2009 was a tough year and many tough decisions had to be made with regard to people, policies and procedures. I wanted to share some ideas and projects that send the right message to your team. Members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) had some great thoughts for 2010 and information to avoid missteps at the end of 2009.
Thanking those that gave outstanding work
If you see extra profit, can you place this in retirement or profit sharing plans for the team? Do you want to offer one-time extra time off? Or have a team event or get-together that you pay for? Depending on your firm culture, you could consider donations to charities in the name of the team member or give an appreciation award.
Avoid sending the wrong message
If you had layoffs or reduction in compensation and hours, carefully consider awarding bonuses unless you had an established program with metrics that was set-up and clearly communicated before you had layoffs and reductions. You can be sending a bad message unintentionally. Plan carefully and clearly communicate the reasons and sources for reinstating hours and compensation. That way team members don’t have a false sense of security.
Look at your communication process and messages with the team. Now would be a good time to talk individually with your team members to see what they would do or change for next year. Ask them, “How can I (we) make our firm a great place to work—tools, processes, interactions (with clients, each other, other professionals and resources), responsibilities, communications, etc.?”
Metrics for success send the right message
Now would be a great time to look at your incentive structure:
- Position – What can the position actually affect? And what other positions affect the ultimate business result(s) you are looking for?
- Base Line – What is considered acceptable performance and what performance will you reward?
- Metrics – How is the performance to be measured? Is that listed in the job description for the position? Will additional training be needed to allow the person to achieve the goals?
Things to keep in mind as you head off for the holidays, and when you return refreshed next year.