarding a plane.
  8. Joining an organized religion.
  9. Running for political office.
  10. Running with scissors.

On the flip side, there are a lot of things we shouldn’t be testings someone’s IQ:

  1. Most jobs.
  2. Filling out taxes in America. Do you mean that thing the government already knows the exact amount you owe, but they make you go through hell and back to figure out the same number?
  3. Attending college.
  4. Having civility towards others.
  5. Setting up email on your new cell phone.
  6. Streaming tv shows and movies on any device.
  7. Logging onto to wifi.
  8. Understanding extended warranties.
  9. Getting your medical care paid for.
  10. Navigating the college financial aid system.

Here’s what we are fairly confident about when it comes to selecting talent for organizations, in terms of what matters and what doesn’t. The most important factor in determining if someone will succeed or not follows this pattern:

#1. Job Sample. Simply put this is some sort of job preview assessment in which the person does a real portion of the job. Turns out, that if a person can do the job, that is the number one indicator that they can do the job!

#2. Cognitive Ability. Now you might think, “Oh, this is IQ!” And in a way you’re right. The second most correlated factor to job success is a person’s ability to be able to quickly understand and learn the job. So, it’s not all about smarts, but that certainly plays into it.

#3. Desire to do the job. Yeah, people who want to do the job you have, well, that tends to be a high predictor of success in doing the job! That makes sense. You can have someone who can do the job and learns quickly, but they hate the job. Those folks won’t be successful.

Therein lies a big problem we have in hiring and selecting people for jobs. Most of us don’t have a job sample type of assessment. Instead, we have flawed people (all of us) interviewing flawed people (all candidates) and making an assessment through our conscious and unconscious bias on who will be the best hire. And don’t even get started on the witchcraft science that is personality assessments!

So, how can we hire better people?

Knowing that job samples are hard to set up, hard to administer, and expensive, the most predictive thing you can do is institute the fastest assessment you can find around someone’s agility to learn. Part of this assessment will be measuring their cognitive ability. Within that will be some IQ, but more importantly how well and how fast they can learn. If you hire great learners, you will be farther ahead than most organizations.

Okay, what did I miss on who we should be IQ testing in the world? Hit me in the comments!

How to Improve HR Conferences Post-Pandemic

Hey gang, I’m on my way back from SHRM Talent in Denver and thinking about how we can improve the conference experience. My favorite conference to attend is SHRM Talent. Almost everyone I run into as a TA title and these are my people! Shared pain brings us all closer together!

I was having a conversation with an attendee with the premise, what if never had HR conferences, so we had no preconceived notions of what an HR conference should be, what would we do differently? Here are some of my ideas:

– Virtual conferences suck. The interaction is limited at best. I would love to see what Facebook/Meta spaces could be for virtual if we all had headsets in a virtual conference hall. So, I’m saying conferences should be in-person, but I know we’ll always have a virtual component moving forward.

– A one-hour+ presentation sucks. I actually don’t mind doing them because I love to hear myself talk! Also, in an hour you can fumble around and still get to the end with no problem. 15 -30 minutes you must be tight! You must get to the juicy stuff quickly! People pay greater attention to shorter time segments. We love TEDx presentations because they are 17 minutes and it leaves us wanting more!

– Every conference should have some sort of professional speed dating. The real reason we go to a conference is to expand our professional network, so we have folks to lean on when we need help outside our normal work network, which tends to be limited.

– Let’s say 500 people attend a session and on a scale of 1 to 10, let’s say 30 people give it an 11! They love it! They want more! Those 30 people should have some sort of way to set up additional times outside of the conference for further discussion and networking. Community building makes your conferences more sticky. 

– Don’t put everyone in dark conference ballrooms! Set up a stage outside in the sun and let folks get some vitamin D. RecFest in London is great at this. But you also have to have some balance for those who can’t take all the heat all day. But, if I’m in Vegas or Scottsdale in October, put a stage outside and let folks get some fresh air. We all need some recess! 

– More coordination amongst conference organizers. In 2022, this spring, I’ve already run into a week where there are 3 conferences going on in the same week that I want to attend. Can’t there be a big shared Google calendar? Hung Lee put one of these together but not enough conference organizers know about it, so they all plan their stuff in the same weeks.

– Better food and drinks. It’s 2022, and we can’t figure out what people want vs. these are the options we offer you? My kid’s high school can have a food court with 15 options, but somehow I’m paying $2,000 to attend an adult conference and I get dry chicken and wilted lettuce?! And never any diet Dew!? (Except SHRM Talent – Shoutout, I had diet Dew every day!)

– Put the best speakers and keynotes upfront. We do this dumb thing where we try and keep conference attendees to the end by putting the best content last. It doesn’t matter, 40% of the folks are taking off early. Every. Single. Time. Stop trying to force people to stay at your conference longer than they want. Just put the best upfront when everyone is there, and let the ones with average content get better with fewer people watching. Unless you have Oprah or Michelle Obama as your closing keynote, you’ll always have a big number taking off on the last day to get home at a decent time.

– Make attendees commit to expo demos. You get to come, but you actually need to do three demos. You think you’ll hate them, but you’ll actually learn something. If you don’t do them, you don’t get invited back. We’re here to learn and be better, it’s okay to place some expectations on attendees. I know this sounds stupid, but I think it would actually help HR Pros.

Okay, what are your HR Conference ideas?! Hit me in the comments, let’s come up with some awesome ways to make them better.

Should Corporate Recruiters Get Paid Salary & Commission?

First, shoutout to @Hervbird21 (Recruister) on Twitter for starting this conversation (Editor’s Note: Hervbird21 I don’t know who you are but send me a note and I’ll share your LinkedIn if you’d like) Also, take a look at the Twitter thread as there are some exceptional recruiting thought leaders who had thoughts on this subject.

Link to the thread

I’ve written about this a number of times over the years, but with the recruiting market being so hot right now, I’ve actually had a number of Recruiter compensation calls with corporate TA leaders trying to figure out three main things: 1. How do we retain our recruiters; 2. How do I attract more recruiters; 3. How do we reward great recruiting performance?

First, I’m all in on the fact that recruiters should be paid in a pay-for-performance model. That doesn’t mean that corporate recruiters, agency recruiters, and RPO should all be paid the same way. All three of those roles are different and should be compensated based on what the organization needs from each recruiter.

Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Performance Pay for Corporate Recruiters

Pros:

  • You get more of what you measure and more of what you reward.
  • Your best recruiters will be compensated more, and higher compensation is tied to longer tenure.
  • Low performers and internal recruiters who actually hate recruiting will hate it and self-select out.
  • It will most likely raise individual recruiting team member performance in the aggregate.

Cons:

  • You will most likely have turnover with this type of change
  • Potentially, you could get behaviors that aren’t team-oriented. (IE., senior recruiters not helping junior recruiters)
  • Potentially, you could lower your quality of candidates as recruiters move quickly to gain performance comp. (the quantity over quality argument)
  • It actually might increase your compensation budget, initially, until you can find the model that is most effective.

Okay, wait, why did I say “potentially” on the Cons? Primarily, because it truly depends on the model design. Just making a decision to pay more for hires is ridiculous and leads to bad outcomes. But, developing a model that rewards individual performance that is based on recruiting behaviors that lead to better hires, quickly, and in a team setting, well, now you diminish the negative outcomes of pay for performance.

How could we make pay for performance work for corporate recruiters?

I’m not trying to dump on all the folks who commented on “Quarterly Bonuses” but stop that! “Quarterly Bonus” really means, “I don’t want to be individually measured and held accountable, but I also want more money on top of my great base salary”. Quarterly bonuses in most corp TA shops are a joke. They are usually based on Hiring Manager satisfaction and days to fill, two of the most subject measures that have zero correlation to better recruiting.

Also, internal recruiting pay for performance is not just a modified agency or RPO model. Corporate recruiters do much more than just recruit in most TA departments, so if you reward them to just recruit, understand, you’re just standing up an in-house agency model. Your internal recruiting model for corporate has to be unique to the job.

Some thoughts and ideas:

– Spend a bunch of time deciding what you actually want from your recruiters and from your function as a whole. Those two things must be aligned.

– Before going to a pay for performance model you need to get your arms around your recruiting funnel data. Otherwise, you’re just guessing at what and who to reward.

– In most cases, you can’t make the rewards the same because recruiters have different requisition loads and levels of position. Also, in most cases, certain areas of your organization hire at different times. So, get ready to test and be flexible to do the right thing at the right time.

– It’s okay if a recruiter makes more than you think if the model is producing what you want it to produce. Too often I hear from TA leaders that are like, “Jill is making too much!” But, Jill it killing it and the top recruiter.

– If you can’t get your head around paying for hires, pay for the behaviors and activities that lead to more hires.

– Start with a month or quarter test, make sure during the test no one will lose money. The goal is to try and reach some sort of outcome of better performance, to see if it can work. If they are only concerned they might make less money, you won’t truly see what can work or not work.

– It’s not about quality or quantity. It’s about quality and quantity. I’ve never led a recruiting team in a corporate or agency where good recruiters would ever send a crappy candidate on purpose. That just doesn’t happen, normally. If it did, that recruiter didn’t belong on the team.

I don’t believe in recruiting “team” rewards as pay for performance in most cases. Most teams are not designed and measured for “team” performance, so many on the team are getting the reward for a few doing most of the heavy lifting. You can still have team rewards, but you truly have to think about how you reward your most effective recruiters, short and long-term.

I think the ideal ratio for compensation for corporate recruiters should be 75% base salary and 25% pay for performance, where your best top recruiters can make 125% of their normal total comp if they are killing it. As I mentioned above, you will have recruiters quit because you have “recruiters” on your team that didn’t take the job to recruit, but to administer a recruiting process and collect a nice base salary.

Okay, tell me what I missed in the comments or if you have a model that is working you would like to share with everyone!

HireVue launches the HR Industry’s First AI Explainability Statement!

AI Explainability What?!

First, this is a big deal and I’ll explain what it all means and why you as an HR pro or Recruiting Pro should care.

AI is being built into almost every part of the HR and TA tech stack. Algorithms and Machine learning are having a massive impact on how we find, offer, develop, and promote talent in our workforces, so having an understanding of how this is happening is very important to the risk side of HR.

What is an AI Explainability Statement?

Basically, it’s the behind-the-scenes stuff you don’t think you want to know. It’s how the sausage is made, and it matters a great deal. You want to know that the tech you are using is reducing bias and not putting your company at risk of a lawsuit. You also want to know how and why your tech is doing what it’s doing.

HireVue didn’t have to do this. No one else has to this point. But, it’s important they lead with this as they probably have caught more flack than anyone else in our industry over how their technology was selecting one candidate over another based on some early testing they did with facial analysis technology, that they no longer use and haven’t in years.

What is HireVue’s AI Explainability Statement?

Okay, first, let me give you the overview because the actual statement is more like a white paper that is 29 pages long! Here’s the overview:

HireVue considers the ethical development of AI, candidate transparency and, privacy to be core values of the business. HireVue’s AI Explainability statement is the latest proactive step to ensure that its technology is at the forefront of emerging best practices in the use of HR hiring technologies. The Explainability Statement, together with previously commissioned independent audits, provides customers with meaningful information about the logic involved in HireVue’s technology. Together they are the latest tools to help companies understand the processing of personal data.

You can click here to read the full statement (and Yes, it’s worth a read if you’re using AI-based tools in your HR & TA Tech Stack!)

Why does this matter?

I’ll let the chief data scientist at HireVue explain:

Lindsey Zuloaga, Chief Data Scientist at HireVue: “Being at the forefront of defining the transparent and ethical use of AI and software is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to create a level playing field for anyone seeking employment, reducing bias and providing organizations with a more diverse pool of talent. Deploying AI correctly and ethically, powers a significantly more consistent, less biased, more engaging screening process for recruiters and candidates alike. We believe there needs to be more transparency around its use in HR, this is why we’ve published our own AI Explainability statement, to best support our customers and educate the industry.”

Here’s what we know after using AI-based hiring tools for a few years now:

  1. AI does what it’s trained to do. So, if you train it inappropriately, it will act inappropriately.
  2. AI has the ability to significantly reduce bias and increase fairness in hiring as compared to manual processes where we just leave hiring to humans and our guts.
  3. We can constantly monitor and correct AI. We are less likely to constantly monitor and correct our human hiring managers.

Big Kudos to HireVue for being the first out of the gate to do something like this. They’ve taken a lot of criticism for some things they’ve built and tried in an attempt to make hiring better that didn’t go as they planned, but they’ve corrected and taken a lead within the industry from this learning. This is exactly what you want from a vendor you rely on to help you make consistently better hiring decisions.

Mailbag: Can an experienced Recruiter be any good with 378 LinkedIn Connections?

I had a Talent Acquisition Leader reach out to me this week. She is having a hard time hiring recruiters and was looking for some insight. Now, she was looking for more of a professional generalist recruiter. Someone who can hire some hourly, but also corporate positions that include: finance, IT, operations, marketing, etc.

She mentioned she had gotten a resume of a recruiter who had four years of experience, but when she looked her up on LinkedIn, she only had 378 connections. Could this recruiter be any good with so few LinkedIn connections?

The Answer

No.

Okay, before you become unglued, let me explain.

Let’s say this four-year recruiter was only hiring high volume hourly. That would mean this person would never spend time on LinkedIn, since hourly workers, for the most part, do not have profiles on LinkedIn. So, now you’re thinking, “yeah, Tim, LI connections don’t matter for this person so they could be a great recruiter!”

Still, I say no!

Because, for me, a great recruiter builds a network of other recruiters and sourcers to constantly learn from. It basically takes almost no effort or skill to connect with 500 other recruiters, sourcers, HR pros, and your personal network on LinkedIn. Once you get to the 500 mark, no one knows if you have 501 or 30,000.

I challenge my own entry-level recruiters that have no recruiting experience to get to 500 connections as quickly as possible. Within six months, they should be able to do this very easily. So, if you run into a recruiter who is three or four years into their career, and they are under 500, they are showing you that they probably have very little interest in expanding their network and learning from others.

500 LinkedIn connections are like training wheels for a recruiter. I don’t expect every profession to have over 500, but recruiters, sales pros, and people looking for jobs should always have over 500. There’s no reason not to, it’s literally the easiest professional networking available to everyone for free.

Do more LinkedIn connections then equal someone is a better recruiter than another?

No.

But, wait, you just said…

Recruiters, of all types, need to get to 500. After that point, it really becomes more about the quality of the connections that you build. If you just accept every Open Networker on LinkedIn, that network will be full of Life Coaches and Pyramid Scheme sellers!

Great recruiters build networks that help them learn more and recruit better. I would say once you establish a network, you then become much more selective about who you invite and which invites you to accept. Right now, with my network that runs over 20,000, I only accept about 1/3 of the invitation requests I get based on the criteria I want in my network.

I know recruiters that quickly maxed out their LinkedIn networks with garbage and had to go back and scrub their networks, and it’s very time-consuming. But, I also see recruiters who switch industries and skills who do this as well. Your network should grow and change with you based on where you are at in your career.

So, LinkedIn connections matter and they don’t. That’s just reality in today’s world of recruiting. Whether you are recruiting doctors or truck drivers, you should still be using LinkedIn for your own professional development on an ongoing basis.

Can I ask a favor?

We all get asked for favors on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis. Most aren’t really favors, they’re just requests for something the person probably is getting paid to do or it’s their responsibility, but it sounds nicer if we say it’s a favor. I get asked for a lot of favors and I probably go overboard on trying to accommodate most. I can blame my Midwest upbringing, but honestly, most folks asking for a favor find it hard to ask to begin with and I know that. Having the courage to ask should be rewarded.

I had to ask for a favor this week. Kind of big favor (you know who you are if you’re reading this – thank you for your help!) that had to do with my business. Because I tend to give a lot of favors, I don’t feel nervous about asking, but I also don’t ever assume the favor will be granted. I go in eyes-wide-open, I’m giving favors without any guarantee that someone will be able to give me a favor back in return. But, it’s rare when someone can’t.

I find business can frequently be a favor economy. It’s not always about signed contracts and cash changing hands. In fact, most of the business I do is paid in favors, with the hope that one day a signed contract and cash might come!

The biggest favor I ever asked was when I wrote my book. I went out to my entire network and asked them to buy a book. That’s a big favor! To the tune of $24.95. I could actually put a price on that favor. The reality is, most favors we would consider much more valuable. The book favor was less about the $24.95, and more about the support of my content and all that I had given to our community for many years. The funny thing about that favor is while so many bought the book and made it very successful, not as many as I thought bought the book as I expected. Turns out, $24.95 is a giant favor to ask of some folks!

In comparison, I’ve asked folks for the favor of an introduction that has turned into a seven-figure deal for my company. That same person wouldn’t spend $24.95 on my book, but they would give me a seven-figure introduction! It’s ironic how we value favors!

Favors are the currency of our everyday business interactions. You need something from me, regardless if I’m getting paid for it or not, and if you give me a favor it almost is a guarantee that I’ll reply with a favor back. Yet, we place no monetary value on favors. Well, at least most people don’t place a monetary value on favors! But sometimes we run into someone that has a definite favor they need in return that might turn into a monetary or resource-driven favor that is really hard for us to obtain.

I’ve had many folks in my life, as a favor to me, push a candidate I was supporting in front of the hiring manager with a good word. No guarantee of hire, but getting to the top of the pile sometimes if the push you need to get some of that “favor” luck! I’ve done the same, too many times to count. We’ll say it’s just our job, but in reality, it’s more than that.

I believe it is in our nature to want to give a favor. Not because we’ll get something in return, but because we like to help others. I truly believe this is a built-in emotion of the human condition. If we can do something for you, that will help you, at a fairly low cost to ourselves, why wouldn’t we want to grant that favor? It gets a bit tricky as the cost to ourselves starts to feel uncomfortable.

No big aha moment to end on. Just simply think about all the favors you give and take today as you navigate around. It happens so often, sometimes we forget how common it is.

Why do candidates ignore recruiters?

Oh, Lord, let me count the reasons! Can I get an Amen!?

Basically, candidates ignore recruiters because as recruiters we have sucked too many times for them to pay attention any longer! Also, it’s a lie, candidates don’t actually ignore you, they see you, but they don’t respond, because we can be worse than a used car salesman who’s about to be fired if they don’t sell one more car before the end of the month!

There was a brilliant article written recently by a Software Engineer, Alex Chesser, Career Advice Nobody Gave Me: Never Ignore a Recruiter. From his post:

The obvious adaptive response that I suspect the vast majority of us use is to roll our eyes and ignore them. We tell each other jokes about the problem all the time. We’ll gripe and moan about how annoying it is, how obvious and crass it is.

No one ever explained to me that recruiters are also one of the best career resources you can find.

If you think about it, who better to be completely honest with about what you want from your career? Who else has real and direct insight into how much money any given role pays?

Alex shares the script he uses to respond to each recruiter outreach he receives and it’s brilliant –

BTW! Alex says “Steal This and Use it!”

Candidates Ignore Recruiters Because We Waste Too Much of Their Time!

This is the reality. Because we, as recruiters, don’t really know enough about them, we tend to waste a lot of time discovering if a candidate is right for us or not. Maybe, Alex has found a better way to communicate this back and forth that is valuable for both parties. The candidate gets what they want and we get a response, that might lead to a positive outcome. No response leads to no outcome!

The truth is, every candidate does actually want to hear from a recruiter. Recruiters think this isn’t the case. Candidates mistakingly say this isn’t true. But it is. If I contacted Alex, today, and I had his dream job, he wants to hear from me. If I have a crappy job that is four levels lower than his ability, he doesn’t want to hear from me. But, as he found, you don’t know that until you know that!

Alex’s response to every recruiter, while canned, is perfect in getting positive responses from him. If more candidates did the same thing, I’m sure we would see more positive interactions across the board between recruiters and candidates.

Candidates ignore recruiters simply because far too often recruiters are reaching out to them with positions they wouldn’t be remotely interested in. Why do recruiters do this? Desperation. Ignorance. Overconfidence. Lack of clarity on what the hiring manager wants/needs. Lack of basic worldly understanding of what someone would possibly want given the information they have. All of the above.

Candidates don’t ignore recruiters who deliver the goods and treat them as a professional. As someone who values your time. There’s hope, because of the Alex’s out there helping us be better by being very specific about what and how that looks.

The Damaging Power of a Bad Idea!

Have you ever been caught in a downward vortex of a truly crappy idea that at some point you wondered to yourself, “how the heck did we get here!?”

I like to think I’m the kryptonite of bad ideas in my organization. It’s part of my personality of being a bit unfiltered in my thoughts and ideas. If I think something is a bad idea, I’m probably going to say something. Or at least, I hope I will say something.

Why don’t we stop bad ideas in organizations?

  1. We never want to tell someone their idea is bad. We say things like, “there are no bad ideas!” Of course, there are bad ideas! That’s just a dumb statement. There are ideas that can ruin your company and your career. If some idiot openingly shares a bad idea, it should be up to us as peers to point this out and help them out.
  2. The person sharing the idea is in a power position. This one is hard. Well, Tina is the boss! I don’t like her idea, but we have to go along with her or else it will probably look bad and she’ll make sure she crushes my career. This is the worst! If you’re a leader, you need to find someone who will tell you the truth about your stupid ideas.
  3. We all know it’s a bad idea but we’ve got so much already invested we need to make it work. Ugh! My grandmother would call this, “throwing good money after bad”. Well, we’ve come this far, we have to make it work. The best organizations know when to call it quits on a bad idea, take the loss, and begin a new in a better direction.

So, bad ideas grow and prosper basically because we don’t want to hurt feelings or hurt our own careers.

I do think there are some strategies we can use to help get us out of a bad idea. Some things that will allow us to protect our relationships and our careers, and put us on a better path.

If I think of the times that I saw someone’s bad idea blow up in their face, it happened because it was done publicly. If we have the ability to sit down privately with the individual and talk through it, I usually find that together we can create something better, and change a bad idea into something that will work, and it saves face for all involved.

In terms of people in the position of power who have bad ideas, I like, again, speaking to them in private, but also using data and competitive data to try and influence their decision in another direction. I’ve also used a strategy that is a bit risky, but it’s going over their head in a way that seems like you weren’t doing it on purpose. Like, “Oh, I want to share this data with the entire company because I found it so fascinating and thought others would have interest!” Data that shows we should be doing something else, in hopes, it sparks an idea for someone to change.

The reality is bad ideas happen every day in our organizations and it’s up to us to help create a culture where we reward stopping bad ideas. Where we respect each other so highly we are confronting bad ideas as a way to help that person’s career, not point out their failure. If we can get to that point, we put ourselves in a position to take the power out of bad ideas!

5 Things Leaders Need To Know About Developing Remote Employees.

I think we try and deliver a message to organizations that all employees need and want to be developed. This is a lie. Many of our employees do want and need development. Some don’t need it, they’re better than you. Some don’t want it, just give me my check. Too many of our leaders truly believe they can develop and make their employees better than they already are. This is a lot tougher than it sounds, and something most leaders actually fail at moving the needle on.

Now, let’s add in we don’t get the luxury of seeing and spending a bunch of one-on-one, face-to-face time with many of our employees who are now working remotely!

Here are some things I like to share with my leaders in developing their remote employees:

1. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” -Maya Angelou. I see too many leaders trying to change adult employees. Adult behaviors are basically locked. If they show you they don’t want to work. They don’t want to work. Part of developing a strong relationship is spending time with people who are not a waste of time.

2. People only change behavior they want to change, and even then, sometimes they’re not capable of it. See above. When I was young in my career, I was very ‘passionate’. That’s what I liked calling it “passionate.” I think the leaders I worked with called it “career derailer.” It took a lot for me to understand what I thought was a strength, was really a major weakness. Some people never will gain this insight. They’ll continue to believe they’re just passionate when in reality they’re just really an asshole. When you work remotely, it’s way easier to have these personality ticks. Great developers of talent find ways to help folks realize these and diminish them.

3. Don’t invest more in a person than they are willing to invest in themselves. I want you to be great. I want you to be the best employee we have ever had work here. You need to be a part of that. I’m willing to invest an immense amount of time and resources to help you reach your goals, but you have to meet me halfway, at least. Don’t think this means a class costs $2,000, so you should be willing to pay half. It doesn’t. Financial investment is easier for organizations to put in than for employees, but if you pay for the class and it’s on a Saturday and the employee turns their nose up to it, they’re not willing to ‘invest’ their share.

4. It’s usually never the situation that’s pissing you off, it’s the mindset behind the situation that’s pissing you off. Rarely do I get upset over a certain situation. Frequently, I get upset over how someone has decided to handle that situation. Getting your employees to understand your level of importance in a situation is key to getting you both on the same page towards a solution. Failure to do this goes down a really disastrous path.

5, Endeavor to look at disappointment with broader strokes. It’s all going to work out in the end. It’s hard for leaders to act disappointed. We are supposed to be strong and not show our disappointment. This often makes our employees feel like we aren’t human. The best leaders I’ve ever had showed disappointment, but with this great level of resolve that I admired. This sucks. We are all going to make it through this and be better. Disappointment might be the strongest developmental opportunity you’ll ever get as a leader, with your people. When you are showing disappointment over a Zoom call it’s way to easy for this to get misinterpreted as well. Try to have these conversations face-to-face if possible.