Learner Guide

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Learner Guide

Learner Guide

Online Course


Learner Guide

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Welcome

The Learning Experience

Learning Event 1: Kickoff

Learning Event 2: Learn It

Follow Up

Who’s Who

Implementation Manager

Technical Assistance

Your Manager

Your Direct Reports

PROCESS

Getting Started

Kickoff

Step 1 Attend Kickoff

Step 2 Meet With My Manager

Learn It

Step 3 Take the Online Course

Follow Up

Step 4 Debrief

Step 5 Review Instant Advice

APPENDIX

Instant Advice

Online Course Resources

The Cost of One

TALENT Practices

Risk & Priority Worksheet

Priority Factors

Retention Conversations

How to Conduct a Commitment Conversation

Commitment Conversation Guide

TALENT Reference

Career Conversations Special Considerations

Career Conversations Guide

How to Facilitate a Trigger Discussion

Trigger Discussion Guide

Trigger Reference

©2006 Ninth House, Inc. ©2006 Integral Talent Systems, Inc.

INTRODUCTION - 1

Contents


Learner Guide

INTRODUCTION


Learner Guide

WELCOME

Your organization expects a lot from you: meeting deadlines, achieving goals, and satisfying

customers. Accomplishing all of this can be very difficult, even with the support of your best

employees. So just imagine how much harder it would be without them.

The reality is that people leave jobs all the time, and often, it’s because of their manager. That’s

right; you control whether your people will be with you long term or they will seize their next

opportunity to leave. To avoid the latter scenario, you not only have to know when someone

has a foot out the door but also how to get them back on board and engaged when they are,

and more importantly, you have to be able to prevent this from happening at all.

Now for the good news! Your organization purchased the Retaining Talent integrated training

program from Ninth House to help you with this tricky business. After completing the program,

you’ll be in a better position to retain the people who make you and your organization successful

because you’ll know and be prepared to manage

• Why employees leave

• How to identify employees who might be at risk for leaving

• How to determine who to focus your retention time and energy on

• How to retain your people

So welcome to the Retaining Talent Learner Guide, a comprehensive set of instructions and

tools designed for you to use all throughout your learning experience. Learning experience?

Yes, that’s right. A single course or workshop provides a great introduction to new knowledge,

skills, and ideas, but when you really want something to stick, practice makes perfect, and the

Retaining Talent training program will provide ample opportunity for you to do this.

If you make the commitment, you’ll find what you need to support you right here in this guide.

Take some time to become familiar with it now because you’re going to use it often in the next

few weeks. Before diving in though, remember, your organization purchased Retaining Talent

because it aligns with its overall strategy and the goals that have been set for you. Therefore,

don’t feel awkward about taking time away from your usual responsibilities to complete the

training. Both you and your organization will be better for it!

Now turn the page for a summary of the learning experience, who’s involved in the training

program, and the program components.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome - 1


Learner Guide

THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Ninth House developed the Retaining Talent program utilizing its five-step, integrated learning

process: Align, Learn, Apply, Sustain, and Measure.This approach is the basis for the series

of learning events and supporting activities you’ll participate in.

ALIGN LEARN APPLY SUSTAIN MEASURE

Learning Event 1: Kickoff

ALIGN

The Retaining Talent training program was chosen for you because it aligns with

your organization’s objectives. You’ll learn more about this at Kickoff, where your

learning begins. Kickoff is a multi-part learning event. You will

• Attend a meeting that will equip you with what you need to hit the ground

running

• Meet with your manager to discuss these results and to determine,

together, how to focus your training efforts

INTRODUCTION

The Learning Experience - 1


Learner Guide

THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE (CONTINUED)

Learning Event 2: Learn It

LEARN

The center of the program is the online course, where you’ll learn all you need to

know about retaining talent. It’s super fun because it’s highly interactive. You’ll

watch a film, set in New York’s famous fashion industry, that epitomizes how a

manager can affect employee retention. Then you’ll answer questions about the

film’s characters. You’ll also participate in a variety of activities designed to help

you understand what influences employee commitment. Additionally, you’ll use

the online workbooks to apply what you learn to your own direct reports. Lastly,

you’ll even be able to try your new skills in an interactive simulation.

Follow Up

SUSTAIN

As you continue reading, you’ll see that this guide contains tools to help you

sustain knowledge and top performance over time. Also, if you’re wondering how

your progress and performance will be measured, a variety of tools are built

into the training program for this purpose. These tools include course pre- and

posttests. You’ll learn much more about these tools later in this guide and during

the learning events.

MEASURE

INTRODUCTION

The Learning Experience - 2


Learner Guide

WHO’S WHO

While the training program is all about you, a variety of people participate in it to help ensure

that it’s as successful and as easy as possible for you. Meet your support team:

Implementation Manager

A training and development professional will drive the Retaining Talent rollout for your organization.

You’ll receive communications from this individual, inviting you to learning events and

reminding you to complete different components of the program. You may want to contact

him or her if you have questions about the rollout, the application of course content, or both.

Need Help? Contact Me!

Implementation Manager’s name:

E-mail address:

Phone number/extension:

Technical Assistance

Several of the key program components are completed online. If you require technical assistance

at any time, use the contact information below.

Technical Support

Technical Specialist’s name:

E-mail address:

Phone number/extension:

INTRODUCTION

Who’s Who - 1


Learner Guide

WHO’S WHO (CONTINUED)

Your Manager

You should inform your manager about your participation in the program and keep him or her

apprised of your progress, even after you complete the training. If that seems like a lot of work,

don’t worry. This guide provides step-by-step directions (and remember—a whole host of tools)

to help you get the support you need from your manager.

Your Direct Reports

If you want to sustain your skills in the long term, your direct reports can help you achieve this.

You just need to ask them for their support as you begin to implement your new skills on the

job. There are tools right here in this guide to help you do that. You’ll learn all about them, as

well as the tools previously referenced, in the following segment of this document, titled Process.

INTRODUCTION

Who’s Who - 2


Learner Guide

PROCESS


Learner Guide

GETTING STARTED

It’s time to begin. If you’re wondering where to start, you’ll be happy to know that you’re in

the right place. Review the Process Overview on the next page to become familiar with what’s

ahead. Use the Process Overview throughout the training program to keep track of your progress.

PROCESS

Getting Started - 1


Learner Guide

PROCESS OVERVIEW

My Action Items

Support Tools in This Guide

Step 1

Attend Kickoff.

KICKOFF

Step 2

Meet with my manager.

Invite my manager to a

pretraining meeting.

Complete the communication

checklist.

· Manager Meeting Invitation

(Pretraining)

· Manager Meeting

Communication Checklist

(Pretraining)

LEARN IT

Step 3

Take the online course.

· Instructions for accessing

the course

· Notes pages

· Printed guides and references

Step 4

Debrief my manager and

direct reports.

Invite my manager to a

meeting to debrief.

Invite my direct reports to a

meeting to debrief.

· Manager Meeting Invitation

(Posttraining)

· Manager Meeting Communication

Checklist (Pretraining)

FOLLOW UP

Complete the communication

checklists.

· Direct Reports’ Meeting Invitation

(Posttraining)

· Direct Reports’ Meeting

Communication Checklist

(Pretraining)

Step 5

Review Instant Advice.

Access Instant Advice. · Retaining Talent Instant Advice

PROCESS

Getting Started - 2


Learner Guide

KICKOFF

STEP 1

Attend Kickoff

ALIGN

You’ll receive an e-mail invitation that explains exactly how to attend this meeting.

At Kickoff, you’ll learn what the training program is all about, why you’ve been

enrolled in it, and how to complete it. You’ll also be provided with documents

and tools that will help ensure your learning experience is simple and successful.

PROCESS

Kickoff - 1


Learner Guide

KICKOFF (CONTINUED)

STEP 2

Meet With My Manager

ALIGN

Inviting Your Manager to a Meeting

Aligning your and your manager’s expectations for the training is important.

You should arrange a meeting to discuss the training program with him or her.

A great way to do this is to send your manager an e-mail. If you don’t know

what to say, the sample e-mail in this section on page 3 should generate some

ideas. It includes an introduction, logistics, and an agenda. Feel free to use all

or some of its language. Just be sure to complete the missing information!

PROCESS

Kickoff - 2


Learner Guide

MANAGER MEETING INVITATION (PRETRAINING)

My Manager

Retaining Talent Training Program

[My manager’s name],

I recently began a training program called Retaining Talent. There is an online course that I’m due to start

shortly. Before I do that, however, I’d like to get together with you to discuss the items in the agenda that

follows. Please let me know if you’re free at the time and on the date below.

Meeting Details

Date: [day of week, month, and day]

Time: [time]

Location: [location]

Duration: 1 hour

Agenda

• Review the course overview (if you haven’t already)

• Agree on my training needs

• Answer any questions that you have

Here is a link to the course overview. If you haven’t viewed it before the meeting, we can review it together.

Click the link. Then click Watch the course overview.

Thanks, in advance, for your time.

Regards,

[my name]

http://www.ninthhouse.com/curriculum/rt

PROCESS

Kickoff - 3


Learner Guide

KICKOFF (CONTINUED)

STEP 2

Meet With My Manager (continued)

ALIGN

Preparing for the Meeting

To prepare for the meeting, use the communication checklist in this section on

page 5. Notice that it includes a column called Meeting Prework. Just thinking

about the included items will help you get organized, but completing it is highly

recommended. Use the completed checklist at your meeting to help ensure that

you cover everything.

PROCESS

Kickoff - 4


Learner Guide

MANAGER MEETING COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST (PRETRAINING)

Agenda

Review the course overview

(if applicable).

Meeting Prework

http://www.ninthhouse.com/curriculum/rt (Open the Web page in an Internet

browser. Then click Watch the course overview.)

Agree upon my

developmental

opportunities.

I’d like to focus on the following areas during the training program:

With your help, I think I can implement the following:

What

How

PROCESS

Kickoff - 5


Learner Guide

LEARN IT

LEARN

STEP 3

Take the Online Course

When you’re ready to take the Retaining Talent online course, follow the directions

below to log on and get started!

Prepare Your Computer

To ensure that your computer contains the components required to deliver Ninth

House Network courseware, you need to complete the Ninth House QuickCheck.

If you haven’t already done this, follow the directions below.

Complete the Ninth House QuickCheck

1. Open your Internet browser (e.g., Internet Explorer) to

http://quickcheck.ninthhouse.com. An online form appears.

2. Complete the online form, and click Begin the QuickCheck. This activates

an analysis of your computer. You’ll be prompted to install any missing

components.

Log On

The next step is to log onto the Ninth House Network.

Your logon ID is your complete e-mail address. The

first time you log on, your password is your first

name with the first letter capitalized (e.g., “John” and

not “john”). You’ll be prompted to change this password

after logging on.

Log onto www.ninthhouse.net

FIGURE 1

1. If it’s not already open, open your Internet browser to www.ninthhouse.net.

2. Type your logon ID into the box beside “Logon ID:” and your password into

the box beside “Password:” (see Figure 1). If you forget your password at any

time, click forgot password? and follow the directions that display.

3. Respond to the question, “Using NetCD discs this session?” by selecting the

yes or no option. If you’d like to learn more about NetCD discs, click the

NetCD discs hyperlink.

4. Click the ENTER button to log on, or click the CANCEL button to clear the

logon form. If you need help at any time, click the help hyperlink.

PROCESS

Learn It - 1


Learner Guide

LEARN IT (CONTINUED)

STEP 3

Take the Online Course (continued)

LEARN

Set up Your Account

When setting up your account, you’ll complete your member information—including

creating a new, permanent password, selecting your personal mentor, and taking

the guided tour.


Complete your member information

1. Read the Installation: Welcome screen and click Next.

2. Read the license agreement. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom.

Then click the Accept button to proceed.

3. Select your gender from the drop-down list.

4. Enter and confirm a new password.

5. All other member information is optional. Complete whichever information

you’d like to. Then click the Submit button to proceed. You are prompted

to select your online Mentor.


Select your Mentor

1. When you see a set of four groups of words on your screen, select the group

that most resonates with you. Repeat this for each group of words.

2. When prompted, select the gender of your Mentor. A window with the Ninth

House Tour opens.


Take the guided tour (optional)

1. Click the TAKE THE TOUR button to learn how to

• Navigate the Ninth House Network and the courses or eSeries episodes

• Use Ninth House features

2. Once you have completed the guided tour, click Close.

PROCESS

Learn It - 2


Learner Guide

NOTES

Use the following space to capture notes while you take the online course. You may also print materials from the

online course, if you’d like.

Module 1: Why They Leave

Commitment Factors

What’s Most Important

TALENT Practices

Targeted Recruiting & Hiring

Achievement

Learning & Professional Growth

Ensuring Recognition

Nurturing Career Advancement

Team Collaboration

Module 2: Who’s At Risk?

Attrition Triggers

Organizational

Individual

Early Warning Signals

Potential problem

Cause for concern

Critical

Your Risk

Any surprises?

PROCESS

Learn It - 3


Learner Guide

NOTES (CONTINUED)

Module 3: Who to Retain

Priority Factors

Important to goals

Difficult-to-replace skills

Performance level

Your Priorities

Any surprises after

completing the

workbook?

Your Retention Focus

Any surprises after

completing the

workbook?

Module 4: How to Retain

Use the space below to take notes about retention conversations.

Monitoring

Discovery

Commitment

Conversations

Trigger

Discussions

Strategy

Accountability

PROCESS

Learn It - 4


Learner Guide

FOLLOW UP

SUSTAIN

STEP 4

Debrief

Your Manager

Congratulations! By the time you’re ready to debrief your manager, you’ve completed

the training. It’s important to discuss your learning experience with your manager

and to talk specifically with him or her about your plans to implement what you

learned. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Send your manager an e-mail.

There’s an example provided in this section on page 2 to help get you started.

PROCESS

Follow Up - 1


Learner Guide

MANAGER MEETING INVITATION (POSTTRAINING)

My Manager

Retaining Talent Training Program

[My manager’s name],

I recently completed the Retaining Talent training program and would like to debrief with you to discuss

the items listed in the agenda below. Please let me know if you’re free at the time and on the date below.

Meeting Details

Date: [day of week, month, and day]

Time: [time]

Location: [location]

Duration: 1 hour

Agenda

• What I learned

• My development priorities

• On-the-job practice opportunities

• Your support

Thanks, in advance, for your time.

Regards,

[my name]

PROCESS

Follow Up - 2


Learner Guide

FOLLOW UP (CONTINUED)

STEP 4

Debrief (continued)

SUSTAIN

Prepare for this meeting exactly as you did for the pretraining meeting. Just

complete the Meeting Prework column in the communication checklist in this

section on page 4 to get organized, and use the checklist at your meeting to

ensure that you stay on track.

PROCESS

Follow Up - 3


Learner Guide

MANAGER MEETING COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST (POSTTRAINING)

Agenda

Meeting Prework

Review highlights from

the training.

I learned:

Suggest and agree on my

development priorities.

As a result of completing the training, I think my development priorities are

as follows:

• Do you agree?

Suggest and agree on my

practice opportunities.

I think I can start working on these priorities by doing the following

(i.e., practical, executable ways to implement what I learned):

• Do you agree?

• Do you have other ideas?

Suggest and agree on

my manager’s support

opportunities.

I think you could support my endeavor to implement what we just

discussed by doing the following:

Meet with me regularly. What schedule would work for you?

• Do you agree?

• Do you have other ideas?

PROCESS

Follow Up - 4


Learner Guide

FOLLOW UP (CONTINUED)

STEP 4

Debrief (continued)

SUSTAIN

Your Direct Reports

Your direct reports are valuable support and resources for continued skill development.

That’s why you’re encouraged to invite them to a meeting (individual or

group), at which you can debrief about your learning experience and prepare

them for commitment conversations. Feel free to use the sample e-mail provided

in this section on page 6 to do this.

PROCESS

Follow Up - 5


Learner Guide

DIRECT REPORTS’ MEETING INVITATION (POSTTRAINING)

My Direct Reports

Retaining Talent Training Program

Dear Direct Report,

I recently completed the Retaining Talent training program. I’d like to debrief with you and discuss the items

listed in the agenda below. Please let me know if you’re free at the time and on the date below.

Meeting Details

Date: [day of week, month, and day]

Time: [time]

Location: [location]

Agenda

• What I learned

• My development priorities

• On-the-job practice opportunities

• Your support

Thanks, in advance, for your time.

Regards,

[my name]

PROCESS

Follow Up - 6


Learner Guide

FOLLOW UP (CONTINUED)

STEP 4

Debrief (continued)

SUSTAIN

To prepare for the meeting, use the communication checklist provided in this

section on page 8. This checklist is similar to those previously referenced, as

it has a Meeting Prework column for you to complete prior to the meeting.

Remember to take the completed checklist to your meeting, and use it to ensure

that you address all of the agenda items.

Whenever you’re going to make changes on the job, it’s a good idea to prepare

your direct reports, and you can do this by transferring some of your new knowledge

to them. To help you do this, there are tools that you can use online and in the

appendix.

PROCESS

Follow Up - 7


Learner Guide

DIRECT REPORTS’ MEETING COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST (POSTTRAINING)

Agenda

My Premeeting Action Items

Explain that you learned a lot from the

training, and that you’d appreciate support

as you begin implementing a few things.

Review highlights from the training.

Highlights I’d like to share

Schedule commitment meeting(s).

Points to make

• You all have different needs, and I have to ask

questions to discover what they are.

• We need to discuss how I can fulfill your needs

so that you can be successful and happy on

the job.

• I will schedule a meeting with you to ask

you about your needs in the following areas:

achievement, learning and professional growth,

recognition, career advancement, and team

collaboration.

• If you have needs outside of these areas,

we will talk about these, too.

Other points I’d like to make

Share key course information and tools. • Make copies of all applicable handouts.

• Additional key learnings/highlights I’d like to share

State my development priorities.

As a result of completing the training, my development priorities are

PROCESS

Follow Up - 8


Learner Guide

FOLLOW UP (CONTINUED)

STEP 5

Review Instant Advice

SUSTAIN

As you begin to practice your Retaining Talent skills on the job, you may have

questions. You should seek answers to these questions in Instant Advice. Instant

Advice is a reinforcement tool that provides immediate and actionable instructions

for resolving workplace issues just when you need them.

You can access Instant Advice on the Ninth House Network in the Instant Advice

tab (see Figure 2). A list of Retaining Talent-related Instant Advice is located in the

appendix of this document.

FIGURE 2

Sustaining Your New Skills

Learning is a process that should extend beyond the formal training program.

To help sustain your new skills, you should continue to discuss talent-retention

issues with your managers and direct reports on an ongoing basis. You should

also access and review Instant Advice, as needed.

PROCESS

Follow Up - 9


Learner Guide

APPENDIX


Learner Guide

INSTANT ADVICE


Learner Guide

RETAINING TALENT INSTANT ADVICE

Developing TALENT-Practice Skills

Below is a list of Instant Advice recommended for developing your TALENT-practice skills in the

following areas: Targeted Recruiting & Hiring, Achievement, Learning & Professional Growth,

Ensuring Recognition, Nurturing Career Advancement, and Team Collaboration.

Targeted Recruiting & Hiring

Topic: Management

Module: Recruiting

· Disclosing negative aspects of the job

Module: Hiring

· Avoid common hiring mistakes

· Comparing candidates

Achievement

Topic: Management

Module: Performance Management

· Diagnosing performance problems

· Making performance management work

· Providing ongoing feedback and support

· Planning performance

Learning & Professional Growth

Topic: Leadership

Topic: Management

Module: Coaching

· Qualities of a superior mentor

Module: Delegating

· Delegating a developmental task

Ensuring Recognition

Topic: Leadership

Topic: Management

Module: Motivating Others

· Providing praise

Module: Performance Management

· Recognizing people effectively

Nurturing Career Advancement

Topic: Management

Module: Managing Employees

· Supporting career advancement*

· Talking about career advancement*

Team Collaboration

Topic: Leadership

Topic: Projects

Topic: Teams

Module: Building Community

· Building community through understanding values

Module: Managing Projects

· Developing team commitment

· Managing team efforts

Module: Managing Teams

· Handling disagreements

* Available August 2006

APPENDIX

Instant Advice - 1


Learner Guide

RETAINING TALENT INSTANT ADVICE (CONTINUED)

Addressing Attrition Triggers

Below is a list of Instant Advice recommended to help you address attrition triggers.

Topic: Leadership

Topic: Management

Module: Initiating Change

· Maintaining morale during organizational change

Module: Managing Change

· Helping people cope with losses

Improving Conversation Skills

Below is a list of Instant Advice recommended to help you improve your conversation skills.

Topic: Business Essentials

Topic: Communication

Module: Creative Thinking

· Brainstorming ground rules

Module: Listening

· Ten commandments of listening

· Effective listening behavior

· Active listening

· When receiving feedback

Module: Relating With Others

· Empathizing

APPENDIX

Instant Advice - 2


Learner Guide

ONLINE COURSE RESOURCES


Learner Guide

THE COST OF ONE

The total cost of losing a valued employee goes far beyond the difficulty of replacing them.

Replacement Costs

Lost Productivity of

Departing Employee

Lost Productivity Due

to Vacant Position

Lower Productivity of

New Employee

Lost Productivity of Manager

and Co-Workers

These include the costs in time and money for processing

the departing employee along with recruiting and onboarding

the new employee, estimated at 30% of the

individual’s annual pay and benefits.

The average employee begins thinking about leaving the

organization 3 to 6 months before he or she actually

leaves. During this period, these employees significantly

reduce their productivity (by up to 50%).

Without an active pipeline, a vacant position can remain

unfilled for a significant period of time—anywhere from

3 to 6 months. The cost here is lost productivity minus

saved pay and benefits.

New employees are rarely 100% productive from the start.

This loss of productivity can last for many months, sometimes

for the entire first year.

Every hour an experienced employee or manager spends

recruiting or training a new employee is an hour they are

not productive on their own priorities.

APPENDIX

The Cost of One - 1


Learner Guide

THE COST OF ONE (CONTINUED)

The total cost of losing a valued employee goes far beyond the difficulty of replacing them.

General Factors

• Salary $_________

• Annual pay & benefits $_________

(1.35 times salary)

• Productivity Estimated at 4 times annual pay and benefits

Employee Replacement Costs

30% of annual pay and benefits $_________

Lost Productivity

• Departing Employee Productivity at 50% for 6 months $_________

• Position Vacancy Position vacant for 6 months $_________

• New Employee Productivity at 50% for 6 months $_________

• Manager and Co-Workers 12 days of coverage, recruiting, and new $_________

employee training work

Total 4 times annual pay and benefits $_________

APPENDIX

The Cost of One - 2


Learner Guide

TALENT PRACTICES

The TALENT practices significantly affect an employee’s intent to stay with an organization. In fact,

employees who rate their managers as “highly effective” in these areas are nearly THREE times

less likely to consider leaving their organization within the year.

Targeted Recruiting & Hiring

Achievement

Learning & Professional Growth

Ensuring Recognition

Nurturing Career Advancement

Team Collaboration

APPENDIX

TALENT Practices - 1


Learner Guide

TALENT PRACTICES (CONTINUED)

Targeted Recruiting & Hiring

Targeted recruiting and hiring is a set of practices that focuses on finding and selecting the

individuals who are most likely to be motivated by the job and committed to the organization.

Of course you want to find the person who will perform in the position, but you also want the

person who will appreciate the positives of the job, work environment, and team culture. And,

importantly, you want the person who will be able to work with the negatives of those factors as

well. It’s your opportunity to ensure there’s a match on the baseline factors for your organization.

The activities in this practice focus on being as upfront as possible about your requirements

and the realities of the job, and then testing to see if those match with the candidate’s capabilities

and needs.

Some examples include

T A L E N T

• Involve your team in the recruiting effort and assign roles to each person (technical

assessment, interpersonal abilities, etc.).

• Utilize behavioral interviewing techniques and have the candidate describe not how he or

she would handle a situation, but rather how they actually handled situations in the past.

• Explore what the individual liked/did not like about past jobs.

• Have a future peer of the candidate discuss life in the organization and what it’s like to work here.

Achievement

No one likes to fail. And, on top of that, very few people like to blame themselves for failing. You can

probably guess who employees tend to blame when they are not feeling successful on the job.

The activities associated with the Achievement practice will help you ensure that each of your

direct reports is set up to be successful. If you do this right, they will achieve on the job and

feel confident that you have the ability to support their ongoing success.

Possible actions are

T A L E N T

• Set measurable goals and milestones collaboratively with the employee.

• Measure results and provide timely and specific feedback.

• Ask about barriers and how you can help remove them.

• Help employee focus on results, not just activities.

APPENDIX

TALENT Practices - 2


Learner Guide

TALENT PRACTICES (CONTINUED)

Learning & Professional Growth

A bored employee is not a committed employee. But every individual has different ideas about

what’s new and interesting—what is the right learning opportunity for them personally.

The activities in this practice include getting a realistic assessment of an employee’s current

skills, finding out in what areas they’d like to develop, and taking action to ensure you support

that development.

Examples include

• Establish a development plan.

• Encourage efforts to keep up with current innovations in their field.

• Help employees learn from failure.

T A L E N T

• Give people temporary assignments outside of their areas or departments.

• Have your employees share their best practices with each other.

Ensuring Recognition

You’d be surprised how many of your direct reports are feeling underappreciated right now. In

fact, one of the most frequently selected reasons for leaving an organization is “My contributions

were not recognized.”

This practice basically consists of finding out how your employees like to be recognized and

then taking every opportunity to do so.

Example actions include

T A L E N T

• Ask how the individual likes to be recognized.

• Provide recognition immediately following the behavior or accomplishment.

• Focus on a specific accomplishment and on what it means to you and to the organization.

• Recognize small achievements that represent movement in the right direction.

APPENDIX

TALENT Practices - 3


Learner Guide

TALENT PRACTICES (CONTINUED)

Nurturing Career Advancement

Most people want to advance in their career. Think for a moment about your direct reports. Have

you talked with them about career advancement? Do they have options within your department

or the broader organization? You can bet they have options if they look elsewhere.

The activities in this practice involve finding out what your employees want and finding ways to

help them make progress toward their goal. In some cases, your focus may be on keeping them

a little longer before they move on to other things. For others, you may be able to accommodate

them for the longer term. Either way, you’ll be better off knowing what they are going for and

participating in getting them there rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Some example activities include

• Encourage individuals to clarify both short- and long-term career goals.

• Articulate the criteria for advancement.

T A L E N T

• Recognize career benchmarks achieved by individuals.

• Give honest feedback in areas that hold a person back from career advancement.

• Utilize job rotation and cross-training to help individual’s progress.

• Invite managers from other lines of business to discuss their career opportunities with

your staff.

Team Collaboration

T A L E N T

When a team is truly collaborating effectively, individual team members are excited to dive into

projects and tackle challenging problems. If the team is dysfunctional or even just disjointed,

molehills feel like mountains and everyone dreads the conference room.

Your responsibilities within this practice include getting the team started on the right footing,

setting a collaborative example, and dealing with issues quickly and effectively.

• Create team purpose and goals with all team members to ensure buy-in.

• Set ground rules and expectations about how team members should interact with one another.

• Encourage interaction to solve problems.

• Cross-train team members and encourage mutual support.

• Periodically, check in privately to see how individuals are doing and where their commitment

is to the team.

• Forgive mistakes and encourage team members to do so with each other.

• Celebrate successes as a team.

APPENDIX

TALENT Practices - 4


Learner Guide

RISK & PRIORITY WORKSHEET

Employee Name:

Date:

Risk Level

APPLICABLE ATTRITION TRIGGERS

Organizational

o Downsizing/reorganization

o Merger/acquisition

o Reduction in stock price

o Change in senior or mid-level management

o Other:

o Other:

Individual

o Respected co-worker leaves

o Project completion

o Project cancellation or postponement

o Passed up for promotion

o Poor team performance

o Other:

o Other:

OBSERVED WARNING SIGNALS

Potential Problem

o Personal calls increase o Refers to an ex-employee

o Sick time increases

o Other:

o Lets schedules slip

Cause for Concern

o Loses enthusiasm

o Disagrees with others

o Productivity drops

o Brings up salary surveys

o Stops volunteering for projects o Other:

o Withdraws from others

Critical

o Criticizes company

o Questions organization’s success

o Mentions burnout

o Becomes inflexible

o Mentions leaving organization o Questions his or her value

o Becomes easily irritated o Other:

Given Everything, What Overall Risk Level Seems Accurate?

o Low

o Medium

o High

Priority Level

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

GROUP GOALS (in order of priority)

INDIVIDUAL’S IMPORTANCE TO GOALS

o Not Important o Important o Critical

o Not Important o Important o Critical

o Not Important o Important o Critical

o Not Important o Important o Critical

o Not Important o Important o Critical

Diffi cult-to-Replace Skills:

Individual’s Performance Level Over the Last Year:

o Needs Improvement in Some Areas

o Fully Competent

o Extraordinary

Given Everything, What Overall Priority Ranking Seems Accurate?

o Important

o Very Important

o Critical

APPENDIX

Risk & Priority Worksheet


Learner Guide

PRIORITY FACTORS

Importance to Goals

If this person left today,

would you be able to

achieve your goals?

Performance Level

How hard would it be to

find someone with a

comparable skill set?

Difficult-to-Replace Skills

How likely is it that a

replacement would be as

productive as this individual?

APPENDIX

Priority Factors - 1


Learner Guide

PRIORITY FACTORS (CONTINUED)

Importance to Goals

If this person left today, would you be able to achieve your goals?

You have goals and some of them have priority over others. You have people who contribute to

the accomplishment of those goals. The people who are most important to your most important

goals are the most critical to the organization.

For each of your department goals, you should evaluate how vital their contribution is to

achieving it:

• Important • Very Important • Critical

Performance Level

How hard would it be to find someone with a comparable skill set?

Your organization probably has its own rating system to describe the level of performance for

individuals. When you are prioritizing who to retain, the main differentiator is between people

who are performing adequately and those who are high performers. High performers are known

to be as much as 50% more productive than the average employee. You can use these basic

ratings to capture differences in performance level:

• Needs improvement in some areas • Fully Competent • Extraordinary

Difficult-to-Replace Skills

How likely is it that a replacement would be as productive as this individual?

Each individual has a set of skills that qualifies them to do their job. Sometimes those skills (or a

combination of skills) are particularly difficult to find when recruiting new employees. Some skills

are even impossible to find if they are specific to the individual’s experience within the organization.

For each individual you should list the skills they possess that are difficult to replace.

APPENDIX

Priority Factors - 2


Learner Guide

RETENTION CONVERSATIONS

There are THREE types of Retention Conversations you need to have in order to retain your superstars,

Monitoring and Commitment Conversations as well as Trigger Discussions.

MONITORING

Ask general check-in questions to get a sense for motivation and

commitment level or follow up on agreed-on actions.

COMMITMENT CONVERSATIONS

Using the TALENT Model as a guide,

conduct in-depth conversation to

discover an individual’s commitment

needs and agree on how best to

meet those needs.

TRIGGER DISCUSSIONS

Discuss with an individual or a

group of employees what potential

negative impacts may result from

a trigger event and how best to

avoid them.

Ask questions

to understand

commitment needs.

DISCOVERY

Ask questions to

understand concerns

about potential

negative impacts.

Work together to

agree on strategies for

meeting those needs.

STRATEGY

Work together to

agree on strategies for

addressing concerns.

Agree on specific next

steps and timeframe.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Agree on specific next

steps and timeframe.

APPENDIX

Retention Conversations


Learner Guide

HOW TO CONDUCT A COMMITMENT CONVERSATION

Here’s what you need to accomplish in each phase of a Commitment Conversation.

DISCOVERY

Discovery

Your focus in the Discovery phase of the conversation

should be asking questions and listening intently. Remember,

you need the individual to feel you’ve accurately heard their

commitment need, so you must question and listen in a

way that enables them to know and speak their own mind.

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Ask general check-in questions. As always, the conversation needs to begin with the general check-in

question, whatever version of “How are you doing?” that works for you.

T

A

L

E

N

T

2. Ask TALENT questions. Next you’ll want to ask questions designed to help you

identify which TALENT practices are most important to this individual at this time

(if they aren’t already evident from the check-in conversation). Let them bring up what’s

important to them, but guide them toward using specific examples so that you will

get a good picture of what is missing for them. And remember that most people

are reticent to provide negative feedback, so even small indications of dissatisfaction

may reveal a significant unmet need.

3. Summarize need(s) and check for understanding. When you start hearing a trend toward one or

more of the TALENT practices, summarize the need you’re hearing and ask the individual if you’ve

got it right. You really want to make sure you’ve heard them accurately, so stress that and listen

carefully if they respond by “clarifying.”

APPENDIX

How to Conduct a Commitment Conversation - 1


Learner Guide

HOW TO CONDUCT A COMMITMENT CONVERSATION (CONTINUED)

STRATEGY

Strategy

Now that you know what the individual needs to feel

committed, you need to work together to come up with

Strategies that will ensure these factors are in place. Again,

the most important thing is employee buy-in, so focus your

efforts on figuring out what they think will meet their needs

and finding a way to make it happen.

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Ask for the employee’s ideas. Your goal is to agree on a strategy for building the individual’s

commitment. The employee is your best resource for identifying the most compelling strategies.

2. Brainstorm strategies. After letting your employee take the lead, you should participate in coming up

with creative ideas for how to meet the individual’s needs. Follow the brainstorming guideline of “no idea

is a bad idea.”

3. Gain agreement on strategies. Now it’s time to talk about pros and cons and narrow it down to a doable

number of strategies. Think about both long- and short-term approaches to meeting the need. And let

the employee’s level of interest and excitement be the primary factor in selecting the best approaches.

APPENDIX

How to Conduct a Commitment Conversation - 2


Learner Guide

HOW TO CONDUCT A COMMITMENT CONVERSATION (CONTINUED)

ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountability

You can do a great job on the first two phases of the

conversation, but if you don’t build in solid Accountability

all will be for naught. You are busy, your employee is busy.

There are plenty of realities that may foil the implementation

of any strategies, so it is critical to make some tangible,

measurable, doable commitments to progress.

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Agree on ownership and timeframe for next steps. Both you and your employee should leave the

meeting with one or two quick next-step action items. And give them deadlines in the next week

or two so you both feel like you’re making progress quickly.

2. Agree on next meeting and regular check-in approach. Keep yourself honest by putting meetings

on the calendar by which you will feel the need to show progress.

3. Invite feedback. Whether you think you want it or not, ask your direct report to bring up any issues

if he or she ever feels agreements are not being met or need re-alignment. You are much more likely

to get feedback if you ask for it and, remember, you want to keep this person. Let them help you.

APPENDIX

How to Conduct a Commitment Conversation - 3


Learner Guide

COMMITMENT CONVERSATION GUIDE

Employee Name:

Date:

Discovery

QUESTIONS

General:

TALENT:

NOTES

SUMMARY

o Achievement

o Learning

o Recognition

o Career Advancement

o Team Collaboration

o Other:

Strategy

BRAINSTORM OPTIONS FOR MEETING NEEDS

AGREED-ON STRATEGIES

TIMEFRAME

Long-term:

Short-term:

Accountability

DEADLINE

Manager Next Steps:

Employee Next Steps:

Follow-up Meeting Date and Time:

APPENDIX

Commitment Conversation Guide


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE

Discovery Questions

& Retention Strategies

talent reference

In this reference, you’ll find discovery questions you can use in order to understand

your employees’ TALENT needs along with ideas to help you brainstorm and select

strategies that will help you meet those needs.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 1


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

1. Ask general check-in questions

2. Ask TALENT questions

3. Summarize needs and check

for understanding

DISCOVERY

1. Ask for employee’s ideas

2. Brainstorm strategies

3. Gain agreement on strategies

STRATEGY

1. Agree on ownership and

timeframe for next steps.

2. Agree on next meeting and

regular check-in approach

3. Invite feedback

ACCOUNTABILITY

T

A

L

E

N

T

Targeted Recruiting & Hiring

Achievement

Learning & Professional Growth

Ensuring Recognition

Nurturing Career Advancement

Team Collaboration

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 2


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Targeted Recruiting & Hiring

T A L E N T

If you’re in the position to hire a new employee, here are the practices that will help you recruit someone

who will be committed to the organization and engaged in their work. It would be relatively rare for a current

direct report to be concerned about these practices. Individuals may, however, have a special investment in

a particular hire and using the practices below may help them feel confident in the hiring process and their

role in it.

RECRUITING

• Be clear with recruiters about the job description so they can help candidates decide in advance if there

is a good fit.

• Source from organizations whose culture matches yours.

• Source from organizations whose pay structure is similar or lower than yours (versus sourcing from

places you know pay much higher).

• Advertise and recruit in less traditional places to source a wide range of diverse candidates.

• Search for candidates within the company before or while you search outside the company.

PLANNING FOR INTERVIEWS

• List the performance factors you want to evaluate while interviewing.

• Involve your work group in the recruitment and interviewing effort. Assign roles to each member of the

interview team (technical assessment, interpersonal abilities, etc.).

• Get work samples, if appropriate.

• Develop interview questions ahead of time utilizing behavioral interviewing techniques (i.e. ask the

candidate to describe not how he or she would handle a situation, but rather how situations were

actually handled in the past).

• Work on your interviewing skills by partnering with someone who is known to interview well, either

role-playing your questions beforehand or interviewing jointly.

CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS

• Determine if the person is a fit for your department and the overall company culture by learning

about the individual’s past company culture and why he or she did or did not fit in there.

• Explore what the individual liked/did not like about past jobs.

• Explore the candidate’s career expectations.

• Discuss and provide big-picture context for the job, testing for the candidate’s reaction.

• Discuss the work environment, including the specific challenges of working at your company.

• Be honest about any job limitations (do not create false expectations).

• Have a future peer of the candidate discuss life in the company and what it’s like to work here.

• Give examples of work assignments to the candidate and ask for reactions.

• Describe type and amount of travel involved in the position.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 3


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Achievement

T A L E N T

Discovery Questions

• What accomplishments over the last 6 months have you found most satisfying?

• What accomplishment shortfalls over the last 6 months have been most frustrating?

• In what areas do you feel you have not achieved the results you expected?

• What barriers have you encountered in trying to achieve results?

• What could I have done to better help you achieve results?

• Moving forward, what can I do personally to help you be successful?

Strategy Ideas

ESTABLISHING GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS

• Work with the individual to set measurable goals and clear milestones.

• Make sure the right people have the right assignments. Provide additional support and direction if

an individual is assigned a stretch task.

• Help employees understand the big picture of assignments and how they impact the business.

• Help employees think out options for performance plans to get complex tasks done.

• Ask the employee what about a particular goal motivates him or her, and make sure to align tasks

accordingly.

PROVIDING ONGOING COACHING AND FEEDBACK

• Continually monitor progress toward goals.

• Provide coaching on an ongoing basis.

• Provide timely and specific feedback.

• Ask about and facilitate barrier removal in one-on-ones and group meetings.

• Allow people the freedom to go beyond traditional boundaries and take risks.

• Make sure the tools, resources, and infrastructure to get the job done are provided.

• Hold regular check-in meetings to discuss progress to goals and raise any concerns (at least bi-weekly).

• Visit employees’ work space to spot opportunities to help them succeed.

• Offer to help employees prepare for important meetings, presentations, or events. Don’t wait to

be asked.

• Constantly ask employees, “What can I do to help you succeed?”

• Help employees prioritize, putting the most important tasks first.

• Help employees increase their self-awareness and develop the habit of self-evaluation.

• Help employees focus on results, not just activities.

• Help employees find ways to balance their work and personal life.

• Find concrete ways to show how the individual or team’s work contributes to overall company success.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 4


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Learning & Professional Growth

T A L E N T

Discovery Questions

• Is there any skill or knowledge area you’ve been thinking you could develop to help you be more

effective on the job?

• Do you have a strength that you’d really like to develop into a special expertise?

• Is there anyone in our work group who has a skill or expertise that you’d like to develop?

• Do you think our team is lacking a skill or knowledge area that you’d be interested in learning

more about?

• What training are you interested in attending?

• What skills or knowledge do you feel you need to acquire or expand upon to continue to grow and

develop professionally?

Strategy Ideas

ESTABLISHING A DEVELOPMENT PLAN

• Use a formal assessment instrument to identify skills or competencies where the individual is

motivated to learn more.

• Understand employees’ areas of interest in professional development. Attempt to design assignments

that accommodate these areas.

• Establish where the current job can leverage their strengths and where employees need to get

outside help.

PROVIDING ONGOING COACHING AND FEEDBACK

• Have regular professional development discussions regarding progress toward professional growth goals.

• Share with employees the tools and resources you use to develop your skills.

• Help employees learn from failure.

• Discuss successes and challenges at end of projects.

• Provide timely feedback.

• Focus feedback on the behavior and the results of the behavior. Be descriptive and specific.

PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES

• To expand knowledge and experience, provide exposure to other opportunities in the company

(e.g., cross-functional teams).

• Provide greater challenges and more significant assignments that lead to new skill development.

• Encourage employees to participate in mentoring programs.

• Encourage developmental experiences outside of work (volunteer on a board, join a professional

organization, etc.).

• Suggest employee consider taking a class.

• Encourage employees to use available training (classroom, CBT, Web, etc.).

• Give people temporary assignments outside of their areas or departments.

• Have your employees share their best practices with each other in meetings, by sharing

documentation, etc.

• Have employees present new information and topics at staff meetings.

• Identify a current training issue for your team. Develop and implement a training plan for the team.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 5


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Ensuring Recognition

T A L E N T

Discovery Questions

• What types of recognition have you most appreciated for your efforts in the past?

• In what ways would you like to be recognized in the future?

• In what ways could I better acknowledge the good work you are doing?

• Are there any situations recently where you would have liked your work to be recognized but it wasn’t?

What would you have liked to see happen?

• Have you been recognized in ways that weren’t meaningful to you?

• In the future, for what do you want to be recognized? How do you want to be recognized?

Strategy Ideas

BASICS OF EFFECTIVE RECOGNITION

• Provide recognition immediately following the behavior or accomplishment.

• Focus on a specific accomplishment and on what it means to you and to the company.

• Recognize an individual as often as possible.

• Recognize small achievements that represent movement in the right direction.

• Recognize employees for what they like to be recognized for and for behavior you want to reinforce:

• Good ideas

• Meeting deadlines

• Quality work

• Quantity of output

• Customer focus

• Innovation

• Recognize employees how they want to be recognized (ideas below).

• Catch employees “doing something right.”

WAYS TO RECOGNIZE

• Consider recognition that provides additional visibility and responsibility (acting on your

behalf, taking on high-profile projects, etc.).

• Provide public recognition (all-hands meeting, staff meeting, newsletter, etc.).

• Send e-mail with specific details of accomplishments to their peers, boss, upper management.

• Use staff at trade shows or customer sites to demo products to which they contributed.

• Provide opportunity for giving presentations.

• Provide mementos of achievement (award, certificate, office accessory, etc.).

• Sponsor a team lunch or gathering to recognize an individual.

• Provide spot bonuses (flowers, dinners, trips).

• Provide project bonuses.

• Have your boss or your boss’s boss recognize the employee.

• Create a “wall of fame” to recognize accomplishments and efforts, and rotate the recipients.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 6


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

ensuring recognition (continued)

• Keep a record of performance accomplishments for reviews.

• Include write-ups of achievements with your monthly reports.

• Encourage employees to recognize one another. Create a special recognition award that employees

can receive and then pass along to another person when they observe noteworthy performance.

• For employees who have face-to-face customer contact, create an award they can wear.

• Circulate customer and/or internal letters of commendation about an employee.

• Give time off as recognition.

• Say “thank you.”

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 7


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Nurturing Career Advancement

T A L E N T

Discovery Questions

• What is your long-term career goal?

• What do you think is your next step?

• When do you feel you’ll be ready?

• What qualifications would you like to develop now?

• What concerns do you have about being able to get there?

• What are your interests concerning a managerial career track versus a technical career track?

• What areas of the company would you be interested in finding out more about?

• What types of lateral moves might you be interested in?

• What increased areas of responsibility would be career enhancing for you in your current job?

Strategy Ideas

ESTABLISHING GOALS AND PLANS

• Encourage individuals to write both short- and long-term career goals.

• Help employees set career goals, and support their efforts to attend continuing training and education

(courses, conferences, etc.) that represent movement toward goals.

• Clarify technical and managerial track opportunities (when available).

• Create a file for tracking career benchmarks achieved by individuals.

• Help employees consider career paths besides the managerial track.

• Encourage employees to tell you when they want to do something different.

• Articulate the criteria for advancement.

• Link professional development goals to career goals.

• Give honest feedback in areas that hold a person back from career advancement.

• Have people complete values clarification inventories to determine what they want to do more or less of.

• Identify skills the employee can develop that will help him or her in the current job and future career.

PROVIDING ONGOING COACHING AND FEEDBACK

• Have frequent and ongoing career discussions, not just at the end of the year.

• Follow up on progress toward career goals.

• Utilize job rotation and cross-training.

• Offer to be a reference for an internal job search.

• Be open to discussing what it is like to be a manager.

• Provide people with assignments that provide development opportunities.

• Help people learn how to market themselves internally within the company.

• Speak openly about how you advanced your career.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 8


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

nurturing career advancement (continued)

PROVIDING INFORMATION

• Invite managers from other lines of business to discuss their career opportunities with your staff.

• Communicate known openings in other lines of business or departments.

• Introduce the employee to other managers when possible.

• When you help an employee find another position, publicize this to your direct reports.

• Schedule one-on-one time with each of your employees to discuss career goals. Identify with each

employee a developmental opportunity (job assignment, training, cross-functional team project, etc.)

that will help the employee move toward achievement of his or her career goal.

• Identify one or two of your top performers who want to move into management. Assign them to mentor

a new or inexperienced employee, which will require them to learn how to coach, explain things, and

provide support.

• Identify one or two of your top performers who want to move into another technical skill function

within the company. Identify any current or future “hot skills” the employee needs to develop.

Provide the opportunity for training on the new skills.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 9


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Team Collaboration

T A L E N T

Discovery Questions

• To what extent are you being supported by your peers? How can we improve?

• What is your perception of the degree to which senior management supports the work you are doing?

• How have I been doing in terms of supporting the work you are doing? How can I improve?

• What do we need to keep doing to maintain our effectiveness as a team overall?

• How can we improve our effectiveness as a team overall?

• Are there any challenging situations you’re facing in dealing with other team members where I can be

of help?

Strategy Ideas

ORIENTING THE TEAM

• Hold team kickoff meetings at the start of special projects.

• Conduct a team-building exercise to help individuals get to know one another.

• For newly formed cross-functional teams, have team members educate one another on what each

member does.

• Establish team role clarity at outset of project.

• Clearly define the team decision-making process.

• Create team purpose and goals with all team members to ensure buy-in.

• Have team members take ownership of tasks and assignments with others present.

• Provide a conflict-resolution process. Act as a role model for the use of conflict-resolution ground rules.

• Be sensitive to cultural issues in a way that supports the success of the team.

• Get team involvement when establishing department goals.

• Spread deliverables across team members as appropriate.

• Set ground rules and expectations about how team members should interact with one another.

• Know what team members want and need from the team.

• Value the diversity that each team member brings to the team.

PROVIDING ONGOING COMMUNICATION

• Keep all team members informed of pertinent decisions and developments affecting the team and

the project.

• Keep team meetings focused on the task at hand.

• Hold “team huddles” (team problem-solving sessions).

• Encourage participation and open discussion in meetings.

• Ask specific people for their opinions if they are not providing input to a team discussion (draw

them out).

RESOLVING DIFFERENCES

• Encourage team members to try to resolve issues and disagreements among themselves using the

established conflict-resolution process.

• When individuals cannot work out their differences, sit them down together and facilitate a resolution.

• Encourage interaction to solve problems.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 10


Learner Guide

TALENT REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

team collaboration (continued)

IMPROVING TEAM EFFECTIVENESS

• Cross-train team members and encourage mutual support.

• Continually reinforce the importance of teamwork (“in it together,” “not working alone,” “leverage

strengths of others,” etc.).

• Periodically, check in privately to see how individuals are doing and where their commitment is to

the team.

• Hold ongoing team events (T-shirt giveaways, lunches, off-sites).

• Provide team-based recognition and rewards.

• Forgive mistakes and encourage team members to do so with one another.

• Encourage peer coaching.

• Get groups together occasionally to have fun via a recreational activity.

• Provide team recognition as well as individual recognition.

• Assign people to be process leaders for various team innovation or problem-solving activities.

• Assign people as liaisons to other areas or departments to build inter-team collaboration.

• Celebrate successes as a team.

• Research team-building books and activities at the public library or local bookstore. Identify an

activity that will help increase the effectiveness of your team. Partner with your manager to execute

your ideas and plans.

• At your next team meeting, define your team’s purpose and goals. As part of the process, ask for

input from all team members to get their buy-in. Discuss differences of opinion, and work to achieve

consensus.

• Select an obstacle to team collaboration that your team is experiencing. As a team, brainstorm ideas

about what can be done to eliminate or minimize the obstacle. Possible obstacles are the inability

to communicate openly, limited time to interact because of scheduling conflicts, turnover of team

members, lack of trust, and/or unclear roles and responsibilities.

APPENDIX

TALENT Reference - 11


Learner Guide

CAREER CONVERSATIONS SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Nurturing Career Advancement

As you’ve learned, the management practice most related to an employee’s intent to stay is Nurturing

Career Advancement, but many managers avoid this subject—often because they fear their employee isn’t

ready for advancement, or, that the employee IS ready for advancement, but there’s no room to grow within

your group.

Here’s some advice for addressing these and other issues during your career conversations with employees.

DISCOVERY

Discovery

As with other types of Discovery conversations, the

focus here is on asking open-ended questions and

listening intently.

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Long-term goal. Where does this employee want to be in 5 or 10 years? You don’t need to place

any kind of judgment on their goal. It’s long term. No one expects you to get them there tomorrow.

Just get a sense for the direction they are heading so you can help them make progress.

2. Steps toward becoming a qualified candidate. Even the most unrealistic person would probably admit

that they have some steps to take to achieve that long-term goal. What do they feel they need?

Skill development? Specific on-the-job experiences? Exposure to different parts of the organization?

Even if the individual is currently qualified to take on a new role, you may be able to offer something

attractive to keep them for a certain period of time if they are still making progress toward the longerterm

goal.

APPENDIX

Career Conversations Special Considerations - 1


Learner Guide

CAREER CONVERSATIONS SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS (CONTINUED)

STRATEGY

Strategy

Now you know what they’re after. Let them help

you figure out how you can help them get it, in

small and large ways.

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Brainstorm strategies. You will both probably be able to think of some quick and easy ways to help

this individual develop the qualifications they seek. Check out the TALENT Reference for specific

ideas about how you as a manager can support career advancement so you’re prepared to brainstorm

specifics. And be creative—most people appreciate having several options to choose from. Again,

there’s no right or wrong, just what works for this person.

2. Agree on strategies. Select your long- and short-term strategies. Here’s where you may grapple with

some issues about whether you have the specific “room to grow” the person is looking for. That’s ok.

You can’t provide what you don’t have. But it would be a very rare case indeed if you couldn’t

provide anything attractive (like a stretch assignment or cutting-edge project). In some cases you

may find yourself agreeing that the individual will have to move on at some point. You can acknowledge

that and work to help them find the right place within the larger organization when the time comes.

Talking about it helps that employee feel committed to whatever plan you agree on for the near term

as long as they feel confident you will support them when they find the right opportunity to move on.

APPENDIX

Career Conversations Special Considerations - 2


Learner Guide

CAREER CONVERSATIONS SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS (CONTINUED)

Accountability

Accountability looks the same for any Commitment

Conversation, career-focused or otherwise.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Agree on ownership and timeframe for next steps

2. Agree on next meeting and regular check-in approach

3. Invite feedback

APPENDIX

Career Conversations Special Considerations - 3


Learner Guide

CAREER CONVERSATIONS GUIDE

Employee Name:

Date:

Discovery

WHAT IS EMPLOYEE’S LONG-TERM CAREER GOAL?

Skills to Develop:

WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYEE DO TO BECOME A QUALIFIED CANDIDATE FOR THAT ROLE?

Job Experience:

Other Qualifications:

Strategy

BRAINSTORM OPTIONS FOR MEETING NEEDS

AGREED-ON STRATEGIES

TIMEFRAME

Long-term:

Short-term:

Accountability

DEADLINE

Manager Next Steps:

Employee Next Steps:

Follow-up Meeting Date and Time:

APPENDIX

Career Conversations Guide


Learner Guide

HOW TO FACILITATE A TRIGGER DISCUSSION

Here’s what you need to accomplish in each phase of a Trigger Discussion.

DISCOVERY

Discovery

Your focus here is getting employees to throw out

all the potential negative impacts that they can

think of. Better that they think of them here while

you’re in the room than later when nagging concerns

might turn into reasons to leave.

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Brainstorm potential impacts. If/when this event takes place, what will be the impact to the people?

You should capture both positive and negative impacts, but be wary of making the picture seem

rosier than it is. If your direct reports bring up potential positive impacts, great. Capture them and if

they resonate with people, use them. But don’t try to push potential positives if people are more

focused on potential negatives. Meet them where they are.

2. Prioritize concerns. People may identify quite a number of potential impacts. For more complex

events, you will probably find it difficult to meaningfully address all concerns. Ask the individual or

group to prioritize their top concerns. In a group, you can do this using a simple voting system

(for example, everyone gets to indicate three “A-priority” concerns). The group can usually agree

on the top two or three, although you should keep your eyes open for individuals who have priority

concerns that don’t seem to make it on the group list. You may need to pick up the discussion

with them individually later.

APPENDIX

How to Facilitate a Trigger Discussion - 1


Learner Guide

HOW TO FACILITATE A TRIGGER DISCUSSION (CONTINUED)

STRATEGY

Strategy

Now take a look at your top priority impacts.

What can you as the manager do to optimize

positive impacts and mitigate negative impacts?

What can other team members do?

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Brainstorm strategies. If you’re in a group, make sure everyone realizes no idea is a bad idea during this

part of the conversation. Ask everyone to do their best to reserve judgment for later and to feel free to

throw out anything that occurs to them. You may need to step in occasionally to ensure these ground

rules are followed. The example you set at this point is very important. As ideas are thrown out,

make sure they are captured somewhere everyone can see, such as on a white board or flip charts.

2. Agree on strategies. Follow the discussion closely and look for strategies that generate real enthusiasm.

If you’re in a group, you may need to have another priority discussion, but it may be as simple as

calling out the few strategies where the majority of people have shown interest and readiness.

Be sure you have buy-in. Do not choose the strategies that work for you and ignore something that

a good portion of the group cares about. If there are reasons why you can’t do certain things, make

those clear, and look for other options to accomplish the same goals.

APPENDIX

How to Facilitate a Trigger Discussion - 2


Learner Guide

HOW TO FACILITATE A TRIGGER DISCUSSION (CONTINUED)

Accountability

You’ve invested time and effort into coming up

with a plan. Don’t risk sending the wrong message

by forgetting to build in accountability.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Specifically, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Agree on ownership and timeframe for next steps. This is pretty straightforward for a one-on-one situation.

In a group setting it can be a bit tricky. You as the manager definitely need to walk away with some

action items, but you should also try to involve as many of your direct reports as possible. The more

involved they are in efforts to address the attrition trigger, the less likely they will be to become

disengaged. Try to match individuals with assignments they’ve shown interest in. Ask for volunteers

and pair people up, if appropriate, but also ensure that people feel that it is ok if they don’t volunteer.

You can always follow up with people individually to get a sense of where they are and how they

might welcome being involved.

2. Agree on next meeting and regular check-in approach. If you’ve held this discussion as a group, you need

to follow up in a group setting as well. Regular staff meetings are a good opportunity to follow

up on commitments made in a Trigger Discussion.

3. Invite feedback. As with Commitment Conversations, you want to know if employees feel you are not

living up to your promises—or if the situation has changed and it’s time to rethink strategy. If they feel

they can tell you as soon as they have a concern, it will be a lot easier to take than a grudge that’s

been nursed over time. Encourage them to come to you as soon as they have any concerns.

APPENDIX

How to Facilitate a Trigger Discussion - 3


Learner Guide

TRIGGER DISCUSSION GUIDE

Employee Name: Date:

Discovery

POTENTIAL IMPACT(S)

PRIORITY

Strategy

BRAINSTORM OPTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING OPPORTUNITIES AND MITIGATING POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

AGREED-ON STRATEGIES

TIMEFRAME

Long-term:

Short-term:

Accountability

DEADLINE

Manager Next Steps:

Employee Next Steps:

Follow-up Meeting Date and Time:

APPENDIX

Trigger Discussion Guide


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE

Possible Impacts

& Mitigation Strategies

trigger reference

It is critical to address attrition triggers proactively. You should work with affected

individuals or teams to identify potential negative impacts of the event or situation and

agree on strategies to mitigate them. In this reference, you’ll discover a range of potential

impacts following an attrition trigger event. Keep these in mind as you conduct a

discussion with affected employees. You’ll also find sample mitigation strategies to help

as you brainstorm ways to make the most of the situation. These lists are by no means

exhaustive, but will help you begin to understand your situation and how to address it.

Remember, eliciting and listening to your employees’ perspectives are the most critical

success factors for building commitment in the face of an attrition trigger.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 1


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

Table of Contents

TRIGGER REFERENCE

Merger/Acquisition................................................................................... 3

Downsizing/Reorganization........................................................................ 6

Reduction in Stock Price.......................................................................... 8

Change in Management............................................................................ 9

Passed up for Promotion......................................................................... 11

Project Cancellation............................................................................... 12

Project Completion................................................................................. 13

Poor Team Performance.......................................................................... 14

Respected Co-Worker Leaves................................................................... 15

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 2


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: MERGER/ACQUISITION

BUSINESS STRATEGY

Potential Negative Impacts

Many people will think the merger is a bad

idea—either because they don’t believe it’s

the best thing for the organization or because

they can’t yet picture how it will benefit them

personally.

Staff may be

o Questioning merger/acquisition decision

o Resisting changes associated with merger

Strategy Ideas

If you want committed, productive employees,

you’ll have to help them find something they

can believe in.

o Explain the business reasons behind

the merger and the business strategy

moving forward.

o Invite a well-respected figure to

speak with your team.

o Ensure people have access to all

the information going to the press.

o Share what analysts and others are

saying about the merger/acquisition,

and explain the company’s responses.

o Share your own perspective—where

you see opportunities and where you

have concerns.

o Describe the negative consequences that

might have resulted from continuing to

operate as before. Sometimes that is more

compelling than making promises about

the rosy future.

o Share data behind the decision.

o Connect the rationale behind the

merger to your direct reports’

experiences within the organization.

JOB SECURITY

Naturally, people will be concerned about

whether they personally will be classified as

“redundant.”

Staff may be

o Focusing on whether every merger-related

decision has an impact on their job

o Competing with colleagues from both

organizations

You can try to get people not to think about

it, but it’s probably going to be an ongoing

conversation.

o Be as honest with people as you can

about how the organizational changes

might affect them. If you just don’t

know, then tell them you don’t know.

o Don’t make any promises.

o Do your best to give everyone a role to

play in integration efforts or critical dayto-day

work. They will feel less insecure

if they feel they are contributing.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 3


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: MERGER/ACQUISITION (continued)

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

Potential Negative Impacts

There is often a sense of paralysis as individuals

and organizations try to understand the impacts

of integrating the two entities. Individuals

may feel their every move is in question until

things settle down.

People may experience

o Loss of autonomy

o Difficulty making decisions

o Inability to answer customer, vendor, and

employee operational questions

o Downtime as projects and initiatives are

put on hold

o Overload from handling day-to-day and

integration efforts

Strategy Ideas

It’s important to help people feel they at least

know how things are today and that they can

be productive in some ways.

o Set up temporary systems for doing dayto-day

work. Everyone should know those

systems may and probably will change, but

at least people can contribute now. .

o Communicate operational changes as they

happen, and provide a forum for employees

to ask questions and troubleshoot problems.

o Provide guidelines for communicating to

clients, vendors, partners, and employees

about the merger and operational issues.

o Where possible, help direct reports use

downtime in productive ways. If there are

projects or learning opportunities that just

haven’t held as priority previously, let

individuals pursue what interests them

until they can move forward on other work.

o If direct reports are overloaded, help them

focus on the “critical few.” It may seem

everything is critical but since the changing

nature of the environment makes it difficult

to get closure on many fronts, it can be

very demotivating to ask people to pursue

too much at once.

INTEGRATION

Deciding what to integrate and doing the hard

work of integration takes time. Your direct

reports will have varying levels of involvement

and plenty of opinions on how well it’s being

done. And perception is everything.

Staff may be frustrated with

o Bad decisions or decisions that are poorly

communicated

o Decisions that are difficult to implement

o Slow progress or reversals

o Ineffective cross-organization communication

(history, approaches, terminology,

acronyms, biases)

Successful integration requires a continuous

public-relations campaign.

o Involve key people in integration efforts.

o Use and share data to help everyone

understand the challenges faced and

decisions made.

o Look for some quick wins that will appeal

to your team by solving long-standing

problems or making exciting improvements.

o In general, don’t expect things to move

quickly. Manage others’ expectations

accordingly.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 4


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: MERGER/ACQUISITION (continued)

ANGST FACTOR

Potential Negative Impacts

With a shake-up this big, people will experience

plenty of frustration and worry.

People may be concerned about

o Culture clashes

o Rumor mills

o Departure of key individuals

Strategy Ideas

You need to stay connected to your employees

—what worries them and what they need to

vent about.

o Set up two-way communication systems

to quickly disseminate information and

respond to rumors.

o Provide opportunities to build relationships

across the organizations, particularly inperson

meetings where individuals work

together toward a common goal.

o Ask your direct reports to assume innocence

and seek to understand other perspectives

when dealing with individuals from the

other organization.

o When there’s friction, encourage people to

share history and explain perspectives to

minimize negative stereotyping.

o Use the ideas in the Respected Co-Worker

Leaves section of this guide to proactively

address departure of key employees.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 5


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: DOWNSIZING/REORGANIZATION

EMOTIONAL FALLOUT

Potential Negative Impacts

Seeing other co-workers be laid off can be a

traumatic experience for those who remain.

Employees may feel

o Grief for lost co-workers

o Guilt

Strategy Ideas

If you have the option to provide crisis-response

resources (counselors or group facilitators), do

it. You can help people through it also.

o Give people permission to grieve, which

may include providing forums for talking

about the loss.

o Provide ways for people to help their

departing co-workers (finishing work,

networking for job searches, cleaning out

cubes, etc.).

o Empty cubes and offices can be depressing.

Let people work together to come up with

ways to use empty space to provide a

more positive atmosphere.

BUSINESS STRATEGY

People will want to know where the organization

has gone wrong and how things will be

turned around.

Staff may feel

o Anger at perceived poor strategy or

management

o Skepticism about the future

It’s important to get the people who remain

invested in the strategy for moving forward,

but it may be a tough sell.

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

Be honest and forthcoming.

Explain the reorganization in detail—how

things were and how they will be moving

forward.

Share the data behind the reorganization.

Explain the consequences had the organization

not taken this action.

Specifically lay out the business strategy

moving forward and each individual’s role

in it.

Clearly define short-term individual goals

and how they link to both short- and longterm

organizational goals.

Provide an ongoing channel for communicating

concerns and troubleshooting.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 6


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: DOWNSIZING/REORGANIZATION (continued)

JOB SECURITY

Potential Negative Impacts

After any layoff, people usually have some fear

about whether or when another round will occur.

People will have questions about the likelihood of

o More layoffs

o Personally being on the “next to go” list

Strategy Ideas

You can try to get people not to think about it,

but you should probably expect this to be an

ongoing conversation.

o Be as honest as you can with people about

the outlook. They will have to make their

own decisions about how much uncertainty

they can handle.

o Don’t make any promises.

o Celebrate goal attainment—both individual

and organizational—so people see progress.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

The work doesn’t go away because the people

do. And the ones who are left have to find their

way in the new reality.

Staff may be worried about

o Taking on the work of others

o Not knowing whom to work with when

contacts are gone

o Getting by without support of work that

will be discontinued

Be realistic about what you can accomplish

at the new staffing levels. The people who

remain will be dealing with some significant

loss, so don’t expect super-human productivity.

o Involve your reports in deciding what is

important to continue and what can wait.

o Focus on the critical few and help your

direct reports let go of the rest.

o Work with other managers to identify

potential cross-functional breakdowns and

agree on coverage.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 7


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: REDUCTION IN STOCK PRICE

BUSINESS STRATEGY

Potential Negative Impacts

People will want to know where the organization

has gone wrong and how things will be turned

around.

Reports may struggle with

o Believing negative public perception

o Worry over possible impacts of negative

perception

o Frustration or concerns regarding current

leadership

o Loss of personal prestige as company gets

negative press

Strategy Ideas

People will need to feel connected to a strong

strategy for moving forward.

o To the best of your ability, explain what’s

behind the public perception and reduction

in price. Then provide company responses

to these issues.

o Specifically lay out the business strategy

moving forward and your organization’s

role in it.

o Do not make promises about turnarounds.

JOB SECURTY

A plummeting stock price cannot be a good

sign, so people will immediately worry about

the impact on their job.

People may

o Worry about long-term health of organization

o Question possible downsizing

You can try to get people not to think about

it, but you should probably consider this an

ongoing conversation.

o Be as honest as you can with people

about the outlook. They will have to make

their own decisions about how much

uncertainty they can handle.

o Don’t make any promises.

o Share data or anecdotes about progress

whenever possible.

SPENDING CONSTRAINTS

Reduction in stock price often goes hand-inhand

with budget concerns. Many people may

be worried about how this could impact their

work, short- and long-term.

Potential concerns are

o Hiring freezes for critical positions

o Cancellation of spending for important

projects or initiatives

Some direct reports may feel the pinch of

spending limitations more than others.

o Ask direct reports about priorities.

o Be as clear as you can about the parameters.

o Do your best to be smart and frugal; spend

where it’s most important.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 8


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT

BUSINESS STRATEGY

Potential Negative Impacts

Many employees will wonder if a change in

leadership means a change in strategy. And

sometimes employees don’t appreciate having

their past efforts cast in a new light.

Staff may experience

o Worry or resistance regarding communicated

strategy redirection or potential for redirection

o Questions about status of current projects

and initiatives

Strategy Ideas

Whenever a management change is announced,

you should be ready to speak to any changes

with strategic direction.

o Encourage employees to take advantage

of all communication about business

strategy moving forward.

o

o

o

Share data behind changes in direction.

Explain your group’s role in the new direction

and provide individuals with insight on

how it will impact their day-to-day work.

Give employees a forum to discuss their

concerns and work with your management

to get answers to their questions.

THE INDIVIDUAL(S)

Your direct reports may or may not know anything

about the new leader or leaders. Or they

may have some serious baggage. There will be

a trial period where they size an individual up.

Includes ignorance of or concerns about a

new leader’s

o Personal attributes

o Background

o Vision

You don’t want to lose good people because

the corporate communications campaign

didn’t play with your team.

o Provide opportunities for your direct reports

to get to know the new leader. Since faceto-face

is often not an option, consider

getting a bio or sharing anecdotes you’ve

heard about the kind of person they

can expect.

o Ask if they have concerns and do a little

digging to answer some of their questions.

o Encourage direct reports to participate in

meetings or other communication vehicles

designed to connect senior managers with

employees.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 9


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT (continued)

JOB SECURITY

Potential Negative Impacts

Change in management is usually regarded as

an admission of poor organizational performance.

People will want to know what it means for

their own job security.

Employees may be concerned about

o Health of organization

o Possible reorganization or downsizing

Strategy Ideas

You can try to get people not to think about it,

but you should probably expect this to be an

ongoing conversation.

o Be as honest as you can with people

about the outlook. They will have to make

their own decisions about how much

uncertainty they can handle.

o

o

Don’t make any promises.

Surface concerns to senior management

so they can respond.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

A change in leadership can be pretty distracting

for people. And change in management often

means reorganization, which brings its own

set of issues.

Employees may struggle with

o Difficulty making decisions because of

uncertainty about priorities and strategy

o Reorganization distractions

You need to help your employees get the most

accurate picture possible of how best to move

forward.

o Do your best to work through your

management chain to confirm or change

your priorities.

o Acknowledge that many questions will

have to go unanswered for the moment.

o Help your direct reports focus on the

“critical few” tasks.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 10


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: PASSED UP FOR PROMOTION

Potential Negative Impacts

Strategy Ideas

EMOTIONAL FALLOUT

“Losing” is not a positive experience and

employees could go through a variety of

reactions.

Staff may experience

o Blaming or feeling unappreciated

o Shaken confidence (focus on negative

feedback)

o Embarrassment

You need to help the individual get an accurate,

productive perspective on the experience.

o Let them vent if they need to.

o Clearly explain the reason why the person

did not get the promotion. Be specific and

direct, even if it is uncomfortable.

o Discuss tangible ways this person could

be more competitive in the future. Make

specific plans to help.

CAREER ADVANCEMENT

When someone feels they are ready for promotion,

any delay will be frustrating. They’ll start to

wonder when/if they can ever progress with

their current organization—and even question

their current career trajectory.

An individual might

o Doubt potential for future promotion

o Question career direction and consider

radical changes

o Decide the only avenue for advancement

is outside the organization

You need to have a focused Career Conversation

with this person. Use the TALENT Reference

and help them make progress toward their

long-term career goals.

o Provide as much information as you can

about the potential for future advancement

and be honest in order to give them realistic

expectations.

o Help them think through what they can do

now to prepare for advancement.

o Be a sounding board for their ideas about

developing professionally and advancing

their career.

o Offer ideas and commit to help make their

current job more satisfying.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

If this person feels ready to move on, day-today

work could be a real drag.

This person may experience

o Boredom or frustration with current role

o Impatience with routine activities

If you can, help bring more interest and challenge

to their current role.

o Ask about what they’d like to see change

in their current role—projects, ongoing

responsibilities, other opportunities for

skill development.

o Provide individuals with stretch assignments,

leadership opportunities, and high visibility

responsibilities to help make their current

role more appealing.

o Find projects or experiences that will help

them develop skills they need in order to

advance.

o Shift job responsibilities across your team

to help offload more routine work and provide

opportunity for more challenging work.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 11


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: PROJECT CANCELLATION

EMOTIONAL FALLOUT

Potential Negative Impacts

If an individual or team has invested time and

energy in a project that is being dropped or

postponed, they will likely be a bit upset.

Individuals may experience

o Anger

o Blaming

o Feeling unappreciated

o Shaken confidence

o Embarrassment

o Frustration/lack of closure

Strategy Ideas

You get to be the face of management here—

how you deliver the message could make all

the difference.

o Explain the business strategy behind the

change in direction.

o Let them vent. Don’t be defensive; just let

them talk through their reactions.

o Try to come to some agreement about

what happened and how to avoid wasted

effort in the future. Even people who have

worked hard and are looking for someone

to blame will respond positively to hearing

that management has “lessons learned.”

JOB SECURITY

Individuals won’t see this reflecting well on them

and might not yet know what is next for them.

Individuals may

o Question their role

When you communicate cancellation of a

project, be sure to explain how and when the

individual will transition to other important work.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

Leaving a project undone can be a very

disorienting experience.

People may struggle with

o Downtime—what to do next

o Closing out previous work appropriately

Help individuals understand what they should

be doing.

o Clearly communicate the stopping point

and how things are supposed to be left.

o Give people a little space to close things

out, but get them started on their next

project as soon as possible.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 12


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: PROJECT COMPLETION

EMOTIONAL STATE

Potential Negative Impacts

Completion is a good thing, but any big transition

has its difficulties.

People may experience

o Need—for recognition or to see impact

o Exhaustion from final push

o Mixed feelings about results

Strategy Ideas

There are several important things to do as a

project ends.

o Celebrate team accomplishments.

o Recognize individual contributions.

o Debrief what went well and what could be

done better next time.

o Talk with individuals about their experience

and what they need now—for “R&R” and

to re-engage.

JOB SECURITY

When individuals aren’t sure what they’ll be

doing next, they can start to worry.

Individuals may

o Question their role moving forward

As a project comes to an end, discuss with

individuals what they’d like to do next. Provide

ways for them to get started immediately if

they’re ready.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

Having a relatively clear calendar after a major

push can be disconcerting.

Individuals may have

o Downtime

o Piled up lower-priority work

You’ll need to help individuals understand

what they’re looking for and find ways to make

it happen.

o Talk with individuals about their need for

or dislike of downtime and agree on their

priorities for the moment.

o Some people will have lower-priority

work that they want to get to.

o Some people like lead time to prepare

for upcoming work.

o Others will just want a long vacation.

o Do your best to give them a little space

but have a clear, imminent, interesting

next project on the horizon.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 13


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: POOR TEAM PERFORMANCE

EMOTIONAL STATE

Potential Negative Impacts

Failure—or even lack of progress—is not fun.

When people are on a team that is not performing,

they will experience a variety of emotions.

Individuals may feel

o Frustration with team process and product

o Embarrassment

o Anger and blaming

o Shaken confidence regarding own

competence

o Disappointment

o Inability to see light at the end of the tunnel

Strategy Ideas

Help them get some perspective on their

experience—and begin to see the possibility

for improvement.

o Ask for and listen to their feelings about

the current experience.

o Ask about their thoughts on why the team

is not performing well.

o Ask about how you could help.

o Ask for ideas on what they might be able

to do differently personally to help the

team improve.

o Agree on concrete next steps.

JOB SECURITY

Individuals will assume that poor team performance

will negatively impact their own standing

in the organization.

Individuals may worry about

o Negative perception of their personal

performance

Focus on helping the individual help the team

improve.

o Ask for thoughts on his or her own

performance level.

o Be honest about your perception of

performance.

o Counsel an employee to avoid attempting

to disassociate from the team’s performance.

Trying to distance oneself may very well

backfire.

o Strategize on how to get the team some

quick wins and promote those wins.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

This atmosphere can greatly impact an individual’s

motivation to tackle day-to-day work.

People may experience

o Reluctance to put in full effort

o Unwillingness to work with team members

perceived as barriers to performance

o Estrangement from colleagues

Help them get traction in at least some areas

so they can feel productive.

o Ask about and gain agreement on their

current priorities.

o Ask about areas where they are having

difficulty getting day-to-day work done.

o Work together to identify ways to overcome

current barriers to performance.

o Offer support.

o Check-in often.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 14


Learner Guide

TRIGGER REFERENCE (CONTINUED)

trigger: RESPECTED CO-WORKER LEAVES

EMOTIONAL FALLOUT

Potential Negative Impacts

Saying goodbye to a respected co-worker is

always hard, but it also makes an individual

question staying put.

People may

o Grieve over loss of friend

o Feel left behind

o Envy the departing employee

Strategy Ideas

Help people to understand why the individual

left and see their own future staying.

o As much as possible, try to get an accurate

picture of why the departing employee

decided to leave.

o Ask your direct reports about their perspective

on the departure and whether they think

there are things you personally could do

differently in the future to keep people.

o Be honest with your direct reports about

that person’s motivation. And share your

perspectives on any issues they raised

that might apply to others.

o Give people an opportunity to say goodbye.

DAY-TO-DAY WORK

Sometimes you don’t realize quite how critical

a person was until they leave—especially top

performers or people in pivotal positions.

The people who remain may struggle with

o Coverage for departing employee

o Missing support or direction

o Projects or initiatives put on hold

o Time required to participate in recruiting

and hiring

o Training and patience as new person

ramps up

You have to recognize that the vacant position

will impact performance more than just the

productivity of one person.

o Ask people specifically where they foresee

breakdowns because this individual will

be gone.

o Decide on the critical work and how to

handle coverage across the team.

o Consider temporary help, if appropriate.

In some cases it might be most useful to

offload other staff member’s lower-level

work so they can cover more important

tasks or difficult tasks.

o Chip in if you can. Shouldering some of

the responsibility sends the message that

you are all in this together.

o Make hiring a replacement a high priority

so people can see a light at the end of the

tunnel.

o Involve your staff in recruiting and hiring—

even at the level of getting their input on

job descriptions and qualifications.

APPENDIX

Trigger Reference - 15

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