Workplace Success – What You Need to Know This Week

Feb 17, 2015
5 Min Read

Here are three stories people are talking about this week.

1. Amazon’s rules for hiring the best people

Amazon has found ways to mechanize their hiring process, in order to make its processes “repeatable, measurable, auditable and improvable.” For example, reports First Round Review, the company assigns “bar raisers” -  people who are included in every hiring conversation and interview with the specific mission of determining if a candidate is an improvement over existing talent or not. Their job is to ensure that candidates will be above the 50% bar of the people already working in that role at the company. Second, the company has built a hiring funnel that eliminates large chunks of candidates at each stage of its hiring process, so that if someone makes it to an on-site interview, they’ll receive an offer the majority of the time – saving the company considerable time by ensuring it’s only interviewing the strongest applicants. The whole article is a fascinating look inside a successful company that’s put a great deal of thought into how to hire well.

2. How to Articulate Tricky Performance Issues

If you’ve ever felt like an employee wasn’t performing at the level you need but you weren’t able to put your finger on what the issue was, you know that finding just the right wording or framing to articulate the problem can be the biggest barrier to tackling it. The Management Center has put together language to help you open the conversation on 10 tricky performance patterns and name what’s bugging you. For instance, if you have an employee who does good work on the basics but struggles when it comes to more sophisticated work, the piece suggests framing the issue as “101 vs. 201,” saying something like: “When it comes to some of the core pieces of the role, you’re delivering results in areas like X and Y. But on more complex fronts, like Z, I’m not confident that the work is going as well. I look at it as the difference between the ‘101’ pieces of the job – where you’re doing well – and the ‘201’ elements, that are higher complexity and often higher stakes.” You can read the whole piece here.

3. Women are still expected to do more office “housework”

Women are expected to do more of the office “housework” -- administrative tasks that help but don’t pay off professionally – and don’t get recognized for it, finds a new study from New York University psychologist Madeline Heilman. Men who stayed late to help colleagues prepare for a meeting were rated 14% more favorably than women who did the same. And women who declined to help were rated 12% lower than men who declined. Moreover, after giving identical help, men were significantly more likely to be recommended for promotions, important projects, raises and bonuses. Women had to help just to get the same rating as a man who didn’t help.

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