Doug Dillon 2015-04-09 01:43:49
Performance Management: Avoid the Dread! ALL TOO OFTEN, managers and employees alike get that sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs when it comes to Performance Management. You know the feeling. As an employee, you dread the discussion with your boss. What’s he/she going to say? What do I have to respond to? What tiny detail from nine months ago will he/she spring on me? From a manager’s perspective, the thought of preparing the document and setting the time and date of the discussion is no less shuddersome. I have no idea what to write! I can’t remember what they did last week, let alone over the last year! What if they take my message the wrong way? What if they get defensive and close down? Or worse, what if they become indignant? TASK VS TOOL If the Performance Management process conjures feelings of discomfort for BOTH manager AND employees, how can we make it better? For one, we need to stop thinking of it as a task and one of a tool. By definition, a tool is an object that makes it easier to accomplish something. It’s not a good use of time and effort to simply tick the box and declare the task “complete.” If that is all it is, we’d be better off using the time to defrost the lunchroom freezer or inventory the paperclips. Instead, we need to make the process more SOLUTION oriented. What happened last year? What worked well? What didn’t go as we’d planned? Why? How do we make it better? PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT One way to do this is to ensure that Personal Development is involved. Have an open dialogue about what skills, knowledge or experience the employee thinks they need for greater success. This is not meant to be a sign of weakness or failure. If the employee drives this part of the discussion, the Performance Management process takes on a different light. It has a positive focus. “Huh. The company stands ready to invest in me. That’s pretty cool.” But it’s all in the delivery, isn’t it? If the manager uses a failure or inadequacy of performance to address something the employee needs to do as a result, the positive aspect is lost. Now, the development plan item becomes another box to be ticked as the result of “my manager blaming me.” Let the employee suggest things first! SET SPECIFIC & MEASURABLE GOALS Another way to make Performance Management feel less burdensome and more positive is to ensure the goals for the employee are set properly. When goals are ambiguous or difficult to measure against success, there is the opportunity for a surprise during the review. No one likes surprises. One goal that appears on so many review forms that is fraught with ambiguity is “Provide great customer service.” Bravo! What a great idea. Or is it? The employee walks into the discussion feeling confident that he has excelled throughout the year on his goal. The manager gets ready to rate the goal low since sales are down. Neither is able to accurately measure anything since the goal is so vague. The result? SURPRISE! You think you’re great and the manager thinks you’re horrible. The discussion is uncomfortable and unproductive, the engagement of the employee sinks, and the perception that the Performance Management process is something to dread continues. At least we get to tick the box that the process was completed though, right? If there is a surprise, the onus is on the manager. Goals should be specific and measurable. Coaching should occur throughout the year, not just during Performance Management. If your organization suffers from “Performance Management Dread,” give ASA-U a call to help overhaul it. Make it be the positive tool that it is meant to be, not something that is distressing or simply a valueless task. Connecting...Growing…Advancing…Network 2015 BIG AND SMALL, each company in the PHCPPVF industry needs to connect with their channel partners to strengthen the bonds that keep our industry relevant and strong. But where does the industry meet to solidify these relationships and give you the Ability to Grow? That place is Network2015. It’s WHERE THE INDUSTRY MEETS Oct. 27–29 in Chicago. Network2015 is an event so packed with networking, education and thought-provoking speakers that it’s hard to believe it is encapsulated in a two-and-a-half day event. By bringing together the top CEOs, owners and sales executives in our industry, it provides educational sessions to keep you ahead of the curve. Network always has hit the mark, but this year is different. Different because we have enhanced the program by doubling the amount of educational seminars and speakers thanks in large part to the support of American Supply Association’s Education Foundation. FEATURED SPEAKERS Building on the excitement from last year’s event, our headline speaker will definitely keep you talking. “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell will share his story of being one of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan during Operation Redwing and the courage and honor of those extraordinary warriors who did not make it off the mountain. Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron “Jaws” Jaworski, a leader both on and off the field, will define the lines of where sports and business intersect. We also will hear from Dinesh D’Souza, a policy analyst in the Reagan White House and author of many books who will paint a portrait of how America has been a shining city on the hill, a symbol of freedom and an example of opportunity for the rest of the world. But what if America had never been founded? D’Souza will answer that question in Chicago. Concluding the educational programming is the always anticipated Industry Forecast for 2016, ASA’s cornerstone member benefit. The forecast will be presented by economist Brian Beaulieu and revealed exclusively at Network. As always, Network is loaded with powerful tools and topics for our industry leaders and decision-makers. WHOLESALER AND VENDOR CONFERENCE APPOINTMENTS We round out the event with even more valuable networking opportunities. You will want to make sure to be a part of the Wholesaler and Vendor Conference Appointments where $12 billion of purchasing power comes together in one room during Network2015. These scheduled appointments bring together the top decision-makers representing wholesalers and their suppliers to strengthen existing partnerships and explore new connections. Regardless of your company size, it’s the strength in connecting that keeps our industry vital and provides you the ability to grow. Stay relevant, advance your ability and advance your leadership by being part of Network2015. Visit asa.net/Network2015 for all the details on the industry’s can’t-miss event. Young Executives Continue to Gain Momentum ASA’S YOUNG EXECUTIVES DIVISION (YE) continues to see tremendous growth in membership for its annual Spring Forum event. 2015 SPRING FORUM After record attendance in Milwaukee last year, the 2015 Spring Forum in Charlotte is shaping up to have an even larger turnout. The opportunity to attend is invaluable as this program brings young professionals in from around the country and offers the opportunity to network, learn and grow. Thanks to the support from ASA’s Supplier Partners, each year’s program is centered on a two-day educational seminar and a tour of one of the industry’s leading manufacturers — this year Apollo Valves takes center stage. OPERATION: RISE & CONQUER In addition to the Spring Forum, YE has taken the driver’s seat to raise awareness and funds for a great cause, Operation: Rise & Conquer (ORC). ORC is a program that empowers and inspires disabled veterans and recovering active-duty service members to regain confidence and trust themselves, as well as others. ORC participants are sent on a week-long outdoor adventure using adaptive sports equipment to snow ski, rock climb, mountain bike and much more. The YE’s were able to raise almost $30,000 at last year’s Spring Forum. In 2015, the goal is to raise $100,000 through various ASA functions, including a fundraiser at the Adaptive Sports Center in Colorado. More details on ORC can be found at adaptivesports.org/adventure/military-programs. FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information on the ASA Young Executives Division, please visit asa.net/Membership/ Divisions/Young-Executives or contact Bill Erfort, Member Services Manager at email@example.com or 630/ 467-0000, ext. 212. Networking Council Events Connect Industry Peers ASA’s Peer Networking Councils hold regular events to network and learn with industry peers from every background. THE AMERICAN SUPPLY ASSOCIATION believes connecting and networking within all levels of an organization allows our members to become stronger; giving them the Ability to Grow. PEER NETWORKING COUNCILS To help members advance their ability and relationships, ASA offers four Peer Networking Councils to place members in direct communication with other member employees around the nation who have the same job functions along with the same challenges and opportunities. With a council that fits your needs, events and webinars are scheduled this year to help our members connect, build relationships and share best practices. Following up on a successful event in January, showroom managers should mark their calendars for June 10 – 11 for an event in Dallas focused on “Driving Designer Business to your Showroom.” FINANCE NETWORKING COUNCIL The Finance Networking Council, especially for CFOs and others responsible for the financial management of an organization, has planned events in April as well as October. The October event will focus on the hot-button topic of taxes! TRAINING AND HUMAN RESOURCE COUNCIL The Training and Human Resource Council, tailored for those responsible for creating and implementing training programs, offers an in-person event in April on the topic of “Change Management,” as well as a webinar in June that asks the question, “What Makes Leaders Great?” LOGISTICS AND OPERATIONS COUNCIL Rounding things out is the Logistics and Operations Council. We’ll present two high-powered speakers in webinars exclusively for ASA members. Hear from Jason Bader in May on “Finding the Balance In Inventory Turns and Customer Service.” In September, Gene Marks talks about the latest manufacturing technologies that distributors need to know about. EVENT INFORMATION Updated Networking Council event information can be found on ASA’s Industry Calendar at asa.net/Networking/ Industry-Calendar and by contacting Ruth Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org and 630/ 467-0000, ext. 210. Facilitating Job Growth in the Industry ASA’s Young Executives (YE’s) take the lead to facilitate job growth for the PHCP-PVF industry. AN IMPORTANT STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE of ASA is to increase the number of talented workers taking advantage of attractive career opportunities in the PHCP-PVF industry. The ASA Board of Directors approved an outreach campaign to connect potential new employees with member companies. ASA is developing turn key tools and resources for members to use when recruiting job seekers for positions in their companies, such as at local job fairs. MEMBER BENEFITS Upon request, ASA members will be provided with an ASA Careers popup banner, brochures and a “how to” guide for effectively hosting a career fair. The brochures are customizable and allow ASA members to promote jobs in the industry to high schools, colleges, veterans and active service members, while promoting their own companies as well. MORE INFORMATION Check out ASA’s Careers Page at asa.net/careers to post available positions, view upcoming career events near you and to see what else ASA is doing to facilitate job growth in the industry. You may also contact Bill Erfort for more details at email@example.com and 630/ 467-0000, ext. 212.
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