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At the recent annual convention for The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD), Kathryne Newton, professor of industrial distribution at Purdue University, talked with attendees about how to improve their approaches to work force management.
Here are five of the many tips that emerged during her presentation on personnel productivity improvement:
Hire slowly and fire quickly. Keeping someone who is not worth it is destructive – potentially even toxic – to an organization.
Know where you are on the pay scale vs. your competitors. Do you offer a leadership wage, a competitive wage or a laggard wage? If yours is a laggard wage, you won’t be able to recruit and retain the best employees, Newton says. Also, compensation plans are never a good substitute for poor management, she says. Most of the time, employees leave managers, not jobs, she says, so make sure you have the right talent in the right places in your organization as a whole.
If you want to have a high-performing organization, think beyond salary. While pay is important, it’s not the only tool you need to attract the best and execute on the talent you have. A strategic plan; training, resources and incentives; ongoing benchmarking & analytics; clear communication with employees; collaboration; and more are needed for a truly strong company. Also consider perks or rewards such as flexible schedules, occasional gift cards from the boss to recognize good work and more.
Evaluate your human resources plan like you do any other part of your business. Track data such as time to fill and cost per hire, Newton says. To recruit for success, it’s also necessary to build a solid recruiting platform. Do you have centralized HR? And are you always recruiting?
Don’t talk so much in job interviews. Newton says companies often make the mistake of trying to sell the interviewee on the job, rather than taking the time to listen. “You should be talking no more than 20 percent of the time,” she says. Also plan the interview process, using a combination of closed- and open-ended questions, probing and reflection. Avoid leading or loaded questions. (Get more interview tips from John Salveson.)