Friday, January 8, 2010

Weathering the four seasons of transition.(managing the entry of newemployees). USA, LLC

the transition-seasons, originally uploaded by coreman2200.

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Senior executives must be careful in supervising the entry of new employees into their companies in order to fully harness their potential. They must provide the needed management style through four transition stages. These include the freshman stage where a directing management technique is required, the sophomore stage where a coaching style is needed, the junior stage where a supporting style of management will work best and the senior stage where problem-solving and decision-making responsibilities can now be safety relegated.

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 1999 Long Island Commercial Review Inc.
Recently I received a letter from a frustrated middle manager who had been heavily recruited by his new firm; however, after he finally joined the company, the attention given him dried up, and he suddenly felt a sense of rejection.

Senior executives should realize that when they put on a big recruiting effort to land a key team member, they had better continue the "sale" after the rookie joins the firm. But more on that later.

Within any company, new employees tend to transition through four seasons (or stages). If you want to maximize employee satisfaction and productivity, your management style with each employee should change with each one's seasons. These styles offer varying degrees of direction and support.

Season one: The freshman stage. This is typically the stage at which people join your company. If new employees are totally inexperienced in your type of business, the duration of this stage will be longer than if they had prior experience with another similar company. Because these employees are new to your company's team, they don't yet know your goals, policies and the general way your company does business. Still, they are excited about the new opportunity with your company and anxious to make a good impression. For the most part, freshmen respond best to a directing management style from supervisors, wherein they are told what needs to be done, and they tackle it with zeal, enthusiasm and confidence.

Season two: The sophomore stage. When employees enter this stage, usually it's because the initial excitement of the position with your company has worn off, and they have begun to come face to face with some of the barriers to progress within your organization.

As they begin to gain experience working within your organization, they begin to realize how much they still have to learn about your company. Sophomores tend to respond best to a management style described as coaching, where you provide a lower level of direction, while simultaneously offering some support by encouraging them to ask questions and offer suggestions.

In this manner, you are shoring up the downturn in motivation they have experienced.

Season three: The junior stage. At this stage, an employee might be considered a veteran with your firm. He or she is well seasoned with all the operating systems and goals of the company and can provide help to some of the neophytes.

However, experienced employees at this stage still have not exhibited the willingness to totally lead their assigned tasks in an exemplary manner without some guidance from their supervisor. They are hesitant to stick their neck out and make suggestions, for fear they might "rock the boat."

With juniors, the best course of action is a supporting management style because direction is no longer needed. If you ask them for the best solution they may offer it, but they're not ready to volunteer it on their own.

At this point in their careers, you are sharing the decision-making responsibility with them. Many of your employees may never graduate beyond this stage, but they are still productive team members.

Season four: The senior stage. These employees are your superstars - peak-performing employees who are competent, committed and willing to recommend minimum-risk courses of action to improve the business. These self-starters really don't need direction or support, so delegating is the best management style here; give them the decision-making and problem-solving responsibility and accountability, and they'll produce like the champions they are.

How about heavily-recruited new employees I mentioned earlier? If you jump too soon into one of the latter management styles with them (just as they are beginning to be overwhelmed by what they don't know), they may feel ignored and interpret it as management rejection or disappointment.

To review these management styles in greater detail, I recommend a classic text by Blanchard and Zigarmi entitled "Leadership and the One Minute Manager" (Morrow, 1985). Even though the authors refer to my various styles collectively as "situational leadership" (while I refer to them as "situational management"), their presentation is an excellent reference. Even if you read it when first published in 1985, I'd suggest perusing it again as a refresher. Scott Clark is founder and president of the HTC Group, a business development enterprise dedicated to helping companies diagnose problems. His books, workshops and columns are dedicated to making business owners and senior executives increase productivity and achieve success. He can be reached at (319) 363-4663.

Source Citation
Clark, Scott. "Weathering the four seasons of transition." Long Island Business News 11 June 1999: 37A. General OneFile. Web. 8 Jan. 2010. .

Gale Document Number:A55015089

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