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Getting the most out of your leadership development programs

Getting the most out of your leadership development programs

By on Jul 22, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Coaching, Leadership, Supervision, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Our clients contact us asking for guidance when they wish to implement leadership development programs.  There are usually two needs they have identified: Helping senior management become more effective at leading the organization and becoming more strategic, and Helping front line supervisors become more adept at managing their teams and learning basic management skills to become more effective. Regardless of what the need is, we want to learn some information from the client to help guide them to select the best topics and also ensure there is a system in place to reinforce the learning and integrate it into the culture. Some of the things we ask the client are: What are your goals?  More concretely, what do you envision the results to look like?  You should have some idea of what you want to achieve.  We recommend you take the time to write your goals down and what they will look like. How do you know what training gaps there are? How have they manifested themselves in how people manage or lead? What has the effect been on employees? Identifying the difference between long-standing issues and recent critical events will ensure you are addressing root causes and not merely symptoms. How open is the team to learning?  Are they willing to change their approach, even if it is difficult?  Work may be needed to ensure people are primed to learn. Do the actions of the leadership team model the behaviors you want to see in the supervisors? Do they walk the walk? Without alignment between what leadership says and how they behave the program will fail. What systems are in place to hold people accountable and make changes? Is there a robust performance management and coaching system in place?  Training is used to set expectations.  There has to be a system in place to measure and communicate results. Training and development programs can be expensive to implement. Determining your goals and defining the outcomes before you embark on working with a partner or sending people to training is critical to ensure you get the best return on investment.  Making sure the means to measure behavior change is also needed to determine success or failure. Also remember that training...

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Performance review best practices for 2018

Performance review best practices for 2018

By on Jan 30, 2018 in Best Practices, Blog, Coaching, Performance Management, Performance Review | 0 comments

The beginning of the new year is well behind us and we are in the thick of the first quarter.  By now, your finance team has done most of the work determining your financial results for 2017, and many companies are getting ready to launch their annual performance review process. While there has been an ongoing debate about whether to do annual reviews, or replace it with a continuous feedback approach, many organizations still follow the annual review process.  There are many reasons for this: the organization already has the tools in place, managers understand the current process, and employees have come to expect it.  We’re not saying the traditional process is perfect…but it can nonetheless add value if done correctly. Here are some tips to make the process go smoothly and more importantly, have meaning. Focus the review period: instead of requiring reviews be done on the employee’s anniversary, schedule the reviews to occur at one time of the year.  This has many benefits: it makes financial planning for increases easier, ensures better compliance because the organization is focused on doing them, and avoids that feeling managers have that they are ‘always doing reviews’. Make it simple: if you’re a manager with ten reviews to conduct, you don’t need a process that will take hours and hours to complete. Don’t overwhelm them with dozens of factors to rate.  And speaking of ratings, limit the number of ratings that can be given so that the distinctions in performance are meaningfully shown. We recommend three- or five-point rating scales. Add some constraints: some managers can barely write two sentences about someone, others can write a novel.  Don’t make them use a format that requires them to write essays.  And if you are using ratings, you should use a tool like MS Excel so that you can not only control the inputs but make the tabulation of the ratings easier. Collect, review, and use the data: after all the effort of conducting reviews, don’t let them disappear into a personnel file never to be seen again.  Take the time to aggregate and review the ratings, both overall and by rated dimension.  This can give you insight into your bench strength and...

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Client success story – City of Strongsville

Client success story – City of Strongsville

By on Jul 20, 2016 in Blog, Coaching, Government and Public Sector, Success Stories, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

An example of how Organizational Architecture assists its client with leadership development is our recent work with the City of Strongsville and its leadership development program. The City of Strongsville is a large suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Not only does it have a larger population than other suburbs, it has a diverse mix of residential housing and businesses and attracts thousands of visitors each day who enjoy its amenities. Steve Kilo, Director of Human Resources for the City, said, “Our Mayor feels that one of our most effective advantages as a City is the quality of our departmental leadership. He has led our efforts to foster teamwork, break down barriers, and provide the tools our leaders need to be good stewards of the public’s trust. “Organizational Architecture has helped us over the years with tools to enhance our leadership skills.  Workshops on Communication Styles, Change Management, Accountability, Coaching and Conflict Resolution, and others, have made our department heads and their assistants better at leading their people.  They have had a big impact on how we lead, how we coach, and how we responsibly manage the City’s resources”. Cities have unique challenges. As we are able to do for our business and not-for-profit clients, Organizational Architecture can be your partner to help your Directors, Assistant Directors, Supervisors, and other management personnel be successful and effective leaders. Want to learn more?  Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Client success story – leadership coaching, development, and training

Client success story – leadership coaching, development, and training

By on Jul 18, 2016 in Blog, Coaching, Government and Public Sector, Success Stories, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Today’s success story brings you to a vibrant suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. That’s right…Organizational Architecture even partners with municipalities to support their workforce strategy! We started working with this city’s leadership team to assist with on-going leadership development. Our initial assessment uncovered these challenges: The need for clarity around what characteristics are possessed by effective leaders The lack of meaningful and relevant training and development for their leadership team There was a need to foster teamwork among members of the leadership team. First, an assessment was conducted of the current managers to identify leadership potential and coaching and development needs. After identifying developmental areas of the city’s core competencies, we recommended training and development activities to meet these needs and created an action plan to deliver training workshops throughout the year. To fully commit managers to the training and development process, we also integrated the same competencies into their current performance management system including talent review and succession planning process. For the past five years, we have been able to provide customized leadership training and development to fit each department, while also targeting the specific competencies that have been deemed areas for improvement, ensuring that the entire city’s leadership team is provided a well-rounded training and development opportunity. Do you need assistance with designing a leadership training and development plan that works for your organization?  Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Defining the three phases of performance management: phase one – coaching

Defining the three phases of performance management: phase one – coaching

By on Mar 16, 2016 in Blog, Coaching, Performance Management | 0 comments

Performance management provides a structured plan for developing, managing, and continuously improving employee performance. Accurate documentation, consistently maintained for each employee, tracks growth and development. To ensure that excellent product quality and service are consistently delivered, employees must be challenged not only to meet, but to exceed, company and position standards. Performance management offers three basic phases or stages for employee development: coaching, corrective action, and termination. The first phase, coaching, involves the process of orienting, training, and encouraging employees. During coaching, expectations and performance standards are outlined, both new and seasoned employees receive ongoing feedback regarding their performance, and employees are encouraged to challenge themselves to improve continuously. Effective coaching creates an environment that encourages rapid development of new job skills. Both you and the employee can benefit from coaching in the following ways: Employees receive proper training Duties involved in a new position are clearly outlined Employees have higher job satisfaction Turnover is reduced Coaching and motivation go hand-in-hand to generate continued improved performance. Tips for effective coaching and motivation include: Employees work harder for recognition than pay What gets measured, gets done Praise publicly and frequently Encourage role-playing of positive behaviors and skills Create an environment that seeks ideas and suggestions Encourage friendly competition Make work fun Satisfied employees work harder and produce more Whenever possible, it is always preferred to resolve performance issues and retain employees. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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Performance Management – examining basic reasons for poor performance

Performance Management – examining basic reasons for poor performance

By on Mar 14, 2016 in Blog, Coaching, Performance Management, Supervision, Training and Development | 0 comments

The goal of an effective performance management program is to make the best even better. Prior to the implementation of any stage of performance management, it is important to understand if there are reasons behind an employee’s performance shortcomings. In some instances, there may be an obstacle preventing an employee from being successful. These obstacles may not be within their control. Consider these options as possible reasons for an employee to exhibit poor performance. If the employee says “I don’t know how to do this” – in this instance, the employee is unsure of the necessary steps for completion of a particular task. It could be due to the lack of training, poor quality of training, inadequate training, or poor employee comprehension or retention. This is a training concern and is your responsibility. Your training and coaching will help this employee learn the steps to perform tasks required for the job. If the employee says “Something is getting in my way” – in this instance, the employee is unable to complete a particular task. It could be because an obstacle is preventing them from completing the task. Potential obstacles could include the lack of proper tools or equipment, equipment that does not perform efficiently, or some other demands that interfere with completing the task. This is a supervisory concern. As the manager, your responsibility is to identify the barrier and remove it. If the employee says “I didn’t know these responsibilities were part of my job” – in this instance, the employee is unclear about their job duties. It might be because a thorough explanation of the position’s responsibilities was not provided. This is also a supervisory concern. As the manager, you are responsible for ensuring that employees understand their job responsibilities at the time of hire. If the employee says “I don’t want to do it” – in this instance, the employee demonstrates a lack of motivation regarding the job and has the necessary skills, yet chooses not to perform the required tasks. This is a corrective action concern. You should assess the employee’s motivation level and begin the appropriate steps to ensure improved performance. In each of the previous instances, a different course of action should be...

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