We want to conduct cross-training sessions to help some employees acquire new skills. We also have employees that already perform these tasks and don't want them thinking our cross-training is a reflection on their performance. How should we handle this to make sure everyone's on the same page? Is there a better alternative?
—Don't Want Hurt Feelings, HR manager, finance/insurance/real estate, Grand Cayman
Here is our issue in a nutshell: we have a close-knit office and some employees have questioned the fairness of 360 feedback, since there is no way of knowing who says what about whom. What should we do?
—Stuck in the Middle, HR manager, health care services, Boise, Idaho
Some ideas have been presented by management to help employees identify areas of essential skills. One idea is to have employees complete a SWOT analysis. But employees have expressed a range of concerns about SWOT, including:
• Since I'm already doing more with less, when do I find time to complete the SWOT worksheet?
• If I identify threats, how will I be perceived by management?
• Since we have limited funds and can't give raises, how could we capitalize on opportunities that emerge from the analysis?
• Will I be considered a narcissist by management if I list things I do well?
• How do I list my strengths when I'm not even sure what they are?
—Can't Swat These Worries Away, OD director, government, Panama City, Florida
Is there a secret to recruiting people with leadership skills?
—Need a Formula, finance/insurance/real estate, Naperville, Illinois
How should our HR department be using big data? And how do we begin?
—HR senior consultant, services, Abu DhabiRead More
How do we facilitate a discussion with our employees on the meaning of career development? We want to ask probing questions that give us a meaningful plan of action. We know from a recent employee survey that most of our staff is not satisfied with our career development and we need to start a conversation to make improvements.
—Career Doldrums, assistant human resources manager, mining/oil/gas, Singapore
How do we help retirement-age workers in lower-level jobs make the transition, even as we begin planning succession for higher-level jobs? We have some workers who are several years past our voluntary retirement age and want to make sure the company is prepared for their departure. For other higher-level jobs, we are just starting to look at who our successors might be.
—Cautious, HR manager, education, Kingston, Jamaica
We have implemented lean-management and it has worked well for us. It is strongly supported and maintained. We are a print company of 40 people. How much time per week should we spend keeping tabs on our lean-management processes?
—Staying Lean, publishing/communications, Onalaska, Wisconsin
I am in a new role as Talent Acquisition Coordinator and need some help. What is the best way (or ways) to identify key roles in my company going forward? The big issue is being better able to anticipate those skill and talent needs and take steps accordingly. It sounds simple but can be incredibly hard to get it right
—Anticipation, talent acquisition coordinator, telecommunications, Santo Domingo
Our software company is evaluating the idea of letting some employees work from home. However we are concerned about cutting down on distractions and making sure they remain productive. We want to provide some basic "work at home" guidelines to them. What would you suggest we include?
—Set Yourself Up for Success