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Monday, November 20, 2017

Passed over for a promotion!

Dear HR Professional,

I've been at my company for over two years, and while things are good for the most part, there's one issue bothering me. One of my colleagues (different boss, but same team) just got promoted and he hasn't even been here a year!

I believe I work just as hard as him, yet my boss hasn't even mentioned next steps for me. It doesn't seem like we're being judged by the same standards and I hate to sound whiny, but it just feels unfair. What should I do?

Signed,
Feeling Slighted


Dear Feeling Slighted,

It's such a disheartening feeling to know that you werepassed over for a promotion, especially when it feels like there's unfair treatment. The good news: This is an opportunity to have an honest career growth discussion with your manager—one in which you can clarify how your performance will be measured and then set goals for the future.

Here's a simple script you can use to start that conversation:

“Hi [Manager Name], I would love to work together to set some goals for how I can grow and progress in my career. I would really like to [goal] and I’d like your thoughts on what I’ll need to get there. Can we set some time to discuss in our next meeting?”

Before you meet though, make sure you reflect on where you are right now and where you want to go. It's important to think about only you and your performance. This is yourcareer growth conversation, not your co-worker's. As hard as it is, you'll have to remove him from the conversation entirely.

To reflect on your performance, ask yourself the following:

• What contributions have you made?
• What are your major accomplishments?
• What areas do you need to improve in?
• Have you grown in those areas?

And to think about the future, ask yourself the following:

• What does your ideal role look like?
• What are your greatest strengths?
• What have you enjoyed working on the most?
• What would you give up, if you could?

From there, you can work backwards and see if there are any skills or experiences you would need first in order to get to where you want to be. In discussing with your manager, he or she should be able to articulate any gaps in performance and areas where you'd need to grow.

I recommend setting goals with your manager that you can track over time (and then actually tracking them together).

Everyone progresses differently and there are multiple factors taken into account when making promotion decisions—not just length of time at a company. So while it seems unfair, there may be clear rationale as to why your co-worker was promoted. Try to avoid assumptions and comparisons with others and instead focus on creating your own plan with your boss.

And if after those frank conversations, you still feel there's unfair treatment, you can always reach out to your internal HR department to share your concerns or think about if this company is the right place to grow your career.


More About Shannon Fitzgerald
As Director of HR at The Muse, Shannon makes sure that the company delivers on being a great workplace for its growing team of Musers, from handling benefits to developing talent management processes. Shannon leverages her experience in benefits and payroll administration, new hire orientation, performance management, employee relations, executive coaching, and training and development to increase transparency and set policies that align with the company’s culture and core values. Before joining The Muse, she built and ran HR at a proprietary trading firm in Chicago (Go-Go White Sox!).

National Manufacturing Conference


Monday, October 23, 2017

10 " Must do" to manage change!

1. Address the “human side” systematically. Any significant transformation creates “people issues.” New leaders will be asked to step up, jobs will be changed, new skills and capabilities must be developed, and employees will be uncertain and resistant. Dealing with these issues on a reactive, case-by-case basis puts speed, morale, and results at risk. A formal approach for managing change — beginning with the leadership team and then engaging key stakeholders and leaders — should be developed early, and adapted often as change moves through the organization. This demands as much data collection and analysis, planning, and implementation discipline as does a redesign of strategy, systems, or processes. The change-management approach should be fully integrated into program design and decision making, both informing and enabling strategic direction. It should be based on a realistic assessment of the organization’s history, readiness, and capacity to change.
2. Start at the top. Because change is inherently unsettling for people at all levels of an organization, when it is on the horizon, all eyes will turn to the CEO and the leadership team for strength, support, and direction. The leaders themselves must embrace the new approaches first, both to challenge and to motivate the rest of the institution. They must speak with one voice and model the desired behaviors. The executive team also needs to understand that, although its public face may be one of unity, it, too, is composed of individuals who are going through stressful times and need to be supported.
Executive teams that work well together are best positioned for success. They are aligned and committed to the direction of change, understand the culture and behaviors the changes intend to introduce, and can model those changes themselves. At one large transportation company, the senior team rolled out an initiative to improve the efficiency and performance of its corporate and field staff before addressing change issues at the officer level. The initiative realized initial cost savings but stalled as employees began to question the leadership team’s vision and commitment. Only after the leadership team went through the process of aligning and committing to the change initiative was the work force able to deliver downstream results.
3. Involve every layer. As transformation programs progress from defining strategy and setting targets to design and implementation, they affect different levels of the organization. Change efforts must include plans for identifying leaders throughout the company and pushing responsibility for design and implementation down, so that change “cascades” through the organization. At each layer of the organization, the leaders who are identified and trained must be aligned to the company’s vision, equipped to execute their specific mission, and motivated to make change happen. A major multi line
insurer with consistently flat earnings decided to change performance and behavior in preparation for going public. The company followed this “cascading leadership” methodology, training and supporting teams at each stage. First, 10 officers set the strategy, vision, and targets. Next, more than 60 senior executives and managers designed the core of the change initiative. Then 500 leaders from the field drove implementation. The structure remained in place throughout the change program, which doubled the company’s earnings far ahead of schedule. This approach is also a superb way for a company to identify its next generation of leadership.
4. Make the formal case. Individuals are inherently rational and will question to what extent change is needed, whether the company is headed in the right direction, and whether they want to commit personally to making change happen. They will look to the leadership for answers. The articulation of a formal case for change and the creation of a written vision statement are invaluable opportunities to create or compel leadership-team alignment.
Three steps should be followed in developing the case: First, confront reality and articulate a convincing need for change. Second, demonstrate faith that the company has a viable future and the leadership to get there. Finally, provide a road map to guide behavior and decision making. Leaders must then customize this message for various internal audiences, describing the pending change in terms that matter to the individuals.
A consumer packaged-goods company experiencing years of steadily declining earnings determined that it needed to significantly restructure its operations — instituting, among other things, a 30 percent work force reduction — to remain competitive. In a series of offsite meetings, the executive team built a brutally honest business case that downsizing was the only way to keep the business viable, and drew on the company’s proud heritage to craft a compelling vision to lead the company forward. By confronting reality and helping employees understand the necessity for change, leaders were able to motivate the organization to follow the new direction in the midst of the largest downsizing in the company’s history. Instead of being shell-shocked and demoralized, those who stayed felt a renewed resolve to help the enterprise advance.
5. Create ownership. Leaders of large change programs must overperform during the transformation and be the zealots who create a critical mass among the work force in favor of change. This requires more than mere buy-in or passive agreement that the direction of change is acceptable. It demands ownership by leaders willing to accept responsibility for making change happen in all of the areas they influence or control. Ownership is often best created by involving people in identifying problems and crafting solutions. It is reinforced by incentives and rewards. These can be tangible (for example, financial compensation) or psychological (for example, camaraderie and a sense of shared destiny).
At a large health-care organization that was moving to a shared-services model for administrative support, the first department to create detailed designs for the new organization was human resources. Its personnel worked with advisors in cross-functional teams for more than six months. But as the designs were being finalized, top departmental executives began to resist the move to implementation. While agreeing that the work was top-notch, the executives realized they hadn’t invested enough individual time in the design process to feel the ownership required to begin implementation. On the basis of their feedback, the process was modified to include a “deep dive.” The departmental executives worked with the design teams to learn more, and get further exposure to changes that would occur. This was the turning point; the transition then happened quickly. It also created a forum for top executives to work as a team, creating a sense of alignment and unity that the group hadn’t felt before.
6. Communicate the message. Too often, change leaders make the mistake of believing that others understand the issues, feel the need to change, and see the new direction as clearly as they do. The best change programs reinforce core messages through regular, timely advice that is both inspirational and practicable. Communications flow in from the bottom and out from the top, and are targeted to provide employees the right information at the right time and to solicit their input and feedback. Often this will require overcommunication through multiple, redundant channels.
In the late 1990s, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Charles O. Rossotti, had a vision: The IRS could treat taxpayers as customers and turn a feared bureaucracy into a world-class service organization. Getting more than 100,000 employees to think and act differently required more than just systems redesign and process change. IRS leadership designed and executed an ambitious communications program including daily voice mails from the commissioner and his top staff, training sessions, videotapes, newsletters, and town hall meetings that continued through the transformation. Timely, constant, practical communication was at the heart of the program, which brought the IRS’s customer ratings from the lowest in various surveys to its current ranking above the likes of McDonald’s and most airlines.
7. Assess the cultural landscape. Successful change programs pick up speed and intensity as they cascade down, making it critically important that leaders understand and account for culture and behaviors at each level of the organization. Companies often make the mistake of assessing culture either too late or not at all. Thorough cultural diagnostics can assess organizational readiness to change, bring major problems to the surface, identify conflicts, and define factors that can recognize and influence sources of leadership and resistance. These diagnostics identify the core values, beliefs, behaviors, and perceptions that must be taken into account for successful change to occur. They serve as the common baseline for designing essential change elements, such as the new corporate vision, and building the infrastructure and programs needed to drive change.
8. Address culture explicitly. Once the culture is understood, it should be addressed as thoroughly as any other area in a change program. Leaders should be explicit about the culture and underlying behaviors that will best support the new way of doing business, and find opportunities to model and reward those behaviors. This requires developing a baseline, defining an explicit end-state or desired culture, and devising detailed plans to make the transition.
Company culture is an amalgam of shared history, explicit values and beliefs, and common attitudes and behaviors. Change programs can involve creating a culture (in new companies or those built through multiple acquisitions), combining cultures (in mergers or acquisitions of large companies), or reinforcing cultures (in, say, long-established consumer goods or manufacturing companies). Understanding that all companies have a cultural center — the locus of thought, activity, influence, or personal identification — is often an effective way to jump-start culture change.
A consumer goods company with a suite of premium brands determined that business realities demanded a greater focus on profitability and bottom-line accountability. In addition to redesigning metrics and incentives, it developed a plan to systematically change the company’s culture, beginning with marketing, the company’s historical center. It brought the marketing staff into the process early to create enthusiasts for the new philosophy who adapted marketing campaigns, spending plans, and incentive programs to be more accountable. Seeing these culture leaders grab onto the new program, the rest of the company quickly fell in line.
9. Prepare for the unexpected. No change program goes completely according to plan. People react in unexpected ways; areas of anticipated resistance fall away; and the external environment shifts. Effectively managing change requires continual reassessment of its impact and the organization’s willingness and ability to adopt the next wave of transformation. Fed by real data from the field and supported by information and solid decision-making processes, change leaders can then make the adjustments necessary to maintain momentum and drive results.
A leading U.S. health-care company was facing competitive and financial pressures from its inability to react to changes in the marketplace. A diagnosis revealed shortcomings in its organizational structure and governance, and the company decided to implement a new operating model. In the midst of detailed design, a new CEO and leadership team took over. The new team was initially skeptical, but was ultimately convinced that a solid case for change, grounded in facts and supported by the organization at large, existed. Some adjustments were made to the speed and sequence of implementation, but the fundamentals of the new operating model remained unchanged.
10. Speak to the individual. Change is both an institutional journey and a very personal one. People spend many hours each week at work; many think of their colleagues as a second family. Individuals (or teams of individuals) need to know how their work will change, what is expected of them during and after the change program, how they will be measured, and what success or failure will mean for them and those around them. Team leaders should be as honest and explicit as possible. People will react to what they see and hear around them, and need to be involved in the change process. Highly visible rewards, such as promotion, recognition, and bonuses, should be provided as dramatic reinforcement for embracing change. Sanction or removal of people standing in the way of change will reinforce the institution’s commitment.
Most leaders contemplating change know that people matter. It is all too tempting, however, to dwell on the plans and processes, which don’t talk back and don’t respond emotionally, rather than face up to the more difficult and more critical human issues. But mastering the “soft” side of change management needn’t be a mystery.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

These things will make your resume stand out — in a bad way.


By Lily Herman Sep 23, 2017

Most professionals nowadays know that a clear (and proofread) resume can help them move along during the job application process. But what if you think you submitted the most perfectly edited resume with loads of experience and you still don’t make the cut?
It turns out that there are plenty of smaller mistakes that make recruiters reconsider adding you to the “yes” pile.
Six of them weighed in on the problems they see with resumes all the time that keep applicants from getting ahead.

1. It’s way too long
Lyssa Barber, the former head of recruitment at UBS Asset & Wealth Management, says that one of the largest issues she sees with job applicants is that they’ll submit a resume that “indulges the candidate, but [doesn’t] entice the hiring manager.”
“Even if you’re the CEO, you don’t need a five-page CV,” she notes. “I’ve received eight to 10-page efforts, and they just go straight into the reject pile. [Doing so] suggests an inability to condense information for a time-poor audience.”
Barber also says to steer clear of half-page personal statements; go for a clear, three-line objective instead.

2. It’s over-styled
Trevor Collins, a recruiter at KVH Industries, says that while he focuses on skills and experience, style issues can make it more challenging to read a resume quickly.
He says some of the biggest mistakes he sees are people who:
Use multiple fonts
Include broken hyperlinks
Use buzzwords or overly formal speech
Are too long-winded
Just because your resume doesn’t have any typos doesn’t mean that other style problems aren’t turning off a hiring manager. Skip the out-there fonts, double-check your hyperlinks and keep the language simple.

3. It doesn’t include keywords
Candidates need to make it easy for recruiters to find what they’re looking for, especially since they’re scanning hundreds of resumes every day.
“When I look at a CV I immediately look for words that relate to the role I am working on,” says Sarah Rawcliffe, a talent manager at Get My First Job. “For example, for a childcare role I would want to see a placement [at a] nursery, work experience in primary school or even babysitting for a family friend, anything that shows some kind of interest in the industry they have applied for.”
Don’t make it hard for recruiters to connect the dots as to why you’re a good fit for the role. They may give up and look elsewhere.

4. It has the wrong tone
“Some candidates are giving great thought to the editing of their resume – checking for typos, verb tenses, and verbiage – but not considering tone,” explains Laura Mazzullo, founder of East Side Staffing. “I would recommend reading the resume aloud keeping personal brand at the forefront of your consideration. ‘Does this resume reflect my values and perspective? Is this how I want to come across to potential employers?’”
Mazzullo once received a resume that said, “I am the BEST…” with all-caps included. Unsurprisingly, she says that’s a huge no-no.

5. It’s not ordered by level of relevance or impact
In keeping with the theme of making it easy for hiring managers and recruiters, make sure you put the most important or relevant information at the top of your resume and throughout each position.
“Your resume should highlight your most prized accomplishments in the first bullets and day-to-day towards the bottom,” says recruiter Taylor Carrington. “Structure the resume [from] greatest to least impactful for each position you held.”

6. It doesn’t tell a story
If a recruiter looks at your resume and can’t tell what your career “story” is and generally where you’re hoping to go, that could lead to a “no.”
“No matter the level of the candidate, [from] someone just out of college or a very senior executive, it’s okay if someone works in various industries and jumps around a bit and gains different experiences,” says Eva Freidan, a product leadership recruiter at Facebook. “But at the end of the day, what is the common thread throughout this person’s career?”
Freidan recommend taking some time to write a paragraph or two explaining your overall career arc. If it’s not clear to you, it certain won’t be clear to a recruiter who’s scanning your resume quickly.
When it comes to resume writing, the most important thing is to think about what’ll make the hiring manager want to move your resume into the “yes” pile. They’re rooting for you (their jobs depend on it), so the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are move you to the next round.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Discrimination on grounds of age during recruitment process



CollierBroderick The recent Tennis Ireland case before the WRC, reported in IRN, resulted in the WRC Adjudication Officer deciding that  Tennis Ireland had discriminated against the former director of development at the International Tennis Federation, on the ground of age, when it selected a less qualified candidate for the post of chief executive.

The claimant was significantly better qualified


The  Adjudication Officer (AO) said that both candidates for the post had qualifications and experience which enabled them to meet the requirements of Tennis Ireland. The AO said that the claimant “was significantly better qualified” and had all the professional experience required in the sport.

The claimant had considerable experience in sports management, having been in a senior position with the International Tennis Federation for 24 years.  It was contended that his age, 58, was the reason for his not securing the appointment.  The successful comparator was 44 years of age when he applied.

The claimant said his interview notes had been marked by a board member with the word “mature”, which he said was a direct reference to his age.

Tennis Ireland acknowledged the complainant’s extensive experience but strenuously denied that the word “mature” on interview notes intended any negative connotation with the claimant’s age.

Selection process


In the first round of interviews, the successful candidate came in first place and the complainant in second place.

The final decision was made by a seven-person subcommittee composed of the respondent, “but without the person from Sports Ireland who had previously sat on the interview board”.

The respondent’s chairperson said that it was felt that the complainant’s experience in his international role “was too high level for what the respondent needed” and that the successful candidate had garnered 5 of the 7 available votes.

Successful candidate significantly less qualified and younger


The AO said that the differences between the complainant and the successful candidate “really are significant”.  The successful candidate was “significantly less qualified” and together with an age difference of about 14 years, this established facts from which age discrimination may be inferred.

He said that a voting process “can be influenced by conscious or sub conscious discriminatory motives as much as any other human activity.”

He said that the reasons given by the chairperson for the appointment of the successful candidate, that he had better “grassroots experience” and “on the ground” experience in terms of sponsorship and that he knew, for example, where to source cheap Astroturf, “make less sense when one considers that they relate to an entirely different sport…..which bears little resemblance to the sport which the respondent is responsible for”.  Furthermore the complainant had worked his way up as an administrator and had experience at a “mundane level” of administering his sport, as much as at the top.

While any organisation is entitled to emphasise the immediate challenges which the new hire needs to address the AO said “there is simply nothing in the complainant’s cv which would explain why the … respondent felt it could not trust the complainant to meet those challenges”.

Case Law


The AO drew on the case of Kathleen Moore Walsh v WIT. The Court held that in cases which involve the filling of posts, it is not the Court’s function to substitute its views on the merits of candidates for those of the decision makers.  What it must do is ensure the selection process is not tainted by unlawful discrimination.

He also drew on O’Halloran v Galway City Partnership, in which the Court pointed out that the qualifications criteria are a matter for the employer “in every case”, as long as these are not indirectly discriminatory.  It is only if the chosen criteria are applied inconsistently as between candidates, or an unsuccessful candidate is clearly better qualified, that an inference of discrimination could arise.

The AO’s Decision


The AO concluded that it was clear the chosen criteria were applied inconsistently. He said that both candidates had qualifications and experience which enabled them to meet the respondent’s stated priorities, but the complainant was significantly better qualified and had all the professional experience needed.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

8 Books Every Consultant Should Read at Least Once!

You probably already know that being well-read is a must in the consulting world. Consultants are expected to have a broad knowledge of management, as well as good understanding of finance, strategy, and communications—among other things. But if you’re looking to up your consulting game , it’s hard to know where to start among the wealth of resources out there. So this week, I rounded up the eight books that have helped me along my consultant journey and career. Whether you’re applying for a job, trying to develop new skills, or just trying to kill some time, these books will help you learn tons more about the field.

1. The McKinsey Way : While this book is focused on a specific firm, the insights and recommendations from it are applicable across the entire industry. The book doesn’t go very deep into specific frameworks or methods and instead focuses on how to survive at “The Firm” and some of the cultural considerations of working and succeeding in consulting. It’s a good read for those just getting into the industry who want to understand more about the mindset and day-to-day work of consultants. Check Out Jobs at McKinsey

2. HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials It’s important to have at least a basic understanding of major theories and academic thought within the business field, and for this, HBR’s 10 Must Reads is a great place to start. This book compiles the top 10 articles on management and covers topics such as innovation, strategy, analytics, and managing change. Once you finish the essentials, HBR also offers Top 10 reads on specific topics , like strategy or change management, to deepen your knowledge.

3. Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies This tome is an essential read from a technical standpoint and also aids in understanding the underlying drivers of major corporations. If you are new to how organizations are valued, it will walk you through tactics on how to approach it. If you just want an overview on how financial statements tie to the share price and the decision making process of organizations, you’ll get a great overview. And if you’ve been asked to value a company or to gain a deeper financial understanding of organizations, this book is the ultimate reference.

4. Key Management Models: The 60+ Models Every Manager Needs to Know Because consulting is all about structured problem-solving, it’s important to become familiar with tools that you can use to help solve your clients’ problems. The book covers a range of models, from strategic to operational, and provides information on how and when to use each of them. I use it as a quick reference guide when faced with a new client problem or question.

5. Pyramid Principle: I’ve talked about the Pyramid Principle before , as it is one of the most quoted and widely used frameworks for structuring communications in consulting. It essentially explains that, in any communication, you should start with your recommendation, arrange supporting ideas into groups, and then provide detailed evidence in order to effectively support your story. If you have read the Cole’s notes on the framework and want to go deeper into how to apply it, then I would recommend diving into the full book.

6. The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures In the day-to-day work of a consultant, you will participate in a number of meetings, planning sessions, and workshops that require you to explain complex ideas or processes simply. This book gives you tools to do that with the help of of graphics and pictures. I love it as a reference guide when planning a meeting or presentation.

7. Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting If you haven’t heard of Victor Chang yet, he’s a case interview guru who has helped many people secure prime consulting offers. In his book, he outlines how to approach case interviews and provides tips and tricks on what interviewers look for—as well as common mistakes that candidates make. It’s a must-read for anyone going through the interview process.

8. The Consultant With Pink Hair This story about the management of a struggling consulting practice provides an entertaining look at the lives of consultants—working late nights, struggling with client management, and managing competition. While it’s technically fictional, it’s very based in truth, and there is a lot of real learning you can get out of it

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