In addition to Accountability and Engagement, the Talent GPS process describes five key milestones of an employee’s career:
- Career Map
- Succession Map
It is important to note that at any point in the employee’s career, he or she has the choice to stay, go or grow. Not everyone wants to be promoted. The employee owns the choice of where they want to go in their career. The manager owns the responsibility to provide clear feedback and direction to the employee’s goals.
Unconscious Bias is the enemy of hiring and we are all biased. Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, has said that “one subpar employee can throw an entire department into disarray. Team members end up investing their own time into training someone who has no future with the company.”
There’s a serious cost to hiring the wrong person:
- The Department of Labor estimates that the cost of a bad hire = 30% of the employee’s potential first-year earnings.
- The rest of the team gets dissatisfied with your attention on the bad hire.
- The average new hire turnover is 23%, compared with 16% for all employees (The Street).
As manager, you don’t have time or budget to replace a new hire that isn’t working out. That’s what makes hiring so intimidating. Michelle shares:
Imagine this scenario: an intelligent, motivated professional applies for a position with a seemingly progressive organization. Knowing the job market is competitive for hiring top talent, this company has done an excellent job branding themselves as an exciting place to work and grow a career. During the interview process, the young professional is impressed by the company’s core values, friendly interviewing team, and attractive benefits (Ping-Pong tables! Free snacks! Affordable healthcare plans!), ultimately accepting what seems to be a competitive offer for a terrific career opportunity.
Unfortunately, when he reports for work, it’s immediately apparent that the reality is much different than the blissful picture painted during the interview process. Job responsibilities are far beyond the scope of what was originally discussed, communication is lacking, and there’s no onboarding plan in place to help build a connection to the organization. Disappointed and left to fend for himself with few resources and little direction, the professional never creates a solid bond with the new company. He likely continued to explore other job options, or possibly worse: he “quit mentally, but stayed physically” with the organization, performing at a lower, less productive level and failing to achieve his career goals or organizational potential.
Sadly, this scenario is all too common for new employees of organizations in all industries. Perhaps you’ve experienced a similar situation firsthand during your career. Talented, intelligent, newly-hired professionals of all experience levels—from recent college graduates to seasoned leaders—find themselves wandering on a confusing path through the hiring process.
In your role as a manager, hiring new employees is a critical component of leading others and developing an effective, engaged team. How are you taking ownership of it? Critical and simple activities include:
- Clarifying the manager’s and employee’s roles in the hiring process
- Managers building partnerships with other hiring stakeholders
- Conducting successful, informative interviews
- Defining Key Accountabilities and other deliverables for matching the ideal candidate for the job.
We recommend a Job Benchmark for accuracy and Gap Reports to compare candidates. Want to know more about these? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for sample reports.
Any time an individual goes into a new position, they need onboarding, whether they are hired, promoted or moved laterally. Onboarding simply means a transition plan including training and coaching preparing them for their new responsibilities. Michelle is an expert and she shares:
Recently, I had a conversation with an industry colleague who had been implementing an onboarding program for new employees at her company, a tech startup. It’s a terrific process—one that involves a variety of stakeholders, that’s been championed by the CEO, that welcomes new employees to the company, connects them to the team, and enables them to perform in their new roles. And unfortunately, it’s a process that many of their hiring managers claim to be “too busy” to adopt.
- Providing a welcoming, nurturing environment for your new employee
- Setting goals for the first weeks and months on the job
- Exploring career development opportunities early on
Whether this is your first time hiring a new employee, or you’re often bringing on new team members, you may find yourself lacking a consistent preparation process. The onboarding process doesn’t start on the employee’s first day; rather, it starts earlier and continues for their entire career.
Each employee has personal goals and dreams. Most know vaguely where they’d like their career to go. When you, as Manager, help people create a map to achievement, you drive engagement and retention. It’s also your responsibility to work with them to revisit and adjust the map as the world, the business, and individuals change. My reality is in this example:
Tom can trace his love for IT and being a “fixer” all the way back to his high school days. He’ll tell you he was just getting by, not an overachiever, but also not one to have to try too hard.
Over the course of the next several years, Tom found himself in several different jobs—IT help desk, tech for a retail technology store, manufacturing, and even politics until he came full circle back to IT. After working as the primary IT person in an organization, he realized he could do this on his own. His own company would fulfill his passion to problem-solve and help people. So, Tom did just that.
Today he’s the founder and CEO of a successful IT organization. Once he put his dream out into the universe and was intentional about making it happen, he could see and achieve it. To him, that means he’s able to live by his own rules, have the flexibility and capability to have a balanced lifestyle and provide for his family in a way that fills his passion. And, he says, “I can wear jeans every day.”
It may be that you are or will become the manager of a Tom. It doesn’t matter whether you or Tom are going to be there forever. You can help him (or her) navigate to the career that’s best while doing impactful work today. Critical and simple activities (in the book) include helping your employee:
- Define a personal mission/purpose statement
- Use the mission to identify roles that fulfill that vision
- Create Key Accountabilities that map from current aptitude to desired future
- Use self-awareness and self-regulation to adapt a personal Career Map by annually re-visiting the personal mission statement
A Career Map is an outline of different paths to move through a career and get to the job that fits your strengths. You’ve likely heard of a Career Plan. A Career Map process is different. Just like a real map, a Career Map will contain alternate routes, not just one specific path to one specific destination. This is a priority in the Talent GPS approach—like each person, each path is unique.
Succession Plans are a variation of Career Mapping with one significant addition. To be promoted and succeed to the next level, the employee must be ready to replace themselves in their current job. As manager, you must build a clear expectation for your team that they are accountable for growing the person who will replace them. Here’s my story:
Succession Planning is an often misunderstood and secretive non-process. My first job was as a programmer at the old AT&T, the epitome of bureaucracy. Like most young, new employees, I was determined to climb quickly in the organization. After all, I got good reviews and I did good work. I would read the weekly company newsletter, see someone I knew was promoted who, in my judgmental opinion, was not as strong as I was. My peers and I whined over coffee - “why did ‘that jerk’ get promoted?!” With a little experience, I realized that people would say the same about me when I did get promoted. We were set up in a competition that didn’t drive teamwork or alignment.
I learned these four important facts that managers must share honestly with direct reports:
- Promotions are not always fair (to you).
- Promotions are not based JUST on good performance.
- You won’t get promoted if no one knows you want to be.
- If you aren’t ready when a promotion is available, someone else will be chosen.
- Here are a few ideas from the book on how to make promotions fair and clear:
- Leverage the Key Accountabilities of a leader position.
- Establish gaps between the leader position and the prospective candidates.
- Prioritize the prospects and provide feedback to each.
- Review the Career Maps for each prospect (see also Career Planning Chapter 4) to create a pool of candidates.
- Revisit quarterly.
Promotion is a variation of hiring. The same unbiased tools you use in Hiring will also be used in Promotion. Consider Michelle’s example:
Once upon a time, there was an employee who was offered a promotion in another department. While the employee’s current manager was supportive of the promotion, there was no immediate backup for the employee to assume her workload. The current manager met with the employee and the new manager to discuss a mutually beneficial transition plan. Unfortunately, a heavy workload meant the employee was required to wear two hats for several months until her old position could be backfilled. This resulted in a rushed onboarding plan, preventing the new employee from connecting with her new team, establishing herself as a leader, and learning the responsibilities of her new role.
Promoting an internal employee—whether elevating an existing team member to a supervisory role or bringing someone in from another department or division—is a process that requires careful planning and consideration. In many ways, it’s like onboarding a new employee all over again, even when the employee has been with your organization for several years. As a manager, you’re responsible for coordinating many aspects of the promotion process, which you’ll explore in this book. These aspects include:
- Preparing for an employee’s promotion
- Communicating with stakeholders about the promotion
- Creating a timeline and transitional onboarding plan
- Helping the promoted employee establish or evolve relationships with others