'Tis the season

Career & Education

'Tis the season

Launching Leaders

with Debra Fraser

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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It's that time of year again when we make dietary promises and resolutions that we probably won't keep. It's also the time when employees are hopeful, expectant even, that management will open the coffers and give a nice fat Christmas bonus for all their hard work.

But not so fast!

HR professionals have changed the game with the implementation of systems of appraisals and evaluations. In the new game, it's metrics that primarily determine if, and how much, an employee will receive. Going are the days of equitably sharing a percentage of net profit among the troops.

But it's Christmas, and if you can't wish for the best, then…

Celebrate Good Times

For many employers of choice, it's both a time for reflection and recognition. There are the customary staff awards and parties, sometimes a message from the CEO about how the company is doing and possibly a teaser about exciting developments on the horizon. It's also a great opportunity to reinforce the message about how critical their performance has been to the overall success of the company. In short, it's a great time for the CEO and senior management to shine while paying homage to the actual stars, their employees. Through investment in their assets, tangible and human, organisations lay the foundation to reap profits, especially as it relates to improved customer service delivery levels, which can in turn translate to sustained profitability. In the end though, especially in blue chip companies, though employees want recognition for their contributions, they also want to own a piece of the enterprise in stock options, shares or playing more critical roles via promotions and partnership. And what better way to celebrate success than to share it with those who help create it?

Many Happy Returns

Feel-good factor aside, the realities of a rapidly evolving local and global economy dictates that leaders are always in planning mode. 'Adapt or die' is more than just a popular cliche; it's a rallying cry that when worked into the DNA of the company's culture, challenges team members at every level to bring their 'A' game all day, everyday.

This all sounds great in a general or department meeting. However, unless employees also inform new innovations and strategic decisions via an open-door policy environment that encourages asking difficult questions and positively disrupting the status quo, companies won't realise their full potential and likely end up losing some of their stars to their competitors. In addition to having a system to funnel ideas and suggestions to improve the company, some firms take it to another level by hosting full-on inspiration conventions to fuel friendly competition and discover the next big thing or star. So even though Christmas is the time to celebrate everything family, a culture of year-round recognition and engagement is possibly the most sustainable way to generate happy returns for the bottom line and team morale.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin' up!

Debra Fraser MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the BPIAJ and the Global Services Sector, a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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