Workplace Issues

Leadership In The Work Place

Hiring Well Is A Skill

There is a saying in the movie business that “If you cast the right actor in the right role, the movie is half done.”

The same is true of the workplace….and also in any relationship, such as sports teams, group colleagues and even marriages. Match the right person with the right job, task or partner and the hard part is half over.

But most people make the same fundamental mistake in hiring for their business needs as they do in their personal relationships; that is, they choose someone they may like, but who is poorly matched for the long term tasks and goals that lie ahead.
What makes a good employee?
Not what you think. Just as there is no set of “Leadership” qualities that are innate to good leaders, the lists that websites and business gurus like to publish about the qualities that make a “good” or “valuable” employee are similarly outdated and wrong. Here are some of them:

• Easy to manage
• Manages up
• Goes above and beyond
• Invested in career growth
• Entrepreneurial spirit
• Productive
• Goal-Oriented
• Patient
• Passionate
• Social
• Team Player
• Trustworthy

But these qualities are essentially not definable or specific and are often contradictory to each other. Social skills can mean gossipy; a team player may lack initiative; goal-oriented and entrepreneurial may mean self-interested and quick to quit. In short, there is no list that describes the kind of employee that is right for you, the person doing the hiring.

It is up to you to now the qualities that you want that work for you in the specific workplace you have. Besides, everyone talks a good game when they want to be hired.

There are only two ways to increase the likelihood of getting a good match for the position you want: Evaluation of the prospective employee and a professionally defined work sample.

A third way of attracting quality potential hires? Be the kind of entrepreneur or executive that has an outstanding workplace where employees feel valued and are happy – and then don’t ruin it by being a bad leader.

Evaluation And Measurement Of Employees

Next to hiring well (called “Talent Acquisition” in really big companies),  the Evaluation and Management of employees (called “Retaining Key Talent” in really big companies) is the widest role that psychologists typically play in classical Business Psychology areas.
And hiring well is different from retaining or promoting the good people that you hire.

The hiring and retaining of key people is one of the most complicated features of good leadership. To make sure executives and entrepreneurs have the best information about the skills and abilities of their key employees and co-workers, psychological assessment is often called for.

The measurements used by Clinical Psychologists are far different and far more precise, informative and useful than the standard measurements most often employed by business professionals and other types of psychologists. There are literally thousands of assessment measures available to be used in determining staffing issues, promotion considerations and sales and management elevations.

The assessment process doesn’t need to be oppressive or outrageously expensive, but the money and time invested upfront in the measurement and hiring of new employees can result in great savings later on when compared to having to re-hire and re-train employees who haven’t worked out or who may have cost the company money or reputation by poor performance or disruptive customer interaction.

Such difficulties can be costly and time-consuming to overcome. Understanding and dealing with such issues before they become a problem is the best way to manage them.

Anger And Depression In The Workplace

Family crises, “stress” and depression are the three biggest workplace problems, according to Mental Health America.
Depression alone cost businesses approximately $26 Billion in treatment costs and that is only direct costs, not including lost productivity time or costs associated with Family or Medical Leave times.
It is also estimated that up to 15% of those suffering from severe depression may die from suicide. No figures are available regarding the costs of workplace violence, but how do you put a dollar cost and something as destructive as workplace anger growing into workplace violence and trauma recovery?
Anger management and dangerousness assessment have become management issues in workplaces just as they have become significant issues in schools and at colleges. It seems that everywhere nowadays, one can almost smell the psychological wiring of some individuals starting to burn.
Executives, managers and entrepreneurs now have to add “counselor” to the many hats they have to wear when creating a workplace and keeping it safe for their co-workers, employees and customers.
While most employers will refer an employee for assistance, it is true that most individuals don’t know that they are depressed and don’t realize that help is available to them. With the changing insurance market, many may believe that their health insurance doesn’t cover psychological treatment, but almost all health plans do.
Assessing your employees and the workplace is easy and efficient and doing so can have a ripple effect of improved psychological functioning for the individual, his or her family and certainly workplace productivity and safety.
Contact us today to learn how to increase the psychological functioning and productivity of your workforce.
Greenberg PE, Kessler RC, Birnbaum HG, Leong SA, Lowe SW, Berglund PA, Corey-Lisle PK. The economic burden of depression in the United States: how did it change between 1990 and 2000? Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. December 2003 Dec;64(12):1465-75.

Crisis Response And Critical Incident Debriefing

The modern costs of bad leadership can be measured not only monetarily, but also in loss of life, infra-structure and psychological suffering. Happily, it never comes to this for the majority of entrepreneur, executives, employees and families.
But other, smaller, crises can occur each day in the workplace. The recent #MeToo revelations are an example of who everyday traumas can occur without an executive knowing about it – or denying its existence.
However, little drops of water can become a flood and it is the wise entrepreneur, executive or manager who creates and plans for psychological health care in the workplace. From Employee Assistance Plans to on-site health Care referrals or  Human Resource Officer reviews, the modern workplace plans for an appropriate crisis response and also regularly reviews the availability of Critical Incident Review teams to assist the workforce in times of need.
And what if a significant workplace incident should occur? What is the appropriate response to an inexplicable and stupifying crisis? There really is not just one response other than to realize that a team must be in place to create a series of responses, each response addressing an individual aspect of the catastrophic event, long before any such event may ever happen. The team goal, of course, is to prevent any occurrence of such a catastrophic event in the first place.
But the time to plan for that is now, before any such event may ever happen.

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