• 7 Reasons to Offer Outplacement for Poor Performance

    by Shawna Simcik

    Poor performance in an employee may arise for a number of different reasons. But when an employee’s performance7 reasons to provide outplacement services is obviously unacceptable and everyone knows it, it can be easier to take action, especially if the person has had every opportunity to improve.

    Before terminating employment, first consider why you are not getting the results that you and the organization desire. In times of change, is your employee having difficulty adopting new values, skills, relationships or thinking? Is the employee lacking the training? Do they know what is expected of them or perhaps there is a non-work related issue impeding performance. If they are simply not suited for the job, you should make every effort to find alternative work for the person. At the end of the day if you still cannot, then you must let them go – but do so with humility and compassion.

    It may seem like days, weeks, maybe even months wasted on coaching, consulting, and counseling of these poor performers. How frustrating. Yet, when someone is let go for poor performance, many organizations overlook hidden costs including lost time, waning productivity, a tarnished reputation, devastated employee morale, diminished customer loyalty, and potential legal action, all of which can far outweigh the usual cost-savings predicted. There are often ways you can plan ahead for a smoother termination and improve the subsequent discussions and actions.

    Offering Career Transition Services – or outplacement services – to poor performers can significantly reduce your risk, control your costs and secure your reputation for the future. Here are a few reasons to offer outplacement services to your poor performers:

    1. Sustain the morale of and demonstrate your commitment to retaining employees

    2. Manage former employee’s perception of the company

    3. Maintain the company’s reputation in the community and with ...

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  • Communication: I Know I Was Clear – It’s Your Problem!

    by Mary Ann Gontin

    As an executive coach, the number one issue that I am asked to address in working with clients is how to improve their5 ways to resolve communication problems in the workplace communication.


    However, rarely is that how the request is made (perhaps a problem with communicating?). I am often told that an executive is brilliant but can’t influence people to support his ideas, or she is an incredibly gifted strategic thinker but has high turnover on her staff. Teams are disconnected because they don’t support the same goals.


    These scenarios, when dissected and reviewed, are often due to lack of clarity of communication. 

    Here are five ways to improve your communication:

    1. Set and discuss expectations – overwhelmingly, this is the number one failure in communication in many organizations. This is critical not just for managers, but also for any employees who are requesting information or work from peers. Expectations require dialog, examples should be given, deadlines set and an opportunity for the other person to ask questions and provide reasons why the expectations may not be achievable. Often, this will require a follow up meeting to ensure everyone is in agreement and understanding of what is expected. Investing the time in the beginning will save time in the long run.


    2. Listen and watch – many people do spend time gathering their thoughts and preparing notes before delivering key information. However, often they overlook the importance of how the information is received. Successful communication is a two-way street. It is critical that you ask for reactions, questions and then listen. Observe body language as well as tone of voice when someone asks a question. Are you observing discomfort, silence, anxiety, negativity? Take the time to delve into their concerns or misunderstandings.


    3. Use words for the audience – many ...

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  • Building A Personal Brand to Stand Out From the Crowd

    It Takes More Than a Hat to be a Cowboy

    by Meredith Masse

    The best brands tell a story about how they solve problems. The best brands entice us because they’ve createdBuilding A Personal Brand to Stand Out from the Crowd meaning for us. 

    Your personal brand needs to do the same! And the key to building a powerful personal brand lies in understanding what you as an employee or leader -- and only you -- bring to the table and how to tell your brand story. This goes for the currently employed seeking the promotion or sweet assignment, the leader who wants people to follow and job seekers looking to land sooner rather than later. Let’s use the job seeker in this example.

    “Maketeer,” best-selling author, and creator of the world’s most popular blog Seth Godin defines “brand” in this way:

    “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”

    Translating that into personal brand for job seekers, it might read:

    Your personal brand is the set of strengths, talents, traits, skills, experiences, results, accomplishments and culture fit you hold dear that, taken together, account for your future employer’s decision to choose you over another candidate. If the hiring manager doesn’t offer another interview, tout you to other interviewers in the company or spread the word otherwise, then no brand value exists for that hiring manager.

    Consider these three elements when developing your personal brand so you’ll stand out from other candidates for the job:

    1. What You Do: Your Strengths

    What unique abilities, skills, experiences do ...

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  • Fireworks for Top Performers

    By Susan Ruhl

    Fresh off the 4th of July holiday weekend, I have had some time to reflect on the meaning of this holiday and how it appliesFireworks for Top Performers to a critical component of our great nation:  

    Top Performers. 

    Any company interested in recruiting and retaining top talent must learn the science of appreciating that talent and what it means to the organization. 


    Since the Great Recession began, workforces have experienced a high level of turmoil resulting in higher levels of disengaged employees. Who can blame them? Layoffs, increased workload, lack of career paths can leave workers thinking the grass may be greener on the other side. As a result, HR departments are faced with low productivity, negative attitudes, absenteeism and substantial turnover. 


    So how can companies keep their top performers from jumping over the fence? Top performers respond to one common ingredient: recognition. According to a 2013 study by the Aberdeen Group, 67% of Best-In-Class organizations have a formal recognition program compared to 58% in 2012. However, only 37% of all organizations have a clearly defined engagement strategy. “Best-in-Class organizations are rapidly embracing recognition as a way to fuel engagement and drive business success. What distinguishes these programs is their ability to embed recognition in the company culture by empowering every employee to recognize great performance, embrace innovative technology and consistently evaluating these efforts across the organization.”  


    According to Accelir’s 2014 study “Rewards & Recognition: 2014 Trend Report”, one of the biggest trends is “Creating a Culture of Recognition.” In order for a recognition program to bring fireworks, it should:


    1. Be tied to the company’s values. Articulating the company values doesn’t come from HR; it comes from the top.  Helping the workforce understand why the values are the values and why they are important ...

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The vOIce

The vOIce is written by many of the managing partners of OI Partners. Topics include our ideas on how you or your organization can be effective in areas related to career development, executive development, workforce development, career transition and more.

We welcome your comments!