Simple Ways to Use Recognition to Power and Reinforce Success

With so many ways to recognize people for their contributions, we need to mix it up.  Avoid getting stale and keep it engaging. As effective as it can be, this might go beyond a simple “thank you.”  There are many ways to recognize people. You will find many ideas laid-out below.

General Approaches to Ensure Effective Recognition

  • Be timely–Recognition that has the most impact is timely and comes in close proximity to when the performance happened.
  • Be specific–Share specifics related to the accomplishment by telling the person what was done and why it was effective.
  • Link the recognition–Mention the specific performance or behavior that you want to reinforce.  It is important that people know why they are being recognized.
  • Avoid multi-tasking when you talk with employees–Especially when the discussion is about their accomplishments and contributions.
  • Make recognition a set agenda topic–Place recognition on the schedule during team meetings.  Make sure the recognition is meaningful or it will start to have no meaning.
  • Reward effort as well as success–Not everything is successful. Reward people for the obstacles and barriers they overcame or fought against.

Oh, Let Me Count the Ways to Recognize

  • Leverage the customer–If a customer says something good to you about your employees or a project. Invite them to share in-person or remotely with your team, particularly the people involved.
  • Utilize social networks–Post recognition on social networks. Before you use an outside site, check first to make sure it is company approved.
  • Grab It–Start building a supply of token gifts, such as candy bars, protein bars, etc.  Place them in a box, or grab bag. When you recognize someone, let the person reach in and grab something, sight unseen. Add to the fun by mixing in coupons.  For example, give coupons for a free lunch, or one  item from the vending machine.  If it works in the environment, you might even be able to wrangle a coupon for the parking space next to the door, or an opportunity to leave the facility an hour early.
  • Match the reward–The significance of the achievement should match the reward. The larger the accomplishment, the more significant the reward should be.
  • Make the recognition public–If others can learn from the accomplishments, or the employee would feel a greater impact from sharing the recognition publicly, by all means, don’t keep it a secret.
  • Chalk It Up–On a chalkboard, white board, parking lot, or driveway, write a message of appreciation.
  • Flip It Up–Write a thank you on a flip chart paper. Post it in the hall or on the person’s car.
  • Snack out–Supply the team with healthy snacks and juices for a week.
  • Get Symbolic—Find something that has meaning within the group to pass around.  Use a super-hero for the person who really came through on a project.  Or the “rock” for a person who has been impeccably dependable.
  • Make them laugh–Support a local artist or an art student by asking that person to draw caricatures of your employees during their break/lunch hour and display them in your facility.
  • Create a traveling trophy— Select an unusual item to use as a recognition award. The person recognized can display the trophy for a select period of time. Or the awardee can recognize someone within the team and pass it on. Consider an item that each recipient can autograph before it travels on.
  • Write a thank you note–Deliver this note to your employees’ spouse or children.
  • Spread the news–Place employee recognitions on your intranet. Share the news with higher-level leaders, or in a team management meeting.  Arrange for your team or a member of your team to present an innovation or continuous improvement idea that has worked in your area to other facilities.
  • Perform a service–Take somebody’s laundry to the dry cleaners or wash the employee’s car in the parking lot.
  • Gift it–Create a basket linked to an individual’s interest. For example, if a person like to garden, create a basket with some gardening tools, a gardening book or magazine. If the employee likes to fish, put in a thermos, some fishing lures, etc.
  • Swap a task–Do another employees duties for a day. Let him or her decide.
  • Nominate the employee— Pick various employees for either a company or community award.
  • Provide points–Set goals for employees. If an employee reaches a goal, let them turn in their accumulated points for prizes or awards.
  • Create a space–Create a celebration board in the break room or team area. Post recognitions and thank-you notes. At a periodic meeting, count how many notes are on the celebration board.
  • Take the person into consideration–Don’t give a book to someone who doesn’t like to read.  Avoid public recognition for someone who tends to get embarrassed.  Tailor your form of recognition to meet the individual’s needs.

 

Simple Ways to Use Recognition to Power and Reinforce Success

Simple Ways to Use Recognition to Power and Reinforce Success

With so many ways to recognize people for their contributions, we need to mix it up. Avoid getting stale and keep it engaging. As effective as it can be, this might go beyond a simple “thank you.” There are many ways to recognize people. You will find many ideas laid-out below.
General Approaches to Ensure Effective Recognition

Be timely–Recognition that has the most impact is timely and comes in close proximity to when the performance happened.
Be specific–Share specifics related to the accomplishment by telling the person what was done and why it was effective.
Link the recognition–Mention the specific performance or behavior that you want to reinforce. It is important that people know why they are being recognized.
Avoid multi-tasking when you talk with employees–Especially when the discussion is about their accomplishments and contributions.
Make recognition a set agenda topic–Place recognition on the schedule during team meetings. Make sure the recognition is meaningful or it will start to have no meaning.
Reward effort as well as success–Not everything is successful. Reward people for the obstacles and barriers they overcame or fought against.

Oh, Let Me Count the Ways to Recognize

Leverage the customer–If a customer says something good to you about your employees or a project. Invite them to share in-person or remotely with your team, particularly the people involved.
Utilize social networks–Post recognition on social networks. Before you use an outside site, check first to make sure it is company approved.
Grab It–Start building a supply of token gifts, such as candy bars, protein bars, etc. Place them in a box, or grab bag. When you recognize someone, let the person reach in and grab something, sight unseen. Add to the fun by mixing in coupons. For example, give coupons for a free lunch, or one item from the vending machine. If it works in the environment, you might even be able to wrangle a coupon for the parking space next to the door, or an opportunity to leave the facility an hour early.
Match the reward–The significance of the achievement should match the reward. The larger the accomplishment, the more significant the reward should be.
Make the recognition public–If others can learn from the accomplishments, or the employee would feel a greater impact from sharing the recognition publicly, by all means, don’t keep it a secret.
Chalk It Up–On a chalkboard, white board, parking lot, or driveway, write a message of appreciation.
Flip It Up–Write a thank you on a flip chart paper. Post it in the hall or on the person’s car.
Snack out–Supply the team with healthy snacks and juices for a week.
Get Symbolic—Find something that has meaning within the group to pass around. Use a super-hero for the person who really came through on a project. Or the “rock” for a person who has been impeccably dependable.
Make them laugh–Support a local artist or an art student by asking that person to draw caricatures of your employees during their break/lunch hour and display them in your facility.
Create a traveling trophy— Select an unusual item to use as a recognition award. The person recognized can display the trophy for a select period of time. Or the awardee can recognize someone within the team and pass it on. Consider an item that each recipient can autograph before it travels on.
Write a thank you note–Deliver this note to your employees’ spouse or children.
Spread the news–Place employee recognitions on your intranet. Share the news with higher-level leaders, or in a team management meeting. Arrange for your team or a member of your team to present an innovation or continuous improvement idea that has worked in your area to other facilities.
Perform a service–Take somebody’s laundry to the dry cleaners or wash the employee’s car in the parking lot.
Gift it–Create a basket linked to an individual’s interest. For example, if a person like to garden, create a basket with some gardening tools, a gardening book or magazine. If the employee likes to fish, put in a thermos, some fishing lures, etc.
Swap a task–Do another employees duties for a day. Let him or her decide.
Nominate the employee— Pick various employees for either a company or community award.
Provide points–Set goals for employees. If an employee reaches a goal, let them turn in their accumulated points for prizes or awards.
Create a space–Create a celebration board in the break room or team area. Post recognitions and thank-you notes. At a periodic meeting, count how many notes are on the celebration board.
Take the person into consideration–Don’t give a book to someone who doesn’t like to read. Avoid public recognition for someone who tends to get embarrassed. Tailor your form of recognition to meet the individual’s needs.

Building Employees’ Work Ethic

Are you concerned about your employees’ work ethic and do you wonder how to build it? 

Go one-on-one.  Managers should work to create the relationships needed to encourage employee engagement.  Understand employees’ goals, aspirations, needs, home life, social circles and even hobbies to find ways to relate on an individual level in a way that increases trust.

Establish a target.  If your front-line employees cannot articulate the core values of the business, everything else falls apart. Core values should be brief, bulleted statements that define the values each employee must hold dear, rather than long, jargon-laden mission statements.

Make instruction matter.  Consistency in employee expectations is a key factor in successfully igniting the work ethic. Training programs designed around teaching expectations, organizational values and what happens when expectations are not met are critical to success.

Make your success their success. Get creative with public appreciation, incentives, perks and compensation that can be tied to shared goals to give employees a sense of achievement, which in turn increases their engagement on the job.

Listen, respond and engage. Continually ask for employee feedback on what will help them deliver better results for the brand and customers. Follow through and take action on their requests.

Light the path.  Make the case that your business should be seen as not just a job, but a place to have a career. Communicate to employees about their opportunities for growth within the brand.  Establish programs that guide high performers along a path that helps them to reach high status, responsibilities and compensation in the organization.

Always be canvassing.  Managers should be able to articulate their ideal employee profile. Create a workforce with your ideal work ethic.  Identify and reach out to potential employees by communicating benefits.  Entice  high-performing employees to identify others similar to them and communicate the brand promise.

5 Things to Include in a Performance Discussion

March is the most common time to sit down for an annual conversation around employee performance and evaluation.  Although these conversations should not take place merely once a year, this is an opportune time to consider what should be discussed in a performance feedback conversation.

What is going well?

This is certainly a time to recognize and share strengths in the areas a person possesses.  What can your employees continue to do that will result in further success?  Conversations around performance are a time to provide reinforcement to ensure positive behaviors will continue.  How can this person best capitalize on strength areas that are really working?

What can be improved upon?

No discussion would be complete without touching on areas where improvement is needed.  Communicating alternative approaches is effective.  It motivates employees; and is an essential part of any discussion.  Some leaders shy away from this line of discussion as it can be uncomfortable.  Failure to do this, leaves an employee left with an incomplete picture of performance and little information on how to improve.

 What are the expectations for the next performance cycle?

As you talk about progress on previously set goals or objectives; it is only natural that future expectations will come up.  What clarity can you provide on those expectations?  How will you determine if the expectations have been successfully achieved?  What type of measurements in terms of cost, quality, productivity, or timeliness can be clarified?

What support is needed from you (the leader) to be successful?

This is not about taking responsibility away from someone.  It is about understanding what the person needs from you, the leader.  Perhaps there is a resource you are able to secure or a barrier that needs to be addressed by you in order for the person to be successful.  If they are new to a task, just being available to run things by you can make a significant difference.  Be sure to get the employee’s perspective on this one.

What not to include: Surprises!

Don’t blindside employees with information in a performance review that you have never mentioned.  Not only is it not helpful, but it can be demotivating.  A better way to approach an annual discussion is to make it a culmination or summary of the year.  This should include discussions you have engaged in throughout the time period.  Saving up your insight and delivering it once a year creates missed opportunities.  The employee could have been acting on your feedback in a more timely fashion.  Make those feedback discussions well-timed, and have them in regular cadence.  These discussions will have a solid impact, and you will see a strong professional employee.

10 Things Employees Want More Than a Raise

Article Courtesy of Goeffrey James

Contrary to popular belief, employees value many things more than the amount of money they’re being paid.  If they’re treated right, employees will not only work for less, they’ll be happier and more productive as they do so. Based upon hundreds of conversations I’ve had about bosses and jobs, here’s what employees really want:

1. To feel proud. When asked what they do for a living, employees want to boast rather than apologize. They want the people they meet to be at least a little impressed, even if it’s only because the employee has taken on a job that’s generally thankless.

2. To be treated fairly. While almost everyone realizes that life isn’t fair, employees don’t want the boss to make life more unfair than it already is.  Employees hate favoritism.  They expect the perks and promotions to go to the people who work hard, not the people who kiss butt.

3. To respect the boss. Employees want respect from the boss, of course, but just as strong is the need to feel respect for the boss!  Employees want to believe that their boss is a leader who is worthy of their loyalty.

4. To be heard out. Employees hate it when the boss doesn’t have the time or the interest to listen to what they have to say. Employees don’t expect the boss to always take their advice, but if the boss won’t hear them out they (rightly) assume the boss doesn’t care about them.

5. To have a personal life. For many bosses (especially entrepreneurs) work is a way of life.  Employees, however, usually think of friends and family as their “real” life.  Even when they’re committed to their job, they get twitchy when work keeps them away too much.

6. To be coached not micromanaged. Employees want the boss’s help when: 1) they ask for it, or 2) they’re floundering so badly they’re afraid to ask for it.  What employees don’t want is to have the boss looking over their shoulder all the time.

7. To see the bullies get fired. In almost every workplace there are one or two jerks who make life miserable for everybody.  Almost more than anything else, employees want the boss to fire those jerks. If the boss doesn’t, employees know he’s either a weakling, a fool, or a jerk himself.

8. To feel less stress. People hate the sense that they’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it. Bosses must plan carefully, anticipate problems, and set realistic goals so that they don’t accidentally and unnecessarily add stress to employees’ lives.

9. To have a little security. No sane employee expects lifetime employment.  Even so, it’s hard to concentrate when you feel as if a sword is hanging over your head. Employees want to know that they’re not wasting their time when they’re giving your their best.

10. To beat the competition. Finally, never underestimate the power of teamwork, especially when teamwork means grinding the other team into the dust.  Employees don’t want to be team players; they want to play on the winning team. Why isn’t money on the list of desires? Well, as it happens, I’ve seldom heard anybody complain about their salary per se, except in the context of the above desires (i.e. “they don’t pay me enough to put up with this.”) Satisfy the ten desires above and your employees will remain loyal and hardworking, even if you’re paying them less (and maybe even far less) than they might earn elsewhere.

Are you a Task Master or a Master Delegator?

Good Management Requires Delegation

A project lands on your desk and you ask yourself  “who should I give this to?”.  At least that’s what you should be asking yourself.  You NEED to delegate.  As hard as this is, it’s so important to master the art of delegation.

People that struggle with delegation are typically “Star Performers”.  We are the ones that are used to being the performer and the doer.  It’s sometimes difficult for us to shift from getting the results and recognition, to handing it off to someone else.

No matter how much you dread delegation, remember that it is an essential management skill; one you must master in order to grow as a leader.  Your ability to move up to bigger things depends on your ability to hand off the lower level task and projects that are time consuming.  Stepping out of the limelight, and learning the skill of delegation gives your direct reports an opportunity to grow and shine.

How Do You Master The Art Of Delegation?

The delegation process is just that…a process.  In other words, don’t hand off the project, walk away, and forget about it.

Step 1: Start the process by telling the other person your expectations.  After this, ask them to paraphrase what you have requested.  This avoids any confusion, and sets them up for success.

Step 2: Once the project is underway, schedule touch base meetings to ensure everyone stays on track.  Meetings can be tapered off once you are confident that the work is being handled to your satisfaction.

Step 3: Communicate your trust and stay involved throughout the project.  Ask questions like, “How is the project going for you?”  Doing this shows that you are invested in what they think.  Connecting with them on a person-to-person level tells them you care.

When people feel important, they will be interested in working with you.  Therefore, you will be less likely to pick up the pieces of a project gone wrong.

Step 4: When all is said and done and the project is complete, hold a debriefing.  Discuss what worked and what didn’t.  This will give you the confidence to delegate to that person in the future.

Just remember, delegating is good for everyone on your team. You get to make room for more challenging responsibilities, and your team has the opportunity to grow too!  It’s a win-win…

Do this … challenge yourself for the next 30 days. Delegate at least three things each day. See what you learn and how your team grows and changes.

Happy delegating!

Living Life in the Fast Lane

It seems everyone is talking about the fast-paced world we live in today. It’s a world of speed, entertainment, pressure, anxiety and very few margins in our calendar. In short, it is a world filled with noise and clutter.  Life is noisy and busy for most of us.

The downsides people talk most about are:

  • Less time in face-to-face relationships and more time on screens.
  • Low work ethic and high sense of entitlement.
  • Higher expectations of performance but lower patience with others.
  • High tech and low touch lifestyle.

I think, however, these are micro-consequences to 21st century living. They are symptoms of something greater. The macro-consequence is something even more sobering and sinister. It is the meta-price tag for the high-speed world we live in.

We’re Only Playing Defense

A world that’s full of speed, noise and clutter causes us to get lost reacting to it all. We don’t live intentionally any more. We aren’t living on purpose. We play defense, simply reacting to everything being thrown at us—bills, voicemails, texts, posts, friend requests, links, subscription invoices, reference calls and emails in the inbox. Many of us get to the end of our week and are happy to have survived it.

This is not what I signed up for. The outcome isn’t worth it.

This past week I met with more than a dozen leaders and spoke to them about this issue. They all agreed: None of them wanted to live this way. No one likes merely reacting to deadlines and pressure. Most want to live life on purpose. It’s just that we can’t seem to figure out how to do that. We’ve exchanged proactive for reactive. It’s even worse at home. Parents are so exhausted from each day, we end up hoping to survive the week. Forget about all that “training the child to be an adult” stuff.

So, let me propose something to you, leader to leader.

Stop the self-imposed pressure. You don’t owe it to everyone to meet their requests. You and I are about serving people and solving problems, but our lives are to be about more than countering and reacting to others.

Remember these realities:

1. It is not how hard you work but how smart you work.

Working smart means you are doing what only you can do, and delegating things to others. Hard work is a virtue, but lasting leaders know how to work wisely.

2. We either organize or we agonize.

Learning to organize your projects makes us more efficient. This, in turn, saves us time and frustration. We must take the time to prepare before we execute.

3. We must choose or we lose.

When leaders fail to decide what must be done, we lose the opportunity to actually lead. We play defense instead of offense. Knowing your priorities helps you choose.

4. Your day will be filled with your priorities or with the requests of others.

Certainly leadership is about serving people—but that doesn’t mean you only react to others’ requests. You must know what your objectives are and pursue them.

5. You either evaluate or you stagnate.

When we don’t assess what must get done, we can become overwhelmed and stall. All good leadership begins with evaluating current status, then choosing next steps.

6. Are you proactive or reactive?

This is huge. Most leaders start well, but eventually just react to what others want. We focus on getting through the week instead of planning ahead and reaching a goal

7. The issue is not “Will my calendar be full,” but “What will fill my calendar?”

Let’s face it. We’re all is busy. The question is—what got into our calendar? The issue is not prioritizing our schedule but rather scheduling our priorities.

Determining Your Priorities

There are three big questions you should ask to determine your highest priorities:

1. REQUIRED: What is required of me in this role?

This one is all about the essential tasks and objectives you’ve been given in your position. What must get done? What is a necessary part of the job?

2. RESULT: What produces the greatest results when I do it?

When you examine the activities you engage in, which ones result in the most fruit? What can you do that people agree you are very good at doing?

3. REWARD: What fulfills me most?

As you reflect on your projects and tasks, which ones are deeply satisfying? What are the tasks that you love and would enjoy, even if you weren’t paid?

Here’s to you living on purpose, to being a proactive leader and not a reactive leader.

– See more at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/biggest-price-tag-current-culture/#sthash.fADZyvqE.NJX19lEK.dpuf

Tips for getting back in the Groove after Vacation

How to Get Back in the Grove After Time Off

Many people are returning to the office this week after vacation over the holidays.  Perhaps you did not take a lot of time off, but enjoyed calm and quiet work days.  Looking down a new year and getting back into the routine can seem daunting.  Here are some simple strategies to help you start the New Year off right after changing your pace:

Have a Plan

Thinking through your return to work and having a plan is an essential component that will allow you to start off with success.  Update your task lists and priorities.  Think about your objectives for the New Year.  Do not just focus on high-level aspirations: “The What”, but consider what steps you need to take in your day-to-day life to get there: “The How”.   Those who have already penciled in top objectives before returning to work have a better chance of realizing these objectives earlier and getting back to business as usual.

Get Engaged in New Projects

The problem for some workers who return to work after a the holidays is getting the momentum going.  It is natural to feel a little blue after their time off has come to an end.   Tackling new projects right out of the gate is sometimes a good way to get quickly immersed in the workplace.

Catch Up on Communications

One of the biggest tasks in many cases is going through the incoming messages that have accumulated while taking a break.  Approaching this in the right way can save you time and stress.  Some professionals like to thin out their email.  This involves going through emails with an eye for priority.  Get key information before going from 0 to 60 with a new work day or week.  Reviewing your inbox from most to least recent helps as you get apprised of issues that may have already resolved themselves.  Just remember, other people are often sifting through their inboxes too!  You can extend each other some mutual understanding of this challenge.

 Take Time to Enjoy the Catching Up with People

Touching base with friends at work, getting updated on new events in co-workers’ lives, or reconnecting with favorite clients or customers is beneficial.  T aking advantage of the human factor can help individuals enjoy their return to work and become more productive in their ongoing job roles.

 Limit Access on the First Day Back

Returning to work can be overwhelming.  Making your return to work incremental can help. Some like to keep the first day reserved for catching up on past events. Limit your meeting schedule, incoming phone calls and tackling everything new you want to do in 2014 on the first day back.  Look to get caught up on and adjusted before taking on the world of the new year.

3 Keys For Beating Holiday Stress

There is a reason many employers are investing in wellness programs for their staff. These programs are often geared towards healthy lifestyle choices; such as exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction. They have been shown to bolster productivity and reduce levels of chronic illness in the workforce. Even if your company does not have something in place, there are some simple things we can all do to be our own wellness advocate. Well into the month of December, when the year-end rush is intense for many people and holiday obligations can get overwhelming, we bring you three simple things you can do for your own wellness.

Take a walk during your lunch

A simple 15 minute walk can be an easy way to fit in some activity mid-day. Doing this keeps your energy level up heading off an afternoon slump that many people experience. There are more benefits to fitting this in after lunch. A recent study found that a 15-minute walk after a meal not only lowers blood sugar, but also risk for type 2 diabetes. Doing this twice a day (or 15 minutes each way) gets you the recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day. People often find ways to maximize this time by scheduling a conference call that only requires them to listen in. Or make it educational by listening to an audio book.

Make it a moving meeting

Make one on one meetings with like-minded people a moving meeting. This might mean finding a place where you can walk and talk. Just bring a note pad, or take keynotes on your smartphone or tablet. I know one person who likes to “move and meet” as we affectionately call it. Our meetings include slowly walking up a few flights of stairs, walking a hall, and then heading back down. Doing this a few times really helps keep the blood and ideas flowing. I admit I feel less stressed after our meetings compared with others.

Take a Stand

Nothing radical here, just find times you can physically stand up. Sitting all day can lead to a sluggish metabolism, chronic back pain, and stiff neck. If you have a job that leaves you sitting at a desk most of the day, you may feel the effects of this. Try taking a phone call standing up. The moment you stand up, your metabolic rate picks up according to the Mayo Clinics’ obesity expert James Levine, M.D., Ph.D.   Many leaders are replacing long meetings sitting around a conference rom with huddles, where the team stands and meets for less than 15 minutes. The rest of the updates are provided electronically. A metabolism boost and a time-saver all in one. Now that can help reduce stress!

I just heard a statistic on the radio talking about how much weight people plan to gain between Thanksgiving and New Years.  The program went on to state that the average amount people gain ranges between 3 and 7 pounds.  It really struck me that people are just planning on this as a reality.  How unfortunate!

We all know how challenging it is to reduce our weight.  Imagine 3-5 years including a 3 to 7 weight gain every year.

This year, let’s go against the norm.  Put these and other wellness strategies to work to have a happy and healthy holiday season!

We just scratched the surface in this brief write up. For more quick and simple employee wellness ideas, check out: http://www.wellnesscorporatesolutions.com/z-resources/70-ideas.pdf

Big Hiring Decision-Panel Interview Pros and How To

Interviewing as a Team Sport

 Do you have an important hire to make in your organization?  Okay, seriously, do you ever hire someone and NOT consider it an important decision?  You may want to get multiple perspectives at the same time and work together as a team on this hire, known as a “panel interview”.

A panel interview involves a team of two or more people who interview a candidate at the same time.  It may sound easy or simple, but there are some steps that can be taken to ensure it is a productive, insightful interview and a positive experience for the candidate.  The benefit of a panel is all interviewers hear the same information being supplied by the candidate and can collaborate on making the best hiring decision with their collective perspectives.

 Preparation is critical to the success of any interview.  When multiple people are involved in conducting the interview, the need to prepare and have a plan is even more essential.  Here are some steps to take in preparing for a panel interview:

  • Know the plan for the interview.   You should know what attributes you want to focus on before conducting the interview and base your questions from key skills that will make a difference in successful performance for the open position.
  • Agree up front on who is asking what during the interview.  Using an interview guide with planned questions is the best approach.  Designate specific questions to each participant on the interview team.
  • Review the candidate’s resume and other supporting documents that have been collected from the candidate up until this point as part of the interview preparation.

 During the Panel Interview

Interview execution is a more coordinated event when dealing with a panel of people.  During the interview, you will have to take additional steps to put the candidate at ease.  Initially “candidate jitters” may be more present in a panel interview.  However, if handled appropriately, many candidates report they appreciate the opportunity to share their experiences in a panel format.

  • Take more time during introductions – ensure each participant on the panel introduces themselves and shares a bit about their role with your organization.
  • Explain to the candidate in the interview opening how the logistics of the interview will work.
  • It is a best-practice to rotate who asks the questions, but encourage everyone to take notes to later debrief on the interview.
  • Multiple people can contribute to asking follow-up questions, just be extremely careful to make it a more coordinated effort.
  • One example would be to rotate the primary “question-asker” or “follow-up questioner” while others can ask additional questions if more information is needed or something is missed.

 Following the Interview

Debriefing after the interview with the panel participants is where all your efforts will come together to make the best decision possible.  This is a time to review what you collected with the other panel participants and seek consensus from the interview team on the next steps in considering the candidate.  Some tips to ensure you get the most from the discussion include:

  • Consider all interviewers’ information openly and equally.
  • Share/compare behaviors and past experiences the candidate possesses that would demonstrate future job success as much as possible.
  • Tie data collected back to the job requirements.
  • Challenge each other to ensure you all remain focused on predicting job performance.  Ask: “What behavioral data did you collect to support that viewpoint?”

Investing in a panel interview may seem like a tough order, but this extra time and perspective placed up from in hiring the best person for your opening will pay off handsomely in the future of your new employee.