Monday 5 November 2012

Chicken Soup Not For The Soul - Guest post by Steve Harris

This is a guest post by Steve Harris one of the accredited mentors of my Enhancing Their Gifts System™

Many years ago I worked in an organisation that had a very advanced, very modern online performance appraisal system. This system was well structured for such a device, Senior Management and HR had bought into the concept of taking their old paper based system online.

Participation was mandatory and all sorts of strange penalties awaited tardy employees if they did not put in the required data.

In an MBA textbook fashion, the goals were set annually, in concrete, and reviewed quarterly by both parties to trace performance. A series of subjective behaviours was also included to help “develop our human capital”, like they were something you bought from a supplier and needed to be kept well serviced and shiny.

It also included a section on personal and professional development, where the good employee wrote down their career and developmental aspirations, in the fond expectation that those in the rarefied air of senior management would look out from their lofty perch and reach down to help this aspirational employee up into the realms of management possibility.

Indeed, this no doubt happened, and may well have helped me along.

But I also knew a very intelligent fellow who, faced with this intellectual challenge of determining where he should aspire to be inside this shining example of corporate life, wondered if anyone really read this stuff.

His recipe for chicken soup, pasted into the personal development section regularly, appeared to go unnoticed for many years, proving to him a pet theory and providing me with a story I have told over and over again.

Why? Because put simply, if you want to demotivate or demoralise the very people that your business success depends upon, then create a system that everyone has to slavishly follow, but no one pays any attention to.

Better to engage directly and openly with your employees and treat them as the unique, talented individuals they are, than process them like a bunch of chickens destined for the soup.

Steve Harris can be contacted on +61 438703570.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.

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