We've been reading about the supposed importance of cultural diversity, but haven't companies always dealt with diverse workforces? This is America after all, land of the melting pot. Explain why diversity is more than a buzzword, something actionable that demonstrably improves business outcomes.
—Mingle and Melt, diversity consultant, Lansing, Michigan
Would it help us build camaraderie and culture to create an inclusive “get-to-know-you sheet” to encourage our employees to develop stronger relationships? Honestly, our focus on culture is newfound. We know it’s important and want to develop tools that nurture it, yet some of our managers don’t fully appreciate how culture ties back to their responsibilities. Suggestions?
—Nervous Newbie, project manager, financial services, Cleveland, Ohio
We want to separate two processes: performance management with a focus on developing people, and merit raises based on an employee’s contributions to our business success. How do I proceed? And what are the benefits of doing so?
—New and Improved, nonprofit, Grand Rapids, Michigan
How do we tie recruiting to fill new positions to development of a comprehensive succession strategy? People tend to talk about succession as a separate event from recruiting, but isn't there a connection between the two? We aren't far enough along on succession and the question has arisen in the context of our ongoing internal discussions.
—We Have Needs, services/software, Amherst, Massachusetts
What ought to be our next probable step for retention as employees reach the maximum salary on our pay scale? Would advancing them into the next job grade be considered a promotion? How can we ensure that our pay reflects going rates but also satisfies our employees?
—Unhappy and Over Budget, vice president of compensation, manufacturing, Detroit
What is the best way to assess the impact our corporate culture has on employee behaviors? This analysis is part of a larger change management initiative.
—Measuring Stick, people & culture specialist, retailing, Calgary, Alberta
There is some inclination by our execs to want to enshrine a training policy to make sure training of employees takes place/gets done. I'm not necessarily opposed, but I also am not convinced it's going to help much. We want to boost participation rates, but I feel like forcing employees to seek out training could backfire.
—Development Dilemma, agriculture/forestry, Lagos, Nigeria
We have people of vastly different age groups in our workforce. What's the key to tailoring engagement to individual groups by age? What can we do to appeal to the varied and different interest among these groups?
—One Size Doesn't Fit, talent management specialist, services, Singapore
Our recruiting methods are getting stale. We aren’t getting great results and it seems to be taking our recruiters more time to find qualified candidates. We rely on all the usual and time-tested methods to recruit, including traditional print ads and online job boards. It seems that the more options we have to post résumés, though, the harder it is to find standout candidates — people who genuinely jump off a résumé and say ‘Hire me.’ Makes me wonder if we are missing somewhere. Am I just venting or might we have a real problem with our recruiting strategy?
—Stuffy in Here, vice president of recruiting, services company, Union, New Jersey
How do we teach our leaders to be assertive decision-makers with their people without coming across as abrupt? It's a fine line to walk and we want to put in place some training and/or guidelines as a primer.
—High-Wire Act, manager, health care, Middletown, Connecticut