Just a chance…it’s FREE!!!

Things are tight right? I mean, if the economy is in the proverbial toilet and we’re cutting costs everywhere, you can’t possibly think you’re getting a raise, can you? Of course not! It wouldn’t be fiscally responsible.

office space“By the way, we’ve got your mid-year evaluations due by the end of the month so make sure you’re working with your managers to complete these. They are an important tool for our company and your professional development…but we aren’t giving merit increases/bonuses this year.”
Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it.  Where’s the incentive for stellar performance? Why should your star employees live up to their potential?  How can they remain innovative and keep giving all they have to their jobs?
I’ll tell you: they will remain innovative, live up to their potential, and give all they have to their jobs…somewhere else.  Certainly it’s a tough market.  The star performers, however, know when you’re giving lip-service to people development and when you’re actually practicing it.

Let’s roleplay.  Suppose you, as a manager, were told that your career was very important to your company and that your manager was going to help you get to the next level.  Then, nothing.  Nada. Nil.  Nothing happens because things get tight… and the phone rings.
On the other end of the line is a former coworker telling you how theyobamaarelooking for someone who does exactly what you’re doing for your company now.  It’s not an advancement, but there’s a chance it might lead to it.  Your old company has all but promised for you to be stuck in this dead end job until the next President makes 1,000 promises of changing the economy so why wait it out here?  At least there, there’s a chance.
LloydThat’s all I’m saying.  Blanket policies about advancement, hiring freezes, raises, performance evaluations, etc., just don’t work.  All an employee wants to know is that there’s a chance.  As Lloyd says, “SO YOUR SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE!!!
It doesn’t have to be spending thousands on lavish trips, training seminars, and huge bonuses; however, for those who are top performers, reward them.  Unfortunately, it seems some managers would rather not reward a top performer and have a blanket policy, than to have to deal with those who are not top performers.
Keep evaluating, keep moving, KEEP THINKING!
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Networking??? I’m busy today…

The very thought of filling your pocket with business cards, trekking off to the next association event, throwing yourself all over the prospective client/hiring manager/volunteer/waitress, just sends shivers down your spine right?  Some people would rather schedule a dentist appointment thanMilton go to a networking event.  People hate it so badly they’ll pay almost any amount of money or hide behind a computer screen and call it social networking, just to avoid being “The Networker.”

Although we all know the “natural networkers,” most of us do network regularly, but we don’t think about it until we’re in a panic looking for a job.  Think of it like this: when you were learning to ride a bike, what was your biggest fear?  It probably wasn’t falling off the bike.  That was secondary.  The first terror was that your escort would let go of the seat!  “IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WON’T LET GO!” you screamed before reluctantly pedaling.

Maybe it’s like the guy you know who is a wonderful person and you can’t wait to set him up with the girl who’s just perfect for him.  Only when it’s on the line, he’s acting like a completely different person than the one you know.  More than a dufas than you could’ve ever imagined!

Enough with the analogies.  This is what networking forces us to do again later in life.  We have to perform when the game is on the line.  When we’re trying, we’re usually trying too hard but we have to push out of our comfort zone.  Making connections can’t be that hard…right???

Here are some very helpful tips on just how to network:

  1. Be proactive – Always look for a way to connect, preferably, other than business.
  2. You’ve done this beforeQ. How did you get the friends you have now? A. Networking.
  3. People really do want to help – How do you feel when someone asks you for the name of your dry cleaners?
  4. Talk.  Don’t sell. Make a real connection.  If you’re talking about the weather, you’re wasting their time and yours.
  5. Try to connect others.  One way to calm your fears is to go in trying to connect two other people to each other.  They’ll both remember you for it.

Realize that others have the same insecurities you do.  Remember your first kiss?  How you were scared to death and wandered how you’d pull it off?  Well, it turns out they were wandering how to kiss you too.

Hitch

It’s like the movie Hitch with Kevin James and Will Smith.  If you lean in 90%, she’ll lean the other 10%. Make the effort.  Keep finding ways to connect.  Keep Thinking!