Enjoy listening to this recent recording, “People: Treat Them Right” – How did God intend for us to run our businesses? What can we do to influence the culture of a organization? Mark Griffin of In His Name HR brings his expertise to Tandem Radio.
Tandem Radio on the Bridge FM Saturday, May 5th with Featured Guest: Mark Griffin, In HIS Name HR
The New Career Normal * Living the Word With Glenn Mertz WHKW-AM Cleveland Ohio Interview
No doubt about it, we are living in tumultuous times. Mark will discuss how changes in the economy coupled with the daunting amount of changes in the community, state and national levels has had a compounding impact on employees and business owners.
A Little bit about Glenn:
Glenn Mertz hosts Living the Word, a program with a purpose. Glenn talks with people both nationally and locally who are Living the Word. Be encouraged and challenged as you discover how others are living out their Christian faith.
Glenn Mertz guides you through an incredible line-up of Bible teachers each weekday morning on WHKW. Glenn started in radio at Baldwin Wallace College and has worked at stations including WMJI, WWWE and WEOL. He’s now at Salem Communications at AM 1220 ‘The Word’ (WHKW), and hosts the daily Christian talk show ‘Living the Word’ (weekdays 10:30am). Glenn lives in Elyria with his wife, Jackie and his children Rachel and Evan.
A Little bit about Mark:
Mark has a Bachelors degree in Human Resources from Saint Leo College and an MBA from Bloomsburg University. Mark Lives in Manheim Township Pennsylvania with his wife, Gail, and daughter, Emily. Mark attends LCBCChurch and also leads a Career Ministry in which he helped start 6 years ago. Mark is really passionate about the workplace, and especially Christian business owners’ opportunity to reach their employees. He believes employees and companies should work closely together to prosper the company for mutual purposes.
Mark is Chief Consultant, In HIS Name HR LLC, a Christian Business Consulting firm that he created to help Christian business owners prosper their business and engage their employees. Join Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
My company provides HR support services to organizations with fifty or more employees. Typically, the organizations we support do not need a VP or Director of HR full time, but greatly benefit from having access to HR expertise consistently, perhaps a few times a month. I use my 20-plus years in HR at both Fortune and smaller sized companies to help develop for them strong, positive-minded HR practices. I have clients throughout Central Pennsylvania and we are expanding into other parts of the U.S.
What is workplace grief and how common is it?
It is more common than most may realize. Many employees are already bearing the staggering burden of navigating the pressures of a weak global economy, political turmoil and personal financial hardships. Add to that the fact that our population is aging. Many organizations have employees whose loved ones are elderly. So, when faced with a death in the family, it is often the last straw, completely breaking the employee down emotionally.
How would you advise a grieving employee?
This is an excellent question because employers should approach this from two perspectives, and prepare by having both a preventative and reactionary standpoint.
First, take a preventive approach by not waiting for it to happen before deciding how to deal with it. If you are a manager or a leader in an organization, take the initiative now to talk with HR and develop a strategy on how to handle such a situation. Not every department manager is comfortable with or capable of assisting an employee who’s dealing with grief. Identify two or three key people in your organization who will step in to help (and whom you will subsequently arrange to have trained to cope with the various situations and cultures in order to be prepared to react). Another alternative would be to retain the services of a chaplain to assist in these types of situations. Several of my clients use chaplain and have found this to be successful.
From the reactionary perspective, these same two or three people that you’ve chosen within your organization will have been trained and should be prepared as to how they will relate to the person suffering grief. In the Jewish culture, for example, it is common for people to visit a friend’s home when they lose a loved one and just sit with them, saying nothing. Sometimes just being there with someone shows you care. It is important to know that just being there for your employees, rather than avoiding the uncomfortable situation, can prove helpful.
How would you advise supervisors and colleagues to interact with a grieving co-worker?
The best advice is to not change anything and keep the routine as normal as possible. I would suggest that the manager calls all the employees together and asks that anyone who has a relationship with the grieving employee feel free to offer condolences. Those who don’t should not feel obligated, it can look phony and superficial to the grieving employee.
How can grieving and loss affect job performance?
Oftentimes, employees may have attendance issues or slight decreases in performance after the death of a loved one. It is important to keep the communication consistent and constant with the employees. Letting them know you care about their personal situation, but also giving them continued feedback, can go a long way. Offering assistance is a great way to show you care — offer a solution but also set the bar. Use language like, “I realize it is hard getting back into the swing of things, but we need your performance for the Team’s objectives. Can I get you some help from a co-worker?
Any closing comments?
Yes. Thank you for the opportunity to share my perspective with your readers. Death is an inevitable part of living; we must always be prepared for it. The best preparation is making sure you have staff that is prepared to offer empathy in a time of loss. Let’s hope your readers will not need to employ this advice in 2012!
Mark Griffin, of In His Name HR. In His Name HR provides human resource consulting for small- and medium-sized organizations. Mark has served in the US Air Force, has extensive educational credentials, including a BA in HR, an MBA, and several Executive Education certifications from the University of Michigan. In addition to serving as VP of Human Resources for an international agricultural equipment manufacturer, Mark has also worked in a variety of HR leadership roles for Fortune companies, such as Merck, Kodak and Quaker Oats, as well as privately held and employee-owned companies, such as Woolrich and Townsends.
I have always worked in small HR departments where I am one of 2-3 staff members, wearing multiple hats and juggling competing priorities all day, every day. I am generally orderly and mindful in my work and in my record-keeping. That is an essential skill in this profession where historical data can be called upon at any time for analytics or legal scrutiny. When my staff asks me how I keep it all together and remember to start, track and finish all these tasks, I jokingly say “I don’t remember anything. I just do what the Outlook reminders tell me to do.”
Still, there are times when I sit at my desk and look at the piles, issues and emails that all need to be addressed and I have no idea where to start or how to get it all done! When that happens, I take a deep breath, pull out a piece of paper and make a list.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV) – “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time”
Written plans set priorities and give focus. Once you have dumped your brain and written down everything, you can organize the list according to what is most urgent and important. You may be able to get help or delegate tasks. You may find that there are items that can be postponed or removed altogether. You may find tasks that can be merged together. However, when thoughts are just rolling around in your mind and piles of work are all around, you have no idea of any of these things! Deadlines get missed and important items get forgotten. This is not what God would have for us. God wants us to be productive and meet needs through our work (Titus 3:14). Being deliberate and logical in our work can help us achieve this.
Written plans make it easier to measure effectiveness. When you maintain a list of to-do items or another type of action plan, it is easy to see not only what needs doing but also what has been done. There is a great feeling that comes from conquering tasks on your list (Proverbs 13:9). It gives us a sense of accomplishment that can help keep us motivated to continue working hard in pursuit of our goals (Galatians 6:9).
There are two clear pitfalls to avoid in when preparing the lists and plans for our work.
Complicated, confusing objectives. The Scripture calls for us to make things “plain” so our plan is easy to follow. Keep things clear and concise.
Lengthy, lofty outline. The Scripture calls for us to create plans for “an appointed time.” This is why long lists without clear time limits are ineffective. Keep things specific and finite.
Whether it is a strategic plan for the organization, a meeting agenda or to-do reminders for the day – the ability to create and follow a written plan is critical to consistent performance and long-term achievement. God wants us to be effective in our work. He also wants us to be organized and methodical. And when we look to Him for strength and guidance through prayer and meditation, we can rest assured that He will direct and keep us on a path to success (Proverbs 3:1-8).
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management.
Many people think about them, but very few actually have them. Personal Visions and Goals. Personal Visions are important to have. If you have one and focus on it often, you will ultimately steer your life toward obtaining it.
Think of your vision as your compass, your GPS, or — my personal favorite — a lighthouse at the beach, to lead you through the storms and past the rocky ocean waves you’ll encounter as you make your way toward your final destination.
In developing your vision, ask yourself:
What do I want?
It may sound like a simple enough question, but it’s one of the toughest to answer.
So, ask yourself again.
What do I really, really, truly want for myself?
If I could have the kind of life that would make my heart sing, what would it look like?
At this point, your heart may be beating a bit faster. Can you really have that kind of life?
Yes, I believe you can. I’ve done it and I’ve helped a lot of clients lead passionate and fulfilling lives. It starts by defining what that life could look like.
Now, let’s talk goals. You must establish personal goals in order to get to where you want to go, as outlined in your Vision. As an example, here are some parts of my vision and related goals this year:
Start a business that will grow itself, ultimately turning it into a non-profit;
Manage time more effectively to end my work day by 5PM in order to spend more time with my wife and daughter;
Finish and publish my book;
Expand my prayer life by surrounding myself with prayer experts;
Spend quality time with my wife by planning two weekends away with each other;
Attend at least one in-person seminar or conference to further hone my skills or personal growth;
Share how to build “Kingdom Minded” organizations by speaking at ten to twelve events or radio stations this year;
Do a five-night backpacking trip;
Grow my social media presence by 20 percent;
Give yourself permission to dream about your ideal life, even if you spend just five to ten minutes a day, and consider the following:
What really is my relationship with God? Have I put my full trust in Him?
If I could have more of something in my life, what would it be?
What should I eliminate from my life for good?
Which relationships do I need to nurture, or which ones should I release?
What is my relationship to money?
My secret passion or dream is…
What am I most afraid of?
What habits should I quit?
What can I do to bring more joy into my daily life?
What am I grateful for?
These questions are just a starting point, so take into account all major aspects of your life – friends and family (immediate and extended), church friends, charity work and, of course, fun and recreation. Also, examine thoughts centering on your daily career, activities, spending habits, your personal wellness and fitness, spirituality, and, of course, your spouse.
Got Vision? We would love to know if you have walked through this process before. What was the outcome? Be a difference maker today and inspire a reader by leaving us comments. Have a great week.
Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach on, What is an Organizational Mission? Let Mark inspire you to be bold in your faith as you learn to navigate the complexities of faith in the workplace. Be encouraged as you learn how to develop a high performing organization through your HR practices.
“Praise HIS Name” in partnership with “In HIS Name HR LLC” announce the launch of a twelve week radio series highlighting faith in the Christian owned business workplace. Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach, exploring twelve inspiring weeks of Christian Business topics.
So there you have it. The past few blog postings have given you plenty of ideas on how to integrate your MVV into the culture of your organization through your HR practices. There is a lot to digest, especially if you are not an HR practitioner. Don’t be overwhelmed by the possibilities before you. Simply work out a plan with your Team.
The first step is to create your Mission Vision and Values. Always include your employees in the process. Hire a good facilitator if necessary, but get this done for the sake of your organization.
The second step is to document what HR practices you currently have in place and what practices you still need. This may be a good time to bring in an HR expert to, at minimum, consult with you to help you understand what practices would serve your organization best.
My firm specializes in conducting a thorough examination through a rigorous HR assessment. Contact us today if you are interested in powering your organization to the next levels of performance through the development of HR practices that drive yourMissionand support your Vision in a way that personifies your wonderful Christian values.
Wrapping It All Up
Family-owned companies, as well as non-profits, have a distinct advantage over their secular counterparts. This advantage is the flexibility to state where they are coming from and how and why they are founded, without being accused of proselytizing in the workplace. Simply stating that your organization is “founded on Christian principles” is enough to let the public know where you are coming from and clear the air that you are not requiring your employees to commit to a certain faith’s principles.
We all have choices to make as leaders. We can choose to leave behind a legacy that our families, employees and communities can remember, or we can take an easier route, put our heads down, and reflect the politically correct agenda to which we have all been assimilated. The decision is yours and yours alone. Of course, the Holy Spirit has a lot to do with it, and I am confident that, when you consult with Him, you will choose the right path — the right path to avoid worrying about sharing your faith through your MVV with your employees, community, customers and vendors.
Having met with hundreds of people regarding the process of building Kingdom-Minded organizations, one thing is for certain: many recipients of this are frightened by the thought of sharing the message of Jesus with their employees. They are even frightened at the thought of insinuating that they are believers. I try to comfort them; I try to console them; I pray with them and I pray for them. But, at the end of the day, they need to make the decision for their organizations. They need to decide that the message of Jesus Christ is and will always be first and foremost, ahead of their companies and their own uncertainties.
When I started my HR consulting firm in April of 2011, I, too, had a decision to make. I could take the easy route and mask my purpose under a secular type of business model, content to secretly connect with Christian leaders to help them develop their companies to be Kingdom-Minded, or I could step out in faith and “out” myself as a Christ follower to my world of secular business associates. Having friends and contacts in senior level positions at some of the most politically correct organizations in the world made me understandably somewhat nervous as to how they would perceive the path I had chosen to take. Some of these executives are at such companies as Pepsi, Merck, Kodak, Armstrong, PayChex — the list goes on. Although most of what I do does not fit within these organizations, most of these specific executives have helped by connecting me to Christian-minded business people who could help prosper my business.
Ultimately, I decided to “out” myself, and, since then, I have received incredible, gratifying, heartfelt compliments spanning across my secular business network. What made me decide to go outward and name my firm “In HIS Name HR, Christian Business Consulting” was my reflection upon the passage of Matthew 25:14–30 NIV Edition
His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’shappiness!”
So, let me ask: if this was your last day and you were to meet God tomorrow, would you feel as if you had shared the message of Jesus with all whom you knew? Are you truly a good and faithful servant? I know that, when that day comes, I want to be able to look in God’s eyes and ask, “Father, was I pleasing? Was I a good and faithful servant?” I want to hear that, yes, I was.
Probably one of the least liked HR processes of all organizations is the dreaded performance review. However, it does not have to be that way. Performance reviews should be beneficial not only to the organization but to the employee.
Key components to a successful process include:
Built-in commitment to your MVV
Shared goals and objectives throughout the organization
Employee ownership of career and job performance
Simplistic but meaningful processes
Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership.
Commitment to your MVV
If you want your Team to fulfill your Company’s Mission reach your Vision and operate within your Values, you must build these into the Performance Review process. When you do, it shows the organization that leadership believes in the MVV so much that they have included it in the measurement of employment performance. Ensure your goals and objectives are aligned with your Missionand Vision; if they are not, you must question why they are in place. Most organizations that we support appreciate us walking them through a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to help develop goals for the organization. In the area of Values, always build your values and other important values into the behavior section of the Performance review form; we will discuss behaviors in more detail later in this chapter.
Shared goals and objectives
In high performing organizations, including those that I have worked for, have all had Performance Review processes that were aligned to shared goals and objectives through the organization. Typically the scenario worked like this: The CEO would develop four to six goals and objectives that would then be approved or renegotiated by the board of directors. Those goals would then cascade through the organization all the way down to, for example, the third-shift sanitation employee at the plant in Arkansas. The employees would then align what they needed to accomplish within their scope of authority against the goals of the person(s) above them.
The review process primarily focuses on annual goals, and very little on the mundane aspects of day to day work that is reflective of what the job description dictates. The daily work should be accomplished, and, if not, the employee should be managed through disciplinary procedures.
I have had the experience of employees approaching me earlier in my career at the end of the performance review cycle. Oftentimes, their approach was because they never had met with their managers even one time during the course of the performance cycle.
Make no mistake: they are at fault as much as their inept management.
Employees must take ownership of their careers, their development and their performance. Those who do not simply will not survive in this economy. Part of ensuring that they take ownership, and helping them to understand it, is ensuring that the process is clearly defined, i.e., that the employee is obliged to prepare performance form materials, and be proactive in scheduling a performance review meeting with their manager if the manager is not. If the manager still fails to meet with them, the employee has an obligation to go to HR or, absent HR, the manager’s superior. Doing nothing should never be an option.
Simplistic but meaningful processes
Twelve-page forms and manuals that exceed sixty pages will just not work. Ensure your process includes easily understood documentation, and a review form that does not exceed a good resume length, that is, two pages. Keep the form limited to four to six operational goals and three to five behavior-based goals.
Never have a process that is void of behavioral objectives.
I have had the misfortune to work with several teams that insisted upon only production-related goals. They killed each other in the process to achieve them, and, when challenged, they would always say that they were not being measured on niceness, but solely on how many widgets they made! Balance your performance scorecard, and you will have better results.
Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership
When we describe “solid” guidelines, we mean guidelines that are not created in a vacuum, by one person high on a mountaintop. Guidelines should be developed by a cross-functional group of employees from a variety of areas within the company. This brings a rich blend of thoughts and experiences to the table.
Regrettably, most of the HR people that I have worked with during my career are just not capable of coming up with such solid guidelines without assistance.
It is a sad statement to make regarding my profession, but I gave up defending much of the deficiencies I discovered years ago.
Senior Leadership must buy into the process and support it. If they don’t, it is doomed to certain failure.
Years ago, I worked for a company in which, no matter how hard the CEO worked on convincing the president of a particular division to manage the performance review process, this president would balk. The division president’s lack of commitment transcended the organization. The process became a joke, and no one nurtured it. I look back at the company now and wonder if things could have turned out differently. They have closed half of their plants, and shed several thousand employees. It might be a stretch to link this to lack of leadership in embracing a performance review process, but I do believe that, if Innovation was a top goal for the years heading into the downturn, that company could conceivably have created new products to sustain employment for those who were laid off. Sad, but this is often the case. Managers: stay committed!
What has been your experience with performance review systems? Do you like them? Hate them? We would like to know. Please leave us a few comments to broaden our knowledge. Thank you.
High-performing organizations have a clearly defined Vision. This Vision helps guide all its employees and supervision to their desired destination and explains why. Companies who have a Vision have a workplace of direction, purpose and achievement. These companies have a Vision of where they want to be, and do the appropriate things to get there. All along the way, they have employees who are enthusiastically a part of it, eagerly supporting the Vision.
What Is an Organizational Vision?
A Vision that is optimal is one that has been created, or at least contributed to, by all employees of the organization. Like the Mission, the more buy-in the organization has, the greater the effectiveness of the Vision. The Vision should be inspiring! It is where you want to be! The Vision is what you seeing occurring as you deliver on your Mission. It is where you want your organization to be in five years. We define it as five years but you may prefer to extend that, or, if you are a start-up, you may want to start with a three-year Vision. We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most companies to get to the next step. The Vision must be realistically achievable. If you own a pizza shop, it would not be wise to say your Vision is to grow to a $2 billion-dollar market value. But, an achievable Vision might look like: “We will grow to be a regional choice by consumers by expanding to 10 locations.”
Reflect on the following questions as considerations for building your Vision: 1. How are the market and customer base changing in the next three to seven years? 2. How will that create opportunities for the organization? 3. How can we meet the gap between now and our Vision? 4. How will we surpass our competitors and seek greater market share? 5. What are we doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and needs of the business?
Amazon “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Nike “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”
What is the difference between Mission and Vision?
The most asked question to us surrounding Mission, Vision and Core Values is: what is the difference between a Mission and a Vision? Your Mission is what you do best every day. Your Vision is what the future looks like when you deliver on your Mission so exceedingly well.
There is, unquestionably, a key to high-performing organizations. That key is Vision — a Vision that ignites the employees of these organizations to achieve great things!
When I worked with the Gatorade Division of Quaker Oats, we smoked the competition. Why? We had Vision. And every employee who worked there bought into that Vision. Powerade and All Sport didn’t have a chance. In fact, where is All Sport today? If Gatorade did not take them out completely, they certainly limited their capabilities!
The problem is not with workers in the U.S. What we have today is a problem with leadership — leadership that lacks the ability to create buy-in for excellence in Vision achievement.
If you are a leader, you must develop a Vision, and develop it with employee input. If you are an employee, make sure you buy into your organization’s Vision. If it needs tweaking, ask to do so with respect. Your leadership will appreciate your interest!
Let’s all work together with our organizations to create Vision, to create a hope and future for everyone.
We Value your Comments. Please share your thoughts on having an Organizational Vision. How do they fit into your workplace? Do you have a Vision where you work right now? Have you worked at a high-performing organization that did?