Cornerstone - Fall 2015 - (Page 13)

BEST PRACTICES: LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP HR Advice on Knowing the Whole Story BY VERONICA DELGADO, MBA, SPHR, VP OF HR, LINBECK GROUP LLC ANY POLICE DETECTIVE WILL TELL YOU that clarifying questions are necessary to get to the truth. Even when presented with an open-and-shut case, investigators need to ask questions to get to the bottom of a story, and this is a lesson that leaders in all walks of life can take to heart. Get the facts-just the facts. Without having accurate and complete information in hand, how can anyone expect to make the best decisions? Current events consistently provide us with examples of flawed decision making on behalf of leaders and organizations, and some of these flaws are a direct result of incomplete information or inaccurate facts. Great leaders are always open to learning new things and, to them, truth is the most precious item to have regarding the management of their teams. The more facts they have, the more successful they will become, and with that the more successful the organization will become with complete informational knowledge. Leaders should constantly explore, listen and utilize every reasonable method for gathering information. Yes, getting the big picture can be time consuming, but would you rather invest that time now and make smart, well-informed decisions or have more rework resulting in non-lean practices? Remember, "I had no idea that was going on" is not an acceptable explanation for a leader. Despite efforts to the contrary, it's impossible to know everything, but could you learn more? Of course! If you don't do all you can to dig out the truth with your teams every chance you get, you are at risk of making poor decisions. Being in human resources for 20-plus years, I have seen leaders question whether they need to know all the facts to make a decision, but the key is getting the most information possible to make a well-informed decision. Fall 2015 There is a difference. The truth is out there, and the following tips will help you find it. Get out and about-routinely. Even if you have the top role in your organization, the management-by-walking around strategy speaks volumes to your employees. Walt Disney, for example, used to spend a great deal of time walking Disneyland, speaking to guests and cast members alike. He also made sure his executives and managers did the same. Walt wanted his people out in his parks, learning operations firsthand rather than being cool and comfortable but out of touch. This applies no differently to construction jobsites and visiting the projects to see your teams at work. Get a ground-level view. To the degree it is possible, observe your operations the way your clients see it or how your employees see it. Think of yourself as the client or the new engineer. What would I want out of this project? What would a good outcome look like to me? I always enjoy watching the TV show Undercover Boss, in which a high-ranking executive or the owner of a corporation would go undercover as an entry-level employee in his or her own company. The executives would alter their appearance and assume an alias and fictional back story. It was always exciting to see what the executives learned from the experience. How did those executives change their organizations as a result? How did they change their own behaviors? Meet regularly with your direct reports. Don't just ask your direct reports if a project is going well or if everything for them is OK. Everything is never OK. Hold substantive, one-on-one meetings with them. Can you add substance to your relationship with them and build the business strategically at every meeting? It's a nice challenge and a good goal for each meeting. A good practice is to focus on the four Ps: People, Processes, Projects and Profit. * People: Have them update you on their direct reports. Ask who the promising leaders are. Also find out who is not performing well and discuss the plan to get them on track. Processes: Have them explain what process changes they are working on to improve employee performance and their client experience. Projects: Have them describe the initiatives they are working on to upgrade their projects and their client relationships. Profit: Have them give you a status report on their specific financial responsibilities. Address all of it with full transparency and honesty. Using this model with direct reports will keep you up to date on all important, needto-know facts you as a leader need to make those informed decisions. Make employees feel safe. When employees come to you in confidence with sensitive issues, it's vital to make them feel comfortable and safe. Give them your complete attention. If you want the truth, you have to put them at ease. Once you establish this level of security and safety with * * * 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cornerstone - Fall 2015

From the Chairman of the Board, Bill Scott, III
From the President/CEO, Jerry Nevlud
Big Money for Contractors and Other Victories for the Commercial Construction Industry
Best Practices: Look Before You Leap – HR Advice on Knowing the Whole Story
In Memoriam: Remembering AGC Houston Members
Midyear Meeting Recognizes Excellence in Safety
AGC Houston Members Recognized at Texas Building Branch 2015 Convention
Committed to Safety
Past Events
Member News
C3 Hosts Town Hall Meeting for Specialty Contractors
Index of Advertisers/

Cornerstone - Fall 2015