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The Bottom Line on Integrity; more.
The Bottom Line on IntegrityBy Quinn McKay, Gibbs Smith, 2004, 173 pagesList price: $18.95, ISBN: 1-58685-380-5
Integrity begins by being honest about dishonesty,” Quinn McKay writes.
In The Bottom Line on Integrity he dissects the ways all of us—both in and outside the office—often consider ourselves to be more honest than we really are.
McKay wants to give readers a practical approach to integrity, not a philosophy text, and he combines provocative questions about truthfulness with question-and-answer exercises you can use to test your own, your team’s or your organization’s attitudes toward real-life quandaries. McKay offers guidelines on how to use the book for individual study or group training.
Buzzwords such as “honesty” and “integrity” sprinkled in corporate brochures don’t make a company honest, and they may even stop people from thinking about the real meaning of integrity, says McKay, a consultant, coach and business professor. He lists a dozen principles to keep integrity at the forefront of the organization. Among his recommendations:
Management SkillsEdited by Tamara Keller and Rob Brandt, Jossey-Bass, 2005, 798 pagesList price: $25, ISBN: 0-7879-7341-6
From running an office day after day and working with virtual teams to pondering your aptitude for leadership and nurturing your own career, the essays in this collection cover multiple facets of the management landscape.
This hefty volume, from business and management book publisher Jossey-Bass, distills a host of management books into essays, grouped into six broad subject areas. All six deal with “the management of people,” the editors note. “The authors in this book agree that, at its core, management is a relationship.”
The editors have organized
Management Skills so readers can dip into any section and read about broad management ideas or specific tips, as needed.
The One Thing You Need to KnowBy Marcus Buckingham, Free Press, 2005, 304 pagesList price: $29.95, ISBN: 0-7432-6165-8
Managing and leading often are treated as if they’re interchangeable, notes researcher and consultant Marcus Buckingham. But managers and leaders who believe this are overlooking crucial differences between their roles—differences that could make them better leaders and managers.
Managers have to recognize their employees’ unique abilities and capitalize on them, Buckingham contends, while leaders’ mandate is the opposite: They have to “call upon what we all share,” find universal common denominators and focus on the future.
Great managers need to “discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it,” nurturing employees’ particular strengths in ways that benefit the employer.
One discussion shows how a drugstore chain manager restructured jobs and departed from company procedures to make the most of employees’ strengths. For example, the employee who floundered with general instructions but thrived on specific tasks flourished when the manager dramatically rearranged the store’s usual procedures to put him in charge of keeping the entire store restocked and reshelved—something the manager had seen the employee excel at doing.
Buckingham liberally salts
The One Thing You Need to Know with such case studies. He uses detailed interviews with managers and leaders about specific experiences, their decision-making processes and the results they got.
Buckingham says managers can use three “levers” to manage people more effectively. First, learn employees’ strengths and weaknesses. Second, find their triggers—the things that get them to work their best, whether it’s granting their request to work the graveyard shift or checking in with them regularly because they value seeing the boss come around. Third, uncover and adapt to employees’ particular learning styles.
Turning to leadership, Buckingham says the one thing every great leader knows is that he must “discover what is universal and capitalize on it.” Buckingham outlines how most people need security, community, clarity, authority and respect.
Leaders particularly have to bring clarity to their organization by asking key questions. They must ask who it is the organization serves (and Buckingham shows how retailers Tesco and Best Buy determined who their real audiences were). Leaders also must ask what the organization’s core strength is and focus on it—as Toyota focuses on reliability and Walgreens focuses on convenience.
A concluding section looks at sustained individual success, and Buckingham says that people who experience continued success know one thing: “Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.”
Sustained success means “making the greatest possible impact over the longest period of time,” Buckingham adds. He looks at other authors’ prescriptions for success, such as using the right tactics or finding and fixing your own flaws, and comes down in favor of discovering and cultivating your particular strengths as the best way to change your working life.
The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees LeaveBy Leigh Branham, AMACOM, 2005, 238 pagesList price: $24.95, ISBN: 0-8144-0851-6
About 90 percent of departing employees leave because of issues with their “job, manager, culture or work environment,” Leigh Branham reports, yet nearly 90 percent of managers believe that “employees leave and stay mostly for the money.”
The disconnect between managers’ perceptions and reality means that employers are losing people for reasons they’re not even recognizing, much less fixing.
Backed by information gleaned from more than 19,000 interviews with departing and current employees, Branham examines what drives people to leave, what makes some employees “disengage” and sleepwalk through work, and how employers can fight the flight with specific practices.
Branham, founder of consulting firm Keeping the People Inc., structures the chapters in
The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave for quick use: Each chapter opens with what research reveals about employees’ reasons for leaving, along with real-life comments and Branham’s quick list of root causes. The book contains lists of warning signs that employees may be dissatisfied, and it offers best practices for employers to use in trying to meet employees’ needs. In some instances Branham includes lists of what individual employees can do to get their needs met.
One appendix summarizes all the specific practices Branham suggests throughout the book, and another provides guidelines for successful exit interviews and turnover analysis.
So why do people really leave?
Employers should pay attention during job interviews to see if they discuss both sides’ expectations, if the interviewee asks questions, or if there is a very different workplace culture where the interviewee worked previously. These and other factors could lead to unspoken and unmet expectations.
Practices for matching employers’ and employees’ expectations include hiring from among temps, interns, part-timers and others already familiar with the employer; using employee referrals; and ensuring that job descriptions are accurate. Allowing team members to interview candidates and letting candidates sample job experiences, perhaps through computer-based simulations, are also ways to narrow everyone’s expectations.
Compiled by Leigh Rivenbark, a freelance writer and editor in Vienna, Va.
Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement by SHRM or HR Magazine.
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