The Third Stage of Management is to hold everyone accountable for his/her performance, but that doesn’t mean second guessing every action or decision. What it really means is that every action or decision—especially in the early stages of employment—is a training opportunity. If you are happy with the action or decision, provide some positive reinforcement. If you are not happy, explain why, and what you’d rather see. Remember these twin foundations of motivational psychology: 1) any behavior which is rewarded will likely be repeated, and 2), any behavior which is tolerated will also likely be repeated.
Think about this, too. In an environment where we have double digit unemployment, there are very few good reasons for tolerating bad performance or behavior from an employee. Sadly, I see a lot of printing companies where there’s a lot more tolerance than management and/or accountability.
Finding Good People
Okay, so where do you find good people? The answer is that they’re all around. The hard part is separating the good ones from the bad ones, who are also all around.
How do you do that? The answer is to do a better job of interviewing, and then to back up your interviewing process with a substantive testing program. And I’m not talking about Wonderlic here, I’m talking about something that measures attitude, not just aptitude.
I have been using the Caliper Assessment to test salespeople for more than 20 years, and the best word I can use to describe its accuracy is uncanny. I have had clients over the years who didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to test candidates before hiring. Caliper is not cheap, at $295 per assessment, and it takes most people approximately two hours to complete. I have always insisted on it, though. And in numerous cases where we ultimately hired a candidate we’d tested, I revisited the Caliper report with my client six months later.
“Okay, you’ve watched this person in action for six months,” I have said. “Now tell me if Caliper accurately described the person you’ve gotten to know.” The response has always been some variation of uncanny or amazing.
Here’s some good news. Caliper has just released a new product called the Predictor, a 30-minute assessment priced at $50, which is targeted at other-than-sales positions like CSR, designer, and even production positions. The Predictor provides you with a position fit index, using nine distinct Job Families, and I have taken it even one step farther by developing printing industry specific Job Profiles. If you’re interested in learning more about the Predictor, you can find information at www.caliperonline.com, or you can call me at 800/325-9634 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I think there’s some value in using the profiles I’ve developed—and in having me help you to interpret the results!
The bottom line for today is that management is the key to success in business, and probably the key to happiness too. Unless your business is so small that you can do everything yourself, you need others who can “Make it so!”
Dave Fellman is the president of David Fellman & Associates, Cary, NC; a sales and marketing consulting firm serving numerous segments of the graphic arts industry. Contact Dave by phone at 800/325-9634; by fax at 919/363-4069; or by e-mail at email@example.com. Visit his website at www.davefellman.com. See the ad for Dave’s products and services in this issue. This article is available as a podcast at www.quickprinting.com/podcast and from iTunes.